by Bulldog Drummond
In 2010/11 – just 12 seasons ago – Brighton and Hove Albion were in League One, and won the title. They remained in the Championship until 2016/17 when they came second in that season and gained promotion to the Premier League. In that campaign, Glenn Murray got 23 goals.
In the five seasons thereafter (ie from 2017/18 onward) they’ve been in the top league. For the first four of those seasons, they finished between 15th and 17th each time but last season ended up ninth.
But they have had a problem. For the first three seasons in the top league they scored under 40 goals. In 2021/1 they did get 40 and last season 42. But their top scorer – Neal Maupay got only eight and nine goals respectively.
This season after 13 goals they have scored 22 goals which if they continue at this rate would mean 64 goals by the end of the season – a massive improvement.
In the league their top scorers are Leandro Trossard with seven, Pascal Gross with five and Alexis MacAllister with four. This compares with Arsenal’s top scorers of Jesus and Martinelli each with five and Odegaard and Saka each with four.
But overall Arsenal have scored nine more goals in the league this season – showing that it is the occasional scorers who are massively helping to do the damage. If Arsenal were to keep on scoring at the current rate in the league we would end up with 90 goals this season, which leaves the estimated Brighton total of 64 in the shade.
If all this makes this match look one-sided, then yes, up to 2017, one could be pretty certain what the result of an Arsenal-Brighton match would be. The clubs had played each other 16 times. Brighton had won two, two had been draws and the remaining dozen were all Arsenal wins. None were astonishingly exciting – a couple of 4-0 victories were the highlights – but it was a solid run.
And then on 4 March 2018 it all changed, as Brighton not only got a 2-1 win at their ground but in this and the subsequent four games (all in the League as before) Arsenal didn’t win any of the matches between the two. Five straight games without a win.
It looked like we might be getting back to winning ways thereafter with the two league games in 2020/21 both won by Arsenal but last season was a reversion to the darker time.
|2 Oct 2021||Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal||D||0-0||Premier League|
|9 Apr 2022||Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion||L||1-2||Premier League|
And let us not forget they are on a roll themselves with the last two games being a 4-1 win over Chelsea and a 2-3 away win over Wolverhampton. The latter perhaps doesn’t count for much given Wolverhampton’s form but prior to their defeat to Brighton, Chelsea were unbeaten in nine.
So if anyone is thinking this could be a stroll in the park, it probably is time to think again.
But still, there are enough videos around for us to be able to find a few that have a more joyful ending, at least from our point of view…
26 January 2013
25 January 2015
1 October 2017
29 December 2020
- Football is facing its biggest crisis ever, Part 4: taking emotion to a new level
- Football’s biggest crisis ever part 3: How to maintain the excitement
- Football’s biggest ever crisis Part 2: the big are just getting bigger
- Football is blindly walking into its biggest ever crisis. Part 1
- Why this season is not a one-off for Arsenal, but probably a sign of things to come