Burnley/Sit Down, Shut Up!

I won’t say too much about about Aaron Ramsey’s injury today. Just about everything that can be said has been already. It’s time to look forward now without forgetting the lessons of this injury and the previous ones to Abou Diaby and Eduardo. Let’s all hope that the most optimistic medical predictions are true and that Aaron will be fit for selection by this coming September.
I hope that our reaction to yet another major injury set-back is to take our game to the next level tactically and psychologically. The reaction post Ramsey’s injury at the Britannia Stadium was VERY encouraging. Before he got crocked we were starting to take control of the game in the second half having got back to level terms via the head of Nicklas Bendtner. All round it was a good term performance after a wobbly start and conceding yet another soft goal. The soft goals we really have to cut out, lively. Too many more of those and we’ll be the bridesmaids yet again. I’ve no wish to be a doom-monger but cutting out the schoolboy errors is essential.
On the other hand, I’m hoping that last Saturday in the Potteries will be a positive watershed when we look back on this season. There’s grounds for thinking it will be. We still face difficult away trips to St Andrew’s and especially White Hart Lane. Spurs are ever anxious to rain on our parade. The pundits are all saying we have the easiest run-in on paper. As I’ve said before though, the game is played on grass, not paper.
I go back to a regular mantra of mine from last season (for all the good it ended up doing!) – one at a time. We need for forget about any game but the next one and any performance other than our own. Yes, we need both Chelsea and United to slip up again if we’re to have a chance of winning the League. We can’t control that however. We are in charge of our own performances. Burnley is a club I’ve always had respect for since I was a kid. I can’t same the same for some of their fans unfortunately but we’re all cursed with some fans we’d rather not have, some clubs more than others.  They always played football when I was a kid under their manager Harry Potts. They also produced a stream of excellent players. I’d like to see them stay up.
None of that stops me wanting us to give them an absolute belting on Saturday. The first priority however is the three points. Then putting in as many goals as possible whilst not slinging away silly scores to the opposition. We need to assert our authority and superior technical ability. We showed on Saturday pre and post the Ramsey injury that we can earn the right to play our game my matching the opposition’s physical commitment and work-rate. That’s what we need again against the Lancastrians. Sol Campbell will probably be demoted to the bench again on Saturday is William Gallas is fit for selection. Aside from playing very well against Stoke his leadership on the pitch was a significant contributing factor to our win and not giving away any real scoring chances after the first goal we conceded. During the 2003/4 Invincibles period which included our last League trophy Campbell could be heard constantly intoning the mantra, “Together! Together!”. Too right. That’s what we need. It isn’t all about being up for it however. We need mental toughness and tactical brains as well as heart, as essential as the latter is. If Campbell continues to exercise his influence not only on the park but in the dressing room and training ground he could turn out to have been an Arsčne Wenger master-stroke. I hope so.
Turning to another issue, tomorrow night sees a debate on the treatment of football fans by the police and stewards organised by the Football Supporters’ Federation (of which many individual Gooners are members, as well as having Arsenal Independent Supporters’ Association and Arsenal Football Supporters’ Club as affiliates). The debate will be chaired by Tony Evans, football editor of The Times and the panel will include the Arsenal police match commander and a representative of the Crown Prosecution Service. The debate is entitled Sit Down, Shut Up! Are football fans discriminated against?
Proceedings kick off at 7.00pm at the Vibe Bar, Old Truman Brewery at 91-95 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL. The nearest Underground stations are Liverpool Street (Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines and suburban trains) and Aldgate East (Hammersmith & City line).  Remember the Metropolitan line is suspended between Moorgate and Aldgate this week so you can’t get to Liverpool Street on that line. Buses 8 and 388 stop nearby on the corner of Brick Lane and Bethnal Green Road. The venue and both Underground stations are in Fare Zone 1.  Parking isn’t easy to find but street parking is free after 6.30pm. Brick Lane is just outside the Central London Congestion Charge zone but only by about three blocks. If you enter the zone before 6.00pm in a car it’ll cost you £8.
Keep the faith!

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know