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Burnley v Arsenal: preparing for the game and lamenting the lost striker

By Bulldog Drummond

Previously…

So while the press have been making much of Arsenal’s woes – our worst start to the season since the civil war, the lowest number of goals scored since the Black Death, the least attractive football since the affair of the Princes in the Tower, the worst manager since Unai Emery, the most boring style of play since Don Howe, the most aggressive crowd control since we last played at White Hart Lane, and the worst defence since the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 10 September 1066 and…. well you get the idea.

On the other hand we haven’t lost at their ground (capacity 21944) since 1973, which makes it nine games there without succumbing to their unique style of aggression.

Burnley entered the league as one of the founding group of 12 (known as the Group of 12), along with such luminaries as Accrington Stanley in 1888.  In that season they came ninth in the league and reached the second round of the cup while having an average attendance of 4200.

But they are forever a club to go after the records, and at the moment they are in their longest ever run of consecutive home games without a victory, this being six draws and six defeats in a row.  Last season only two teams in the Premier League scored fewer goals than they did.

Indeed in the last 21 league home games they have managed just 16 goals, which really isn’t very many at all.  And most of the goals against them come in the second half.  This is as the mud level rises.

And here is an element of reassurance – when they score first they don’t win – at least not in the last three times that they have scored first.  Plus the fact that against the “big six” as it used to be called, until the negativity of the media removed Arsenal from that group (and they are still working out what to call the big six when one of them has been taken out), they have won but once in the last 29 home games in the league.

But of course there are always records to be broken – such as starting the season with three defeats away from home without scoring a goal.   The Guardian has made much of that sequence from 1923, a period when Arsenal were financially constrained because of the cost of building Highbury.

Here’s the actual opening to that season (which I don’t think anyone else publishes)

Watch Arsenal Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv

Date Match Res Score Competition
25 Aug 1923 Arsenal v Newcastle United L 1-4 Division One
27 Aug 1923 West Ham United v Arsenal L 1-0 Division One
1 Sep 1923 Newcastle United v Arsenal L 1-0 Division One
8 Sep 1923 West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal L 4-0 Division One

We did however win the next three league games in a row, which made up for it a little.  And this time all we need to do is score first since then we normally win (at least we have done in over 87% of the last 16 away games).  But we do tend to lose if we let the first goal in.

On the positive side we are shooting a lot – in fact getting more shots in against Norwich than in all of the three previous games in the league, which is quite something.

And here is one other thing.  Pierre-Emerick has scored eight goals against Burnley in seven games against them, which suggests, as Corporal Jones famously said, they don’t like it up em.

The main point is that most of the time clubs have runs and those runs come to an end and our losing streak came to an end last weekend, so it should be time to get moving up the table once again.

Except… for the constant negativism coming from the media.  ‘Arteta needs to go’: Some Arsenal fans left raging after Thursday announcement is just typical.  It is from TBR and is critical of the fact that William Saliba is not in Arsenal’s squad but still out on loan.  The fact that he is getting better each season, and that both our main strikers are coming to the end of their time at Arsenal is ignored.  Yet with him playing in the first team every week when we do get him next season, he is most certainly going to be the polished article.

But no, TBR is citing the fact that two or three Arsenal fans want Arteta out.  It won’t get Saliba back since the club has a contract with Nice, but it will leave us without a manager.  Nice one (as it were).

 Next up, the team.

Gaslighting: how refereeing in the Premier League is manipulated, and why the media never speak about it.

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