Brighton butchered, but not entirely eaten

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I’m trying to live in the moment these days. Take the wins where you can, enjoy them, and don’t think too ‘big picture.’ Brighton was one of those ‘enjoy the moment’ games. Chris Hughton’s newly promoted team were never going to be much of a match on paper, but Arsenal has a habit of shocking you, PLUS I was especially wary after a Thursday night away game at the mighty Bate Borisov.

I shouldn’t have been. Arsenal dominated proceedings from the opening minute. The snap half-volley from Lacazette that rocked off the upright set the tone early on in a game that was almost too comfortable. We doubled their passing number, rocking 717. Peppered their goal with 25 attempts. Played the 90 almost like a training ground side note. Brighton were truly taught a lesson in class.

There were concerns despite the rout. Aaron Ramsey makes very exciting runs, helps us transition at speed, and always wants to be in the mix in the final third, but I can’t help but worry he’s starting to play for the glory a little. He doesn’t need to bomb forward at every attempt, and his runs often left us exposed when Brighton did manage to muster more than three passes on the counter. My hope is that we’ll see more of the CFC Aaron when we play better sides, my concern is that he only controlled himself in that game because he was feeling his way back into football.

The finishing was also pretty pony. Sure, there were some good saves, but 16 shots on target should return a bigger goal haul than 2. Aaron for all his great positioning is generally very poor in front of goal. He’s a long way from Frank Lampard like finishing, and he really does need to find that touch and instinct because he’s in his prime now. Being an engine with no end product kind of makes you an average player. I think he’s been out of the game for so long, it’s going to take time to find his feet, but if our season is going to be worth anything, he’s going to have to find that end product along with maintaining his fitness.

Iwobi is in a similar career situation, though obviously much younger. He looks like he’s beefed up a bit since last season, he’s certainly stronger on the ball and his pace makes him exciting. Again, similar to Ramsey, there’s a lot of great feet and smart positioning, but the end product isn’t always there, be it finishing, final pass or general decision-making. Today he had a good game, he finished a lovely back-heeled pass from Alexis and put in a pretty composed performance. One to build from.

Lacazette had a mixed bag. Considering his lack of bluster compared to Alexis, he’s certainly more efficient at winning the ball back from the front and making something from the turnover. He capitalised on mistakes and sluggish passing a number of times to create an opening. The shame is that he didn’t score. He nearly broke the post early on, but the rest of his chances weren’t dealt with crisply, sometimes getting the ball caught under his feet, or not striking the ball cleanly (which is a bit amateur). I really want him to do well, but games like today leave little puddles of doubt he’s taking us to the promised land.

The exciting side note for me is the realisation that we’re going to be just fine in a post-Mesut era. We don’t miss him in the big games, and we’re not going to miss him in the small games. Whatever is happening with his fitness, it’s an irrelevance if we can keep Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey fit and hungry (LOL). That brings me great joy because I think Mesut has been a bit of a stats induced mirage for years.

Losing Alexis won’t be so comfortable… like a vegan with a pet dog loading up the Pedigree Chum (vegans don’t do the meat thing), you know Wenger doesn’t want to have to make a morally poor decision (picking Sanchez is like buying dog food), but it’s for the good of the team (team > dog, because vegan dog food is bad for dogs).

Finally, a very solid game from fan favourite, NACHO MONREAL. He scored his first goal at The Emirates which surprised me. I’ve no idea why I think he has more goals than the 2 he now has. Great for him to add a goal to his so far superb season.

Right, that’s all from me. Will catch you on the other side!


158 Responses to “Brighton butchered, but not entirely eaten”

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  1. raptora

    “This left us with just Xhaka and Ramsey playing supposedly in midfield. However, Ramsey spent too much time in attack and that left our midfield exposed to counterattack.”

    One would think that vs Brighton at home would make sense one of our MFs to play deeper in their half giving us more bodies in attack. If both teams scored what they had it would have been like 6 – 1 or 7 – 2 score. Especially when you play with 3 CBs. A reasonable risk in my mind.

    “Ramsey lacks the discipline, technical ability and football brain to play in midfield.”

    Surely didn’t stand in his way of becoming MotM vs Chelsea away just a couple of weeks ago, heh?! How was he more defensively oriented, how did he go in attack just few times the whole game? How was he a part of everything positive offensively we did in the game? How did Chelsea end the game with no real situation to score bar that Mustafi blunder vs Pedro? I guess that Ramsey was disciplined in that one game. Oh wait, he did the same in the Cup Final. Jeez. Sorry that it’s not Doncaster. Or BATE Borisov who btw scored twice and could have scored more with positionally sound, disciplined, intelligent Wilshere commanding the game.

    “I watched Ramsey lose ball upfield and
    jog back yards behind Brighton counterattack.”

    You don’t ever wonder that this is probably what Wenger wants from Ramsey in this specific game? To try things, to be offensively oriented and dangerous? I thought he did alright. Alexis lost the ball infinitely more times than Ramsey, like times and times more than him, yet all I read is how amazing his backheel pass was, like all the wrong passes, bad dribbling, egoism and slowing our attacks didn’t matter. Or how he took the bad decision in 8/10 times. But I do read how Ramsey made a pass that even you and I would have made but nothing about Alexis’ pass to Bellerin on the flank that was around 15 metres away of the place that he was aiming for. Ofc trying things often leads to things not working as you’ve planned. Unlike giving the ball to the closest player 5m away of you just to receive it and give it back again. Which is a straight response to next quote.

    “we can then
    introduce Ozil once again in attacking midfield role who is an infinitely better
    and more creative footballer than Ramsey.”

    Another blind person. The “attacking midfielder” who never makes runs in the box although he gives a straight ZERO in defence or fighting back for his team. A star player that we play better without. The “infinitely better” footballer that most fans are lighting candles to be injured so he could not play in our big games and we could look like a proper 11-player team vs another 11-player team. Yet someone cannot wait for the moment that Ozil will be back to witness his “creativity”.

  2. Emiratesstroller


    Let’s make it simple.

    Do you think that our midfield with Ramsey playing alongside Xhaka is balanced?

    Whatever you may think Arsenal are not strong enough to rely on just these
    two playing in midfield.

    Ramsey likes to be an “all action player”, but his decision making is far too often poor.

    As I wrote after game in Belorussia Wilshire is not yet ready to play a full game in EPL. That was obvious in the latter stages of game. However, he is
    a far better central midfielder than Ramsey.

    Also I think that Ozil is a superior footballer to both Ramsey and Iwobi. If Arsenal played with a high quality Central Midfield as Germany and Real Madrid did we would not be so critical of this player.

  3. TonyD

    Got to love your heart on your sleeve Rambo (movie) antics. Like a possessed bulldog with lock jaw.

    When you’re composed you make sense.

    Whoever said we should pay Wilshire by the game works for me, especially if you add high ‘Assist & Goal’ bonuses.

    How much does Wenger want to increase his salary to? £150+ per week? He’s paid far too much now for the odd CFC level game.

    Yesterday’s Game
    I think Brighton over achieved with their promotion. Looked like a pub team yesterday.

    In those kind of games we need to be building our goal difference, but we just don’t have the players who can unlock a pub team like performance except fleeting Sanches back heel moments.

    If you’re a die hard and long-term Gooner (or just love the sport) there is nothing greater than watching a match with your young son who is learning what football is about.

    That would be true if you’re watching City or United this season.

    Such a sad state of affairs, and I feel sorry for the fans who pay hard earnt money to go to our matches right now. No wonder so many left early.

    Top 4
    Really what is the point of qualifying other than financially? We just end up being the whipping boys in the last 16.

    The Club’s future?
    Bleak and getting bleaker!

    Until Wenger goes, Gazidis goes and we get an owner with ambition in being competitive to challenge for the top honours.

    12 years of hoping against hope has diluted so much of my love and passion for the club. As Loyika says, all we can do is take it game by game and try to blot out what’s happening from Wenger upwards.

    Neutrality could well be the way forward until we become a club again.

    Roll on the football and rugby world cups.

  4. Kay

    Very big concern is that apart from the sanchez backheel which took out 4 defenders for iwobi to score, we dint create enough to be 3 or 4 ahead.
    So creating something is going to be very tough next season without sanchez and ozil.
    Hope wenger prepares atleast next time (which is highly unlikely), else we will be blaming lacazette unfairly for not scoring enough when there isnt anything created.

  5. Emiratesstroller

    Tony D/Don

    I suggested sometime ago that Wilshire should be paid on similar basis to King at Spurs if his injury problems persist and he cannot train properly.

    Spurs wanted to keep King on their books, but his appearances were limited and they paid him on match basis.

    Interestingly Billy Vunipola the England and Saracens rugby player has suggested that following his second serious injury in a year that he might consider reducing his rugby commitments and take on a proper job as a plumber.

    Perhaps some footballers should consider a similar future, although that is highly unlikely as they are paid too much.

  6. loyika

    Don’t really get this Wilshere vs Rambo arguement?

    Frankly i don’t really care if Jack is the next best thing since Zizou, he needs to stay fit and available to be selected (the onus is on him to achieve that) Only thing Rambo has to do is pick his games where he goes all…Ramboistic and negates his defensive duties.

    Saying Jack is the better baller is negated by the fact that he is hardly always available for selection in the first flipping place. I respect Rambo (dude came back from a Leg/Ankle break and is putting a shift in)

    Talking about Jack is like saying you have a Ferari in your car park/garage, yet you have no moey for petrol so can’t drive it anywhere? Bloody useless now innit!

    Let Jack maintain a full season (at least 70%) in the squad before we hail him as the answers to our midfield problems. Hope he fulfils his potential with us, but for now i can only big up the players that are there in the trenches day in/day out.

    @ Tony D

    Hope you are keeping up mate.

    Not to worry, this stage shall pass soon. You can feel the apathy in the stadium and with fans (as Emstroller and others that get to go for games on the regular have pointed out) Stan and the BoD will take notice of the empty seats, even though tickets have been sold, doesn’t look good on TV nonetheless.

    But you are right, only way you will get to survive this present state Arsenal are in is game by game. (with balanced emotions and ignoring Arsene (and his band of merry men) or relegating him as an after thought)

    Funny enough i actually enjoy Man Citeh games and watch them as a balance to ours. Still find United boring as fuvk though? Maybe its just me. Lolz.

    Hope your keeping up buddy.