Three Things We Learned after Brighton beat Arsenal 3-0

Alan Alger's regular series Three Things We Learned following Arsenal losing 3-0 at home to Brighton

Three Things We Learned after Brighton beat Arsenal 3-0

Bukayo Saka, Ben White (far right) and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta after the 3-0 defeat to Brighton

Read Gooner Fanzine print writer Alan Alger and his regular post-match series: Three Things We Learned.

Here's Alan on a trio of topics he noticed during Arsenal's frustrating 3-0 loss to Brighton at the weekend

The mood was set by City's win at Everton...

Brighton bullied us all over the pitch on Sunday. They were first and more determined in nearly every tackle. They won plenty of balls that were only maybe 30-70 (in favour of Arsenal) and still came out on top. They were intelligent with their fouls and fluid in the way they beat our press. You can excuse an unlucky performance or even a bad performance - where things just don't click and the effort is at the right level. You can't excuse what we witnessed yesterday.

Our lacklustre approach possibly emanated from the stands, City winning felt inevitable and I guess the players thought that too. While there was lots of noise and great backing at certain periods in the first half, something felt off. All we could ask of the squad is that we pushed City all the way, and we failed to do so. going out with a whimper shouldn't have been in the script. I'm also not buying the tiredness and injuries excuse - we've played only four additional matches outside of league games since the World Cup, and in the majority of those we rested key players too.

That can't be the excuse next season as we fight out an extended Champions League campaign and battle improving rivals in the Premier League.

All clubs get injuries too, Brighton had SEVEN absentees yesterday while we had just four - which only included ONE certain starter, William Saliba.

We were hindered by a rare lack of focus and effort...

As for those lost battles. Too many times yesterday we had players that were wanting to rely on teammates, VAR or the referee to get them out of trouble. There was a real lack of focus in midfield and that spread behind them and in front of them.

Jakub Kiwior was down and out for the first goal - where he should have maybe made more effort to get up and get on with it.

Although Kieran Tierney makes zero effort to jump for the second cross. Ahead of that cross, Bukayo Saka is just jogging as he tracks the overlap which Mitoma uses to great effect after twisting White inside-out.

It was a catalogue of incidents that seemed based on a lack of effort rather than unfortunate errors. Errors happen, lack of effort shouldn't.

Arteta needs to react better and quicker...

There were two interesting 'double substitutions' in the second half yesterday. The first told us in no uncertain terms that Jorginho and Granit Xhaka had completely lost the midfield battle.

The second - the departure of the anonymous Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus - symbolised a white-flag in the title race.

I think I'd rather our boss works out where the players are going wrong and get instruction onto the pitch to counter any opposition strengths uncovered by the first few minutes of any match - rather than keep going until his patience runs out with them.

Cast your minds to Man City away and the furrowed brow on the side-line as City went ahead. Against good teams you need to be more reactive and instructive on the opposition.

He hasn't been out-managed many times since becoming our boss, but he needs to add 'reaction' to his gameplan, particularly against the better teams.

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