Brighton 2-1 Arsenal: Gunners no match mentally or physically for Brighton’s Bullish Brutality
By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)
Since football has made it’s long awaited return, Arsenal have participated in two fixtures away from home and lost both. Admittedly, the first loss to Manchester City just a few days ago was expected, however, the one today was not nearly as much so. Despite the fact that Arsenal have not beaten Brighton away from home since the 2014/15 season in the fourth round of the FA Cup and have not done so in the league since the season of 1980/81, there was a somewhat delusional confidence amongst supporters prior to the game.
But you know the old adage, as an Arsenal fan it’s the hope that kills you. Despite Arsenal creating more chances and registering more shots on target on the day, Graham Potter’s men walked away with the win. According to infogol, Arsenal did indeed walk away with the superior goal difference.
Mikel Arteta’s men lost in an ever “Arsenalesque” fashion, tragically, yet poetically, conceding the last minute, game winning goal to Neal Maupay, who cynically injured Bernd Leno earlier in the match. If either team could be deemed as the "better side" on the day it is Arsenal, but that is irrelevant, because we embarrassingly lost.
While I do not ever want my beloved Arsenal to delve to such pathetic lows as injuring another team's player in a malicious manner, we have to learn how to cope with antagonists' sides, or else we will never be successful. Despite lacking any real penetration in the first half, we kept Brighton at bay. It was only when they pulled out the dark magic that the gunners started to set into panic. Nicolas Pepe’s goal in the 67 minute was a relief, but after it Potter’s men improved immensely. They started kicking us harder and being meaner and meaner. It was apparent that we had no clue at all how to deal with it. Rather than standing up and fighting back, we cowardly hid in the corner and let them do their worst.
The individual brilliance Pepe showed was no match for how frail we are throughout the team. While the defence did not play badly, at the crucial moments they panicked and Brighton capitalised on our fear. Like the “rat bird” formally known as a seagull on their crest, they can see when someone is susceptible to stealing from. In this game they saw our blatant pussyfootedness and ripped our sandwich (win) right out of our pathetically feeble hands. Given our lack of mental strength, here was nothing we could do about it.
Arteta will undoubtedly get some criticism for the loss, but is it really his fault?
The players at the club are so mentally incapable that they cannot even overcome a side like Brighton, who were actually wary of possibly falling into the bottom three if they were to lose against us. That alone epitomises how brittle our players are mentally and why Arsenal keep losing games like this even though on paper they shouldn't be.
Arteta has a lot to teach the current players and the players have a lot to learn. After this damning loss, in my opinion there is no hope whatsoever for the top 4 and now, even finishing in the top 6 looks unlikely. Our next match is on Thursday, away to Southampton. I sincerely hope for a performance even a tad bit better at St. Mary's, but in all truth, I wouldn’t put even a penny on it. We look ridiculous at the moment, especially away from home. Do not expect good things coming into our next fixture, or you may be severely disappointed.
Also, fuck Neal Maupay.