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Arsenal's Hector Bellerin 'Lost for Words' After Brighton Defeat, Talks Concerns

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 6, 2019

Arsenal's Spanish defender Hector Bellerin applauds the fans following the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 5, 2019. - Brighton won the match 2-1. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Hector Bellerin has said he feels "lost for words a bit" after Arsenal went a ninth straight game without a win with a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday. 

Freddie Ljungberg suffered his first loss as interim Arsenal boss in his home debut, his second game in charge since Unai Emery was sacked in November. The Gunners have failed to win in their last seven Premier League outings and are 10th in the table approaching the midway point in the season.

Arsenal were met with boos at full-time following the loss to Brighton at the Emirates Stadium. Bellerin spoke after the game, highlighting key faults in the team and noting his own incredulity at their lack of form, per the Mirror's Aaron Stokes:

"I don't even know what to say. You get the feeling that whatever we're doing it doesn't come out right.

"The team gave its best, especially you can see how we pushed in the second half, created chances, every single player was going for every single ball, we defended good, but it seems like we need so many chances to score a goal and other teams with the smallest chances they score.

"It sounds a bit hard to say, but sometimes it's like lost for words a bit."

Neal Maupay scored an 80th-minute winner for the Seagulls after Alexandre Lacazette's looping header cancelled out Adam Webster's first-half breakthrough, via Sky Sports (UK only):

Bellerin made his first-team return for Arsenal in late September following an eight-month spell on the sidelines with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

The academy graduate is likely as motivated as anyone in the Arsenal squad to see the club succeed but has been restricted to just three league appearances this season.

The Athletic's James McNicholas hailed Brighton for their performance in north London but described the Gunners as "an absolute mess," critiquing the home side's "diabolical" defence:

Bellerin was one of three Arsenal defenders who finished the game with a yellow card—along with centre-backs David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos—a hint at their discomfort even playing at home.

Ljungberg's team welcomed 20 Brighton shots on their goal, per WhoScored.com, and Goal's Charles Watts reminded of the imbalance between Arsenal's attack and defence:

Charles Watts @charles_watts

Arsenal have conceded 82 shots in three games this season against Watford, Southampton and Brighton. In the same games they had just 31 shots themselves. That is truly staggering, especially when you consider two of the games were at home. What an inexplicable mess.

The north Londoners spent a club-record £72 million to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille in August, but he's failed to score from open play in 17 appearances and has started on the bench in their last five league games.

He scored one penalty in a 3-2 triumph over Aston Villa in September, along with two free-kicks to win 3-2 against Vitoria Guimaraes on October 24 (their last victory).

Arsenal have scored 21 goals in the Premier League—level with Burnley and one fewer than 16th-place Aston Villa—and only seven teams have conceded more goals than them this term (23 goals).

Sky Sports Statto highlighted this as a 37-year low for Arsenal in terms of goal difference before their recent 2-2 draw at Norwich City (their goal difference is now minus-two):

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

Arsenal have a negative goal difference after 13 games for the first time since 1982-83 (also -1). Norwich have faced a @premierleague high 83 shots on target this season and only Southampton have conceded more goals. ⚽️Norwich v Arsenal #NORARS 📆Sunday ⏰1pm 📺@SkySportsPL https://t.co/hfcd9y2GEO

Bellerin will hope to play a role in Arsenal's Premier League visit to West Ham United on Monday, when Ljungberg will target his first win as caretaker and hope to lift his side within reach of the top six.