Burnley, Robbery, Bad Luck or Bad Finishing?

Good morning.

In todays podcast @shotta_gooner and I look at the daylight robbery at Burnley, the wasted opportunities, the good play and the disastrous mistake that cost us 2 points. We credit Arteta for recent improvements and blame him for being in the position that we found ourselves in.

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70 comments on “Burnley, Robbery, Bad Luck or Bad Finishing?

  1. Basically a bit of each, certainly the PGMOL were out in force, certainly we had some bad luck but our finishing oh our finishing was woeful. You cannot win games with finishing as bad as that.


  2. Thought I’d finally turned corner in not reacting too badly to anything that can happen in game, including pgmol antics, but nope. Stunk up my weekend.

    Think I’d have been alright yesterday but pretty early in day discovered the Match of the Day bullshit and that’s got to me big time. Such loud echoes of the media role in what culminated in the broken limbs.

    Today, sure enough, an incredible article in national newspaper rejoicing in us being called out, pitting the honest, ‘wronged’, ‘yeoman’ of Dyche’s Burnley against foreign fancy dans, ‘softies’ of Islington

    It talks, honestly, of all the tribes of the UK in these divided times being able to unite in wanting to see us ‘get a good shoeing’ from Burnley.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. While we do not put the the result down to the referees entirely, after the podcast, me and George were in solid agreement on the following:

    “…. are convinced that if the handball was by any team versus Man United, Marriner and his crew would have had no hesitation in awarding the penalty. It is self evident week-in, week-out the refs are indulgent towards United knowing full well the pressure and risk to their careers from the football establishment and the media if under similar circumstances they fail to make the critical decision in favor of the Premier League’s flagship club.”

    Liked by 1 person

    I have said on TALKSPORT 2 This morning that it was a clear penalty. VAR Kevin Friend must have been sleeping, or did someone whisper in his ear?


  5. Ex-referee Mark Halsey on Pieters’ handball: “It wasnt far, but there was no pace on the ball. Were his arms in an unnatural position? Yes, they were. Did he move his arms towards the ball? Yes, he did. So that constitutes, in my opinion, a deliberate act, a deliberate handball”


  6. Ryan
    Why isn’t it highlighted more often than former referees like Chris Foy and Dermot Gallagher are on the PGMOL pay roll, so the views they give on TV and radio are highly swayed by their employer, thus not giving an impartial view? If I were Sky, BT Sport etc I wouldn’t be happy.


  7. this might be an odd question to ask on a football blog, but has any of you ever had an operation where your sternum was cut open. I will soon be undergoing an op and was wondering what the recovery from having your sternum opened up will entail, for example how long should it take before I can take care of myself, how long till I can drive again. I have already been warned that I will have a lot of pain for the first few days, and then it will slowly ease as I get better. Have a friend who had his sternum opened up for open heart surgery, but my op is nothing to do with the heart, so a lot of the problems he experienced were heart related, so he can’t really give me that much info on what to expect in my recovery.


  8. Sorry Ed, not a clue, but hope it goes well for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ed, went looking for that tweet from 7.59 on guy’s twitter but couldn’t find it (was probably a reply to someone).

    Bit surprised anyone would think Sky etc would be in dark about Foy and Gallagher. I would have said no chance of that even if I hadn’t read about the set-up in Howard Webb’s book.

    Can’t remember exact details but jist of it was that Webb’s job, when he briefly worked for pgmol after retirement, involved joining Gallagher in Salford City media studios where they watched all the live games, picking out incidents of note, and being available to answer any questions for media partners- ie Sky and BT- in real time during the games.

    Hence they would be very well aware of Gallagher’s main job. So the question is why do these media companies/ broadcasters and pgmol want to deliberately mislead their audiences by pretending these are independent experts?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Think Keith Hackett got it right, someone had a word in Kevin Friends ear. If you believe Richard Keys, Mike Riley himself spends much of his time in the VAR studio, interfering .
    That decision and many this season to me are evidence Of bias, corruption, perhaps the establishment wanting to keep the likes of Arsenal down so a more favoured team can take their place.
    That aside, there was a huge element of bad luck, and poor finishing, not for the first time recently.
    If you have players that don’t finish easy chances, and a club that seem more accepting of this type refereeing than others might be, its a recipe for a club going nowhere fast. Or maybe they do realise something is amiss and hope having Richard Garlick on the payroll might , from the summer I believe, help them out on this some of these issues at least, of not pepes finishing at times

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Anyone have any ideas about a position they’d like to see us strengthen in or a specific player who could improve us?

    Got to say it’s quietest my brain has ever been on that front. I feel like we’re not bad/pretty good in all positions, with everyone fit, but not good enough to overcome the pgmol handicap and do significantly better than we are.

    With normal reffing, think we’d be very well placed for Europa League and top four contention; with favourable, Utd style reffing, we’d prob be where they are.

    But, given the handicap will remain, not a clue where to go from here.


  12. Since VAR was introduced in England PL, now i am even more convinced that the PL, media, refs players and managers are involved in corruption at some level.

    I find it interesting that most of the major leagues in Europe have had high level cases of corruption that were uncovered but in England\ UK you hear that it is impossible to exist.

    I said to one of my mates in work that the mistakes the refs make with VAR to assist them to me is proof of either high level of incompetence which can flourish or that they are colluding in corruption.
    He looked at me like i was mad and it never could happen in UK.
    It was impossible.
    I told him that any betting syndicate could easily corrupt the game if the refs are in pocket and it would be difficult to prove without investigative journalists, whistle-blowers, and confessions.
    He said the media would have exposed it by now. i was like OK then.

    I mean i might be wrong but i am open to the possibility of being wrong. he just could not conceive that the game was corrupt.

    I mean why would you wait a whole year to allow pitch side refs to review decisions made by VAR?
    Knowing that that was standard procedure in Europe that helped lead to its integration in the game in the first place?
    Fishy to me.


  13. Let’s see, TV rights, viewing figures and massive sponsorship by betting companies, how on earth could there be any possibility? coupled with Riley’s band of old northerners in their secret little club that never gets held to scrutiny? too many noses in the trough.

    Where is the concept of British Honesty coming from? Just look at the corruption in plain sight of this Government!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So Arteta has said that he envisages us being very active in the transfer market in the Summer.

    Now, bearing in mind the lack of money all around, does that mean that he thinks that we will be selling a lot, or buying a lot, or both.

    However, how is that gem of information going to affect the current players?

    How many will feel that they are not wanted and will reduce their enthusiasm for the remaining games?

    Does he think that such talk will encourage the players or discourage them?

    I think the latter.

    Is this good man management?

    If it was from a highly experienced and successful manager it might be an encouragement, but from Arteta, the coach who has to control everything the players do, it is likely to have a negative effect.

    Imagine a company office, when the CEO announces in public that they are proposing to hire and fire. What will that do for morale?


  15. Well there could be an alternative view which might suggest that Arteta is signalliing to the supporters that there is a plan in place to make progress, while also challenging the players to raise their game if they don’t wish to be the ones replaced. Some in the company office will be delighted that the CEO is calling out those who are impeding progress, others will react in a way that proves the CEO was right to make the announcement.


  16. Yes, foreverheady, there is the other possibility, but is it realistic?

    Surely, footballers thrive on confidence. They are, after all artists, who crave the adulation of their peers and superiors.

    How is being told, en masse, that they are not good enough by the all-controlling manager going to build up their confidence and thus their results?

    We have seen Arteta blunder time after time, due to his inexperience.

    Does anyone really think that the Kroenkes are going to spend vast sums of money to bring in more potential flops with a manager who cannot motivate his players, but, rather, demotivates them?


  17. What’s happening at the club is exactly the same as in the early to mid nineties save this time then owners are fully behind the Agent sorry I mean manager/coach. So it’s much worse. Evidentially!


    Would all struggle with this set up.
    And would any of them be bullied by Kia or could he only do that to a rookie coach?

    The people who said AWs last season was unacceptable are imbeciles. They are already in the asylum and I don’t think we’ll be able to find a key to help them out!


  18. my interest is in seeing how the younger players develop even if they don’t make it or are on loan.

    one thing that’s great about George’s blog is the different opinions and on Pepe people I learn from have opposing feelings or instincts about this player. I don’t know but I do feel he’s in good form at the moment and should be starting more. Hopefully he’ll have some role in the two big games in the week ahead.


  19. Well, what a display of whining narcissism, a scheming, manipulative, well trained, privileged performer regularly using the media to spread damaging, often questionable opinions and ultimately to gain attention. A bit like a needy child, and an obnoxious one at that, but that’s enough about Piers Morgan

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Fins, for the life of me I cannot see this “good form” of Pepe’s. Did you his lettuce foot against Burnley that is not the sight of a player on form. There have been the odd glimpse of what he could be but never a full 90 minutes and that what he should be showing by now.


  21. Dan Critchlow
    The Arsenal first team currently have zero injured players, with Smith Rowe returning to training today.


  22. Ian

    Although I appreciated the occasional accurate pass in the final third in recent games, If I have to choose between Willian or Pepe it’s Pepe for entertainment value if nothing else!
    Tricky call really as I suspect Saka has hit a wall and needs rotation in this big week (as you’d expect from Saka in his first full season as a regular starter without much rest).
    Burnley was also a game to rest Xhaka IMO.

    Although we’ve seen some promising play through the centre of the park of late primarily thanks to ESR (been a miss), MO & TP given their current form I don’t see the Gunners as favourites in either contest ahead. Any result in either match this week will be a good result, and any victories all the sweeter. Fingers crossed.


  23. Nice podcast Shotta. I agree with George that Arsenal has improved a bit. But we must keep in mind it was only Burnley who allows the opponents to play.
    So we got the chance to dictate the game.
    Mike Riley men did the job and robbed us of 2 points like they have been doing since 2008.
    Strangely VAR didnt helped us fir the umpteenth time which shows why VAR in England has no credibility. Wonder what would it take to dilodge this PIGMOB from English football.

    Summing up Arsenal will finish 7th or 8th it seems.Will we get better the next season and win the league as the idiot fans predicted?

    Evidence is on our side it seems and the WOBS will have a long unfulfilling worrying times ahead as we sit back and relax.


  24. To add up to the misery of the wobs we are sitting back and relaxing as we see the WOBS agenda that any young modern manager who replaces Arsene Wenger will win the league falls into pieces for atleast a couple of years.

    Another point nobody discusses here that winning is another thing and running the club is another thing.As far as i know AFC is posting loases since Arsene Wenger left.Covid may have a part in it but the idiot fans who only think that winning cups is the only big thing and a self sustained model which Wenger left is no achievement are deluded big time.

    These idiot fans dont know what it takes to run a club and how management is another big part in a clubs existence.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Rosicky,
    The PGMOL may have robbed us of a pen but it was our finishing that was the main reason we drew against Burnley.
    Also I will be surprised if we get as high as eighth I have us bang on for tenth I can’t see us dropping lower but also can’t see us getting as high as eighth.


  26. Strange CB pairing but maybe that’s with an eye to Sunday but anyway COYG


  27. don’t know why any of you are worried about the path Arsenal are one, did you not hear Arteta yesterday, his project is about to go bang, we are about to take off and be a real force


  28. Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Odegaard, Willian, Saka, Auba

    Subs: Ryan, Hein, Holding, Cedric, Chambers, Mari, Elneny, Ceballos, Pepe, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Lacazette

    Eddie Nketiah not even in the squad, the lad really has no future with Arsenal, he has been frozen out of the squad since Martinelli returned to fitness


  29. Olympiacos: Sa, Lala, Sokratis, Ba, Reabciuk, M’Vila, Camara, Bouchalakis, Valbuena, Bruma, El-Arabi

    Subs: Karagyris, Tzolakis, Fortounis, Hassan, Androutsos, Masouras, Drager, Holebas, Sourlis, Randjelovic


  30. odegaardddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd with a long range strike that beats the keeper all ends up, 1-0 to the Arsenal


  31. david luiz cocks up but the olympiacos striker panicked and blazed over when he should have rolled the ball across the area for a team mate to tap into an empty net


  32. gabriel rightly booked


  33. HT: Olympiacos 0-1 Arsenal

    odegaard gave us a very deserved lead, but we are mighty lucky to have stayed ahead after a cock up at the back presented them with a gilt edge chance that they spurned.

    ref letting them foul a lot without enough cards being shown


  34. Hubert Graczyk signs professional contract; added to Arsenal’s Europa League squad
    by jeorge bird

    Goalkeeper Hubert Graczyk has signed his first professional contract with Arsenal.

    The 18-year-old, who made his debut for the U23s earlier this season, has also been added to Arsenal’s Europa League squad.

    Graczyk joined Arsenal as a schoolboy and was first called up to the U18 squad as an U15 player. He has proceeded to make 27 appearances for the U18s and has also trained with the first-team.

    Earlier this season Graczyk temporarily lost his place in the U18 starting lineup but an injury to Ovie Ejeheri allowed him to feature prominently in recent weeks. A good shot stopper, Graczyk has made some costly errors at times but he has much time on his side to improve.

    Arsenal have lots of young goalkeepers at the club, with Deyan Iliev, Karl Hein, Arthur Okonkwo, James Hillson and Tom Smith also on professional contracts.


  35. been disappointed with Partey’s performance, he seems sluggish and has lost the ball easily a few too many times


  36. Ceballos on for Partey


  37. what a fucking cock up by Leno and Ceballos, and its 1-1

    we had the ball on the half way line and needlessly went all the way back to Leno, he played the ball to the marked Ceballos, who gave it away easily and they fire past the stranded Leno,


  38. bellerin with a great block saves our asses


  39. I can think of no other team at Arsenals level who makes so many stupid mistakes when in total control of a game

    Liked by 1 person

  40. seems VAR is checking that Gabriel goal

    AFC getting Smith-Rowe, Pepe and Elneny to come on


  41. Elneny on for Willian
    ESR on for Odegaard
    Pepe on for Saka


  42. Elnenyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy with a thunderbolt goal from 30 yards out, in off the post 3-1 to the Arsenal


  43. Lacazette on for Aubameyang


  44. I guess you call that an inspired substitution


  45. FT: Olympiacos 1-3 Arsenal

    Odegaard, Gabriel and Elney with out goals,

    the win no more than we deserved, although we made it tough on ourselves once again by giving away a needless goal.

    by the way I do not place the blame on Leno or Ceballos for that goal, just as I would not blame Xhaka and Leno for the one at the weekend, we are going to cough up goals like that cos playing out from the back, regardless of the opposing press is how we are set up to play by Arteta, and its only when it goes wrong that you notice any problem with it. We have to get better at it.
    I will say I have a real bug bear for the fact the ball went from the half way line back to Leno in the first place, that is the real mistake in that goal, just as v Burnley there was no need to go to the keeper, there was several chances for the ball to be passed forward much further away from our goal. We need more of our players to be braver in possession, stop with the easy 30 yard pass back to the keeper.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Bellerin had a fine game tonight. We need a giant CF if we are going to keep relying on Tierney crosses for most of our attacking tactics


  47. Another awkward performance against a really bang average side.
    Even though we were clearly better than them we continued to miss chances and make wrong decisions in the final third.
    We basically won this game because of a lettuce hand keeper from the Joe Hart school of weak keeping.
    Ed, although you are correct playing out from the back does present hazards and you can get caught out occasionally we are ripping the arse out of the privilege.
    The most important player in these situations is the keeper because he can see everything that’s going on. Leno quite clearly cannot make the decision when to pass and when to kick.
    In tight situations if he needs to keep the play going is to use wide players because if they lose the ball it’s not so dangerous.
    At the moment we are not decisive, not clinical and do not have a keeper that will take command unfortunately Mikel’s project is nearer exploding to shit rather than exploding to life, I really hope I’m wrong especially on Sunday.


  48. thing is ian, that on today’s goal and the one v Burnley if the midfielder had played the ball first time to one of the free players then there would have been no danger at all, but both Xhaka and Ceballos both took needless touches and got themselves and us in trouble


  49. would also add that until we have a CF who can at least contest high hoofed balls from the keeper, its just conceding possession launching it long


  50. Mikel Arteta had mixed feelings after we beat Olympiacos 3-1 in Athens in the first leg of our Europa League last-16 clash.

    Our manager was delighted with the victory but left to rue another defensive error that gifted our hosts a goal.

    Afterwards, he faced the media and this is what he said:

    on the progress the team has made…
    I have been saying that fro a while, and I can probably see more things because internally I know the process that has happened and how much has happened since we were here a year ago. I think the difference is really big and we are really pleased with the result and the goals that we scored, and the way that we played in big moments in the game. But as well we have to be very clear and honest with ourselves that we gave three goals to the opponent and they took one, and at that level they are going to punish you. So to go to the next level, we haver to stop doing that and be more ruthless – and when you are that dominant and playing that well, just kill the game.

    on whether the errors shake his confidence in his approach…
    No, it is just when we have to play it. You know you have to play the ball to this player, but when is the difference… is it now, a second later or a second earlier? That gives the opponent a chance to press or intercept a pass or not and that is where the difference is. To discriminate the decision making and when it has to be done is what dictates in the next action whether you are successful or not. But it is not about stopping or discouraging the team not to play, we just have to understand when to do it and that’s crucial. If not you create insecurity in a game that is totally under control and it brings the team into an insecurity mode because you gift to the opponent how much we have in the game, the chances that we missed and it is unnecessary. But its true that the reaction after that to score goal – and we probably should have scored one more – was great to see as well.

    on whether any subs were made due to injury…
    No, it was all tactical decisions or things that we wanted to change in the game.

    on what he says to those who say we are our own worst enemy…
    Yeah, they are not far off. The goals or the chances that we have conceded are coming from ourselves. That is really positive because the moment we stop it we will be even stronger. But the reality is that we have to stop it immediately because if not the games are always there to drop points. But it is my responsibility, we make them play the way I want them to play, it is just understanding the risk and rewards, the balls we have to play and as I said before, when. We have to get better at that, because if not it creates tension and insecurity, and it creates belief in the opponent and it is unnecessary.

    on whether it makes every game a tense affair on the sideline…
    It does! But it is what it is. Sometimes, when you have to go through a process like this, you have to be ready to take or go through these situations. I am ready to do that, but all the time knowing really well where the risks and rewards are and if the rewards are not bigger then we should not take the risk.

    on him sounding unhappy…
    I want to be much more ruthless and as a team I don’t want to give anything to any opponent. The opponents are good enough by themselves to create situations and create problems, to change their organisation and structures and the individual quality that they have in this competition. So I want to give zero to the opponent. Whatever we do, we have to earn it so much, so I would like the opponents to have to do the same. So I am happy with the result, but I am not satisfied with how we controlled the game through 95 minutes. That’s something we have to improve.

    on why he took off Thomas Partey…
    Because I wanted to change him and bring somebody else in to try to find some other stuff and try to change the shape with the way we were playing inside.

    on how crucial Elneny adding a third goal could be…
    I don’t know, there is still another game to play in this competition and with this level of opponent, anything can happen. So we have to be very prepared to take the game nil-nil and go and win it at the Emirates. Then we will be through. With Mo in particular and with the subs, I’m extremely delighted because I know how much they want to play and they are key in this competition. If you want to be successful, you need your subs to make an impact and they’ve done it tonight again. And Mo in particular, because of how he’s been training so hard to improve his shooting range with Roundy [Steve Round] and he got his reward tonight. It’s very important for the team.

    on whether it shows the character of the side…
    Yes. It has happened in many games already and that has to become a habit because when you are able to react against a team in any circumstances, it doesn’t matter the disappointment, the moment or what happened. Individually and collectively, you need to know that you can get that response and the team is able to overcome any situation. That’s really encouraging for the team.

    on Martin Odegaard’s goal giving us the only thing we were still waiting to see from him…
    He can do that and he needs to click by doing that. The same with Emile, the same with Willian. They are there to make things happen and win games. Winning games is decided near the boxes and they have to be more encouraged to attack those situations, to take risks, to take shots and to create opportunities to dribble because that’s their quality. Hopefully that’s going to bring Martin the confidence. We scored two wonderful goals from outside the box and that’s another way of getting goals. It’s going to be crucial.

    Copyright 2021 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.


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