Earlier this week, the Gunners held a players only meeting to regroup, vent, talk about what had gone wrong, and discuss where things were going. It was reportedly quite emotional, with Laurent Koscielny breaking down into tears because his children had asked him why Arsenal weren’t good anymore.
Will the meeting have an effect on the team’s on-field performance? Only time will tell, but can we at least put to bed the “these players don’t care about Arsenal” or “they don’t want to be here” narrative? These players want to do better, they want to win, otherwise why would they bother to try to talk it out?
Today’s trip to Brighton & Hove Albion will be the Gunners’ first chance for improvement since being thoroughly undone by Manchester City (twice). The Seagulls are in good form - they’re unbeaten in their last 5 matches (3-2-0) and scored 7 goals in their last 2 games combined. As we all know, Arsenal have struggled on the road this season. This will not be an easy matchup.
Arsenal will be without Nacho Monreal, who is suffering from a back injury. Update: Jack Wilshere was doubtful for today’s match but apparently has recovered in time from the ankle injury that forced him to miss the City match.
A request: regardless of whether Arsenal win or lose, try not to let your analysis be “they played harder” or “they still aren’t playing hard enough.” You could see it on their faces in the two losses to Manchester City. You can intuit it from the reports about the players only meeting this week. These guys do care.
Instead, think about what specific, tangible things players did or did not do - who played well and who played poorly. Was the team set up well tactically? Did they make adjustments to how Brighton were playing? I promise you’ll feel better (even if Arsenal lose) if you try to move past the banter-level analysis.
Arsenal - Cech, Chambers, Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Wilshere, Mkhitaryan, Özil, Iwobi, Aubameyang
Brighton - Ryan, Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo, Gross, Murray
Here's how Albion line up for today's @premierleague match against @Arsenal at the Amex Stadium. #BHAARS— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) March 4, 2018
No changes to the starting line-up that beat @SwansOfficial last weekend.#BHAFC ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/JZ9jLdcmhH
WHAT: Arsenal at Brighton & Hove Albion
WHERE: The Amex, Falmer, East Sussex
WHEN: Sunday, March 4th, 5:30 AM PT | 8:30 AM ET | 1:30 PM BT
US TV: NBCSN. Stream here.
Check livesoccer.tv for all your international streaming needs. As always, please do not discuss links to illegal streams here.