It has undoubtedly been a week to forget for Arsene Wenger as he has witnessed his Arsenal side fall to two near identical 3-0 defeats against Manchester City. Although you could argue there was something more befitting a performance on Thursday the outcome was ultimately the same.
Those two defeats have once again raised the pertinent question as to whether the 68-year-old will honour his contract, one that ends in 2019 or whether he will walk away come the end of this campaign.
The former Monaco boss has stated that he intends to honour the deal he signed last Summer but it might well end up being a decision that his taken out of his own hands, especially if Arsenal’s season tails off any further.
Sunday sees them make the trip to the South Coast to face Brighton at the AMEX Stadium and although the Gunners have little to play for in terms of league placing there can be no understating that this is a must win game for the North London outfit.
They go up against a Brighton side who will be full of confidence after their comprehensive 4-1 win over Swansea last weekend. A result which has given the Seagulls a small bit of breathing space between themselves and the relegation zone.
However, with many of teams below them playing the day before they may well have slid back down the table by the time they reach kick-off come Sunday lunchtime, and with 31 points on the board manager Chris Hughton knows that there is still some work to be done before they can secure their Premier League status for a second season.
If 40 points in the usual standard for assuring top flight survival, then Brighton are nine points away from that target going into this upcoming clash and with Arsenal at arguably their lowest ebb for some time then last season’s EFL Championship runners-up will fancy their chances of claiming a big scalp.
They have yet to win a point against any of the ‘Big Six’ in the Premier League this season, something they will look to put right this weekend, not only that though but they have lost their last five meetings with Arsenal in all competitions, so a result is long overdue.
Arsenal made light work of Brighton in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, goals from Nacho Monreal and Alex Iwobi secured all three points in a game that saw manager Arsene Wenger celebrate the 21st anniversary of his arrival at the club.
Any celebrations that may have taken place that October afternoon are but a distant memory as Arsenal’s form since the start of the year has been poor and is that run of results which has seen any hopes of finishing in the top four all but evaporate.
New signing Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang arrived from Borussia Dortmund to much fanfare but he has failed to live up to the hype early on, just one goal against Everton in their 5-1 win sums up a paltry return from the Gabonese forward.
He just as anyone needs to deliver a good performance in Arsenal colours especially after his tame penalty effort against Manchester City on Thursday, the same could be said about Mesut Ozil who has almost been anonymous since signing a new contract in January.
Brighton average less than a goal a game in the Premier League this season, so this may well suggest that they don’t have a great deal of firepower at their disposal and they will rely heavily on their talisman Glenn Murray who has found the net on 10 occasions.
With Arsenal losing their last three away league matches this is a trend that they will need to buck this weekend, on paper they have all the tools at their disposal to win three points but then again football matches aren’t played on paper.