Brighton Preview: Is Jack The Lad?

Arsenal travel to Brighton to face a team to whom they have never lost in a knockout tournament. There have not been frequent meetings between the two sides though, this the first since 1988’s fourth round tie at The Goldstone Ground where Arsenal emerged victorious by the odd goal in three. At least this time, those travelling by train are not going to see their tickets fly out of an open window, are they Neil?

The Arsenal scorers that day were Perry Groves and Kevin Richardson, the latter the type of midfielder that Jack Wilshere seems destined to develop into, albeit with more obvious flair. Having been keen to play down the hype surrounding his mercurial charge, ArsΓ¨ne succumbed to temptation yesterday and spoke of Wilshere‘s potential in an understated way,

The potential is there of course. But I’m not national-team coach – you should ask that question to Roy Hodgson, who will be happy to talk about it. In the national team you have a massive pressure straight away. It’s important that the player gets to the stage where he develops first completely into an accomplished football player and then takes responsibility to take care of other people.

He is naturally a guy who is not scared of anything on the football pitch and that is usually the sign of a leader. If you are asking me if I will take the captaincy away from Vermaelen, no. It is not a question that holds me at the moment. But do I think Jack will be captain of this club one day – yes, of course.

The Arsenal captaincy has become a poisoned chalice, the equivalent of handing in a transfer request. If that is the case, keep it away from Wilshere please. That he is being spoken of as a potential England captain is the media jumping the gun once more, their previous starlets have failed to deliver so it is time to put the weight of fifty years of expectation on another’s shoulders. Given he has yet to complete a full season since returning from injury, such thoughts are surely not in his mind with the first step following re-establishment into the Arsenal side being inclusion in the England squad. Not that there is much competition in the midfield.

For his club, it seems that he is favourite to be captain today, a theory springing from Wednesday. Will that happen? Were Bacary Sagna in better form, I suspect not but his own form must be occupying his mind and the captaincy would surely distract. Others who might be considered include Mertesacker and, well, we are running out of candidates if you are looking for inspirational players. It seems likely that Wilshere will become Arsenal’s youngest captain today.

There won’t be many changes from Wednesday; we don’t have the personnel. Mixed signals came with Emmanuel Frimpong’s loan to Fulham; is he just getting match practice or being prepared for sale? Moving out to make space for incoming players, Diame is still the man insists today’s papers, along with David Villa. Frimpong might be joined by Carl Jenkinson in going on loan with apparently Stoke interested. Yea Gods although he might return and be the only Arsenal defender capable of dealing with a corner. I can’t see that happening, the loan I mean, with too much pressure being put on the defence in the instant that injury strikes.

Thomas Vermaelen is out with Arteta and Coquelin not fit for return although Abou Diaby is. As harsh as it seems, Aaron Ramsey is the likeliest of the midfield trio that dominated West Ham to make way for the Frenchman. Whilst there might be a temptation for the manager to cast half an eye on the visit of Liverpool in midweek, his words suggested that Arteta is likely to make that match. It offers the chance of rotation, potentially with Oxlade-Chamberlain coming in on the right. There is still no depth on the bench in attack so maybe Theo Walcott dropping down to rest ahead of the upcoming Premier League games. I cannot see much advantage though in changing a winning team too much, especially in what is a tricky cup-tie.

The line-up I would expect to see is:

Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Diaby, Cazorla, Wilshere; Walcott, Giroud, Podolski

Brighton have come on a long and turbulent journey since the last meeting between the two sides, Liam Brady linking the two clubs currently and today’s tie resonates with history. For the Hove club, they hope history will repeat itself. Their third round victory over Newcastle will lead to a return to Wembley as it did thirty years ago whilst Arsenal want to emulate the feat of Terry Neill’s side who beat Brighton 2 – 0 at Highbury on this day in an FA Cup fourth round tie en route to meeting West Ham in the 1980 final. They definitely want to avoid their defeat at York City twenty nine years ago today.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

390 thoughts on “Brighton Preview: Is Jack The Lad?

  1. That said I thought Brighton had a great game today. It’s the romance of the FA Cup. For Brighton, playing a diluted Arsenal, this is the biggest game of their season and they give it 150%, even if their manager tells the players it’s not literally the most important game. We made some bad mistakes in concentration at the back and at times from the flanks and Santos was in poor shape. On the other hand Giroo.

  2. PG isn’t an uber theo basher. He thought he was disingenous in much of his comments relating to his future with the club in recent months. I have the same opinion. Theo has outstanding qualities and some glaring deficiencies. It is almost crminal that Giroud has not had at least one hatrick in the last two games, I’d go as far to say that Theos deficiences have denied the match ball twice. That being said he’s still a great player for us.

  3. Brady
    i understand the whys and the whats and yes we could say it wasnt taken on a whim and the decision was tactical

    but it didnt work did it..

    made the boy look shit..got the boy lost confidence and the team looked out of shape as well

    so nothing about it worked..but tactics have never been arsenes strong point..

  4. Good win. I commend Brighton and Puyol, they play really good football. Apart from them scaring the crap out of me, they were a joy to watch.

  5. george just said the things he said to wind ppl up..

    it was georges style we all knew how to pull eachothers legs

    he would drive us mad with the jack was 6th choice crap and stuff like that..

    but you just had to mention arshavin..

    there was no malice from george on theo he just liked winding dukey and me up..he took as much as he give..

  6. Evil
    January 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    lol right, so that’s what George means when referring to him (on NUMEROUS occasions) as Forest fucking Gump.

    I’m sorry, but I find your last post so devoid of sense that it’s difficult to respond to. Genuinely, perhaps due to some misplaced sense of loyalty, I’m not sure you know what point you are trying to make and why.

  7. I’m surpised no one mentioned the impact of Jack. Wow! He really is something special isn’t he? The speed and agility of those first 3-4 yards, you think it’s a 50-50 situation and then he’s 2 yards away already and rounding the next man; the tracking back and getting the ball. Absolutely superb player. Reminds of Diaby back in the day.

  8. I think Shotta’s point is that some are very dogmatic in their opinions and act like they know the deal better than AW. George did not do that.

  9. I dunno, where I come from talking shit behind people’s back, no matter their wind-ups, is … well … cowardly I suppose. Say it to their face, or meerkat, or not at all.

  10. i wouldnt say it worked a treat but i agree we need to ask whats going on with the defence becuase its taking the piss now..

    what is it now? 5-6 years of really bad defending?

    whens it gonna get sorted?

    brighton were never in that game..alot of teams we play are never in the game we just like to give them goals for some reason..

  11. @mgk
    So you think George calling him Forrest is not a reference to him running? Because I was thinking it was a reference to that particular quote from the movie. I didn’t think it was meant as a reference to the character (i.e. saying that Theo has no footballing brain because you don’t get to have 289599 assists without one)

  12. Perhaps Shotta was referring to you then Evil, seems you don’t rate the lad either.
    No matter how you try to spin it his sole purpose for posting was to have a pop at fellow fans and create tension on here, wich sadly he accomplished. We were all enjoying the afterglow of a FA cup victory until he showed up. And now ? Well you think about it.

  13. Zim

    I hope you’re not referring to me as a) it’s all true, so this shit sticks b)I’ve often had disagreements with PG, so this is nothing I wouldn’t say to him c)It is the staunch defence of Shotta’s post by some Pedant’ites that has led to PG’s name being mentioned today in the first place, not the other way round.

    In fact, despite our non too convincing victory against the plucky Championship side, the vibe here on most accounts has been very positive.

    I’ll tell you what – stop mentioning him and talk, bullshit or otherwise, will cease.

  14. @Pistol Fish
    I can dig out hundreds of quotes of myself where I have expressed my admiration of Theo. Way before the “Theo should be benched and is only good for running at tired defenders” brigade went through their rebranding process to become the “pay him whatever he wants” troupe. And it’s funny when you are talking about spoiling the mood because I can remember you doing exactly what you are accusing Shotta of doing. Popping in after a game just to have a pop at someone (George, most of the time)

  15. Evil

    Dear me.

    Yes I do, as in I do believe it is a reference to him being solely able to run, hence the lack of anything other qualities is implied. It’s quite something to equate our leading scorer and (at least one of) assist maker with the ability to merely running quickly.

    Let’s consider the connotations.

    Usain Bolt or Forset Gump? Hmmmmmm.

    Ps He often derided him for his lack of technique, and that he began the game to late to ever truly make up for this.

  16. @mgk
    I guess he should’ve called him Usain Bolt then, you are right in that regard.

    But isn’t he right in criticising his technique? Because even last season I can remember Theo doing his special move where he would run and keep the ball behind or miscontrol it superbly to gift opposition a throw-in. In fact, this is something other posters here have criticised as well, GA for example, so it’s hardly an uncommon opinion only shared by George with purpose to bash Theo.

  17. Shotta’s post just made him look a bit silly. As if today’s unconvincing win somehow dispelled any concern over diaby and rosicky’s injury history. Most people I have heard are happy with giroud, just not happy with him being the only striker at the club.

    Ramsey has been decent in the last few games, but has been generally poor since his return. I will hold my hands up with Gibbs, he is looking like a good player. That said, I still think we could do with another left back in the squad.

    Theo? Ah, theo. I think ill the criticism he has had has been justified. He is starting to produce consistent returns now though, and you can’t argue with his stats.

  18. Whether you agree with Shotta or not he is entitled to his opinions. Now where have I heard that before.

    There was always going to be difficulties in defence today with 2 different full-backs & 2 different midfielders.

  19. Evil

    Not meaning to be rude, but I’m not that interested either way any more.

    Great week for the team and fans alike.

    Roll on Wednesday.

    COYG!!!!

  20. I’ve just seen a horror tackle by Whelan on Garcia on ITV, its assault. Not even a yellow well done Howard, jesus its a shocker.

  21. 19-21 seconds, how does he stay on the pitch? Will Howard be demoted and do a spot in the lower leagues, will he fuck. Garcias lucky his leg wasn’t snapped in two.

  22. @BRF
    That’s simply the way Webb referee’s games. He is always among the referees that dish out the fewest cards and I guess that’s one of the reasons why he is considered to be the “best” English referee. He lets the game flow and if someone ends up with a proper injury because of that, well, bad luck to them. I can think of several examples where Webb hasn’t missed red card tackles, but seen them and let them go on. At least he is usually consistent in his approach. But then again, if you are simply not a team interested in getting “stuck in” you are always at a disadvantage with Webb at the helm.

  23. Evil, Webb is not overly officious or fussy unlike Dean for example but you’d be hard pushed to find a worse tackle this season, I think this one goes well above “getting stuck in”. If an Arsenal player committed a challenge like there is simply no way I could or indeed would defend them.

  24. theres been bad tackles in football for as long as i can remember..
    people have had their legs broke since the first ever ball was kicked

  25. True JJ part of the game, leg breaks and injuries aside however referees should send players off for tackles like that especially ehen they’re less than 5 yards away.

  26. I think if a serious physicall injury accured like a leg break or watever,i think the offending player shud be banned for half or all of the time the injured player takes to return.

  27. I don’t know about that Moe for instance you could make a tackle that breaks a guys leg however it’s fair and wasn’t reckless. I think the tackle above is in a very small minority of completely reckless and dangerous tackles which thankfully we don’t see too many of in a season. The solution imo is very simple have referees who are competant.

  28. Dear me, dear Me. What is my crime? That I recited a collection of absolutist statements that have been been used by many at various points as a stick to beat Wenger, but when proven to be wrong none of the proponents are humble enough to say the manager has a right to believe in his squad. Or that will never be good enough because we are still in 6th place.

  29. that would be a dangerous precedent you’d be setting moe..

    take the sagna incident the other night for example..

    if that lad fractures his skull and spends ages out of the game do we do away with sagna?

    you cant stop injuries…unless you make it a no contact sport..which would be bollox

    but stuff like whelan needs to be punished and maybe the fa can charge him on that video evidence..

  30. It’s simple Shotta, the people to whom you refer do not exist. Not on here, not in the way you describe.

    You start with a distorted version of the truth and then (recently) use each victory as a stick to beat these people (and their invented/distorted comments) with.

    ZZzzzzzzzz.

  31. Really Johnny. I must have missed all those gooners here, there and elsewhere who frequently rip into the manager for expressing his belief in this squad especially after a defeat. Two wins is not enough to offer a contrary opinion. Afterall we are only 6th in the League.
    As for the zzzzzzs I suppose I should feel priviliged to even merit your faintest attention. Thanks much.

  32. Credit to Brighton for trying to play football. Enjoyed the match and the rather nervy win. We played some lovely stuff offensively. Giroud as I have said before will come good, think he will be quite devastating in his second season once he adjusts properly to the physicality and pace of the premier league. Santos was a joke, no wonder AW rarely plays him. Don’t really understand this superfan syndrome. Looks like some people love their opinions more than an Arsenal win.

  33. This recent trend of turning on people who have shown nothing but faith and positivity troubles me. I can not lie.

  34. Well, not to keep anything going but AW has been discredited quite a lot recently. Shotta is not making things up.

  35. i have stopped commenting here for a long time. even to come here and read comments is scarery these day. i come when i know the mood should be better. like after a victory, but most times it’s still the same wenger’s fault that we win.
    at the start of the season when we’re the best defensively, most people here attributed it to ‘bould effect’. but now that the opposite is happening it wenger fault.
    why cant bould, adams and robson of this world go out and test their talent elsewhere. it’s wenger’s fault

  36. some regulars here make some categorical statements and when the facts come out to prove them wrong they even find it difficult to appologise.
    we all know that walcott is gone, walcott cannot play centrally, wilshere is not an attacking midfielder. someone even said it today that that wenger’s tactical analysis of the game is not his strong point. how can anybody say that??!! he has been managing for over 30 years and some regulars here will say that and they will not be ask to prove it or be bin??!!

  37. Well, lakesite, that’s been the most amusing thing I read all day on here…. Wenger is tactically inept in other words! Wow!

  38. Shotta isnt far off, and I’m with Markus. Its easy to see why YW, CB, Jonny and Matt are having a tough time digesting Shottas remarks. They’ve been some of the most vocal critics at times this season so theyre probably just a tad insensitive to shottas relatively harmless gloating. Surely its far less harmless than some of the cancerous supporters we’ve got.

  39. Giroud’s goals were beauties.

    Shotta’s more right than wrong.

    And spending too much time on a blog seems to be bad for your sense of proportion.

    Maybe we should all get out more?

  40. Those saying shotta shouldn’t be pulled up for the details he gets wrong (as long as his general point makes sense) will do well to remember that choice when people who are more critical do the same thing.

    It was not long ago that George, Evil, etc got into a long argument with JJ over details (something to do with what Arsene said) when it was clear what his overall meaning was. All of a sudden the pendantry is no longer ok because it applies to a ‘friend’?

    Do we want to be pendants here or not? Make your minds up.

  41. Always nice to proceed in the Cup.
    Seems a few sensitive souls.
    Is there a problem being critical of a player?
    Is there a time limit by which an apology has to be provided for having a view overturned by performance ?
    Is there a problem being critical of the manager/ owner et al?
    Ok I admit, I have questioned Ramsay, but I am pretty confident in my current view that being played out of position has hindered his progress.
    Better positioned now, and when he tries to be efficient rather than creative, it works. Forget the extravagant back heels etc , and focus on high tempo efficient passing.
    My view on Santos hasn’t changed, and anybody who seeks to swap jumpers at half time, regardless of who it was with, doesnt belong in the team.

  42. What some of you are missing is core to the principal of freedom of speech.

    Firstly, whatever anyone says on here, unless credibly referenced, is opinion, no matter what or what manner they say it in.

    Secondly, freedom of speech extends to the point where it still respects the rights of others to speak, and further in some interpretations, includes the caveat that the speaker may not insult or belittle other parties (known in some interpretations as “hate speech”).

    Personally, I refrained from engaging a particular clique of posters on here because a). I felt their views and approach were unintelligent (from my perspective those posters contributed about 1 intelligent opinion or question for at least every 20 posts made, and thats being very generous), b). I found them unpleasant and offensive, and c). I felt there was little purpose in challenging their dogmatic and closeted ideas.

    That didn’t seem to stop them having their say about my posts however, and that was where I drew the line and did respond on occasion.

    However, that particular clique saw and for the remainder, still sees little wrong with lashing out and being thoroughly unpleasant to anyone who disagrees with their particular dogma.

    A while back I referred to this as “fascist tendencies”, because that’s exactly what it is.

    For me, it’s a rather sore point in my country right now, with no criticism of the ruling party escaping strong arm and over the top whining and hitting out way in excess of any reasonable response.

    That’s not restricted to my country or continent however, one rather poignant example in recent times was David Kelly.

    The inability for any leadership to accept and even embrace criticism, especially constructive criticism, is a very dangerous path, as history has shown, over and over again over the centuries.

    People who feel the need to support and perpetuate that type of thinking, the “he’s been doing this for 30 years, who are you to have an opinion” crowd, are misguided and extremely dangerous in a democratic world. These are the pawns who have facilitated major dark eras in the world’s history.

    I have been in my particular profession for nearly as long as Wenger has been managing. Many consider me exceptionally good at what I do.

    However, one of my earliest reactions to criticism (I can’t claim it’s always the first, I, like most others, am only human), is to look in the mirror. I might not announce it to the world at that point, but I will take a long hard look at my culpability as a reference point very early n in the process.

    The issue that many have here is that there has been a clique of posters who feel the need to be aggressive to any view expressed on here that contradicts their own.

    Some of those posters were particularly obnoxious and unpleasant about it, stooping to personal insults, be that of fellow posters, the manager, or particular players. From what I understand, that is what YW was objecting to, and why he banned particular posters and not others.

    I’ve seen many posts lamenting their absence, stating that they were “valued”, and “respected” posters. Those are opinions, just like all the others. They certainly don’t speak for me and, it would appear, a few others as well.

    To reference this all to today. A post was made setting up a number of “straw men” arguments, all of which ignored the very real situation that a). This team, manager, and club are nowhere near being out of the woods yet, b). There are still a number of very valid concerns about the team, the manager, and the club right now, c). Like many of us, the poster made the mistake of lumping a plethora of complex views and differences into one pot and kicking it.

    My own set of beliefs are a lot more complex than the “mixed grill” offered, none of which I recognized in it. Rightly or wrongly, I would not be surprised if I was at least partially one of the contributors considered as that being aimed at.

    To suggest that YW, Bob, or any others are having a difficult time digesting some perceived “hard truth” in the context of that post is more than just a little delusional, a characteristic which seems to be in plentiful supply for those who seem to think it was even vaguely accurate.

  43. Giroud will come good wont he? That is so cool. Chamakh started off bright but then kinda faded.Same with the left back behind Gibbs that i cannot remember the name of(santos?)

    But Giroud, Giroud did not start that well, but is not slowly becoming the brightest star in the sky, together with Theo. That is so cool.

    I bet the sale of RvP has made theo score alot more, where he before just lumped the ball to RvP, he now goes for a finish himself… It is exciting to see..

  44. you guys think he will become one of those goal machines that just cannot help but scoring? hehe that would make me smile..

  45. Great post, MA

    Loomer

    “Its easy to see why YW, CB, Jonny and Matt are having a tough time digesting Shottas remarks. They’ve been some of the most vocal critics at times this season so theyre probably just a tad insensitive to shottas relatively harmless gloating.”

    I’m sorry, but is way off. Do you regularly read our comments? How about YW’s posts? I ask, as I honestly can’t believe that you can genuinely categorise the above posters and YW as being the “most vocal critics”. Critics of who? The team? The manager? The players? The board? It’s simply not a credible statement.

    Has any criticism been levelled, at times, to all of the above? Of course it has, and why not?

    I’ll speak for myself, but I’m sure you could easily attribute this to the others, when I say that there are far more frequent, far more vociferous, more extreme critics of all aspects of the club-and for me, this is at the heart of the matter.

    What I don’t get is why on earth we are not supposed to “play manager”, act as coaching staff, and pretend to be the board. What is the point of a blog such as this if not to say what we would like to see happen; what we think would be good; what we think is going wrong etc. Of course it’s mostly unsubstantiated opinion and conjecture, but that’s what we’re doing, essentially just chewing the fat.

    Again, we’re seemingly back to this place where some feel it necessary to present all matters as if they must only exist within two paradigms: you agree with everything Arsene and club does, or you don’t. This is an absurd position to take, from either side, and one that will obviously result in both “sides” constantly trying to establish who is ultimately right or wrong, which of course, will be never be 100% conclusive as there’s simply too much water under the bridge to take into account.

    In reality however, most of us on this blog just like it when we win and want Arsenal to do the best that is humanly and economically possible. If we have different views on how that can be achieved, fine, but the goading, point scoring and “humble pie” offerings are meaningless, narrow minded and boring.

  46. Poodle, unfortunately I think Chamakh faded because he got frozen out the team the moment RvP was fit again.

    IMO, the failing was more Wenger’s than Chamakh’s. apparently here were other issues, but I doubt they arrived at exactly the same moment RvP was fit again.

    In terms of context, Wenger does have previous with this sort of thing, where he virtually destroyed Manninger’s career.

    Yes, Wenger has had some spectacular successes with man-management, but like all of us, he’s had a few abject failures too.

    For me Chamakh is one of those.

  47. as wenger says giroud definitely has presence. he is very hard working footballer too..all the ingredients are there for him to become a great correct?

    playing for a team like arsenal, his passing and ball control need to be better..i think these will come with time..i think he will soon turn into a great striker..

    we need a player similar to hleb/rosicky of 07..we have too many players whose best position is in the middle..

  48. Loomer

    I mean this most kindly but if I’m a vocal critic, you don’t get out much do you?!?! πŸ˜‰

    The problem with the gloating is, as I said previously when it reared its head after a win that immediately preceded a defeat, to do so after one result is risky and therefore daft, because the one thing this squad is that they are consistently inconsistent.

    Where Shotta got my back up was attributing the more extreme criticisms of the club to this club by combining the opinions of other blogs with more reasoned critiques from this. I don’t mind someone having a pop at the regulars on here with a reasoned and valid argument but I won’t have criticism based on false premise.

  49. Looker that’s my problem with it. It’s ‘gloating’.

    Ask me, that’s in some ways worse than those doomers who whine after a win. Exactly that sort of childish nonsense that creates an unpleasant atmosphere.

    If its like this after a hard fought win against lowly opposition what ugly triumphalism will we have to tolerate if we win something?! πŸ™‚

    The last three paragraphs of Mike’s post are especially pertinent.

    Any who tennis is on – tie break. Andy 2-0 up. C’mon andy.

  50. Ha ha – I was too lazy to attempt to spell his surname and copied your spelling of his first from you! Doh!

    Morning Jonny – with you on the 5 Day Test v One Dayer’s debate btw!!

  51. If at the end of the season both diaby and rosicky have remained injury free, think plenty (me included) will happily eat humble pie after voicing concerns over injury. But after 2 games after already missing huge bunks of the season? Keep that pie on hold thanks.

  52. So Johnny my crime is to suggest that the manager may be right about his squad contrary to his many vocal critics. That this counts as gloating says a lot about the sensitivity of his critics.

  53. Agree 100% on the Test business, Andrew.

    I was in Dharamsala many, many moons ago and it’s good to see the place again. Happy memories.

  54. Shotta have you thought about a career as an actress?

    No that is not it at all. AW may well be right but we are still allowed to have opinions. And yes you are gloating and it is childish.

    Can’t you just enjoy the win?

  55. Never made it to India or Africa for the cricket Bob but would love to do both. Watching England lose the Ashes in Australia is not for the fainthearted, mind.

    Splendid stadium in Dharamsala by the look of it – old style but dignified.

  56. True dat, JJ.

    MGk’s post at 9.30 covers it from my side. If that’s not clear you’ll never get it anyway.

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