Arsenal builds up hope amongst its supporters with displays like the one seen against Tottenham in the North London Derby. Yet, it is not uncommon to see a lacklustre performance follow and once again, that was the case.
A draw away at Brighton might prove to be a great result over the course of the season but it was the display and lack of reaction from the manager during it which instilled the growing frustration. What was evident from off was that Arsenal were facing a side playing a much higher level of football in comparison to Spurs.
The Graham Potter system won the first half with ease and the absence of Granit Xhaka felt as Arsenal struggled to find purposeful passes and keep control of the midfield. Thomas Partey and Lokonga was the pairing most wanted yet looked overwhelmed by the Brighton pressure.
Unlike in the derby, Arsenal were afforded no space whatsoever and due to a lack of movement, the Seagulls could turn over possession far too easily.
The second half displayed again the problems that Mikel Arteta has struggled with during his tenure. Specifically, the in-game management.
Brighton’s system was overloading Arsenal, especially in the wide areas. With the options available to Arteta to match the three at the back system, the Spaniard chose to put faith in his starting formation.
Nicolas Pepe’s introduction saw a change in role and style of the left-winger, however the structure remained ever-present. Alexandre Lacazette for Aubameyang another similar like-for-like change.
Marc Cucurella, who had exposed Takehiro Tomiyasu several times in the first half, continued to have additional space with Jakub Moder and Adam Lallana providing consistent reinforcement.
It was difficult not to grow increasingly frustrated not to see a reaction to try and combat Brighton’s clear successes.
On balance, Brighton were by far the better team and Arsenal can be delighted to steal a point away from the Seagulls.
What is clear is that over the international break, Arteta has plenty to work on with his side and the matches against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa have taken on much greater importance. Arsenal’s and Arteta’s lack of proactive decisions in-game though can only be changed from within the manager’s mind.
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