Arsenal 1 Brighton 1 – Player Ratings

May 6, 2019

Team selection –  meh- does it really matter?

First Half

Mkhitaryan hit the post in the 2nd minute and things looked bright for a moment.

A fortuitous penalty put us in front but we singularly failed to capitalise on it.

Brighton had a few half chances on the break. It’s such a disgrace that we made a team which narrowly avoided relegation look our equal.

Ryan made a decent save from Auba just before the break. Can’t really remember much else on target

Second Half

At least we created a few more chances but the keeper, some courageous defending and Auba not being able to score an open goal meant that the crucial second was not forthcoming.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Taylor evened up the score with another ridiculously soft penalty. 1-1 and a reasonably fair reflection of the game.

The triple substitution seemed to destabilise the team rather than give it a boost.

Plan B is give it to Iwobi. Cosmic.

Conclusion

Brighton deserved their point and we don’t deserve to be in a top 4 which contains a poor spud side and a poor chav side.

I feel sorry for anyone who made the journey for an end of season celebration and witnessed that travesty of a performance.

I find it hard to agree with those who say we have made progress this season. As far as I can see, we are as poor as last season and much worse than 2016/7.

Man U drawing away to Huddersfield made me laugh. Us drawing at home to Brighton did not. We haven’t been any better this season than a shambolic Man United in Mourinho disarray.

The whole season rests on the Europa now and let’s hope Auba’s late goal helps get us to the Final where anything can happen in a one-off game.

Tara Rambo
Credit Epa-Efe/Neil Hall

It was unfortunate that Rambo, Danny and Petr had to say their goodbyes during the lap of dishonour.

Getty Images

Ratings

I can’t really be bothered with separating the players out from one another.

A rating of 4 for everyone including the subs? Maybe 3?

Leno made a great save to stop us losing 2-1. Where was Lucas Torreira meant to be playing in the first half? – I really had no idea. The strikers tried to score but didn’t have the quality of that early season purple patch when they defied the xG.

Managers

Emery – didn’t get his team playing well enough in the League for the 4th? 5th? 6th? game in a row. We’ve been garbage for weeks … 3

Chris Wagnerson – managed a team which had just escaped relegation, with nothing to play for but pride and made them the equal of a poor Arsenal team – I’d give him a higher rating but other managers have made their average teams look much better than us recently … 5

chas (written just after the match to give a true reflection – please disagree in the comments)

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IMO A MWG

May 5, 2019

I always loved the final home game of the season, the opportunity to say goodbye to the players leaving, the joy of saying goodbye to some of the numbskull season ticket holders who sat around me,  a chance to thank the players for their season’s work and today, to give a noisy and grateful farewell to Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck, two of my favourite players

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Of course, the season’s work is hardly done. Given my expectations at the start of the campaign it is a wonderful surprise that we are still in contention for 2 major prizes. I thought we would struggle to finish 7th! Win today and our next 3 (hopefully) away fixtures and this has been a very successful year.

How will Brighton respond following the relief they must feel after Cardiff’s loss and subsequent relegation. Will they simply down tools and think of the beach or will the relief allow them to play with freedom? Given their driven manager, Chris Wagnerton, I expect the latter. They will be out to impress.

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Mr. Emery has a difficult decisions to make. Does he play his best available 11 or use second stringers ahead of the midweek Valencia game? Despite my lack of confidence in certain players – Elneny in particular – I would prioritise Valencia.

Given the long term injury to Welbz it is not possible to rest both our POTS and PEA, I expect PEA to start, though I am usually wrong.

Leno will start, so too Mustafi, and Monreal. Kos needs a rest so we could see Mavropanos start. Dare Mr Emery play the Elneny/Douzi  midfield axis again? Iwobi is a certain starter and perhaps Mhki. Ozil as well.

Lose and we finish 6th. Win and we have a chance of Top 4.

A MWG.

COYRRG

 

 


Arsenal FC – Our home record against Brighton

May 4, 2019

Brighton’s home ground is the 30,750-capacity Falmer Stadium.

Founded in 1901, and nicknamed the “Seagulls” or “Albion”, Brighton played their early professional football in the Southern League, before being elected to the Football League in 1920. The club enjoyed greatest prominence between 1979 and 1983 when they played in the First Division and reached the 1983 FA Cup Final, losing to Manchester United after a replay. They were relegated from the First Division in the same season.

Last game at the Goldstone

By the late 1990s, Brighton had slipped to the fourth tier of English football and was in financial trouble. After narrowly avoiding relegation from the Football League to the Conference in 1997, a boardroom takeover saved the club from liquidation. Successive promotions in 2001 and 2002 brought Brighton back to the second tier, and in 2011, after 14 years without a permanent home ground the club moved into the Falmer Stadium . In the 2016–17 season, Brighton finished second in the EFL Championship and were thus promoted to the Premier League, ending a 34-year absence from the top flight.

Brighton history-

The first settlement in the Brighton area was Whitehawk Camp, a Neolithic encampment on Whitehawk Hill which has been dated to between 3500 BC and 2700 BC. It is one of six causewayed enclosures in Sussex. Archaeologists have only partially explored it, but have found numerous burial mounds, tools and bones, suggesting it was a place of some importance. There was also a Bronze Age settlement at Coldean. Brythonic Celts arrived in Britain in the 7th century BC, and an important Brythonic settlement existed at Hollingbury Castle on Hollingbury Hill. This Celtic Iron Age encampment dates from the 3rd or 2nd century BC and is circumscribed by substantial earthwork outer walls with a diameter of c. 1,000 feet (300 m). Cissbury Ring, roughly 10 miles (16 km) from Hollingbury, is suggested to have been the tribal “capital”.

The ancient settlement of “Brighthelmstone” was documented in the Domesday Book (1086). The town’s importance grew in the Middle Ages as the Old Town developed, but it languished in the early modern period, affected by foreign attacks, storms, a suffering economy and a declining population. Brighton began to attract more visitors following improved road transport to London and becoming a boarding point for boats travelling to France. The town also developed in popularity as a health resort for sea bathing as a purported cure for illnesses.

In the Georgian era, Brighton developed as a fashionable seaside resort, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent, later King George IV, who spent much time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion in the Regency era. Brighton continued to grow as a major centre of tourism following the arrival of the railways in 1841, becoming a popular destination for day-trippers from London. Many of the major attractions were built in the Victorian era, including the Metropole Hotel (now Hilton) Grand Hotel, the West Pier, and the Brighton Palace Pier.

The town continued to grow into the 20th century, expanding to incorporate more areas into the town’s boundaries before joining the town of Hove to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove in 1997, which was granted city status in 2000. Today, Brighton and Hove district has a resident population of about 288,200 and the wider Brighton and Hove conurbation has a population of 474,485 (2011 census).

Brighton’s location has made it a popular destination for tourists, renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas and large cultural, music and arts scene. Brighton attracted 7.5 million day visitors in 2015/16 and 4.9 million overnight visitors, and is the most popular seaside destination in the UK for overseas tourists. Brighton has also been called the UK’s “hippest city”, and “the happiest place to live in the UK”.

We are unbeaten at home by Brighton – here is the record.

Nacho scores against Brighton October 2017 – Getty Images

 

This is our final home game of the season so I fully expect that both the team and the crowd will be on top form.

GunnerN5


Brighton v Arsenal – Match Ratings

December 27, 2018

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.

Conclusion

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.

Ratings

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

Subs

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

chas

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.

fatgingergooner


Arsenal FC – Our away record against the Seagulls

December 24, 2018

Brighton and Hove are twin towns, now combined as one city, on the South Coast of England in the county of Sussex, and are well known as tourist destinations.

Professional football in the area was the brainchild of Edgar Everest, a Sussex Football Association official who founded Brighton United in 1897. Playing at the Sussex County Cricket Ground, the club collapsed in 1900. A high-class amateur side, Brighton & Hove Rangers, was formed in its wake but also folded after just one year.

But the will to provide the towns with a successful club was already strong. The former manager of Brighton United, John Jackson, was the driving-force behind a third club.

Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. were founded in 1901 and 19 years later, in 1920, they were elected to the Football League’s new Third Division – having previously been members of the Southern League.

In the Southern League they won their only national honour to date, the FA Charity Shield, which at that time was contested by the champions of the Southern League, and the Football League, by defeating Football League Champions Aston Villa in 1910.

Our first game against Brighton was in the third round proper of the FA Cup played on January 12th 1935 at the Goldstone Ground in Hove and it ended in a 0-2 win for Arsenal.

In league play we have only met Brighton on ten occasions, eight in Division 1 and two in the EPL.

Here is our complete league away record –

Treat it like a cup tie – our recent record at the Amex (or whatever mercenary, corporate name it has now) is good in the FA Cup.

GunnerN5


Tumbling into the Void – Brighton Player Ratings

March 5, 2018

Well, if that performance was the result of crisis meetings and players being asked by their children why the team is so poor, then there really is very little hope.

First Half

How is it possible that Petr Cech at 6’5″ and with the advantage of being able to use his arms cannot get to a ball above an opponent’s head? The keeper flaps 3 yards from the goal line, no defenders give him support – shambolic, 1-0.

Koscielny passes to a Brighton midfielder. Big, arching cross to a striker with two defenders in attendance, no danger. Hang on, first defender caught under the ball, second stood behind admiring the forward’s leap, goalkeeper allows the ball to bounce virtually under his creaking body, 2-0.

After 40 minutes Brighton could have been further ahead. They were first to every ball, fought like tigers and ran as if their Premiership survival depended on it. Oh, and they created all of the decent attempts on goal.

Forty three minutes gone, Auba diverts a Xhaka pass into the net. Suddenly we don’t want half time to come. Kos hits the post with a header with the keeper a bystander. Maybe if that had gone in……..

Second Half  

There was some hope of an equaliser after the break. The tempo from Arsenal increased and with that came more attempts at goal. Mesut forced the Brighton keeper into a decent save with a swerving drive. Auba had a couple of half-chances including rounding the keeper but being too wide to score.

The Beast clubbing a baby seal to death in the 65th minute and subsequent delay, killed any Arsenal momentum in its tracks. Not much of note happened in the Brighton half for the rest of the ninety. The 7 minutes of injury time were a damp squib, too. Holding on to the ball in deep midfield or defence was not what was required.

Assessment

There has been some talk that the players might as well have been publicly stabbing the manager in the back with that colossally inept display. I struggle to believe that it could have been a deliberate act but see it more a case of a bunch of frightened sailors adrift at sea with no engine, masts torn down by the storm, no rudder and without a clue how to get back to port.  Clueless.

Ratings

Cech – Clean sheets are a thing of the past – 2

Chambers – Meh – 4

Koscielny – forced by our midfield support into suicidal passes forward, may as well just hoof it – 3

Mustafi – headless chicken – 3

Kolasinac – clips of him playing for Schalke were of a dynamic attacking full back – now he’s more likely to just pass the ball back from whence it came – 4

Xhaka – an assist with a pass into the penalty area – can’t understand how he raises his arm to signal where a corner is going, the ball lands in a great spot and yet not one Arsenal player is anywhere to be seen in the landing area  – 4

Wilshere – Looks as though he wished he was still at Bournemouth – 4

Ozil – Tried to get things moving but efforts were largely futile – 5

Iwobi – Doesn’t look like a first team player anymore – even his running style looks nervous – 3

Mkhitaryan – I’d imagine he’d be very good in a team that was playing well – 4

Aubameyang – a goal at least, shame a second didn’t come – 5

Manager assessment

LBG says
If you want (really really want) to turn it round, Arsene, you have got to ‘input’ significantly. Input loud and positive change on the training ground. Input minute by minute from the bench in response to the ebb and flow. YOUR/OUR players are lost!! They repeat, repeat the method even though it isn’t working. They do not believe, and we watch you shaking your head equally not believing. Break the circle.

chas


A Flock of Seagulls – Dodging Guano

March 4, 2018

Brighton away this season seems more about building a little confidence and momentum going into the Europa round of 16 tie against AC Milan, than about a desperate search for 3 points. However, the two go hand-in-hand – a victory seems essential to restore some pride in performance after two fairly predictable defeats this week to the country’s top side.

Currently 12th, Brighton have had a good season but their League position hides the fact that they are only 4 points above a relegation spot. They will be fighting tooth and nail to ensure their survival, thus consolidating a position in the Premier League.

The Seagulls’ squad is a bit of a mystery to me. I’ve been reading good things about their Australian keeper Maty Ryan, who is similar in build to David Ospina but makes up for his relative lack of height with speed, agility and great positioning. Propper, Dunk, Bong and Knockaert sounds more like a great Saturday night out to me, though I’m sure they’re all very fine professionals.

Manager Chris Hughton seems largely untainted by his seedy past association with the more excremental parts of North London. His stay at the Amex has seen a successful battle to avoid relegation in the latter half of the 2014/5 season, a creditable narrow miss for promotion the season after and last season’s march to an automatic promotion spot.

Enough of the opposition, how are we fixed? As far as I can tell, only Nacho and Laca are definitely out, with Jack available again after a slight knock (or temporary withdrawal from the frontline due to his disgust at his contract offer – you choose).

Let’s see a positive response from the reported ‘inquest’ after Thursday’s game. It really is time the players performed to their abilities and gave us all some hope rather than continually letting down both the fans and our beleaguered manager.

Team

I’m going for a couple of goals for Auba. It seems harsh and hasty to judge him in any way on his Arsenal career so far. Yes, he has missed chances against the spuds, in the Final last Sunday and Thursday’s pen but he really has come into a team running at an extremely low ebb. That whole feeling of drifting towards mid-table mediocrity needs to change today on the South coast with a quality team performance featuring solid defence, sparkling creation and cold-blooded finishing.

As BR would say, “Let it be so”.

chas