@LaboGoon adopts a mandibular extension
Much has been made of Arsenal’s impressive 22 game unbeaten run which included quite a few jaw dropping performances. There was a prevailing feeling that we had buried some of the demons of the past, however, all that came to an end following back to back defeats against Southampton and North London rivals Tottenham respectively.
Good day one and all…
With Christmas spirits dented ever so slightly we host Burnley at the Emirates this early afternoon hoping to get back to winning ways and put recent setbacks behind us.
The Gunners would be disappointed at the manner the unbeaten run came to an end at St Mary’s – even with injury and suspension issues. With all our defenders available we always looked somewhat disorganized at the back but time and again scored our way out of trouble. Then just as we started getting our defensive act together we became less clinical in front of goal; getting a draw here and grinding out a win there. Last Sunday and midweek though were like a cocktail of defensive disarray and attacking profligacy – two traits we can ill afford to once again combine facing a struggling Burnley side.
The Clarets of course have just a solitary win in their last ten Premier League games (D2 L7) but despite how out of sorts they may seem they’re always competitive. Last Saturday they were on the verge for a share of the spoils at Wembley. Withstood everything the Totties threw at them for +90 minutes, but for a Eriksen strike in the dying seconds of the game. They are likely to adopt a similar defence-minded and creative time wasting approach hoping for a different result.
Unai Emery and the boys cannot dwell on our defeats because they know that despite any defensive woes, if we are determined to stay in the race for top-four we have to go at the Clarets guns blazing. A bit more energy and creativity from the onset should help eliminate the first half struggles and show the lethal qualities our attack do possess, as chasing the game going into second halves holding a kitchen sink seem to be taking its toll on the boys.
It’s been a while but there may be a general feel that this is a “must win” game. With teams at the top end in good nick we don’t want to be too far off the pace to capitalize on any momentary slips, whilst also wanting to maintain the distance between ourselves and the José-less Manchester United.
I don’t really like to add “team selection” stuff to my posts but I do hope lessons got learned from recent trial and error picks across the midfield and defense. I do take heart though that Unai said he will select the best starting lineup from the available players.
Most expected a comfortable afternoon down at South Coast last weekend but the football spirits had others ideas, so hopefully our players put in a more committed performance from back to front and remain sharp throughout to ensure the Clarets leave London empty-handed.