Morning all.

Arsenal and the south coast of England have not made good bedfellows of late. St Mary’s in Hampshire and Brighton in Sussex. With Arsenal heading to the Amex Stadium on New Year’s Eve, I feared we as a club would end the year with a negative result.

Other than Oleksandr Zinchenko coming into the team for Kieran Tierney, Mikel Arteta fielded the same starting eleven which beat West Ham on Boxing Day.

The game ended up being pretty darn good, certainly for the neutral, it had everything, for Arsenal fans, for me anyway, it was a roller coaster of emotions. At times, Arsenal defended like a pub team, missed golden opportunities to put the game to bed too but at other times, certainly before Mikel Arteta made his changes, Arsenal were fantastic. It’s up to you which side of Arsenal’s performance you choose to focus on.

The early goal from Bukayo Saka was the perfect start. How cool was our young England international winger despatching his shot the way he did. The second came from captain Martin Odegaard who was simply fantastic throughout the game. He might have slightly scuffed his shot but hey, who gives a toss?

Just after the break, along came the hand stinger from Gabriel Martinelli which Brighton keeper Sanchez couldn’t hold onto. He spilled the ball and Eddie Nketiah was in the perfect position to poke it into the back of the net. 3-0 up. Dreamland.

Brighton pulled one back through Mitoma, a nice goal I thought but before there was a chance to worry about a Brighton comeback, Gabriel Martinelli restored our three goal lead. The pass out wide to our Brazilian by Martin Odegaard was sublime. He didn’t need to look because he knew exactly where Martinelli would be.

The drama wasn’t over yet though as Brighton scored again. The less said about that the better I think. They scored again to make it 4-3 but VAR spotted an offside. Anthony Taylor blew for full time and three points were in the bag.

The lack of playing time William Saliba had at the World Cup showed in my opinion as he looked rusty, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu too. I’m sure they’ll soon be back to their best.

Brighton are a good footballing team in my opinion and will nick points off of many clubs as the season goes on. With a bit of luck, those clubs will be sat in and around the top four when they do.
What a talented player Kaoru Mitoma is and he cost Brighton just £3 million.

The above table looks great doesn’t it? I thought we’d improve on last season but not for one minute did I expect Arsenal to be sat at the top of the table on the first day of 2023. If the next five months can be anywhere near as good as the first 16 games, then it’ll have been a great season. For now though, three points against Newcastle Utd is the next big challenge.

The 1st January means the transfer window is officially open. We’re still being linked to Mykhailo Mudryk although the back pages suggest Chelsea could scupper the deal by going in with a big offer. Newcastle too. However, it seems the player wants a move to north London. This is his latest social media post according to The Mail.


Happy New Year guys… 🍾🥂