According to Mirror Football, Brighton captain Lewis Dunk has admitted that the Seagulls aimed to ‘turn’ Arsenal’s crowd against the team early on in order to bolster their hopes of winning.
Graham Potter’s masterplan certainly worked as the south coast side managed to get a real grip on the game following Adam Webster’s opener in the 36th minute.
Dunk’s claims come after the The Telegraph’s Sam Dean revealed that Freddie Ljungberg believed that his side were ‘scared’ in the first-half of the clash.
The centre-back added that he was sure that the Emirates crowd would ‘go against them (Arsenal)’ if the Seagulls managed to take control of the game early on.
Here’s what the England international had to say on working to get Arsenal’s fans to turn against the team:
“The manager (Graham Potter) told us to get at them and the crowd would turn, I think we did in the first half,”
“Obviously you want to start a game well and get on top of any team but obviously they are going through a tough time so we knew it was going to be really important to do that here.”
“The crowd turned on them a bit, especially at half-time when they were booing them so it was a nice win. I think if we put them under pressure, and got into them early like we did, I think it was going to be tough for them.
“They are going through a tough time, and if we got on top of them, the crowd would go against them and we managed that.”
“Did we expect more from them? Yes probably but they are a top side, we were probably expecting more but it was credit to us the way we can play football.”
With Brighton openly admitting that they exploited the discontent from the fans towards the team, is it time that the Gunners faithful ease off with the boos in order to improve the side’s chances of winning?
After a dismal run which has seen the north London outfit fail to win any of their last nine games across all competitions, it’s clear that the side are lacking confidence.
The Gunners need to improve the relationship between supporters and the team immediately. The struggling side need all the help they can get to get back to winning ways.