It was one of those typical Arsenal displays yesterday… after a win against Liverpool on Sunday, it would have been awesome to follow this up with a win against Burnley. But with a lack of first team alternatives due to injury and the general size of the squad and the intensity of the game against Liverpool, it was always going to be a hard one. I had a feeling before the weekend that no matter what the result against Liverpool, we wouldn’t get all three points at Burnley, so in one way, I’ve got to look at 4 out of 6 points as a positive tally of points considering the two games in quick succession.
The game was in all honesty only worth a point for us. We didn’t play well enough to deserve all three points and to be honest, Burnley is such a tough place to go to. Without the likes of Van Persie in our squad and with all other attackers (Vela, Eduardo, Walcott, Diaby) severely laking match practice or a little bit jaded (Arshavin, Cesc) or still injured (Bendtner, Rosicky)… it is absolutely understandable why the XI that was named was named and also understandable how we weren’t firing on all cylinders. Yes, I would have loved the win, but this season will be all about the long run. I do expect teams to drop points. Chelsea drew one and won one of their last two games, both at home – both of ours were away. So if we can win our home games, then we will have a chance to close the gap in the near future.
Of course, the major issue from yesterday’s game was the injury to Cesc, a slight hamstring injury. The problem is how we play without Cesc, and normally if the captain is missing, it does take us a few games to get into the stride. We can survive without Cesc but of course, with him, we do play better. The captain scored his tenth game of the season and that’s a decent amount considering we’re not even half way through yet.
Arsene on Cesc
“Cesc had a scan today,” said the manager. “We have not had the result yet. The only thing that is sure is that he will not play on Saturday. Beyond that, it all depends on the scan. Is it a tightness that just presents a small risk on Saturday or is it a slight strain – grade one or two? We’ll know that later. If it is a tear it is a small one and the maximum would be ten days. So it is not long-term.”
10 days means his misses the game against Villa on the 27th of December and that will be a tough game, but before that we have Hull, so next game first in my eyes.
We now follow the double header away game with two home games and a mid week break, firstly we take on Hull at the Emirates, a game in which I can see no other outcome than a victory. A home game against an unfancied side? Okay, okay, yes, I am taking the biscuit, this was a game we lost last season, so it’s not going to be a home banker unless we play at the correct level. With Cesc injured, I’d expect to see Diaby join Denilson (who returns this weekend) and Song in the middle, although, I would honestly prefer to see Ramsey play as he has been really impressive this season.
Okay, I’ll cut this one short for now… tomorrow’s blog is all about he Champions League.