AFC vs Brighton, another final in the Top 4 race

So it seems I keep on writing similar posts week-in, week-out…the margin for error to land the coveted Top 4 spot just got thinner after last week’s abysmal defeat to C. Palace. Things got also tougher with us with the loss of key players to injury: Tomy, Tierney and Partey. Three of our better players this season but we just have to accept the situation but also accept that Tierney and Partey often get injured…Laca is under pressure to score goals but it has to be said that Ode has missed some very good chances lately too, chances that could have changed the course of our games if they ended being goals…

So here we are about to face Brighton, a decent well-drilled team full of spirited players and some talented players too (Maupay, Bissouma, McAllister, Lamptey, Duffy, Dunk, Trosser, Dedonker…). It will not be a walk in the park and we need to be ready for a fight, to face pressure on set-pieces and also quick transition…

Our most likely line-up will be:

Ramsdale – Cedric, White, Gabs, Tavares – Lokonga, Xhaka – Saka, Ode, Martinelli – Laca

My preferred line up would be:

Ramsdale – White, Holding, Gabs – Cedric, El Neny, Xhaka, Tavares – Ode (or ESR ) – Saka, Laca (or Martinelli)

We cannot afford to drop any points today as Tottenham are in great form and favoured to win at Villa. Some players like Romero and Betancur are really helping Tottenham be more solid and in Kane-Son, they have a very dynamic and lethal duo so I do not expect the F*in* Spurs to drop many points until the end of the season…

73 Responses to AFC vs Brighton, another final in the Top 4 race

  1. Khamisu says:

    Ramsadale , white, Gabriel, holding, Cedric,xhaka,eleneny,odegard,saka,laca,martinelli

  2. fred1266 says:

    Like palace Brighton has been a boggy side for usbso we have to be on our very best

  3. fred1266 says:

    VAR is such bullshit, if a decision so hard to make why not give the goal

  4. RC78 says:

    Agree…what was offside? The left toe…? Come on…I like the VAR but there should be a rule that would include a margin for error, no?…It s crazy

    Anyways, we were quite poor…Ode is not playing well, Xhaka and White not doing great either neither Lokonga nor Laca…Saka and Martinelli trying hard as always and Gabs providing some good moments…COYG!

    I hope Arteta brings in Holding now for Ode and we ask a tough task to Saka to play LB in a 3412 set up…

  5. RC78 says:

    Why is Martinelli playing LB? So silly…

  6. RC78 says:

    Just bring in Holding for Ode and play

    Ramsdale – Holding, White, Gabs – Cedric, Lokonga, Xhaka, Saka – ESR – Laca, Martinelli

  7. RC78 says:

    Pheew…Xhaka back at the back but I think Arteta needs to make his formation change…NOW!

  8. fred1266 says:

    He wouldn’t change his formation

  9. RC78 says:

    That s where I find him a tad bit silly at times…Just try smt new if the usual receipe is not working especially since we do not have the same ingredient…

    Saka is gonna get sent off at this boiling rate

  10. fred1266 says:

    What I find silly is after all these years we can’t figure out to beat these kinda sides

  11. fred1266 says:

    Can Eddie leave us with a boom

  12. RC78 says:

    Nketiah on for Smithe-Rowe…

    So now Odegaard will play deeper even, Laca will drop in as a 10

    Rams – Ced, White, Gabs, Xhaka – Ode, Lokonga – Saka, Laca, Marti – Eddie

  13. fred1266 says:

    Should have Taken off xhaka or lakonga get more attackers on

  14. pbarany says:

    It’s kind of inconceivable how can such a piss-poor coach win the PL manager of the month award twice…

  15. RC78 says:

    I don’t understand our team at the moment…We have Saka, Laca, Pepe and Nketiah there and our midfield is Ode-Lokonga?

  16. RC78 says:

    Are we in a 442 or still 4231?

  17. RC78 says:

    He should bring in Tavares as well…we need more pace and urgency

  18. fred1266 says:

    How able the players are piss poor

    Saka had a similar shot to mkepu but HR skied his

    Some shocking Freekick

    What exactly can the manager do about that

  19. RC78 says:

    This is where both Lokonga and Ode have to improve…their defensive tracking and positioning…

  20. fred1266 says:

    Tavares who can’t defend really

  21. RC78 says:

    To be honest, both coach and players have been crap so far today…

  22. RC78 says:

    We need something going forward now…

  23. fred1266 says:

    Odegard improve haha he an attacking player who can’t even score u want him to be a better defender

  24. RC78 says:

    Less than 10 mins…we need some urgency! What are they doing!

  25. RC78 says:

    Fred, I agree…He needs to be also better at scoring but Arteta is so often taking ESR ahead of him and makes him play deeper too so we need more from him defensively as well…

  26. RC78 says:

    Pepe at least trying…

  27. RC78 says:

    Come on Arteta bring in Tavarez or Azeez…anything to add some urgency to our game

  28. RC78 says:

    Now we re talking…come on…it s getting closer…If we score one now, we may be able to salvage 1 point…we can make them panick

  29. Johnny ashton says:

    What bl**dy top 4 race? Top 4 joke…

  30. RC78 says:

    Told you we were getting closer…and Fred, your friend Odegaard heard you 😛

  31. RC78 says:

    Who cares about the deflection…come on, one more goal…

  32. RC78 says:

    6 minutes…there is time for another goal…

  33. RC78 says:

    Come on Pepe, just score buddy…you can do it!

  34. fred1266 says:

    Yea nice one odegard hope he keeps it up

  35. fred1266 says:

    Think u mask for to much from pepe

  36. fred1266 says:

    What Eddie has to do to score jeez

  37. RC78 says:

    F.U Sanchez! What a save, so unhelpful for us

  38. fred1266 says:

    Shit setpiece from odegard again

  39. RC78 says:

    Horrible loss again…Only positives of the game is that Pepe and Nketiah injected some urgency to our game…

    Ramsdale – 5
    Cedric – 5 (only because he did well in the last 15 mins)
    White – 5
    Gabs – 5.5
    Xhaka – 4.5
    Lokonga – 4.5
    Odegaard – 5
    ESR – 4.5
    Saka – 5.5
    Laca – 4.5
    Martinelli – 5.5

    Pepe – 5.5
    Nketiah – 5.5

    Arteta – 3.5

    Forget Top 4, try to secure top 6 at least

  40. aaron says:

    Xhaka at left back says it all really.

    Waited until the last 10 minutes to play with some urgency, and it was exciting, but alas Sanchez made a great save on Eddie, damn.

    Still say 6-8th give Arteta his walking papers!

    If we have play Europa with this sqaud we will never get back to contending for Leauge or a CL spot.

  41. RC78 says:

    Arteta really poor on this game…

  42. RC78 says:

    Let us embrace a new system to unleash our current team’s potential – we have 3 key players missing. We need to adjust our set-up at times to reach our goals…that’s how it is…

    Holding can be key for us and Xhaka’s qualities are needed in midfield more than at LB…We are struggling for goals at the moment and we re not tracking back properly either so let us do what we have to do…shake things up a bit! Play with the same principles but different set-up, it is ok…

  43. RC78 says:

    Laca needs a bit of time on the bench…Let Eddie play forward a bit.

  44. RC78 says:

    M not even a huge fan of Eddie but he may be able to put some chances away.

  45. RC78 says:

    and there you go…Son already puts Spurs up after 3 minutes…

    Romero, Betancur, Son, Kane are really showing up now for Spurs and making a world of differnce to their team’s performance since a month. Damn it! We need some howlers drom Lloris, Dier, Davies

  46. RC78 says:

    Conte…what a coach too

  47. LB says:

    “Conte…what a coach too”

    A Tottenham love in, that’s just about all we need.

  48. RC78 says:

    LB – I hate Tottenham but gotta recognize the quality of their coach and some of their players…Imagine if we had:

    Ramsdale – Tomy, Romero, Gabriel, Tierney – Partey, Betancur – Saka, Son, Martinelli – Kane

    4 players but they d transform our team…

    Same with Conte – if he were our coach, he may have had more of an impact than Arteta, who knows?

  49. RC78 says:

    Am still hoping they lose badly today and that they finish outside the Top 6…

  50. fred1266 says:

    Eddie who can’t u want to play smh

  51. RC78 says:

    I dunno Fred…I think the team needs to change its dynamic. We are in a rut and can’t afford to be in one…

  52. RC78 says:

    Extracted from Skysports.com: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta: “The first half we didn’t have the reaction I expected. We were sloppy, unprecise. We were not with the right approach and right courage to play the way we want to play. The game was there and we were cold. We didn’t transmit any energy, we didn’t transmit any willingness to dominate the game the way we want to do it. The first situation they had they scored a goal. The second half we had a reaction, especially in the last minute. It’s great not to give up but we had to do it in the first minute.

    “We were really unprecise, and we didn’t have the speed or purpose or courage to attack the way we wanted to attack. We were really predictable with what we wanted to do and then unprecise. Everything isn’t going to be smooth in a season. You’re going to have a moment where you don’t perform individually and collectively, that’s fine. But then you need to react and today we didn’t show that in the first half.”

    On Martinelli’s disallowed goal: “That was a big moment because that would have changed the game. The momentum and the energy. When you’re not playing so well you need something to go your way and we hit the bar twice and the keeper made some excellent saves. It didn’t happen but it’s down to us.”

  53. fred1266 says:

    I assure you the likes of Eddie and pepe wouldn’t change that rot

    Arsenal has always have difficulty beating side like palace and Brighton so the lose wasn’t unexpected for me

  54. RC78 says:

    True about us struggling vs Brighton and Palace…

    I have a feeling a change of system and personnel could help us a bit but you are right, it s not like Eddie and Pepe are going to set the world on fire with assists and goals…but they may just bring more hunger

  55. pbarany says:

    Fred, Arteta had little to do with Saka botching an easier chance than what Mwepu scored. He could be partly responsible for the lack of confidence.
    But it’s on Arteta that we don’t try with long shots. When was the last time you saw Xhaka unleash his deadly left foot? Or Odegaard? And what happened when he finally did?
    Arteta is accountable for pushing this unexciting and ineffective wingplay that translates superior ball possession into byline crosses. We made 24 of that in the game, and only 4 found an Arsenal player.

  56. RC78 says:

    Arteta is at least being honest in his post-match interview…This road leads us to nowhere…

  57. aaron says:

    Mikel is a passive agressive weasel.
    We, he means they, and never holds himself accountable.

    1 win from many losses when coming from behind.

    Man, all this stuff about the team improving is utter horse$h*te!

    On pace for 57 goals scored and 45.7 conceeded, in the exact expected range as the last two years.

    8th 8th and 8th would be an immdiate cause for firing if our club has any ambition at all.

    We let Auba go for peanuts, when all he needed was service, yes he did not fit the team, but expecting juniors to carry the goal scoring load and not getting anyone in January is madness.

    Damn team only came alive in last 10 minutes, Mikel just needs to play hungry players in the positions they play and get the F out of the way, let them PLAY!

    Mikel has 8 games to get it together or his future will be kaput.

    Will stick by my assertion, 4th or send Edu, Mikel and other admin packing!

  58. RC78 says:

    I think we all agree that a Top 4 would be a very good achievement.

    I think a Top 6 finish would be the most foreseen outcome.

    A finish below 6th would be underperforming.

    The only thing is that we had some underperfoming teams this season in Utd and also Tottenham (until recently) and next season, you cannot expect them to be as poor especially not Tottenham.

    So Arteta really needs to get us firing and fired up for a challenge for the Top 4 place and if we finish 5th, be it but at least we need to show passion, hunger and try to play decent football…

    Let us wait at the end of the season to see if we fire him, I d fire him if he finishes below 6th BUT we all know Edu and the Board will keep him at least another year, another transfer window.

  59. fred1266 says:

    Wishful thinking Rc78, dey haven’t given any hunger majority of there time at the club so don’t expect any hunger when dey are about to leave

    But am glad your pecimistic

  60. fred1266 says:

    U have a point pb but just watched arsenal over the past year how we struggle to break down a pack defense

    Prime example Brighton second goal we had a pack defense dey score and that was all down to individual brilliance

  61. RC78 says:

    We better beat Spurs when we meet them…

  62. pbarany says:

    Aaron, we didn’t let Auba go for peanuts. There was a substantial financial compensation. Well, we didn’t receive it but actually paid Auba to terminate his contract, but it’s tomato-tomaetoh… 🙂

  63. RC78 says:

    The point that Aaron was probably trying to make is that we let go of our best scorer of the last 3 seasons for free (we did not get a transfer fee) and that we did not replace him adequately…

    I know we saved salaries but a player like Auba should not be cut off the team like that. I think we could have gotten a good 12 Mln for him…not much of course given his talent but already smt…

  64. fred1266 says:

    And United Rc78

  65. fred1266 says:

    And Chelsea Rc78

  66. RC78 says:

    Indeed…what a run-in we have 😦

    Only positive of today was that the Blog was very active and that PSG won 6-1, with 3 assists for Messi, 3 goals, 1 assist for Neymar and 3 goals, 1 assist for Mbappe

  67. RC78 says:

    Ok everyone, tomorrow, France is voting and m voting too…Best case scenario: Le Pen does not get into the second round…Worse case scenario: She gets in the second round with Zemmour…

    Wish us luck

  68. RC78 says:

    Good night everyone

  69. fred1266 says:

    Wouldn’t even call psg winning 6-1 a positive cause dey don’t do it when it counts and dey probably beat some relegation side lol

  70. fred1266 says:

    What are dey voting for RC78

  71. fred1266 says:

    Was wondering how you still up at that hour

  72. RC78 says:

    Voted for the Presidential elections’ first round.

    As for PSG, I take anything positive after our humbling defeat to Real Madrid. PSG also keen on Tchouameni and apparently offering Mbappe a 2-years contract with a sign-on fee of 150 Mln EUR and annual salary of 40 Mln EUR and a status as a vice-captain…

    Donnarumma – Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes – Verratti, Paredes, TCHOUAMENI – Neymar – Messi, Mbappe

    Lafont? – Clauss?, Ramos, Diallo, Bernat – Danilo, Gueye, Wilnaldum or Herrera(?) – Simons – Andre Silva?, Gouiri?

    Potential recruits: Lafont, Clauss, Pogba, Tchouameni, Dembele, Gouiri, Silva…?

    On their way out: Navas, Rico, Dagba, Kehrer, Kurzawa, Wijnaldum (?), Djine-Demba (loan), Michut (loan), Di Maria, Draxler, Sarabia, Icardi, Kalimuendo (loan)

  73. fred1266 says:

    U think Mbappe would sign

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