There are two certainties in life. Organic deodorant will always let you down and Sean Dyche’s Burnley will make you sweat.
The Turf Moor outfit are certainly not the most odious of the North West teams, but they’re not exactly a pleasant day out. If Brexit were a football club, it’d be Burnley, and they’d be telling you that the BT Call Centre should be nearshored.
Patrick Bamford had all sorts of problems when he was there.
‘There was always that stigma because I went to private school’
Dyche thought he was a ponce because he had rich parents.
‘He said that he was fascinated by how hard I worked and that he was so impressed, especially as my dad was a billionaire.’
Bamford is from Newark, his dad a local architect. This was my fave bit.
‘I went home every night wondering how to get in the Burnley team. It was: ‘You’ve been brought up nicely, had everything handed to you’. Is that what people think just because I went to private school and played instruments?’
Imagine judging someone for playing musical instruments?
So very, very Sean Dyche.
We’ll be in for a rough ride tomorrow. The kick-off is early. That doesn’t make a difference to Arsenal, we’ve had a week off, but it might be difficult for them after their heroic point in the week against Leicester.
My hope is that the fresh legs add something to our game. Last time we had a few days off, we absolutely controlled Leeds and spanked them. I want to see that level of control tomorrow.
The thing we’re all looking for is the early goal… it’d be nice to score one, instead of conceding after 16 seconds. It’s an away game, we need to shut up shop, keep it tight, then play into their fatigue as the game goes on.
This is also a huge test of Mikel Arteta’s team when it comes to rotational intellectulus. Yep, I made that term up, but we need to see a line-up that factors winning the Europa League, and being fresh for West Ham and Sp*rs. Really, you’d hope we could go light for Burnley… but you’re messing with momentum. Fuck the Burnley game and it all falls apart.
Trends are looking good for Arsenal. Expected goals for and against are trending in the right direction according to The Athletic.
‘THE ONLY TABLE THAT MATTERS IS THE LEAGUE’, yes, yes, we hear you… but actually, the table wasn’t a good indicator of progress when we were on a 20 game unbeaten run with Emery… the xG table was the one that mattered in the longterm.
Good performances beget good results. Our results have improved, but when we were bad, we were really bad, so you aren’t seeing it in the table yet.
The next few games are hugely important. Win tomorrow and we’re 3 points off Liverpool. Beat Spurs and we’re 2 points behind them. Don’t even think about beating the mighty West Ham, they’re too good, title winners 2022.
Finally, it was nice to see Auba on a fan channel chatting to an Arsenal fan. He was smiling, saying contemporary words like sweg, and having a pretty good time by the looks of things. A far cry from the hostage video he dropped in December. If Auba is happy, everyone is happy, he seems like one of those characters whose moods have an outsized effect on everyone else. When they’re up, everyone is… when they’re down, the whole room is lead boots in the ocean.
On that note, have a great Friday night, see you bright and early for an On-The-Whistle podcast with Johnny and Matt.