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

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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


The Seagulls fly into The Emirates

October 1, 2017

Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. were founded in 1901 and started playing in the Southern League where they won the 1910 FA Charity Shield, which at that time was contested by the champions of the Southern League, and the Football League Champions.

The 1910 FA Charity Shield was the third Charity Shield. The match was played on 5 September 1910 between 1909–10 Football League winners Aston Villa and 1909–10 Southern League champions Brighton and Hove Albion. The match was played at Stamford Bridge, London, and ended with a 1–0 win for Brighton and Hove Albion. The goal was scored by Charlie Webb, an amateur, with 18 minutes of play remaining.

Poor management brought them close to relegation from the Football League to the Conference which they narrowly avoided in 1997 and 1998. A takeover saved them from liquidation, and following successive promotions they returned to the second tier of English football in 2002, from then on playing in the second and third tiers of English football until the conclusion of the 2016–17 season, where the club earned promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history, marking an end to a 34-year absence from the top flight.

In December 2008 – after 12 seasons without a permanent home the building of their current home The Falmer Stadium started. On 31 May 2011 the club officially completed the handover and was given the keys to the stadium with an initial capacity of 22,374 seats, which has since been increased to 30,750. They are nicknamed The Seagulls or simply Albion.

We have only played 8 league games against Albion, all in Division 1.

Here is our record.

I cannot see anything but a victory for the good guys regardless of our team, it seems that Koscielny is doubtful and Ozil, Coquelin & Welbeck are out and many of the viable alternatives played in Belarus on Thursday – so it’s a real guessing game – but here is my stab in the dark.

 

Keep the FAITH – we will win.

Written by GunnerN5


South Coast Shenanigans …… Ant ‘n Duck on the road to Brighton

January 30, 2015

We set off from Nottingham at 8am to make sure we’d get down to Brighton for midday, though early on a Sunday is usually a good time to travel anyway. A punk soundtrack and only three hours direct to the multi-storey car park meant that the journey flew by and we’d have plenty of time for a few sherbets.

Hotel check-in couldn’t take place before 3pm which meant that’d have to wait until after the game, so straight to Wetherspoons and first pint of the day. The pub proved to be a good choice as it seemed to be a meeting point for stacks of Gooners. Plenty of hugging back slapping and ‘how’s it going?’ followed which launched us into the away trip feel very nicely, thank you.

1

After a couple we moved on for a more traditional taste of Brighton, an Irish pub! The Fiddler’s Elbow had been recommended and happened to be less than 100 yards away. We just caught them opening at 12, so were their first customers and had a choice of any seat in the house. The next two and a half hours flew by and is now a little like a time lapse video in my memory, twelve o’clock pub empty, half past two rammed to the rafters. Shed loads of Gooners again, chatting to Brighton and Arsenal alike, just as it should be. The first sorties into the packed lunch helped to absorb some of the Guinness.

2

As usual we’d worked out the best way of getting to the ground, the 25 bus from just round the corner in Churchill Square. This was before the main central area where the train station sits, so we had more chance of getting on. The Amex is several miles outside Brighton and transport is problematic (more of this later). We went past Brighton Pavilion which meant we could get the required amount of sightseeing under our belts.

3

After a couple of stops the bus was full with the driver operating a one off one on policy, so we’d guessed right about where to get on. The 20 minute bus ride took about 45 but after a half dozen beers, proved to be a diverting experience. Arriving at the stadium with a half hour to go to kick off, allowed plenty of time to watch the warm up and for one of the mascots to have his photo taken with a muppet.

4

The game was very enjoyable after Walcott’s early strike settled nerves. Mine and Ant’s eyesight were severely tested with Arsenal’s second as we both thought that Giroud had scored. Big lad in the area scores with his left foot, what were we to assume? Perhaps this was evidence that Mesut has bulked up somewhat while out with injury, or maybe proof that you always see more of the game if you watch on TV (or that we both need new or replacement glasses). Ant had some knobheads to his right who were abusing Szczesny throughout the game in one form or another. Even after the fans sang ‘ He smokes when he wants’, they seemed to fail to grasp the fact that it was intended to support a player in an Arsenal shirt.

The second half was a little more scary after Brighton’s early reply but Tommy’s crisp volley proved decisive in the end. Sanchez coming on as sub provoked numerous renditions of his (fairly) new song, ‘Alexis Sanchez, baby, Alexis Sanchez, wohhhoooh’ to the tune of ‘Don’t You Want me Baby’. Not sure about that one but it seems popular.

5

Cue celebrations at the final whistle and Little Mozart throwing his shirt into the Arsenal section.

6

My previous attempts at coronation chicken have always involved Sunday’s leftovers, so I’m back on familiar ground with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for cold cooked chicken. The dressing is simplicity itself: 2 tbsp “good spicy fruit chutney” (I use mango, in keeping with the Anglo-Indian theme), mixed with 1 tbsp “good Madras curry powder” and equal parts Greek yoghurt and mayonnaise and tossed through the meat, which is then left to marinate for a couple of hours and finally garnished with toasted almonds and chopped coriander. The sandy colour looks the part to our modern eyes, and the assertively fruity, spicy flavour wins fans too – everyone loves it, although my mum points out quite rightly that the raw curry powder adds a harsh note to the dressing. The yoghurt stops the mayonnaise from taking over the dish, without imparting the slightly buttery flavour of creme fraiche. A solid, crowd-pleasing recipe for anyone in a hurry – and I love the crunch of the nuts.

Getting away from the ground was tricky to say the least with the majority of Brighton’s record attendance heading back towards the town centre. There were a few incidents where frustrated supporters from both teams became a little fractious both with the transport arrangements and with each other. We stayed in the ground for a pint after the game but still had to queue for a fair time to get a train back to the city centre.

Having finally arrived back in Brighton, we checked into our salubrious accommodation at the Travelodge on Brighton Seafront and set off back to the ‘Spoons for a cheap meal and a couple more celebratory beers. Then, back to the room for 10.30 to see MOTD2 and hear some dubious words of wisdom from Phil Snivel.

All in all a great trip.

7

Up The Arse.

Written by chas

 


The Mods defeat the Rockers …. Brighton 2-3 Arsenal

January 26, 2015

Firstly, the result. A 3-2 winning scoreline can only be bettered by a 4-3, a 5-4,  and so on.

Seven changes from a side that went away to beat the current League Champions, and with that, the current Cup Holders marched on into today’s draw.

When so many changes are made, we’re looking at squad depth, and players returning from injuries.

Recently, Mozart and Santi have been the heartbeat of the side, and yesterday Thomas continued his incredible run of form, coming out by some distance as Man of the Match.

Mixing up centre back pairings is always an excellent idea if you want a little excitement when taking on some lower league minnows, and yesterday the plan worked to perfection. From 2-0 up, the changes had the desired effect with Brighton twice scrambling back into the game to give us the exciting climax we all enjoyed so much.

Most Arsenal eyes will have been on the returning Mesut and Theo, and mine were no exception.

Really, there were no great surprises. Theo continued to blow away a few cobwebs, and began with a typically clinical finish. As far as I’m concerned, the thought of Alexis suffering a long termer without the goals of Theo is terrifying, so great to see Theo back on the score sheet.

Mesut: looks stronger for sure, but as with last season, I don’t believe we will ever see the best of him without a fast striker through the middle.

As for the rest of the side, well, ok performances, nothing outstanding but enough to provide an enthralling encounter. RC78 said more or less the same thing in his player ratings, but the most accurate for me was on Ollie: industrious but not dangerous. We played some wonderful moves during the ninety yesterday, and if I was going to be critical it would be the finishing.

This should have been a less exciting 5-2.

MickyDidIt89