Arsenal 5-0 Burnley – A bientot Monsieur Wenger – Premier League review
It’s the final Wenger home game, which we finished in style. And how….
Burnley was very poor, considering they had the opportunity to beat us to get in the driving seat for sixth place.
But their attacking play was limp, and we were not even in full gear. If we were a car, we would have been in 3rd gear going at 25mph. We didn’t need to do much to get the win. Had we been in full flow, it would have been carnage for the Lancastrians.
That said, the opening few minutes were poor from both teams. We opened the scoring via good work from Bellerin and Lacazette on the right, and PEA poked in with another goal in an impressive half-season from him. Watch out Mr. Salah, and Mr. “I claim all” from Spurs. You have a serious rival for your Golden Boot next season.
The second came from a good play on our right, and Lacazette finished well in the area.
Burnley had a few chances in the first half, but for us, it was plain sailing all along.
The second half followed the same pattern, and Kolasinac scored a thunderous shot after 52’. Iwobi added a fourth and PEA got his brace via some good work from Bellerin.
We’re six points above Burnley now, so maybe we have secured sixth place, for now. It was nonetheless a sound win to end our home season, and our home form is currently only beaten by City.
This was a good performance, and Burnley was unexpectedly weak.
Their attacking threat was non-existent, and they clearly didn’t care (seemingly) about getting above us. They still could as it stands, but we’d have to lose our two games and they’d have to win them by a huge scoreline. It’s possible but unlikely, so we have September-commencing Europa League to look forward to (a 90% chance I’d argue). This would ease the pressure on the new manager, especially in a World Cup year.
As for us, we passed the ball well, and all areas were pretty sound.
The goals were well-taken, and Cech kept a clean sheet to add to his record.
Mavropanos looked very strong and handled their defence well. Chambers too was solid, and Bellerin looked to get forward when required. Kolasinac showed his early season form, and our midfield looked capable.
Xhaka, Ramsey, and Wilshere were all looking to get forward and create, whilst PEA played from the wing again, but managed to get a fine brace. It seems, even though he is leaving readily, that Wenger is deploying him in a near Henry-esque fashion. We all remember that the great striker often cut in from the wing as much as he lurked in the box. This fluidity adds another dimension to our attack, and I’m hoping he and Lacazette can get 50 goals between them. Laca would have had 20 plus goals if not for an injury this season.
Iwobi also looked sharp, though I think the recent criticism has been warranted in spirit, if not over the top given his age and the surrounding managerial situation.
Mkhi was impressive and adds a unique effect in our creative play. Unlike Ozil, he is more direct with the ball and looks to attack players head on. We saw at Old Trafford this effect, and it was evident today too.
I think overall, this signified our home form. We’re comfortable in our surroundings, and it’s only due to our defensive errors away from home.
This was a fine end to our home season, and we can add more cheer for Mr. Wenger by beating Vardy and co. and then our great manager sister club (Huddersfield) from Yorkshire.
Cech – 7
Bellerin – 7
Mavropanos – 8
Chambers – 8
Kolasinac – 8
Iwobi – 7
Xhaka – 7
Wilshere – 7
Mkhi – 7
PEA – 8
Lacazette – 7
Welbeck – 6
Ramsey – 6
Mertesacker – 8 (this isn’t to flatter him as it is his last home game. He did handle their defence well, albeit whilst only on the pitch for a short time).
Wenger’s speech and press conference were very touching, as was the handing to him of the Golden PL Trophy by Wilson and Rice.
I’ve dissed Wenger a lot in my articles. However, I have also praised him, since whilst he warranted criticism, he has also:
- Made Arsenal a global brand
- Made us play arguably the best football in English, nay world, footballing history
- Held a strong hand in giving us world-class facilities, from the stadium to the training ground
- Installed many of our club legends, and made existent club legends better and fitter
- Given our club some of the best games, goals, and players Arsenal, England, Europe, and possibly the world, has ever seen.
We’ve been a banter club of sorts for a few years. But then this is because we don’t have the traits we used to. Other clubs in our vicinity speak of power shifts. Well, the fact we’re the topic de jour on most issues and they are not shows our huger profile. And the effects that our club has had on the general world around us. They only have their Double, which was done long before Poch, or even Levy, was born.
I’d hope that a stand is named after him and that he has a statue built along with the bust currently in the stadium. Wenger joked in his press conference that he’d love to sit in the North Bank in years to come. I’d kill to sit in the same block, let alone the same row, as him as it would be an honour if he ever did it.
He didn’t turn out well in the end, but I will miss him. Just as he said he will miss us…
Man of the match
His brace shows what he can add to us, and Salah needs to watch out next season. Even Kane from our good friends does too. They both have a serious rival to next season’s Golden Boot, and he potentially can get 10 or more goals from just half a season in England.
It was a very emotive day at the stadium, but it was nice to see Herr Mertesacker (aka the BFG) receive recognition.
He has dropped off of late but has been a very consistent player for us at the back. His first season wasn’t stellar, but from 12/13 he forged a strong partnership with Kos, and of course, won the World Cup along with Ozil for Germany. For me though, his two defining moments are his header vs. Spurs in 2012, and schooling Costa in the 2017 FA Cup Final.
Danke Schon, Herr Per. And thanks for the memories. All the best in your new role as academy director.
Special thanks also to Mr. Vik Akers, since he has not only been our kit-man for many years but has also made Arsenal into the definitive force in the women’s game.
And to Ms Alex Scott. Her prettiness matches her footballing ability, and this day for me showed what Arsenal stands for. Class, doing things with decorum and standing out as pioneers and achievers.