Arsenal against Brighton was a lot of things, few of them good as we moved closer to the relegation zone with our first home league defeat of the season, so here are 23 things I noticed from Thursday night.
1Freddie isn’t as good as we hoped he was
Arsenal are not good. That’s no surprise. We weren’t going to magically transform in a week but I think many of us expected Freddie to do something other than continue to pick the same sort of nonsense teams as Unai Emery.
Arsenal need a coach who will pick players to fit their formation, not try to shoehorn players where they don’t fit.
If that means dropping someone like Alexandre Lacazette to accommodate someone like Gabriel Martinelli, then so be it.
2What’s the point of VAR if we don’t use it?
Jon Moss was on VAR against Brighton and it was used once, to rule out David Luiz’s splendid volley to give Arsenal a 2-1 lead.
But where was it for the numerous shirt pulls in the Brighton box?
3Arsenal and penalties is an ongoing concern
Manchester United have won seven penalties this season, that’s as many as Arsenal as have won in each of the last two seasons put together. On Thursday night, we should have had at least four for blatant and obvious shirt pulls.
The foul on Lacazette was both a foul and a dive, the sort of penalty Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney built careers on, yet we didn’t even get a review.
I’m not saying Arsenal lost this game because of the officials, but what difference would even just one of those penalties have made to the rock-bottom levels of confidence this side have?
4Us being rubbish and penalties not being given are not mutually exclusive points
Just because Arsenal are awful, we don’t have to stop complaining about the laws of the game not being applied equally and fairly.
5Ozil looked infused with life (pity the comms didn’t notice)
After about five minutes, Mesut Ozil had been spotted on left wing, right wing, midfield and defence. He was everywhere yet the Amazon Prime comms still felt it appropriate to question if he would be of any help to Sead Kolasinac throughout the match.
Lazy punditry, as usual, which brings me to…
6TV pundits are lazy – and cowards
I know this isn’t new but it was quite stark on Thursday night.
After the ref ignored four blatant shirt pulls on Arsenal players in the Brighton box, the Amazon comms made quite a fuss of it at the time. I don’t know if someone then had a word in their ear, but they suddenly stopped and never mentioned the incidents again.
Even at halftime, when they went to the studio for analysis, they pondered if Brighton should have had a penalty but never once mentioned the four Arsenal were denied.
The comms also called Sead Kolasinac an ‘inspiration’. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Bosnian had one of his better evenings offensively even though he had but one dribble and lost the ball twice. He also only made two tackles the whole evening and no interceptions.
Perhaps it was his crossing they were so enamoured with, all one of them that he got into the box.
The comms also complained Pepe didn’t show enough enthusiasm in his warm up. Worst they’ve ever seen, apparently.
7Alan Shearer is one of the worst pundits around
I’ve heard some drivel come out of the mouths of pundits over the years but Alan Shearer really tried to raise the bar on Thursday night. He didn’t shut up about Arsenal being slow despite it being easily the most energy we’ve shown in at least 8 months.
8We should get Steve Bruce in as defensive coach
I mean, maybe not him, but I can’t help but think of every single crap team that has come to the Emirates and made it impossible for us to score over the past decade and wonder ‘why can’t we ever defend even 25% as well as that.’
Newcastle, Brighton, and Bournemouth of the teams below us have all conceded fewer goals with so-called ‘lesser’ players.
Arsenal sit in 10th place with a minus two goal difference.
9We make stupid choices as kids
I remember when I was 4, I had the choice to go shopping with my mum but I wanted to to the football with my granda.
This is why children should not be allowed to make their own choices.
10When is our winnable run?
I can’t wait until we get to this run of winnable games people keep mentioning. Next up for Arsenal is West Ham away, Standard Liege away, Manchester City at home and then Everton away who will no doubt have sorted themselves out by the time we get there.
11My favourite Pepe thing
My favourite thing about Pepe is how we waited until he got some confidence and then crushed it by benching him. He was our best player when he came on at halftime begging the question why he isn’t starting games.
12What universe did we get thrown into when Wenger went?
Arsenal have scored six goals from corners in the Premier League this season, more than any other side. Used to be we couldn’t beat the first man.
13Weekly praise be to Dennis for Bernd
Without him, I genuinely think we’d be in the relegation zone.
14All I want is a positive goal difference
Arsenal went into this game with an embarrassing minus one and left it on minus two.
15Lacazette proved he’s not Granit Xhaka
When Lacazette’s number went up with only 13 minutes left and Arsenal still needing a winner, he just dandered off the pitch in a manner not dissimilar to that of the Swiss midfielder a few weeks ago. The reaction from the crowd, however, was to tolerate it.
If I remembered correctly we were told that a large part of the fans’ frustrations with Xhaka that day stemmed from him not getting off the pitch quickly enough when Arsenal needed a goal.
16Thursdays used to be more fun
Remember when we used to call them ‘Spursdays’ and laugh? Sigh.
17Desperate times call for desperate measures
Vivianne Miedema scored as many in her last game as the Arsenal men’s team have scored in their last four matches combined.
While we’re at it, get the whole women’s team over to play instead of the men and bring Joe Montemurro over to teach the men how to play football.
18What if this is the start of 49 without a win as the universe balances itself out?
What if this is the start of 49 without a win as the universe balances itself out? pic.twitter.com/R90Zf2MWZ2
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) December 5, 2019
19Could we have been more wrong?
When it was time for Arsene Wenger to leave, many of us, myself included said ‘We don’t know what will happen, but it surely can’t be worse than this’.
We were wrong.
We were so very, very wrong.
20Auba had the runs
When he came back onto the pitch after disappearing for a while, many postulated that he must have been throwing up. He wasn’t. Players just do that by the side of the pitch.
He had the runs.
21We wanted different, we’re getting it
A relegation fight is different than a top four chase.
We really need to be more specific next time.
22There was no hope
I spent the last 2 minutes of this match walking around the house looking for something unimportant with no fear of missing anything other than another Brighton goal.
23Aubameyang doesn’t have what it takes to be Arsenal captain either
If I’d had my way, Hector Bellerin would have got the armband but we gave it to Aubameyang to soothe his ego instead.
The way he screamed at 20-year-old Joe Willock for misplacing a path was not the stuff captains are made of.
A captain would have encouraged the youngster not bawled him out in front of tens of thousands of people.