Tag Archives: Burnley

(Not quite) Burnley Away

Turf Moor is one of only 3 current Premier League grounds I have yet visited – the other two being Molineux Stadium and the new White Hart Lane stadium.

Burnley away has been one of those fixtures I seem destined to never go to.

Since their returned to the Premier League for the 2014/15, every trip up to the North West has been a Sunday kick off bar one.

From late kick offs with no trains home, to lunch time kick offs with no trains at all due to engineering works, it is a game I have always struggled with.

Today is no different with it being a 4 hour train journey changing at Preston.

I did attempt to once back in 2015 – the only time we have played them away on a Saturday.

For whatever reason we decided to shun the train and hire a mini bus to the game. I can not remember why; I do not think it was due to trains. It would be the first and last time we got a mini bus to a game.

There were 8 of us, plus the driver. We met in Walthamstow at whatever time, with bags of beer, brandy and tunes ready for the 5 hour trip.

On the way to the game, the driver was telling us how he had just had the mini bus services. In tip-top condition it was. Clean, tidy. 14 seater for 9 of us. Plenty of room to spread out. And then it happened.

Just outside of Coventry, the driver pulled over.

“Sorry lads, don’t know what happened” he said “don’t worry though, I am with the AA”.

As you all should when you have broken down on the motorway, we all got of the mini bus and onto the verge. The field next to us was filled with cows and it stank.

Time went by and the driver was still on the phone to the AA. He eventually came over “sorry lads, I only have cover for 8 people, they will not come out and pick us up”. Great.

Eventually (I imagine the driver paid to upgrade his membership) the AA appeared and towed us into Coventry. It was nearly kick off time, we had been standing by the motorway for about 3 hours and we were 130+ miles from Burnley. Hope of getting to the game was long gone.

At this point we started looking for train times back to London. We had no clue how long it would take the mini bus to be repaired.

Instead of heading straight back to London, we decided to find a boozer to at least watch the game in. We wandered into the Tudor Rose.

“Alright lads, you lost” said one local as 8 annoyed Londoners walked in. We explained the situation.

Watching the game, one of my pals pointed out the name of Burnley’s stand…

Mini bus sales? Were they taking the piss?

90 minutes later, Arsenal had won 1-0, Aaron Ramsey scoring in the 12th minute. We were well on our way to getting smashed and the mini bus driver called.

“Lads, the bus is fixed, let me know when you want to go back to London”.

Quick stop for some food on the way to the bus and it was time to start the 100 mile trip back home.

Driver dropped us off at O’Neills in Kings Cross where we continued drinking until we could drink no more.

In our attempt to get to Burnley we had not even made it half way. But it was still a top away day.

Arsenal have never lost at Burnley in the Premier League – 5 games and counting. I am not making the trip today. Hopefully my run of not going Burnley and Arsenal continues.


Match Report: Arsenal 3 – 1 Burnley

Arsenal (1) 3 Burnley (0) 1
Premier League
Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park, London N5 1BU
Saturday, 22nd December 2018. Kick-off time: 12.30pm
(4-2-3-1) Leno: Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Monreal, Kolašinac; Elneny, Xhaka; Guendouzi, Özil, Aubameyang; Lacazette,
Substitutes: Čech, Lichtsteiner, Ramsey, Torreira, Iwobi, Nketiah, Saka
Scorers: Aubameyang, Iwobi
Yellow Cards: Sokratis, Guendouzi
Referee: Kevin Friend
Attendance: 59,493
Burnley are one of those seemingly forgotten Lancashire clubs that have fallen from grace a while ago, but there was a time of course, when they were considered to be one of the top sides in the old First Division, and Turf Moor was always a tough place to go to try obtain a result. In fact, one of our most famous matches was played against them at The Old Place on Friday 1st May 1953 when our 3-2 victory not only saw us win our seventh League Championship in sixteen peace-time seasons over title rivals Preston North End, but we also did it by one of the closest margins of all time; under the old goal average system, we became champions by 0.009 of a goal – 1.516 against PNE’s 1.417! Ironically, Preston North End beat us by two clear goals the week before; had they beaten us by just one more goal, it would have been them, and not us who would have been champions. A very close run thing indeed.

This match was a physically tough affair with absolutely no quarter given nor taken, as today, we desperately needed a result here at The Emirates not only consign the last two results to the dustbin of history, but to give ourselves a massive confidence boost to get through the maelstrom of the often oh-so-difficult Christmas league programme. The first goal of the match came within the first quarter of an hour, with our captain of the day Mesut Özil, orchestrating proceedings in his first full start for us since early November. A slick pass incising the Burnley defence found Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (viaSead Kolašinac), who wasted no time in introducing the match ball to the back of the The Clarets’ net by way of a well-taken volley. Being one-up so early in the game, this now gave everyone confidence to score more goals; despite some very wild physical tackles we assumed our dominance by half-time. The only bad issue to report from the business in the first half was an injury to Nacho Monreal, less than ten minutes before the break; he was replaced by the experienced Stephan Lichtsteiner, and in doing so, Mr. Emery changed the formation of the team, which changed the flow of the game.
Amazingly, this was the first occasion this season that we led at the break, and within minutes of the restart we reopened our account professionally and cleanly. After a bit of a mix-up in our defence, the ball found its way to Matteo Guendouzi, who in a blink of eye distributed it to Sead Kolašinac; looking up, he could see movement from our forwards, so he slotted it nicely to Alexandre Lacazette who delivered the opportunity to score on a plate to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He composed himself well, and made no mistake in putting Arsenal two up, despite the ball taking an unfortunate deflection past the Burnley goalkeeper. The visitors, to be fair, did not even blink an eyelid and came at Arsenal with vigour and agression. They grabbed a goal back just after the hour and for the rest of match, it was looking rather like Burnley would steal an equaliser at some point. It was indeed fortunate that Mr. Emery had already substituted Mohamed Elneny for Lucas Torreira as his dogged and determined style of play enabled us to neutralise the visitors’ threats. The coup de grâce came in the 91st minute when Alex Iwobi scored from close range to put the match beyound any reasonable doubt. Maybe the nasty undercurrent mood of the match spilled over at the end when it appeared that the two managers exchanged angry words with each other near the players’ tunnel, but it all appeared to be a Yuletide storm in a December teacup that disappeared into nothing.
Overall, we should be both pleased and relieved that this match is over; after the disappointment of the previous two games, we desperately needed to get back on track with a good win to keep up the with the top four Champions League places, and now that we have, the team can march on to the clash with Brighton on St. Stephen’s Day with renewed confidence. Of course, it all depends on results around us, but at this moment in time, Arsenal showed beyond doubt that skill and teamwork can overcome all issues. Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as these early days are going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Victoria Concordia Crescit.


Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten: Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris 1930-1962 by Steve Ingless (Rangemore Publications, ISBN 978-1-5272-0135-4) is now available on Amazon.

Burnley caps off brilliant week for Arsenal

If Carlsberg did great weeks and all that…

It started the Saturday before last. An early kick off against that lot up the road. It was supposed to be a game where Spurs cement themselves as the premiere club in North London. Show that the power shift is real. That despite the lack of trophies, they are top dogs.

Arsenal played them off the park. Destroyed Spurs. And showed that North London is red. And the drink up in the afternoon and evening was incredible.

Roll on to Sunday, and whilst we were all nursing hangovers and what-not, the world of Arsenal Twitter was exploding with #TeaGate as journalists up and down the country who make a living by winding up fans for hits got wound up themselves. How did this happen? Arsenal posted a GIF of Mesut Ozil drinking a cup of tea.

The fall out was hilarious as journalists who make a career winding up Arsenal fans then denied that they had ever written an article intended to wind up.

It ended with a lot of journalists realising that they were not as popular as they thought.

On Wednesday morning, we all set off to cologne for what ended up an epic trip.

Despite Arsenal’s defeat, a great time was had by all. 3 days on the beer in cold, wet Germany. It was one of those where you only understand how great it was if you were there.

To prove that the result was secondary, despite Arsenal losing, we still managed to secure top spot in the group with a game to go.

In the Europa League, it is all about qualifying using as little energy as possible. Arsenal got through with two games to go and secured top place with a game to go, all whilst barely using a single first team player.

Over the years, the Europa League has proved a thorn in the side of many teams as they historically struggle at the weekend fixtures. Arsenal have won 3 of the 5 weekend fixtures, and drawn away to Chelsea. The sole defeat being against Manchester City.

I am still recovering now…

And then we move on to Saturday. Spurs drop points. Liverpool drop points. Chelsea drop points. Arsenal set to play Sunday with a chance to get above Liverpool and Spurs and a single point behind Chelsea.

A dull, turgid game up North. Cold and wet. We struggled. The game petering out to a draw, Aaron Ramsey gets pushed over in the penalty area. Penalty. Goal. 92nd minute.

Is there anything better in football than an injury time winner? What a great way to beat the horrible lot from up North.

It was the 3rd time in a row that we had beaten thuggish Burnley with a last minute winner.

October 2016, it was a 92nd minute Laurent Koscielny winner to break the hearts of Burnley fans. 3 months on, Alexis Sanchez hit a 98th minute penalty, having seen Burnley score their own debatable penalty to equalise in the 93rd minute.

And then we come to yesterday, another penalty from Sanchez, this time in the 92nd minute. How Burnley must hat injury time against The Arsenal.

Maybe if their players, big tough guys like Ashley Barnes, did not spend the game throwing themselves to the floor at every opportunity, feigning injury, then there would not be as much injury time?

To top it off, #twitterclarets on Twitter made it an entertaining end to a great week.

Seeing those Burnley fans cry their salty tears over losing to Arsenal once more in injury time was the cherry on the cake.

And to top it all off, we end the weekend above Spurs.