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It’s Sheffield United, Who Cares?

Good morning all.

Tonight we play Sheffield United, comfortably the worse team in the league. After 30 games they are on 14 points with a goal difference of minus 35. This should be a stroll in the park, a gift 3 points, we should be a shoe in, but…….well you know?

Three points could see us climb back up to the dizzying heights of 9th place, exciting eh?

Apparently our captain, Aubameyang, is the first person in the country to catch Flu this year,. If you’re having that!. ESR is out and Odegaard is a big doubt, this on top of Luiz and KT both being out for several week. It never rains but it pours. Still, Arteta’s army have a ready made script should the worse come to the worse.

Having made a bit of a ballocks of our home leg in the Europa League, and with all of our eggs in that particular basket, can Arteta risk resting key players like Xhaka and Partey? Perhaps he should, but the natives are finally getting somewhat restless and he surely has to win this game. There’s a limit to the patience of even the more process trusting fans. The ice is getting thin.

There’s talk that many of the senior pros are fed up taking the blame for our results and performances and to be honest, I would be shocked if that was not the case. There’s only so many times they can roll out the remaining popular players to tell us how impressed with Arteta they all are and what a happy camp it is. Unfortunately there is no Mesut Ozil to scapegoat for leaks and disquiet in the dressing room, so even that tried and tested deflection wont wash.

Basically, yet again, I have no idea what team will take to the field and honestly, I’m struggling to care. It’s painful to watch this football and even more painful to write about it. I hope the rest of you are still engaged, and I could be again, but I need at least a little taste of something to be enthusiastic about.

Sorry

Pedantic George.

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54 comments on “It’s Sheffield United, Who Cares?

  1. Don’t apologise we all feel the pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning George, everybody.

    It’s a dangerous game this one, 14th place is still within our chaotic, inconsistent grasp. It’s one thing forgetting to turn up, play badly and lose to mighty Liverpool, quite another to repeat the trick against what is, to all intents and purposes, a lower league team.

    Depending on team selection, anything less than two wins this week, could cause Arteta real problems. Then again, a real Ground Zero moment might spur him on to make the changes so many of us think we can see we need. Tactical ‘flu, like Meghan’s Baby, may save Aubamayang from an awkward encounter (or two) but if he is now out for a couple of weeks (which is the least real ‘flu will demand) we will know it’s an ailment of convenience.

    Either the player is on strike or Arteta’s finally snapped.

    Whichever way, it’s all gone little bit Ozil, don’t you think?

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  3. After 55 years of Ticket buying and Season Tickets holding I’ve had it with this team . I was always there win lose or draw from an early age but over the past 10+ years the passion of the club just isn’t there anymore, from me either . Rocky would be so disappointed with this kind of garbage .

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  4. IF! Mikel were to play a really young side, a side obviously B or even C, with the notion he was saving every player for the basket we have all our eggs in, then he could get away with not needing a result.
    Personally I love watching the youth players play so I would accept defeat if it gave the chance to see how Lopez, Azeez, Ballogun, gets on especially if you mixed the team up with those who are not getting game time like Reiss, Eddie ,Ryan and even giving Elneny and Martinelli are start.
    If we name a full strength side we are setting ourself up for a fall. If we win everyone will say well we should of done anyway, if someone gets injured then fans will ask why they were playing and if we lose or even win without a decent performance then the team will be criticized.
    So the more I think of it the more I look forward to watching a young side out there today COYYoungG.

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  5. I’ve had enough with Arsenal. Injury after injury, goes back a long time, e.g. Ramsey ( most overrated player ), as Juventus have found out, Wilshere, Tierney, Rosicky, Diaby, Van Persie, Martinelli, Holding I could go on and on. What the hell are our treatment specialists doing. Some injuries even occur in the warm up!!! Arteta ruined Torreira, who was outstanding in the 2018 World Cup as a Holding Midfielder, so what does Arteta do ,….play him as an attacking midfielder, then drops him! Leaves our most skilful, artistic magician out of the squad altogether, who has more football brains, touch ,vision and individuality than any other player……Ozil. Yes Arteta ,we are playing so much better without him. !!!!!!!!! He then signs Odegaard, who is good, and loves him……..but he’s miles away from Ozil’s class. Lends out Mavrapanos and Saliba who are better than Sokratis, Mustafi, Chambers and Holding. Signs Gabriel because he wanted a left footed centre back when we already had Mari ( who is a more solid defender) and Mavrapanos. Then sells martinez who played brilliantly when he came in for Leno!!! Leno flaps at crosses, doesn’t command his area, thinks he’s Franz Beckenbauer when he’s got the ball at his feet, concedes goals he should swallow up. i GIVE UP.

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  6. Perhaps it was Auba who finally snapped and not Arteta.

    Auba has silly haircuts, but he has had silly haircuts and masks etc his whole career long and the haircuts or the masks don’t explain the sulking /drop in form that seems to have started the moment MO was dropped from the squad. I only need to listen to the wisdom of Darren Bent and Troy Deeny. Not to the club’s PR blaggers who tried to insist the performance/tactics against Liverpool was a one off (I kid ye not!)

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  7. Football in General has lost its way during the pandemic but you sound and a lot of other critics love to slate our club ,Sheffield United are a great club with huge potential the likes of mediocre clubs in London Like palace, QPR, West Ham and even Chelsea are on par and even below the potential Sheffield United have there is this blinkered tunnel vision in London that just became there in the capital they are bigger and better, far from it You listen to Talk sport and they big up Crystal Palace as if they are huge probably due to Simon Jordan’s deluded views and if they talk about football up North its only the Manchester clubs and Liverpool they talk about. Today I would love Sheffield United to beat Arsenal convincingly to ram the message home UTB .

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  8. Auba has I think as many suspect lost the legs that allowed him to function on the LW. Marginal loss of pace won’t affect his game at CF too much just yet IMO.

    This is normal in Football!

    The most inexplicable thing about the tragic use of Aubameyang on the left wing this season is that Arteta himself moved from playing as a left sided attacking midfielder (LW!) to a central midfielder when he moved to the Arsenal. One obvious reason why was that he was no longer a young man who could peg it up and down the wing non-stop for 90 minutes like some spring bunny charging through sunny fields upon a Sunday in April.

    It had been a strange call from Arteta to continue to play the ageing striker there against West Ham & Liverpool, one of many.

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  9. Given the late kick off and the travelling ahead this week it has to be a much changed eleven against Sheffield.

    From Arteta’s comments I suspect Partey will play, Xhaka to be rested?

    Not using Nelson when MO and ESR both needed resting has been another tragic call. I don’t blame Partey for his poor form & can’t judge his quality yet, he’s been mismanaged and still is not fit. Hooing Nelson and others finally get a chance to play some football tonight. COYG.

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  10. Strange one about Auba, but flu is used as a catch all for all manner of colds, and …..other things. Didn’t think people got flu here any more.
    Perhaps we shall see an attack of Martinelli, Balogun and Pepe set on Sheff Utd? Ok, maybe not.
    Seems to me that Arteta had developed a reputation for coaching and improving young players, but now he has come here and assumed power on a level enjoyed by Wenger, his mission is to get rid of superstars, stamp out a culture of what he rightly or wrongly perceived as slackness, and impose micromanagement on the rest.
    All well and good , but where will this take the club, on the evidence so far, not very far.
    Shame, I was hoping for better from a man who played under Wenger. We have seen some decent stuff lately, but only when the creatives and youngsters were set free, lose them and things go pre Xmas.
    As for Auba, just hope we don’t swap him with a player from a PGMOL propped giant ,a player enjoying a loan period but having done precious little before that.
    But whatever happens , Arteta looks safe to me. Edu and Vinnai aren’t going to be sacking him bar relegation.
    the Kroenkes, they do seem to let people hijack the club these days. It is said Wenger ran everything, if true, it certainly worked , I hope they aren’t stupid enough to think they will get another Wenger to take the running and responsibilities of the club off their hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Neil, I think it’s fantastic you love your club and you are part of the reason we have 92 clubs in English football because fans love their clubs for the small periods of success that every club has. I thought you were great last season and was upset that Chris Wilder was levered out of the club, unfortunately if you take the pipers money you have to dance to his time it’s the biggest thing ruining football at the moment and taking away the soul of clubs and is something most modern fans don’t understand.
    Certainly a majority of ARSENAL fans don’t understand there have been long periods in our history without success and think we have a divine right to win the league regularly and (mainly because of Arsene) think top four is an absolute minimum and anything else is a disaster even with the amount of clubs outspending us going up every year.
    If last seasons blades were playing this season’s ARSENAL then most of us on here would be frightened of the result you so desire.
    Actually although I like the city of steel I prefer my Sheffield on a Wednesday.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Robin Wainwright…..remember a pretty decent ex footballer from another era with that very name

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  13. Thanks to Neil ‘chippy’ Whitehouse for comment of the day, objecting to Londoners like Blackburn George for rubbishing his team even though they are, as George points out, COMFORTABLY the worst team in the league.

    Very amusing.

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  14. I don’t think anyone is disputing Sheff Utds long held or even very recent history Neil W, more their position in this league at the moment, and the suggestion that if Arteta is what he is cracked up to be, he should be beating the side currently struggling at the bottom of the league, (and with the trials and tribulations your team have been through in the last month or two), However, the problem with many of us at the moment, we have serious doubts Arteta and co will perform as they perhaps should aim for today, this is just the sort of game that brings out the worst performances in this team.
    Agree with you on anything negative you say or could ever say about Talksport though. I always had them down as a bit of a Tottenham mouthpiece, though Jim White seems a little up Everton Ambitions arse, but rarely listen to it these days

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  15. One last thing Neil, when everyone is saying we should put out our youth and squad players against the blades it is no reflection on Sheffield United who are indeed a great club it’s basically about we only have one chance of success this season and have so few players we can rely on we cannot afford injuries.
    We have accepted we are playing for ninth or tenth in the league this season and so would rather see some of our very talented young players get vital game time.
    Oh and by the way my money is on you coming straight back up next season so see you in 22/23 and please come back to this site when you do

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  16. well lets assume Arteta rests all 11 who might start v SP on Thursday, we know he won’t, but lets assume it anyway, how many youth would that see come into the side, we would likely see these guys start
    Ryan
    Chambers Mari
    Ceballos Elneny
    Pepe, Nketiah, Martinelli,

    that might see Nelson come in as a right back, young Lopez make his debut at left back and Azeez make his EPL debut in midfield
    I don’t see that happening, more likely Holding stays in the team, Chambers at right back, Cedric at left back, unless Gabriel plays CB with Mari at left back, we might see Azeez in midfield
    anyway just about 10 minutes till we find out

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  17. on sheffield utd and their struggles this season, I seen some stats earlier this season that showed over the years the teams in their second season in the EPL who struggle are the ones who were low scorers in their first season, but were sound defensively, and Sheffield Utd fall into that group big time. Whereas the teams that scored well but let in lots more seem more able to tighten up at the back in their second season, and keep scoring rate good.
    Its something Arteta should note too, that its far more important to improve your attack than it is to be trying to eek out 1-0 wins from two or three scoring chances.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Leno
    Chambers Holding Mari Saka
    Ceballos Xhaka Partey
    Pepe Lacazette Martinelli

    subs Ryan, bellerin, cedric, gabriel, Elneny, Azeez, Willian, Nelson, Nketiah

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  19. Ramsdale, Baldock, Stevens, Ampadu, Egan, Osborn, Fleck, Lundstram, Norwood, Burke, McGoldrick.

    Subs: Foderingham, McBurnie, Mousset, Lowe, Jagielka, Bogle, Brewster, Bryan, Ndiaye

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  20. Azeez is the first player from the U23 squad to be called up for a Premier League game this season.

    but Arteta gives youth a chance

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  21. Is this side a sort of dress rehearsal for the 2nd Leg Europa game?

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  22. Lacazette looks like he’s still chugging after that long run in the Prague game! If he can’t run can he once or twice make a near post move for Chambers or Saka?

    Nice to see the Mari-Holding combo again after their good form at the turn of the year. With Xhaka at LB I don’t see much control of the game so far from the Gunners. Hoping to see Nelson and Azeez COYG

    Rich
    as usual the official rewarding every Utd/opposing tumble let’s hope it all evens out in the end.

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  23. 1-0 to the Arsenal, Lacazette

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  24. A fine goal for the Gunners.

    A spell of pressure and varied attacks down the side and middle, always good to see, Ceballos coming into the game after a quiet opening spell and Lacazette involved in the move before finishing was nice. as everyone knows by now he is at his best in close spaces in and around the box.

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  25. Brilliant goal. Just need another four in the second half to put this game to bed

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  26. HT: Sheffield Utd 0-1 Arsenal

    Lacazette with the goal, no more than we deserve, we really could have this game done and dusted by now we are so much on top

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  27. 2-0 to the Arsenal, Martinelli

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  28. the bad news in that before we scored the second goal Saka had to go off injured, willian came on

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  29. elneny comes on for martinelli, why not bring on one of azeez, nketiah or nelson, oh thats right, Arteta gives youth a chance, ha ha ha

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  30. 3-0 to the Arsenal, Lacazette with his second

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  31. nketiah on for lacazette

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  32. lacazette has now scored 50 EPL goals for Arsenal in his 124 games

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  33. FT: sheffield utd 0-3 Arsenal

    Lacazette x2 and Martinelli with our goals, our first clean sheet in 15 games, a fully deserved win against a very limited opponent, roll on Thursday. The bit of bad news was Saka going off injured, hopefully its not a bad one
    xhaka played left back today

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  34. Apart from an injury to Saka ( dead leg?) a pleasing enough game, some moments of real quality, and good to see Laca recover from his mid week mare. Have always liked laca, doesnt always go for him, but he keeps on going and generally working hard.
    We might be short of creatives against Slavia, but hopefully this will boost confidence and help get the required win

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  35. sheffield utd can be relegated next weekend

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  36. Arsenal now 10pts off 4th placed West Ham with 7 games to go

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  37. And Xhaka is beyond essential for this team, really hope he isn’t off this summer.
    I don’t know what the issue with Auba is, but if he genuinely is sulking or has some sort of attitude, just make Xhaka skipper now.
    But… If there is another issue with Auba not related to his professionalism to this club, just wish him the best in dealing with it

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  38. well its clear mandy that there is no intention of making xhaka captain again, lacazette was captain tonight, bellerin the last game, its anyone but xhaka when aubameyang has been out. I’ve said it before, Arteta makes certain decisions to keep the bloggers and twitter on side, not making xhaka even temporary captain is one of them

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  39. Well, if that’s the case with Xhaka, and like you , and I am pretty sure it is, plain crazy.
    This guy is an absolute gem for this side, we are lucky he is still here.
    I wish this bunch luck replacing Xhaka if he goes this summer, might stretch Edu, Arteta, VV and our seemingly non existent scouting network slightly

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Arteta says Tierney is probably out for the rest of the season

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  41. Mandy the bloggers and twitter are pushing for xhaka to be replaced this summer by Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, and they seem to want Brighton’s vertically challenged right back Tariq Lamptey as a replacement for Bellerin.

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  42. I can’t wait for them to tell us that Emiliano Buendía is everything we thought Odegaard was, when we sign him from Norwich this summer too, ha ha ha

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  43. Arteta also said that David Luiz is out of the prague game, and that we don’t know yet about Saka, or Odegaard or Smith-Rowe but he is hopeful that Aubameyang will be back after being too ill to train yesterday

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  44. Orbinho
    @Orbinho
    · 57m
    Tonight was Mikel Arteta’s 51st Premier League game in charge which means that he matches the tally of Unai Emery.

    Emery P51 W25 D13 L13 Pts88
    Arteta P51 W22 D12 L17 Pts78

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  45. Salah-Eddine’s brother Ismail Oulad M’Hand set to be scholar at Arsenal next season
    by jeorge bird

    The brother of Arsenal youngster Salah-Eddine is set to be part of the Gunners’ scholarship intake for next season.

    Ismail Oulad M’Hand, a central midfielder, is currently playing for Arsenal U16s, having secured his move to the club in January.

    The siblings previously played for Feyenoord before making the switch to Arsenal.

    Salad-Eddine is an exciting prospect but has endured an injury hit first season in north London.

    Capable of playing in midfield or out wide, Salah-Eddine has made two appearances for the U23s but hasn’t featured since September.

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  46. Well I think I owe Thomas Partey a bit of an apology. He did alright yesterday, and good to see young Martinelli bustling about: with luck the goal should settle him a bit.

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  47. I feel the same about Partey there were glimpses of great skill yesterday although he does deliver some really short passes. Hopefully at some point we might see this gifted talent we have been promised and I’m more than happy to be proved wrong.
    I enjoyed the moment and at least Steve McNanaman looks for the positives so I am not forced to turn the sound off.
    One point on Arteta maybe if he loosened up and smiled it would translate on the pitch.

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  48. https://player.arsenal.com/video/how-slick-combinations-cut-through-blades
    ‘some of the football was pleasing on the eye’

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  49. Miguel Azeez and Joel Lopez have lessons to learn despite Arsenal first-team involvement
    by jeorge bird

    After a lengthy period without any members of the U23 squad being called up to the first-team, Miguel Azeez and Joel Lopez have both found themselves on the periphery of the senior set-up of late.

    Both players were on the bench against Slavia Prague in the Europa League, while Azeez was also named amongst the substitutes for the Premier League clash away to Sheffield United, with Lopez travelling to that game as the extra man.

    It is possible that Azeez and Lopez could make the bench again for the trip to Prague this week, but they found themselves back in the U23 side against Derby County last night.

    It can often be difficult for youngsters to readjust to being back in the U23s after sampling life in the first-team, and neither player was at their best as Arsenal secured a rather fortuitous 3-2 victory.

    Lopez, for instance, was fortunate not to get sent off, gave away a penalty and was frequently caught out of position.

    The left-back does have some admirable qualities, such as his dangerous crosses and his ability to make precisely-timed interceptions, but there is a concern that has hasn’t developed as quickly as hoped.

    It has been evident for some time that the 19-year-old is in need of a loan spell, and, despite Arsenal’s left-back issues, he doesn’t seem ready to be considered as an option for the first-team at present.

    Azeez’s situation is rather different. One of the standout prospects in the academy, there is little doubt about his superb passing range and his impressive technique.

    Yet there is one flaw in Azeez’s game which still hasn’t gone away – his tendency to lose possession at crucial moments.

    That was in evidence yesterday as an error from the midfielder resulted in Derby scoring. If he can be punished so ruthlessly at U23 level, it is safe to say that this would also be an issue on the first-team stage.

    Unlike Lopez, Azeez is ready for first-team minutes as he looks to build upon his impressive showing as a substitute against Dundalk earlier in the campaign. It is hoped, though, that he will become more defensively aware.

    Both Azeez and Lopez have a chance of succeeding at Arsenal in the long term (the former looking more likely to make an impact) but last night was a reminder that they still have some way to go in terms of their overall development.

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