Arsenal are not very good. Today’s 2-1 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion was just the most recent reminder of that inescapable fact. Also on that list of reminders: getting shredded by Manchester City earlier this week, blowing a 1-0 away goals lead and going out of the Europa League at home to Olympiakos, drawing at home to Southampton, away to Norwich, away to Watford...the list goes on.
Relegation-threatened, bottom quarter Brighton & Hove Albion did a double against Arsenal this season. Let that sink in. This team isn’t good.
Said Mikel Arteta after the match:
I think it’s all our fault. It’s about how you compete in a Premier League match. It’s for 100 minutes and for every ball and every action. It’s not the first time that it’s happened. It’s something that’s a must and it is non-negotiable. When I’m talking about competing, there are details when you go ahead and game management and that’s something we have to improve. I don’t want to use excuses. At this level you can’t do it.
He’s absolutely right. You can’t go up 1-0 to a “lesser” team only to blow it at the death. A team with Arsenal’s aspirations needs to be ruthless and put games out of reach. They need to do the little things and have the mental focus to keep doing them for 90 minutes to get results.
There’s not much more to be said about this match. It was bad. Arsenal played poorly. There are too many passengers on the pitch. The club is paying too much money to too many players who are contributing far too little.
Arsenal are kidding themselves if they think they can rebuild this on the fly. They’re in “burn (almost) all of it down and rebuild from scratch” territory. How many players on the current squad are “untouchable” for you? For me, it’s Saka and Martinelli. Maybe Bellerin, Tierney, and Leno too. That’s a disturbing lack of quality for a club of Arsenal’s stature.
Hopefully Bernd Leno’s knee injury isn’t serious, but I’m not going to hold my breath. It was a completely unnecessary challenge from Neal Maupay that led to the injury. Matteo Guendouzi is almost certainly going to be suspended for three games for grabbing him by the throat after the final whistle.
I’m going to do something more fun than watching Arsenal with the rest of my day. Maybe I’ll go for a roll in some broken glass.