Arsenal 3 Burnley 1 – Player Ratings

Before the game

Superb fun on the 8:45 from Nottingham. A complimentary full English included in the price of a first class ticket. Our only dilemma was how to fit in the three accompanying beers. Once in London, beers in the World’s End, Finsbury Park with LBG and two hip flasks of surgical spirit, plus a lovely discussion about a match photo on the pub wall, all preceded meeting up with the ticket fairy outside entrance F.

We all knew how Dyche would set up his team to maximise the chance of sneaking something with the bang average players he has at his disposal – kick the opposition and hope for a goal at a set-piece.

First half

Harum scarum start to the game. Could have been goals at either end in the first couple of minutes. Eventually the footballing side shone through and deservedly took the lead when Auba scored. Mesut’s through ball to Kola was mind-bending; such vision in a crowded penalty area. No-one else in the Premier could have played that pass. One nil to the Arsenal. Burnley’s 354 away fans were distraught.

Second half

Arsenal should have been sailing gently down the three points river after Auba doubled his tally with a classy pile-driver high into the net at Hart’s near post.

Instead we let the Neanderthals back into the game with a series of dreadful attempts at clearances from a dead ball. A Dyche team scoring from a dead ball – who would have thought it?

At this point I could see two eventualities 4-1 or 2-2. Luckily Wobbly popped up with the winner when played onside by the Burnley right back. His goal-bound effort was close enough to the goal not to sail over the bar!

get your head over it, lad

The fourth was not forthcoming, so we had to be content with just 3-1 and three lovely points. 🙂


A worthy three points against a team of cloggers. Shame Mesut didn’t play as defensive midfielder! 😊


Leno – Sound performance … 7

Maitland-Niles – lackadaisical and no threat going forward … 5

Sokratis – MOTM – a Greek Tony Adams – stood up to Barnes who could have been sent off twice – Auba calls him ‘Papa’, sounds good to me … 9

Monreal – solid but bandy legs caused another injury … 6

Kolasinac – not much to do defensively which played to his strong suit – some majestic power challenges … 7

Xhaka – where was he playing? – was he good or bad? You decide … 7

Elneny – Bang average – Animal from the Muppets – how bad is it when you only get picked when the Terrier needs a rest and even then you can’t last 90 mins without being subbed?… 5

Guendouzi – not one of his best – needs a haircut … 6

Ozil – masterminded Burnley’s downfall, pass for the first goal was world class – run for the third mesmeric … 8

Aubameyang – does what it says on the tin … 8

Lacazette – sparky and full of spunk, needs a goal but instrumental in the crucial second … 7


Lichtsteiner – not the best passer but he wasn’t signed for his sweet passing – a great squad player … 7

Iwobi – did very little – apart from seal the victory … 6

Torreira – shouldn’t have been needed for Burnley … 6


Emery – tricky day for him with so many out, but did a fair job at juggling his resources … 7

Dyche – like some hideous reincarnation of all of Alex Ferguson’s worst traits. Comments after the game ridiculously laughable … 2



45 Responses to Arsenal 3 Burnley 1 – Player Ratings

  1. Gööner In Exile says:

    Thanks for that Chas, didn’t see the game as a result of doing the traditional London Christmas trip with the family. Always a great day out, this time we did Soith Bank Christmas market, London Eye, plus Covent Garden and abrief look at Tower Of London and Tower Bridge.

    Glad Mesut played and affected the game, and happy to get 3 points, watched some of the highlights last. IHT, seemed like we were at it for the fight last night so I assume Me Emery chucked a few rockets their way after the Spud game.

    If only my train journey to London was as enjoyable:

    Find table of four unreserved, perfect.

    Lady gets on at Diss looking for her seats with two kids

    Her: “I think you are in our seats”
    Me: “well sorry there was no reserved on our seats”
    Shows me ticket and sure enough coach F and the seats we were I .
    Me: “ok we will move”
    As we are moving she is being quite rude which I tell her. She denies this.

    Go to sit at another seat and see that the reservation tickets on our carriage all say G.

    Look down train and realise there are two coach Fs. Go back to the lady (who denied being rude), explain what has happened.

    Her : “well we are sitting here now, and it says F up there”.

    I send Mrs Exile to next carriage, she comes back good news they are definitely reserved I. the next carriage.

    Her : “well we are sitting here now”

    Me : “proving as I said earlier that you are a very rude impolite person setting a terrible example to your kids”

    Her : “ I think your rude”

    How I did not turn in to the worst bit of my Dad and lose my shit I do not know.

  2. chas says:

    As long as it didn’t spoil all of your day, GIE, that’s all that matters.

    I bet G & H loved their trip to the big city – I certainly enjoyed mine.

  3. LBG says:

    Thanks Chas. Spot on for me!
    “It wasn’t Denis Law, it was Brian Kidd”. Thank God for Mesut Ozil! No…Thank Mesut for himself!
    GIE sounds like a “stupid woman” to me. So many around.
    A happy and peaceful Crimbles to all AAers. May “Mesut” shine on us this Christmas (particularly at Brighton) and never go in for a 50:50 again!

  4. chas says:

  5. Gööner In Exile says:

    Indeed it didn’t Chas, we did look for tickets but left it a bit late to get 4 together, and until H has buying rights it’s a little tricky.

    Although just asked G what his best bit of day was and he said eating candy floss, oh well, worth all the effort!! 🙂

  6. Rasp says:

    Great work chas, a fine win and thank goodness we didn’t cave in to the physical dirty tricks …. Burnley are the new Stoke.

    I’ll ignore the sarcasm re Mesut and remind the perpetrators that for the previous two games I had said that we have missed Mesut’s creativity in the attacking third …. he was excellent yesterday, pure class.

  7. LBG says:

    They call me “The last word perpetrator”, Rasp! But I bet you can beat me!

  8. LB says:

    Top read Chas

    Love the Greek Tony Adams comment — so True, oooh did he lay into Xhaka when the free kick went wrong and they almost scored close to the end.

    And how he layed into Torreira for not clearing when they did.

    Turning into another really good buy for team Emery.

  9. Rasp says:

    It’s not a case of trying to beat anyone LBG, Just not twisting the words of others and accepting those with a differing opinion. All I have sought to do is to try to understand what the manager is thinking. It is clear to me now that there is no first name on the team sheet, he obviously believes in the squad rotation, and picking the best side for any given opposition, which in my humble opinion is a breath of fresh air.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Rasp/LBG 😀 😀 😀

  11. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Thank you for a fine match report. Good call on the Greek Fella for MotM.

    I thought Kolasinac had his best game for ages, finding form at an important time as yet another defender succumbs to injury (Monreal)

    Hard to criticise AMN as it was difficult to identify his role. Elneny showed his rustiness and how far behind Douzi he is. Why Ramsey wasn’t picked must be political, he is a better player than either in that role.

    Refereeing was dreadul – once again.

  12. chas says:

    When writing the report on the train, I was asking Ants for his ratings. They’re his really and Papa was his choice for MOTM.

    I was thinking about the Eskimos having 45 different words to describe snow – I think we need 45 different words to describe how crap referees are. 😁

  13. LB says:

    I think lackadaisical is a good word to use for AM-N; he is unnecessarily sloppy at times and as such I expect that Emery, in the hope of house training him, will rub his nose in those poor passes by way of forcing him to have to watch them over and over.

    Going forward, I thought he got better and better as the game went on, although, that’s not to say that I thought that he was anything above satisfactory in that department. It’s just that I get the feeling that when he approaches the box he is still holding a lot back through fear of making a mistake and getting castigated for it.

    My suggested solution is that he needs to get in touch with his inner Alexis Sanchez; a player who lost possession more than any other but would equally score or create a disproportionate amount of goals.

  14. Big Raddy says:

    Being an Eskimo myself, I can tell you that’s apocryphal, like saying the English have 45 different words for rain, but agree with the principle. This current crop are crap

    As you were watching live you wouldn’t have seen how angry Laca zette was at being subbed, he was furious.

  15. chas says:

  16. chas says:

    I was pretty surprised when Laca was subbed.

    I like the fact that he’s pissed at being taken off, but it can’t cross the boundary where the manager appears to have lost the respect of any individual player.

  17. RA says:

    Well done chasser.

    The result was great the performance was a bit so-so.

  18. RA says:


    I am glad you had a great day out, and can I say that your dealing with the Train Incident was part of that.

    You handled it very well, even if it made you angry, a good dad does that so as not to spoil what turned out to be a super day to for the Mrs and Kids.

    Hat off to you! 👌

  19. chas says:

  20. RA says:

    Morning Rasper,

    You are balanced and clear in your comments, and I wish I could be the same.

    For the record, I love Mesut too, but he can be a bit of a Was on occasions as well. [I expect we all can be, on our off days] 😁

  21. Big Raddy says:

    chas 😦 😦

    My Eskimo rep is trashed

  22. chas says:

    Anyone that can eat pickled seal flipper has my utmost respect for all time.

  23. LB says:

    Before Monreal went off I was fascinated to watch how the back line was set up and operating. Xhaka was part of it one moment and then part of the midfield the next.

    I am trying to think of a comparison and all I can come up with is the image of a expanding and contracting lung.

    Xhaka was part of a back three one moment with Monreal and Big Sok on each side of him and then when he moved forward into the midfield which he had clearly been told to do, Monreal and Big Sok would move closer together to fill the gap.

    It worked really well, especially as we then had Xhaka in the midfield where he is obviously so much more effective. Unfortunately when Monreal went off Xhaka was forced to move back and his wayward passes, of which there are still many, are an even greater concern maybe because they are closer to our goal and as such there seems to be a greater threat of the opposition scoring from one of them.

    Difficult to get too frustrated with his as he is doing a stand in job most of the time.

  24. Malaysian Gunner says:

    The defence as usual went awol when Burnley scored. I believe the defenders are ordered to keep possession even in dangerous areas like the box.This is the 2nd time a goal is conceded in similar circumstances.
    Why not kick the ball far away when it is in such areas.Its better to concede possession than a goal . Liverpool are looming and sooner or later their winning run has to stop .
    Why not the gunners do it?When we have all our defenders back it could be a different game. We shd have won the game at OT.

  25. Red Arnie says:

    Wonderful match report, Chas (and Ant). 🙂

    Many wonderful descriptions, Greek Tony Adams et al., but my fav is: “Wobbly’s … goal-bound effort was close enough to the goal not to sail over the bar!”

    By an large, I agree with Ant’s ratings, but with just a little bit of alternate view.

    Ozil was my MOTM, just for being only second to God, and for being a capable leader in a difficult game. He led from the front. So he would get a 8.5, a half mark deducted for the mis-pass from our box, which Elneny had to clear for his only important contribution of the game.

    Ozil followed closely by the Greek philosopher, Kola and Auba. I think LB mentioned Kola had one of his best ever games. I agree.

    I wish Kos could have clocked a few more minutes.

  26. GunnerN5 says:

    Super report by the Vines, but I missed the usual pictures of your gourmet travel feast.

    When Burnley scored my first thought was – here we go again! – but they managed to pull it together to get the points.

  27. Rasp says:

    Sokratis was immense yesterday as chas says and worthy of his 9 … I understand Mavropanos is back in training .. how long will it be before we see a greek dominated back line. I think Mislintat (sp?) was responsible for signing Mavro … I really liked what I saw of him last season, I hope we get to see him in the FA Cup game.

  28. RA says:

    App oll o gees to Chas and Ant.

    I sailed straight in with my comments, without saying how good both the summary and the ratings were.

    So here goes:

    Both the summary and the ratings were very good. 😜

  29. RA says:

    So where is the cycling-diving-cat loving magician, otherwise known as ‘Magic Micky’ then?

  30. fred1266 says:

    Get in Walcott

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    RA, I think that Micky must have gone and “did it”.

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Pickford isn’t very good, that is 3 through his legs. Everton must be very unhappy with another dodgy referee and linesman. Sooner we get VAR the better

  33. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the write up, but I differ with the Elneny ratings and Tor, and Tor is one of my favorites.
    When Mon went out, and Tor came on, the entire midfield went to garbage. The Arsenal could not get the ball back to save their lives. Eleny was the conduit to a tighter midfield, and allowed Xhaka to be able to do what he does best, albeit Elneny got caught on the ball a few times.

    The passing from the back, on the left, in the first half, worked as the outlet, and monster, Sead, was there to collect and move forward with pace. On the right side it does not work with LIch, might work with Bell and AMN. AMN just looks casual, but it is deceiving as he moves the ball around well and moves defenders out of position. You know who else does that? Yup, Mesut, he just looks casual, but that is because his football brain is like an AI chess computer.

    Gladly take the 3 point and continue to build some momentum going forward. Need all the points we can get (And Defenders) as another team keeps winning. But, as I said before, if the Arsenal can beat them 2X this season in league, and win EL than you can call me pleased.

  34. LB says:

    Slightly disagree with you there Aaron about Elneny.

    The reason you give for him doing well is that he was a conduit for a tighter midfield allowing Xhaka to do what he does best.

    This is true up to a point; the fact is though, Xhaka can do what he does best and then some when he starts with Torreira next to him.

    The reason the midfield went to pot was due to Monreal’s injury Xhaka had to move back into defence which left Guendouzi and Elneny alone there and the upshot of that was that all of Elneny’s weaknesses were embarrassingly exposed.

    The only solution was to bring on Torreira.

    When Monreal left, we converted to a clear back three:

    ——Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Xhaka

    —-AM-N, Elneny, Guendouzi, Kolasinac



  35. Aaron says:

    Very good points!
    We all know Xhaka at left back does not work-period.
    Tor was sick, and looked it.
    Emery did not have anyone else to play there according to the team he selected.
    He surely better add another defender to the next game or the team will be compromised seriously.

  36. VP of Oz says:

    another great post, thank you

  37. LB says:


    Koscielny will start against Brighton.

  38. Aaron says:

    If Kos goes out injured, which is possibility, he has to add another defender to the bench, so Xhaka is not playing CB, LB WB or any other position Emery wants to play him in other than his correct position.

  39. chas says:

    As tomorrow is Christmas Day, I thought it was a good idea to have GN5’s pre pre-match for Boxing Day today.


  40. LBG says:

    Alan “wanker”Smith’s report in the Times this morning has now been toned down in description of the Burnley tactics – “robust team”, “directness”, “combative”. Instead he spends the whole article reminding his readers of Mesut’s ” torpid approach”, despite one or two pieces of “ingenuity”.
    (I apologise to all wankers in the World, since a comparison with Smith, is an insult to you!)
    So why read the idiot, you may say? (Chas will be saying it anyway). Well on a rare occasion you get something from reading idiots of interest.
    “(As captain) Ozil is never going to be one to bark orders at team mates but Kolasinac did reveal that he prefers to speak to his team mates individually before the game, rather than deliver a collective team talk.
    Mesut is not the sort of guy who is going to stand there and scream at you all on the pitch or anything like that, Kolasinac said. He does things differently. He’ll say a couple of things before the game in the dressing room, and then go up to every individual player rather than speaking to everyone.”

    Thanks Wardrobe. Thank God for different approaches for different folks.

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