Winning Run Continues

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed – Arsenal do enough against Brighton

Arsenal achieved their expected home win against Brighton after a noon kick off yesterday. Mesut Ozil, who appeared as a substitute last Monday evening was deemed unfit enough for another appearance, and Alex Iwobi came into the side as Elneny moved to the bench and Aaron Ramsey reverted to his more customary deeper midfield role. Rob Holding replaced the injured Koscielny.

Brighton didn’t show too much ambition going forward, although at 1-0 down after Monreal converted a loose ball in the area, they had a spell where they enjoyed some decent chances before the half-time whistle gave the Gunners time to regroup. I enjoyed their free kick routine that ended up hitting the post, and wish Arsenal could come up with something similarly imaginative.

For once, Lacazette failed to find the net, although he was unfortunate in hitting the post from distance very early on. Sanchez was the star man for Arsenal though, with the team’s most dangerous moments generally involving him in the build-up. He is going to be impossible to replace, although if Milan are seriously willing to part with £75 million for the player in January, the club should take it.

Ozil’s future is less certain. There are less clubs interested in taking him, and his decision next summer will be whether to accept whatever Arsenal feel like offering, or take a signing on fee elsewhere and possibly lesser wages than he might receive by staying in North London. I will be intrigued to see whether he makes the trips to Everton (who will surely have a new manager by then) and Manchester City. As it was, against Brighton, Iwobi did well enough, scoring a very nice goal to finish the game as a contest, benefitting from Alexis’ dream of a back-heeled pass.

Brighton only ventured forward occasionally in the second half, and I got the feeling this was a team that simply wanted to avoid a confidence sapping heavy defeat, often playing in a 6-3-1 formation, even after they went behind. It does look like they might struggle to stay in the top flight based on their performances so far. Walcott, Giroud and Elneny came on as subs after their team’s two goals had been scored. Given all three had played on Thursday night, they were hardly in need of more playing time. It was actually an opportunity to give a youngster or two a taste of the Premier League, Reiss Nelson being an obvious candidate, although Maitland-Niles was preferred on the bench. Alternatively, a few minutes in the first choice eleven would have been more useful for Jack Wilshere than Elneny. Granted, the latter only came on as a clock-eating sub just before injury time, but Wilshere could have been given 15 minutes, entering the fray at the same time as the other two subs.

It was a nothingy kind of game which will be quickly forgotten, which can be said about a lot of matches at the Emirates in recent years. There’s no harm in that – we had them in the days when the club were challenging for the title. But when there is a feeling that not terribly much is at stake, they tend not to remain in the memory for very long at all. I, for one, cannot get particularly excited about the club’s attempt to get back in the top four, who I predict will be Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and Spurs, based on the season so far. So there is a palpable lack of tension at home matches much of the time. You find yourself not minding too much if the opposition score just to spice things up a bit. Or maybe so many seasons of repetition have increased the sense of detachment. Are the players, the manager, the directors and the majority owner genuinely hungry for success? Surely the club would have spent more than it received in the summer transfer window in that case. Or are they all in a lucrative comfort zone where maximising their potential is not really that important anymore? Sometimes it feels as if Alexis Sanchez, and perhaps the newer arrivals not as yet corrupted by the Colney Creche culture, are the only ones that really care.

Still, for Arsenal, a case of job done, points on the board, a move up the table. And a good result going into the international break, unlike the last time, following the trip to Liverpool. Since then, a series of undefeated games – Bournemouth, Cologne, Chelsea, Doncaster, West Brom, Bate Borisov and now Brighton. Something to build upon? Maybe. It was enlightening to see Manchester City’s approach at Chelsea the day before. Their superior goal threat had Chelsea on the ropes at times, and eventually paid dividends. Arsenal played with greater caution at the Bridge, which in fairness, they had to. Guardiola’s team had no such fears. The Gunners visit the Etihad in five weeks’ time. We wait to see if the team’s defensive game can handle that.

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2nd October 2017 08:57:42


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Bard  9:48am 2nd Oct 2017

Not much of a game but job done. Fascinating little piece from Wenger. He thinks there is more to football than buying players and winning games...values !!! Quite what those are he doesn't say. My word how deluded and grandiose is that. Football is the peoples ballet it isn't a religious movement as some fans seem to think. - Post No. 110092

The Man From UNCLE  9:58am 2nd Oct 2017

A comfortable win at least, can't complain about that. Blimey when was the last time we won all our opening home games? - Post No. 110093

Gunner Rob  10:26am 2nd Oct 2017

4 clean sheets in a row - the only positive that I can take from the season so far. other than that it is groundhog day - Post No. 110095

Arseneknewbest  11:38am 2nd Oct 2017

Thanks Kevin - Interesting comment in there about the atmosphere. A bit like a start of season dead rubber as opposed to an end of season one. Brighton were resigned to their fate after the first one went in and Arsenal seemed either content just to win, or more seriously did not have the guile to score more. I like Hughton, not least cos of his politics, and hope the player's give him a bit more during the rest of the season. I saw Cardiff draw 0-0 with Derby this weekend. Comparing the two matches, I'd have to say the bluebirds game was more entertaining. - Post No. 110097

GoonerRon  11:45am 2nd Oct 2017

3 points and clean sheet = job done. Let's keep winning these winnable fixtures. Also, great to see the opening of the new sensory room at The Emirates. We get plenty of negative press (some of it rightly so) but we always seem to be ahead of most when it comes to services and facilities for our disabled supporters. Nice work Gunners. - Post No. 110098

mbg  14:17pm 2nd Oct 2017

Another bore fest regulation rollover win from TOF's nice boys, this time it was mighty Brighton who they tickled to death and to think some were getting a hard on about it last night. wenger out. - Post No. 110100

equalizer  16:02pm 2nd Oct 2017

It was a very nervy last 15 minutes, during which Glenn Murray went inches wide and Brighton had a few other good opportunities. The truth is he nearly Wengered it again with his thoughtless, pre-planned regulation subs on 70. Replacing the cleverness and movement of Lacazette with a big lump of visible anguish and the ball carrying of Iwobi with a headless chicken almost backfired. I noticed that Alexis decided to stop playing when they came on, and then Wenger replaces Xhaka who's ball retention in midfield and distribution was exceptional, with Elneny who ran around a lot without touching the ball much. My first game in ages only confirmed what I have known for a long time- Wenger is a now a complete charlatan who is at least 10 years past his best before date. - Post No. 110101

mbg  18:20pm 2nd Oct 2017

Another hard fought victory, pulling out all the stops after an horrendous journey midweek having to play against world class opposition on Thursday evening and getting home late, then made to play on Sunday lunch time against a top premiership club, it's a conspiracy i tell you, the prem doesn't want us to win it, it's not fair on poor wenger, time for a petition. - Post No. 110102

mbg  19:24pm 2nd Oct 2017

And I forgot to add another away prem fixture too, conspiracies conspiracies, where's that petition. - Post No. 110103

Gerry1971  20:08pm 2nd Oct 2017

Welcome 3 points, however the same weaknesses are still not being addressed. Every time we lose the ball, the opposition have a free run into our box. It's like basketball we attack you attack but when we do play a top side like the mancs or that lot from the swamp, it will be from behind the sofa time! Also whats the deal with Mustafi, anyone see him let Murray (not the most quickest striker) to get in front of him for a free header at the near stick. Attack the ball man, paragraph 1, page 1. Might forgive them if I thought someone would actually pull him aside and explain, but no chance! Arsene knows and all that bollocks. - Post No. 110104

TOOAW  20:27pm 2nd Oct 2017

Good to hear that MBG is gnawing on his bone and being the cynical, anti gooner that he always will be. Must be tough at the minute being an anti gooner. Had we lost, there would have been much more than 7 posters on here. Eggs will taste good in the morning fellas. Might even poach em. - Post No. 110105

markymark  20:51pm 2nd Oct 2017

ToOaW - I asked you a question on the previous thread. Surprised you’ve not answered it. - Post No. 110106

KC38  22:29pm 2nd Oct 2017

Same old same old we won that's good but do we look any better, do we look any more secure to break aways are we still to pedestrian, do we look suspect at the back so and so on. Wengers Arsenal are a team that can be great with the ball shocking without it, after watching city on Saturday it was the off the ball work rate as well as the talent that was so impressive and that does not cost a penny. - Post No. 110107

Scruff  22:45pm 2nd Oct 2017

Tooaw please answer this question honestly; are you happy with the current regime, a manager who fails to address the blatantly obvious flaws ( they were obvious from day 1 as Dave Seaman has previously admitted) and a majority shareholder who has no intention or interest in competing ? - Post No. 110108

mbg  1:12am 3rd Oct 2017

Throw fido a bone and ? woof woof. wenger out - Post No. 110109

mbg  1:23am 3rd Oct 2017

Scruff, big Dave what a keeper, how much today ? pure proof (if any was needed) that wenger knew f**k all (and still doesn't)about defensive duties, tactics, keepers etc, etc, etc, (and a lot more) as since he left to this day Seaman has never ever been replaced, how long ago is it now ? and the list is endless, there's only one George Graham. wenger out. - Post No. 110110

Bard  10:20am 3rd Oct 2017

Whilst its always good to see us win. The question is do we look like a side capable of challenging for the title? Note I said challenging for it not winning it. Wenger believes or says he believes that we can. Too my mind this is more of the usual nonsense that the club have been trotting out for years. We don't look remotely like a side capable of challenging. Knocking over a few teams at the lower end of the table means very little. We look as porous in defence as we have done for years .All of the lower end teams we have played have had plenty of chances to score. Its only a matter of time before we get on the end of another spanking. What staggers me that many of our fans seem in denial. A couple of good results and they are back on board believing that we are in the hunt. Currently we look in a two way fight with Liverpool for 5th spot. Presumably this is what he means when he says he will take us to the next level. What he left out was that it would be the next level down. - Post No. 110111

Yes its Ron  11:43am 3rd Oct 2017

i reckon all of the celebration of everything that Man City are now supposed to be is a bit early. Chelsea looked totally knackered after their exploits at Atletico i thought. Does this mean ASL can challenge for the title? Of course not. 5th at best and thats far from nailed on. - Post No. 110112

Exeter Ex  12:00pm 3rd Oct 2017

We already know TOOAW's answer - he's happy so long as Wenger is in charge, that's who he supports. People getting excited about beating a few hopeless teams and managing to draw with Chelsea just show their ignorance. As always, there simply isn't the character, leadership and tactical acumen to sustain a title challenge - indeed they won't even get in one. Those that believe otherwise simply illustrate that they don't know what they're watching. - Post No. 110113

markymark  12:49pm 3rd Oct 2017

This is classic ToOaW and Badarse. Happy to come on and make off comments about others whilst full of pompous self congratulatory blah about themselves . What they cannot do is engage in simple discussion . When the kickback inevitably occurs they go into victim hood . I note that Badarse despite claims of his towering intellect is still to pen an article on this site in defence of Wengo. - Post No. 110114

mbg  17:05pm 3rd Oct 2017

Bard, to answer your question of course we don't mate, to the AKB wengerites we do of course, but that's only an illusion, we've reached our level now in the Ropey Thursday night C5 Cup thanks to wenger, and bullying a few of those even worse than ourselves and of the course the regulation bullying and steamrolling of prem mediocrity after they've given up and lay down makes the illusion more real in some eyes. wenger out now. - Post No. 110121

Alsace  17:20pm 4th Oct 2017

This was a stultifying snore fest of a game, without incident excitement or joy. Just like almost every other game. The last few mins of Leicester were exciting but only because that team of idiots decided to time waste and got us all angry. We don't defend properly, can't attack competently and it's just joyless. Paraphrasing Shakespeare, why should Ruprt Murdoch, Stan Kroenke and Arsene Wenger have life and Tom Petty none? - Post No. 110132

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

15th January 2018

Being muscled off the ball by Bournemouth is like being mugged by your grandma

Online Ed: Another poor Arsenal display on the road just another signpost as we near the end of the Wenger era