One of the less-appreciated elements to Mikel Arteta’s approach has been his refusal to say anything remotely controversial about opponents, at least during the week ahead of facing one. By contrast, Roberto de Zerbi, perhaps sensing the pressure growing around Brighton’s wobble, including a devastating 1-5 loss to Everton on Monday, may have put his foot in it and offered Arteta some motivational material. While his intent was probably more about addressing his own players, Arteta will almost certainly ensure that a few of our lads get the message as well.
De Zerbi said, “I think on Sunday [vs Arsenal] we will show our quality and be back to playing our style. You will see the true Brighton.” Admittedly, that’s pretty mild as far as trash talk goes, but he does have a point. He’s had them playing some very good football despite that loss, the loss away to Nottingham Forest, and the lost to Tottenham. They did after all just beat Man U just before the Everton debacle and still have a better-than-even chance at finishing above Tottenham courtesty of having two games in hand (and playing better football, on the whole).
For as much as we might like to see Brighton overtake Tottenham, we’re in no position to be throwing away points or doing any favours. There’s a Prem title floating agonisingly, tantalisingly out of reach, and we can’t afford to drop any points if we’re to have any chance of wresting that title away from the Manolith (Man City + monolith. Worth trademarking? Meh…). While it might be easy to contrast Brighton’s loss to Everton with our win at Newcastle and conclude that we’ll waltz away with all three points, we have to consider the opposite: the Seagulls may show up full of piss & vinegar while our lads show up overconfident and complacent.
We’re still hoping that Man City drop points as they fight to win the Champions League, but nothing they do will matter if we also drop points. We already need them to drop five as it is. Let’s hope de Zerbi’s little pep talk reaches the wrong ears and gets the wrong squad geared up…
we’re going to bounce back and knock you down a few pegs, you’ve gotten a little too big for your britches. wasn’t it just a year ago you were in the very same spot we are now?
How did you find this blog, may I ask? I wonder if NewsNow cross-posted to their Brighton section. At any rate, I’ll admit there are some who insist we’re “back where we belong”, and that might smack of bigger than one’s britches, but around here, I try to manage expectations a little more carefully.
Brighton still have to play Arsenal and ManC. They will give both a run for their money and on this season’s form I wouldn’t back against them picking up points.
I tihnk Brighton are starting to suffer from selling so many players and also the pressure of fighting for a European spot for the first time ever (?). I don’t think they have enough quality to take points from us or from City (I don’t think anyone has the quality to take points from City at this point, they’re on a different level). I’d love to see Brighton get into the top six, just not by taking any points from us.
The players Brighton have sold for megabucks have not been missed and have been replaced by better for peanuts. This quality will be sought after by all the bigger clubs, including Arsenal (again) , as they attempt to purchase them in the summer. At the moment the real problem for Brighton is that in playing catch up a young, thin and largely inexperienced squad, not used to 3 games a week, is getting very leggy. Injuries to key players are piling up. Of course Arsenal have the quality to beat Brighton. I expect they will. However, if Brighton turn up in wounded animal mode at the Emirates on Sunday, displaying their unique RDZ brand of football, which has flummoxed many big clubs this season, then a win (as in the Carabao Cup) is not beyond the realms of possibility. They have a good recent record against Arsenal and revel in playing open teams rather than bus parkers. Arsenal cannot do what Forest and Everton did. It is not in their DNA. So it should be an exciting game with plenty of goals, not neccessarily all in the Albion net. I hope Arsenal pip ManC to the title. Perhaps Brighton can help by beating ManC at The Amex, as they did in 2021. 3-2. After all, Arsenal and City defences have had a propensity to leak more goals than usual recently.
I don’t think their replacements have been up to the same level as those who left, but who knows? The replacements have been good (BHA are after all in the hunt for Europe) but as you say the squad is thin, young & inexperienced. We do have to worry about that “wounded animal mode” and the fact that they’re fighting for a Europa League spot, they’re not going to just roll over. We’re going to have to work at it. If we can get all three points, maybe that will make Man City’s visit that much tougher for them with Brighton fighting hard.