First off, let’s take a moment to remember that yesterday was Aaron Ramsey’s last birthday as an Arsenal player. We’ll miss him.
The game against Brighton showed an absence of tactical preparation. On whose side, I’m not sure. The second half saw Arsenal trying to play Brighton’s game which, failed woefully.
Brighton were physical and pressed the daylights out of us. They didn’t give us a minute on the ball. You could see that they came prepared; probably came in for training on Christmas day.
Arsenal didn’t have any response.
Also, some weird decisions took place. The Lacazette sub anyone? And leaving Lichsteiner on for the whole game; why?. Couldn’t Jenko (Jenkinson) play there? Even with the wayward crosses and passes Lichsteiner gave, Unai kept him on.
Then there was Guendouzi. Misplaced passes, unnecessary dribbling, lack of coordination… I could go on. But he stayed on the whole game.
This was a game were Ramsey could have thrived. I’m not saying he’s perfect, but Ramsey is tidier with his runs, more precise with his passes and has got more experience. This sort of game called for Wenger-ball: tap-tap-tap, keep the ball moving. At least, I think so.
At some point, Emery looked confused and out of his depths. And in the second half, his response seemed to be for the team to play Brighton’s kind of game: long balls to Aubameyang.
We got a draw and we were lucky to have that. If Brighton had sharper forwards, we’d have been behind. Especially as Aubameyang failed to convert most of his chances. Brighton’s goal gave them more impetus to press and they didn’t take their feet off the accelerator (pedal) until the final whistle.