Arsenal Are Next To Take Up The Dyche Challenge

By The Editor's Chair
21 November 2017

It's Arsene Wenger's Gunners up next at Turf Moor on Sunday, in what promises to be a mouth watering Premier League exchange, kick off 2pm.

The rights and wrongs of last season's meetings are now a thing of the past. The Clarets will be looking to turn those misfortunes to their advantage. Is the time right for Burnley to do something they have never done before and that's beat Arsenal in the Premier League?

Arsenal come into the game on the back of a convincing 2-0 win against Spurs. Don't forget however, the Gunners  came into last season's game after just beating eventual champions Chelsea 3-0, yet struggled to contain a Burnley side which is much improved from this time last year.

There is a great footballing history shared by the two sides who meet on an equal footing for the first time since Jimmy Adamson's young Burnley team of the seventies were doing the grand old East Lancashire town proud.

This season's achievements may well be greater considering the vast amounts of foreign investment that has made  competition at the top of the English game much more one sided these days.

Despite this and already a third of the way through the season, Burnley continue to  hold on to the shirt tails of  the big six clubs with power and influence and the Clarets have quickly become the footballing story of the season.

Lets be truthful, there is nothing to fear about the opposition on Sunday. Only goal difference separates the two sides and Arsenal's away record is poor. One win in six and only four points on the road, scoreless in half those games.

Only Arsenal's great home form is keeping  them out of the bottom half of the table, and on Sunday they are away from the Emirates yet again.

Questions were asked about Burnley's home form early in the season after bogey side West Brom nicked a late win in the first game. No defeats and three wins since has somewhat changed that rather pessimistic mood.

This is a confident Burnley side with three straight Premier League wins behind them, playing at the top of their game. The latest 2-0 victory over Swansea City demonstrated the Clarets are now able to control and put lesser Premier League opposition  to the sword convincingly.

Arsenal of course will be a different proposition and will be expecting to control Sunday's game. It will be a major surprise if they don't. What is less certain however, is whether they have the determination to cope with a side who thrive on pressing the opposition.

Sean Dyche's Burnley are a team who won't give the North Londoners  a moment's peace for 90 mins. Sweat comes to the brow just thinking about the hard work Dyche's team puts in.

I remember Wenger complaining after last season's game that his side was tired after playing 3 games in 8 days. Well I'm sorry Arsene but with this week's Europa Cup game coming on a Thursday, you will almost certainly have the same problem on Sunday.

A strikeforce of Sanchez and Lacazette will present a challenge similar to Man City; small forwards with that extra bit of pace and trickery. The supply comes from Ozil, the league's leading goal creator over the last 4 seasons.

Arsene Wenger hasn't always played the three footballing maestros together, but regardless following six shutouts in the last nine games, the Burnley defence will be looking forward to the challenge.

Now that the vacant manager's Sword of Damocles seems to have finally been removed from Burnley manager Dyche, maybe it is time to follow his advice and simply enjoy the good times?

Dyche is the antithesis of opposing manager Wenger. Dyche is building a side without the advantages of great sums of money and without crossing swords with other managers, players and officials.

Every player feels part of the team. Dyche always makes a point of  talking  about the players who don't always  feature and then puts his money where his mouth is when it matters.

Leading scorer Chris Wood was missing last week following his travels with the All Whites of New Zealand. The previous week's match winner Sam Vokes, was left on the bench and in came Ashley Barnes, who rewarded Dyche's trust with a match winning, goalscoring performance.

Doubts were expressed by Burnley fans leading up to the Swansea match if Dyche's Eire trio would be in the right frame of mind for the game. The Clarets' manager had no hesitation in including them and keeping a settled team and once again his judgement paid dividends.

Football can present big decisions and Dyche seems to have the knack of always  getting them right .

Wenger has only shown loyalty to  himself in recent years and as a result is no longer wanted by a big section of Arsenal fans. Dyche on the other hand, shows loyalty to his club and  players and is much loved by everyone connected with Burnley Football Club and the town.

We all know if there is any justice on Sunday, the footballing Gods will ensure Burnley will win this game. Put that notion to Dyche though and he will make fun of it. He knows football games are there to be won on the day and that anything that has gone on in the past is irrelevant.

Twenty two points are already on the board for Burnley, a win for Sean Dyche's Clarets on Sunday will surely confirm that Burnley are not going to go disappear from the soccer headlines this season?

This Burnley centric match preview is written by uber Burnley fan Michael Donnelly, alias "The Donz", who contributes regularly on behalf of Clarets  Mad. (TEC.)

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