The way I see it - Burnley v Arsenal

Last updated : 16 December 2009 By Jason Hogan

Normally on such a weekend the Arsenal always tend to mess up whenever a rival has dropped points. I went into Sunday's game thinking about that on Sunday but at half time it was the last thing on my mind to be honest.

I got a text from my good friend Virginia on Sunday. She was down the pub with her hubby Alan who, curiously enough, has his birthday on the very same day as Arsene Wenger. She asked if I was watching the game. I replied that I was and I would be having serious words with the chaps.

However, that was the understated version because I had murderous intent on my mind. Machetes, meat cleavers and hooks sprang to mind as our players walked in and if I had my way, the Arsenal dressing room would have turned into a human abattoir with pretty nobody being safe.

I wouldn't have demonstrated the relative self control that Wenger apparently did. Such was my anger at the fiasco served up by the Arsenal lads I was prepared to dismember then all. I knew Liverpool would come out all fired up but from us there was absolutely no fight, no application and no positive intent.

I reverted back to my text and angrily punched in my reply, I didn't even add my salutary kiss at the end of it. Sorry, V!

Exasperated, I was still angrily shaking my head as I returned to the front room to watch the second half and I wondered if Wenger was as angry at half time as I was.

Having come out after the break and shown signs of improvement I got my answer. Andy Gray even noticed that there was more intent about us and remarked that Wenger had clearly read them the riot act.

Even so, the goals when they came were very much a surprise. Glen Johnson was a little bit put off by a slight deflection on Nasri's cross to bundle in an unfortunate own goal. And then, Arshavin seized on to an unlikely header from Walcott, swivelled and cracked a shot past Reina who didn't move a muscle. It was that quick a turnaround the whole thing took my by surprise. I hadn't even calmed down from half time yet!

From there we managed to cope with al that was thrown at us and tellingly, Almunia never had to make a single save. And whereas I was listless after our mauling after our game against the Phoney Russian Franchise, I felt becalmed enough to hold my whisky tumbler to the sky in salute and drink in a deep sense of inner satisfaction.

My missus was certainly relieved when conscious of my previous incendiary mood, she tentatively poked her head around the live room door late in the game looked at the score and said with a huge sigh ,"Oh thank God for that!". I suppressed a smile.

When the game was over, I reflected on the fact that I couldn't have been given a better birthday present. And whilst others in other mediums have tried to discredit our victory, the fact is it was absolutely massive for us.

Some people have suggested that beating Liverpool is not quite what it was. Listen, we were considered to be very much in the same boat as them in as much as we were not guaranteed a top four finish any more than they were. So, for us not only to win at Anfield but to come from behind and win at Anfield is massive in the context of things.

We even managed to win ugly. Churlish though it may seem, we really didn't play all that well bet hey, we got a result anyway.

And in any case could you imagine if we had lost? We would have been lucky to have been cast down with the bloody Sodomites, wouldn't we? Some of our critics may have poured scorn on the Arsenal but at least we didn't fail not only in the home banker of the weekend but the home banker of the season against a Wolves side who had not managed back to back wins in the top flight for the thick end of 30 years. For the love of God I didn't wish for my birthday weekend to end!

Now, its time for me to look forward to our trip to Turf Moor where we will face Burnley.

It's become eminently clear to everyone that Owen Coyle's men are going to rely on their home form to keep. Like Stoke (wincing slightly) before them they are without doubt a club that are a different animal away from home. Whilst the Clarets have been invariably the whipping boys away from home, they can boast victories over ManUre at Turf Moor.

Like Stoke's Brittania Sttadium, Turf Morr does generate a hot atmosphere and with us going there under lights it is only likely to be enhanced.

In his day, Coyle was historically a problem for us as an opposing player and he does have one or two performers capable of being the same in his ranks right now, Robbie Blake is an experienced player who has been through more clubs than Nick Faldo. He is very sharp, tricky and in spite of his advancing years, extremely nippy.

David Nugent has a new leas of life after his indifferent spell at Pompey and Chris Eagles seems to have found a home for himself there. But in my view, the lad who is their main danger is Wade Elliott. For me his rise to being a Premier League is a long time in coming. I have always had a regard for his impish ways and goal scoring ability and I believe if he plays well, the Burnley team play well.

Burnley's Carling Cup win against is permanently tattooed in annals of history. They won that day purely because they took their chances and we failed to take ours. There is a danger of this game being after the Lord Mayors Show but we certainly cannot afford a repeat of that performance.

Lets hope that we can make sure the win at Anfield really counts for something here because this is the sort of banana skin we should look to avoid.