Freddie’s Second Game in Charge: Preview and Line-Up

Arsenal v Brighton – December 05, 2019


Brighton is a seaside resort in the county of East Sussex. It is a constituent part of the city of Brighton and Hove, created in 2001 from the formerly separate towns of Brighton and Hove. Brighton is located on the south coast of England, positioned 47 miles (76 km) south of London. 

Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. The ancient settlement of “Brighthelmstone” was documented in the Domesday Book (1086). The town’s importance grew in the Middle Ages as the Old Town developed, but it languished in the early modern period, affected by foreign attacks, storms, a suffering economy and a declining population. Brighton began to attract more visitors following improved road transport to London and becoming a boarding point for boats travelling to France. The town also developed in popularity as a health resort for sea bathing as a purported cure for illnesses. 

In the Georgian era, Brighton developed as a fashionable seaside resort, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent, later King George IV, who spent much time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion in the Regency era. Brighton continued to grow as a major centre of tourism following the arrival of the railways in 1841, becoming a popular destination for day-trippers from London.

Many of the major attractions were built in the Victorian era, including the Metropole Hotel (now Hilton) Grand Hotel, the West Pier, and the Brighton Palace Pier. The town continued to grow into the 20th century, expanding to incorporate more areas into the town’s boundaries before joining the town of Hove to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove in 1997, which was granted city status in 2000. Today, Brighton and Hove district has a resident population of about 290,395 and the wider Brighton and Hove conurbation has a population of 474,485 (2011 census).  

Brighton have not beaten us at home in our league history, the most they have accomplished was a goalless draw in Division 1.

This will be only our 2nd game against Brighton in the Premier League era, we defeated them 2-0 on October 1st, 2017. 

Brighton are currently 16th in the EPL with a record of W4, D3, L7, GF16, GA21. They have 15 points which is only 4 points less than 9th placed Arsenal – so you can see just how close we are to the relegation zone. 

Make no mistake – this is a must win game. Freddie and Per will have had 3 days to spend coaching the squad, lets hope they have concentrated on our porous defence. 


TotalArsenal’s Preferred Line-Up (subject to fitness)

131 thoughts on “Freddie’s Second Game in Charge: Preview and Line-Up

  • Hey GN5, thanks for the preview. Unfortunately, the excel tables are not working in the post, so I had to take them out. And I don’t have time to try and sort it.

    Excellent historical preview of a fine city, one of the finest in England. More later.

  • Below is my comment to the last post. Posted it only to see the NEW POST.

    PE says:
    December 4, 2019 at 10:44
    TA … yes it is all hands on deck. Even Wenger is keen to chip in. Am at home with most of your points.

    1) I agree Xhaka and Tor make our best double pivot combo but Tor would have to assume a bit of the B2B role because Xhaka can’t. Xhaka needs to stay deep where he can conjure up space and time without which he can’t perform well.

    2) I agree again. Ozil needs one or two Santiesque around him for the triangles which to Ozil is the calm before his exquisite storm of a through pass. I depart from you slightly as I don’t think we have such a player. Maybe Nelson can be moved into the more central areas for such build ups.

    4) Auba up top for me also.

    5) I concur … Martinelli with his industry and self belief should be getting more playing time. He’d help the team running low on self belief.

    I accept we have fine players but I wonder if the mix can make a great team. For example Auba,
    Pepe, Martinelli and Laca are all great direct players. For them it’s bee line to the goal. Great for countering. Field three (even two) of them and our ability to build play patiently against massed defense is seriously curtailed (am thinking of a team that cam match anybody).

  • N5 .. A fiction by you in a real historical and geographical setting would be a hit. You have a ‘fine’ feel’ for them.👍👍

  • TA, I’d reproduce your 1st options and see how much I agree.


    Bel. Chambers. Luiz. Tierney.





    That’s a good team. My little tweak is Laca on the bench and Pepe in, in a 4:3:1:2

    Bel. Chambers. Luiz. Tierney.

  • Hello! 🙂

    Another nice preview, except it’s not entirely correct as we have played two games at Emirates v Brighton. We beat them 2-0 in 2017 but only drew 1-1 in our last home game last season with either side converting a penalty. Needless to say that their penalty was conceded by Xhaka.

    Since the last time I was around, we got Freddie and I’m happy he will have his 15 minutes of, eh, fame. Names like Marcelino that have been thrown around don’t sound inspiring – if you want to replace Emery with a man who conceded seven in two games against Emery’s Arsenal, then you have a serious issue.

    Anyway, what Freddie has to understand is that this team can’t defend, especially if our CBs are two of Sokratis, Mustafi and Luiz. Three positionally awful players who tend to switch off at the worst possible moment. Their position becomes even worse if CC21 has to play as RB due to his lack of pace. On top of that, we can’t play Guendouzi and Xhaka in the pivot role, that’s suicidal and guarantees two conceded goals per game.

    If this team can’t defend, we have to attack. From the first moment of the game, from the kick-off we have to force the ball forward kicking it, carrying it, passing it…I don’t care, just move it forward as quick as possible. At this moment, I’d rather play Martinelli, simply for his ability to harass central defenders, than Laca. On the other hand, Laca has a good record at the Emirates so his place in the starting eleven shouldn’t be an issue. Mesut has to play as No.10, not on the wing for so many reasons I don’t even want to waste time mentioning them all.

    Freddie has to be Freddy Krueger, give opponents “The Nightmare at the Em Stadium” and go for a kill from the first second of every game.


    Bellerin Chambers Luiz Tierney

    Torreira Xhaka


    Pepe Auba Martinelli

    Go for a kill. Go for a big victory. Go for an injection of self-confidence our players and fans need so badly.

    Mind you, Brighton gave a good game to Liverpool for the weekend. They have also thrashed Spuds. Also, their new manager has 100% record at the Emirates (1 played, 1 victory, 2-1 with Ostersund in EL 2017-18). Potter is an Englishman who started his managerial career in Sweden, Freddie is a Swede who started his managerial career in England – neither of two things is very often.

    1-2 defeat, I’m afraid.

  • I watched the Liv/Brighton game. They moved the ball around so well and ended with 55% possession stat. Mark you at Anfield. What they lacked was the killer punch up front. But then we’ve got a jaw of clay. All the same Arsenal to win …. you can’t believe it …. with a clean slate.

  • Cheers PE, I want a player in the hole who can play with his back towards the goal and so our midfielders have somebody to connect with. I also like Auba as a pure CF but with licence to roam. In your line up, Auba and Pepe are players who need space to be good and this we don’t get much from our opponents; it also leaves Ozil isolated in terms of having enough players to combine with.

  • Freddie has hit the buul’s-eye for me. He said our weakest moments are when we lose the ball in transition. He called it the 8 yds sprint which we lack. We are unable to do the 8 yds sprint to win the ball back or at least impede the opposition’s transition. Its bull’s-eye and that’s exactly why I regard our team as lazy. The fastest way to address this lack is bringing in players who have that 8 yds sprint … Torreira and Martinelli. Laca has it too. Am afraid if this should become the big fulcrum, Guendouzi’s regular start is over.

    Using the 8 yds sprint as the measure shows up Xhaka as lacking the quick reaction and the acceleration, Ceballos as lacking the speed, Ozil and Pepe as lacking the consistent will for the 8yds dash (not the 8yds jog).

    The best example of a team that invests so much in the 8yds sprint is Liverpool: Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, our own Oxlade, Mane, Robertson, Firmino, Trent-Arnold …… all of them. Note that I have not bother to mention the name of central defenders who are forced by the extreme pressure of their position to always do it. A defender could however be faster or slower. Sokratis for example is faster than Chambers.

    With the 8 yds sprint as an important consideration (there are other considerations) here is my line up:

    Bellerin. Sokr. Luiz. Tierney.

    There is good energy in this line up.

  • Interesting stuff, PE. Are you saying, is FL saying, we want to become like Liverpool? Still think that the problem with your latest line up is the lack passing ability in that team, especially up-front.. like you said earlier, they all want to go directly at goal. Laca in the hole with Auba up top would change this imo.

  • TA … Not necessarily to become like Liverpool but to begin to do it right which Liv happens to be doing.

    The critical moments in a match very much includes moments the ball changes hands. Usually the team in transition is without its shape and are at their most vulnerable at the moment they lose the ball. As the team that has lost the ball there must be immediate maximum investment to regain possession or at the least regain a good shape. On the other hand as the team that has robbed the other of possession in their transition, there should again be heightened readyness to capitalize on their out of balance shape. They might for example have committed too many men forward leaving a gaping hole behind.

    If Freddie should achieve this one change we are already on a new level. We only need to know how to invest maximally at crucial moments of play.

  • TA. .. I agree with your comment that my last line up does not provide Ozil with the players that would enhance his play. There are a thousand and one things to balance and there’s no escaping robbing Peter to pay Paul.

  • All good points, PE. It would be a massive change for Arsenal and it is not achieved overnight, but if that is what Freddie wants to do then I am for it.

  • Interesting news sourced from ‘All Nigeria Soccer’:
    “Arsenal interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg invited two Nigerian teenagers to train with the first team ahead of Thursday night’s Premier League match against Brighton & Hove at the Emirates Stadium in London, reports.

    Versatile defender Tobi Omole and 19-year-old central midfielder James Olayinka were both pictured training with the Gunners first team stars…”

    Midfielder and a defender. Vette ’em early Freddie. Not seeing where we’ve been getting value from those currently in the squad.


  • Also, thanks for the tour GN5! 😎
    Am quite fond of beaches– having been raised nearby one.


  • “We only need to know how to invest maximally at crucial moments of play.”

    Actually, the crux of the matter is Arsenal have players–
    who first need to recognize a crucial moment. 🤡


  • Hi fellas… We’ve got a match tonight and I’m gonna do what I can to try and get myself in front of a television to watch it, maybe even lugging my ‘puter to see if there’s actually any place in this little pueblo en la playa (beach town–like Brighton, but maybe with a population akin to Brighthelmstone in ancient times…) that might have a combo of SkyHD and internet. Wish me luck… And, of course and as always, thanks GN5 for the interesting and informative preview.

    To me, this seems a spot where Freddie might try and lay down a bit of a marker, given that (as Admir notes…) Emery was unable to do so in this same fixture last season, rather putting a nail in the coffin of our (PL) chances for promotion back to the CL spots with that 1-1 draw. (Our hopes–or reasonable hopes–for an EL finals win, probably were gone as well…) We actually need the three points to keep up with the clubs above us. Pool, Chavs, the Cities (Manchester & Leicester), Wolves, Manchester United and Crystal Palace ALL won their matches while Sheffield United play theirs tonight (vs Newcastle). Only Totts weren’t able to grab any points, yet they still sit above us. We could leapfrog them (and CP and ManU) and (if the Toonies can get a result at Sheffield) we could find ourselves in 6th place…

    Of course, we must win the match. Does anybody remember what that’s like?… Our last (league) win was almost two months back, a 1 nil vs Bournemouth. Truth be told, the way I’m running around these days, I cannot remember that match. Can you?… (I’m pretty sure I didn’t see it and, from reading about it, watching a replay (or even a highlight package) didn’t seem worth the time/energy…)

    If I were Freddie, that’s my team talk: remember that it feels GOOD to win matches. Sure, the fans will dissect things (stay off your social media, eh…) and (soon enough) make it seem like a loss, but, if we can have some snuggles (after some goals–or even when we work as a group to prevent Brighton from scoring), then we can have a BIG snuggle at the end and salute those in the stands (will the Emirates be full now that it’s not the Emery-ates?…) who don’t leave early to beat the rush, thinking of their jobs and getting to them on Friday morning?… Imagine all the good will and collective pleasure there is out there to be enjoyed…

    So that’s me doing (what I can) for a match preview… If I actually see the game maybe I can weigh in on (all) the current debates swirling around the club. Is it the players (not Emery) who are (sooooo…) poor? What might be a formation, starting line-up, tactical set-up, that might eke something better from the group? Who might be a good captain (actual on-pitch leaderish sort of guy)? How can we get back to “Arsenal” (i.e. Arsene-L) football? (Freddie, make the call, eh…please forget that our “fans” couldn’t stand Wenger and his football for a decade or thereabouts…) Or maybe, as your Norwich post-match comments suggest, YOU can figure out a way to look dangerous when we have the ball and not a disaster when we lose it, solid when we defend and quick on the break if the other team gives it up…

    At the very least, let’s try to take the enthusiasm of the new-ness of the situation (the en-new-siam?…) and the change in managers to find a way to play with the energy of a team like, er, BHA, who must know that it (consistent energy, match over difficult match) is the best way to stay in the Premier League, you know, so you’ve got the opportunity to play the best teams and, now and again, give them a game and/or even beat them…

    Go on then…

    (Sorry, but that’s all I’ve got. But, if I can find a place to watch, maybe it sets the table so I can watch some other games and bring further ideas to them…)

  • I am also positive of a confident win tonight.
    (TA, I didn’t know that “I feel it in me water” exists in English, it’s damn funny phrase in German: “das hab’ ich im Urin”.)

    I would go with my strongest home XI against BHA:

    But I would be alright with Chambers playing and Nelson being substituted.

  • Here’s an update from our medical team ahead of Thursday’s match against Brighton & Hove Albion:

    Dani Ceballos
    Left hamstring. Sustained during the Vitoria (a) match on November 6. Aiming to return to full training mid-December.

    Hector Bellerin
    Tight hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Thursday’s match.

    Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as

  • Leno
    Bel, Sok, Luiz, Kola

    That is almost my preferred team as per above. Sok for Chambers (Holding) I can live with and Kola instead of young Tierney is fine too. 4-3-3, strong midfield, Ozil to create and two instead three attackers are music to my ears. Fab Freddie is in da House.

  • I’m here, TA, but it’s not happening in terms of getting to watch the match…The restaurant has the Sheffield United-Newcastle match on but would need to pay for ours, I think…

    Our two big summer signings on the bench…. What does that say about Freddie’s assessment of the guys (above him now…) who got the deals done?…

  • Anyhow, if anybody has any in-match commentary, I’m all ears…or eyes…or something… Otherwise, I put up the Arseblog and the Guardian…and maybe I’ll add the BBC…


  • That is a shame, Seventeenho. Will put some comments up now and again, but don’t like to watch and type at the same time. What did you eat?

  • Am also happy with 4 midfielders. The energy of a team is in the midfield. Am also happy that Xhaka and Douzi have been seperated.

  • Lacazette has to deliver tonight. Just must earn his pips. Passing just has to click too.

  • I’m just having a soft drink… If the game was on it’d be beer, with maybe some food at half-time… I’ll probably retreat back to the cafe/oven house (my place) at some point… Strong FK right at the whistle (for HT) for Sheffield U, but a better save… They’re losing (at home)…

    Yeah, good to see LT get a start… Tell me if it seems more a diamond MF or a 4-2-3-1 (4-2-1-3, maybe with LT at the #10 the way Emery played him)…

  • Hey, TA, you’re pretty good at the live-blogging (respect…) 😀

    Keep it coming…

  • Good corner routine. Ozil to Laca who gets pushed in the box but referee does not seem to notice. The team is doing well and keeping the pressure on the Brighton box.

  • Cheers, 17HT. What is the weather like there?

    Brighton are playing in all black and are a tall team, but nothing beats the sunny combo of white and red against a fine green pitch. Some decent pressing sees us win the ball back in midfield. Willock is such a giant on the pitch – love to see him run and compete.

  • Good tempo to the game. We’ve started well again but will find it hard to keep up this level of pressing. Early days but Bellerin does look sharp and hungry.and up for it.

    Our strikers both caught offside needlessly, when they should never be. They need to hurry back into position, onside, after forays. Lazy!

  • The weather here is excellent…once you get accustomed to the humidity. Today it’s a bit breezy so that when I was in the water it felt like the water (maybe 18 or 19 deg. C) was actually warmer than the air (with the wind chill). It tends to be calmer (less breeze) at dawn and dusk…

    The game sounds maybe a bit less exciting than the start at Norwich…which might be a good thing…

  • Simple ball over the box by Brighton… Bells realises he cannot cover the attacker and seems to make contact. VAR to decide whether the foul was in or outside the box… it is outside the box. Free kick in a very dangerous place…….

  • Same question (beverage tonight) to you, TA… I’m guessing the missus is missing this one… 😉

  • Weather sounds great. Good for the soul.

    B now having a good spell and keeping us from attacking. We are reluctant to pass the ball and opt for long balls… not working. Another corner to the Seagulls.

    Mrs is snoozing on the couch, 17.

    Wow we got away with it there. Ball whipped in across goal but nobody reacted quickly enough.

    Just had a cup of tea, Seventeenho. Half time might opt for red wine.

  • I can no longer watch the game. Some unknown trouble with my cable equipment…… what timing

  • Replays show Willock was shirt-pulled in the box.. not the first time and B get away with it.

    Having to listen to Alan Shearer which is hard.

    Open and equal game. Support is not great.

  • So now we’re ALL depending on you, TA… 😀

    Sounds like Brighton are coming into the match now…

  • Yes Brighton are on top and just forced a decent safe from Leno. Oh they just scored from a corner, rebound in box. A bit luck but not undeserved… it was coming.

    Brighton are very good in denying us space to pass so far.

  • I hear it’s 0-1. Yet again, we can’t dominate at home and can’t keep the clean sheet. It’s been coming though. We allowed them too much possession for the past few minutes…. from the sounds of it.

  • All other outlets are reporting a Brighton goal… That’s my cue…like the song says…

    …to cruise on back home…

    J-Dub, I’m pretty sure, would get that one…

  • Oh so close to equaliser. Auba beats his man and free header for Laca. Unfortunately, the Frenchman ‘s header is on the keeper’s foot… Much better phase.

  • Pepe on for Willock. We are going all out attack. I thought Joe was one of the better midfielders but we need to extra width as the midfield was not working in first half. COYGs!!

  • Pepe and Bells partnering well so far. And there it is. Mesut corner, Laca heads to the far post and Kola somehow bear-bullies it in. 1-1 and we have game on. Love you Arsenal WE DO..

  • I believe set pieces should only count as 1/2 goals…

    Still would be level… 😀

  • Don’t do it, TA…those guys might’ve been better footballers (than you), but it’s all designed to inflame the viewer… 😦

    Sounds like the outside-in game is almost working…

  • Now Brighton make a cross into the box but Bells and Leno somehow prevent a goal. Freekick to the good guys. Mesut is sharpening his pencil… and 2-1 but it looks offsite…

  • Sounds like VAR takes one back, Ozil to Luiz on a set piece… Of course, using my system, it would’ve only been half a goal… 😉 😦

  • 25 minutes to go and much better by Arsenal. B remain dangerous but now only on the counter and set pieces. Great counter by the Arse. Auba not his usual self. Pepe is flying (and should have had an assist).

  • Did you go for the red wine at half-time?… I’m contemplating a beverage myself…

  • Tierney on for Kola. The latter has been one of the driving forces but Tierney will bring new energy and hopefully some better crosses into the box. We can win this but we need moments of quality.

  • 😀 …

    Freddie uses the summer signings as his subs…including the Brazilian kid (that Edu found?)…We shall see…

  • Are fans heading to the tube…or staying to slag off the team?… Or maybe trying to urge us forward for the draw (or better)?…

  • No sound so I don’t know, 17. Almost 2-2. Good cross by Tierney and Marti meets it well, but keeper can get his hands to it. Two B defenders bang heads but can carry on. Mesut corner…

  • Missed and the fans are going home. The BoD are not getting a free OGS effect as yet but I would give Freddie the benefit of the doubt right now.

  • Tierney miscues his cross and that should be it. it is. There is booing from those who stayed behind but it isn’t too loud. As a team we have to learn and move on. May have that glass of vino now.

  • Admir knows…

    Meanwhile, the Arseblog play-by-play is having a melt-down…

    Looking forward to your match report, TA…. (Other, more reactionary posts/comments, not so much…but everyone has their own way of coping…

    For me, it’ll be a siesta… Night all…

  • If Freddie believes in Xhaka, Luiz and Sokratis then he is not the man we want. Chambers, Holding, Movrapanos, and Maitland-Niles will do much better. Is Ozil really better than Smith-Rowe? I don’t think so. He is no longer influential. Coach must try Torreira and Maitland-Niles on the midfield base. Auba is just good when facing the goal. His other aspects of the game are very poor. Pepe needs to vary his game its pretty poor to try the same trick failing again and again.

  • Simba, you only come here to winch. Sorry I don’t need such bloggers and there are much better places where you can let out your bile.

    Blaming is the tool of fools.

  • Its 6.45 am here. Morning all.
    I know we are getting close and as you said TA, lots of work needs to be done. The passing, the positioning, the pressing, bigger width are all points that needs massive looking at.

    Now, it is the coaches and the team to work this out. We can only watch and see how this unfolds.

  • Unfortunately, I didn’t see the game after the 22nd minute or so. But from the little I saw and what I heard on the Arsenal site commentary/ post-game analysis, Granit Xhaka was actually our best player on the night.

    What Freddie needs to work out now is how to sustain the energy levels for the duration. Brighton played a calm, confident game today and probably deserved to win it. So, lost our first game at home to a side that’s never beaten us at home in the modern era. These are, indeed, strange times.

  • Agreed with both of you. It is a much bigger challenge for Freddie than many of us thought it to be, me included. I like and rate every individual player on the pitch tonight but as a team we lacked cohesion and confidence, and as the analysts said after the game, they will need to get the basics right: avoiding being offsite, not leaving space between defence and midfield, better passing and first touches, etc. I have doubts about Freddie as he is so inexperienced at this level, but I want to give him time to sort things out. I now know a lot of work needs doing and it is going to be a tough December.

  • For me, all it takes is just that first win…….. get it and we will achieve lift off.

  • Was only able to the 1st-half– and the last 10 minutes (damned work!). Did like the effort– of the portion I saw. Ran hard, covered for teammates.

    Will take in the rest later tonight. Not so concerned– as Freddie gets a long leash from me. There was a ton of deprogramming required after Ennui’s departure. Doesn’t happen in a week.

    I was very disappointed in the match ref. Felt he allowed Brighton to be more physical– and called our transgressions with less of it quite frequently. There was a clear shove on Laca heading a corner– where he made contact with the ball taking a forearm across the shoulder blades from behind. Stone cold pen. VAR could have done something about that one.

    We are playing teams that aren’t as talented as we are– but far more organized, playing team football. We just don’t flow well– yet. It’ll come.


  • I’d take a 40-pointer right now. Big Sam is anxious.

    Freddie is repeating Emery’s mistakes while our players look down beyond recovery. I wouldn’t be surprised if we fall into a serious relegation battle…and lose it.

    Rafa to steady the ship.

  • Upthread– not sure who? Stated: ‘It’s down to the players now.’
    I’ll agree with that. Freddie’s job first– is to get the energy back into the team. I’m seeing that. Another week of positive influence ought to bring a positive result soon

    Though just one at home with City– there are some winnables in front of us (West Ham, Standard Liege (then City), Everton and Bournemouth. At Liege, Freddie has the luxury of trying out whatever he deems necessary prior to City– in readying for Everton and Bournemouth (then Chelsea).

    The above might have been somewhat easier without the hesitation to toss Unai overboard. Before the last break would have given FL almost 3 weeks to prep many of the team that didn’t travel to play for their respective national sides. Breathtakingly short-sighted of the execs. Ljungberg having to slow-roll progress thanks to being slammed by the schedule.

    Still. Feel better seeing the players react more positively.


  • @TotalArsenal these are my opinions in a season where nothing positive has come out. Do you think what you say is everyone’s cup of coffee. If you don’t accept my views and the way I express myself well then I also don’t need to be on your blog. You have said a lot of views that have turned out to be wrong. My views are not offensive to anyone in any way. What positive can I say about Arsenal now.

  • Jw1, i guess the team needs Sir Alex Ferguson to give them the hairdryer treatment. That is the only wake up call they need…. apparently I am joking here 😉

    Anyway, we had been lacking in help from the ref but Martinelli had a very good header saved by their Aussie keeper. Leno can also save the second goal he conceded but apparently he was caught thinking what to do.

    Our chances this season is quite perilous but i really hope we can get back after 5 games.

  • First half was very poor. It was our players were half asleep or something. So many poor decisions, so many strayed or misplaced passes… The team was unrecognizable (unless you were wearing a pair of “Emery-tainted” glasses). Second half was much better in terms of urgency and intensity but as always, we just can’t stop conceding goals left and right regardless of the opposition. I know Emery is gone now but his presence still lingers around, I think. He just sucked proper football out of Arsenal and now we desperately need Freddie or someone who can coach the “Emery” out of this team and get us back to playing good attacking football again. Every team now fancies their chance against us and if we don’t steady the ship soon enough, we could find ourselves in the bottom half of the table by the end of January and that is no place for Arsenal FC to be. Not with the players we have at our disposal. Freddie needs some serious help with our defensive efforts. Every team seems to defend admirably except for us. We can’t seem to properly organize and can never spot a potential danger. I hope we can find a way to fix this defense soon, otherwise, an overhaul is required in the Summer.
    Credit to Brighton though, they came in with a game plan and they executed it almost perfectly and went home with all 3 points. They played very well, imo and deserved to win.
    No time for us to sulk or whine or dwell on this or any previous game. Time to keep going forward and play better, with more passion, more smart aggression, more creativity, and more urgency. By the way, a clean sheet against West Ham will do us a world of of good. We badly need it for our confidence. Hopefully, we can execute and get the job done on Monday.
    Go Freddie!
    Go Gunners!

  • Simba, did you ever post a constructive, positive comment here? Just bashing our players is not getting us anywhere. They need support right now, desperately. We cannot just sit back and say you do it players, entertain us and win games now! There are systemic problems that will not be resolved instantly, the damage is far too deep. So we need to stand behind the manager and the players and allow them time to get it right.

    I understand that many just want to blame the players now. Did not work under Emery, does not work under Freddie, so it must be the players. It looks like that is exactly where your brain is right now. Not good enough imo.

  • JW agreed. There were positives in this game.

    Admir, you sound desperate. Why talk about relegation when a new manager albeit interim just took over? Well done re your prediction btw; just hoping you didn’t jinx it! 😀

  • 84, Martinelli is the only one of the attackers who seems to be able to head a cross towards goal. It was a good effort but the distance was too long so the goalie got a hand to it. I reckon we are now really missing a Giroud type, for crosses into the box, back to goal work AND supporting the defence during set pieces. So much work to be done.

  • Agreed TA. Martinelli is our new Giroud, and I reckon he will be a good traditional CF.
    I liked the way in the last few minutes that Auba moved out wide and Martinelli moved to the CF position, he had this great chance to pull us level. Emery did not use Martinelli as a CF due to his speed, but his forte is clearly as a CF.

  • Thank you for the PM GN5. Been away from the action until kick off.

    Not much to say except the players really worked hard and deserved a point.

    How is Freddie going to persuade our two Big Players to both sign a new contract and inspire the team? Their body language is not good with Laca permanently angry and Auba chastising young players for not giving him the perfect pass.

    I guess the best that can be said is that this is another “transition season” 😀

  • @Erik

    I wouldn’t mind if both Laca & Auba get sold next summer provided that we spend that money wisely. For all good things they bring to the table, our team is heavily disbalanced with them both on the pitch and neither has shown guts to drag us over the line last season/when chips our down.


    The problem with Freddie is that he has spent too much time with Emery. His spell with Jonkers was also bonkers (yes, I know my rime is not worth a dime). My prediction was based on the fact that any team that has even the most primitive structure will beat us. Add two out of three stooges in the central defence and you get, as I said, two goals conceded per game guaranteed.

    We don’t play well & we have more points than our performances have earned us. Last night we even had close-to-best XI (with Torreira-Xhaka in the midfield, Mesut on 10, Pepe, Laca and Auba in the attack, flanked by Bellerin and Kola/Tierney) and yet we were crap.

    It may not be fair to point fingers after dross performances like the one last night but David Luiz has to be the worst player in the Arsenal shirt during my lifetime. Sokratis is not much better than Luiz. We don’t have money to spend come January, we have no spine or whatsoever and our next five games may turn out to be even uglier than the previous five.

    This whole year is crap, in every possible way, so I wouldn’t be surprised if:

    -Liverpool win the league without a defeat thus meaning they would break our 49-game record as well,
    -Liverpool secure the title at our ground in a game while sending us to the relegation zone,
    -Spurs winning a trophy with The Hideous One & finishing above us,
    -Arsenal finishing behind all Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham and Crystal Palace as fifth club in London.

  • Cheers Admir, your pessimism continues, which is fine, but your first statement, that Freddie spent too much time with Emery, is pure projection at this moment in time. Only time will tell.

    I am not the biggest fan of Luiz and Sok but once again your statements are way too harsh. As long as we defend badly as a team it is hard to say how bad or good our CBs are imo.

  • I say out with the old and in with the new.

    I cannot stand watching mush more of our “top” players having snits on the field, they are the players who should be galvanizing the rest of the team into a viable unit.

    I was very pleased with the way Pepe played , he showed a lot of good moves and his spirit was top class. Young Martinelli is already a star.

  • Feeling like a year-long winter already…😟 It’s very strange that positional play has almost completely disappeared from players, some of whom at least, were doing much better just two years ago. Do you think we are in these doldrums because confidence is completely shot and that’s it?

  • @TotalArsenal what did you mean that if I criticise I am a fool? You need to respect other bloggers. What support do these players and management need when they earn a lot a produce much less. A successful team or organisation needs ruthless management and structures. Wenger was kept for too long on past glories. Liverpool has benched players like Lovren and Keita who in my view are better than what we have and replaced them with quality. Until when should our players continue to under perform and keep on playing. Remember these players are paid handsomely and they must show commitment and desire. Funs are buying club merchandise and buying expensive tickets which contributes to their salaries so they must please us. Clubs like Real Madrid are successful because they have no time for non performers. I am sorry if you accept and want to support players like Ozil the team will continue going further down. Like in any job if you are paid you must perform to the level required. Arsenal FC pay a certain level of salary which must be matched by performance. I will never boo players in a stadium but I won’t celebrate the level of under perfomance at Arsenal FC.

  • Simba, i know where you are smoking at but i believe that you will be in a better suited blog like arseblog or 7amkickoff.

    The club have our own traditions and values. True fans have our choice of standing by the team in every win or loss, and business-minded clubs have their own way of working, cutting off lesser players and recruiting only ultra males to reach their goal.

    We are not a business-minded club, but under KSL i shudder to think for how long, and if we as fans only criticise the team instead of looking at how the players play and only looking at the end result, that’s called a plastic fan.

    You only know yourself if you are of a true fan or a plastic one, and i will recommend that you stick behind the team.

    I have read your earlier comments, and a couple were constructive. Why not do that? And analyse the gameplay of the lads? Rather than just playing whack-the-mole?

  • Hahahahaha njk48sg what are you saying here. I support Arsenal but I don’t accept the way the team is playing. Remember these players can jump ship to join another team at any moment after draining the club of millions whilst playing rubbish. Football has changed its now ruled by money and results. If results are not forthcoming Arsenal will be just another team soon. With the influx of foreign buyers another team can get a rich owner further pushing us away from the top teams. We have players who have given their all to the team and despite their shortcomings I appreciate. However we have players who should be leading the youth and newcomers but are just not serious. The club board and management are not serious at all. Why did we sell Monreal after Lolo had gone? Why did they authorise the purchases of Cech, Luiz, Sokratis, Litchsteiner (sp) etc. Why did they extend contracts to Elneny and Xhaka? Let Ramsey go for free? I thought Freddie would ditch Xhaka, Luiz, Sokratis and Mustafi and focus on players like Chambers and Holding. Our midfield and defence against BHA was so disorganised every time Torreira went upfront BHA would come direct through the middle and everyone was back tracking yet they are supposed to approach and mark the ball before the opposition is in our penalty area where its dangerous to tackle. Martinelli and Saka are so good but why only bring them when the team is under pressure. These are still boys. Torreira has desired and an appetite to go forward which is a good trait. Kolasinac and Bellerin are so good in a wing back roles why not use it with a back three of Chambers Holding and someone from the Juniors. The Europa league team play much better than our first team and win against teams like Sporting Lisbon who are much stronger than the likes of BHA and Southampton we are failing to beat. Let’s use the fring players so that the so called first know that they do not have divine right to play all the matches. Until when should our coaches continue with non performers and doesn’t the players like Xhaka and Luiz also watch their mistakes and correct the next game. It can’t business as usual losing against small teams.

  • Simba, I think you get the essence of being a supporter totally wrong. We lose and it is too much for you: somebody needs to be blamed and, as the manager has just been replaced, you blame a few players. It is much more complex than that. So blaming is the tool of fools. I suggest you too support players like Ozil, get behind the team, and together we can get back to winning ways. I didn’t delete your comment(s) and let you have your say, but I will have mine too.

  • @TotalArsenal i think foolishness is supporting players like Ozil who have no commitment

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