Arsenal – Burnley, the slow match report

By Walter Broeckx

After last weekend publishing the fastest match report in history I now will be the writer of the slowest match report. As most of you know I was in the Emirates this time in person and with coming home only very late at night and having to do a match as a referee on Sunday afternoon I couldn’t find the time to do it earlier.

As I was sitting in the North bank this time my first reaction was once again: what an amazing stadium we have. I have been sitting in each stand almost now and no matter where you sit the view is perfect. I think this is something that should be taken on board whenever high prices are mentioned. Not that I would mind cheaper tickets of course. But at least I know I can have an unrestricted view wherever I will sit.

The word slow once again comes to mind when I look back at the first half. Burnley to their credit didn’t do the kick them off the park trick. They did the time wasting trick and their keeper who was excellent and kept us from winning with a high score managed to do some of the most extravagant time wasting I have seen.

At one moment he slowly walked with the ball between his feet. Stopped. Was thinking to himself: well I am bit thirsty. Left the ball behind, went towards the crowd where the Burnley supporters were and ordered one of them to get him a cappuccino. As we have heard however from Tony his complaints for years it’s not an easy thing to get a cappuccino in the Emirates. So the Burnley supporter had to wait for the right person to push on the right button for a while. After a long wait the keeper got his cappuccino at last. Drank it up, slowly of course as it was hot.

Then he realized the rest was waiting for him and he slowly walked back to the ball. Thought about where to exactly put it for another two minutes. Found a spot that seemed decent enough. Bounced the ball a few times to make sure that there still was enough air in the ball. Finally placed it on the spot he first had selected.

Slowly turned around to the goal line. Slowly turned himself. And then he just stood there for seconds. As if he was one of the statues outside the Emirates. Just as I wanted to throw a coin in the basked I thought I saw in front of him (they usually move when you do that) he seemed to wake up and kicked the ball away.

I know the cappuccino part is a bit exaggerated but for those in the stadium they will have seen that he actually stopped a goal kick for having a drink. That was really awful time wasting and once again the ref failed to spot it and sanction it. And this will have gone unnoticed if you sat in front of your TV at home as it will have been the moment to show one of the 4 or 5 occasions when we should have scored.

Alexis could have had at least two goals himself in the first half but each time the keeper denied him or his shot went centimetres wide. Santi Cazorla worked his socks off but once again the goal seemed to be too small. And Welbeck went on a fine run passing all and everyone only to see his shot blocked just in front of the line by a defender.

You felt that whenever we turned up the speed we played with we hurt them. Burnley didn’t create much at all. In fact I don’t remember anything apart from a shot from distance that went well over.

In the second half the same scenario. Arsenal doing some shooting practice without success at first. Crosses came in from right and left but with some 10 Burnley bodies packed in their penalty area it was always going to be difficult to find that little gap needed. But you felt that once we would score that first goal the floodgates could go open completely.

And when the goal finally arrived it was no real surprise that it was the amazing Alexis was the one to provide it. A pocket striker scoring a perfect header. Out jumping both central defenders after a Chambers cross fell right between them. From then on it was a real floodgate.

We hardly were back in our seat when we got a corner. And the ball bounced around a bit after a Per dummy, Welbeck had a shot saved on the line by a defender and the keeper (his story of the day) and the rebound came to Chambers who made no mistake. 2-0 and you knew more goals would come if we would keep playing.

And we did with the arrival of Theo and Podolski. At least I will be able to say I was there when Theo really came back in the Emirates. He left us with us being 2-0 up, he came back with us being 2-0 up. Against another opponent but it looked symbolic for me.

We kept on bombarding the Burnley goal. Podolski will still wonder how on earth the keeper kept out his half volley from 6 meters out after a corner. And I hope the ground staff will check the woodwork before tomorrow’s match as his volley was as hard as can be. He really was unlucky and I would have loved it if he had scored at least one of those efforts.

Meanwhile Theo showed some great skill and looked still a fast boy, even out strengthening a defender to get ourselves a corner. And if it wouldn’t have been for the excellent Burnley keeper he would have scored a goal at his comeback.

The final goal did came right at the end. Another nice move and a low cross from the left from Gibbs was found by Alexis. A few quick touches and quick feet moved himself past the defenders and an easy shot which the keeper couldn’t stop this time.
3-0 and all went home satisfied. I think even the Burnley supporters. They didn’t get the 6 or 7-0 drubbing they could have had if we had finished a bit better and if it wouldn’t have been for their keeper. I don’t think any Burnley supporter will claim they deserved anything from this match.

It was a completely one sided affair. We could have done with a few goals more but I hope we kept them in the locker for the next two matches. It’s better to win 3 times 3-0 than to win one time 9-0 and then fail to score in the next two matches.

It was a great match to be in the stadium for my first visit to the Emirates. And it tastes for more….

Untold Arsenal is here

30 Replies to “Arsenal – Burnley, the slow match report”

  1. Hopefully we are into a winning run. 442 again….looked that way to me? A settled formation, or just providing different systems for different games I wonder.
    Noticed some some refereeing consistency this weekend, ie we don’t get penalties, and Utd still have their helpers out there….City should have had two or three pens?
    Riley will be pleased.

  2. I have no time for people (even Arsenal players like Podolski) who have little regard for other folks’ property.

  3. Walter a nice write up. Glad you enjoyed the day and the match.

    AW has been gradually tweaking the team and tactics, perhaps to accommodate injuries put I suspect to continue to develop the team/squad and there were more than glimpses of Arsenal at their best on Sat. Overall a very fine performance.

  4. Nice and accurate sum up report (cappuccino aside 😉 ) Walter and pleased for your experience at the Emirates (you lucky so and so)!!

    So may keep writing that time-waisting is a tactic and is part of the game, inferring I guess that the rules of the game should be ignored. Should kicking be considered as tactics too then?? or maybe they are since they let so much of it go by.

    Thankfully Burnley were ‘clean’ and did not go out there to hurt our players. They did their very best to keep us as far from their goal posts as possible – credit to them and their keeper.

    We showed patience and kept methodically to a game plan knowing that it was going to be such a game.

    Podolski super unlucky. Theo was sharper then I expected to be honest, and boars well when we can think of our forward line up in the next few games…we suddenly are starting to have options – who would have thought ehh?!

    Onwards and upwards!

  5. I know goalkeepers time wasting is frustrating, especially when it starts so early in a game, and should be dealt with better( I mean, the Ref doesn’t even need to book players, just point at the watch and add 5, 6, 7 minutes at the end of the half and it would soon stop) but I would rather that than the Stoke approach of wasting time whilst your players are having there legs re set !!

    Credit to Burnley for not resorting to such depths, and to there manager for giving those instructions and for the gracious way he spoke after the match.

    Good luck to them.

  6. a bit of bad news, my friend who works at the Arsenal training ground has heard that Joel Campbell has requested he wants to go out on loan asap; or be sold in Jan window.

    I hope that is not the case – he was wonderful at the world cup.

  7. I think action speaks louder than words. Arsene should instruct Podolski to crash the post every time an opponent keeper waste time. Let him tremble like the metal behind him.

  8. Three sizzling goals, three points, a clean sheet, a beautiful dance on the turf that took 10 months in coming. That Podolski. His boyhood tantrums must have been fearsome. I mean look what he did to the poor goal post. That’ll teach Wenger to never leave a German on the bench for too long!

  9. Three sizzling goals, three points, a clean sheet, a beautiful dance on the turf that took 10 months in coming. That Podolski. His boyhood tantrums must have been fearsome. I mean look what he did to the poor goal post. That’ll teach Wenger to never leave a German on the bench for too long! Imagine what would’ve happened if that ICBM of a shot had hit a man. If only that man would be a certain Portugese loudmouth coaching in West London. Me and my dark thoughts.

  10. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t only one minute added on to the first half? I always wonder how they calculate stoppage time, the *real* way they do it. Maybe that’s something you can look into, how does stoppage time compare to the actual time the game is stopped for.

    Anyway, it looked like a 4-2-3-1 to me, just with Sanchez in the no.10 position, rather than a 4-4-2.

  11. While stitching a cut on the hand of a 75 year old farmer, whose hand was caught in the squeeze gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to politicians and their role as our leaders.

    The old rancher said, “Well, as I see it, most politicians are ‘Post Turtles’.”
    Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post turtle’ was. The old rancher said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a post Turtle.”

    The old farmer saw the puzzled look on the doctor’s face so he continued to explain. “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there, he’s elevated beyond his ability to function, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with.

    Best explanation on some of our politicians I’ve ever heard.

    ( Best explanation of pundits , jurnos , experts , the AAAA and rest of the whole circus that is the EPL if you ask me !)


    Four brothers left home for college, and they became successful doctors and lawyers.

    One evening, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the 95th birthday gifts they were able to give their elderly mother who moved to Florida

    The first said, “You know I had a big house built for Mama.”

    The second said, “And I had a large theater built in the house.”

    The third said, “And I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her.”

    The fourth said, “You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know she can’t read anymore because she can’t see very well. I met this preacher who told me about a cockatoo who could recite the entire Bible. It took ten preachers almost 8 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $50,000 a year for five years to the church, but it was worth it ……. Mama only has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it.”

    The other brothers were impressed. After the celebration Mama sent out her “Thank You” notes.

    She wrote: Milton , the house you built is so huge that I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway.”

    “Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home; I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks.”

    “Michael, you gave me an expensive theater with Dolby sound and it can hold 50 people, but all of my friends are dead,I’ve lost my hearing, and I’m nearly blind. I’ll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same.”

    “Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you so much.”


    The gem cannot be polished without
    friction, nor man perfected without trials.


  13. good performance , nice to see a clean sheet, thought the BFG was terrific and it was really nice to see Walcot get on and look sharp – oh and no talk about the ref when we win 🙂

  14. Children , like the AAAA say the darnest things !

    Should children witness childbirth? Good question.

    Here’s your answer.

    Due to a power outage, only one paramedic responded to the call. The house was very dark so the paramedic asked Kathleen, a 3-yr old girl to hold a flashlight high over her mommy so he could see while he helped deliver the baby…
    Very diligently, Kathleen did as she was asked. Heidi pushed and pushed and after a little while, Connor was born.
    The paramedic lifted him by his little feet and spanked him on his bottom. Connor began to cry.
    The paramedic then thanked Kathleen for her help and asked the wide-eyed 3-year old what she thought about what she had just witnessed..
    Kathleen quickly responded, ‘He shouldn’t have crawled in there in the first place…..smack his ass again!’

  15. @ Brickfields

    I guess that makes Mike Riley one of the biggest post turtles ever……….a wonderful concept

    A row of bottles on my shelf
    Caused me to analyze myself.
    One yellow pill I have to pop
    Goes to my heart so it won’t stop.
    A little white one that I take
    Goes to my hands so they won’t shake.
    The blue ones that I use a lot
    Tell me I’m happy when I’m not.
    The purple pill goes to my brain
    And tells me that I have no pain.
    The capsules tell me not to wheeze
    Or cough or choke or even sneeze..
    The red ones, smallest of them all
    Go to my blood so I won’t fall.
    The orange ones, very big and bright
    Prevent my leg cramps in the night.
    Such an array of brilliant pills
    Helping to cure all kinds of ills.
    But what I’d really like to know………..
    Is what tells each one where to go!

    ( I’d also like to know which one to give an AAAA so that he really ‘goes ‘!)

  17. @Mandy
    I bet you will be right about Mike shit Dean for the manure game. You were spot on with Atkinson helping his beloved chelskis.
    Now the first thing I look for about our games is, who has Riley sent to thwart us. Depressing really.

  18. I thought it was nice to hear Sean Dyches comments after the match.Very realistic.He also said he was a able to spend 10 minutes with AW after the match and gained some valuable knowledge.He went onto say how much he admires AW.

  19. Very depressing genorn. In any game against a big team, just think of the worst possible ref in the circumstance….and like magic, he appears! All the games where we got Webb against Utd, dean against Arry Redknapp, let alone the Atkinson Chelsea conundrum. I fear that unless the club complain, we may even seen Atkinson in the home game against Chelsea as well.

  20. Great to hear that Paul. Some wenger critics will have you believe that wenger refuses to meet opposing managers after the game. Having said that, I am sure there are some he doesn’t meet, but probably with good reason.

  21. Is this weekend some sort of record in the Premier League in terms of referees REFUSING to give penalties (Chelsea apart of course)…

  22. In the various articles at since the Burnley game, I believe Wenger said it was a 442. There is also a note in the Theo interview, that it is just a rumor that Bellerin is faster. Which I thought was a nice point.

  23. 4evered

    “oh and no talk about the ref when we win”

    The comment bellow is from the previous ‘Match officials thread’

    Didn’t look very hard did we !!!!!

    It took me 2 minutes to find that, and there are more, but of course when we win it is less important, obviously.

    Anyway, what point where you fruitlessly trying to make?


    November 2, 2014 at 11:33 am

    @bob mac – I beg to differ about the ref & his assistants. They cheated the Game of honest officiating. I was at the game – didn’t see the handball from the North Bank. Did see several fouls not called and assistant calling off side when it wasn’t. The time wasting is such a poor sham that the officials allow – particularly after the impeccable minutes silence – the only bit of timing the cheat got right!!

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