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Arsenal vs Sheffield United preview

th (5)
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!
@LaboGoon

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71 comments on “Arsenal vs Sheffield United preview

  1. I just want us to play like Arsenal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I watched that game Sheffield played against Liverpool, their defensive wall stood strong. Liverpool’s goal came late due to a goalkeeping howler. So I think to beat them will take some effort… even using the expertise of a master lock picker.

    I may want beautiful play, but tonight even vintage ‘how the fk did we win that’ Emery ball will do it for me. The good stuff will come Thursday night.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I understand Labo, but the longer the poor football goes on, the less likely we ever are to see it.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. why cant we have bpth… play like a proper arsenal team and actually score loads of goals…

    Yes we can

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Until the next international break? What new madness is this? Surely no more international breaks this year?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Between now and mid December we are only facing teams outside traditional, the Liverpool match is in the Carabao. So if ever Emery is gonna play the good stuff it is now. If not, we are just gonna have to clench our teeth, at least ’til May.

    FH: I need we might all need that international break if Emery ball is at the order of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lemme try that comment again. Not fun typing on-the-go…

    Between now and mid December we are only facing teams outside traditional top 6, the Liverpool match is in the Carabao. So if ever Emery is gonna play the good stuff it is now. If not, we are just gonna have to play the long game and grit our teeth ’til May.

    FH: I think we may all need that international break if Emery ball is at the order of the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Earlier I posted this on my blog in response to a dark, pessimistic prediction by our friend Gee. IMO it is worth repeating:
    “Regardless of our opinion, i.e. those of us who are critical of Emery, as long as he is supported by Josh, Raul and Vinai (in that order) noting will change.”
    What I am implying is until Josh realizes that Emeryball is destroying his family’s investment nothing will change.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Ozil not in the match day 18 once again tonight

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Leno
    Chambers, Sokratis, David Luiz, Kolasinac
    Xhaka, Guendouzi
    Pepe, Willock, Saka
    Aubameyang
    subs: Martinez, Holding, Tierney, Torreira, Ceballos, Martinelli, Lacazette

    Liked by 1 person

  11. No Ozil not even on the bench,
    Guendouzi again
    Hmmmm

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Shotta, have a feeling JK will judge Emeryball on being in the ECL next season, failure to get there will hit his family investment, and I imagine would lead to change.
    But, that said, he really should make the top four with this squad, and rivals issues, I would imagine that is putting pressure on him, Raul said as much recently, ie he expects a top four finish
    Think Raul also said Ozil was doing well in training, though stand to be corrected here.
    I see a hypocritical viewpoint from the club on Ozil, those upstairs might be quite happy to have Ozil off the wage bill, even partially, and him encouraged to go elsewhere, but it will be Emery who takes the medicine should this policy go wrong. Tonight’s game will be interesting, strikes me creativity will be required to unlock such a side.
    I wish them well, this is the type of game they struggle in, and there is Mike Dean.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Mandy it was Emery who said Ozil was doing well in training

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Going to be a tough one COYG.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. 30 minutes in and we are 1-0 down, a tap in at a corner.

    we’ve created one clear cut chance and somehow Pepe failed to find the correct contact four yards out.
    Its scrappy, and game has by passed several of our players, Willock and Saka not in it at all so far.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. that could have been a penalty for Saka but Dean books him for diving, there was contact, now he books freddie for complaining about it

    Liked by 2 people

  17. STRANGE PLAY… To put it mildly

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Half Time: Sheffield Utd 1-0 Arsenal

    a poor enough game, we let in a soft goal from a corner, and have only created one really good chance, the one Pepe missed from a few yards out.
    Its all huff and puff but no invention, and far too much sideways and backways passing combined with too little pace in our game.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Dean couldn’t get his yellow out for Saka fast enough.

    He was clearly clipped. Penalty for me. Where is VAR? Even if he feels it is not a penalty how can he give a yellow card when Saka was tripped. Idiot.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. About 2 subs after the half?

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Someone needs to start writing the review, because I think I’ll be under the weather.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. That would have been a pen for at least one or two sides I can think of, but Mike Dean isn’t going to give us anything in such a game. We will be seeing rather a lot of Dean this season, and Taylor…and Atkinson….and the latter day Jon Moss that maybe took to heart footballisfixed claims he once favoured us.
    Emery has 45mins to show he has learned costly lessons from similar performances in similar places last season. If he hasn’t, I suspect the clock may be ticking. These performances are not the established route to the top four.
    Hoping for a much better performance and some inspired subs.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Ceballos is on for Willock

    Liked by 1 person

  24. A waste of a sub. Awful team selection.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Gave the wrong man the yellow. Now that was a dive.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. mcgoldrick dives and Dean books Gundouzi. Kolasinac also booked

    Liked by 2 people

  27. xhaka off Lacazette on, about 20 minutes left

    Liked by 1 person

  28. It’s hilarious looking at Emery’s face. It’s like he really thinks he ought to be seeing something better. We have been seeing this since before the middle of last season. No surprises here.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. A lot of potential in Pepe. He is starting to get used to the league. Still a bit frustrating but I can see how would be impossible to deal with if we played an attacking style.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. 77 minutes Pepe off, Martinelli on

    Liked by 1 person

  31. 5 minutes of stoppage time to save the game

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I don’t remember Auba touching the ball…can hardly remember a decent shot on goal in the 2nd half?!

    Liked by 2 people

  33. But look at the table…we are behind Ci…never mind

    Liked by 3 people

  34. In conclusion,,, that was rubbish from arsenal… PaulN my bro I agree with you on the face of Emery…Got the same impression and said Is this guy for real.. he is actually feeing busy?

    So they knew the ref was not going to give them anything we are capable of better than this,,, too much backwards passing and hardly any use made of the pace of the wingers!

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Full Time: Sheffield Utd 1-0 Arsenal

    woeful to watch from start to finish, second best to a team newly promoted. A team that relies on huff and puff, but we lacked the guile and skill to create very much at all. Good job we don’t need Ozil, and that we are 3rd and only have lost to the European champions this season. Just give Emery time, it will be alright with time, we’ve our Arsenal back. Haven’t we.

    12pts dropped in 9 games, several top 4 rivals dropped pts this weekend, but this Emery team once again incapable of taking advantage. But we’ll beat Victoria on Thursday and will be told everything is right in the world again.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Pathetic from us. We don’t take to the pitch looking to dominate and win.

    However good their defence is, we easily went past it when we bothered to string a few one touch passes together in midfield. If we were not so show in the build up we would have easily won this.

    Rubbish team selection. Ozil should walk into this team even if smokes weed the rest of the week. Ceballos over Ozil?

    Another thing is Xhaka’s main strength is his long range passing. If we have Luiz just behind him who can do the same thing then why not play sometime with a different skill set than Xhaka.

    Emery really needs to buck up or he’ll be gone by Christmas. Might be a good thing if it gets is a coach who knows how to use the attacking talent we have.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. the amount of times we had possession 30 yards from their goal only to end up going sideways and then backways, often all the way back to Leno was staggering.

    we were also treated time and again to Leno taking a short kick out to a defender, the ball then going to Guendouzi, back to another defender, who would play it to Leno, to hoof downfield and see Sheffield Utd gain possession, Emeryball my arse.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. TS, agreed. This is ridiculous. What’s the point of having the offensive talent we have if we are going to crawl around the pitch.

    I don’t mean to be down on a young man because I love to see youth prosper but Guen is just not ready just yet. He lacks pace and he is not creative. To me he looked dead on his feet at the end of the match. Get torreira in the team along with Ozil and we would be destroying teams.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. 9 games
    4 wins
    3 draws
    2 defeats
    13 goals for
    12 goals against
    15 points

    13 fucking goals in 9 games, 13

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Feels like it’s been coming. It’s almost reassuring when we lose because, the way we play, I can’t make sense of it when we do manage to muddle through. Once again, would love to know what the players make of all this.

    Liked by 6 people

  41. Completely unacceptable , disgusting performance, this has happened so many times before this season and last, against similar types of teams away.
    I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but hard to defend Emery these days
    And this one is on Emery with his team selection, tactics and abilility to create confusion with the players. I suspect Emery is not the fool he looks after this, but perhaps falls into the “too clever by half “ bracket, hours in an auditorium, over complicating what is essentially a simple game, was it Shankly or someone who had a quote along those lines?
    This is a follow on from some very damaging performances towards the end of last season. After a year and a half, he has made the team negative, but poor at defending with reduced goals, how does that work?
    If Edu Raul and co really want a top four finish, if they want decent and expensive players to thrive, if they want Auba to extend, if they want full stadia and the backing of the supporters, they need to haul emery in tomorrow and read him the riot act. If not, I suspect things may get worse and the managers position will be untenable by the start of 2020,requiring a new manager / caretaker manager bounce to rescue things.
    In the mean time, I will head to the game on thur and most likely see an exciting free flowing attacking performance, partly due to the opposition, partly we are at home, partly because it is becoming increasingly clear that doing European teams are Emerys true passion, and strongpoint. He’s great against Valencia or Napoli, just cannot hack Sheffield, Wolves, Leicester , Everton, Watford, and such teams away. What a damning indictment given his resources

    Liked by 7 people

  42. Arsene would be competing for the title with this team.

    Liked by 3 people

  43. the worst thing about that result tonight is that is was not a surprise, it was exactly the the sort of performance I would say most of us expected, sterile and negative.

    Liked by 5 people

  44. birdkamp, I am convinced that they want Özil in the team. You cannot have pure effort and not enough skill.
    Emery needs to move on man. This is past a joke now.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Well, that was stupid.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. If ian says Torreira had a fair bit to develop on arrival then that’s an opinion I’ll listen to!

    As Paul says we don’t mean to be down on Guendouzi and one reason we don’t need to be is because it’s just another example of awful management of the young player (who is as Shotta respectfully highlighted not a phenom) and of the team

    I’ve been following the ladies team more this season. Need to watch a team set up with some kind of a Midfield, not allergic to the opposition D, a vision of Football that doesn’t make the eyes bleed.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. we ended up with Saka totally lost playing as a no.10 tonight, that was after we took Pepe off, just as he was getting well involved in the game.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. 2 gold chances to score a goal – can’t blame the manager for that, plus a penalty shout a whiter English player would have been given.
    On the other hand, our play was utterly bland and predictable and I don’t think emery studied much about Sheffield Utd.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Wouldn’t imagine the forwards are impressed with Ozils treatment, Ozil makes forwards better.
    Edu really needs to be looking at a few issues. Even if he is for whatever reason onboard over Ozils treatment, still doesn’t excuse plenty of other things.
    Emery must have some merits, but those just do not seem to apply over here in this league over any amount of time any more, last seasons run excepted

    Liked by 1 person

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