Arsenal v Brighton: The team and the need for a reality check

By Bulldog Drummond

The story so far…

And so we come to the time for the team news.   The Daily Mirror offers us


Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Odegaard, Lokonga, Elneny;

Vieira, Nketiah, Nelson

But the ever attentive (or should that be “make-believe” Mirror also tells us that  “Arsenal need a reality check”.

For they tell us that Rio Ferdinand OBE is “urging Arsenal fans not to get carried away” after their 1-0 victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

In something of a change of heart the Mirror also adds that “Mikel Arteta’s side are enjoying a fantastic season after winning 11 of their opening 13 games”  which makes a change, but then they spoil it all, as they always do by adding, “Ferdinand believes it’s too early to draw conclusions. Although he thinks Arsenal are a “serious team” and controlled Sunday’s game, he thinks Graham Potter did not deploy his “first-team” due to injuries.”  

Ah well, perhaps we should hand the points to Chelsea as a sign of goodwill.   Any Mr Ferdinand OBE added, “What I would say is I agree the control without the ball against Chelsea was next level – unreal.  It shows you the coaching and hard work that has gone in under the manager.”  But them seeming never to be able to give praise without taking it back he adds, “”That was a patched up Chelsea team, they are missing Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana, N’Golo Kante, there is six players that more or less start in that team. I was so impressed with how Arsenal played but let’s have a little reality check.”

Mind you Arsenal also had two first-team players missing: Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu. 

Quickly moving on, Sports Mole speak of Arsenal starting “their quest to end a 30-year drought without an EFL Cup honour to their name,” which seems rather over the top, since duriing that time we’ve won eight FA Cups, three league titles and the Cup Winners Cup.  But each to their own.

Their team selection is


Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Elneny, Lokonga;

Marquinhos, Vieira, Nelson;


The Daily Canon makes the point that there are very few countries where the match is being streamed live.  However, after scouring the internet (or maybe the local newspapers) they have discovered that the game is available on ESPN+ in America and Voot Select/Sports18 network in India, and suggest that some naughty people might then take those pics and stream the game on line.

The Evening Standard has its own variation on the team with


Cedric, Holding, Saliba, Tierney;

Vieira, Elneny, Lokonga;

Nelson, Nketiah, Martinelli.

while 90 Min however have


Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Elneny, Xhaka, Lokonga;

Vieira, Nketiah, Nelson

And so as we can see we are getting a series of variations on the central theme.

Brighton meanwhile have just two injuries: Jakub Moder and Enock Mwepu, the latter deeply sadly has been found to have a hereditary disease which has meant he has been advised to stop playing football. 

So injuries are not a problem for the team as a whole, but they do have a game on Sunday against Aston Villa.   Villa were revitalized in thumping Manchester United 3-1 three days ago and Unai Emery will certainly be wanting to finish this part of the season on a high.  This could mean Brighton will want to hold a player or two in reserve.

With that in mind Brighton might therefore opt to give some players a rest having had five games in a row without a win before the wins over Chelsea and Wolverhampton.  Personally, I think the league is far more important to Brighton than the League Cup, and what they really see as the next step is a season in the Europa Conference, so ahead of the match against Villa in the league they could well give a few players outside the normal starting XI a chance.

We shall see.


13 Replies to “Arsenal v Brighton: The team and the need for a reality check”

  1. I was led to believe that most teams had a squad of 25 seasoned internationals , therefore real depth was there only Arsenal hsd a paper thin under strength squad . If I read those Chelsea players missing correctly there were 5 names , not 6 so already an exaggeration. Meanwhile we were missing just about anyone who wasnt playing . For good measure lets throw Dennis Bergkamp’s name in there … well , I was missing his contribution too.
    Why dont the naysayers and detractors just go down the route of ” well, you only won because you were GIVEN more goals than us . Why not blame the rain , the bad light and the fact we didnt write a letter in triplicate to warn of an impending attack ?

  2. Les Martin

    Very funny. But indeed, amid your levity you make a very good point. All I keep reading is how our ‘paper-thin’ squad will cost us dear, presumably on days such as Chelsea had on Sunday.

    You can only assume that the reason they highlight our paper-thin squad is because nobody else has such a squad. The inference being, it is only Arsenal that will suffer if injuries strike, as everyone else will all be able to cope.

    As it transpires, Chelsea could not.

    Will it change the medias narrative. Not a hope.

  3. Nitram,
    Ive got so used to the negative comments from the media in general that if I ever read an entire article publishing a well researched piece substantiated by facts ; (something theyre not in touch with of up to now at any rate) . Then I could either conclude someone from UA had been employed in a moment of lucidity on their part, or ive over imbibed in the Toppled Bollard and ive started hallucinating.

  4. Hein, Soares. Holding, Saliba, Tierney, Lakonga, Elneny, Nelson,Vieira, Marqunhos, Nketiah

    My predicted 11 from yesterday were:

    “Personally, I think Arteta will dig even deeper than second string, giving game time to 2 or 3 youth players such as Marquinhos, Matt Smith, Nwaneri and even Karl Hein. The rest will be players pretty much universally accepted as second choice in their positions such as Nketiah, Nelson, Elneny, Tierny, Holding, Soares and Lakonga”.

    9 out of 11 aint bad. I even got Hein ! Only got Saliba (big surprise) and Vieira (who somehow, I forgot) wrong.

    Will they be good enough? Time will tell.

  5. mmm. good thing I can’t watch…except I’d like to see what we need to improve…

  6. Brighton the better team , and they were worthy winners , i’m disappointed. We move on to Wolves now .

  7. Mickey Mouse cup. The only bad thing about going out is that se one stringers get fewer games.

    Can’t wait for the abuse from the media who attempt to pretend our second 11 (and third string GK) was the real Arsenal and our season has just imploded 🙂

  8. M8key
    Media wiĺ have a job digging Arsenal out ,
    It wont have been lost on this readership that not only our beloved
    Gunners got gubbed on the same night as
    Paddy’s Palace got pounded,
    Toe Boes team got tonked,
    Wetspam were walloped,
    …and the Armitage Shanks kharzimen did what they always do …got flushed away

  9. Most of us would not have seen it , so making valid comments is totally impossible . if you go by the few clips appearing on U tube and . com there were cameos from Nelson and Nketiah that looked promising but little else that we can say .

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