Arsenal vs Sheffield United preview

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Good day one and all.
Arsenal is at Bramall Lane tonight to take on Sheffield United, looking to extent on their positive eight-match unbeaten run across all competitions.
Make no mistake, the Gunners have been far from perfect thus far with just two wins in our last five Premier League games (D3) and without an away win in the league since opening day at St James’ Park, but there are encouraging signs with young’uns improving each game, even having put an end to the OCD-esque passing at the back appear to have improved our defense in recent matches with four clean sheets in our last six games (all competitions). So all things considered, including both Spurs and Manchester United stuck in first gear, there is little to scoff at, yet hoping we stay on this trajectory.
The Blades have made a decent start in their return to the top-flight, picking up points regularly with two wins and three draws from their eight games. Their three defeats have all been by one-goal margins, however, those defeats all came in their last three home fixtures, which shouldn’t really leave them short of motivation.
Chris Wilder has got them playing a very functional brand of football, they’re well organised at the back and shipped a mere seven goals – same as Liverpool’s VVD-inspired defense, albeit The Reds played an extra game. Very respectable considering they have played Chelsea, Leicester and Liverpool already. If they can improve at the other end of the pitch, having scored just seven – only Newcastle and Watford scored less – it should boost their chances of staying up this season.
We are in for an insanely busy period ’til the next international break rolls around, having to play seven games in just under three weeks. So Unai Emery may opt to stick with the ‘league and cup team’ theme to ensure the players are being kept fresh. To be fair he managed the squad well prior to this past inter-break and just doesn’t need to be too experimental with over-tinkering, unless, of course, it is to “Free Özil”. It does look like they’re ready to smoke the peace pipe eh?
Team news:
Reiss Nelson is unavailable due to a knee injury, but Alexandre Lacazette is back and should make the bench. Kieran Tierney could also make his league debut. Calum Chambers has been one of the best players whenever on the field so it’s going to be a tough call between him and fit-again Hector Bellerín. Fingers crossed Emery doesn’t think Sheffield away is too much of a burden for Mesut Özil’s unique and missed talents.
The Blades have the ability to make this a very uncomfortable evening for the Gunners as their defense doesn’t give much away, however, their lack of goals will be of concern to the Bramall Lane faithful. So if we take the game to them from the onset and chip away at their stubborn defense, we should get the win following a weekend of 13 sides dropping points.
We can be certain it will be a cracking atmosphere at Bramall Lane under the floodlights and if you throw our ol’ friend Mike Dean in the mix… almost guaranteed theatre. Perfect setting for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to go 50 up for the Arsenal; his current goal tally is 49 from 75 games in all competitions. COY-PEA!

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71 comments on “Arsenal vs Sheffield United preview

  1. Hi Paul, not sure what the consensus is, but I don’t know if Ozil would make too much difference in a dysfunctional team like this. I don’t know what the numbers say, but I don’t think we were any better when Ozil did get a run last reason. If that is the case, then I think it’s something to do with the fact that while individuals have kept rescuing this side, the team doesn’t give any single player a platform to shine. At least not consistently. Ozil strikes me as a player who, at his best, can make a good team great, but he won’t transform a bad team. I think he’s always needed a kind of foundation that isn’t there and he’d be isolated. Maybe I’m over-complicating it like Emery.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. seeing as Torreira was mentioned above, he plays almost as little as Ozil, so can we assume he does not train hard enough, or is it the same nonsense about “others deserve” to play ahead of him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll shut up and go to bed, but I’d have loved to have seen what a prime AW could have done with Dani Ceballos, Pepe and, yup, Guendouzi, in a team that, well, plays as a team.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. BK
    IMO The EL SF last season saw the best of the Ozil Lacazette & Auba combo (the final is best ignored! For so many reasons…)
    before that there was the run where both Ozil and Rambo were recalled to try and salvage the season. Which was harsh on Miki as he was dropped amidst his best form for a long time, and thereafter struggled to keep his rhythm as he wasn’t used as a regular sub. So much for training hard/playing well…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Emery after game comments, and fuck me but there are some real douzies in there

    On Sheffield United

    They have conceded less goals than Liverpool this season so it was going to be difficult.

    We didn’t deserve to lose. We worked, the attitude was good and I think we deserved more.

    On VAR

    I was on the bench and saw it perfectly.

    I think VAR is here for this reason, afterwards we can review this.

    On the game

    We controlled the game.

    We had more possession and more shots.

    On Pepe

    Little by little he is getting better and improving.

    He had a few shots that were getting closer and he is growing in confidence.

    On the table

    The table is very close for the teams in and around us and we know that we missed a chance tonight.

    On how the game panned out

    In another situation, I feel we controlled the game.

    I think if we played another game like we did tonight, it would be easier to achieve the three points.


  6. i always thought emery like energetic direct runners, don’t see much of that.
    Perhaps he is on strike until he gets banega or Nzonzi.
    But, Unless those above are instructing or on board with him and patient, emery will soon be on a very sticky wicket if he is not already, I would expect Freddie praise to continue and grow over coming weeks.
    On another note, how was that shirt pull not a pen when you see such things given against this team.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lewis
    Arsenal have had just seven shots all night and players who took five of them (Pépé 3, Xhaka 2) have now been subbed off.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mandy VAR reviewed both our penalty shouts, the shirt pull and the Saka trip and just like every decision so far this season in the BPL, the on field Ref decision was not over ruled, its almost as if Mike Riley has instructed VAR to not over rule the on field game manager, just as was rumored to be the case before the season started. VAR has been sabotaged by Mike Riley and the PGMOL

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  9. BK, We were better with Ozil in the team. The reason why the team looks so bad is because we lack balance. There is no one to get the to the forward line. This is all Emery’s doing. I think they would play better with no manager at all at this point and I mean it.

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  10. Certainly seems that way with VAR Eduardo

    Liked by 1 person

  11. from Emery’s after game comments it seems we can expect to see this sort of performance again and again, (I know most of us who have been paying attention the last 18 months expect it, as its been the norm), but tonight Emery seemed happy with the performance and said if we play like this in other games we are likely to get better result. Its madness

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  12. This is not a bad team, they are being managed poorly.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Just have to hope Edu sees this madness for what it is

    Liked by 1 person

  14. there was a moment near the end of the game when we had a corner, and the camera switched to the Arsenal away fans, and a guy going absolutely mad, shouting and waving his arms, gesturing and shouting about get in, and I wondered what he was on about, and then the camera went back to the corner, and we had taken a short corner, which if memory serves was then played back out the field, back to the corner, and then out again, and then sideways across the pitch before going back towards our own goal. It was the sort of corner routine you would see very late in a game when winning 1-0 not one that you’d see from most teams 1-0 down.

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  15. I wasn’t surprised

    to see Ozil omitted from the starting 11

    to see Ozil omitted from the 18 man squad

    to see the team that was selected

    to see us struggle to create any meaningful scoring chances

    to see us play possession for the sake of possession football

    to see us concede a soft goal

    to see us slightly improve with our first sub

    to see us get worse with our next subs

    to see us play sterile football and go down without a fight

    was anyone else surprised to see any of that.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Emery when asked tonight whether he knows his best starting XI:

    ‘Really, my point of view tonight is that there are things to analyse and improve. We didn’t concede a lot of chances, but they had corners offensively and they can score from these corners.’


  17. If emery is analysing giving away goals from corners, or set pieces in general, we have a defender rather good in those circumstances, unfortunately Mustafi is another of his persona non grata
    Emery should hopefully soon have his first choice players injury free, Lacca, Holding, Hector, Tierney, he will of course be given some time to bed them in, but if this continues for any amount of time, could be Freddie Time, if the clubs ambitions are as stated.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Steve Hills
    Last 19 League games, equivalent of half a season.

    Pld 19
    Won 7
    Drawn 5
    Lost 7

    26 points from possible 57.

    Wins: Burnley x2, Watford, Villa, Bournemouth, Newcastle x2.


    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve seen a few games where it has looked as if the players weren’t up for it, or couldn’t raise their game, but last night it seemed as if there was no lack of will, just a complete lack of direction. So slow, so lukewarm in attacking threat. And then the last 20 minutes where we were almost on the retreat.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. A complete disgrace for an Arsenal team.
    Raoul OUT!
    Emery OUT!!


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