The world famous Untold match preview, Burnley v Arsenal. Well, the match preview anyway

By Bulldog Drummond

I’m late.  Terribly sorry.  You see there was this dance in St Neots, and there were these three sisters, and…

Anyway today we play Burnley.

It should be good.

Thank you.


Hello, Tony here. It seems Bulldog is a little overcome with events so I’m taking over for a moment.  Sorry about that.

Anyway, according the rampant rampaging British press this morning, “A win for Arsenal would take them to within touching distance of the leaders” which is by and large a rather distasteful thought.  I mean, does anyone want to touch them?

Fortunately for us, there are other distractions around this weekend including something up north at sometime, so we can get on with our lives in peace.

This is the 100th time we have played Burnley.  We lead by 45 wins to Burnley’s 33, with 21 draws.  Which reveals that back in the days when Tottenham won the league, Burnley won the league also.  How times fly.

We ain’t lost to a team in the bottom half of the table this season, which of course is turned around by the aaa into the fact that Arsenal aren’t really a very strong team, because they can’t beat top teams.

“Ah, hang on” says I, “we thumped Liverpool and did over Man U.”

“Yes but they are not top sides,” which by and large seems to mean that if we beat a team they are not a top side, by definition.

Burney for this match appear to have two long term players out with knee injuries: Long and Marney.  No one is out because of multiple cards (as this is not Liverpool, where that seems to be an habitual state of affairs).  They could bring back Matt Taylor for the first time since August whence he had an Achilles injury.  (That is a hell of a long time out with an Achilles.  They take a while, and they are painful indeed – I know cos I’m just getting over mine – but even so.  Did they forget the ice pack?)  Their top scorer is Mr Ings with nine.

We on the other hand have a mega injury crisis – mega at least by Arsenal standards since no one is injured.  Well, ok maybe Koscielny is and we are not sure if Szczesny is ok or not.  And the Ox is long term, but actually he is the only long term.

Incidentally, amusingly the Guardian has Martinez on the beach today but he’s not, as far as I know, he’s in Rotherham, which has no beach.

So the question is, do we stick with the tried and tested, or do we bring some of the injured players back in order to give the tried and tested a rest.

I think we stick with the winning team, not least because we are not currently doing lots of mid-week matches.

So that means


Bellerin the fast, Mert the old, Gabriel the new, Monreal reborn

Coquelin the even more reborn, Cazorla the magical

Sánchez cutting in, Ozil the everywhere, Ramsey box to box

Giroud who never scores

Which means it is the Sánchez show, the Ozil show and the Caz show, and the Giroud show and… oh well, you get the picture.

With, on the beach,

Some of: Szczesny, Debuchy, Chambers, Gibbs, Flamini, Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky, Gnabry, Walcott, Welbeck

And really that beach is the problem.  It is over crowded and no one likes over crowded beaches.

Now to the form book.  The most consecutive wins.  People are starting to talk about Arsenal as record breakers, and yes we are, or rather were, and could be again, but not yet.  The record for consecutive wins is…

14 held by Arsenal.  That is the top division record, and the premier league record, and it has only ever been equalled (but never beaten) by three other clubs, all from the second division (and two of those were before the first world war and the other in 1951).

So for modern times, the Premier League and the top division it is Arsenal: 14 consecutive league wins between 10 February 2002 and 24 August 2002.  A bit of a way to go yet, but we can still make it eight today.

Here’s the form guide so beloved of newspapers.


And here is another thing just emerging.  We have two top scorers on 14: Giroud and Sánchez 14.   Just think where we might have been without a Giroudian injury early on.

And thus Burnley.

Looking like relegation, one win and three draws in the last ten, but everyone is talking them up as the one team out of the bottom bunch who will escape.  And we’ve all seen that team on form at the top being munched about by the scrabblers down the bottom, and the form book goes out of the window and lands in a puddle.

And they think it might be today because Burnley beat Man City.

But Burnley do have a problem.  Everyone is talking up their manager (Sean Dyche) and with managers only lasting 35 seconds on average at the moment he could be moving on at the end of the season.   Tottenham normally need a new manager in the summer, so he could be going there.

Actually Dyche seems a decent sort of cove and always says Arsène Wenger’s name with the accent (few managers do this) and calls him “a legend of the game” (as opposed to most managers who are legends in their own lunchtime) and he questions those who question Mr W.  A stout fellow indeed.

As for our team, the world has woken up to the fact that the nonsense about going into the season with only three defenders is nonsense, as we had Coquelin, and Bellerin ready to explode onto the scene.  (Plus in one real sense Monreal who is transformed this year).  That’s one of the things that makes each season so interesting – who is it that we have seen around or heard of who is suddenly going to turn into a brilliant player.

Here’s another snippet.   The BBC column on the game today calls the aaa the “phone-in warriors”.   I love that phrase, and do wish I’d thought of it, but I shall at some future date, undoubtedly.

So we sit back and remember that Arsenal haven’t won at Burnley since 1970, during which season we won the Double.  Now there is a thought.

Here’s the sequence notes:

  • Burnley are unbeaten in the last four league games with Arsenal.
  • But Burnley have only won once in 10 league games, and scored one goal in the last five.
  • But they have not let in a goal in the last two home games.
  • But half of Burnley’s 26 points have come against clubs currently in the top 10. Or put it another way, half of their points have come from teams in the bottom half.
  • But they have let in 11 goals from corners and 17 from headers.
  • But Sean Dyche has named an unchanged starting line-up in 16 games this season by far the biggest total in the league.
  • But Danny Ings has gone six Premier League games without a goal.

That’s an awful lot of Buts.  But I bet Arsenal have a few…


  • The current Arsenal run is the best since Jan to March 2004 when we didn’t win the double but were Unbeaten.
  • But actually we have the same record after 31 league games this season as they did last season (W19, D6, L6, Pts 63).  So we have made no progress and Wenger should go!
  • But we are the only team never to lose to a side in the bottom half.  (W13, D3).
  • But we score from set pieces (20 – the highest number in the league).


  • If Giroud scores against he equals Emmanuel Adebayor’s record of scoring in seven Arsenal games in a row.    Giroud has 10 goals in his last 10 games.

And that’s that I think.


A couple of anniversaries

11 April 1992: Paul Merson got a hat-trick as Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 4-1.  It was the start of a five match run to the end of the season in which Arsenal scored 15 goals.

11 April 1998: Arsenal 3 Newcastle Utd 1.  Manninger’s record of eight consecutive games without conceding ended on the 31st league game of the 2nd Double season.    The second double: part 1, part 2, part 3.


71 Replies to “The world famous Untold match preview, Burnley v Arsenal. Well, the match preview anyway”

  1. Missing from the beach (although his towel was seen)was Abou Diaby.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if Arsene threw him on for the last 20 mins, provided we are well on top numerically. 😉

  2. I will never put in Diaby at Burnley. These relegation sides go to wars during this time of season and I’m sure there is a number of fitter players who deserves a cameo in this game. Away game on top that so no risk please, Mr AW. I’m just saying I don’t wanna heart attack tonight. Man, I’m getting the disease now. Good luck, guys!

  3. Can anyone stop the Arsenal juggernaut?

    Mike Dean will probably give it good go today.


  4. – “phone-in warriors”? – phone-in whiners more likely !
    Anyway ,am hoping for a 2 nil to the Arsenal today.
    Come on you guys , make us proud ,again !
    Up the Gunners !

  5. What is intelligence , you ask ?

    Two men were digging a ditch on a very hot day. One said to the other, “Why are we down in this hole digging a ditch when our boss is standing up there in the shade of a tree?”
    “I don’t know,” responded the other. “I’ll ask him.”

    So he climbed out of the hole and went to his boss. “Why are we digging in the hot sun and you’re standing in the shade?”
    “Intelligence,” the boss said.
    “What do you mean, ‘intelligence’?”

    The boss said, “Well, I’ll show you. I’ll put my hand on this tree and I want you to hit it with your fist as hard as you can.” The ditch digger took a mighty swing and tried to hit the boss’ hand. The boss removed his hand and the ditch digger hit the tree.
    The boss said, “That’s intelligence!”

    The ditch digger went back to his hole. His friend asked, “What did he say?” “He said we are down here because of intelligence.”
    “What’s intelligence?” said the friend.
    The ditch digger put his hand on his face and said, “Take your shovel and hit my hand.”

  6. And here’s a gem from the late ‘voice’ of cricket –

    James Hunt, BBC2 TV: “A church spire nestling among the trees…there’s probably a church there too.” – Richie Benaud, BBC2 TV

  7. Thought I’d brave it and watch ‘Football Focus’ on BBC 1 to see what they had to say about us. Surely they couldn’t have anything bad to say, could they?.

    Well no, actually they couldn’t. Actually they had NOTHING to say.

    We heard about City and United at length.

    We heard about Liverpool and an interview with Rodgers and how great he is.

    Perfect time to mention us I thought?

    Nope, not yet.

    We heard about Spurs.

    We heard about the relegation battle.

    Here it comes I thought.

    Nope, not yet. The Championship up next.

    Surely now?

    Nope, not yet.

    An interview with there darling ‘Arry, where he tells us how great he is, and of course how nothings his fault.

    Surely now?

    Nope, sorry, it aint happening.

    So That’s it lads.

    The best form side in the League.

    One of the most in-form sides in the whole of Europe.

    We stuffed one of our rivals 4 – 1 last week. (never even mentioned it in there interview with Rodgers)

    The team looking most likely at least, to give Chelsea a fright should they falter, not even worth a mention.

    Of course we’re not treated any different by the media.

  8. Sometimes they win !

    A lawyer defending a man accused of burglary tried this creative defense: “My client merely inserted his arm into the window and removed a few trifling articles. His arm is not himself, and I fail to see how you can punish the whole individual for an offense committed by his limb.”
    “Well put,” the judge replied. “Using your logic, I sentence the defendant’s arm to one year’s imprisonment. He can accompany it or not, as he chooses.”
    The defendant smiled. With his lawyer’s assistance he detached his artificial limb, laid it on the bench, and walked out.

  9. Lost in translation –

    According to the Knight-Ridder News Service, the inscription on the metal bands used by the U.S. Department of the Interior to tag migratory birds has been changed. The bands used to bear the address of the Washington Biological Survey, abbreviated, “Wash. Biol. Surv.” until the agency received the following letter from an Arkansas camper:

    “Dear Sirs: While camping last week I shot one of your birds. I think it was a crow. I followed the cooking instructions on the leg tag and I want to tell you it was horrible.”

  10. Oh no…Mertesackers out. Lame.

    No, wait a minute, not our one.

    Panic over, it’s Mertesacker the 6 year old gelding out of the 1:30 at Aintree…Phew ! 🙂

  11. Actually I much prefer it when the BBC et al don’t cover the Arsenal properly. Sneaking up under the radar is much more our style.

    In a sense that was what I was trying to say back in December when I raised the issue of the second double season. We were sixth, we had a manager that was “foreign” (even though he spoke far better English than the manager of Man U) and we were not Liverpool or Man U so clearly didn’t matter.

    No one recognised the transformation Wenger made during the first half of the season, so the other clubs were not ready for us.

    Sometimes being off the radar is a very positive advantage.

  12. Tony

    I agree with that.

    It was more about highlighting the difference in the way we are treated in the media, which is in reference to a debate that’s been rumbling on over the last week.

    Another point in that vain.

    Liverpool where stuffed by us last week and then stumbled through in the FA Cup 1 nil, against a Championship side, in an awful match, and we get a piece about how great Rodgers tactics are.

    Can you imagine Wenger/Arsenal being treated with such grace if we’d had a week like that ?

    As I say, one rule for one, and one rule for another.

  13. Checking up on some of loanees, Akpom is expected to pass a late fitness test and feature for Forest, while Martinez is expected to be in net for Rotherham. ley ford field bridge pool burghe brough shire.


  14. Counting down toward the kickoff and looking forward to my weekly dose of real FOOTBALL. Even Mr. Dean is not a worry. COYG!

  15. Gord

    Horse racing has historically had some big connections with football.

    Not only owners of which Rooney and Sir Alex are 2 out of many, but trainers.

    Francis lee was a trainer. Mick Channon is a trainer.

    Michael Owen a breeder/owner.

    That’s just off the top of my head.

    Not to mention the fact the biggest name in Jump racing, McCoy, and the biggest name in Flat racing, Detori, are both Gooners.

    I realise it’s not everyones cup of tea, but in the UK at least there is a big Football/racing cross over.

  16. Jambug, but why does some owner need to name his horse Mertesacker? Who then turns up a “non-runner” for the Grand National?

    I guess McCoy came in second.


  17. 2 points;
    1) it’s ‘Mert the Tall’!
    2) Are we expecting the ref to allow Boyd to play basketball as well during the game, or was that just for their match at the Emirates?

  18. Andy Mack

    Mertersacker wasn’t a non runner for the National, just a race on the under card. Pulled Up in his only other run so you might be right about the name Andy. 😆

    As for McCoy, ran well in the National, just not quite well enough.

  19. The Teams: unchanged. EXACTLY AS PREDICTED HERE!!!!!!

    Laurent Koscielny plays, no injury

    Hector Bellerin continues his run in the first team.

    Santi Cazorla partners Francis Coquelin in midfield

    Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

    Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Chambers, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott, Welbeck

  20. I used to get upset at the amount of coverage arsenal got in the bbc (football focus).
    how ever they have very little negative to say at the moment so they say nothing. thats rather positive i think.

    I’m sure when we next get a player sent off or lose a game on paper we should have won we will have more coverage than we would want.

  21. Well, you two seem to know your horse racing.

    From Sky
    4.32pm Arsenal team to play Burnley: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Giroud – Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Chambers, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott, Welbeck

    Came close on the lineup.


  22. Afobe scored for Wolves, Martinez was getting lots of shots at Rotherham. Sanogo was subbed on at 71 minutes for Palace.

    Has Tottenham decided to start summer vacation early?


  23. Gord

    Not really my friend.

    Backed 4 horses. They’ve had to send a search party to look for them !!!

  24. Well, we had horses. Apparently Oxford women’s with a big lead on Cambridge women’s. The men’s race starts in about 40 minutes.


  25. Just heard Thierry refer to Coq as the police officer, ‘if someone goes through a red traffic light he stops them’ 🙂


  26. Brilliant analysis of Coquelin by Thierry Henry on Sky. Called Coquelin the “police officer” and analysed his role in a way that made me think of The Invisible Wall.

    Try and find a recording of it. Only about two minutes long.

  27. Agree, Tony. That was a brilliant analysis. Hope someone recorded it and puts it on YouTube.

  28. Don’t want to tempt fate but dean’s been ok so far. Burnley fans appealing for everything, concerned it may sway his blowing at some point.

  29. Hahahahahahahaha…. Joker Dean.

    Dean and Jones enjoying the tackle on Ozil!!!!….

  30. Think I can see why Burnley are so difficult to beat; they disrupt your play without really doing anything special themselves. Difficult to play against such a side.

  31. I am getting to watch the game. I would say Burnley are clumsy. Few of the kicks and hits with arms are going to cause injury, but they shouldn’t be happening, and Dean isn’t doing anything to stop it. I was disappointed to see Giroud dive on 33 minutes. Alexis and Monreal look to be trying to set something up on the left side, but I haven’t figured out what it is they are trying for.


  32. Dean’s letting to many fouls go with just a free kick. Needs to get his card out a bit.

  33. Commentary is funny…Hahaha

    Great save by me.
    Great tackle by me.
    Foul by me.

  34. BFG’s showing his class and proving the crtics wrong again, very comfortable. The boys are playing a very controlled game – nice!

  35. It looks like a Giroud dive but his foot was stepped on. There are a lot of niggly fouls by Burnley. That is the way they try to equalise the skill of passing. Dean has been OK from what I’ve seen on the stream but in reality there must be a lot that he’s ignoring. Talksprout have been site as usual. Collymore should stick to dogging PGMO!!

  36. Bellerin seems a little shakey, wonder if Debauchy being fit is playing on his mind? We need to start turning the screw a little. Burnley are starting to put pressure on.

  37. Tough game, allways felt we had another gear if we needed it. These kind of games are priceless when having to play Chelski as we need to be patient and control the game and not go Billy-O for another goal leaving the back door open!

  38. one media quote already said “Arsenal barely impressed at any level”.WTF were Burnley like then..?

  39. What a very dull game. Kept taking coffee to stay awake. Most important statistic of the match
    Bunley 0 – 1 Arsenal.

    Common QPR!!!

  40. Good game Gunners! Not pretty, but Burnley didn’t want a pretty game. There should have been about 5 yellows to Burnley for persistent infringement in the second half.

    Game won, check.
    Clean sheet, check.
    No injuries, check.
    12 points (+27 GD) ahead of spuds with 6 games left, check.

    I guess we can take that. 🙂

  41. Para

    Just thinking the same.

    Burnley struggle to score. We are one up. Why do anything silly?

    And that’s how we played.

    It’s a strange feeling as I’m always sitting there thinking ‘we have to get a second’ ! But the thing is, with the way we are playing, we don’t.

    It’s not good for the nerves, but hey.

    Ramsey just saying something similar.

  42. According to the counters the BBC use, Burnley only committed 15 fouls all game. I guess that is why Dean wasn’t calling anything. It would look bad for Burnley to only have 2 yellow cards, if they had committed 90 fouls. And I would think an average of 1 per minutes was close.

  43. Henry’s analysis. What a man.

    Smith looks uncomfortable. Cant get away with his usual shit.

    According to Smith:

    Coq is a fluke.

    Ospina not the long term answer. WHAT A WANKER !!

  44. One Coq in Arsenal!
    There’s only one Coq in Arsenal!
    One Coq in Arsenal!
    There’s only one Coq in Arsenal!

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