Iwobi, Holding Go in an Early Start vs Brighton. Help a Gooner Out–Live Blog with The Berkgampesque.

Alex Iwobi says, look at me, I’m the new Ozil…

Here are the line-ups:

Arsenal (3-4-2-1) Cech; Holding, Mustafi, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Iwobi, Sanchez; Lacazette.
Substitutes: Ospina, Mertesacker, Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Elneny, Walcott, Giroud.

Brighton (4-2-3-1) Ryan; Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Stephens, Propper; March, Gross, Izquierdo; Brown.
Substitutes; Krul, Goldson, Schelotto, Suttner, Molumby, Knockaert, Murray.

I gotta work the espresso machine.  Please join us in the comments for the groggiest live-blog yet!

by 17highburyterrace

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107 Responses to Iwobi, Holding Go in an Early Start vs Brighton. Help a Gooner Out–Live Blog with The Berkgampesque.

  1. Goonereris says:

    From last thread:

    Holding, rather than Mertesacker? Well, given he was with Bolton in the lower league, he may know a thing or two about the opposition. Hopefully, he grows in confidence from his midweek outing. 10/11 from me then. 😀

    Retsub1/PE, I feel your sentiments regarding the Chelsea v City result but, we all know City won’t sustain this gusto once we enter the winter months and the knock out stages of the CL. Arsenal, on the other hand, has the luxury of playing its fringe players with its first team largely rested; they will lose games and we can bridge the 6 points (just two wins more than they, for us).

    On to today’s game. I wish we can score big, but a win is a win. COYG!!

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Seventeenho. Good to see Iwobi back. Back at half time.

  3. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alright… Espresso is in me… I like the line-up… Nobody really thought about Holding but he got the goal (and a post, I think) in Belarus so why not?…

    Looks like a nice day in N. London as they pan over my old neighborhood…

    We have kickoff!!

  4. jw1 says:

    So. It’s an omen.
    Yesterday I mentioned the one player I recognized from retsub1’s friend’s preview of Brighton– GK Tim Krul. This morning I tune in– and as soon as the picture comes on there’s the tunnel shot of both teams focused on– Tim Krul.

    Just don’t have a clue as to just what the omen means…


  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    WOW… Early long blast by Lacazette ROCKETS back off the post… Brighton, you have been warned!!!

  6. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey J-Dub… Krul was barely able to leave his feet on Laca’s shot… Better than just standing there, he must’ve thought…

    Game’s resettling into what surely will be the regular pattern: Arsenal on the ball, BHA trying to get it and go…

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    No, no wait, it was only Krul in the corner… The shorter Australian keeper is in the net… and now grabs a ball headed up by his mate… Earlier a BHA free kick swung in from deep had enough menace for my taste but passed out harmlessly in the end…

    Rambo tries his own long one but blocked at the point… Alexis from even further on target but easy for the keeper…

  8. jw1 says:

    Really like to see the ball at Ramsey’s feet more frequently top-of-the-box.

  9. 17highburyterrace says:

    Rambo, directing traffic overhits a ball toward Kola and out of play… Camera shot of the clock (above the clock end…) while Brighton is time-wasting… Excellent drama explained through the cinematography…

    Arsenal build again but Kola can’t chase down a long one from Nacho…

  10. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ramsey is getting lots of early touches but mostly on the deeper side… Loses the ball there trying to work with Holding… I agree, let Xhaka play the quarterback role…

  11. jw1 says:

    That was a nice pass Alexis to Alex. Shame Iwobi didn’t slide it across the goal for Ramsey(?)

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice work to push the ball up into the box led by… Nacho (?)…

    And another push in there but Iwobi’s angled shot from the left is saved without too much trouble…

    At least we’re able to get through their lines a bit… Plus, the post is still rattling from Laca’s early shot…

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sounds like your coffee is working for you in Texas, JW… Seems like lots of shots early could open things for more passes across the box… Generally, I’m liking the movement and interchange… Laca on the right wins a FK after good work from Bellerin…

  14. jw1 says:

    Scruffy– but well-earned!

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    THERE IT IS!!!

    Nacho gets it home after some extreme ping-ponging around the box…

    1-nil to the Arsenal

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Holding and Bellerin got the earlier (blocked) shots after somebody kept the ball in at the far post. Nacho’s chocolate (right) foot did not let him down…

    We’re right back at it with a gorgeous volleyed cross by Bellerin… But BHA defend it and even muster an attack of their own to win a corner…

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    We clear it but it’s lobbed back in…only for Cech to grab it easily…

    Back on attack now…

  18. jw1 says:

    Who interferes with the GK anymore?

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis, running the attack a bit, ends up on the right but can’t make something out of some lofty balls over there. BHA finally get it and break our way to win a FK from Kolasinac in a kinda scary area on our left side…

  20. jw1 says:

    Scary indeed.
    Now both goals are vibrating.

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Whoa… Nice FK routine sets up a strong blast by #20 from BHA… OFF THE POST and the rebound is screwed wide. That was a let off…

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    Brighton are mustering some attacks and we’re, sort of, defending them. Their carving up our lines and crossing pretty easily, it must be admitted. March (the post shooter?) wins a corner…

  23. jw1 says:

    BHA showing some spark on offense.

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cech punches when he wanted to grab and Bells lets a ball over the line for another BHA corner. This one is cleared in better fashion and, finally, we should be back on the ball…

  25. jw1 says:

    They’ve caught Kola upfield on several occasions– with long crossfield passes deep on the flank.

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    Indeed, JW, they don’t look ready to quit…

    One of their crosses above the box, however, is stolen by Kolasinac to set us going… Iwobi’s tame shot ends our break in the keeper’s arms…

    Laca loses it deep but their possession is harmless this time. It’s all at least somewhat end to end. Not like in midweek at Bate but still entertaining enough…

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    Iffy deep throw in which gives us the ball for Laca to win a FK near the top of the box…

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    This looks a lot like the goal last weekend… Except that Xhaka hits it straight into the wall…

    Arsenal reset the attack but without much penetration… Decent work from Rambo whose cross has to be headed out for a corner…

  29. jw1 says:

    Ugn. Take the gift Laca!

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    Easily cleared and Rambo whiffs an attempted volley…

    BHA lose it while pushing up but Laca’s left footer is weak and easily gathered by their keeper…

    We’re the stronger team but BHA look willing…

  31. jw1 says:

    We need to keep closing and pressuring.
    That’s an uncomfortable group in midfield and the back for BHA.

  32. 17highburyterrace says:

    Holding blocks nicely at the point after the BHA left winger sets up a nice attempt with a pull back to the center. We can’t make anything happen on the break, Iwobi wanting a foul he does not get…

    Both teams pushing hard when they get it but nothing really coming off at either end…

  33. Goonereris says:

    Kolasinac is slow to getting back into position from his forays as wing back but has good cover from Monreal. Alexis is very involved but needs to play the quicker passes with those around him.

    I thought Lacazette would have slipped a cut-back pass to Alexis there instead of shooting himself when Alexis was free.

  34. jw1 says:

    Cynical foul taking both Sanchez’ ankles out. Yellow for Duffy.

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    That looked like it went out for a corner… Instead BHA break forward nicely but eventually give it up on our left side. A foul as Alexis tried to turn produces the game’s first yellow…

    Back on attack but BHA seem more composed in their defensive shell…

  36. 17highburyterrace says:

    No way through for a poor Xhaka pass and BHA push into our half… Bells has it but only for a second… Xhaka slides in our box but is able to push it out for a BHA corner…

  37. Goonereris says:

    They are going to make it difficult for us but with patience, we can pick them off, from time to time.
    Xhaka risked going down to block while in the box there. Must not try that next time.

    What a break away! To think we didn’t make more of it.

  38. Goonereris says:

    What a save by the keeper. Had “goal” written all over it.

  39. jw1 says:

    Fab save by BHA’s keeper.
    Should be 2-nil.

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    …Which we barely clear but eventually break very well from, Alexis finding Bellerin who finds Kola for another one of his excellent pull backs. Ramsey’s shot looks a sure goal but the keeper gets to it…

  41. jw1 says:

    Was a beautifully run length-of-the field break though.

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    They are keeping with it…and getting close enough to our goal even if we probably should have a 2nd by now. The half is racing by and it’s end to end enough to suggest Brighton will go the full 90 giving us a go. Another good break sees Mustafi keeping his feet but BHA keeping the ball and having a shot from the left… High and wide, however…

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    Back with Cech after another Brighton foray… The long goal kick can’t be controlled and that’s the HT whistle…

    Breathless stuff and I hardly need the 2nd espresso at the break…

  44. jw1 says:

    Lively first-half, eh– HT?

  45. njk84sg says:

    What was the ref doing? Clear cut fouls not given, and a corner not given.

    Iwobi is too slow and out of sync with the team.

  46. jw1 says:

    If I had to complain?
    It’s when BHA are laying back and we’re swinging the ball around the top– that when Alexis and Iwobi are getting the return pass from the wingbacks– Laca and Ramsey aren’t making runs to to create through-pass lanes.

  47. Goonereris says:

    The Brighton lads have come back from making what looked like one way traffic in the first 20 minutes, into a match. They’ve looked dangerous when they come forward without the incisiveness. However, the longer it goes on at 1-0, the more you feel they will grow in confidence.

    Not easy to play through the horde of bodies they have in the way, I promise you. Iwobi and Ramsey need to pay closer attention to the runs being made by Lacazette to put him through on goal. While there’s not been much for us to do in the defence, it is the kind of game where we can get distracted or lulled into over-confidence. Hope that doesn’t become the case and we get the 5 goals we deserve in this game, when they start to tire in the 2nd half.

  48. Goonereris says:

    Oh, but that free kick routine by the Brighton players, though. We should be copying that and utilizing it when we are up against rivals. Deceived everyone completely. I like to see such craft that suggests a lot of work in training too.

  49. jw1 says:

    ‘Eris– doesn’t it seem that Ramsey is closer to goal than Alexis on most possessions?
    He’s seemingly out at the edge of the box taking passes from Sead, feeding to Xhaka.
    I’d rather have Ramsey looking for he and Laca in those situations.

  50. 17highburyterrace says:

    Lively indeed, JW… And I agree we’re not quite making the needed runs to get through their lines or moving w/o the ball more generally. Such movement, IMO, begins with Alexis who again looks very static, until he gets it, of course. Hopefully a word in the ear at HT gets him–and us–going.

    Our defensive positioning–except for falling asleep at their FK routine–looks good although retreating and forcing play out wide means running plenty of kilometers. I’m sort of expecting a calmer, more one-sided game in the 2nd period… Ideally with us finding a way through and doubling the lead. Both teams look capable of scoring it must be admitted…

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, 2nd half on… With Brighton immediately pushing it up our right side…

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis, circling to the middle and playing a 1-2 with Rambo passes to no one and out for a FK…

  53. 17highburyterrace says:

    BHA break our defensive shell but their attack ends with a harmless ball that Cech grabs…

    Other end finds Alexis going to the right again but finding Laca well this time. His first time shot is blocked at the point, however… That was better, IMO…

  54. Goonereris says:

    Jw, good call there. You feel if Sanchez can play the obvious pass, we will do better.

  55. jw1 says:

    “Both teams look capable of scoring it must be admitted…”
    Not sure what game Robbie Mustoe is watching (NBCSN stateside studio halftime commentator).
    He’s saying just the opposite. Though that’s par for the course with him.

  56. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis has become the focal point and he’s popping up on the right as much as his usual side. A long one to Iwobi is kept in and recycled but a through ball over there is to no one… BHA give it right back and we try to build again…

  57. Goonereris says:

    Looking at our bench, I think we can bring off Xhaka for Jack and have Ramsey play in the withdrawn role; Iwobi off for Giroud and we may see more goals.

  58. 17highburyterrace says:

    Those studio fellows we have are as bad as they come, in my view, JW… Sounds is off on my telly this morning with wife and kid getting several hours more sleep than some of us…

    In the interim there was a corner that Rambo tried to volley… Row N if not Z from that effort…

    Working it some more Alexis tries to loft one to Rambo on our left… And again more centrally but Ramsey’s header is tame and easily held by the keeper…

  59. jw1 says:

    I was just thinking the same ‘Eris– and them Iwobi rockets one home!

  60. Goonereris says:

    What a strike by Iwobi. Sanchez magic!

  61. 17highburyterrace says:

    Brighton have a good spell on the ball but Bellerin steps in to take it away and we almost break through Lacazette…

    To much description and our 2nd goal is well taken by IWOBI after Alexis’ back-heel…

    2-nil good guys…

  62. jw1 says:

    And a minute later– Bells make a nifty cutback pass well-headed away by the BHA CB.

  63. Goonereris says:

    Sanchez is running things. He has to be wary of the risk of injury to his ankle getting rapped too often by the Brighton defenders.

    Ramsey just smashed a pass at Iwobi??? What was that for?

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    It was a lovely 1-2 between Alexis and Ramsey to set up the eyes in the back of the head moment and the ball that almost shot a hole through the keeper, strong as Iwobi hit it…

    Alexis does more #10 stuff to find Bellerin but his cross is cleared by a diving Brighton defender. Ramsey, intercepting from the keeper hits across too hard for Iwobi to control…

  65. jw1 says:

    The only way you’ll keep up right now HT– is with a break in play.
    That was a flurry of movement and shots on goal for AFC.

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    More comfy now at 2-nil but BHA are still giving it a go… In general I like our defensive shape and individuals keeping their feet and working as a group…

    Oooohh… That was close to a third on solo work by Alexis… Slipping in the trailing Iwobi might’ve been the better play but it was barely saved. A Kola header from a corner also gets saved. Shit’s happening a little quick for me now…

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis IS at the center of everything but passes behind Lacazette who almost still gets on it. He’s stronger than he looks, the new guy…

  68. jw1 says:

    In that flurry — Alexis had a diagonal ‘keyhole’ shot deflected wide that looked like a goal.

  69. Goonereris says:

    Sanchez looking hungry for a goal. Hope he isn’t replaced as I think he needs one…or two.

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis, still trying to run the show works the center with Iwobi but his toe poke at the end of the move is wide…

  71. jw1 says:

    Entering the phase where Alexis is either ‘irrepressible or selfish’.
    Only a goal will make it a positive.

  72. 17highburyterrace says:

    Decent work by Brighton to try and break on us but somebody clears the danger… You know who it must be… Nacho of course…

    Lots of good Arsenal work including a Laca attempt with his left foot… Held back by the defender and saved by the keeper… Not bad…

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    At 2-nil calming things down and working the passing lanes would be my preference… Giroud and Theo getting ready on the sidelines…

    Alexis and Lacazette try some 1-2s but Brighton force them out wide to restart the attack…

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    Alexis too heavy with his pass into Kolasinac…

    OK, Lacazette has run his race as has Iwobi… Ollie and Theo to come on…

  75. Goonereris says:

    Lacazette misses the chance to set another record for goals in home games by a new man.

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bellerin, who has had a very good game, IMO, puts Theo through on the right to win a corner…

  77. 17highburyterrace says:

    It’s delivered poorly but we win a 2nd… That one is taken short but then Xhaka hits it over everybody and out for a GK…

  78. 17highburyterrace says:

    Back on attack but also loose with our passing and BHA are able to get down our end. The cross is easily cleared and we’re back on the front foot with Alexis running through the middle and diving over an outstretched leg to win a well placed FK… Only one guy will be taking it….

  79. jw1 says:

    Duffy should be off for 2 yellows after another obvious trip on Alexis.

  80. Goonereris says:

    Thought this game will be an opportunity for Jack in the No. 10 role but with Alexis pretty much playing that role, might as well throw on Theo right?

  81. 17highburyterrace says:

    Despite pulling his shorts into the diaper look, Alexis can only hit it well over everything… Some Brighton subs slow the action for a second…

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    I thought Duffy more or less just stood there, JW, albeit with his leg in a bad position. Alexis didn’t need to be asked twice to go over it, however…

  83. jw1 says:

    See your view HT. But a CB on a yellow shouldn’t leave that leg planted.

  84. 17highburyterrace says:

    Still some 12 mins plus stoppage to go and now BHA don’t really look like much of a threat. We like moving it quickly so things could get stretched, however…

    Bells dumped off the ball but Kevin Friend calls it the opposite way…

    Back with us quickly, however, and we’re killing a little time just stroking around the back…

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    That wasn’t so good from Bellerin and BHA get a little joy down our right side… Eventually broken up by Giroud and then again by Mustafi, I think…

    Elneny in for Xhaka who avoided the spotlight but also had a good outing, I thought…

  86. jw1 says:

    (Now playing catch-up on the DVR. My dog couldn’t ‘go’ the full 90 minutes!)

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oooooh that looked like a good chance but Murray’s header can’t sneak in at the near post… Defenders got a little sleepy there and Mustafi never got off his feet…His position, I guess, was enough…

    Brighton remain on the front foot but we’re calm enough playing it back to half-way at least.

    From a set piece, however, Brighton look more dangerous and Cech ends up having to punch clear.

    In fact, they’re pushing us and we’re just hanging onto the clean sheet…

  88. 17highburyterrace says:

    Haha JW… My dog is still pretty sleepy at this time of the (still very dark) morning…

    OK, we’ve finally pushed it out of our end after all those corners, FKs and throw ins BHA had…

  89. 17highburyterrace says:

    Brighton continue to push for a consolation goal (so we ought to punish them on the break, IMO)…

    Our clearances aren’t particularly convincing but Nacho is positioned well and his guy heads behind tamely for a Cech goal kick…

  90. 17highburyterrace says:

    Dying moments now but BHA make a decent chance from a Bellerin giveaway… The curling shot, in the end, goes just wide, so it appears we’ll be home and clear…

  91. 17highburyterrace says:

    Theo, Alexis and Giroud–plus some defender touches–almost combine for a 3rd goal, Ollie’s header put off in the end.

    There’s the whistle, finishes 2-nil… Some shirts being exchanged…and why not? The game was played in a good spirit and Brighton had their chances…

    The better team, somewhat dis-jointed, found a way, however…

  92. jw1 says:

    Think it’s fair to say that 4-goals might have been achieved (Lacazette off the post; Ramsey’s foot-saved point-blank.).

  93. 17highburyterrace says:

    They’re showing the highlight package now…

    Lacazette deserves some credit on that first ping-pong of a goal for keeping Xhaka’s FK in play with a header back towards the penalty spot… The 2nd was a good reward for Iwobi…and Alexis after all that #10 type play the latter did…

    Overall, our play seems very ad-hoc (way too open) but it’s another clean sheet… Far from completely convincing so the work in progress will need more work…if we intend to make progress…or something…

  94. 17highburyterrace says:

    To me, I thought a real pattern to this match looked on the cards early (Arsenal probing, BHA in a defensive shell…) but the Lacazette smash off the bar seemed to end it before it really even got started. Then (for 78 mins or so) it was quite end to end even if we probably controlled the center lanes of the pitch fairly well. They were able to push it out wide and threaten us with crosses (the English way, I guess) but nothing got into our net. I dunno, to me we look a big step below the full control I saw Totts and the Manc clubs show yesterday…

    Just my view and I’m keen to hear others…

  95. 17highburyterrace says:

    Damn, still pitch black outside… Winter is coming it seems…

    Alright, I’ll shut up for a bit… Hoping to let others have some airspace…

  96. jw1 says:

    “Overall, our play seems very ad-hoc…”
    Nothing an Ozil/Wilshere/Santi influence wouldn’t tighten up considerably.


  97. njk84sg says:

    We did not play a pacy game, and the whole game we did not have the confidence at all. Brighton have their chances, and if they were more prolific we could have drawn the game.

    The following points were noted:

    1. Most of the chances were missed due to the players doing direct.

    Lacazette had the chance to pass to Alexis to score but he shot and the keeper saved.

    Alexis did a couple in the second half.

    2. With Xhaka and the Brighton wall, we did most of the game passing to oblivion.

    He did not pass as quickly as Rambo, and Iwobi seemed convincing at times, but he was a liability in the first half. Second half was a little better for Iwobi, but overall he did not had a good game.

    Scoring is not a factor here.

    3. Brighton defended well and broke upfield well. Had we been as good as them (minus their lack of proficiency in front of goal), we would have scored more than just 2.

    4. Referee whacking again. How many calls were made against us when they made the same fouls and only a few were given to us. The linesmen were poor too.


  98. njk84sg says:

    On Wednesday, it is the mid autumn festival in the lunar calendar.

    So, another 1 and a half months to Winter. And it means that the daylight saving time (one hour later kickoff) will be here soon.

  99. 17highburyterrace says:

    I agree, JW, getting Ozil back in should settle our play quite a bit, although, of course, I’ve already seen a few comments (elsewhere) along the lines of, “Another match w/o Ozil, another win.” That’s the cue for Retsub to join in… 🙂

    Sorry JK, I can’t really follow your thinking and the parts I do understand I disagree with… (I didn’t see Iwobi do too much wrong and he sure took that goal nicely, for example… I must’ve also missed the Laca shooting when he should’ve passed moment too…) Even the daylight savings bit (it ends in a month for us, bringing the early dark nights…) doesn’t make sense. Ah well. With all the poo I write, who am I to criticize?…

  100. 17highburyterrace says:

    Everton-Burnley, despite a lot of huffing and puffing is putting me (back) to sleep… Oh wait, Burnley score… Everton are sort of looking like the Crystal Palace of Northern England at the moment…

    2 weeks until we play again, ugh…

  101. retsub1 says:

    17HT your wish is my command, but I will repeat what I said the other day. Brighton st home would be an ideal game for Ozil. When we are dominant at home he,s ideal in my opinion. It’s when we play tougher opponents he sometimes goes awol.

    A good performance today,I don’t think anyone was outstanding, just a solid team performance. It was also good to keep a clean sheet.

  102. jw1 says:

    retsub1– per your comment on a good team performance?
    One player I would like to point out for having an ‘unremarkable’ shift– is Rob Holding.
    I’d been hoping that Rob would have one of those performances where there were few or no ‘remarks’ (mistakes!).

    Sure, this game wasn’t one where a defender would shine.
    But there was nothing glaring either about Holding’s shift.


  103. retsub1 says:

    Agreed jw1 I think most young defenders go through a bad patch. Stones is a good example.

  104. jw1 says:

    And completely off-topic– but again somewhat ‘on’:
    F1 / Verstappen beats Hamilton to win Malaysian Grand Prix

    Making TA a happy guy today– yes?


  105. jw1 says:

    And with the whistle at Tyneside– a 1-1 draw– we leapfrog ‘Pool (and Watford) into 5th.

  106. 17highburyterrace says:

    Took a nice, almost 3 hour nap after our match and still got to see that rarest of sights, the Ox getting a few minutes for Liverpool… He got his noggin on a diving header but it went up and over. Not too bad, really. Probably their best chance over the last few moments… Other end, Mo Diame had a pretty good shout for a handball on his toe poke from a corner kick. Ah well…

    Good point about Holding, JW… I remember thinking that I hadn’t written his name throughout the entire match…

    OK, being clear outside, it’s time to get my SUNday going… Laters…

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