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04th Mar 2018

Petr Cech holds hand up with brutal assessment of his own performance in Arsenal’s defeat to Brighton

He's not hiding anyway

Matthew Gault

He’s not hiding away.

The sense of crisis engulfing Arsenal deepened on Sunday as Arsene Wenger’s men fell to a damaging 2-1 defeat at Brighton. In the space of ten days, the Gunners have now lost four in a row, to Ostersund, Manchester City twice and now Chris Hughton’s Seagulls.

Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray struck for the home side at the Amex Stadium and the two-goal deficit proved beyond Arsenal’s powers of recovery, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal ultimately a consolation.

It leaves Arsenal nine points behind fifth-placed Chelsea having played a game more and 13 points off Tottenham in fourth. Securing Champions League football through the top four is now highly improbable while you wouldn’t back them to win the Europa League in this kind of form.

And they were poor once again. Brighton were organised and feisty and the Gunners failed to fully rediscover their spine. It was a bad day at the office for a lot of players but Petr Cech certainly had an afternoon to forget.

The veteran keeper was at fault for both goals, failing to come and collect for the first before allowing Murray’s header to wriggle underneath him for the second.

Cech’s rating on WhoScored was 3.8, which gives you a pretty clear picture of how his day went.

In fairness to him, though, he came straight out after the game and apologised on social media. While that’s commonplace these days, Cech’s fronted straight up and admitted that his two mistakes directly cost Arsenal the game.

Highlighting his specific shortcomings was a commendable act, yes, but in the grand scheme, actions will speak louder than words. During the week, reports surfaced claiming Arsenal players held a crisis meeting following their second 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in the space of three days earlier this week.

During it, Laurent Koscielny reportedly broke down in tears. However, that clearing of the air doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect, with another defeat only compounding the general sense of misery at the club.

It’s all well and good Cech apologising for his performance but redemption will only truly be found on the pitch. That doesn’t just go for Cech, though – his teammates need to have a long, hard look at themselves too.