No expectations going into this game. We don’t generally fare very well over the Christmas rush. Too much Xmas pud and brandy leaves a stodgy feeling on Boxing Day. Then again, maybe Emery had them all eating healthy pasta and fruit, so they’d have plenty of carbs to burn.
I didn’t see much of the game at all but from what I did see, it seems our predilection for giving poor opposition a chance was clearly manifest in a half we should have been far away and sailing over the horizon before gifting them a goal. Perhaps this tendency wasn’t anything to do with Arsene but, somehow in the genes of the Club?
In our long unbeaten run we were often defying the expected goals with lethal finishing. That run has come to an end at the same time that relatively straightforward chances are not being snapped up.
1-1, you’re kidding, aren’t ya?
Didn’t see any of the second half, but the full time score tells me everything. From the stats it appears we created almost nothing of note. Thank Dennis, I had something better to do with my Boxing Day.
We came, we saw, we capitulated to mediocre opposition. Thank the lord I didn’t have to suffer watching that garbage. Half time subs seemed necessary and effective in previous games but are now starting to look a bit clueless and desperate.
Leno – Made the finish easy for the Brighton player but he had been exposed … 6
Licht – Glorious assist for the Brighton equaliser … 4
Kos – Rusty … 5
Papa – Adequate but without a huge amount to do … 6
Kola – Not as effective from left back … 6
Terrier – looks knackered after being given the early part of the season to acclimatise … 6
Xhaka – magnificent passing stats but how many did any damage to the opposition? … 6
Guendouzi – heart of a lion but needs some help from his more experienced colleagues – can’t drag the team up by the bootstraps on his own … 6
Mesut – subbed? – back spasm or more dissention within the ranks? … 6
Laca – Huff ‘n puff – his substitution took away something … 6
Auba – lost his strike rate – had to score that second … 6
Iwobi – sometimes you get the impression he’s a bit pants … 5
Rambo – sometimes you get the impression he hides … 6
Maitland-Niles – his injury has knocked him back somewhat … 5
Here’s FGG’s assessment of the situation which gives far more sense than you’ll ever get from me……..
At the beginning of the season I said this year is about improving and regaining some sort of football identity within the team and I didn’t really care where we finished in the PL just as long as we could see the club has a vision and is moving forward. At no point did I think ‘it’ll be sorted by xmas’ and at no point during the long elunbeaten run did I think ‘we’ve done it. This is the new Arsenal’.
We are a work in progress and probably will be for another 12 months. There have been some really good signs of improvement in the side, espescially when we don’t have the ball, but there are still lots of things for Emery to sort out which will take time. Of course Lichtsteiner is average, but we can’t forget that Wenger left us without a sub RB. The lad has been brought in on the cheap as a stop gap and I’ve no doubt a more long term replacement will be found very soon.
One thing I am struggling with a little is Emery changing things constantly throughout the game. We’ve gone one extreme to the other! Seeing a half time sub now and again is good to see, but sometimes you have to give the players a chance to grow into the game and trust that they can find weaknesses in the opposition themselves. Bringing Lacazette and Özil off every game just seems to be angering the players and I don’t think it helped the side at all today. As soon as we lost them we seemed incapable of getting the ball to feet in between the lines, something that both of those players are very good at.