Arsenal v Burnley: the visitors look to be in real trouble.

by Bulldog Drummond

As we have seen (links to past articles are below), everything points to a solid Arsenal win today.  History and form are with us, whether it involves looking back across the years, the current season, the last ten games or the last six games.  Our one problem might be the lack of fit players – but we’ll come back to that in looking at the possible lineup, as we regularly do with each game.

Considering all the ins and outs of the match if Burnley were to win it would be only the third time in their entire history that they have won three times in a row at Arsenal.  The last occasion was 1960 and came in a run of five Burnley wins.

Date Match Result Score Competition
2 Sep 1958 Burnley v Arsenal L 3-1 League Division One
12 Dec 1959 Arsenal v Burnley L 2-4 League Division One
19 Mar 1960 Burnley v Arsenal L 3-2 League Division One
20 Aug 1960 Burnley v Arsenal L 3-2 League Division One
17 Dec 1960 Arsenal v Burnley L 2-5 League Division One

The only time Burnley have scored more than one goal in the last 17 matches between the two teams was in a League Cup win for them in 2008.  The Arsenal team on that day was

Łukasz Fabiański
Gavin Hoyte, Paul Rodgers, Mikaël Silvestre,  Kieran Gibbs
Fran Merida  Aaron Ramsey   Mark Randall   Jack Wilshere
Nicklas Bendtner   Carlos Vela

And if you think that this looks like quite a strong team, remember it was 2008, and just consider the age of some of those players.   Ramsey for example was 17.

Here’s another funny one.  If we were to lose against Burnley it would be the first time that we had lost our first two home league games in a calendar year since 1962.

Date Match Res Score Competition
13 Jan 1962 Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers L 1-2 Division One
20 Jan 1962 Manchester City v Arsenal L 3-2 Division One
31 Jan 1962 Manchester United v Arsenal L 1-0 FA Cup
3 Feb 1962 Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion L 0-1 Division One
10 Feb 1962 Birmingham City v Arsenal L 1-0 Division One

Actually, our home form is on the up.  Last season we won eight home games all season.  This time around a win today would also give us eight wins in the season – with quite a bit of the season left to play.

What we do tend to do however is lose if we concede first, so the defence does have to be tight until our forwards score.  And that means generally having a teenager score since they have scored over half our goals.   And that also means (and thanks to the BBC for this one) “Bukayo Saka, aged 20 years and 140 days, can become the youngest player in Premier League history to score or assist in six consecutive appearances. He has scored four goals and assisted two in his past five matches.”

As for Burnley, the BBC also tell us “This is Burnley’s 5,000th league match in the top four divisions (not including play-offs). They are the second club to reach this landmark, after Preston North End.”   So looking at the position of both those clubs we can say longevity does not always mean success.

Odd facts however are the norm in the media with regards to Burnley.   The Telegraph for example talks of “The oldest team in the Premier League meets the youngest on Sunday when Burnley.” 

Of course, there is little sympathy for some of the recent results of Arsenal to be found in the papers and the Telegraph is no exception telling us at length how, “A wave of coronavirus and weather-related postponements have left Burnley with as many as five games to catch up on some teams and Dyche facing arguably the biggest challenge of his near-decade reign at Turf Moor.”

And would you believe it none of this is the fault of the manager (whereas all Arsenal’s problems are always the fault of the manager.)   As the Telegraph points out, “Dyche, for one, could not say he had not warned the Premier League’s smallest club that this day was coming.

“Covid-19 may have stretched a thin, ageing squad like never before, and the sale of striker Chris Wood to relegation rivals Newcastle this month only deepened their problems, but their predicament cannot be pinned solely on the unfortunate consequences of the pandemic.


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