Brighton Review: Comfortable and Familiar

Arsenal 2 – 0 Brighton & Hove Albion

For once, Arsène talking about “values” was spot on:

on Arsenal For Everyone…
It is vital, I think it is one of the responsibilities of sport and of football. Personally I preach sometimes in the desert a little bit because, for me, when you listen most of the time to people it’s just about winning, only about buying, but for me a football club is first about values. If I’m 21 years at this club it’s because this is one of the values that we rate and I’m very proud of that.

If you have an issue with that or the club promoting equality, don’t let the door hit you on the arse too hard as you leave.

Three points and unbeaten in the seven games since the last international break. That, I suspect, was the target and job done. Which sums up yesterday: job done and another clean sheet.

The win pulled us into the top five, onto the shoulders of Chelsea and leaves in better heart than the last international break.

Brighton came to defend and they followed their gameplan through to the letter. It was the only ‘disappointing’ aspect of the performance – and I use that phrase guardedly since winning shouldn’t bring disappointment – but we reverted to type when faced with their banks of five and four. Those moments cry out for Santi Cazorla to give us the burst of energy and inventiveness.

Wenger acknowledged that point when he said we weren’t “ruthless enough”. We “lost concentration”, he believed, and gave the ball away too readily in promising situations. That’s a fair assessment. As much as I like Aaron Ramsey, he’s more David Platt than Johan Cruyff; exploit those strengths rather than asking him to be the conductor of the orchestra.

Making The Most Of…

The goals came from unexpected sources. Nacho Monreal hadn’t scored for years – you could here the kerching of the electronic cash registers as everyone cashed out on the live sports betting sites – and Alex Iwobi doesn’t score as many as he should.

Breaking the deadlock before half-time was imperative and as the half wore on, unlikely. Monreal popped up in the right place as Brighton struggled to clear the ball after Kolasinac’s header back across the face of goal caused mayhem. I doubt there will be a more popular scorer in the stands and on the pitch.

Iwobi’s goal came as a result of Alexis’ intervention. Hailed as selfish and egotistical, I’ll take more of the Chilean’s self-centred behaviour if it leads to the stats he is posting. Let’s be honest here, the only stats which matter are the assists and goals. Everything else for a forward is a construct to serve your own argument.

The move itself was everything Arsène is trying to achieve. The ball travelled the length of the pitch and with one deft flick of the heel landed in Iwobi’s path. With every sublime moment, the contract situation cuts deeper but Alexis is gone and replacing him is next summer’s key task.

Wenger rightly praised Kolasinac for his contribution. At this moment in time, he is shaping to be the ‘buy of the summer’ with his consistency. It will be stunning if he isn’t in the PFA team of the year when that is announced.

Monreal spoke afterwards about the effect of the mauling at Anfield.

We talked because we couldn’t play like we did that day. We lost 4-0 and the image of the team and the club was really poor. From there, the team rallied and we started to play more compact and defended well with everyone in the next few games.

Is a corner turned in defensive work?

HEADING

The next few games will provide an answer. Three away games on the trot, with the run beginning at Watford. It’s a fixture we expect to win; no matter they occupy a place in the top ten, it’s a game where three points is a must. Everton’s woes continue and if they can just continue for a few games more…

I doubt they will. The knives are out for Koeman who has a surprisingly high number of ‘haters’ at Arsenal. A surname beginning with ‘K’ is the problem; Klopp is on the receiving end of Liverpool venom as well. This is the football the Premier League created and woe betide anyone who isn’t on board.

It makes a pleasant change for other clubs to come and join us in crisis. I doubt they will find it as comfortable as we do.

A good win with the team forging some semblance of form ready for a tougher October / November.

’til Tomorrow.

19 thoughts on “Brighton Review: Comfortable and Familiar

  1. andy1886,

    Orson Kaert,

    Thanks mates, its horrific and cowardly and the fact that somebody is capable of doing this is beyond belief; it rally is heartbreaking. If there is anything positive to take from it all is full marks to those cabs, first responders and just ordinary people in the area that had vehicles that were willing and telling complete strangers to pile in the vehicles so they could drive them to safety. Hearts minds and prayers are with them

  2. Hi there Yogi, that’s a fine post but I’m afraid it pales into insignificance in the light of the dreadful events in Las Vegas.

  3. C,

    Truly horrible and such a cowardly act to indiscriminately shoot on a festival crowd. The aim was obviously to kill and injure as many people as possible. There is a sense that justice hasn’t been served with the perpetrator being shot at the scene. It is difficult for the families of those killed to achieve any form of closure when all they will ever see is photos of the shooter in the press. So very sad.

  4. Three away matches and another trip to a far flung part of Europe with a lunch time kick off to follow on the Sunday (this time at 13.30). The fixture gods (or Sky and BT as they are known) certainly like to stick the knife in. We could have done with the two league games being reversed to cut down on the travel, but unfortunately its a return to London in the small hours of Friday morning followed by a schlep to Merseyside on Saturday, or Sunday morning.

  5. I have a feeling that we can still win some five fixtures.Arsenal players can play if they wanted to.They can be the best if they wanted to am sure they know that.

  6. Thanks to the boys for their win vs. Brighton. Thanks to M. Wenger for his squad rotation vs. Bate. Starting the B team vs. Bate (who had beaten top flight teams at home before in the CL) was a big risk that paid off. If we had not beaten Bate that could have meant that M. Wenger might not have been able to rotate the squad prior to the key clash vs. Man City. The win set us up to rotate later in the group stage.
    This is the type of game we usually struggled with over the years….weekend after a midweek European contest (involving travel) against a rested bottom half PL team. But because we were able to rest our starters we didn’t have a flat effort. The value of squad rotation!
    Holding emerged unscathed…another bonus!
    The game did look like many of our efforts last tear…plenty of passing around a parked bus. Too often we tried to pass it in to the net. Maybe we should just instruct someone to smash the ball right at a defender and see if it pinballs fortuitously to Lacazette or Ramsay. A low percentage play that still probably results in better odds than our many attempts to walk the ball in. 😉
    What is up with Ozil? has he succumbed to Cescitis?

  7. Just seen some video footage on Twitter from someone in the crowd during the gun massacre there. Fucking horrible! Truly terrifying

    That weapon from an elevated position into a densely packed congregation of people with limited and bottle necked exit routes….

    Don’t usually get political with people I consider friends but I’ll make an exception today. The gun laws in the USA need to be rethought and restructured. End of

  8. thank you for the post, not much room for disagreement.
    Except for Koeman, why has he got haters at the Arsenal?

  9. My prayers go to the victims of the Vegas attack, may the Lord grant them courage, strength ND healing at this difficult times.
    Man is capable of evil one’s he opens his mind to the devil…the real enemy of mankind.

    To the match…
    It was a low score, having gone over and over the highlights, I can only take positives and no disappointments from the game….

    Lacazette hits the post…
    The Ramsey save…
    Wrong decision by Lacazette on min 33 (ought to pass to Alexis, and would’ve been a goal)
    The Alexis clearance…
    The clearance on Kolasinac’s header…

    Those were 5 crystal opportunities that could have resulted in a goal on any other day…
    Teams will come and defend; the dust over the match being disappointing is a relative comparison with the Manchester guys walloping teams….

    The confidence is building – I wish the guys the best.

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