Arsenal and a portion of Pie Tonic


@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.

About anicoll5

Arsenal supporter, 60, Dad, harmless and humourless, political militant moderate, school governor and worker bee

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119 comments on “Arsenal and a portion of Pie Tonic

  1. Eds the timing of the cards and their frequency against the away team that came to clog and waste time from the tenth minute on indicates that the man in the middle understands and appreciates that the paying punters came to watch a contest of association football.

    And that he has been administering a different, balanced, sport when compared to some of his peers from recent matches – An objective observation supported by data, over some seasons, not an opinion.

    Another match with our Friend where the post match commentary won’t be dominated by the unprofessional allegedly professional PGMO conduct (which has become the case even after victories, understandably so).


  2. FT: Arsenal 3-1 Burnely

    Aubameyang x2, and Iwobi with our goals, we were the better team but having gone 2 up we then made hard work for ourselves by being a bit too conservative, barnes who scored should have been long off the pitch before he scored.
    our game dropped when Xhaka was put to CB, our midfield play went down a level, we caused Burnley lots of problems when we went at them, Kolasinac was impressive, as were Lacazette, two goal PEA and 2 assists Ozil.


  3. Though Sky try to raise referee controversy at FT. Who could’ve guessed at such a narrative? Notmeguv!

    If Sean Dyche is feeling hard done perhaps he should be grateful that our friend didn’t card his keeper for time wasting. In the tenth minute. They came to clog and run down the clock. The pitch was not obviously tilted. They lost.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well Im sure every feels relieved about that one. Nice!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good win, good to see Auba top scorer. Hopefully that will help Iwobis confidence, and calm Lacca down after that substitutions
    Poor defending at times, but seriously mitigating factors that will need addressing, with players coming back, reinforcements or however, the fact is our defence numbers don’t match those who sit above us.
    The PGMOL continue their Wild West approach for our opponents but what’s new there.
    Nervy at times, but alls well that ends well and other cliches .


  6. Xhaka in MF fast becoming one of my favourite players


  7. not many better sights in the game than an unhappy Sean Dyche,

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Mandy,

    Out scoring Henry and Wright. However much the protracted contract negotiations with Rambo may frustrate fans and perhaps the manager too Auba’s record since joining last January as been the highlight of 2018 for me. I value his league goals over any missed chances in a league cup final victory in which that would be a supreme achievement for the consistently successful Tottenham but mean very little at the end of the day for a club like Arsenal that have very recently won three FA cups in four years or in the last five to be exact.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yep no mention from sky on Özil defending his box and being involved in all three goals after a recovery from his injury.

    Honestly the amount of gibberish written about this player and surrounding him in the media surprasses the content and low quality of the rubbish written about Raheem Sterling. For the same reasons if you can be honest and accept it for what it is.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. < hopeful recovery from his injury, though the worry over Özil's longer term fitness will remain for a little while after the last ten months that he has had.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yep. Auba has been fantastic Finsbury.
    Arrived during difficult spell, but settled quickly and well, some say he has an attitude, but think Sven was correct in contradicting that on what we have seen.
    Not usually worried about individual awards, but would love to see him get a golden boot. As we get players back, and hopefully, defensive aspects stabilise a bit, hopefully more risks and emphasis on attack can come into play, this should suit Auba, and Lacca just fine. Lucky to have both of them
    League Cup, wouldn’t say no to it, but far bigger priorities this season, and last Let the Spuds try and win the Milk/Rumbelows/ Littlewoods/ Aldi/ Caribou cup the hard way.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dean
    ‏ @ArsenalNexus
    1m1 minute ago

    Dyche – “Xhaka dived, Sokratis elbowed Barnes in an unnatural way.”

    Jesus Christ.
    0 replies 0 retweets 0 likes

    Liked by 1 person

  13. There we go- Dyche claiming multiple dives from us, including that late Xhaka one which is always a free kick.

    Fuck me, Sky going along with him asking ‘what do we do about diving then?’

    Dyche a real cunt.

    Lying about the incidents supposedly against them, and ignoring the multitude they got away with. Twat.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Even went on to say that by dives he doesn’t mean when there’s a touch and you go down but when there’s none near player, as we watch replay of Xhaka being clipped.

    Bad for the blood pressure this. Narrative that they were hard done by, we are divers, WE should have had people getting 2nd yellow.

    The dishonesty of it. Hope they fucking go down now.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. afcstuff
    ‏ @afcstuff
    1m1 minute ago

    Arsenal’s next 6 fixtures:

    Brighton A
    Liverpool A
    Fulham H
    Blackpool A
    West Ham A
    Chelsea H


  16. New post up

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Sky deeply unhappy with our friend officiating a game of association football. Nevermind the soft pen shout not given as a dive (heh) what upset them were those yellow cards in the first half.
    Some people may feel the Burnley player was lucky to stay on the pitch, my perspective if unless you were watching e previous fixtures through a kaleidoscope that I’ll take what I can get! And yellow for clogging in the first half is better then you’ll see from any of Riley’s call boys (I refer to the ones he calls when he needs them).

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Big, red, worm-eating, Brexity bastard (just in case feelings not clear)

    Liked by 3 people

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