Arsenal v Brighton – the teams, and the media’s errors revisited



By Bulldog Drummond

Just before we get into the team details here is a headline this morning from the Telegraph: “Aston Villa are everything that sorry Tottenham are not.” 

It indeed has been a while since the media realised that their darlings really were not up to it but now, they finally know.  HITC sums up the current feeling with the lines, “The news gets worse and worse for Tottenham Hotspur supporters, who probably can’t wait for the season to end.   After finding out Julian Naglesmann won’t be their next manager and losing 2-1 to Aston Villa in a crucial European game on Saturday afternoon, Fabrizio Romano posted on Twitter overnight that Mauricio Pochettino has ‘full agreement’ to become Chelsea’s next manager,”

 So I think a look at the table before today’s games, is required.  I’ve added an extra column at the end to remind us of where the club finished last season.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts 2022
1 Manchester City 34 26 4 4 89 31 58 82 1
2 Arsenal 35 25 6 4 83 39 44 81 5
3 Newcastle United 35 18 12 5 63 31 32 66 11
4 Manchester United 35 20 6 9 51 41 10 66 6
5 Liverpool 35 18 8 9 67 42 25 62 2
6 Tottenham Hotspur 36 17 6 13 65 59 6 57 4
7 Aston Villa 36 17 6 13 48 44 4 57 14
8 Brighton and Hove Albion 33 16 7 10 63 45 18 55 9


So only one of last season’s top four is in this season’s top four.  Two of the top seven finished in the bottom half of the table last season, and yet almost all the mainstream media predicted that the top four this season would be the same as the top four last season.   Still I suppose for journalists one out of four is not bad

And of course, I didn’t seriously expect any sort of apology from the media, but nonetheless, it is worth noting that none has been offered.  Not that the apology itself is important – it is more that it would be nice to see there is a recognition of the utter incompetence of the journalists in terms of reading the trends.   For it is not just the fact that these well-paid scribblers and broadcasters all got it wrong, but that little Untold Arsenal defied all of them by predicting Arsenal would come third, and explaining (in terms of the last 35 games of last season) why this would happen.

What the table does show of course is that contrary to what the journalist-predictors said, there is a real volatility in football at the moment, as well as the gross incompetence in which people who make mistakes cling to power so they can make ever more mistakes.  Chelsea obviously spring to mind because of their outrageous spending last season, but West Ham United and Everton should not be doing as badly as they are.

However, Arsenal’s worries are of a different flavour.

We have four players who now can only hope to return next season.  There is still a fraction of a hope that Saliba or Zinchenko will return but it seems unlikely… unless Arteta is playing a game with those who interview him (in which case good for him).

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Mohamed Elneny,  William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko all seem to be out at least for today, but with second place secured and it needing unexpected slips from Manchester City for Arsenal to get the title, it would seem unlikely that any will be back this afternoon.  However, Sky do have the story that Zinchenko could return for Arsenal this season

Added to this, giving other players a run out is never a bad thing if one wants to keep them at the club.   On the good side of things, Jorginho has shown why he was bought him.

However although our injury list looks bad, Brighton’s problems look worse.  Adam Lallana, Solomon March., Adam Webster, Jakub Moder, Jeremy Sarmeinto, and Enock Mwepu are definitely out according to Premier Injuries while Joel Veltman is rated at 50/50 and Tariq Lamptey is “currently being assessed” but has no return date expected.

Sportsmole offer us as the team:


White, Kiwior, Gabriel, Tierney;

Odegaard, Jorginho, Xhaka;

Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

and they also suggest 2-1 to Arsenal.

But as we have noted before Arsenal have scored 21 goals in the last six home games, and Brighton have scored nine in their last six away games.  So between them, 30 goals in the last six games which makes just three goals in this match seem a bit mean.  Recent form would suggest five at least.

The Standard offer a score of 3-1 but fail to give us a lineup.  90 min ask “Where are Arsenal vs Brighton playing?” and answer “Location: London, England,” which is always good to know.  As for the team they suggest… a team that is exactly the same as Sportsmole.  And that is pretty much where everyone is.

6 Replies to “Arsenal v Brighton – the teams, and the media’s errors revisited”

  1. Have just been watching Everton v Man City. The Man City player Foden was fouled and needed treatment for a couple of minutes. However, the referee then allowed the resultant free kick to be taken without asking the man City player Foden to leave the pitch and wait to be allowed back on.

    Is this strange or am I backwards wrt the rules of the game? City did score from the set piece – a beautiful goal, but should it have been disallowed as Foden had not been asked to leave the pitch and then asked to return.

    Has there been a rule change or does the referee have this rule in his pocket to use anytime. Very confusing……

  2. Another appalling refereeing performance, this time from Madley. There was a foul on Kiwior during Brighton’s first goal, and Gabriel should have had a penalty after being held in the Brighton area. As usual, the Sky commentary team tried to airbrush the incident away, saying than no foul had been committed, but replays backed up the penalty claim. After the match Roy Keane was heard celebrating the foul that may have given Martinelli ankle ligament damage. Deranged punditry.

  3. The officiating was certainly questionable today. Hatzidakis (where have we heard that name before?) flagged Trossard offside when receiving the ball from a throw-in. Extreme pitchtilting or a complete lack of understanding of the rules?

  4. Martinelli kicked out of the game. Blatant penalty for bear hug on Gabriel ignored. Arsenal not at their best today, but still might have beaten 11 opponents, 12 or 13 simply too many,

    VAR ensures Man City win league.

  5. Andy Madley lets the away side kick and shove players without penalty. That’s how the away side wins more often than the home when he refs. I suspect the players aren’t used to that at home. Arsenal did have an awful 2nd half, though. Kiwior was stepped on before the goal but it’s a corner FFS, got to stay upright there.

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