Brighton v Arsenal – Match Ratings

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.

First Half

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?

Second Half

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.



29 Responses to Brighton v Arsenal – Match Ratings

  1. chas says:

  2. chas says:

    Off to work!
    When what I could really be doing with, is chilling out in a traditional Japanese hot tub with some capybaras.

  3. LBG says:

    Capybaras eat their own poop, it’s round, orange and floats!
    Don’t work too hard, Chas, there’s always another game ahead.

  4. chas says:

    That’s what I’m afraid of!!!

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Fine work chas. Thank you.

    “it seems our predilection for giving poor opposition a chance was clearly manifest”. Did you get a dictionary in your Xmas stocking 😀

    We have been poor since the Spurs win. Do the players think they can always dominate in the second half?

    It should be pointed out that Brighton’s GK made two fantastic saves from PEA, the first was simply amazing,

  6. Rasp says:

    Morning all, thanks chas and FGG

    Very disappointing performance. No excuse really … the manager was water bottle kickingly mad … and I felt the same. They’ve done so well to get to this position, it is baffling why they couldn’t raise themselves for this game. Manu will be breathing down our necks soon … it could be win the EL or no CL next year again unless SS puts his hand in his pocket and UE can find a couple of gems in the transfer window.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    FGG’s comment in the post sums up my opinion – we are in transit between AW’s AFC and UE’s. It will take time

  8. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you Chas, nice work FGG. 🙂

    I look forward to a fighting point in the next game. Apart from that, Shtum…

  9. Red Arnie says:

    VP. Cricket is a game of run scoring. Highest total in the series, 450 odd for 7, in trying conditions – heat and uneven bounce (shockingly poor groundsman). And you found it boring! 🙂

    Great display of test cricket. If only Steve Smith was eligible, it would be a great contest. Without him, I fear for the Aussies. Khwaja is no Smith! Not even Pujara.

  10. Big Raddy says:

    RA/VP But Kohli is, he is even better than Chris Tavare´

  11. Red Arnie says:

    Raddy. Kohli is great in the shorter versions of the game, but not adequate for tests. When is the last time he has changed the outcome of a game? Never.

    Mind, the same could be said of Tendulkar as well. Pujara has scored 16 centuries and led his team to wins in 11 of those. 🙂

  12. Red Arnie says:

    Chris Tavare? Nah! But Geoff Boycott, yes, Rahul Dravid, yes. The greatest and most influential of them all was Wally Hammond. 🙂

  13. VP of Oz says:

    if we are going into the past then David Boon wins hands down –

    David Boon downs 52 cans of beer on a single flight
    As the Qantas flight landed in Heathrow, there emerged from the aircraft David Boon, fresh from breaking an Australian record.

    April 30, 1989. As the Qantas flight landed in Heathrow, there emerged from the aircraft a burly, moustachioed man, fresh from breaking an Australian record. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at an incident that has been etched in cricket folklore forever.

    David Boon scored 7,422 runs at 43.65 with 21 hundreds from 107 Tests. The world does not know these numbers by heart, and they can hardly be blamed for that. What they do know of, however, is that trademark moustache that makes him stand out in a hundred; and, of course, that 52-strong 1989 beer-fest on the Qantas flight to London.

    Allan Border’s men were out to regain The Ashes in 1989. The long Qantas Jumbo flight was supposed to take off Sydney, halt at Singapore, and was supposed to land at Heathrow on April 30. Travelling as a part of the side was Boon. Few anticipated the feat he was about to pull off.

    Keg on legs

    When Rodney Marsh and Doug Walters had gulped down 44 cans of beer each in the 1973 trip back home from the Caribbean, it did not seem likely that the record would be broken anytime soon.

    One must remember that flights were longer those days. The attendants were more ‘cooperative’, and despite everything things never got out of control. While Walters had kept a track of his 44 cans, Marsh’s is largely undocumented: all that remains is Marsh’s own claim that he had matched Walters can-by-can.

    Encores were attempted in 1977 and 1983, but 44 remained beyond the scope of the Men from Down Under (though some claim Marsh did a 46 in 1983). When the Qantas Jumbo took off, Boon did not have the 45-figure in mind — or at least that is what his claim is.

    Boon started off slowly, accompanied by Merv Hughes and Mark Taylor (to be fair, all three had imposing physiques). Dean Jones joined in soon. None of the three kept a count — but Jones did. “Boonie had plenty of advice for me as we had just left Singapore and we had just finished our 22nd can of beer,” Jones later told Australian Paper.

    All this had to be done with utmost caution, for neither Border nor Bobby Simpson nor Lawrie Sawle (Chairman of Selectors) would have approved had they got an air of the goings-on. This was an era when Border and Simpson were trying to get the team out of the idea (to quote Steve Waugh) that hamburgers were not healthy just because it had lettuce in it. There was more to fitness than that.

    Jones fell asleep on the top deck (where Simpson and Sawle were seated) soon after the flight took off. Geoff Lawson, meanwhile, had been keeping a score on sick-bags. Hughes, Geoff Marsh, Tom Moody, and Carl Rackemann gave Boon moral support from what The Age called “the non-striker’s end”.

    Jones claimed that he woke up, confused, amidst the deafening sound of the entire crew and passengers applauding. He told The Age: “Hearing all the boisterous applause, Bob Simpson thought someone had won a big card game and explained to Laurie Sawle that he’d collected a similar kitty while making the 1964 journey to England.”

    The captain had just announced on the public announcement system that Boon had gone past Marsh’s and Walters’ 44. The attendants confirmed the count as 52 cans of Victoria Bitter beers.

    Hughes, however, insists the count is wrong. “That’s an absolute fabrication of the truth. It was 53 cans,” he told The Guardian.

    Simpson was not amused. Jones tried to convince him to send the Tasmanian home and have him at No. 3 instead. Somehow the coach was not convinced. He tried to ensure the incident did not get public, but by the time he put a curfew on his team, Hughes had already informed a few radio stations.

    Boon did not stop there. The team attended the press conference; the Australian media (thankfully) did not ask Boon questions. The team then attended a cocktail party hosted by XXXX (the sponsors) when Boon downed three more cans (rumours are that he had another couple at Sydney before the flight had taken off). He then went into a 36-hour slumber and missed two practice sessions.

    How much did he drink?

    The cans were not pint-sized. They measured a ‘tinny’ or a ‘stubby’, in other words, 375-ml cans. If we go by the 52-can count, that amounts to 19.5 litres of beer. That seems absurd even if we think water.

    Additionally, if one goes by the 4.6% ABV, then Boon consumed 897 ml of pure, undiluted, unadulterated alcohol in the space of 24 hours. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recommends about a third of that per week.

    Dr Donald Curran admonished the act in an article in Medical Journal of Australia later that year: “With the inevitably shorter flights to London, the next record breaker may arrive ‘dead’ on time … It is well-known that alcohol can have very serious toxic effects on heart muscle resulting in cardiac arrest.”

    What about the man?

    The most surprising aspect of Boon’s feat is the silence of the man himself on the incident: “Never spoke about it, never will,” were his only words to Weekend Australian Magazine. “We played our cricket in an era where blokes learned never to let the truth get in the way of a good story,” were the words he reserved for Fox Sports.

    What followed?

    – Boon later became brand ambassador of VB.

    – Boon’s feat was dwarfed by baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs in January 2015 during a cross-country flight in USA. He consumed 107 beers in a day.

    Brief scores:

    David Boon 52.

    (Abhishek Mukherjee is the Chief Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry)

  14. LBG says:

    Find your dismissal of Virat in Tests as slightly amazing.
    Currently leading Test batsman with the best Test rating ever -937points.
    His most recent 82 put him past Dravid with 1137 runs in a calendar year as highest ever. Test average of 54.2, including 25 100s and a top score of 243.
    All this and only since 2011 when he made his debut, and in a team of all round stars, No1 in World more often than not since then. Another year or so and he will break into my all time seen live World Test eleven.

  15. Big Raddy says:

    RA. This is a football blog … but…

    The Tavare comment was a joke because he was almost as dull to watch os Boycs. I had the misfortune to often watch Boycot and Tavare, fine run accumulators but so, so boring.

    My fave was Gower. The man was a genius. Did he affect the result? Sometimes.

    It would be churlish to say Kohli is only a game changer in One dayers, the man carries his nation on his back. A magnificent cricketer, almost certainly the best in the world (apart from Perry)

  16. LBG says:

    Love the cricket debate, despite Boon being a genuine Arse hole in general!
    But want to start the Saturday debate already with an early suggestion for team selection.
    Given none of injured are either fit or ready to be played in a game like this, am making my (controversial) selection based on currently fit.
    With this in mind, find myself opting for three at the back. Guessing a couple of selections and one absentee will cause a ruckus, but who cares!


    Sokratis Medley Kos

    AM-N Terrier Kola
    Ramsey Ouzi



  17. fred1266 says:

    The Football Association (FA) has charged Arsenal head coach Unai Emery with improper conduct after he kicked a bottle during his side’s Premier League game at Brighton and Hove Albion.

  18. Aaron says:

    Oh the horror.
    But, the fA will ignore the diving, brutal fouls, racism and everything else.

  19. GunnerN5 says:

    I think they bottled it.

  20. Big Raddy says:

    LBG. Your team is not going to happen.

    Xhaka has played every game so far and will continue, especially if we get either Nacho or Mustafi fit to play at CB

    However, I would like to see how your team would perform, let’s email UE

  21. Red Arnie says:

    ha ha ha. 🙂 I am listening, but I stand by my position. maybe Kohli is a top idol, but not influential enough. not yet, and that may change.

    on Gower, yes brilliant, but I have plenty of lefthander favs, the top being Ganguly, then in no specific order: Gower, Border, Greatbatch.

    and Boon! what a character, what a tache! 🙂

    ok, now no more cricket then! 🙂

  22. LBG says:

    Ever Banega, Julian Draxler, Rabiot, Navas (Gk)

  23. LBG says:

    Know you are right, but believe Xhaka is the continuing cause of only slow progress. Slow reflexes, sprays passes but only predictable ones, liability under pressure, most short passes are what we rugby, shit shovelling.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Ponting was quite good as well.

    LBG. I agree, we need better and expect us to to sign someone. But for now, Emery appears to trust the Swiss/Croat

  25. fred1266 says:

  26. chas says:


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