Those that have been to Turf Moor will know that on one corner of the stadium is a cricket ground. It’s one that I’ve frequented often and has always proved to be a good place to enjoy some pre-match pints and banter with friends. It’s moments like this that have caused the real pangs this season. Hopefully, should Burnley survive we’ll be able to return to that haunt next season enjoying football as it should be. Anyway I’m not going to get all sentimental and bang on about it, I will of course still be enjoying some pre-match pints at least!
On the face of it, our record at Turf Moor is pretty impressive having not lost there since Dec 2008 and not lost there in the league since the old First Division days back in 1974. But when you look at them in more detail, aside from our visit under Emery in May of 2019, we’ve hardly played them off the park. In 2016 Koscielny scored a last minute offside, handball goal to take all three points. A year later we needed an extra time Sanchez penalty to get the win. Whatever you think of Burnley and their way of playing “football” they know how to make things difficult for us.
On paper it looks like Mikel Arteta seems to have one of those so called “good problems” this week. We have a fully rested squad and Burnley only played on Wednesday night. But looking forward we have a now crucial trip to Athens (AGAIN!) on Thursday followed by the return leg at the Emirates a week later. Sandwiched in-between those is the small matter of Sp*rs at home…
I’m not going to begin to try and guess what sort of side Mikel Arteta will play, there are enough armchair managers out there and I’m not gonna add myself to that list. But what is clear is that rotation will be absolutely key in the coming weeks. Managing the squad and not just the team is one of the most important aspects of being a football manager and I have faith that Mikel will get it right.
That’s it for today, wherever you watch the match tomorrow I hope you stay safe and will be cheering the boys home.