Last gasp action at Turf Moor gives Arsenal three important points and moves us up to third in the table. That is the fifth premiership game in a row that we have won albeit against small clubs but it was important to go into the international break on a high and in the right frame of mind to confidently face the bigger clubs when they arrive in the not too distant future.
Burnley was the first team we have faced this season who unashamedly parked the bus with the obvious intention of trying to get a point from the game or maybe all three if they had been lucky on the break. All this goes out the window, of course, if we score early which with the amount of possession we had looked as though it would be “when” rather than “if”. But that large “if” that was shining brightly in our eyes at the beginning started to get smaller and smaller as the game went on.
Even though, talent wise, Arsenal were head and shoulders better that than Burnley, frustration started to creep in as the breakthrough goal started looking more and more elusive. The result was that Arsenal’s crisp passing of recent games became hurried, quick decision making became ponderous. The two guiltiest were Ozil and Sanchez who by their own high standards were poor in my opinion. Ozil was shooting from awkward angles and from distance which is bizarre to even think about and Sanchez started to give possession away far too cheaply.
In an attempt to improve things Ozil moved out right and Sanchez, wanting to get more of the ball, seemed to move back to the half way line leaving no target man at all. Someone in the box was needed and the call for the number nine that we all envisage Perez to be went from a polite request to a screaming demand. I use the word envisage because in truth none of us know what to actually expect but someone needs to be there; someone needs to be the target for Ozil and Sanchez when the Chilean goes walk about. The reason I say Perez and not Giroud is because Burnley looked as though they could deal with anything that was sent in high which is usually the case with these kind of park the bus teams: Sunderland etc you know the drill but the thing they can’t deal with is quick feet. It’s going to happen, Perez will play an important role this season but it might take a tad longer than we all would have liked.
With a lack of a striker on the bench Wenger sent on Elneny and Oxlade-Chamberlain who both improved our collective push but still things were looking worrying especially as, in the smaller game earlier, spuds had put City to the sword.
All this changed, of course, when deep into added on time and two crucial points seemed to be lost, Sanchez accurately sent over a cross for Theo to flick on to the incoming Oxlade-Chamberlain at the far post; who, with Koscielny managed to bundle the ball over the line with what turned out to be last kick of the game sending the travelling support and others at home into wild celebration. This can be over analysed as to whether we deserved it or not, but really, who gives a monkey’s, we won and that is all that matters.
Back to the other smaller game, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that as things turned out the spud win was a useful result for us. Perfect Pep needed to have some of that wind taken out of his sails, this leaves just spuds as the only unbeaten team in the league and continuing the metaphors I think we all know who has a sharp pin just ready and waiting to burst that little blue and white bubble.