Monday, September 26, 2022

Arteta: I’ve warned the players about impressive Sheffield United

Ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup third round tie against Leeds, Mikel Arteta stressed to his players the quality of the opposition and the way they’d play under coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Having been run ragged in the first half, the Arsenal boss let rip at the break, provoking a much better second half performance and passage into the 4th round.

It was a lesson for the new manager, and for his players, and as the Gunners prepare to host Sheffield United at the Emirates on Saturday, Arteta has again made it clear the opposition are not to be underestimated.

The Blades sit in 6th place in the Premier League, four points above Arsenal, and deservedly so after what has been an impressive campaign so far.

“I’ve been very impressed,” said the Spaniard when asked about tomorrow’s opposition.

“I’ve seen a lot of games and everything is prepared. Everything they do has a real sense, they are really difficult to break down.

“The solidarity in their team is incredible, how hard they work for each other and they have very clear principles – in attack and in defence, restarts of play, set-pieces – with what they want to do.

“So it will be a very difficult test. I already warned the players today.”

Arteta also had words of praise for his opposite number, Chris Wilder.

“The work he’s done is phenomenal,” he said.

“He’s done some special things as well with some movements and characteristics of how he moves his team around, and the demands that he puts on his players.

“What I like about a manager is when I see a team and they are a real team that fights for every single ball with their attitude and behaviour, as well as their intentions for what they want to do every time.

“It’s very clear what he’s trying to do, so I have big admiration for him.”

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Hopefully this time the players listen and they should since Sheffield beat us earlier this season.


It seems so simple to me but it’s something we’ve struggled with against the lower teams for years now. If you are more talented than the opponent and work as hard as them you almost always win. If you are more talented but work considerably less hard then you almost always lose. And that is the same in all fields. In my profession I know loads of people who are super talented but have little productivity and don’t seem to get anywhere. Whereas there are a tonne of people in my industry who aren’t the brightest but give it their… Read more »

Cliff Bastin

Well those teams tend to pack 2 banks of four and let us have the ball. Even Pep’s City team has had to resort to bombarding some of them with record numbers of crosses (39!).

I wonder if one day we’ll start intentionally conceding corners just so that there’s space to counter into.


What sets Sheffield United apart from many of those teams is that most defensively minded teams struggle to get out of their shape to counter attack effectively. They end up inviting relentless pressure against top sides who can keep the ball and move it around quickly. Wilder’s team on the other hand are able to explode forward in numbers, with real quality on the flanks and men in the box. They’re also able to put teams under real pressure in midfield as we saw last time they played us. We’re going to have to bring our A game and match… Read more »


But yet they get beat quite regularly by teams below them. Just last weekend Bournemouth got hammered by Watford at home and Southampton beat Leicester at the King Power. Both are places we’ve massively struggled at over the last few years.

We need to discover a way to beat these teams. If Watford and Southampton can get these kinds of results, why do we fail season after season? I would argue a lot of that is down to matching the work rate of the opposition instead of relying on individual bits of magic to break down the opponent.


I wouldn’t get too carried away. This is still on the back end of the festive silly season. Lots of teams are running on empty post Christmas and some have injury lists as long as your arm, some players are coming back from injury and are well rested etc. But yes, there is a tendency for defensive mid table teams to get beaten by lower teams. I’m not an expert but it often looks to me like it comes down to being uneasy in possession. They would have great structure and defensive shape but struggle to be creative with the… Read more »


I was at that game and it depressed me intensely to see a rudderless Arsenal being taught basics by a a very tight and well drilled Sheffield United team…a team with a game plan and who went about executing it as per their coach’s instructions…our lot were just passing the ball in our half of the pitch aimlessly…glad to see the back of Emery.


Yes. Remember that game as one where it looked like the players were in a very bad place with Emery. Poor overall performance with a real lack of effort from the Arsenal. I knew that Emery had to go from that game on.


“It’s very clear what he’s trying to do…”
Praise him while exposing his tactics.
Mind game: 10/10


Hopefully opposing managers will soon be saying this about Arteta, and about Arsenal!


I won’t hold your breath on that.


Fine. You hold it for us. Don’t worry, we’ll let you know when you can breath.

Evang. Simon

Minimum 95 minutes of absolute concentration…..

Is it too much to ask for??‍♂️


Are the players earning enough to be motivated to put in that much effort?

Dave M

Only Ozil…?…


Have you been watching Ozil in recent matches? Why pick on him


We have been unable to deliver over two halves with Arteta 3 games in now (4 counting Leeds) I think we simply drop effort (and therefore concentration) whether its bc some players are unfit or lack ability to concentrate. And its not just down to midfield or defense. In fact attacking players like Ozil and Pepe tend to start to drop on effort closing down which leads to an overall drop and very quickly gaps start to appear. We then tend to drop deep and invite trouble. How Arteta rotates assets and critically identifies this drop in energy or concentration… Read more »

Ordnance Dave

The point is, there IS some nous behind our play now. Santori you are never happy and always doom mongering. I see green shoots from Arteta already and the team is certainly gaining control at stages in matches.


Freddy is Swedish you numbnut

The only sp*rs i like is san antonio

First of all, Freddy is a swedish. Then second, I’ve told this many times to others before, you better ignore santori at all because he either will never reply to your comment or reply it with another off topic comments. It’s a waste of your time and calories


If Emery was still around, I’d be captaining Landstrum. No disrespect for Unai but we were too open and couldn’t shut out the opposition. I had luck captaining the guys playing Arsenal


We still lack proper leadership. I did not think Aubameyang was a good selection for captain.

Arteta also looks woolly headed in this respect.

I would prefer the captain to be appointed for function over example.

Sokratis IMO should be captain bc he’s been fairly consistent in defense but also from his position he is better able to dictate and organise us in defensive phases of the game. If not IMO Leno.

Thereafter we can have Auba or indeed Laca as vice captains to motivate and orchestrate the attacking phase, lead by example.

But function must come first.


Am I the only person who doesn’t care about this game or the rest of our Premier League matches this season? Who gives a damn whether or not we beat Sheffield United? We’re too good to go down but not good enough to get top four. This game is pretty pointless as far as I’m concerned.

Our only REAL chance for glory is winning the Europa League. And maybe the FA Cup too.


Sorry Fats, upticked you when I meant to do the opposite…fat finger syndrome…OK I know the way out, thanks…


I think you are. We are definitely not too good to go down.

Mesut O’Neill

Yeah I too, don’t give a damn if we lose every game.
28 points should keep us up right ??‍♂️


If players and manager had the same opinion as you, we would go down the ladder, belive me.


Ludicrous position to take considering we still have 16 games to go. We need to push on 3 fronts. a) League. It will be difficult to get into CL but at very least a Europa spot finish will ensure some stability even if it may not convince some of our top assets to stay on in the summer. b) Europa competition is always a risk to bank on (as can be seen by last season) Its foolish to put all eggs in one basket. But a win of course may be the best route into CL. c) FA cup. We… Read more »

Paul Roberts

Have you forgotten St Totteringham’s Day Fats???


In a way, as far as the premier league is concerned, this season is gone. Drill the team, Win a few games, and hope to bring in the Europa League Cup.


It’s not over until the “fat” lady sings.

Welcome back Fats. It’s been obvious for a while that some imposter had the real Fatgooner under lock and key somewhere. How did you manage to escape from whoever has been writing those fairly optimistic posts?


He needs to start chalking points. We haven’t even been able to get past Palace (albeit certain extenuating circumstances courtesy of VAR). If we don’t finish in europa spots at very least, we will have a very difficult summer. As is even if we do, we will likely be prey to bigger clubs coming in for key assets. Add that to 20m back loaded on the erratic (over paid) Pepe and (non existent this season relatively untested) Saliba, we will not have the sort of budget to add the quality we want. As is this window it looks like we… Read more »


Its all about work rate with Sheffield. they will keep coming at you.

We have to match their hard work.

I suspect we won’t so rotating in the right players at critical junctures (usually 45-55 minutes in) will be key.

We also have to simply take our chances better to establish ‘psychological control’ on the game. Laca can hopefully nab some goals and play in Martinelli, Pepe or Nelson.

Paul Roberts

Santori, your first post was good (nice and concise) and now these?? Length does matter mate! 🙂


Freddy is Swedish


Here is how we win: Sheffield United plays a very traditional, tight defence with two fours laying with little space between. They will play very defensively at the Emirates, and not attack with many players. The way to get through is by using our dribblers. In a 4-2-3-1 system, the offensive three must be technical players. I hope we will play Ceballos -Özil – Pepe here. The plan will be that Pepe will bypass his midfielder, then draw more players towards him, but release the ball to Özil before he is overmanned. Özil will quickly play Ceballos or the single… Read more »

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