Read Alan Alger's latest Three Things We Learned, as the Gooner's must-read columinst analyses the main talking points after Arsenal's 3-1 victory over Burnley at the Emirates on Saturday.
A different kind of Burnley make things easier…
Those Gooners who didn't pay attention to the Burnley revolution in the Championship last season might not have realised how much they try to play football under Vincent Kompany.
That style eventually played into our hands as the superior quality in our ranks shone through. Recent iterations of the Clarets have come to the Emirates just to roughhouse and keep the game tight, Kompany’s men tried to match us - and during the first half and at 1-1 there was a real fear that they might be more effective at nicking a point than Dyche’s more agricultural versions.
If anything it required us to dig in and up our physicality to find another way to beat them. Those of us clamouring for a ‘plan b’ or different way to break teams down will be encouraged by the performance. Leandro Trossard bravely playing the striker role, then two defenders making goal contributions.
It all bodes well as we go into the brutal winter schedule.
Who’d have also thought that it would be Arsenal picking up a red card at home to Burnley, who themselves only picked up one booking in a relatively clean game?
Fans need to complain responsibly…
It was interesting to observe the fans in the stadium and their reaction to decisions yesterday, in the aftermath of the PGMOL controversies at Newcastle last week. Fans around me were clamouring for a foul in the incident leading to Burnley’s goal. They also seemed certain that Fabio Vieira didn’t deserve a red card for his challenge on Josh Brownhill.
I personally believe that referee Michael Oliver got both of these decisions spot on. I’d go as far to say that if we overly complain about a very well officiated game like Saturday then we won’t be doing the team any favours. Much like the statement the club put out last week, there seems to be very little upside.
All supporters caught up in the atmosphere of the game will claim any incident the way of their club, but what I saw yesterday seemed to spill over into whining at the ref in the aftermath and even going so far as to boo Oliver.
We’ve had plenty of justified reasons to moan about decisions in the last few years but this game wasn’t it.
Empty seats don’t help the players…
Another gripe at yesterday’s attendees in the home sections of the stadium - where did everyone go towards the end of the game?
On a Saturday afternoon in late autumn where does anyone need to be so urgently which would make them leave a game around ten minutes early.
Tickets are more sought after than at any time in the Emirates era.
Why would you waste more than 10% of the cost of your ticket by not watching all of the action.
It’s also really important to show appreciation to the players at the end of the game.
A few of those players were trying to raise the atmosphere with fist pumps to the Gooners in the lower tier.
Especially Oleksandr Zinchenko, who incidentally was my man of the match after a tricky period of form. The incredible atmosphere from last season has not been replicated.
Some people have cited the ballot, but let’s keep in mind that it only accounts for about 5% of the total capacity. I’d actually go as far as to say that the increased number of tickets being placed on the ticket exchange has ensured more people are picking up spares there. The demand on season ticket holders to ‘use it or lose it’ means that more are now placing tickets on the exchange rather than leaving them empty for category ‘c’ games like Burnley.
You’d think that would help fill up the crowd, but there seems to be an increased number of day trippers or tourists obtaining these seats.
There’s nothing wrong with this in principal as we look to grow out global fanbase, but those people are unlikely to be making much noise.
We can all do our part by staying till the end and let’s keep singing. It might catch on.