Arsenal back to their usual selves against Brighton by KM
Ahh the FA cup strikes again. After seeing City, Spurs and Chelsea crash out all in one day, it was game on for Arsenal against Brighton. No matter what they say about it, the FA cup is the FA cup and it’s a trophy. It’s one that we now have a realistic chance to win amazingly for a second year in a row.
We absolutely hit the ground running with 2 goals from Walcott and Ozil coming before the 25th minute. We had a good advantage at half time and we did exactly what we usually do, make our life difficult. Out of nowhere we let an easy goal in. Chambers was looking at the referee hoping for a free kick rather than chasing the ball, Flamini was his usual useless self and Koscielny really had a bad game.
So at 2:1 our best player on the night, Rosicky, struck an absolute beauty of all after a nice Ronaldinho like pass for a one two with Giroud and a great volley. Then we allowed Brighton to score again from nowhere. Monreal has been fantastic as a left back, but him and Koscielny in the middle didn’t work. We broke our back line, Flamini was nowhere to be seen and we conceded again.
At the end we deservedly won 3:2. The main talking point for me was the changes. We made rotations and still put out an incredibly strong squad. The major difference between the incoming players and the squad that beat City 2:0 at the Etihad was the desire to do the defensive job. We managed to silence a Man City squad with some of the finest striking powers in the land, and we shipped in 2 goals by an average Brighton side.
Reason number one, the keeper. We put back Schezny and he brought no sense of security to the back line. We have to stick with Ospina and go for another keeper in the summer to replace the Pole. Another reason for the defensive trouble was the lack of Coquelin in the squad. He really anchored our midfield. His introduction immediately put some protection to the back four. Flamini was so bad I hardly see him being with us next season. The problem is Coquelin’s contract ends this summer. We will definitely need a DM in the summer, regardless of whether the Frenchman stays or goes.
The full backs; Gibbs was awful. Monreal is miles ahead in the left back picking order. Chambers – He made an early assist for Walcott but, just like Gibbs, he was more interested in attack than defense. Bellerin at the moment seems like a far better choice at the right back. And the final reason – support from midfield. Cazorla was immense at City, not just in attack but in winning the ball back. Chamberlain and Sanchez also helped the defense, something we didn’t see from Ozil or Walcott.
The ever so likely introduction of Paulista is one we do need, but it doesn’t tell the full story. Exposing our back four is the bigger reason for us shipping so many goals in, but that does not mean a new CB is not needed. Some of our full backs are more interested in attacking than defending, and Flamini is a sorry excuse of a DM.
But our squad is looking good. We still have a few injuries and we filled a strong bench today. One player on the night was head and shoulders above others and that was Rosicky. What a sublime player. This is the one player whos career could’ve been up their with the very best if he wasn’t injured for so long. I really hope we win another trophy while he’s still playing because he really deserves it. He’s never asked for an amazing wage, and his commitment, desire and quality cannot be questioned.
With him, and Cazorla, in form and the players coming back, I wouldn’t worry too much about midfield. If we adjust the protection of the back four and we stick with Ospina, the defense is also looking good. One top quality striker in the summer and another DM and we are looking set for a serious challenge.
For now, the FA cup is looking really promising….