Arsenal passed a massive test of our current credentials last weekend in a brilliant way, keeping our slim title hopes alive and taking a big step towards securing another season in the Champions League and improving on last season’s fourth place.
But all out great work against Liverpool would be spoiled if the Gunners fail to build on by winning away at Burnley today. Arsene Wenger has been very praiseworthy of the players and especially the team ethic that Arsenal have been showing, but he also warned about the dangers of assuming that this will carry on, as reported by Arsenal.com.
The boss said, ““It is a positive sign for us [to go second], but let’s not get carried away because you look behind us and it’s one or two points. That can quickly be wiped out by a bad game. That’s why we want to continue our run, to continue to play quality games and that’s the best way to be protected from other teams coming back on us.
“It [different scorers] is the best possible sign, because it means that everybody is full of confidence, the combination play of the team goes well and that there is a collective desire to play together. That’s the essence of our sport: to play together and get everybody in positions where they can score.
“The vibes coming out of the team are very positive and all this together makes you happy when you are the manager.”
In a way it might help us that Burnley have claimed some big scalps this season, including a draw with Tottenham last week. This should help to keep the players focused and ready for a tough game. Wenger also spoke about us having to match the physicality of Burnley and that could be key, especially early on while they have the home crowd urging them on and try to knock us out of our comfort zone and passing rhythm.
The Frenchman has a few selection issues as well, with the return of players like Wilshere, Arteta, Debuchy and Diaby as well as an injury concern over Koscielny. He also has to decide whether the pace and strength of Welbeck or the guile of an Ozil or Cazorla would serve us better in the wide areas. I suspect it will be Danny who has to settle for a place on the bench.
If Arsenal get an early goal we should win comfortably and hit the home side on the counter, but it could be a day for patience and sneaking over the line. I am going for a 3-0 Gunners win.