Last time around, Arsenal and Santa Cazorla proved me wrong and provided a miracle. That was an upset that made me very happy indeed. But now we’ve got the glamour opponent done with and it’s back to boring ol’ Brighton we go. What the opponent lacks in spice, the occasion of a classic 6 pointer makes up for. The Chelsea win gave us some breathing room but Brighton are right on our tails, and frankly, Seagulls chasing us is not a very pleasant thought. Positively Hitchcockian that.
The younger players really shone in that Chelsea win and it remains to be seen if they’ll start again. The Covid situation might have been the reason behind the changes, and the Brazilian trio remain out. However, at this busy time of the season, fitness must play a part too. Arsenal can ill afford to lose some of these players to injury. Some amount of rotation will be necessary.
Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey, who lit a fire in the hearts of every Bellerin hater, is out and Lallana might be as well. Neal Maupay (remember him?) is their top scorer and will look to cause injury havoc again. There is no Guendouzi to grab him, but I hope Leno gets a chance to launch into him. Other players to watch out for are Webster’s Dictionary, Pascal Yucky, Ides O’March, and Yves Bissoumakindamonster. The last of which will surely be laughing on the pitch again if we lose to them for the 3rd straight league game.
Will Arsenal be brave and attack?
Honestly, if we can replicate the Chelsea performance, we should win this game fairly easily. But I’m not sure I am ready to believe we’ve turned the corner yet. Youthful enthusiasm aside, Xhaka and Lacazette’s resurgence drove us forward. How will Aubameyang’s likely return affect the balance? Will Tierney need to be rested? Can the injury prone ESR play again so soon? So many doubts, but primarily, will we be brave enough to attack Brighton even at the risk of being caught out? We surely need to. 15 goals scored in the season is not good enough. We’ve been making more passes lately, but need to catch up on creating more shots from more than crosses.
I no longer know what to expect from Arsenal, but it’s amazing what one victory can do for hope and confidence. There is also the prospect of the January window bringing with it some new players. Maybe both the confidence of the win and the idea of increased competition will help players put up good performances. Win today and we rise above Crystal Palace at least. The table is a little weird this year so any upturn in form could see us rise up the table quickly. Conversely, a continuation of poor form and we could drop further just as quickly.
I’m looking forward to ending the year on a high, and then maybe 2021 will be better. Here’s to more goals, more fun, and better results for Arsenal and all of us.
Written by Shard aka @shardgooner on Twitter