Six Important Points From Burnley That Sum Up Arsenal’s Season

A Game For Arsenal’s Season by AI

When all is said and done, Mikel Arteta will probably be looking back at so many marginal games that Arsenal have managed to lose this season and shake his head on what could have been, none more so than this one.

In many ways, this game sums up Arsenal’s season under Mikel Arteta.

—Arsenal create chances and are not finishing well. Against Burnley, Aubameyang, Pepe and Saka all had golden chances to put the game out of sight but somehow contrived to put it all off target. Arsenal currently underperform their expected goals. Even during the bad run in November-December, one of our malaises was not just the lack of creativity but also the poor finishing. Now that things are better, we still find a a way to be wasteful and not kill games off when we should. Not finishing your chances simply means that you are risking everything.

—The officiating is not just bad, it has been consistently horrible and has cost us at least 10 points this season. An earlier analysis on this website lists the many wrong refereeing decisions that have ended up costly against us. Eric Pieters’ handball was clearly a penalty and yet it was not given, potentially costing us two points. These crazy decisions add up over the course of a season.

—Individual errors are a major part of where we are on the league table. Granit Xhaka has returned back to gifting away goals to the opposition. Too often this season, we have literally beaten ourselves. Ceballos’ howler against Benfica was just one week ago. The only way out of this cycle is to get more quality players into the club. Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but quality reduces the frequency.

—Individual attackers are not grabbing the golden moments. Despite the Xhaka error and terrible officiating, we were still good enough for a win. All it took was Nicolas Pepe finishing his lunch but somehow, he managed to miss from 5 yards in the 80th minute.

—Saka is a baller. This was one of his poorer performances, yet the 19-year-old managed to get on the end of two major scoring opportunities and switched from the wings to a midfield role on the left. This switch was seamless and allowed us to seize control of an increasingly chaotic game. All day, too, the young lad hustled off the ball and was getting very physical without much trouble. Displaying his wonderful versatility in different phases of a game, Saka is definitely our present and future.

The Burnley game captures much of how our season has gone with incredible accuracy. Mikel Arteta is doing all he can: his team dominates the opposition and carves out chances regularly. Against top opponents, his side is difficult to play through and roll around. The structure of a good team is there but what is lacking are the players who do not make a big error every other week. Unreliable players will cost any manager points over a season. Trust the process, or at least, the tactics. We will soon rid ourselves of all the deadwood and be in a nicer shape next season.

Onwards then to Olympiakos.

Agboola Israel


  1. Burnley games always ended up with controversies, like the previous ones that Emery faced. I urge all fans to stop attacking Arteta, Xhaka and other players on social media, because they need to focus on a very important game in EL

    1. I would think if they need to focus they probably shouldn’t be on social media at all?

        1. Unfortunately, as professional footballers they should be concentrating on their football doing the talking for them.
          Social media exposure has been a problem since well before Arsene Wenger departed.

  2. Arteta will throw Arsenal into a bottomless pit,we need a top experienced coach to start working with the team for the remainder of the season and create his identity.Allegri and benitez are available

    1. Allegri and Benitez will not make our players stop missing sitters and stop making brainless mistakes.

      1. We don’t miss sitters in every game neither are we denied penalty every game,What we have is a clueless coach no matter how you defend Arteta hard facts suggests he’s incompetent.You will give him time and excuses but the fact is he won’t survive at arsenal for long.

      2. Thats a focus issue, a manager has a large part to play in the focus levels of a team.

        Technically speaking every goal conceded is an individual error or a few individual errors. So you can never hold a manager responsible for anything on pitch?

      3. Please tell me what will make it stop
        If arteta needs 11 new players for each position before he can compete and find a way to eradicate this errors then he should be sacked immediately…
        Chelsea’s lampard was shipping goals for fun but how long did it take tunchel to fix that?
        This has become a pattern and you still deem it unnecessary to blame the management then i don’t know what their jobs are anymore…

        1. Discipline. Ramifications for poor performances like dropping from the matchday squad and additional training. At the moment players face no consequences for mistakes. Xhaka 8 mistakes directly leading to goals and he is normally the first name on the team sheet.

  3. Unfortunately it wasn’t 6 important points we got against burnley this season it was just one … and xhaka was certainly a major reason for that with a red card and de facto own goal … but he’s a symptom of decline as much as a cause … the simple question that arteta loyalists need to ask is how will the club move forward if we finish outside the top 6 (probably the top 8) and with no European trophy … to me … as I predict it will be when not if … it’s obvious though if I am wrong i would reluctantly accept that arteta deserves another year … but what I want to know is if my prediction is right … and it’s just a prediction .., what will the arteta loyalist say then??

        1. @Guy unlike him I can pick team,so there’s no guarantee he knows more than me, managing football is not rocket science

  4. The frustrating part for me is the same mistakes continue to be repeated.

    1. Insisting on playing from the back when we lack the technical players to do so.

    Leno is poor passing out, so throw it FFS! Xhaka is too slow & lacks the technical ability to get himself out of trouble.

    Yet a year later we still make the same costly mistakes, players and manager at fault.

    2. Inconsistency in his man management. Xhaka gets red cards, gifts goals yet never gets benched. Pepe got red and sat out several matches.

    Saliba speks out gets frozen out. Martinelli texts he’s 100% ready to play, hasn’t got a minute or sniff since.

    Willian goes to Dubai despite manager saying “no travel” and nothing happens.

    Lastly is no style of play whatsoever. Best I can see is negative football and insisting we play out from the back.

    We are the embodiment of Arteta when he played midfield at Arsenal.

    Negative, slow, side & back passing, without an ounce of creativity or flair. Dull, boring, lacking movement & quick give and go passing.

    Doesn’t matter who the players are, we don’t play to their strengths, instead they conform to this insipid, dull, & robotic structure.

    Mere puzzle pieces to fit in rather than individual strengths and talents to lift the team.

    1. Arteta has brought in 7 players of his choosing that are better players than what we had.

      Mari is better than Sokratis & Mustafi, and I would add Gabriel is also better.

      Cedric is a better defensive RB than Bellerin, & I would argue slightly better overall as well.

      Partey is world class, Ceballos better than Elneny, Willock, Torreria, & Guendouzi. I’d say Odegaard as well based on his influence in the attack.

      Willian, well he should have been a boost, but has been an albatross for most of the season.

      Point being, with better players than what Emery had, how are we doing worse? How much accountability does Arteta deserve, and how much for the players? Did Emery overachieve when he lost Europa final and missed 4th by 1 point?

      Arteta being trusted to rebuild when he has never built anything in football!

      Time Edu does his job as director; be Arteta’s boss not his friend. Tell him Xhaka is gone in the Summer, Luiz will not be returning, and start doing your job of developing our young talent. Saliba, Gabriel, Martinelli, Azeez, etc…

      They are the future, so get onboard if you want to be a part of the future as well.

      We aren’t City; our manager is not going to spend big and grant Arteta’s player desires. Improve what you have, polish the veterans and sharpen the youth.

      Edu needs to be held accountable now, time to be a director, time to set goals & expectations and hold people accountable.

      1. Spot on Durand, especially the comments regarding Edu doing his job, by pushing the likes of Luiz and Xhaka out the door and getting our blue chippers on the pitch…should have been done this year, as it will undoubtedly be used as an excuse next year, if the out-dogs are released again should we struggle for form…fact is we should have bit the bullet and committed to the “rebuild” last summer, instead of getting Willian

      2. Durand: I am sure the Arteta fan boys will disagree with your posts. They will blame all and sundry except Arteta.

    2. Well said Duran regarding MA having favourites. Despite his blind followers on here it’s clear.

      Why do you think he has so many problems with youngsters. He holds grudges and they know no matter how well they do in training certain players will get picked….I’d want to leave ASAP too.

      FYI I’m not against MA, I’m just for Arsenal

      1. This childish “grudge conspiracy” theory is too ridiculous to take seriously. It is the youing kids on here who plainly hold their own grudge against MA, NOT his as a mature man of almost 40.

        He picks what he considers thebest team and squad for any particular match, as do ALL MANAGERS, in the REAL world, where managers, unlike conspiracy theorist kids, have to live.

        1. Jon- why don’t you answer the very relevant point Durand has made regarding Arteta having SEVEN players superior in quality to those available to Unai Emery, yet somehow managing to take us backwards with these upgrades.
          This requires some meaningful thought, so let’s see if you are actually capable of answering. I doubt it, but wait to be surprised

          1. Thanks Phil, that’s what no one wants to discuss. Arteta’s 7 are superior to what Emery had, I think nearly everyone will agree.

            However, too many people accept our regression despite Arteta getting 7 better players in 2 windows.

            An experienced manager would surely get better results with our team.

            Nagelsmann is the manager I wanted most, IMHO he’s due to move to a bigger club soon.

            Either 2 things should happen this Summer if we are to be truly competitive:

            1. Edu does his job as director, and tells Arteta Xhaka & Luiz are gone,

            2. improve Gabriel / Saliba pairing (£60 million spent on them)

            3. Give playing time to blood our future players; Martinelli over Willian is one example.

            If Arteta is not on board then his 1i month audition is over, SAME STANDARD Wenger & Emery got. No more excuses with his improved squad over his predecessors.

  5. Watching the Liverpool Fulham game and Fulham are looking very good. You can see they have a style of play and a plan when they walked onto the pitch.

    I cannot say the same for Arsenal. I still have no idea how we are trying to play, by the looks of it most of our players feel the same way…looking leaderless on and off the pitch.

    1. Our manager has no idea of our style of play think he just picks the team out of a hat and sends them on to the pitch and let’s them get on with it and just hopes for the best!!

    2. @Durand- I was never impressed with Emery, but despite very erratic performances and results he got us to the EL Final and 5th in the EPL. Not too many considered that good enough, both the results and performances, and finally he was out when it became very obvious he was struggling. He was proven to be out of his depth, with both the job and the Football Club being far too big for him. Yet Arteta, over the same length of time in charge, seems to feel as though he is unaccountable with results and performances worst than Emery was sacked for. This is not forgetting your point of the SEVEN players that are an improvement to what Emery had within his squad.
      Dont hold your breath for an answer from Jon Fox or any other of these Arteta worshippers, because they cannot reasonably argue your point. For one who quotes Fact and Realism as his whole being in life, he has no answer at all.

      1. Phil, have a look at Emery’s win percentage at PSG:
        Carlo Ancellotti 77 games 63.64% wins
        Laurent Blanc 173 games 72.83%
        Unai Emery 114 games 76.32%
        Thomas Tuchel 127 games 74.8%
        Mauricio Ponchettino 15 games 80%
        Emery with PSG won 7 of the 8 domestic trophies available during his tenure. Only Blanc with 11 over more seasons has won more at PSG.
        Also he is the only manager to have won 3 Europa League Titles
        Isn’t it about time the myth that Emery can’t manage big clubs be put to rest, or is Arsenal a “big club” and PSG is not?
        Emery was only employed as “head coach” not “manager”, was not supported by management and the Board and was undermined by the players. Yet he still achieved 5th and the Europa League Final. despite being supposedly “out of his depth”.
        I believe he deserves an apology, not the derision levelled at him by some

  6. Yes Al. As someone who realised right from the start that TRUE supporters would need real patience while MA turned around the shambles he inherited, I do not have silly expectations as some many (almost all young) fans on here plainly do.
    He has successfully shipped out some deadwoood but has more to lose yet and that is obvious weekly , esp BELERIN XHAKA, ELNENY, PLUS SOME OF THOSE LOANED OUT CURRENTLY.
    Unlike the hasty self entitled kids on here I factor in Kroenkes lack of care for his club and see all the problems , -not of his own making – that MA still faces.
    It is plain that the squad and core players making up the usual team is way better than when MA arrived . I give due credit for that and expect better times ahead next season. Though with THIS owner it is unrealistic to expect a title challenge. That wont stop the many unthinking kids demanding it though. Sigh!

    1. Even with a ambitious owner we would never challenge for prem league or champions league places while Arteta is in charge hes had long enough to stamp his mark on the club and has failed miserably just look at our league position his win ratio there is absolutely nothing there to say he can get Arsenal back to where they belong if anything the longer he is charge he will continue to drag our once great club even further down the league!!

    2. So Jon, by your own admission, Arteta has improved the squad he inherited. So why are we doing worst under Arteta than we were under Emery? Simple enough question so you should have no difficulty in answering

      1. Phil you notice every time we put up proper facts as to why Arteta is not good enough to be Arsenal manager jon fox avoids answering simply cos he doesn’t have a leg to stand on but is to ignorant to hold up his hands and say he was wrong and would rather just continue ranting on at people who are anti Arteta very sad for a old boy to behave in that manor!!

      2. Phil having just NOW read your several posts on here -referred to on another thread , to which I replied in full to you on there- I will address your question above. Firstly though, when I do not reply to every post you send, as you often accuse me- it is for a combination of circumstances, insufficient time to reply fully to all, a need to keep up with the constant next JA thread which are too many and sometimes because I decide it is pointless replying to what are usually hostile replies which are intent on carrying on a feud which I AM WEARY OF AND WILL NOT CONTINUE.

        I do not agree that we are doing worse under MA than Emery MA has won two trophies and Emery won none. UNLIKE Wengers late years, on which we agree, I do not agree that any newish manager can be sensible judged after so short a time, unless he lost th dreesing room as UE did, mostly through his language problems.

        I preach fan patience and allow for the fact that for both UE and MA, they inherited a weak squad full of rubbish so called defenders who MA has largely got out – more to go, I will agree.
        Our squads worst holes now are,IMO, all bought in Wengers time, Elneny , just a bit player, but the two awful regulars in Bellerin and Xhaka. IF,which we do not have, we had a proper owner who would do thefinancial necessary, I feel sure that UE and MA would have gladly imported better players but he cannot under Kroenke.

        Kroenke is, BTW, the reason that we could not attract such as Allegri, who was MY theoretical choice at the time, instead of MA. But as a normal ordinary supporter of a certain age, I grew up in a world where it was normal to support your club manager,UNTIL like Wenger, he had proved not up to it over a fair period of time.

        Of course, I AM DISAPPOINTED, AS WE ALL ARE, NOT TO BE HIGHER THAN TENTH WITH THIS TEAM, but IMO, many points have been dropped due to individual mistakes and I allow for the fact there is not real money to replace such as Xhaka , the worst long term culprit. Essentially Phil, I REFUSE TO BLAME MA for Kroenes clear neglect.
        Mainly though, our difference is that I firmly belive that it takes more time than many , you included ,are prepared to award MA to turn around a poor and uneven squad which he has improved, even though mere Prem positon, as yet, does not show it.

        I urge all fair minded fans to judge over a longer rime and not to act as some of the hasty very young fans are doing.I remind you andall that some of the players who were not on board with MA are now elsewhere and that things look far better now than they did a year ago and two or three results only that could and should have gone the other way and we would be well in the hunt for fourth place, even with a squad even not as good a Spuds or Chelsea.

        PATIENCE PHIL and if I may pead for a little more mutual civility. I do value your experience, passion and deep knowledge of our club and would far rather converse civilly to someone who, though I have used destructive names to you, I MUCH RESPECT. We are both adults and we must behave as adults.

        1. jon, how much PATIENCE was shown towards Unai Emery, notwithstanding his communications issues.
          Maybe the Club should have given him translator assistance and ordered him to use it. Other overseas managers, like Bielsa use translators. Why wasn’t Emery supported when he took on the player’s clique? Why was he not given the players he wanted?
          Different criteria for different people. Fairness and equity from the “class” Club.

  7. Xhaka always an accident waiting to happen, He’s slow physically, slow mentally..
    He doesn’t get knock, he doesn’t get cramp, he doesn’t get sick, and most of it’s all he doesn’t have the slightest idea on how the benches feel. I’m not sure any other player except Leno has made more appearances than Xhaka for the past 3seasons, that’s miserable..

    I’m just tired.

  8. Fulham is presently leading Liverpool by 1 goal to nothing with 41% possession with 3 goals on target against Liverpool 5. We have no excuse not to beat them in emirate.

    1. They have now beaten them. We have lots of excuses

      @Jon Fox will you please provide the usual excuses you come up with for us, thanks.

      1. Please let Jon before he calls us impatient juvenile . He said Arteta inherited shambles, I don’t want to argue with that but non of the mangers that left that shambles has not had us lose 11. drew 5 in 27 games

  9. How can we trust the PROCESS if we don’t know what the process is? This process talk is only a big smoke-screen to prevent fans from holding the manager responsible.

    1. Unless the process is to take us into the doldrum of mediocrity. If this is the case, then Arteta is the man for the job.

  10. They keep trying to shift blame away from MA to the players. GUESS WHAT ??(As the child JA loves to do ….CAPS) WHO PICKS THE TEAM?? Who decides on the tactics?? Right…the manager.
    99.99% of the footballing world knows Xhaka should not even be in an under 10 squad yet is 1st name on the team sheet. Anyone who understands and has played football can see MA’s stamp on the team, how he gets them to play in a set style and how lost they are when their play doesnt work. Side to side to move 1 yard, rarely drives UNLESS the opp makes a mistake, nil tactics against a parked bus team. Wenger V2 has also stopped his players from shooting and gets them to try to walk the ball in?

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