Date:Saturday January 5 2008
On Sunday the 6th of January at 2pm in front of military advisors (in other words televised on BBC 1), the Battle of Turf Moor commences with Owen Coyle`s Claret & Blue Army greatly outnumbered in the artillery department with Gunners to the right of them and Gunners to the left of them!
Into the Valley of Death will ride the brave sixteen armed it seems with only spud guns and peashooters.
Yes brave little Burnley take on the might of Premier League Leaders, Arsenal in the FA Cup Third Round.
Burnley are 12th in the Championship only 31 places higher (titter) are Arsenal heading up the Premier League (Gulp!). The Clarets have not won a match at Turf Moor now since October 2007 and have not won any match, home or away in six games. We just got stuffed by a load of Satsumas and played like Lemons away to Blackpool losing 3-0 and never turned up!
We have injury and suspension problems in defence with Carlisle out with a niggling hamstring injury and Unsworth suspended. Alan Mahon remains a doubt in midfield with a groin strain. At least Joey Gudjonsson and John Spicer have now completed their suspensions after both picking up red-cards and are available for selection.
The defence is so shaky that Owen Coyle has been forced to bring in a loan centre back with the news yesterday that we have signed, Sunderland defender, Stanislav Varga. It is understood that he will be in the starting eleven. I just hope he is fit; he has not played for Sunderland this season and at 35 is not renowned for being the paciest defender. So a baptism of fire against the mighty Arsenal attack then? (Gawd help us!)
The sixteen therefore for the Clarets could look something like this:
Kiraly, Alexander, Caldwell, Varga, Harley, Elliott, James O`Connor, McCann, Lafferty, Gray, Blake
Subs: Jensen, Akinbiyi, Jordan, Spicer or Gudjonsson, Jones
As for Arsenal, this is scary and thanks Arsene, thanks for being so scared of the Clarets you are fielding a first team! I had hoped we could muster a respectable 3-0 defeat against the young Arsenal kids doing so well in the Carling Cup but now I fear a tonking. I just hope we can avoid making tits of ourselves in front of the cameras and this is the FA Cup and anything can happen, ask Liverpool! (Snigger!)
Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann looks set for a rare start. William Gallas and Gael Clichy though will be rested. Nicklas Bendtner returns after a suspension (Boo!)but Emmanuel Adebayor(hamstring) looks to be struggling, while Robin van Persie is not quite back to full fitness. (Hooray!)
Arsenal look set to name a sixteen from the following:
Lehmann, Sagna, Toure, Senderos, Traore, Eboue, Fabregas, Flamini, Diaby, Eduardo, Bendtner, Almunia, Fabianski, Hoyte, Hleb, Walcott, Adebayor, Song, Djourou, Gilberto, Diarra.
Christ, I want my mummy!
Come on you Clarets, show the passion & pride we all know you can, let battle commence and may the underdog................DRAW! Aye come on at least a draw I need an excuse to go to the Emirates and the Clarets need the money!
'It's a cup tie and it's been shown year after year that shocks happen.
'We won't make any claims that we'll do this or that, but what we will say is that we'll give our best to try to do that and we'll see where that brings us.'
Our new loan debutant, can he keep out the mighty Arsenal attack?
The kids take a rest! (see above)
Dont be silly, a player? Only one? This is bloody Arsenal for gawds sake
Arsenal? Who are you? Some might be entitled to say that since this is the first time in over 30 years that the two sides have met in any competition.
The last time the two sides met at Turf Moor was way back on the 16th August 1975 in a Top Flight League match (or Division One) as it was called back then; I actually still have the programme for that match. It was the opening game of the Season 2005/6 and it finished up a 0-0 draw.
What nostalgia though, looking at the programme which back then was called 'Claret & Blue News & Views` and only cost 15p!
On the front is a photograph of then manager, Jimmy Adamson signing and flanked by Willie Morgan (for his second spell at Burnley) on his right and Mike Summerbee on his left.
Bertie Mee, for the younger Clarets in case you didn`t know was manager of Arsenal and the source of that well known Clarets song that some of you often confuse with Bertie Bee said to Bill Shankly!
The back of the programme in those days listed the actual teams and subs (only one per team back then) that were assumed to be playing. The trouble is things often changed between the printing and the actual match with players picking up injuries in training etc. I cannot vouch for the actual teams playing that day and I can`t be arsed to check but the teams listed were as follows:
Alan Stevenson, Mick Docherty, Keith Newton, Peter Noble, Colin Waldron, Jim Thomson, Willie Morgan, Ray Hankin, Mike Summerbee, Doug Collins, Leighton James Sub: Brian Flynn
Jimmy Rimmer, Pat Rice, Sammy Nelson, Eddie Kelly, Terry Mancini, Peter Simpson, George Armstrong, Alex Cropley, Brian Hornsby, Brian Kidd, Liam Brady Sub: Gawd Knows (left blank)
Some names there bringing back memories on both teams!
This though was not going to be a good season for the Clarets, we were about to spend our final season in the top flight and never return to this date.
The Clarets may have been relegated but the Mighty Arsenal only survived the drop by six points and finished 17th. Yes, times have certainly changed.
The Clarets were last beaten by Arsenal at Turf Moor 37 years ago, Arsenal winning 1-2 in a Division One battle on 12 September 1970 with goals from John Radford and Ray Kennedy; Burnley's consolation was a John Roberts' own goal.
The clubs are meeting in the FA Cup though for the first time since 1953!
Oh my gawd, what do you say, anything that involves a 3-0 defeat or less will have to do. My heart says we can draw, my brain says dont be so daft!
Plymouth at Turf Moor on Sat 12th January with 3pm KO (Doesnt quite have the same ring to it,does it?)
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Date:Saturday January 5 2008
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