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Burnley: the prelims

By Tony Attwood

And so we begin our usual weekend wall to wall carpet to door head to tail front to back preview to review analysis and commentary.

Or something like that.

Anyway here’s the prelims, up next is the ref preview, and after that is something else which I haven’t worked out yet, but will hopefully come to me before I have to write it.  (It’s tough being a blog publisher you know, its not all wining and dining at the Emirates).

So to get going…

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has suffered a setback and won’t play at least for a couple of weeks and maybe for the rest of the season.  Which is sad, but could give him a really long chance to recover and bring him out fighting fit for the new season.

He is however our only serious injury so there is no need to risk him and rush him back.  Let him fully recover and fulfil all his wonderful promise next season is my thought.

And the official view is “It is not his hamstring any more. It is groin inflammation.”

So having done the injury list, is this the bit where I say that Arsenal have won 15 of the last 17 matches in all competitions?  No, perhaps I’ll leave that for later.

The rest of our injury list, therefore, is our recovered list.

Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Debuchy, Serge Gnabry and Abou Diaby.  All fighting fit and ready to rock n roll.

Only Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny face the dreaded fitness test, which makes me think, what is a fitness test?  I mean, does Arsène Wenger say, “Are you fit?” and the player says “yes” (or in the case of Balotelli, “no”).

What Mr W did say was, “Koscielny will have a test to see how far we can go with him. He had a scan yesterday and that looks quite good. Wojciech has a problem but he has a good chance to be available for Saturday. He should be OK for Reading in the FA Cup semi-final next weekend.”

But suddenly I have fears for the Ox.  I mean, normally speaking our dead and dying are able to console each other with ten or fifteen players fighting for space in the rehab suite.  Now its just the Ox.   He will be so lonely.  Perhaps we should all send him messages of good wishes.

Now here’s another thing.  According to the press, there is now a “feel-good factor” at the club. Arsène Wenger is happy, the players are happy, and that funny little fella-me-lad who sometimes pops up near Blacksheep with his “enough is enough” t-shirt has emigrated to New Guineapig.

Oh yes and we have now invented something called “a better balance”.  That’s in the press too.

Actually our Arsène has talked about balance in terms of the average age of a squad. “When all your main players get close to 30, you can’t buy a 30-year-old player. You have to buy a player who is 22 or 23 because if you buy another player of 30, they all die together.

“As a manager, in the long-term and short-term, you have to say: ‘OK, we can win the league’ but you cannot go without planning for the future. So the players we buy this summer have to be a bit younger – they cannot be 29 or 30. Age-wise you need a balance.”

So any parents with 12 year olds who are looking a bit nifty might want to offer them up, although only if they are EU citizens and the parents already have jobs in London.

“Is that it?” I hear you cry?  Well, no not quite.  For the Bishop of Burnley, the Right Reverend Philip North, has been praying for his local club to stay in the Premier League.

Now isn’t that cheating?  I mean are the PL authorities just going to stand by and let this happen?  Next thing we know St Harry will be called up to intervene, and then along will come St Jude complete with a bouquet of flames around his head, the ultimate friend of the lost cause.

However there’s a contrary view, in which it is said that the manager of Burnley knows that he needs to win a few games, but beating Arsenal is not going to be one of them, so he will rest his entire first team, hand the game to Arsenal, and focus on winning some of the other matches.

And what of Diaby? I hear you cry.

Arsène Wenger has said that if he can prove his fitness he will get a new contract.  I think it is one with a fairly low basic salary, but a high payment per game.  But let’s hope finally he can make it happen.  I wonder what he has been doing all the time he has been out.  Quite probably he’s got two doctorates by now.
.
Which moves us on to Theo Walcott who, I am told, realises he really has to get back to his earlier standard, and quite possibly it is going to be the summer that he will do that.  He may take little more than one week off, and then return to full training hopefully to play in all the pre-season games and the Charity Shield.  (Incidentally do you remember the Charity Shield this year – it actually told us quite a bit about how this season was going to pan out).
.
So, as we get ourselves ready for the ref preview, here is how it is looking at the moment – and in looking at this afresh, do have a moment considering the goals.
1. Chelsea 63
2. Man City 63
3. Arsenal 62
4. Man U 55
5. Tottenham 50
.
At the bottom, Burnley don’t have the worst attack nor the worst defence, but they do have the worst goal difference which is minus 23, or 53 worse than ours.
.
If we look at the defences, top of the league is Southampton who have let in 10 fewer than we have, but simply can’t score enough, despite winning one game 8-0.  Just a thought.
P
W
D
L
F
A
GD
Pts
1
Chelsea
30
21
7
2
63
26
37
70
2
Arsenal
31
19
6
6
62
32
30
63
3
Man United
31
18
8
5
55
28
27
62
4
Man City
31
18
7
6
63
30
33
61
5
Liverpool
31
16
6
9
45
36
9
54
6
Tottenham
31
16
6
9
50
45
5
54
7
Southampton
31
16
5
10
42
22
20
53
8
Swansea City
31
13
7
11
37
39
-2
46
9
West Ham
31
11
9
11
41
39
2
42
10
Stoke City
31
12
6
13
35
39
-4
42
11
Crystal Palace
31
10
9
12
38
42
-4
39
12
Everton
31
9
10
12
39
42
-3
37
13
Newcastle
31
9
8
14
33
49
-16
35
14
West Brom
31
8
9
14
28
43
-15
33
15
Sunderland
31
5
14
12
24
44
-20
29
16
Aston Villa
32
7
8
17
23
45
-22
29
17
Hull City
31
6
10
15
29
43
-14
28
18
QPR
32
7
5
20
38
58
-20
26
19
Burnley 
31
5
11
15
26
49
-23
26
20
Leicester City
30
5
7
18
29
49
-20
22

Anniversary:

10 April 1948:  Arsenal won the First Division Championship by drawing with Huddersfield 1-1 with four games to go.  Arsenal lost one and drew two of the remaining games before winning the final match 8-0.

And we’re Twitting @UntoldArsenal

18 comments to Burnley: the prelims

  • Andy Mack

    Is the age ‘balance’ comment just AW warming up the whingers for a couple of youngsters coming in this summer?

  • Gord

    Before anyone starts asking for new blood, we have young blood returning (or in the system): Emiliano Martinez, Isaac Hayden, Jon Toral, Gedion Zelalem, Krystian Bielik, Joel Campbell, Chuba Akpom, Ryo Miyaichi and Wellington Silva. Other players returning from loan are Sanogo and Podolski.

    And we have some academy players who may be seeking another loan next year: Josh Vickers, Semi Ajayi, Jack Jebb.

    For those willing to watch flash, the Arsenal vs Reading U21 match on Monday will be available.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150409/live-video-arsenal-under-21s-v-reading

  • Andy Mack

    Gord, I think Semi is leaving this summer. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Hayden, Zelalem and Akpom loaned next season as they need experience. Also Crowley must get into the 1st team squad this summer as he’s very talented.

  • Gord

    Forgot Jenkinson at WestHam coming back. Oops.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I have to admit that when I look at this list of players I think they look great but I find myself unable to compare this group with other teams’ younger players because I don’t follow them closely. I mean, we often hear about the next star signing for Chelsea and then don’t hear about them again. Also, we seem to fast track our promising young players through to our reserve side. Thus the results of our u-18 team, for example, are not necessarily a good barometer of success.

  • BILL FROM MANHATTAN

    Off topic but I just had to bring it up, On ESPNFC today there were two articles that infuriated me. One was by John Brewin in which he stated that Arsenal and Wenger’s window was closing, To win the league Wenger should spend big money and leave us in a financial mess for his successor to deal with. Who the fuck cares, It is now someone else’s problem. He said just like old red-nose done with Man.Utd. and the Dutch skunk traitor. So our prudent gaffer should spend the cash like a drunken sailor on shore leave in Pompey and run to the hills like a fucking coward leaving someone else to deal for his stupidity. What the fuck has this Brewin asshole been smoking and what white powder has he been shoveling up his nose. He is too stupid to see that our gaffer lo these many years has been looking at the big picture. Leaving our club in better shape than when he hired on is his aim. The other article’s headline said Chelsea can set Premiership record, I read the opening sentence which stated that Chelsea if they hold on will set the record for most days in first place. I immediately went no further, Such fucking bullshit. When the Arsenal spent the most days in first place last year the media derided our team. They said it don’t matter, It is insignificant, Who the fuck cares about that. One year later they are blowing horns and staging parades about it. Such FUCKING HYPOCRISY. My pal Jambug said it best, The media are all lying fucking pieces of shit and a bunch of cock-sucking whores. I got to add in they are TOTAL SCUMBAGS

  • Rantetta

    Hear hear, BFM.

    And **** espn too!

  • Gord

    Andy, that always seems to be a possibility. If Semi (or others) leave, hopefully they find success, and I hope they enjoyed the time they spent here.

  • esxste

    Bill… must you insult “cock-sucking whores” like that? I cant say I’ve met any, but I imagine them to be far more professional and diligent.

  • Nonny

    Deviating from the topic

    Where did this story that Arsenal is proposing a deal of Walcott and £20m for Sterling. This is so unrealistic. Where is Sterling £20m better than Walcott. Certainly not on Earth. We all know that Sterling worth is a fragment of the press imagination and will be stupid for anyone to buy him for more than £20m even though he is “home grown”.

    In another news £150,000/wk new contract for Wilshere who still has over 3 yrs left in his contract. This will make him the highest earning player in the Arsenal team. What are the press smoking in England? What a joke!

  • @Bill,@Nonny i think i might tell what those dick heads are smoking, i was in Bloemfontein and those shit heads mix arv with rat poison oooh my gash it’s a terrible mix.First it sucks your face to the mallow and you fear nothin.. That is the mix the assholes are smoking.

  • jambug

    BILL 😆

    Nonny

    Sterling’s not just better than Theo, apparently, according to Michael Owen, he’s better than Ozil.

    I’ve no doubt he’s better than both of them put together.

    THATS IT, by jiminy I’ve got it.

    Why don’t we just swap Walcott and Ozil for Sterling and be done with it.

    I’ve no doubt Owen would still think Liverpool had been ripped off !!

  • para

    Hell, if Theo is going to go, the Sterling will not be a bad replacement, but he will have to fight for place. AW says he is not interested, but we all know what this usually (can)mean(s).

    Anyway Sterling or A.N.Other, Arsenal are a better, much better team now and other will begin to fear us again.

    We can’t fold at Burnley, just hope AW preparations work to the fullest.

  • apo Armani

    I saw a sterling in my garden this morning and guess what he didn’t get the worm 🙂 🙂

  • apo Armani

    sterling/starling who cares hahaha

  • Florian

    jambug,

    If we swap Sterling for Theo and Ozil, we’d have one big problem – we’d play every game with 10 men on the pitch 😉

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And speaking of whores…..

    “Hello, is this Miss Singleton? – Yes, it is I.

    Miss Singleton, this is John Smith, your tax accountant. I must inform you that your tax statement was rejected by the IRS…They say that your salary and your possessions are Incompatible…Your salary as a secretary is too low for you to be able to afford a luxury apartment, a new Mercedes-Benz, expensive clothing, jewellery, vacations in Europe, etc.

    – Oh, and what can I do about it?

    Well, let’s do the following: Send me a recent copy of your principal source of income, and I’ll see what I can do with it at the IRS.

    – Very well Mr. Smith. I making a photocopy of it now, and I will fax it to you shortly.”

    SCANNING…..

    http://www.funny-games.biz/pictures/1988-fearless-lady.html

  • Sleekwhale

    Laughing