Burnley will be the perfect test for the new Arsenal front line

Burnley opened up their 2019/20 Premier League campaign with an excellent 3-0 drubbing of Southampton so they will be facing Arsenal in confident mood on Saturday.

But the Clarets boss Sean Dyche, knows full well that he cannot send his team out, in the same manner, he did against the Saints and defence will be the main strategy they will employ against us.

And that will be a good test for our front line and I am not talking about just Pepe, Lacazette and Aubameyang but also possibly Martinelli, Ozil, Nelson and depending on where he is used, Ceballos.

You have to expect that Burnley will get as many men behind the ball as possible with at least two lines of four, frustrating and spoiling as much as they can throughout the game.

Sometimes it all comes together and Arsenal run out clear winners by four or more goals but on other occasions, they can struggle to break teams down and open themselves up to a sucker punch, Brighton anyone?

There is also the risk of counter-attack and that is where the defence has to be alert and the midfield will have to be a lot more effective than they were against say, Crystal Palace last season.

But it will be the forward line that will be the most tested, can they find that breakthrough early on? how will Pepe adapt to an English game against a team like Burnley? how easy will it be to find that killer ball against a very compact opponent?

So, Burnley will be a test, not in the same way playing Man City at the Etihad would be but in terms of how Arsenal manage the game against a team determined to use every trick in the book to thwart them.

Last season we beat the Clarets 3-1 both home and away, a repeat of that will be very welcomed.


    1. You can only use players that are match fit and rested from tournament duty.
      If you bring in a new signing before they have adjusted to the playing systems collective,
      It could prove embarrassing (Chelsea using new youngsters too early) is a prime example.
      Be patient Mr Cool ? This year could be so much fun!?

  1. We can’t start Xhaka and Mkhitaryan again. Play Torreira and Ceballos
    I’m fine with the back 4 (maybe try Luiz for Chambers) and front 3 (Pepe, Aubameyang and Lacazette).

    1. I don’t think Emery would change the winning team, unless some of them are unfit

      Mkhitaryan didn’t play well, but I bet Emery would start him again due to his seniority

      1. Wining team? No. We have a stronger team. The earlier we start thumping others the better. Bring in “PAL”. Don’t tell you don’t know what I mean by PAL.

      1. Mclovin: I said “maybe”. I’m happy with Chambers too but we need to see who’s better and also Luiz needs opportunity. He is more experienced and I don’t think he left Chelsea to sit on the bench

        But again I was very happy with the back 4 including Chambers
        We had a clean sheet away
        Can’t complain

    2. Why play ceballos when guendouzi did a good job, n better to invest n develop your own player then develop a player from other club who will leave end of the season. Plus he has no epl experience so I prefer some one who has that experience. I would go with guendouzi n torreria. Then first change bring ceballos on then xhaka if needed.

    3. Innit, I am near certain that Chambers will stay(and deserve to stay) in the team with Luiz alongside. Only if UE plays a back three will Sokratis start. Though he should stick to the only thing he is good at; wrestling!

    4. Luiz typically plays LCB mass majority of the times. Same with Sokratis. We may see Chambers starting alongside Luiz. Chambers was good for us before he went on loan, was good for Fulham, and has been good since returning. I’m not as worried about him as others.

  2. Burnley just won, so their defense gonna be tough to crack

    I predict Emery would play the winning team again. But I hope he would ask Pepe to start, because the 4-2-3-1 formation is perfect for him:

    Maitland-Niles . Chambers . Sokratis . Monreal
    …………Guendouzi ………… Xhaka
    Pepe …………… Willock ……….. Mkhitaryan

    1. Personally I believe Luiz will play…not because Chambers had a bad game but firmly believe Luiz and Socratis is Emery’s preferred first CB option and they need a game together before travelling to Liverpool!

      If Lacazette is fully fit I also expect front line of Pepe – Laca – Aubameyang.

      Actually looking forward having a look at this team!

      1. if luiz plays xhaka is redundant makes room for ceballos … we need a midfield that is comfortable passing in a forward direction … thats not xhaka miki willock combo …so torreira ceballos and guendouzi … 3 of pepe lacazette ozil and aub up front

      2. Totally disagree over Sokratis. UE is not a fool and knows well enough that BOTH MUSTAFI AND SOKRATIS are not Arsenal standard. He is looking to not having to play Sokratis though he may, just may, play Sokratis if he plays a back three against Burnley(which I hope he will not!) I think he is going to give Chambers a proper chance now to see if he can nail down a long term CB spot with Luiz and soon also Holding as his preferred three CB’s this season. He has seen quite enough of Mustafi – along with 60,000 others when at home- and also knows “wrestling” Sokratis is just on borrowed time while he gets all his preferred CB’s match fit. I will bet serious money that neither the crazed lunger nor the mad wrestler will be here next season. I am convinced the club is even now trying to move Mustafi abroad, if they can and I am prepared to have a substantial money bet with you personally on neither being here next season,should you wish. I should warn you I am a professional gambler and only rarely lose these types of bet.

    2. That makes sense because we won with a clean sheet AWAY so why not continue until it doesn’t work anymore

      But I think he may play Lacazette (like: Pepe..Lacazette..Aubameyang) if he’s fit and Ceballos or Ozil in Wilock’s position

      I prefer Aubameyang up front
      The only draw back of having both Lacazette AND Aubameyang is that they can’t really play together up front (Giroud could play up front with either because he was great holding the ball) and playing Aubameyang on the left seems like a waste as he is awesome striker and should play up front (like in your lineup)

  3. These are the type of games that can derail the season. 3 points are expected but Burnley are a good disciplined side usually difficult to break down and will be physically testing. I can’t see Ozil or Kolasinac playing given the personal issues they have found themselves having to deal with. Let’s go for the win but a tight game is expected for me with the new faces getting some more game time.

    1. Sue, just read who the referee will be on Saturday…Yes you’ve guessed it correctly…the one and only Mike Dean!!!

  4. Totally agree with burnley been a good test for us especially if emery unleashes PAL with ozil behind and David luiz been a ball playing CB since the clarets loves to defend deep against strong opposition

  5. I think Emery will launch PAL on that day. If Pepe hits the ground running, our attack will be UNSTOPPABLE. Behind them, we can have Ceballos pulling the strings while Willock and Xhaka will be controlling the midfield. Considering the way Chambers played yesterday, I think it would be unfair to drop him for Luiz. Emery will have the last word.

    1. I do not understand some fans here they want coach to prefer a guy on loan over the current cop of players we have. Gaundozi and willock if not anything than on power with Dani. Dani can become our very own cazorla down the line but if he stays.i for one dont want to take playing time away from our young players and hand it over to Dani so he can cintinues to develop and then leaves for madrid. He talented yes but not better than gaundozi n willock what I have seen so far.

      1. because we want to win games. If Ceballos is more useful than our youngsters then Ceballos should play. I’m not silly enough to write off Ceballos because of a few misplaced passes on his debut.

      2. And since he was the star player of the U-21 Euros, yes, that makes him better than both Guendouzi and Willock

        1. And if Ceballos makes his loan deal a success, receives the confidence of the coach and support/love of the fans he may wish to stay at Arsenal.

  6. Please I don’t understand, are Guendouzi and shaka anyway better than Torreira? What’s wrong with this coach?

    1. Guzi is becoming a very good player although still prone to the odd rash tackle. If he keeps his passing simple and continues to improve his break up play he will be a top class player for us. Xhaka I can’t defend and nor can he!

      1. There are two issues which you are failing to realise even the well establish players take time to settle in PL no matter how talented they are, look at the history you will get your answer. So if you are expecting wonders from Dani in his first seasons then best of luck my friend…he is inexperienced n never played outside Spain, hell not played even too much inside spain. Where as the players we have in team in his position have PL experience, are good as well. So you have better chance of winning when you stick to these players than Dani. You are telling me you want to develop a player for some other team, give him experience, playing time and then send him back to parent club so they can reap the reward if it was two year deal. No wonder spurs didn’t go for it. Looks like they have more brain then our management. If he plays I am happy bec I a madrid fan as well not as much as Arsenal so at least one of my supported teams will benefit.

    2. You will agree with me that whenever we played Torreira and Guendouzi last season, we struggled to dominate the mid. That’s why Emery continues to play Xhaka because as much as he is sloppy, he has an exceptional positional awareness which is his greatest attribute. Torreira and Guendouzi would be all over and would be caught out of position. Until we get a commanding DMF like Fernandinho, we are stuck with Xhaka since he is the best we’ve got.

      1. Xhaka gives us one thing only. Power! I want him out of AFC asap BUT UE clearly likes his power and considers it makes up for his lack of mobility, pace and awareness . I disagree but believe that, from UE’s view, not mine, that is why he is picked. I firmly believe that A M-N will be there in place of him ere long. And I pray for that too! Probably only once BELLERIN IS FIT AGAIN.

      2. I agree with you Joe. Xhaka is capable of controlling a game to some degree. No Fernandinho of course, but our midfield has no structure with Torriera and Guend. Torriera is a ball winner, Guendouzi essentially just presses other midfielders and does simply distributions and needs to develop his game. He gets drawn to the ball far too often and leaves space behind. I’m still of the opinion Willock will be the better player. Xhaka can get the ball up field, and has better variaties of passing (when he can actually pull it off). With Guendouzi and Torreira, it’s just a bunch of short passes not going further up the pitch.

        1. Well put RSH!

          Xhaka is no favourite of mine and will never push this team to challenge the big ones! However I still see best balance while he is in the team… Like both Torreria (ferocious defensive work) and Guendouzi (energy and drive forward) but together they don’t seem to work so well…maybe with time!

          Willock surprises me and seems to be comfortable with tempo and like his ability and timing of runs into the box…you can see him scoring a few over a season.

          For above reason I would rather we took a gamble and sold Xhaka in this window if Sami Khadeira might become available on a free!

  7. I’d like to see Torreira, Ceballos, Wilock



    ….Torreira.. Guendouzi/Xhaka

    1. Ceballos is not ready yet for many reasons not is Pepe, torreira came bac late to pre season due bro la Copa America,do you really follow arsenal?

      1. Firmino came back even later for Liverpool and started for them. Emery has not ruled Torreira out of the next game. So do you follow Arsenal?

  8. Would love to see Luiz play in Xhakas position for a couple of games. Maybe a midfield 3 of Luiz, Torreira and Willock/Ceballos.

  9. On Guendouzi, opinion on here seems to be shifting in his favour after th game at Newcastle I likes him immediaely I first saw him. I saw a young, leggy, raw player who has guts workrate and a crucial abilityb to keep his head up and to change direction of play. We have had no one since Santi who could remotely do that.( AND ALSO ROSICKY AT THAT TIME). To my mind he was a steal at his low price, esp as he is still so young. I am convinced he will be a major Arsenal player for many years ahead. He DOES still have holes in his game BUT he has the crucial natural ability that the pedestrian likes of Xhaka and Elneny can only dream about. UNLIKE OZIL AND MKHI, HE IS A REAL MAN WITH “BALLS”, EVEN THOUGH HE IS STILL SKINNY AS YET.

    1. What’s your take watching 20 mins of Pepe then John ?do you think he as balls ,because I can assure you if you think Ozil looks disinterested then you have got a treat coming to you with Pepe.

      1. Dan Kit how can you judge a new player,in a new country,new league,new language,new teammates who just arrived with us less than 2 weeks ago,who has to settle himself and his family,learn new tactics, played 20 minutes in bad weather conditions in his first game and you want to judge him already I’m sorry to say you’re clueless my friend!

        1. Mate before you go off on one maybe grasp what I’m getting across before you open your mouth ,I’m not by any means having a pop at Pepe far from it ,I’m asking the people who say Ozil is lazy what they make of Pepe aswell ,will he be called spineless lazy and disinterested just navies the way he comes across ,please before you type in future read thorough comments then I wouldn’t have to reply to you .

          1. he’s played 20 minutes and you are calling him lazy, Dan! It’s an absurd conclusion. Even a freaking Youtube video can disprove your desperate attempt to show Ozil bias.

      2. what is wrong with some of us? We writing off Pepe based on 20 minutes because he didn’t score a hattrick and break a ton of records?? If anybody watched the game he actually got into a great goal scoring position and Auba almost found him. But yeah, since he didn’t score like the world class Ndombele and Daniel James, he’s a waste. My goodness….

      3. Dan , I am not foolish and have no intention of forming my opinion about any player who has played mere minutes. Ozil has had six seasons to prove his laziness to me and to countless thousands of OTHER Gooners, some of whom who constantly post, hoping for his swift exit . A recent fan poll on this site showed over 80% wanting him gone. And yet you want my opinion on our new player who has played approx half an hour? Grow up Dan!

        1. Wow ,you lot should actually read before you post ,and Jon maybe you could take your own advise with the growing up part ,your endless comments trying to prove yourself right ,trying to gain followers to again back up your ridiculous comments .
          And RSH I can’t even begin to reply to you.
          My post was about body language and that it can come across to some morons that they are not interested ,so either I didn’t get my post Across or it’s the usual ones on here who only pick out the bits that suit themselves.

          1. Dan, stick with what you believe and argue your points, regardless of what the “countless thousands” of other goonners say.

            From memory, I think the poll was made up of just under a 1,000 fans by the way (I might be wrong of course, it was nearly a year ago).

            Certain fans have lost a lot of money believing they knew everything about Ozil, remember the boasting in capital letters? It’s still going on, the mind boggles.

            You have got the “balls” to believe what you say and don’t need to drum up this elusive “vast majority” etc etc.
            Jon has been asked numerous times on here to acknowledge the chants and songs sung to Ozil when he used my season tickets for two games…he has never replied…speaks volumes.

            On to your question/observation of Pepe.
            So much has been made of players body language and I believe that is what you are asking about from the 20 minutes he was on the pitch.

            I can’t say he looked or was lazy / disinterested, just as I can’t say that about any Arsenal player… but UE and the other players will know the truth, just look how Sanchez was called out by the rest of his team mates before his departure.

            As far as I know, it hasn’t happened to any current player under UE, our squad seem happy with each other that’s for sure.

            Think about it Dan, would any professional player let another get away with it, especially if it meant losing win bonuses, CL, PL champions, cup winners? Of course not, but the constant drivel keeps being spouted by those who think they know better than UE and his players.

            Pepe will be a great player in my opinion,but as you so rightly observed…he needs to improve his body language or be described as a “lazy player”, along with all the other personal attacks that seem to be a part of the agenda.

            By the way Dan, didn’t you and I recognise the quality of Guenduzi and Chambers when others were slagging them off!!

          2. Dan, Did you or did you not ask me (and I quote your own precise words) “What’s your take on watching 20 minutes of Pepe then Jon? Do you think he has balls… etc”? Am I OR AM I NOT, ON A FREE DEBATE SITE, NOT CORRECT TO INTERPRET THAT AS A QUESTION THAT IS MEANINGLESS DRIVEL? How would you suggest ANY player be accurately judged over just 20 mins or in approx half an hour, as I stated. I would love to know your answer please Dan.

        2. Now Jon-you are quoting a statistic.And what is it you NEVER take note of? STATISTICS.You just cannot help contradicting yourself can you?Either you agree with statistics or you don’t?Which one is it? For today anyway…..

          1. Obviously I didn’t get my point across Ken as what I was hoping for .
            I think you can see where I was going with my question to Jon, it was in response to his” Ozil is lazy “tag again .
            I have never understood that quote that some players are labelled with ,some of the best players that have graced the game have that disinterested look about them but some fans will only see what they want to .
            Regarding Chambers and Matteo I can’t take credit for that ,I didn’t think Chambers would make it as a top player ,but watching him play Sunday I hope I will be changing my mind ,I said in a previous article that he looked like a man rather than the little boy I remembered ,and he looked solid ..he could save us a fortune in future transfer fees .
            Matteo, jury is still out on him for me but he’s young and he’s getting a lot of experience ,second full season he could become a really good player ..
            The one player who does stand out for me is Willock ,hopefully Emery will find his best position.

          2. Dan, one of the most “disinterested players ever” was zinadene zidane and he did quite well in the game I believe.
            Another was Johan Cryuff(wrong spelling I know)and even our own George Graham whowas called “Stroller”!! They were blessed with natural talent and didn’t need to go up and down the pitch at 100mph with their balls hanging out to prove they were men…they just had pure unadulterated talent and class.

            The point is Dan, would any coach, player of club who knew that one of their own was lazy etc etc just accept the situation?

            Of course they wouldn’t and this alone shows what stupidity abounds when a professional player…any professional player…is said to do this.

            But the “vast majority” always know best and shout the loudest without any idea how this reflects on their own ignorance when they say such ridiculous things.

            Gueds was man of the match on Sunday in my opinion and as Jon Fox says, a real steal…along with the £8,000,000 for Luis…Saturday is going to be fantastic and can’t wait to see Mike Dean having to toe the VAR line!!!


  10. Agree JF ,Guendouzi is an excellent young player, who along with AMN and Willock could form a very strong midfield three.I hope Emery picks Luiz against Burnley to cope with their aerial threat , but not at the expense of Chambers who was first class against Newcastle.Socratis is now “at risk” with the signing of Luiz and the return to fitness of Holding who was our top CB last season until his injury.

    1. he is saying a man with a family, who have been threatened and has to employ security, deserves it just because he is not up to a place in the team in his opinion. This really saddens me to see type of thing posted. Where do we really think the line of acceptable comments lays?

      1. That’s what I thought,he sounds about 10 years old ,I wouldn’t take no notice of morons like this mate.

      2. Dan the cannon, this immature boy Samson is not worth dignifying with a reply to his nasty post bordering on hate crime. I DISLIKE Ozil very much as a player BUT I and hardly ANY other fans would EVER even think the hateful tosh that brainless Samson posted, let alone publicly show ourselves up as a right wing thug by idiotically posting it in on a public forum. If the police were to knock on his door, I would not be surprised one bit. PERHAPS SOMEONE MIGHT CARE TO ALERT THEM TO HIS POST? MAYBE I WILL DO IT PERSONALLY! IF HE REPEATS IT, YOU CAN FORGET THE “MAYBE”! Most thugs are at best semi literate, as he clearly is.

  11. I think we should stop all this our favouritism analysis, if we want to look like liverpool, man city and other top teams, Xhaka has no business in this arsenal team

  12. These are simply thugs no arsenal fans neither are you!I wish I could have you in front of me and I’ll show you what a former french legionnaire do to you, plastic thugs!

  13. After the game against Burnley finishes……….one of us will be top of the league ! 😉

  14. That”SSS not what you said,you wrote”to the people who thinks Ozil has no balls and looks disinterested then you have a great treat coming your way with Pepe”see you got lying once again and don’t even try to tell us you meant something else I am no moron get that basically what you wrote is if you’ve been disappointed with Ozil wait for Pepe nothing else!

  15. I hope Laca is fit. Then Auba, Laca and Pepa. The ALPs. Would love to see David Luiz as a CB or even a CB/DM in front of a back four. Guendouzi is a super player. In two years he will be our Pirlo. Please Unai Emery don’t play Mkhiaryan. He is lost. Not fully present in games. I would love to see Ceballos replace, the slow in body and mind, Xhaka…. but I doubt if it will happen. Be ruthless Unai and change the team for this game.

  16. It will be a good test my only concern is integrating Luis in a back four I think he is much more comfortable in back three with a lot of cover from the midfield hence allowing him to pick any of the front three with his long passes.Micky is not anywhere closer to helping us for now truly is good player but I just can’t tell what’s wrong with him. Last Sunday only flashes of class

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