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The Seagull Has Landed

Landed on me again, actually. The preview for last season’s away fixture at Brighton and Hove Albion in late December 2020 fell to me, and coincidentally the Seagulls have landed on me again this time around. Being just after Christmas, last season’s effort was a fairly pantomimic piece where Neal Maupay was cast as the villain having, in the previous fixture in June 2020, nobbled Bernd Leno and then added insult quite literally to injury by scoring their winner in the fifth minute of added, sorry, injury time. As if he needed to get any more annoying, Maupay repeated his 95th minute scoring trick against Crystal Palace on Monday night and robbed Patrick Vieira’s reinvigorated side of the extra two points they reportedly deserved.

From 1935 until the early 1980s, Arsenal dominated in games against Brighton. Three league games in the space of nine months in 1982 and a FA Cup defeat in 1988 saw Brighton repairing the balance sheet, and then after 1988 there was a pause of 25 years before the teams locked horns again in 2013. Our record against them since then has been W5, D2, L3, maybe a little too close for comfort against a supposedly much smaller club. The losses in that run occurred unsurprisingly between 2018 and June 2020. Hopefully our recent improvement will continue this weekend although it’s unlikely to be easy pickings as Brighton currently sit an impressive sixth in the table and have lost only once in the opening six games of the season.

Personally I have found them a bit of an irritant in recent seasons despite the fact that they have been playing some decent football under manager Graham Potter. Maupay is the real problem, an annoying little cheat of a player who does sadly have talent and will have to be carefully managed on Saturday evening. It does feel though that we should be beating the likes of Brighton without too much trouble, but they have been obstinate defenders and tough to overcome. They also score the majority of their goals from set pieces, so we will have to be well organised.

A much less irritating man to come from Brighton is comedian Simon Evans. I did include a clip of his in the above mentioned preview, about Brighton and Hove in general. This next clip reveals his opinions on football, and while not entirely complimentary about the fans, it does include a piece about another player which all Gooners will enjoy …….


The Teams

After a very difficult and disappointing start to the season, our recent improvement has coincided with the introduction of some of our new players and the return to fitness of some older ones in crucial positions. Tomiyasu looks to be an excellent buy at right back / centre back, Ben White and Gabriel have the makings of a good partnership at centre back. Thomas Partey, on his return from injury, is finally looking like the player we thought we had signed from Atletico, and the promising Albert Lakonga is going to get a chance to establish himself alongside Thomas as Granit Xhaka has now been diagnosed with a “significant injury” to the medial ligament in his right knee and will be out for three months. Aaron Ramsdale has very quickly confounded his doubters and looks to have swiftly reduced Bernd Leno to second choice keeper.

Tavares has looked interesting too with lots of pace and determination to get forward from the full back positions, and should be good support, if not yet competition, for Kieron Tierney. These young, energetic and skilful players, when combined with “old hand” Martin Odegaard and the rapidly developing likes of Smith-Rowe and Saka already, and Azeez, Patino, Balogun and Martinelli waiting in the wings, are beginning to offer hope that we can begin to challenge again.

Mikel Arteta has come in for a lot of stick over the last twelve months with many already calling for him to be sacked. While some of his tactics have been extremely conservative and some of his selections – and substitutions – have driven us to distraction, last Sunday’s win against Tottenham was a revelation. Hopefully it was a sign of things to come as the manager begins to work with the squad that he is now overhauling. It is a cliche but the manager sees the players every day in training and maybe he genuinely didn’t believe they were capable of the kind of play that blew Tottenham away until he had made his own additions. At any rate there didn’t seem to be any lack of spirit or togetherness on Sunday and it was good to see some smiles back on the players’ faces. I would love to see Arteta turn things around and achieve success with the Arsenal. He took over a club that was a mess from top to bottom. The latest signs are that he deserves a decent chance to make things work.

I hope there won’t be a lot of changes to the team at present. We are six games into the season and need to develop partnerships and understandings. I would like to see the team that beat Tottenham, minus the injured Xhaka, given the chance to start this one. For once we have no other injuries or illnesses to prevent it.


Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney

Partey, Lakonga / AMN

Saka, Odegaard, ESR


For Brighton, Danny Welbeck is seeing a specialist about his hamstring injury, while Steven Alzate, Enock Mwepu and Adam Webster are ruled out. Yves Bissouma’s knee injury is “making progress” and will face a late test.

Interestingly both Mikel Arteta and Graham Potter have been nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Month award for September.

The Holic Pound

Typical odds for this game seem to be around 11/5 for a Brighton win or a draw, and 7/5 for an Arsenal win. Better returns are available through betfair.com for things like Martin Odegaard to assist a goal at 5/1; Aubameyang to score first at 11/2; Saka to have 2 or more shots on target at 7/1. You pays your money …

If it helps to make a decision the head to head record in all competitions is P23, Arsenal wins 14, Draws 4, Brighton wins 5.

The referee for this one is cuddly Jonathan Moss, and manning the VAR will be Chris Kavanagh, for anyone who holds strong views on him …… Kick off is at 17.30 UK time and is live on Sky Sports.

Enjoy the game, all!

53 Drinks to “The Seagull Has Landed”

  1. 1
    bt8 says:

    17:30 UK time. Sounds like a decent hour for a pint. Suppose I will have to manage at 11:30am locally.

    Cheers, Trev, you covered it nicely (so true what he said about John Terry), thanks for the preview.

  2. 2
    Doctor Faustus says:

    Thanks Trev for a highly enjoyable preview, even though not as puntastically amusing as some of your other works. 🙂

    While Simon Evans’s jokes about football in general and football fans in particular weren’t particularly original in the video you shared, the comments about the football player we all know well compensated for that. 🙂

    Your team is what we are most likely to see, Sambi partnering Partey. But I would like us to give the 4-3-3 a try again with Pépé (maybe even on the left side) in one of the wings and ESR in the #8 role.

    Will be great to see Partey finally getting his first Arsenal goal, with one of his long rang shots.

  3. 3
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks Trev👍
    An upbeat preview to match the upbeat mood. Just a guess but I think MA might revert to Odegaard in the middle with Partey and bring back Pepe.

  4. 4
    OsakaMatt says:

    Oh yes, 2-0 to The Arsenal

  5. 5
    bt8 says:

    SkySports betting guru Lewis Jones, aka the new Merson, quite upbeat on Arsenal’s prospects at Brighton: “I’m more than happy to back Arsenal for an away win here at 6/4 with Sky Bet. Confidence is high, their defence is ultra solid and Brighton are very opposable.

    Graham Potter’s side are failing to hit the performance metrics of last season yet are now defying that data to pick up results. It’s a very weird turn of events. Their attacking process of 6.61 expected goals is the sixth worst total in the Premier League.

    If they continue performing at the same level, it’s hard to see them breaking down Arsenal’s defence that is being led excellently by Gabriel. Arsenal have won their last eight Premier League games in which Gabriel started, conceding just three goals (0.4 per game). Flip that to their record without him where they’ve won just one of their last seven Premier League games, conceding 14 goals (two per game).”

  6. 6
    bt8 says:

    Between Gabriel and spanking new boys Tomiyasu, Ramsdale, and White (in his return to his old Brighton haunts), is it possible that Tierney will be the least watchable player of our back five this weekend?

  7. 7
    Countryman100 says:

    Nice one Trev. It’s a curious game this, given our poor start, then recovery, vs Brighton’s excellent start. I’m tempted to make the Seagulls, at home, slight favourites. It’s also going to be pouring with rain, I believe. First priority is not to concede.

  8. 8
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:

    Cheers Trev. I like your team and I dislike Maupay.

    I agree that this will be a tough game. It’s the sort of game that we need to start winning, especially if we want to get up the table and back into Europe (and not into that 3rd tier European travesty).


  9. 9
    Las says:

    Thanks Trev, nice preview!
    I think it is a tricky game and it will be tough. But If we can put up a real fight and repeat the performance like we did against Burnley and Sp*rs then we have a chance.
    I feel sorry for Toblerone he played really well but I can’t wait to see Sambi playing alongside with Thomas. But I can see AMN starting instead of Sambi.

  10. 10
    Uplympian says:

    Cheers Trev – a very informative preview.
    I hope your team is the one that starts – Lakonga to stiffen up the midfield against a physically strong Brighton team. It’ll be wet & windy at the Amex – a hard fought 1-0 to the good guys. Morpay – il est un branleur!

  11. 11
    bathgooner says:

    A fine preview from our “Brighton Correspondent” (oo’er, matron). I agree with your team and would not play the more offensive but less secure 4-3-3 by adding Pepe instead of a defensively minded midfielder. As you have observed, our recent record against this shower is not exemplary and I agree with others that this will be a test of our mettle. It’s a very good test for this team at this time (as it is a game that a good Arsenal team should win) and also a barometer of how well we are taking advantage of our staycation following years of midweek European adventures offering limited time to focus on the weekend match. I find the result hard to call as a consequence but pray for a fine victory. COYG

  12. 12
    Trev says:

    Morning and cheers, all !

    You’re quite right Dr F – I did suffer a bit of humour loss at whatever time of the evening / night I finished up writing this – a busy and difficult week but at least it’s the weekend and our new look Gunners will be buckling their swashes and sweeping the Seagulls back into the sea. Help ! – I seem to be turning into Eric Cantona 😳

  13. 13
    TTG says:

    Great preview Trev
    I’m a fan of Simon Evans and quite a fan of Potter. His acumen tactically would dissuade me from a cavalier 4-3-3 .I would go with Sambi for Xhaka and otherwise go with last week’s team .
    This looks a draw to me but if we sneak it , it underlines the progress we have made
    Final point – Maupay is a nasty piece of work

  14. 14
    21st century gooner says:

    More or less agree with your team, think it’s likely to be sambi partnering Partey in what hopefully is a midfield trio, with a 2 man pivot with a creator in front. Given Brighton’s great start it’s going to be tough although it is worth noting that they are yet to play one of the big six. Expect a relatively nervy evening but we should pick up the 3 points nonetheless. I’m going for a fairly optimistic 3-1 win for the Arsenal. Fingers crossed!

  15. 15
    Esso says:

    Cheers Trev!

  16. 16
    Trev says:

    Essooo ! 👍🏻

  17. 17
    scruzgooner says:

    thank you, trev, for a clear-eyed preview. i’m with the you and the folks that say sambi for granit, otherwise rinse and repeat from last week. i do expect a win, and a clean sheet.

  18. 18
    Esso says:

    Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Lokonga, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Saka, Aubameyang

  19. 19
    Esso says:

    I like that team.

  20. 20
    scruzgooner says:

    bang on. COYG!

  21. 21
    North Bank Ned says:

    As Scruz says, clear-eyed preview, Trev. It will be a tough game with probably only a goal in it. Arteta has picked what most everyone in this bar would reckon to be our 1st XI. So no excuses for not winning.

  22. 22
    Cynic says:

    Piss poor scheduling with the women on BBC 2 at the same time as the chaps, but that’s what PVRs are made for.

    I have a small wager on both teams to score, Arsenal win, 4+ corners each and 20+ booking points per team. If that comes in t’will be a miracle.

  23. 23
    Doctor Faustus says:

    With Partey alongside him I think we will see even a better range of progressive passing from Sambi.
    It’s really pouring out there. The lights are on to help with the visibility. Will be one of those very hard games.

  24. 24
    ClockEndRider says:

    I think the weather favours the various orcs that Brighton have and reduces the skill advantage our players have. This could be difficult….

  25. 25
    Trev says:

    Team 100% correct – thank you !

  26. 26
    Gunnersaurus Stunt Double says:


  27. 27
    OsakaMatt says:


  28. 28
    ClockEndRider says:

    I really don’t like this kicking the ball out every time someone falls over.

  29. 29
    ClockEndRider says:

    How can our defenders be so slow and inactive from that corner? It’s like last week didn’t happen.

  30. 30
    Cynic says:

    Bit too wet and cold this week, lads?

  31. 31
    ATG says:

    Seems we are not in races today, I know weather is not too kind but it would be nice to put a bit more effort into this.

  32. 32
    OsakaMatt says:

    Still level is about the best I can
    say so far

  33. 33
    ClockEndRider says:

    Weather doesn’t seem to be impacting the opposition…..

  34. 34
    Esso says:

    Very average first half performance. Need to step up a few gears if we’re getting anything out of this.

  35. 35
    Cynic says:

    Tempted to watch the women second half but at HT they reckoned we’d only had one shot, so deleted the recording of the first half, recording the second and will be sticking with the chaps.

    I was not encouraged by the way we appeared to be lined up for a lot of that half, with Lokonga seemingly playing left back with Tierney pushed up. If that was the plan, not just the way it panned out, that was a mistake. Need more from Odegaard this half please and for the imaginitively nicknamed “Tommy” to wake up at the back.

  36. 36
    bathgooner says:

    Better second half performance is essential or we will lose this game.

    Sort it out Mikel.


  37. 37
    Las says:

    The defence is good enough, but where is the midfield?
    Where is the offensive side…

  38. 38
    Las says:

    Good and brave decision from MA Pepe for Odegard.

  39. 39
    OsakaMatt says:

    Been a bit better 2nd half. Laca for Auba

  40. 40
    Gooner_KS says:

    I’d take the draw now

  41. 41
    Gooner_KS says:

    Although 1:0 to the Arsenal sounds better

  42. 42
    OsakaMatt says:

    Looks like we’re still going for it
    at the moment

  43. 43
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yes it does KS😀

  44. 44
    Las says:

    Looks like Brighton is a far better team than Sp*rs

  45. 45
    Gooner_KS says:

    Saka and ESR have run their socks off, no juice left in them

  46. 46
    Gooner_KS says:

    This La Cucuracha has hammered Tomy all night, he’ll be glad when this is over

  47. 47
    Esso says:

    Pretty shit performance. I think we can all see last Sunday in context now. At least we didn’t lose.

  48. 48
    OsakaMatt says:

    0-0 it is then, a clean sheet I suppose and a hard earned point. Gabriel had a good game as did ESR I thought and we improved 2nd half after an iffy 1st half.

  49. 49
    Countryman100 says:

    Very happy with an away point and a clean sheet against one of the form teams in the league. Far from pretty but a real George Graham result.

  50. 50
    bathgooner says:

    A hard earned point on an ugly night. Offensively effective only in rare moments but defensively much more secure than we have been in a long time. Rde our luck at times but earned that luck. Great save by Ramsdale late on to secure the points. He gave a very impressive interview to Sky too. No wonder Leno is on the bench.

  51. 51
    Uplympian says:

    A poor match played in poor conditions by two teams equally poor on the night. Nonetheless these are the sort of matches where you grind out a point if nothing is clicking and this we did. Brighton are not an easy touch these days as their league position shows.
    Onwards & upwards.

  52. 52
    Uplympian says:

    …………and well in for the half ton Bath.

  53. 53
    Pangloss says: