The draw at Brighton told us that Arsenal is still very much a work in progress. Heading into the south coast clash the club was riding high on the back of a four-game win streak. However, that was ended thanks to a Graham Potter side that is playing incredibly well at the moment.
The first half was almost like the Arsenal of old, looking lackluster, unable to maintain possession, and well beaten across the park, just not on the scoreboard.
In previous years, the Gunners would have been ripped apart defensively and conceded at least one goal (flashbacks of Liverpool putting four past Arsenal in the opening 20 minutes in 2014). But for all of Brighton’s dominance, they couldn’t find a way through a dogged Arsenal rearguard.
It would be fair to say that if the back five who started away at Brentford on the opening day of the Premier League would have featured at the Amex Stadium then the would have been no clean sheet. No chance.
Arsenal: 3 lessons learnt from the 0-0 Premier League draw with Brighton as Mikel Arteta’s side sit four points off the top four
As the international break arrives the Gunners find themselves in 11th place with ten points, four off the lucrative top four places – whether or not that’s a realistic target only the manager will know.
So, what did Arsenal’s draw against Brighton tell us?
1. Defensively, Arsenal Has Improved Out of Sight
Say what you want about the club’s opening three games in which they went winless, conceded nine goals, and scored none, but the fact is, the heart of the defense was missing. Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, Sead Kolasinac, and Cedric all played a serious part in those three games and that tells you all you need to know – although Ben White did feature in the opening game away to Brentford.
With Gabriel, Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Kieran Tierney all starting together, the defense looks like a different beast. After conceding nine goals in three games, with the new-look backline, Arsenal has only conceded once in five games, while scoring eight goals.
They are not the finished product yet, but the early signs look promising and with the ability to play out from the back with Aaron Ramsdale, White, and Gabriel’s ability to launch passes downfield, it gives the side a different dimension.
The Gunners back-four were not at their best against Brighton, but they still managed a clean sheet, despite the home side having 21 shots on goal. However, it is worth noting that of those 21 shots, only two hit the target. Whether that says more about Brighton’s quality of shots or the fact that Arsenal made them take harder shots at goal is up for debate.
It is still a work in progress but this sample of five games gives fans hope that perhaps the Achilles heel of the club is finally showing signs of progress.
#1 Football Merchandise & Souvenirs Store
Manchester City Shop
Tottenham Hotspur Shop
Manchester United Shop
Leicester City Shop
Newcastle United Shop
West Ham United Shop
Real Madrid Shop
arsenal gifts, arsenal shop, arsenal store, arsenal superstore, arsenal merch, arsenal merchandise, arsenal souvenirs