I’m struggling to find new ways to get excited about draws, especially scoreless draws but I am getting used to the empty feeling of Arsenal leaving another ground with just a point. Afterwards, Arteta complained about the Burnley pitch, claiming the grass was too long and that it hadn’t been watered.
It’s the type of outburst that tries to disguise the plain truth, the Arsenal squad isn’t good enough and hasn’t been for some time.
Look, you can reorganize, give players a new sense of purpose and spirit but if the results still aren’t coming in, then it’s the players that are the problem.
Mikel Arteta will be evaluating his squad with every result and reimagining it in his mind’s eye. This was another occasion where Willock replaced Ozil, which seems to be a textbook substitution.
Another outing where the goal-shy Lacazette failed to net for the eight-game in a row, which is now officially classed as a ‘lean spell’
Aubameyang also failed to get on the scoresheet and it’s slightly curious that with so much firepower available, Arsenal can’t finish off teams like Burnley.
Let’s now give some credit to the hosts Burnley, who had no intention of being the proverbial rabbit caught in the Arsenal headlights.
They were strong, especially in the second 45 and they had enough desire and industry to run off with all three points given a slice of luck.
If only the grass had been shorter and wetter!
Hendrick’s and McNeil were at the hub of the Burnley effort and they knocked on the door regularly without forcing it open, whereas the visitors suddenly saw the limitations of Aubameyang, despite the striker having entered the match with odds saying he’s still very much in contention to claim the Golden Boot for a second successive season.
Yes, he can score, sometimes against the run of the play and out of nothing but he doesn’t have the intuitive and flexible nature of Lacazette to wriggle out of tight spots and push the play.
Neither had a goal in them in this contest but if it were possible to combine them into a single-player, they would be a level above whatever the premiership has to offer apart from Sergio Agüero.
There were periods of play where both sets of supporters were uncomfortable with the dire finishing and Aubameyang’s massive slice which went miles wide (12) was one of the lowlights of the game.
I was convinced that David Luiz had just provided the silver platter moment for the prolific striker to graze on, but his foot acted like a hammer, belting the ball wide by the length of a canoe.
READ MORE :
Worse was to come in the 78th minute, when Hendrick pinged a ball in from the right which had McNeil nodding across, perfectly into the path of Rodriguez, who struck it full on and clattered the underside of the bar before it danced down the line.
Arsenal’s best chance against Burnley? probably came in the 36th minute with a ball from Xhaka, which he poked over the top for Aubameyang, but the Gabon international was unable to beat Pope.
With a name like that, Burnley’s goal was truly blessed and it seemed increasingly unlikely that Arsenal would get the goal they needed as the game went on.
One could t help but regret Arsenal’s decision to overlook the industrious and creative Bruno Guimaraes in the transfer window, with Ozil looking a forlorn figure at times, moaning as he ran around the field with his sullen face doing more work that he did.
Arteta may on reflection consider this to be a point won rather than three points lost because of the performance Burnley edged it.