Burnley v Arsenal, the team, two contrasting styles of play and the sequences

Continuing from this morning’s preview…

Meanwhile the Burnley manager has been making the usual positive noises about how wonderful Mr Wenger is but he has added to that, “As managers we all understand the fan mentality, the thirst and desire to win and be successful, but from a manager’s point of view you have to scratch your head and wonder why he’s questioned at times.”   Fortunately I gave up doing that a long time ago otherwise there’d be no head left.

Meanwhile everyone notes that Burnley have beaten Arsenal this century, but they don’t focus too much on that game.  Maybe because on 2 December 2008 when Burnley beat Arsenal 2-0 in the fifth round of the league cup our side was…


Hoyte, Silvestre, Ramsey, Gibbs

Rodgers, Randall, Merida, Wilshere

Bendtner, Vela.

The guys that went off were Rodgers (replaced by Lansbury at half time), Randall (replaced by Bischoff on 72), and Jack Wilshere (replaced by Simpson on 63).

I must say that the name “Rodgers” had me puzzled, but on consulting those who know these things I find that this was his one and only appearance for Arsenal as a professional.   The following month he went on loan to Northampton and then signed for them.  He played 11 times on loan and 56 times as a Northampton pro, before moving on to Newport County and then dropping into non-league.  A very short Arsenal career of 45 minutes.

But of that very junior side four players emerged: Fabianski won the FA Cup before going to Swansea, and Ramsey, Gibbs and Wilshere are of course still with us but by chance none of them will play at the start – although Gibbs might come on as a sub either on the wing or as a full back.

So, the Arsenal team is most likely to be pretty much the same as for the last league game.  If not exactly the same.


Iwobi   Ozil   Walcott

Cazorla     Xhaka

Monreal   Koscielny   Mustafi   Bellerin


There is of course no beach in Burnley, Blackpool being 33 miles away, so Arsenal will be taking their own upon which will be playing Ospina, Gabriel, Holding, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Elneny, and Pérez – by my reckoning.

Back to today’s world, Burnley have let in five goals in their last 17 home games, and never let in two or more in that period at home.

On the other hand Burnley have only managed 15 shots on target in six League games this season.  I wonder if they are giving their supporters a discount because of the lack of goals.  Although they do get to see their keeper make saves.  30 in the first six games of the season.  More than anyone else.

Arsenal as we know have won four successive league games and lost just one of their last 16 matches in the division winning nine along the way.   We are also unbeaten in 26 games against promoted teams, winning 22.  The last to do the dirty on us were QPR in March 2012.

Hector Bellerin, who is still being talked up as going to Barcelona or Man City, has provided six assists in the League since August 2015, more than any other defender.

And last, Alexis Sanchez has scored three goals in three games against Burnley.

Arsenal have an average possession of 54.7% in league games – Burnley let the other team have possession, having the ball for 41.3% of games.

Arsenal have a pass success of 84.7% against 72% for Burnley.

But Burnley, as befits a long ball team, win aerials better than Arsenal.

Overall Arsenal are getting 14.5 shots per game (Burnley 8.7), with 5.3 per game on target (Burnley 2.2).   They are getting 19.2 interceptions per game (Burnley 17.7) and 18.8 tackles per game (Burnley 14.3).

When you take these figures and look at the passes you really do start to see two utterly different styles of play.  Arsenal make 532 short passes per game, and 48 long ball passes.  Burnley make 275 short passes and 76 long ball passes.

Two teams, two utterly different games.

How this translates into reality is explained by Theo.  “Burnley don’t give you a moment’s rest, but I don’t think we do either.   We don’t give any team the benefit of the doubt anymore, and that’s the mentality throughout Arsenal Football Club at the moment. We are very positive going into games and I don’t think Burnley will look forward to playing against us right now.

“The new additions have definitely helped. We are more and more experienced in the league now and it starts from the front. We act when the opposition gets the ball and we do it as a unit, everyone acts together, not just one or two. We are all clicking at the same time and it bodes well. We are working so hard in training as well and it’s nice to see it paying off. Myself and Alexis are linking up very well and that seems to be clicking as well. Everyone is on a high at the moment and we have to make sure it stays that way.”

Of course the papers are not convinced, the Telegraph saying “Questions will remain against any Arsenal side until they deliver the Premier League title to the Emirates Stadium.”

But Theo countered with, “As players we don’t think we have anything to prove. We are experienced and we know this is such a big club and we need to do better. It’s easy to say that, but you look how we performed last year and finished second even though we didn’t have a particularly great end of season. We are playing well at this moment in time, but we’ll see.”

53 Replies to “Burnley v Arsenal, the team, two contrasting styles of play and the sequences”

  1. Because of obligations with the Arsenal Belgium supporters club I cannot do the live match report that you usually get.
    But will of course write about the match once I get back home.

  2. Čech; Bellerín, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Cazorla; Walcott, Özil, Iwobi, Sánchez.

    Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Holding, Reine-Adelaide, Elneny, Oxlade-Chamberlain

  3. A joke about being precise, involving cows and a train in the vicinity of the England/Scotland border:

    There are three men on a train. One of them is an economist and one of them is a logician and one of them is a mathematician. And they have just crossed the border into Scotland and they see a brown cow standing in a field from the window of the train.

    And the economist says, “Look, the cows in Scotland are brown.”

    And the logician says, “No. there are cows in Scotland of which one at least is brown.”

    And the mathematician says, “No. there is at least one cow in Scotland, of which one side appears to be brown.”

    I hope this joke mooooooves Arsenal to produce another good win.


  4. PGMO rep doing his normal I couldn’t see that but it’s a foul against Arsenal…..

  5. Babbling commentary. Must say something, anything. Who cares if it is accurate or even useful. But don’t comment about officiating.

    Mustafi is apparently too short to be a central defender.


  6. Obfuscation. Can’t say that players are fouling, instead we say Ozil is struggling against the physicality (cheating, a foul) of the defenders. Oh, and Vokes is not doing anything in the way of cheating, but Mustafi is being physical.


  7. So what have we learned…..from the first half.

    Burnley’s bee can’t be a good goalkeeper.

  8. Oops, time to mention that Arsenal has no plan B. The lack of scoring is entirely dependent on Arsenal not generating chances. There is no cheating happening, and the officials are perfect. That is what the commentaries are telling me. What is happening for real?


  9. Becows nothing seems to be happening, I guess Ozil latest shot was over the Mooooooon.

    Maybe Xhaka should take a crack from distance? Walcott on the run, to look for a rebound?


  10. We really don’t have a target man on the (rocky) beach. I wonder, take off someone (who?) and bring on Gabriel into central defence? Push Mustafi to striker, to have a target man who can mix it with the defenders? I wonder if Mustafi has been getting any practice at striker in training.


  11. More crap from the commentators. Arsenal is one dimensional, it only takes a bruised toenail to one player to bring out the lack of depth in Arsenal. Crap medja.


  12. The commentators can’t tell us (or at least me) a darn thing about fouling, but they do mention us getting free kicks and doing nothing with them. Now they are all lining up that at best Arsenal will get a scoreless draw. How many games have we won in the last while in the last few minutes? According to the commentators, none.


  13. Mustafi gets a deliberate elbow to the head — I didn’t see it – fucking selective blindness!!

  14. Hahahahahahahaha


    This is the most comical game in Mr Wengers 20 years!!!!!

  15. Phew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Looks like Burnley out Arsenaled us today, or our players are thinking of their hols coming up.

    AW will not smile, i suspect a tongue lashing in dressing room, privately of course.

  16. You guys aren’t helping. 🙂 I killed 2 commentaries because they got too stupid, and then goal.com froze up, and I don’t know what is happening. Arrrgh. Or should I say Mooooooo?


  17. A bitter fight to the very end! If that is not character, tell me what is. Absolutely fantastic.

  18. nobody win every game in style.
    no two clear penalties, so here’s your goal by Koscielny’s hand
    livpool lost here, don’t forget

  19. Dumb, stupid, brain dead medja. Arsenal get the winner at the end of the game. It isn’t enough to berate us all game long, now they claim there is a controversy and that we shouldn’t be allowed the goal.

  20. A game that was screaming for Sanogo .We haven`t a striker to aim to and Burnley had it easy on that.

    I think we are going to be lucky this season with referee.

  21. And for those screaming their heads off after the Liverpool!!! game, the gap from the leaders is closed down to 2 points. Arsenal may even come tops after the break.

  22. I gather Ox shot on net. According to the medja, the ball hit Koscielny’s hand before it went in.

    Would the ball have gone in the net anyway? Did Koscielny move hand to ball, or it just happened to be there?

    Alex mentioned Sanogo, and I had thought about him earlier in the game. The medja has several articles out about Perez being on the way out, that Wenger won’t play him. Would have Perez given us a different shape?

    Did Xhaka have opportunity to shoot from distance?

    So far, no mention of Koscielny being hurt.

  23. Gord,

    The goal was a handball from an off-side position. Not at all controversial, you say?

    I can’t wait to hear Mr Broeckx’s interpretation. And yes, I’m having a hard time feeling happy winning in such a scandalous manner.

  24. which part of poetic justice do you not like dieter? The whole game is screwed in favour of the northern barstewards & we end up having the drinks!!! LOL

  25. Dieter, if you read above, you know I didn’t see a darned thing. All I have is these text commentaries.

    The medja could put up an image, they haven’t. One report says it hit Koscielny’s hand. Another says it hit his elbow. Neither say anything about what the ball would have done, had it not hit him.

  26. Ironically, the ref refused to blow for an Arsenal penalty two handballs that were deemed ball to hand in the Burnley box, and Burnley conceded to a similar ball to hand incident in the same box. Glad the ref chose to be consistent this time.

  27. Kos was offside when the ball hit him. Ox made a terrible shot that would have ended over the bar if Kos hadn’t been there.

    I take this victory though but I have a feeling that there is something weird happening.

    20th title for Manchester United looked like a final pay-off for Ferguson with their title-winning match being the one in which Van Persie scored three offside goals.

    Now, Mr Wenger is in his final year of the contract with Arsenal and even the schmucks from FA have realized they won’t have a better chance to assign someone with integrity and quality as their manager.

    So, maybe we will get some referees’ decisions in our favour, possibly a little help to win the league, if Mr Wenger accepts a Sisyphus’ job of making English footballers look like proper footballers.

  28. True, Gord, that goal should be credited to the Ox as it was going in, and Kos was only trying to get out the way.

  29. whyyyyy !!!!! whyyyy!!!!
    it is so unfair….
    arsenal win was so unfair….

    deal with it crying baby

  30. right at the end, never say die attitude. well done lads’ don’t matter whether it’s OX goal or Bosscielny deflection, the most important thing is Arsenal pick up maximum point against tough opposition at their home ground. Congratulation to AW for his 20th anniversary as an Arsenal manager and the team present to him not just with a win and 3 point but also with a new kind of mentality and attitude.Gunning for the top’

  31. The last occasion I witnessed Arsenal play Burnley, it was Valentines Day 1948 and I was on honeymoon (and on a break from shopping). We won 3 nil with 62,000 in the ground and another 20,000 outside trying to gain entrance.
    Goals from Roper and Ronnie Rooke (2). Arsenal went on to win the League. 😉

  32. Just to get this straight Ox didn’t kick the ball it was Kos check Sky.
    Now to those who claim to be Arsenal fans it’s a bloody fair goal and no team can play great football every game.

  33. Ah, Arsenal might get a decision in their favour and suddenly I see people coming back that have gone missing. LOL.

  34. A quiet place to leave a note.

    There is an open source hardware project called axiom, which has 3 cameras on its list. Axiom Beta is to be a product which will be sold. It is planned that a future upgrade will allow it to generate 180 fps of video. It looks to be a fairly small device. 180 fps would be quiet useful for detecting things, like Koscielny scoring.
    Anticipated price is in the neighbourhood of 2100 Euro I believe.

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