The Six Lessons Arsenal learned from our shocking defeat to Brighton

It was an awful performance. by Skills1000

The injury to Martinelli also contributed to our weak attack yesterday. Saka should have been out of the first 11 some weeks ago. He looked tired. Nelson should have taken his place. If we had won against West Ham and Southampton, we could have been on the same points as Man City even if we lost to Brighton.

The lessons learnt are:

1. Arteta should learn to trust his squad and rotate effectively. You can’t start the same 11 week in week out

2. Ralmsdale Needs some reality check. He gets too casual and makes wrong decisions some times

3. Partey should stop passing it around in his own box rather, he should play it long. We conceeded from such and dropped points.

4. We need an A-list striker who is good in the air. Someone who can receive crosses. A physically imposing centre forward. Bid 100m pounds for Victor Osimhen. Adding A top centre forward means moving G Jesus to the right wing role to rotate with Saka. If Osimhen is not available, then Ivan Toney should be a target. We don’t need quantity. We need quality players.

5. We need a game plan on how to play teams like Man City and Liverpool.

6. Saliba is so important to this squad. We missed his leadership and composure in Defence.

What other lessons do you think we should learn from this game?


Video – Mikel Arteta explains what went wrong against Brighton “Individually we were below par”

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Tags Arsenal v Brighton


  1. We tried to escape from Brighton’s high press using long balls, but we only had Saka to receive them and Jesus could hardly win it against Brighton’s CBs

    If we had a stronger CF, Ramsdale would’ve had Saka and him to distribute the ball to. The more dominant CF would also make us win the second ball more easily, due to his hold-up play or aerial ability

    Jesus is a tricky CF who won us many free-kicks, but sometimes we need plan B when playing against ball-hogging and high-pressing masters like Man City/ Liverpool/ Brighton

    1. Yes… I even rate Mitrovic very highly..
      He is also that kind of CF who can bully any defender… no matter who is front of him..
      Whether it is Laporte or Dias…
      And he won’t as much expensive as Vlahovic, En-Neysri, and Victor Osimhen…
      Arteta also need to change his decision making on Zinchenko’s position in team..
      He need to shift in Midfield and Tierney and LB
      This will give pretty good balance..
      Yesterday we clearly missed Zinchenko’s midfield presence…

      1. I’d prefer your other CF recommendations than Mitrovic, because Mitrovic would likely have a conflict with Xhaka. Another option would be Alexander Sorloth

        1. You can let Xhaka go…
          You have Zinchenko to fill his gap..
          You can’t keep everyone happy..
          Anyway Xhaka is wanted by Leverkusen

    2. Gai, I think Arsenal can press as much as Brighton but the attackers needs to be more consistent at it you need to watch again how we beat Brighton away. Sometimes Arteta gets his tactics wrong both the coach and the players needs to learn from this season moving forward. Zichenko was missed in midfield yesterday. I think if both Zichenko and ESR cani mprove their body built and physicality they already have the technical ability to replace GXhaka if he leaves. Hope Tomiyasu comes stronger next season to compete with White bcos White was roasted by Mitoma in the game.

      1. Our high-press is excellent, but we can’t escape from the opposition’s high press sometimes

        1. How was yesterday’s pressing display excellent? Their keeper literally made a fool of our forwards because he knows Jesus will just stand and won’t make a move towards him despite being in very close proximity with each other. Clearly the instructions on our forwards were simply get close to the ball-holder and not making a move. I dare say more than 10 minutes of play time was held right there.

          1. The intense high-press of Jesus, Odegaard and Saka forced Brighton’s backline to release the ball quickly in the first ten minutes of the game, but Brighton’s rough scheme ruined our tempo

    3. Everton beat them 5 1.
      Geordies tonight 4 1.
      Still can’t explain last Sunday.
      Still hurting me.

  2. We need at least 5 players…
    1 winger
    One CM or CDM
    One CF like Dusan Vlahovic, Youssef En-Nesyri, Even Mitrovic…
    And Arteta need to understand that Zinchenko is not LB
    He need to play in midfield in place of Xhaka…
    And for that we need another LB

    Mo Simikan looks good as RB and CB…
    He could be available for 30 Millions…
    Then Brighton is willing to sell Caicedo for 70 and Pervis Estupiñán looks pretty solid at Lb who can rotate with Tierney…
    And Olise or Leon Bailey from Palace or Villa..
    Both are pretty decent quality…
    Anyway Saka will be our main RW but any one of the could help Saka to get some rest in few matches.
    They are not too expensive as well…
    In 130 Million you could Caicedo, Simikan and Pervis Estupiñán…
    Another 25 for winger…
    Then go for Any strong CF like I mentioned above…
    Certainly Napoli is not willing to sell Victor Osimhen this summer…
    Their president made it clear..
    Just try for Dusan Vlahovic or En-Neysri..
    Vlahovic May not become Juventus are in CL next season but En-Neysri might come as especially if we give tempting offer of 60-70 Millions to Sevilla…
    And even if we miss him then certainly we can try for Mitrovic…
    He will certainly move to Arsenal..
    Ivan Toney is good but Brentford won’t sell him for less than 100 Million which is out of our sight..
    So in an around 200 Million we could
    1 RB
    1 LB
    1 CDM
    1 Winger
    And 1 CF
    If we want to add number then Tielamans is getting free this summer…
    Not a bad option as free agent…
    So Ramsdale and Turner as GK
    Simikan and Tomiyasu as RB
    Whit, Saliba, Gabriel and Kiwior as CBs
    Tierney and Estupiñán as LB
    In Midfield you have Caicedo, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Partey, Elneny and Tielamans…
    In attacking options Saka and Olise or Bailey as RW
    Martinelli and Trossard as LW
    Number 10 Odegaard and ESR, Viera and even Trossard can play as well..
    Up front you can Jesus, Nketiah and Mitrovic or En-Neysri…
    We can sell Holding, Xhaka who wants to go to Leverkusen… Sambi Lokonga, Balogun… we could at least recoup 60 by selling these players.. so our net spend would 160-180…
    Solid enough to go toe to toe with City or any other team in PL and Europe…

  3. Close down the opposition defence as a collective unit/ Defend two on one against in drifting wingers/ Get strong technical players who can take a rough kick as well as give it out/ Practice set pieces more is corners , throws ,so wasteful. But tall players who can both hold the ball and turn and attack on a 10 pence coin. Work on their toughness, bravery,sharpness and fitness more, they have become lazy and scared.

  4. Learn to bury our chances, I thought may be if Trossard and Saka could have been more clinical in first half we could have easily won the game.

    1. I think Arsenal’s demise at the hands of Brighton was a mental lock not mental block. Most of the players had switched their minds to champions league mode knowing fully well that 2nd spot was in the bag. We saw how arsenal ferociously attacked Brighton away and mauled them so badly that they had to remove trossard in that game . Then something was at stake. Not now , knowing that mancity will not drop more than 3points again. Interestingly, that might even be against Brighton.
      But moving forward, for the DM position, caicedo or onana( Everton) are the ideal recruit. Rice will be too expensive due to over hype by the media. We can’t afford milinko- savic either. Osimehen will be too expensive likewise vhlaovic. My personal CF will be Ivan toney( but again might be overpriced due to being English). Sorry to say but balogun, nketia are not elite level. They need to be moved on . Douglas Luiz to replace jorginho and zinc moves to midfield to replace xhaka. Either olisey or chuckweze( Villarreal) to complement saka. The LW is already stocked with trossard, martinelli ,smith-rowe and neilson. Unless neilsson refuses the new contract , zaha or jack Harris will do. The jury is still out on kiwor with yesterday SIMP performance but will give him the benefit of the doubt. Megahhales and holding are not elite material in my humble opinion. If dunk can be persuaded (tongue in cheek). He will be a formidable partner to saliba. So my dream signings for next season
      CB… Luis dunk
      DM… Caicedo or onana
      DLDM… Douglas Luiz
      Rw…. Oliseh or chuckweze
      LW- zaha or jack harris

      1. We need to accept everything either right or bad that happened this season, First of all we need to accept that our squad lack experience to complete with teams like mancty, Liverpool and other top six league teams ,More to that Arsenal squad is too small to compete favourably with top teams in the league and outside the league, for God’s sake we need the team that has Playing qualities and competitive minds Either on first 11 or on the bench, meaning the team should be having the best alternatives on substitution, Meanwhile we need players like
        Victor Oshimen ,or mitrovic as Cf
        We need the best CB and RB and Two DM.

  5. Another disappointing end to the season no matter if we’ve finished second or not .
    How many times when the going gets tough do our so called best players go missing time and again ,absolutely pathetic performance one which had we won would have keep the pressure on city .
    Seems to be coming a bit of a habit ,how long the owners keep backing this is anyone’s guess ,you cannot keep throwing money at a problem that doesn’t require it .

  6. The impression I get is that MA just doesn’t have alot of faith in the squad as a whole. He is certain about the first XI or so, but after that, he’s not sure or confident about the others being able to do the business. Hence rotation for him has been out of the question. Ofcourse none of us can know this to be the absolute truth, it’s just my take.
    Ramsdale is the best shot-stopper in the league and I wouldn’t swap him for anyone else. As time goes by he’ll cut out the odd mistake. and go on to become a legend for us.
    It took me a while to start believing in Thomas Partey, but he did have a fine season until recently. For whatever reason he’s gone back to being a bit ponderous and has generally lost form.
    Today’s footballers are great athletes, but they do like to “go down” too easily. For example Kiwior collapsing at the moment he did, is to me unbelievable bearing in mind that as a matter of urgency you have to stand up and defend the clear and present danger ! Adrenaline is usually enough to keep you going in that situation, even if you are in pain. Instinct should kick in. It was disappointing to see because I have hopes for him.
    Not sure that the Everton/City result really had anything to do with some sort of pre-match deflation because they should have assumed that City would take the points at Goodison.
    The right recruitment during the summer will see us improve as a squad, and contrary to what some people believe, City are not going to dominate forever.
    Even if Napoli were willing to sell Osimhen he’d be too expensive for us. You’re right we need a proper CF. An old school killer striker whose sole purpose in life is to score goals. This would give us another dimension in order to keep opposition defenders guessing. At present we have excellent tricky ballers who are, however, similar to each other.
    Game management can improve and it’s no shame to play against City or Liverpool with less than expansive football if it means coming away without losing.

  7. Yeah what I will contribute is about tomiyasu injury and I think if tomiyasu didn’t pick injury we can easily won that game yesterday but that is football

    1. No one can argue that Arsenal was not outplayed yesterday. But to ignore what this team has achieved all season as a result is lack of appreciation.
      The pre season forcasts barely allowed us a sniff of 4th. When the squad came out roaring we all applauded. Some unfortunately got carried away. They forgot that our squad was thin. That a couple of injuries could see us unravel.
      Come, the injuries did, to some of our best. It’s painful but it’s criminally pathetic to be looking for scapegoats in
      this super achieving squad – top of the league for more than 2/3 of the season. Super performance.
      Total pts this season at least 81 pts, possible 87, up from 69 last season. Compare Chelsea maximum of 52, down from 74 last season or Tottenham 63 (max) down from 71 last season.
      The evidence you are moaning is in your saying ” ….. one which had we won …). It pains. No doubt.
      I don’t really know what is becoming a habit so much so that the owners might stop backing the Arsenal. What problem is it “they’ve been throwing money at that doesn’t require it”. Maybe they’d consider backing Chelsea or Tottenham in their current form.
      I align with Munalula Mukelabai
      who opined “However, I still personally feel our current team actually performed beyond our expectations. The coaching staff and our players deserve our encouragement and utmost support.”

  8. We could do with a Dominic Calvert Lewin sort of outlet for our long ball game, using Jesus as a foil for any nod on’s/downs. Even though DCL is also capable of dealing with holding up long balls. The long ball game, be it as a means of escape when the pressure is on or, as a tactical supplement come alternative to our floor play is something we don’t have and could do with as it could add a particularly, influential string to our arsenal. It also means having defenders who are capable of launching a ball at the right velocity and trajectory, even when they are being closed down. For that to work though (and which is another problem) we also have to have defenders that have some modicum of composure. Saliba looks to have such a trait and I think Kiowor might also posses it. It’s okay having sturdy, stalwart defenders but sometimes your attack starts in defence. Not as we do at the moment ie Ramsdale to Gabriel, Gabriel back to Ramsdale and so on until the ball becomes a hot potato. Defenders that are calm to receive the ball and able to make space before delivering a well weighted and directional pass to the likes of Oedegard (as Zinchenko can do) or, make space and find the right pass even further forward to the the likes of DCL. I think if we had those type of players and incorporated the orchestrated long ball into our game, it would take our game to another level. Gabriel, Holding etc will run through brick walls for Arsenal but sometimes we need a bit more than the skill set they posses.

  9. Just after the Liverpool game, Saka needed to rest and only come in as a substitute for twenty or fifteen minutes for fitness purposes. He has been amazing all season long and it’s clear that took a toil on him. What our team requires is a proper rotation. I feel we can not approach every game with the same set of players and formation. I hope this coming season we will acquire a RB, RW, CF and Midfielder. However, I still personally feel our current team actually performed beyond our expectations. The coaching staff and our players deserve our encouragement and utmost support.

  10. Two issues, being street smart and squad depth.

    The current Arsenal squad is clearly better than the current Spurs squad. But while Arsenal’s record against City is dreadful Spurs have beaten them 5 times at the Spurs Stadium without City scoring a goal. That’s simply down to the fact Spurs have figured out a counter attacking game plan that works against City. Arsenal seem to try and go toe to toe with them, something only Klopp’s Liverpool have done successfully. Arsenal need to learn you can’t always impose your game on the opposition, sometimes you need to change your game to frustrate them.

    The premier league is a marathon not a sprint. If you don’t rotate it will inevitably catch up with you at the back end of the season. The champions league just makes the situation worse. The problem is City have a better squad than anyone else, they can rotate as much as they want. I guess its normal for fans to pretend the club has oil wells and come up with a wish list of signings the club in reality can’t afford. The question is in the real world how far can you improve the squad. Its less about the first eleven, more about the rotation.

    1. Those were factual points raised by you to which I agree.
      And concerning the “street smart” concept you coined. Imo if we focus more on it and make ourselves difficult to play against especially against teams like City and Pool, that maybe our best way of favorably competing with them rather than matching their squad depth which I don’t think is possible with the current owners.

      There’s always a way out in every situation it’s all about seeing for what it is and being ready to take or adopt it.

  11. With regard to lesson 5, you ought to have added Brighton to your list.Unless you can match them in terms of energy, which we cannot, you have to set up tactically like Everton did , and hit them on the break.

  12. If MA wants to buy players they must ge least 185m tall.,Most teams have at least one striker 6ft tall.
    Wenger tried to play the Barcelona or ballet style and was usually beaten by big scorelines.The gunners were bullied by the teams with bigger guy
    Hopefully,fi nances permitting,NA will go for the more established players instead waiting for potential to be fulfilled

  13. Just want to add that should be flexible and not rigid. He has no right of knowing it all. There is no team that wins league titles with same first team players. Apart from quality, Pep trust his bench so much. This is why he rotate players according to the opposition. Some of us who were tagged Arteta haters started raising alarm before the team collapse but the coach refused to rotate his players.We were called names. There won’t be need for crying over spilt milk.
    If only Arteta and Edu can go for the right players and buy them; learn from his mistakes then, next season will be rewarding.

    1. Who was there to rotate Saliba with? Or Saka? Or Partey before Jojingho arrived.
      It’s so easy to pick scapegoats.

  14. If club’s like Arsenal and Spurs had the same kind of scouting set up as Brighton they would be able to offset City’s financial advantage by getting more for their money. Liverpool are in the same boat but I’d say their scouting set up is already better, they seem to make very few mistakes. Of course both Brighton and Liverpool use the moneyball approach leaning heavily on data analysis. Its why Brighton sign so many players you’ve never heard of who go on to fetch major money. Bigger clubs would be able to hold on to the talent for longer. Its something that doesn’t seem to be understood by many people in football but has become important in recent years.

  15. Miss the game yesterday, first one have missed in many moons.

    Early Quitting
    The biggest lesson what I have learned base on the performance yesterday, is early quitting, everyone seems to have check out early maybe in order to get a comfortable seat on the team bus.

    There was a time in the not too pass you could put your pot on the stove and bet Arsenal would finish strong like a runaway train.

    With the Citizens winning earlier and second place firmly in the bag, maybe to avoid injury with one eye on the break to be away with family may have well take precedent.

    Am not worried one bit about this strong team that has overachieved this campaign, am more concern about the incoming to strengthen the spine and improve the mentally.

    1. Gunsmoke, did you get my post to you yesterday morning ? It was on the Zaha page, but it wasn’t about Zaha.

      1. Evgunner you sounds like a season campaigner on this site, but for some strange reason have only seen your postings in recent times, but I have quickly become addicted to reading your postings so they don’t miss me not for love or money.

        1. G – thankyou, but did you get my post which was in response to your 3 a.m post yesterday morning?

  16. The biggest problem why we lost the title this season is that most of our players are too childish. They hold on to ball for too long until they lose it to opponent. The difference between them and man city players is that Man city players are very direct and precise. They release the ball onetime to the next and right player, they always working towards goal post of the opponent. That is attitude of a winning team, but the likes of Martinelli, Odegaad, Gabriel Jesus and Trossard will not pass the ball on time, they will rather turn and turn until they lose the ball which to me is so childish. That’s the first thing Arteta needs to work on next season.

  17. In addition, we should strategise on counter-attacks, maintaining semi-circle formation in games and bringing Declan Rice, Ivan Tony and an emotionally stable and tall centre-back.

  18. We need the Psychologists to talk to the boys to always. play crucial games. with character . we cannot afford. to be playing like ” don’t touch me” all the time . We need a striker and. a strong defender

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