Maybe Rio’s Right! Burnley Might Beat Arsenal And It Wouldn’t Be Surprising To See Them Do So
Former England and Manchester United defender turned pundit Rio Ferdinand believes inconsistent Arsenal will follow their impressive victory over Tottenham with a defeat at Burnley next week.
Goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez helped Arsene Wenger’s side claim the North London bragging rights with their first Premier League victory over Spurs in seven meetings but Ferdinand believes Arsenal’s bubble will soon burst with a trip to Turf Moor on the horizon.
“I’ll back Burnley to win [Sunday’s] game they’re in good form it’s a hard place to go and you don’t know what you’re going to get out of Arsenal,” Ferdinand told BT Sport (h/t Metro).
“This isn’t about Mesut Ozil this is about the Arsenal team. The way they played today to a man.
“The pressing the intensity of their game today. But you watch them play 10 games you might get that three or four times and the other five or six it’s not the same.
“At the top of the game when the margins are so small you can’t afford to take your foot off the gas,” he added.
At Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Arsenal looked every inch like a title-challenging team as they outplayed and beat Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham. Yet, despite the morale-boosting victory, there is a notion that the Gunners will falter at Burnley.
Arsenal dominated the entire game. They pressed Spurs and made them surrender, counter-attacked with the front three of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette, and played with a different swagger and confidence that left their opponents shell-shocked. It was a display worthy of the words that are seldom used in order to admire Wenger’s men this season.
However, there is a harsh reality to consider here. If Arsenal played like this week in, week out, then they could be proclaimed as title challengers, which, in reality, they are not. Therefore, Ferdinand’s suggestion that Burnley would win next weekend shows no disregard to the Londoners in retrospect of their consistency levels in recent years. In fact, his bold prediction on the Clarets winning against Arsenal shows how far Burnley have come. There is a need to respect Sean Dyche for his work this campaign.
Burnley have punched above their weight so far this season, winning their season opener against champions Chelsea, while eking out impressive draws against Spurs and Liverpool. After 12 games, no one would have imagined Dyche’s side in the top-half of the table, given their abysmal away form last season. But the reality is that not only have Burnley performed surprisingly well away from home this season, they have maintained consistency at Turf Moor and are level with Arsenal on 22 points.
At Turf Moor, their only loss has come against strugglers West Brom, who officially parted ways with manager Tony Pulis earlier in the day, following a damaging 4-0 defeat at home to Chelsea. In fact, in their 5 home games after the West Brom loss, Burnley have only conceded one solitary goal.
This makes Burnley a difficult side to beat and Arsenal just cannot afford to take them lightly. It will be a completely different challenge for Wenger’s side to disrupt a disciplined, diligent and expansive Burnley side.
With the much-needed win against Spurs, Arsenal have lifted the mood of their fans to a certain extent but it still does not increase the confidence that they will be in the title mix soon. What needs to follow for the club after the incredible North London derby win is a string of positive results.
But knowing that Burnley are rolling and Arsenal’s away form is awful, a defeat for Wenger would come as a disappointment for fans but not as a surprise.