Brighton v Arsenal: an apology, last 10 games, home and away, transfers

by Bulldog Drummond

First up, an apology.  The apology should be given by Tony, but he’s currently hiding under the sofa, far too embarrassed to come out.

The fact is Tony proclaimed to a fanfare of trumpets and associated brass instruments the fact that across the last ten league games Arsenal were the second most successful club in the Premier League.  But he got his maths in a tangle, Arsenal are in fact the third most successful club in the Premier League across the last ten games, because Brentford’s goal difference is better than ours.

I’m hoping Tony might come out of his hiding place if we put a pint a Guinness down for him on a saucer, but for now, I’m correcting the error.  Here is the league table across the last ten games – going all the way down to Brighton who we play this weekend…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 10 8 2 0 26 7 19 26
2 Brentford 10 6 3 1 15 6 9 21
3 Arsenal 10 7 0 3 14 12 2 21
4 Manchester City 10 6 1 3 24 9 15 19
5 Chelsea 10 6 1 3 17 7 10 19
6 West Ham Utd 10 5 3 2 20 11 9 18
7 Manchester Utd 10 5 2 3 19 13 6 17
8 Aston Villa 10 5 2 3 15 12 3 17
9 Brighton and Hove 10 5 2 3 13 12 1 17

So as you can see, Brentford are in fact above Arsenal across the last ten.  But if we cast that aside and look down to Brighton who we play this weekend, we can see we most certainly have been doing better than them.

But where Brighton do score is in the last six games where they are sixth to Arsenal’s ninth.  So how have they done this?  A look at the fixtures shows all…

Date Match Result Score Competition
14 Aug 2021 Burnley v Brighton and Hove Albion W 1-2 Premier League
21 Aug 2021 Brighton and Hove Albion v Watford W 2-0 Premier League
28 Aug 2021 Brighton and Hove Albion v Everton L 0-2 Premier League
11 Sep 2021 Brentford v Brighton and Hove Albion W 0-1 Premier League
19 Sep 2021 Brighton and Hove Albion v Leicester City W 2-1 Premier League
27 Sep 2021 Crystal Palace v Brighton and Hove Albion D 1-1 Premier League

The first thing to notice is the opposition.  You’ll know that Arsenal have played three of their six league games thus far this season against members of what used to be called the “Big Six”: in this case Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City.  Brighton have played none of the top six – their meeting with Arsenal this weekend is their first venture into the hierarchy.

What we can also notice is that while we have slipped some way behind the other clubs in the upper reaches of the league by way of goal scoring, Brighton have not done so well over the last ten, although they are currently outshining us this season in goal scoring.

However as we noted last season, it is also interesting to compare home and away records, and now we’ll come back just to this season.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
8 Brighton and Hove Albion home 3 2 0 1 4 3 1 6
14 Arsenal away 3 1 0 2 1 7 -6 3

This tends to suggest that at the very least, Brighton will give us a run for the money.

And we really should note that this is quite a turn around from last season where during the whole season the club only won four games (drawing nine losing six).  Only West Bromwich and Fulham won fewer games at home.

Brighton bought five and sold four players in the summer – the arrivals being Enock Mwepu (£21m from Salzburg), Marc Cucurella (£16.2m from Getafe), Abdallah Sima (£7.2m from Slavia Prague), Kjell Scherpen (£4.5m from Ajax) and Kaoru Mitoma (£2.7m from Kawasaki Front in Japan).

Their one big sale was Ben White for £52m to us.

So what are Brighton doing this season?   Certainly their expected goals last season was much higher than their goals scored, and they seem to have dealt with that – they are currently the 8th highest scoring team in the League.

But it is also interesting that their most recent victory (2-1 against Leicester) included three VAR rulings which went in their favour – which is quite a record for one game.  Indeed it might be the all-time Premier League record for one game.

It is also worth looking at the under 23 table where they are second, equal on points with Arsenal in third – both eight points ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea.  So they also seem to be doing their development work well.

More anon…


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