Considering Arsenal’s recent form, and the awful fact that we have lost our last 3 home games, it would not be a surprise to find that any team would be feeling confident of coming to the Emirates right now, even Burnley.
Last season we only beat the Clarets 2-1 at home and ground out a 0-0 draw up at Turf Moor, and our form has taken a dive since then so Burnley are hardly going to feel intimidated.
Troy Deeney, who is a traditional enemy from his “cojones” remarks, thinks that Arsenal fans should be worried ahead of tmorrows clash. He said in his Sun column: “You will probably remember a few years ago that I accused Arsenal players of lacking ‘cojones’ after a defeat at Watford.
Yet that was a comment made after a specific match and however low Mikel Arteta’s side are in the Premier League table, that is not an accusation I would level at them now.
They remain something of a soft touch — but a different sort of soft touch.
Not a team you can physically intimidate but a team who will always give you a chance.
Burnley will believe they can win at the Emirates tomorrow.
They will look to exploit Arsenal’s weaknesses from set-pieces and they will look to hit them on the break, too.
If Arsenal play to their full potential, they should win.
If they lose, then Arsenal could slip towards a genuine relegation battle and Arteta will be in serious trouble.
I actually think Arteta has had some positive influence on the psychology and the culture at Arsenal — but you cannot keep losing games and fall that low down the table at a club of Arsenal’s stature and expect for the board to stay patient.
Arteta talks a lot about the amount of possession Arsenal have and especially the amount of crosses they make.
But you can always find statistics to make things seem better than they are.
Are they the right sort of crosses? Are they doing enough with their possession?
Because Arsenal have scored just twice in seven league games and when I watched their 2-0 defeat in the North London derby, I did not feel Spurs ever looked seriously threatened.
Burnley is a massive game for Arteta. Win it and Arsenal could soon be back in the top half and he can continue to affect change at the club.
Lose it and the game might be up.
As much as we may not like the ex-Watford man, Deeney is only saying what all Arsenal fans already know, and we should all be rightly worried.
The pressure is really on our boys, but the players have been full of positivity this week, in public at least, so we can only hope that we finally get things right tomorrow.
And please, please, please can we seen Aubameyang’s name back on the scoresheet…