There are some days where I really just don’t feel like writing about football or, specifically, about The Arsenal.

Today my friends, is one of those days, for sure.

I even fired up my laptop this morning and instead of logging on to the site and starting to type away, I started to go through my work emails, rather than start to think and talk about The Arsenal. But in some respects I am a creature of habit and one of those habits is writing every day (or at least the days in which I’m not hungover/travelling/on holiday and can’t get great access), so here I am.

I actually wish I could just switch off and go for radio silence on all things football, but whilst I can do that from a messaging out on social media, not reading any post match content, videos, pundit views, etc, I can’t escape it in my own head. Yesterday evening I got on the tube to go home and watched an episode of Vikings to pretend that I hadn’t witness the collapse at home that I did from those Arsenal players. I then got home and the Management simply asked “do you want to talk about it?”. My response was to smile, make myself a squash and say “nope”. My phone got put to one side for the evening and we watched a few episodes of the Sky History show Alone and then went to bed. I did my best impression of somebody who is denying an obsession, but throughout the night last night I kept waking up and thoughts about Arsenal and football crept back in. I can try to tell myself that football doesn’t exist after a result like the defeat to Brighton yesterday, but my subconscious will not let me forget and so I had a rubbish night sleep as well. What a great way to start the week.

For Mikel Arteta, the inquest needs to be the start of his week because as he rightly said, they will need to address what went on yesterday. It simply wasn’t good enough and although most of us knew we only had the slimmest of hopes of winning the league anyway, what we needed to see from the players was that they were up for it and were back on form. But yesterday it never happened.

I have to admit to having bad feelings about the game even in the first half. We’d created a few decent chances, but just didn’t take them, but the bad feelings I got about the game wasn’t around the missed chances. It was actually on the way in which we were popping the ball around. Tierney, Odegaard, Jorginho, Xhaka, Saka – all guilty in that first half an hour of misplaced passes or a little bit of sloppiness. It wasn’t the silky and free flowing Arsenal we’ve seen so much this season. We weren’t terrible in the first half, we just weren’t very good, which given how well we did against Newcastle just a week ago, came as a bit of a surprise.

But Brighton didn’t create too much themselves in that first half either. They are very good in possession, they looked tidy enough and we knew this would be a tight game, but in my head I thought “as long as we come out in the second half and take the chances, we might be ok”.

How wrong was I, eh?

We never showed up in that second half. After we went one down you are expecting to see a reaction from the Arsenal players, but there just wasn’t one; it was as if we just had no idea on how to handle a Brighton team missing a number of key players. Tactically there are so many of us who think that Arteta is a very astute guy, but I thought he got it all wrong yesterday. After about 15-20 minutes Brighton switched Mitoma from the right hand side to the left and he got in behind White all day. They played ball after ball in behind White and we did nothing to counter that threat. There wasn’t any support offered, White didn’t drop deeper to negate the space, nothing. Then, at the other end of the pitch Ramsdale hit long ball after long ball towards our front line, which was meat and drink for the Brighton defence. It was, frankly, baffling tactics from a manager who has been so good on that front for most of the season.

Afterwards he said that he apologised, but then said he has to look at himself first and foremost. He will do that, but then he needs to look at the players and there needs to be a frank conversation on Tuesday when they all go in to London Colney. Because that wasn’t a performance befitting of a side trying to challenge for a title. But in reality that title challenge started to fade around the West Ham / Southampton draws, was pretty confirmed after the City defeat, and is now done in all but name. Arteta even said mathematically he knew it wasn’t, but it was a man who knew the jig was up from a title perspective.

Now we need to start planning for next season. Nobody can catch us in second, we can’t catch Man City in first, we might as well start to think about experimenting and we might as well start the process of working out who we cash in on in the summer and who is coming in. I’m sure Arteta and Edu have already been doing that for months, but now that the title is all but finished we can start looking forward instead of putting everything on hold because the focus needs to be on a title charge.

The team has had a good season, we have fallen short at the end, so it’s time to re-evaluate where we are at and start to plan to see how we can improve for next season. We’ll be doing a post-match review on the Same Old Arsenal podcast later tonight at 7.30pm. Join us if you want some group therapy.

Catch you all tomorrow.