Brighton -Arsenal: A difficult game, a good win and who will we play next?

By Walter Broeckx

As I am one of the lucky persons who could see the game live on my TV I want to start with my favourite moment of the game. It was a moment before a ball was kicked. It was a moment that showed images of the crowd before the game started. And the camera zoomed in to the Gooners out there at Brighton. And they showed the Arsenal fans signing before the game and in the middle of the picture there was an Arsenal fan who clearly was disabled as he was sitting in a wheel chair that had to be operated with his chin. But you could see him signing with all his heart together with the rest out there.  It somehow touched me this image. And great to see that this Gooner could be in the ground out there.  I hope he enjoyed himself today.

On to the football. One could say that in a cup game only one things matters: to qualify for the next round. And that is what we did. We didn’t play great football but we were the best team of the two. We had the better chances looked at the whole game.

We had the most possession 41- 59%. Most shots on goal 5-12. Most shots on target 3-6. Most corners 2-15. We even made the most fouls 9-10.  Podolski hit the crossbar with a splendid free kick. But having said that it wasn’t a walk in the park. I think we should give credit to Brighton for not trying to kick us off the park. I think most of the fouls were rather regular fouls no real dangerous tackles flying in. Brighton tried to play the ball over the ground also most of the time. The carved out a few chances also. But at the end of the day the team with the better quality won the game. Also because our bench had a bit more quality I think.

If you haven’t seen the highlights yet you sure should try to see them. Because I think you could be impressed with some of the goals. And not that impressed with our defending when we conceded the goals. When seeing the goals from Brighton the word ‘sloppy defending’ might come in your mind. Nobody really attacking the ball, come on guys this can be better. Something to work on.

But let us move to our goals. And we start with another Podolski assist. Just after Szczesny had stopped Brighton with a great save and then set up a quick counter lead by Rosicky. Who played the ball to Podolski who thought about hammering it but as the ball was in front of his right foot didn’t take the shot on but laid the ball back and opened up some room for Giroud. Giroud  curled the ball nicely in the top corner giving the keeper no chance. That really was a super finish. It reminded me of a goal against the spuds last season. Will not mention the name of the goal scorer.

The second goal was maybe even better. Diaby with the ball and Giroud with the excellent run . The ball from Diaby was up in the air when it reached Giroud who took it out of the air, controlled it and smashed it past the keeper. That were two goals of superb technical quality. I dare to say it that this second goal brought even more memories of a player that has left us last summer.

In fact if it would have been him who scored those two goals the media would now be using words as ‘world class’ and ‘superb finishing’ or ‘amazing quality’.  Now the media will say that we miss the one that wanted away. And will not give credit to Giroud for his superb goals. And with a bit of luck he would have scored a few more cracking goals but the keeper and a defender standing in the way prevented him from scoring a hattrick.

One of those missed chances or better said saved just before the goal line by a defender led to the corner that brought us the winning goal. Wilshere who came in to replace Rosicky and who did a splendid job together with Gibbs when they entered the field gave the corner, the keeper could only punch it away to the line of the penalty area and Theo took a shot that would have gone in, in the middle of the goal but a Brighton defender touched it and it ended up in the corner of the goal.

We still had to survive one scary moment but we had more chances to score a 4th goal but the keeper prevented another Arsenal goal.

It was a difficult game, as it should be in the FA cup away against a lower league team that could be proud of themselves. And I have heard some people that I know how had tickets and who had nothing but kind words about the way Brighton welcomed us and also the local fans were very nice and friendly towards the Arsenal supporters I know.

So it was a good game of football with a good outcome for Arsenal. Rosicky had a first game under his belt since almost 2 months. Diaby had another game and played the full 90 minutes! We had our second choice left and right back out there to give them a game. Oxlade-Chamberlain started a game.  We have given Cazorla a breather, that he could use. Sagna and Gibbs have had a rest although the latter came in for the final 10 minutes and was impressive from the first second till the last.  Theo had a rest and when he came on also looked impressive and sharp and scoring another goal.  I think this is great because some fans (?) had already predicted that when he would sign his new contract he wouldn’t bother anymore and would fade away. Well not yet I would say.

Not at our best, not with the best but good enough to go to the next round against a team that tried to make life as difficult as possible but not enough to push us out.  Now let us hope for a good draw, hopefully at home. And if possible against a lower league team. Because in the week after the next FA cup games we get the visit of Bayern Munich on the next Tuesday.  It would be nice if we could give a few more players a rest in that FA cup weekend.

24 Replies to “Brighton -Arsenal: A difficult game, a good win and who will we play next?”

  1. From the Brighton perspective the injuries were a killer and disrupted the side. Nothing went right for Albion on the day and the own goal (or deflected goal) was the final straw. Brighton’s offside goal was very very close. Very disappointing.

  2. We were good . Our goals were class. Their goals were lucky. Blah blah blah Usual gooner arrogance

  3. I didn’t see the game due to my holiday in a cyclone effected area, so have to settle for live updates.
    But really chuffed for Giroud to score a brace especially creating one from nothing!!!
    Long may it continue!!!

  4. Giroud is quality.
    A hard working striker able to hold on to the ball, a strong, classical centre forward. The goals on Wednesday and yesterday showed us what he can do. Great runs and great technique.

    Santos must go – yesterday was a shocking display with several bad decisions. He hasn’t played much but he’s an experienced player making mistakes they do in U14 games.

    I enjoyed watching the game although both goals conceded made me frustrated.

    It seemed the players were unfamiliar to each others positional play, especially in midfield.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain is on a poor run lately and tries to hard.

  5. we made it interesting dint we. Both the goals that Brighton scored were as a result of ARSENALs moments of indecision.

    Is SANTOS that low on confidence??…He is scared of closing down advancing attackers.

  6. In 1950, Arsenal won the FA Cup never having left London.
    Could this year be a similar peculiarity i.e. never to have been drawn at home?

  7. That Giroud bloke is Ruuubishhhh 😉

    Very enjoyable game but yeah very frustrating the goals we concede especially the first one.

    A word on Santos. Actually feel for the guy. Obviously low on confidence and not quite as bad as people make out (maybe a bit unfit though). Think people should watch some of his earlier matches for us were he showed he can tackle (watching ball not man, putting foot in not diving in, taking ball cleanly while still standing). He did that a few times which led me to think he can’t be fluking it. Point is he’s another player who’s starting to receive loads of abuse (specially on twitter) from people too frustrated or stupid to realise you’ll get better from your players (even the limited ones) if you support them when they’re wearing the red and white. Sad that people can’t seem to realise this.

  8. Three things we knew about Saturday’s game.
    1 With Santos in the team we would leak goals.
    2 Arsene will continue to believe in Santos to the determent of the team.
    3 We are good enough to beat the rest and to play teams better than ourselves but not good enough to beat them.
    @ Nicky I think that has happened but with out checking the books I can’t remember what season.

  9. I would have liked to see a player like Yennalis yesterday but where to play? Yesterday’s game highlighted why we need to sign another defender who can play in midfield too. TV5 is out, what would we do if something ever happened to Gibbs especially that Coquelin is also out?
    Is it me or Ramsey really revels in his new position?

  10. after #blameramsey was severely hacked into oblivion and irony by good arsenal fans & AW, there’s a new hashtag maybe doing the rounds led by a certain media hack piers morgan (to cite why he’s a hack link →
    now this piercy has changed his mind about giroud, initially calling him avg. now is full of praise, albeit grudgingly. I must say this santos phenomenon will persists unless AW plays him in his natural position. our only hope is gibbs is fit enough for the remainder of season, else we might see the ‘boo-boys’ return with some ferocity.
    its a lucky win, you say. but I digress, its the stuff of champions. (except when arsenal is involved then it is santos, ramsey, SCSZ and the start of who we should buy).
    Brighton showing some mettle to play in the prem. league. so I might add, we won against a team of prem. quality (atleast they are better than stoke).
    hoping that we continue this form throughout the remainder. by the way, what was that fight inside the stadium about ?

  11. This is a really interesting comment CBA. It suggests that all Arsenal supporters have the same mind set – one of arrogance. And yet the club is bedevilled with the AAA and their attacks on everything the Arsenal do. Surely if making a comment you should make a little explanation as to your use of the word “usual” or indeed read a little on this site to see what is really going on.

  12. Did not the game,only the goals on dailymotion, so will not comment. But can some1 please explain what the f this zonal marking is all about? We seem to get battered every single time. How does a static defence defend against an on coming player. Don’t see the logic in it.

  13. Unforthuately, I expect us to get Citeh away next round! A home draw would be nice, do not have the stats but to me, we do not seem to get many of those? I think the defence is a real cause for concern. We are certainly not short of quality, but with JD….and the sometimes defender Song gone, we could easily find ourselves short of numbers if things go wrong. Much has been made, sometimes by bitter self serving axe grinding sources that Wenger refuses Bould sufficient coaching time on the defence. If this is true, it should be changed as it borders on negligent, whatever the truth, this team need to do a lot more work on this area of the game. Attack can sometimes be the best form of defence, as can possession, but there are time against better teams whereby a healthier defensive performance will do wonders. Bayenr Munich will be one such team. Why are we now so different to the first month of the season?
    On another, admittedly off topic note, anyone see the recent FT article?
    Slightly critical of our model, but what struck me, if you scroll down, Ivan is quoted as saying “FFP is NOT in our agenda”. Very very surprising, this is open to interpretation in its meaning, maybe we will just be able to happily exist without worrying about FFP on our model. Maybe he is giving the manager green light to be less cautious, or a complete change of strategy, I really do not pretend to know. Just wonder what Wenger, MR FFP makes of this?

  14. 1) Hopefully Santos can get fit and raise his level up to average.
    2) He seems to take a little while to get into a game but when Olly G is confident, he’s good.
    3) Great to see Rosicky back. Hopefully he (and Diaby) can get fit and stay uninjured for the rest of the season.

  15. Some may feel that that the second goal reminded them of two players who had left.

    But the first player in recent times to loft a scrumpsous pass into the path of a forward to score a similar goal against a Scouse team came from the boot of Diaby! A late equaliser at Goodison a few years ago.

    Song picked up a lot from Diaby. At least that had been the thoughts of some including me, and Song combined what he learnt with his own attributes which suited the EPL so well. But he’s chosen to regress on the bench whilst failing to adapt to a new league (Song played in England since he was 17), because he’s not going to adapt whilst not playing. He certainly wasn’t ready to go straight in to play CB at teh top of La Liga! It’s not fashionable for many myopic Arsenal fans to remember out that all Good managers/clubs will and do make such errors (buying a CM/DM who they thought was ready to play at CB instead of a CB?), so I won’t!

    Two very intersting goals. Much to reflect upon. And enjoy.

  16. Mandy

    I think you misunderstood Gazidis. When he says FFP is not part of our strategy, he obviously means that our strategy is independent of FFP. Which as we well know, is true. We went down this road of being self financing long before FFP was thought of. And I don’t think anybody at Arsenal really believes that FFP will achieve all that is claimed. I think they hope, and will push for, FFP to have enough effect.

    Since 2009, ManCity have outspent Arsenal in terms of transfer fees and wages, at an average of nearly 120m pounds per year. Chelsea are I think about 108m more than us. (Again, per year)

    There is absolutely nothing Arsenal can do to bridge that gap. We can possibly bridge the gap to ManU who are 30 or 40m in front, although they will continue to grow as well.

    If FFP has some effect, even if it forces Chelsea and City to have to look for creative ways to fund their unsustainable policies, it’ll still go some way to stopping them eventually. Because at some point, the new avenues of growth will shut off for them, and spending will reach a plateau.

    But regardless of what effect FFP manages to have, I don’t think we should expect a major shift from Arsenal in terms of how we do things. Although if our academy really does start to produce enough players for our first team, we might see more expensive signings brought in to complement them.

  17. Thanks Walter – not having seen any highlights yet, it was good to get a summary.

    There are many around my way hoping for an away draw with our local team – MK Dons. That would be a sell out many times over, with many Gooners around here – and an interesting game for sure (although the Dons style may not be as suited to us as Albion’s).

  18. Having tipped Santos for one of three incoming players of major influence on our season (in an Untold article during the pre-season) I really hope that he comes through (as I see hime as a player of genuinely high quality) and I agree with those here who feel he lacks only confidence.

  19. You may well be right Shard, just looked a bit strange and contradictory on first reading. Have since seen a few interpretations less than favourable to the club out there as a result of that quote. But you are correct, not easy to bridge such gaps (without risking insolvency), but I do hope that FFP will not be used as an excuse to strengthen where needed, as you say, I do not think anyone really believes FFP is the cure for all ills.

  20. It’s still early but I think back to the article on Giroud that every new team he plays, the first year he scores 12 and the next he doubles it.
    So far he has scored 13 and I think he will get to 20 this season.

  21. Our three summer signings have done incredibly well especially considering it is their first season in this league. If Wenger really is out for another striker, and I personally believe there will be a new arrival or two,Giroud is going to take some dis-lodging. Strange, the more difficult and technical the shot, the better OG seems to do….along with some sublime assists. Think the team should be instructed not to present him with sitters though, maybe thats what Theo was thinking when he failed to give him a tap in yesterday!

  22. Walter, just like you wished for, a home draw, nice for a change. Not a bad draw too…. Back to the game and I liked both Giroud goals, in fact, just like Mandy pointed out, he seems to have a knack for scoring difficult goals. His brace against wham was also top drawer. Long may that continue.

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