Burnley’s Johann Gudmundsson has admitted that he and his side will look to frustrate Arsenal by stopping them from playing their game.
The winger was a part of surprise package Iceland in the summer of 2016, and he is ready to put in the defensive work for his team much like he did during the European Championships in which he helped to frustrate Cristiano Ronaldo.
‘Ronaldo was angry he knew he we’d played well. We were unbelievable defensively, what was he expecting? That we would come out guns blazing trying to play football,’ said the 27 year-old.
‘You have to sit back against the bigger teams sometimes and it’s the same against Arsenal. Arsenal are unbelievable at keeping the ball, and we have to try and frustrate them and mostly hit them on the counter attack.
‘Normally that is what you have to do as a lesser team. You just have to find a way to win games, for me it doesn’t matter if it’s ugly or not, as long as you get three points everybody is happy.
‘It has to take the right characters to do that. We know some players will think they are bigger than having to do the defensive work but there are only maybe three or four players in the world who can get away with not doing the defensive work.
‘It’s tough sometimes when you don’t touch the ball for a long time, but if you get the three points at the end you don’t care.’
Gudmundsson likens his club side to that of his country, likening the passionate support received while playing for both sides.
‘You can see there are similarities,’ he acknowledges. ‘There is great team spirit and no big egos, just everyone wanting to play football and work for each other.
‘Team sport can be so weird. You don’t have to have the most expensive team to do good things and we showed that this season.’
Will Arsenal have enough to open up to prise open the Burnley defence?