Arsenal travelled to Turf Moor on Sunday on the crest of a massive wave.
Knowing that Tottenham had done them a favour earlier in the day by making Manchester City look ordinary, a win would see Arsenal close the gap on the league leaders to just two points – not bad when you consider how we started and City’s apparent magnificence under Pep.
So, it probably comes as no surprise that Arsenal struggled against a solid Burnley side. They usually do when handed the initiative.
Did we learn anything new?
This is not a ‘new dawn’
With four wins on the spin, and Chelsea and Basel dispatched with a flair only seen in glimpses over recent years, the question was being asked – is this a new Arsenal or will they eventually let us all down as we’ve come to expect?
Well, they tried their best to let us down, struggling against two banks of four, crying out for pure width and a big man in the middle to get the ball to. It was like they haven’t had, literally, years of practice.
Yes, you can point to us scoring and Burnley’s plan failing, but I doubt you could point to that being our initial tactic in the first place.
Arsenal love a last minute surge
Does any other team do desperation quite like Arsenal?
They tip tap around for about 88 minutes showing more patience than a zen master then they realise they’re just moments away from a poor result and go at the opposition like a crack addict at the door of his dealer.
Every. Single. Time.
Arsenal don’t do anniversaries very well
Be it Arsene Wenger’s 500th game, 100th or 20th anniversary, Arsenal aren’t very good at delivering the perfect present on the pitch.
Still, at least this time we didn’t ship six.
Mesut Ozil is human
Was Ozil Arsenal’s worst player against Burnley? He had stiff competition from Alex Iwobi who showed that he too is more like the rest of us than some sort of footballing uberman with skills to spare.
Referees don’t actually know what ‘advantage’ is
As Arsenal broke during the game, Alexis was taken out off the ball quite deliberately.
The referee saw it and deemed that as Arsenal had retained possession he should play ‘advantage’ despite their spearhead lying in a heap somewhere near the halfway line.
That’s not advantage.
Nor is refusing to go back and book the player who so cynically fouled him.
Say it with me….possession DOES NOT equal advantage!