Arsenal’s match later today against Liverpool is undoubtedly a measuring stick match. It will give us a great chance, as supporters, to see how far the side has progressed. In case you weren’t aware, Jurgen Klopp’s side have had the beating of the Gunners for several years now. It hasn’t been pretty. They routinely put three past Arsenal, and the Gunners usually don’t manage to score.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think Mikel Arteta or the players look at today and think “measuring stick, time to see how far we’ve come.” I’m sure they are aware of the recent record against Liverpool and know they will be a tough opponent, but I don’t think they really care about gauging their progress and improvement. They want to win the match, and I don’t think they think of much else.
Big picture, Mikel Arteta wants to do more than just win tonight. He wants to reinsert Arsenal into the conversation that includes Liverpool and Manchester City for who is the best team in England. Nowhere better is that reflected than in his response to a question about Arsenal’s current form and five straight wins: Arteta basically said it wasn’t good enough for where they wanted to go, that the top clubs regularly win 8, 9, 10-plus matches on the trot.
Back to this evening’s contest — it should be a cracking match of football. Arsenal and Liverpool are among the most in-form sides in Europe, if not the two most in-form sides. As I’ve said again and again, there is something about this bunch of Arsenal players. A chance to really send a message to the rest of the league, at the Emirates, under the lights. The home fans are going to be in full voice. I think Arsenal just might do it.