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

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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?

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: No gaol by David Luiz of Arsenal after VAR review during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: No gaol by David Luiz of Arsenal after VAR review during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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

Arsenal's Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos pleads with Referee Graham Scott after receiving a yellow card during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 5, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos pleads with Referee Graham Scott after receiving a yellow card during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 5, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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)

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Amazon prime showing the match live via the internet during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Amazon prime showing the match live via the internet during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Ex Newcastle United player Alan Shearer is seen commentating prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on January 2, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – JANUARY 02: Ex Newcastle United player Alan Shearer is seen commentating prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on January 2, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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.

Minus. Two.

9We make stupid choices as kids

Arsenal supporters wait for the start of the UEFA Europa league Group F football match between Arsenal and Eintracht Frankfurt at the Emirates stadium in London on November 28, 2019. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal supporters wait for the start of the UEFA Europa league Group F football match between Arsenal and Eintracht Frankfurt at the Emirates stadium in London on November 28, 2019. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

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?

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal in action with Aaron Connolly of Brighton and Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal in action with Aaron Connolly of Brighton and Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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

Arsenal's French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe takes a free-kick to scores his team's second goal during their UEFA Europa league Group F football match between Arsenal and Vitoria Guimaraes at the Emirates stadium in London on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP / Getty Images)
Arsenal’s French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe takes a free-kick to scores his team’s second goal during their UEFA Europa league Group F football match between Arsenal and Vitoria Guimaraes at the Emirates stadium in London on October 24, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP / Getty Images)

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?

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal scores his teams first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal scores his teams first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Bernd Leno of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Bernd Leno of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Without him, I genuinely think we’d be in the relegation zone.

14All I want is a positive goal difference

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Mathew Ryan and Lewis Dunk of Brighton and Hove Albion celebrate the win during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Mathew Ryan and Lewis Dunk of Brighton and Hove Albion celebrate the win during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Arsenal went into this game with an embarrassing minus one and left it on minus two.

15Lacazette proved he’s not Granit Xhaka

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal applauds as he is substituted during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal applauds as he is substituted during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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

Spurs fans

Remember when we used to call them ‘Spursdays’ and laugh? Sigh.

17Desperate times call for desperate measures

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal celebrates after scoring her sides fifth goal during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Arsenal and Bristol City at Meadow Park on December 01, 2019 in Borehamwood, United Kingdom. (Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 01: Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal celebrates after scoring her sides fifth goal during the Barclays FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Bristol City at Meadow Park on December 01, 2019 in Borehamwood, United Kingdom. (Photo by Kate McShane/Getty Images)

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?

Arsenal undefeated: LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Arsenal's L to R facing camera Jose Antonio Reyes,Robert Pires,Edu and Thierry Henry celebrates winning the 2003/2004 Football Premier League after drawing 2-2 with Tottenham during their Premier League clash at White Hart Lane in north London, 25 April 2004. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Arsenal’s L to R facing camera Jose Antonio Reyes,Robert Pires,Edu and Thierry Henry celebrates winning the 2003/2004 Football Premier League after drawing 2-2 with Tottenham during their Premier League clash at White Hart Lane in north London, 25 April 2004. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN

19Could we have been more wrong?

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says goodbye to the Arsenal fans after 22 years at the helm at the end of the Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on May 6, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 06: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says goodbye to the Arsenal fans after 22 years at the helm at the end of the Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on May 6, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal runs back to the pitch after making a brief exit during a break in play during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal runs back to the pitch after making a brief exit during a break in play during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: A dejected Hector Bellerin and Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: A dejected Hector Bellerin and Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

A relegation fight is different than a top four chase.

We really need to be more specific next time.

22There was no hope

via Twitter

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach speaks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Freddie Ljungberg caretaker Arsenal coach speaks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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.