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Mikel Arteta must return to the drawing board after a disappointing draw against Brighton on Saturday afternoon.
Arsenal looked largely toothless throughout the contest and rarely tested Robert Sanchez in the Seagulls net at the Amex Stadium.
There were some bright sparks for the away side but ultimately, they looked second-best.
And after a huge morale-boosting victory over Tottenham last week that raised optimism around the Emirates, it feels like a step backwards.
Brighton dominated for much of the contest and could have easily scored a few before half-time had it not been for their own wastefulness – so in many ways Arteta can be thankful for the point.
But where did he go wrong? And did he get anything right?
So often Martin Odegaard has been a silky operator but on this wet afternoon, he looked anything but.
The Norway international failed to make any real impact on the match and epitomised Arsenal’s lack of creativity.
Brighton were on top for much of the contest while Odegaard looked on from the other side of the pitch.
He was roped off after 60 minutes and can have no complaints with Nicolas Pepe looking more threatening.
Brighton dominated much of the match but when Arsenal did break, they needed more quality going forward.
They did not get that from Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang and as a senior star and captain, had to do more to lead from the front.
There was little pressing from the Gabon international while when he did get a chance to run through on goal, he looked lethargic and was easily defended against.
A sharper or more clinical striker would have had at least tested Sanchez between the posts for Brighton but Aubameyang could not even muster that.
Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga started together in midfield to give Arsenal plenty of energy but not enough creativity.
It might sound strange but this was a game that begged for Granit Xhaka, who despite his shortcomings can thread passes from deep.
And that lack of midfield presence cost Arsenal massively with Brighton largely dominating possession throughout the match.
Lokonga is still a young player while Partey had a decent game but their attributes did not suit the Gunners today.
White and Gabriel combination
There was a strong showing from the Arsenal partnership at the back, who look like they could be the main men for many years to come.
Arsenal have often been accused of having a soft centre-back duo over the years but in Ben White and Gabriel, there is real hope that they can build something glorious for the Gunners.
Their ability on the ball has never been disputed but the manner in which the pair defended in brutal conditions showed they are ready to get their hands dirty.
Both players are 23 and their best years are ahead of them where they will grow together as a pairing.
- Arsenal FC
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