Arsenal v Brighton prematch

I’ve been waiting for three months for this day, my first game day in 2 years. Where shall I start, so much to say. Well for one I will be seeing Freddie’s first home game, which is a great privilege. One occasion that really stood out to me from Freddie’s playing was seeing him playing with his wrist banded up later to realise his hand was broken. Hopefully he can instill that fighting spirit into the players.

Thus far my record in watching Arsenal play live is 3-1, really hope at the end of the trip it is 5-1

I have to admit that I am really nervous. When you don’t get to see Arsenal play live much, what you really want is a great game from the team. Will I even get that? Sue jokingly told me that I will get tickets for the games but getting to see them win might be pushing it 😉 Well I guess now, what I took for a joke, she was being serious grr

Predicted line up …………..


Chambers   Mustafi   Luiz   Tierney

Willock   Xhaka   Guendouzi

Aubameyang   Lacazette   Ozil


So the only one change from the last team is Tierney in for Kolasinac.

Personally I would go all out attack with the following team ………..


Chambers   Holding   Luiz   Tierney

Willock   Torriera

Pepe  Ozil   Aubameyang



Hoping I bring my name sake some good luck for his first home game.




75 Responses to Arsenal v Brighton prematch

  1. Thank you Fred for the post. I too hope you bring us some good luck and you get to see a fine win tonight.

  2. fred1266 says:

    Freddie recently said in a recent interview he basically going to get the best out of pepe, hopefully tonight the night

    Walking around London past 2 days met a lot of fans who will be attending tonight match and they all expect a win

  3. RockyLives says:

    Nice one Fred. Let’s hope your namesake delivers the goods tonight.

    I fancy a tidy win for us, so hopefully you’ll be going home happy.

    Willock had a poor game at the weekend so I wouldn’t start him. I’m guessing Bellerin is still injured, in which case this would be my preferred team:

    AMN Luiz Holding Tierney
    Guendouzi Ozil
    Pepe Laca Auba

  4. fred1266 says:

    Yea haven’t seen AMN in a while so doubt he would return since I don’t expect chambers to be in midfield

  5. VP says:

    Thanks for the post Fred and hope its a great game to watch.
    With the previous post being about Chambers, Ive decided to let him lead the defence so the below is my preferred line up to help deliver Fred a 5:1 victory

    Willock Luiz
    Ozil Saka
    Pepe Lacazette PEA Martinelli

  6. Ant says:

    Fred – Are you actually coming along this time?
    What time are we meeting you in the pub?

  7. fred1266 says:

    Lbg said to come around 6:30

  8. Ant says:

    How will we recognise you?

  9. Ant says:

    Guinness for me please

  10. Sue says:

    Top notch post, Fred! 👍
    The 3-1 you watched, who was it against?

    Well, Fred.. hopefully we’ve turned a corner, with regards to winning. I wasn’t joking when I said that to you, but I thought we played much better on Sunday, so I’m glad to say my excitement on matchday has returned (Yay!!)

    I really hope they play well, just for you, and we finally bag those 3 points!!

    I think stone cold Sokratis will be back tonight, as well as Torreira.. Not sure if Hector’s fit, but would rather he played instead of Chambers!

  11. fred1266 says:

    Have a red arsenal hate, arsenal jersey and a red winter jacket

  12. fred1266 says:

    Blue jansport back pack

  13. fred1266 says:

    Sunderland, huddersfield and the Europa game was the one when debuchy score the screamer right before he left the club

    The lost came to no other than United when de gea had the God like performance

  14. RC78 says:

    Bellerin is a doubt for this game still…crap!
    Holding should be in the group and Ceba is out…

    Here is my preferred line up then:

    Leno – Chambs, Holding, Luiz – AMN, Torreira, Douzi, Kola – Laca – Auba, Pepe

    If Bellerin was fit, I would have gone for a 4321

    This is a game we gotta win and that we will win…I think that Freddie’s line up will be 4312 still though with:

    Leno – Chambers, Holding, Luiz, Kola – Douzi, Torreira, Xhaka – Ozil – Auba, Laca

  15. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the PM Fred. There is a lot of anticipation and intrigue surrounding this game … I don’t expect so many empty seats.

    Freddie can only choose from the available fit players and so the FBs may not be top notch. It will be interesting to see his chosen CB partnership after last week.

    I hope he’s a brave (stand-in) manager. There’s nothing like being promoted from 2nd to 1st in charge to make someone suddenly become more conservative. Somehow I don’t think Freddie falls into that category – at least I hope not.

    I shall be in attendance tonight but unfortunately not early enough to join you all for a pre-match bevvy. I’ll let the Vines’ boys do the drinking for me – nothing conservative about them when it comes to imbibing 🙂

  16. fred1266 says:

    Yea no empty seats to me bloke even told me he got twelve

  17. fred1266 says:


    Someone should have gotten this for emery, on another this is a best seller anyone want as a Christmas gift

  18. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Fred, hope you enjoy the game. I like Rocky’s suggested line up best.

    There is a lot for Freddie to change about how we play and I don’t think it can all be done and perfected in one hit. I think Freddie will have to focus on a couple of basic concepts and then refine others later.

    We all know about our defensive frailties and how we back off an oncoming opposition player till they get within shooting range. I trust that this is one of the first things that Freddie has been tactically working on in training, how to put pressure on the ball and when. Knowing which player steps out to pressure the player in possession and which one stays in place to cover behind. I also hope to see for improved reading of the game and positioning in our deeper midfield area, so that we truly have a first line of defence before we call on the back 4.

    We have also become a rather slow pedestrian team in possession with little forward ball carrying pace and too many sideways and backwards passes. I think the other thing he should concentrate on is to inject more pace into the team when in possession coupled with a predominance to move forwards with the ball with both our passing and ball carrying.

    The best teams play on the front foot at pace but also with control, and are always looking for the forward pass or forward carry. I think we can begin to inject the pace and the more forward thinking in our passes but may lack some control in this initially over the first few games. It needs to be practiced to be perfect, to have that pace in our play while still retaining control, but we need to start down this route regardless if we want to become a top team again.

    We may need to accept some extra turnover of possession to start with but as long as we execute a quicker press to try and win back possession quickly much of the time, and also have that improved discipline and pressure on the ball in deeper midfield and defence, then we can probably still see out wins in most games, barring the other top teams who are more practiced at it. Then it is just a matter of time to perfect it and refine it further.

  19. RockyLives says:

    Any team news yet?

  20. RockyLives says:

    Ok I’ve found it:
    Belli Sok Luiz Kola
    Torreira Willock Xhaka
    Laca Auba

  21. GoonerB says:

    Hate to be a grouchy pessimist but I am not sure I like the team set up. It feels very much like we are lacking attacking width again so that will have to come from the FB’s like it used to in Arsenes latter years. Will that leave us as a back 2 again and exposed behind the FB’s? I hope Freddie has a cunning plan and knows something we don’t

  22. LB says:

    I think Freddie’s cunning plan must be to keep persevering with Willock until it works because he doesn’t deserve to be there after his performance on the weekend.

  23. LB says:

    Don’t you find it infuriating that you cannot go onto to find the team line up. It truly is a pathetic site.

  24. RockyLives says:

    Agree about Willock – let’s see if Freddie is proved right

  25. RockyLives says:

    Pretty painful viewing so far

  26. RockyLives says:

    Not a very encouraging half. No discernible pattern to our play. We look dangerous in attack but in defence we’re more or less waving them through on our goal.

  27. fatgingergooner says:

    Lack of confidence is astonishing, and it’s just compounded by bad refereeing and a terrible atmosphere. When you add it all together it’s relegation football. If this carries on the board will have to act quickly to get a new manager in, and if it’s a rushed decision then it could ultimately be the wrong one. We really need a good half of football here and some positive vibes on the stadium, but I won’t hold my breath.

  28. fatgingergooner says:

    It’s amazing to me that Xhaka, who has been the subject of abuse and could very easily have hidden away, is the only one who looks like he’s interested in having the ball and is willing to suffer the wrath of the fans in order to play some sort of positive, forward pass. Everyone else is just hiding and nobody is showing a willingness to get on the ball and make something happen.

  29. RockyLives says:

    Mind you, we should have had 3 penalties

  30. RockyLives says:

    Amen to both comments FGG

  31. RA says:

    It is impossible to see much good in that half, except Brighton are far better than we are.

    At least Pepe is on as sub.

  32. RA says:

    I am keeping a close eye on Torreira and Xhaka in the 2nd half — both went absent upfield in the 1st half leaving the defence isolated.

    No discipline

  33. RA says:

    For a dread moment I thought VAR was going to nix us.

  34. RockyLives says:

    I noticed that too Redders.

    There were times when those two were upfield and Willock seemed to be playing as a CF

  35. RockyLives says:

    We’re still living dangerously. Torreira thinks he’s a forward

  36. RC78 says:

    When will Torreira and Sok learn?…

  37. fatgingergooner says:

    It’s so bad. Outplayed at home by Brighton. FUCKING BRIGHTON! I can live with a team parking the bus and us struggling to break them down and losing a soft goal, but that’s not what is happening. Teams are outplaying us and don’t even seem to worry about what we can offer (which is very little btw). Absolutely no authority in our team anymore. How far we’ve fallen.

  38. RockyLives says:

    Oh dear.

    I have seldom seen a team – and never an Arsenal team – so fearful and lacking in confidence.

    Our problems run deep, deep, deep…

  39. Rasp says:

    I blame Fred

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    I can’t see where another result will come from. I’m looking at the fixtures and I don’t see any games where I’m confident of 3 points. What has happened to us?

  41. 1979Gunner says:

    Brutal. A disgrace to the Club. That squad needs rooted out. Too many spice boys and poor footballers. A fucking embarrassment.

  42. RC78 says:

    Leno – Luiz, Kola – Pepe and Laca showed up
    Auba – Ozil – Xhaka showed up for parts of the game
    Bellerin – Sok – Torreira and Willock were on a holiday
    Tierney and Martinelli – not fair to judge

    After 2 games – I think that FL and BFG have some weeding out to do:

    1. Mustafi and Sok can’t start, it is confirmed again
    2. Torreira cannot play CM and the axis Torreira-Xhaka doesn’t work
    3. Ozil is putting in a good shift but he is not helping our game enough
    4. Willock is not ready yet
    5. Bellerin is still not up to standard so maybe we have to go back to a back 3 and put AMN as a WB
    6. Luiz and Kola have been our best defenders in the last 2 games
    7. Xhaka has not disgraced himself
    8. Douzi has more guile and dynamism to his game than our other midfield options
    9. Auba on the right is not great…
    10. Laca in the center is doing well
    11. Pepe showed some good stuff today
    12. Leno can be trusted so far.

    Leno – Chambers, Holding, Luiz – AMN, Douzi, Torreira (as DM otherwise Xhaka), Kola – Pepe, Laca, Auba

  43. RockyLives says:

    I feel bad for AA’s Fred…

  44. Rasp says:

    I’m completely lost for ideas. We’ve changed the players, we’ve changed the manager … and yet nothing changes.

  45. Aaron says:

    Well, mentioned a long time ago that the Luiz purchase was madness, coming to fruition, especially if he plays with Sok, Kola or Mustafi, and with a midfield with no pace or balance, a death knell for sure.

    Freddie has to have the courage to change up the team, no matter who looks the strongest on paper or in practice, it has to be a team with proper defenders, not wingbacks, mids with no off the ball movement, or communication.

    Do not care how he does it- under 23’s, Chambo as a DM, high press to squeeze the space to smaller units, conditioning drills till midnight, whatever. Emery already tried all the combinations of regulars and it does NOT work.

  46. fatgingergooner says:


    You can put any starting XI up but that isn’t the issue. Who’s actually accountable for anything at this club? Who is actually having to answer to somebody? From the outside it just looks like a classroom full of lads when the teacher is absent and they can get away with anything.

    Are any of the players really going to care what Freddie and Mertersacker have to say? Can you imagine Lacazette, Aubameyang and Özil giving a shit what they are told on the training ground by our new coaches? I can’t.

    Who are Freddie and Per answering to? Edu? Freddie used to play alongside him. They are probably mates and go way back. Is there any authority in that relationship? Doubt it.

    Then you look higher up and you’ve got a load of 70+ year olds and some distant American owners who nobody wants.

    Where’s the accountability and somebody actually having some authority on a day to day basis. I hope the next manager is someone strong because we bloody need it. Somebody who can kick the squad into shape and demand more from those above. Simeone springs to mind but why would anyone like that want to work with this shower of shit?

  47. RC78 says:

    Sad sad times at Arsenal and this is how
    1. You realize that AW was not so bad…
    2. Ramsey and Ox left on the cheap
    3. DM is still an issue
    4. Sok, Mustafi need to go

  48. Sue says:

    That was pants – big Bridget Jones pants!
    I’m sorry they didn’t play better for you, Fred!
    Get set for the championship?

  49. RC78 says:

    Fgg – this is why I wasnt against Mourinho… Now am hoping we get Ancelotti because we need order in this mess

  50. Rasp says:

    The lack of movement to present passing options was shocking this evening. Playing from the back failed due to delaying the pass. Long balls failed because our players didn’t even bother to compete at times. I agree there is a lack of personal and collective accountability. Tierney was known as a blood and guts, give it all for the shirt player at Celtic … but you can’t do it all on your own.

  51. LB says:

    What a mess…………….

  52. John Mathews legend says:

    Hard to know what to think or say after that match….
    So best I say nuffink..
    Booked my train up to St Pancre@rse this evening for my Xmas in Islington week with la famille.
    Haven’t managed to get a ticket for the Chelski match yet, and kinda doubting that I will now (unless results go so bad that people are busting their backsides to flog ’em.)
    I suggested a few weeks back that I could meet up with any AAers for a pre-match beer if I get there.
    Still on, if anyone wants to..I can just watch the match in the pub.

  53. fatgingergooner says:

    It goes beyond tactics and personnel imo. The lack of confidence and lack of direction has totally killed the talent within the squad. These players are capable, but they desperately need a result from somewhere to get a spark. I was hoping that Emery leaving would give us a short-term boost but we look rudderless right now. If anything it’s shown us that we really do lack any sort of serious leadership in the group and that the experienced players are not the right ones. If they were, they’d be doing something to sort this out.

    Whoever’s on the field just looks scared to get the ball. They are hiding.

  54. Sue says:

    West Ham next… and some of their fans think we’ll beat them 😂

  55. oz gunner says:

    what an absolute shit show. We didn’t even get that new manager high that most teams get.

  56. LBG says:

    Well Freddie, I was intending to give you a good shot in post, but you will need to quickly shake off a bad case of Emeryitis if you are not to quickly piss me off very seriously. Tonight you managed to get EVERYTHING wrong.
    Not one defender started in your selected team. And three of them were booked for pathetic, lazy fouls. ( Including our best “non defender”David Luiz). Xhaka playing centrally, holding, with Torreira charging up and down on right of midfield resulting in Brighton passing through midfield continuously. Willock lost and unable to play any part, forward and right. Aubang and Lacazette miles apart, unable to play off each other, with no even reasonable service.
    Zonal marking at set pieces with little or no actual challenge each time.Inability of forwards to cross ball by beating first blocker.

    Question :- how were Brighton able to play one two close passing anywhere on the pitch to beat our pressing and we weren’t able to do it?

    Only consolation was meeting and consequently proving the existence of Fred. But you didn’t bring us any luck, young man.

    A simply depressing experience.

  57. Gööner In Exile says:

    I think hiding behind confidence is a travesty, these players are paid thousands of pounds a week to turn up and do a job from training to match days and they simply are not doing it, Emery the manager they ridiculed has gone and they have a chance to play and release themselves but they don’t/can’t/won’t. There is too much finger pointing at others.

    One moment in the first half summed up the current individuality within the team, Brighton got a free kick on edge of box, Leno is on his post trying to line up his wall and is shouting 4, and holding up four fingers. No one listened too busy worrying about talking to ref. Two made a wall then suddenly we had about 7 and-Torreira laying down behind it.

    I have to question why.

    Maybe just maybe Freddie is teaching the players a lesson….there you go you know best you go out and show you know how to play and now they have failed twice it’s time for them to listen.

    Either that or he needs a lot more time to get his message across.

    But I really think it’s time to sort the mess out starting with a fire sale, we have bought terribly for the last 3/4 seasons. I’m not saying the players we’ve bought have always been bad, but for me they have been because we can get them not because they fit any particular need.

    At the end of last season I banged on to anyone who would listen that we should get rid of the experience and try and mould a young squad. We didn’t the fear being that bottom half would beckon, well it’s beckoning anyway and when we look at teams with squads on far less money a week outperforming us week in week out perhaps it is time we should realise we have got it wrong.

  58. I have to say that I’m terribly fed up with going to watch a team that don’t seem to have the faintest idea how to play, score, defend or take control of a game. This is dreadful ☹️☹️☹️

  59. LBG says:

    Final comment made by someone on way out. “Every team that we play now believe they can beat us”. ” And most of them will be right”

  60. John Mathews legend says:

    We are now 10 points behind Chelsea in 4th, and 5 points ahead of Everton in 18th (relegation spot) Longest run without a win since 1977 apparently.
    I was going to Highbury in 74-75 when we finished 16th, and 75-76 when we finished 17th (not sure of dates, as I got them from Wiki.I would have thought that 74-75 was when we nearly got relegated coming 17th)
    We thought we had good players back in them days…..
    But anyone could beat us..
    Anyone can beat us now.

  61. John Mathews legend says:

    LBG, my last comment echoes your’s

  62. Sue says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if they really did give up playing for Unai or are they really just a bunch of donkeys?
    Those stats are embarrassing…

  63. fred1266 says:

    We’re just s***

  64. John Mathews legend says:

    Oh well, in moderation for a couple of Keltic/Anglo Saxon linguistic iterations….
    Never mind the b*llocks.

  65. Sue says:

    Doesn’t feel much better having slept on it!
    We must be the only team to not benefit from sacking their manager – a draw and a loss! Everton have sacked Silva, now watch them go and win at the weekend! 🙄
    Can we just cancel the season now? Let every team we’re due to play have the 3 points (except Liverpool)…. it’s torturous watching us! All that false hope I had after Sunday 😭

    I’m not defending the team when I say this, but the ref was awful.. even worse than Dean and Moss 😱
    And pee breaks, Auba?! It can only happen at the Emirates…

  66. seedeee says:

    Every week I think it can’t get any worse, and then Arsenal go and prove me wrong again.

    I agree with a proper change up of personnel, we’ve tried everything else. Show the players that don’t put the effort in that their place is not guaranteed. And why the hell isnt holding playing?

    I have no idea how professional footballers abilities to pass and move can disappear so quickly

  67. I thought I felt bad last Friday morning 😦 😦 😦 ………….

    Fred has kindly sent a report of his evening’s entertainment 😆 just sorting it now ……………. back in a bit.

  68. Morning all

    We have a New Post ……………

  69. Sue says:

    Hi seedeee.. I’ve got to the stage now where I think it doesn’t matter who plays, we’re always pants!!

  70. fred1266 says:

    Yea lumberg said in post match we have no confidence, did you see how lacazette celebrated when he scored his goal it meant so much still don’t know why he was taken of

    On another note Freddie lumberg shale now ne address as lumberg and not Freddie

  71. Gööner In Exile says:

    Ref was indeed a bit bad, wasn’t impressed when the ref in the studio said that the refs are looking for a triangle of fabric for penalties. So basically pull shirt up or down and it’s ok. Ridiculous.

    That said the ref was not to blame.

    I just went back and looked at the 2015-16 squad….oh happy days……ok we were not world beaters but we were balanced. The transfer activity since then has left a lot to be desired.

    It does not take any managerial talent to recognise we are a top heavy team, but the problem is we can’t get the ball to those up top as the midfield does not function, Torreira and Xhaka should be a good combination but there is just no understanding of where each other should be, that said I doubt we have started many games this season with the same midfield and it shows. Far too much tinkering, and Freddie tinkered again last night.

    Compounding the issue of a non functioning midfield is a non functioning defence, which may be because of that midfield but is still a worry, so the forward line have to carry the team from the front where they can’t get the ball enough and score more than our defence concedes. Other teams score more goals with lesser players and defend better.

    We have to get a settled XI especially in the middle of the park, choose the best 2/3 based on their skill sets not their form and let them build an understanding, then change one or two components at a time until we find the balance.

    And going back to that 2015/16 squad remember the criticisms of identikit players….well it was true but perhaps it was for good reasons, we had sprinkled a bit of stardust in Ozil and Alexis but we had a good base of a team:

    GK : Cech/Ospina
    RB : Hector/Debuchy
    LB : Gibbs/Monreal
    CB : BFG/Kos/Gabriel
    MF : Coquelin/Ramsey/Santi/Rosicky/Arteta/Wilshere/Elneny/Flamini
    AM : Ozil/Alexis/Ox/Walcott/Campbell
    CF : Giroud/Welbeck

    Not our strongest but certainly most balanced.

  72. Sorry to go all Untold, but the referee really had us over there didn’t he? Usually I’m laissez-faire about it, but this stood out as slanted towards B&HA. Perhaps one or two dives by our team didn’t help, but it was so obviously in their favour that even the match commentators were repeatedly mentioning it.

  73. RC78 says:

    Ancelotti may be available together with Allan and Koulibaly after Napoli draws again… Fingers crossed

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