Arsenal- “the thunder of Bosnian hooves”


A very good afternoon  fellow Positives,

That contest was far from the smooth, efficient and goal difference boosting game I had been hoping for. Despite a unique PL first half in which we actually went in for the half time orange in front the Clarets were awkward opponents all afternoon, and I expect Sean Dyche is fuming in his usual splenetic manner after games at the Ems.

Of the match itself we were neither fluent nor were particularly sharp in our pressing play. We did enough however to open Burnley up through a patient interchange of passes, a deft touch from Mesut and a combination of Sead and PEA slotted the opener past a flailing Hart.

I saw no floodgates in the vicinity after our first goal however and, while I have not looked at the first half or the overall game stats, I suspect it was an even  50/50 possession for the afternoon. Nacho’s early departure was a blow, from playing a 3.5 formation at the back we then played a (? fill in  the formation you think you saw). I think it was  4 with Granit sometimes the centre back, or the left sides third back, but I don’t know. And I am not too sure Unai does either.

Having sensed the chance of something better than a drubbing Burnley came out i  the second half and both sides traded blows liberally and, in Barnes’ case, literally. Could the Burnley have been sent off ? Definitely ! Should Ashley have been sent off ? Probably! Had Mike Dean been the referee would he have been off ?  Undoubtedly!

Amidst the battle however we carved out a rare second goalscoring chance and Auba tucked away his second in tidy fashion. Rather than slumping into a plucky-underdogs- defeated-mode however, Burnley regrouped and steamed into us with even greater vigour. Not in the bloody script at all. Barnes of all people ( boo – hiss) took advantage of a deflected clearance and Arsenal fans at home and in the stadium lurched into panic as he fairy on the festive football tree turned out to have witch tendencies.  o do ot know about you dear reader but that was a very, very long 30 minutes between Barnes’ goal and Iwobi’s final killer blow.


Our man of the match for a sterling display going forward, involvement in our two opening goals and flattening the opposition when required goes to Sead Kolasinac. The “thunder of Bosnian hooves” headline  stolen from the normally lugubrious Alan Smith. I would have given an award to Alex Lacazette, who was industry personified and ran the Burnley defence ragged,  but after he was taken off the Frenchman appeared to be having some sort of hissy fit. No idea why but I imagine we shall hear more wild rumour on the topic. Pat on the back for Guendouzi as well.

I anticipate the same game at the Amex stadium on Wednesday so keep those gloves available, shin guards handy and gum shield within reach.

Have a fine Christmas for those who do the festival, and for those who don’t enjoy the weekend. I know I shall.




About anicoll5

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

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85 comments on “Arsenal- “the thunder of Bosnian hooves”

  1. Gotta say looked a rotten challenge on Alli from Pickford. Dangerous and should have been red.

    I can justify my lack of sympathy a little by saying Alli very much is the sort of player who has shown same lack of regard for fellow pro in the past.

    If somebody has to be on receiving end, and maybe get injured, of a shocker, better a player who has done the same themselves than any other players.


  2. They have a good core of quality players these bums. Most or all in good form at minute. pretty damn eager for it to break up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, and they rarely seem to be hit by the kind of injuries to key players we get.
    Suspect the breakup will begin in haste this summer

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One thing I’m intrigued by : how do they keep doing teams on break so much, especially through Son?

    I used to have a real interest in trying to understand tactics etc, but that has waned considerably of late, and I don’t really try understand formations, tactics, etc, apart from our own or teams against us on the day.

    So what are they doing to get in behind defences so often, including a lot of one-on-ones and situations where one pass can get them right in?

    Suspect a fair amount of it is simply they have good players who have played together for a number of years under a capable manager, and that causes some weird dissonance in me, because it just aint bloody right.

    No problems for Wrighty though apparently, who seems to enjoy it in a way unimaginable to me for someone with a deep connection to Arsenal

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I mentioned yesterday that Lewis Dunk of Brighton will miss the AFC game on Wednesday due to him getting a Red card yesterday, 2 yellows, well the first one it seems was mistaken identity, although he may not have been booked for the foul, but for a comment to the ref, but if it was mistaken identity, he can not appeal it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Riley needs shooting

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Liverpool and Tottenham up there challenging City, going to be a happy Xmas for our media. John Cross has prob made some frothy mess of himself somewhere

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Son runs fast at defenders with the ball under close control Rich. If the defender is v good or v lucky, they will take it. If not then he is past them or it is a foul. He is also a top finisher for a winger. Confidence sky high – the goal probably looks the size of an aircraft hangar at present.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Anicol

    Aye, bit I don’t get so much is how they are creating those situations where there’s so much space in behind for his runs. Just feels like those situations materialise quite easily to slide him in while he waits in space like a relay sprinter for moment to go.

    Such stark contrast to a lot of football and ours in particular where you have to try wear teams down and pick your way through 7 or 8 players around the penalty box.

    Maybe I’m overweighting recent events though: we’ve played like that for a long while where we can be undone in that way if ball breaks in midfield or beyond, and they sliced us up that way twice in our game, and then Everton’s defence today…??!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ian Wright ” Tottenham frighten me”
    Know he has a job to do and people to ingratiate himself with, but he also has a short memory that doesn’t seem to span this month

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Lee Bowyer: Krystian Bielik has recall clause but he should stay with Charlton
    Dan Critchlow –
    Dec 23, 2018
    Lee Bowyer thinks Krystian Bielik should remain with Charlton and keep learning for the rest of the season, even though he admits that the defender has a recall clause in his contract.

    Arsenal sent Bielik on a season-long loan to Charlton at the start of the campaign. At the time, the move made a lot of sense, considering the 20-year-old was only getting into the u23 team in North London, and he didn’t seem to have any place in Unai Emery’s plans.

    However, since then he’s had a strong first half of the season, and Arsenal have had a lot of problems with injuries to defenders. As a result, there’s some talk of a possible recall for the centre-back, and Charlton manager Lee Bowyer admitted the clause does exist.

    “All the clubs now they have a clause in there that, if they want to call them back, they can,” Bowyer confirmed. “But, again, why would you call him back and play him in under-23s football when he can be out there playing against men and learning? Because that’s what he’s doing.

    “I’d like to think they’d give us a bit of warning if that were the case, but no, I’m confident that all the loanees are probably staying.”

    For the time being, Bielik is putting a good run of games together in the Charlton side. He’s featured in 10 consecutive league games since his injury in September, and he’s played 90 minutes in five of the last seven.

    The defender’s preferred position is at centre-back, but Bowyer is using him at defensive midfield, which he argues is better for Bielik’s development.

    “Playing centre-half I think is too easy for him,” Bowyer explained. “I think he reads the game very well, he’s very, very comfortable in possession, but he gives so much more – I think – playing in front of the back four because of his physicality and protection, you know?

    “He’s doing that side and plays so, for me, I like him sitting in front of the back four. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great centre-half as well, so why not improve? Why not be a great centre-half and be a great midfielder?”

    It’s difficult to say whether Bielik really would get a run in the team if he returns in January. Perhaps it’s better to let him stay at Charlton for now, as he has many years of senior football ahead of him. We’ll see what Arsenal decide next month.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. If you are still looking for a stocking filler (for yourself) I would very much recommend the outstanding ‘Football Cliches’ by Adam Hurrey. I sometimes worry that Positively Arsenal is not taken seriously enough as a footballing blog, so maybe a more conscious effort to adopt the unique language of punditry would see us climb inexorably up the table. It is an outstanding piece of affectionate irony.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. All the best to everyone at PA for Christmas, take care of yourselves and have a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes Tim, It would be easy to increase traffic by simply selling out.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Spam


  16. Sorry about that last comment but I have to test at the moment.
    Just in case I don’t get a chance later on I want to wish everyone on here a Happy Christmas and good health for the New year.
    Always think ARSENAL and don’t worry about the spuds.
    Once again Happy Christmas

    Liked by 2 people

  17. My latest Yorkie Show, its Christmas Songs for your enjoyment, WARNING: you may never listen to Christmas Songs in the same way again

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Real Valladolid’s 23 year old Spanish CB Fernando Calero, who has been linked with AFC recently is currently in London, there may be nothing in it, he might just be doing some christmas shopping or sight seeing,


  19. If there is a footballing cliche that I have not used then rest assured Tim, I shall leave no stone unturned, depth plumbed nor chicken without a home until the omission is corrected.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. That’s good to know Andy Nic. Time to compete with your Arseblags, your Cultured Left Foots, your Le Groveses. Mmn. In football’s strange pluralisations, should that become Feet?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Foreverheady

    You saying it’s a top, top, top book or what?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 17:15 Brighton v Arsenal
    Referee: Anthony Taylor
    Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
    Fourth official: Kevin Friend

    Liked by 1 person

  23. foreverheady that book could make you as sick as a parrot, and it really should be stuck in the onion bag, but its a book of two halves, and it should be given the benefit of the doubt as its new to this league and we should not call foul on it as its not that kind of book

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Bloody typical – Mkhitaryan kicks Moura and ends up with a broken bone in his foot. Out for 6 weeks. Hopefully not an ‘Arsenal’ 6 weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Here’s the latest update from our medical team ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion:

    Henrikh Mkhitaryan
    Right foot. Fractured metatarsal. Expected to return to full training in six weeks.

    Nacho Monreal
    Tight right hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Brighton & Hove Albion (a) on Wednesday, December 26.

    Shkodran Mustafi
    Right hamstring. Expected to return to full training this week.

    Hector Bellerin
    Left calf. Expected to return to full training in two weeks.

    Emile Smith Rowe
    Right hip. Expected to return to full training in December.

    Dinos Mavropanos
    Groin injury. Expected to return to full training in December.

    Rob Holding
    Left knee. Recovering after surgery.

    Danny Welbeck
    Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.

    Copyright 2018 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.


  26. Indeed. Top, top quality Rich and a really fun read, especially if you are interested in language. Of course he’s done his Metartarsal, of course AT is the ref. But no matter: happy holidays and the first Boxing Day for some time where I get to wallow at home in sporting bliss!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Wow- u know Dyche was talking shite when Dermot Gallagher defends our honour 3 times out of 3. Unprecedented.

    Merry Christmas all, including Dermot


    Liked by 3 people

  28. Happy Christmas one and all🎅🏿🎄🥂

    Liked by 4 people

  29. And now Mikhi! Certainly been a bit of a shite season for serious injuries, hope 2019 brings better

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Orbinho
    ‏ @Orbinho

    Headed Clearances for Arsenal in the Premier League this season

    62 – Mustafi
    21 – Holding
    21 – Sokratis
    19 – Bellerin

    Liked by 2 people

  31. All the best you wonderful positive gooners.

    Liked by 5 people

  32. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everybody celebrating as we wish Santa left us something under the xmas tree.

    Liked by 4 people

  33. Seasons Greetings to one and all here on PA.

    Big THANKS to Rich for his recent debut article, and thanks to PG for publishing it.

    Liked by 5 people

  34. New post up


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