Arsenal’s nightmare week went from bad to worse on Sunday afternoon, after an abject display against Brighton & Hove Albion saw the Gunners record their fourth defeat on the trot.
Early first-half goals from Seagulls stars Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray put Arsenal on the back foot, as they reportedly struggled to deal with the Seagulls’ powerful set-pieces. Despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulling a goal back before the break, Arsenal were unable to find an equaliser in the second half, as the hosts dug deep to claim a precious win.
The result has large ramifications for both sides: Brighton‘s win is crucial for them in their fight against relegation, while Arsenal’s defeat sees their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League via a top-four finish become even more unlikely.
Some key talking points emerged from the fiercely-fought Premier League encounter, so here’s four things we learned from the match…
4. Arsène Wenger’s Time at Arsenal is Closer to the End Than Ever Before
The pressure on Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger is growing rapidly, to the extent where the seemingly untouchable manager could finally see his position under threat.
The Gunners fans have been vocal in their criticism of the Frenchman in recent seasons, and the club could be set to miss out on Champions League football for the second year in a row in they’re unable to win the Europa League.
With World Cup winning manager Joachim Löw reportedly being eyed-up as Wenger’s successor, it looks increasingly unlikely that the 68-year-old will see out his contract until 2019.
3. Lewis Dunk Deserves a Chance to Impress in England’s Upcoming Friendlies
Ask any England fan about their biggest worry ahead of the World Cup this summer, and they’ll most likely point to the Three Lions’ shaky defence. Or the prospect of playing Iceland at some point.
Lewis Dunk has proved a sturdy, reliable and gutsy centre-back for Brighton this season, and battled superbly against the Gunners on Sunday afternoon.
England’s upcoming games against the Netherlands and Italy are ideal time to test new defensive options, and Dunk has certainly deserved an opportunity to impress Gareth Southgate ahead of this summer’s tournament.
2. Arsenal Are in Desperate Need of Leaders on the Pitch
The word ‘spineless’ has been levelled at the Gunners a lot this season, and their performance against Brighton did little to provide any evidence that the claim is unwarranted.
With stand-in captain Laurent Koscielny seemingly unable to motivate his troops, Wenger may need to appoint a new leader before his side sink any further down the league.
Jack Wilshere is arguably one of the few Arsenal players to show any fighting spirit during their tricky spell, and the Gunners would do well to back the academy product to lead the team forward.
1. Pascal Groß Is Going to Get Snapped Up by a Top Side in the Summer
Given the outrageously inflated transfer market in football at the moment, Pascal Groß £3m switch from Bundesliga side Inglostadt to Brighton is unquestionably the bargain of the season.
The 26-year-old’s creative and dynamism have seen him take the Premier League by storm in his opening season – scoring five goals and providing eight assists from the heart of the Seagull’s midfield.
However, it would be truly disappointing to see the German move to a bigger club to merely sit on the bench, as his qualities are deserving of regular first team football in England’s top tier.
Source: 90 Minutes