Report: Arsenal 2 – 1 Sheffield United (inc. goals)

102

Result: Arsenal 2 – 1 Sheffield United
Competition: Premier League
Date: 4 October 2020
Venue: The Emirates Stadium

Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney, Ceballos, Elneny, Saka, Willian, Aubameyang, Nketiah

Subs: Runarsson, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Xhaka, Pepe, Lacazette


Arsenal took all 3 points at home against Sheffield United in a game where they dominated for most of the 90 minutes. After a turgid first half, Pepe’s 56th minute introduction inspired Arsenal to two quick fire goals from Saka and the Ivorian.

Arsenal were made to sweat a little during the last 10 minutes as McGoldrick scored one for the visitors but the home side saw out the game confidently to win another match in what has been a positive start to the season so far.

Pre-Game

After a positive mid-week result against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup, Mikel Arteta retained half of his starting line-up for a tough league home game against Sheffield United.

In defense, Cedric, Holding and Kolasinac made way for Bellerin, Luiz and Tierney while a mobile duo of Elneny and Ceballos were deployed in the centre of the park. In attack, Nketiah’s quick feet were preferred to Lacazette as he was flanked by the experience pair of Aubemeyang and Willian.

First Half

Both teams started out the game tentatively, slowly prodding the ball, looking for gaps in each other’s formation. It looked very much like a back two in a very aggressive Arsenal line-up with Luiz and Gabriel anchoring the defence while Bellerin and Tierney pushed high up. Saka looked to find space as the third central midfielder in the left hand channel while Elneny dropped back to cover for Bellerin on the right hand side.

This high risk move almost cost Arsenal a sending off as Luiz dallied with the ball as the last man and lost it to Burke who sought to win the ball. Out of panic, Luiz made a subtle tug at Burke’s jersey to allow Leno time to rush out and sweep the ball to safety. The Brazilian was lucky that the referee was lenient this time as it could have easily been a red card.

For the first 20 minutes, it was often sterile possession by Arsenal who were lively but were no match for Sheffield’s organised set up as the visitors looked to pounce on the counter with quick overlapping runs. Part of this sterile approach was due to almost exclusively playing down the flanks, especially down the left, with the gaping chasm in the central attacking area calling out for some guile and bodies.

Th drab affair was punctuated by the fact that the game registered its first attempt on target only on 27 minutes – a tame header by Nketiah. The first glimmer of excitement came ten minutes later which came from a mistake by Sheffield’s ‘keeper, Ramsdale. His low clearance was intercepted by Ceballos who laid it off for Aubameyang. The Arsenal captain striked from a distance and his curling shot was dipping dangerously before it was tipped over the bar by Ramsdale.

Sheffield’s Berge should have seen a red with a dangerously high boot on Aubameyang which required extensive medical attention but was only deemed to have earned a yellow.

By the half time whistle, the only positive for the Gunners was that they were defensively sound but they clearly needed to inject some pace and invention in attack if they were to gain the full three points.

Second Half

Emboldened by Arsenal’s blunt attack, Sheffield pushed their defensive line higher to put more pressure on the home team.

But with that came an opportunity for the Gunners 50 minutes in. Much of Arsenal’s play seemed pedestrian until Saka took the chance to roam in between the lines. From that position, he passed to Ceballos whose first time pass released Aubameyang through on goal. The captain was only inches away from contact which would have certainly been the opening goal of the match.

That moment must have sparked something in Arteta as he made a 56th minute substitution, taking off Nketiah for Pepe.

Aubameyang moved into his preferred central position, Pepe took up the right wing and Willian flitted into the hole from the left to create overloads in attack. And it was through these overloads where Arsenal made their breakthrough just minutes later.

Clever combination player by Willian, Pepe, Aubameyang and Elneny resulted in a cross from Bellerin for Saka who was lurking in the box. The young winger was left with a simple header to put Arsenal in front. 1-0

Bellerin was involved again in the next Arsenal goal just a couple of minutes later. The right back released Pepe down the wing for the Ivorian to dribble swiftly into the penalty box. The ‘keeper had no chance as Pepe expertly curled the ball into the far post to double the Gunners’ lead. 2-0

It was as if Arsenal’s play improved exponentially with an extra body in the central attacking areas. Who’d have thought?

The goals gave the Gunners an extra spring in their step and they oozed confidence as they stroked the ball around the park with Ceballos the orchestrator in possession.

Despite the comfortable groove that Arsenal were in, the visitors were not going down without a fight as they halved the deficit on 83 minutes. McGoldrick found a tiny bit of space outside the box and unleashed a wicked curler with his left foot that just evaded Leno’s grasp to make it 2-1.

Save for a dangerous McGoldrick volley with seconds to go, it was a drama-free end to the game.

The win propelled Arsenal into fourth place though for many fans, including this writer, the bigger positive was how fluid the team looked in a progressive 4-2-3-1 formation. It meant that Arsenal had more angles of attack across the pitch and was not over-reliant on building up down the wings.

Perhaps, this could be Arteta’s blueprint for future games, especially when the onus is on the team to commit to attack.

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Johnny 4 Hats

Pepe was listening to the last Arsecast then… Thanks James! So, so pleased for him. He deserved that so much. The Arteta substitution was an absolute master stroke. More proof, if we needed it, that he is a sublime leader of men.

If only we created more chances, we’d blow teams off the park. Please make that signing Vinai and Edu. My heart sank when I saw them both in the stands. Shouldn’t they be in Lyon or Madrid, sleeping in their cars outside certain players houses?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Important 3 points but unexpected lack of confidence against Sheffield. This explains why we did not create chances. At 2-0, we were supposed to want to trash them but sideway passes came back big time.

The Frog

I was sweating a bit more than i would have liked in the end, but I think it’s a sign of maturity (and Arteta’s influence) that we stay organised (and somewhat conservative) and seem to be able to see out tight games. Of course a third or fourth goal would be nice, but not conceding the 2nd one does the job.

h2k

Auba up top, flanked by Pepe and Saka changed the game. Within minutes of it happening, we were 2-0 up. Auba’s presence and movement in particular distracted the Sheffield United defence to create spaces for both our goals. Great confidence boosters for Pepe and Saka, and the squad as a whole before the interlull.

Var Will Solve The Problem

May be that was Arteta’s “Eureka” moment! Willian wasn’t offereing anything on the right but in the hole he was completely different. And Pepe just gives you that uncertainty and confusion that no one else does. It’s brilliant when it works.

Tanned arse

Yup, willian far more effective when allowed to roam

myrtle

This has been so obvious to everyone watching, I cannot understand why it’s taken Arteta so long. Willian is too slow to play out on the wing these days. But he has close control, a final pass and a shot. Not to mention great work rate. He should be in midfield from now on. It gets Pepe back into the side and everything looks 10x better.
Play your best players, it really is that simple.

lessthanthesumoftheirparts

Players in their natural positions.. who could have guessed that would work.
Feels like we’ve been calling for this front three for months! And what do you know within 5 minutes they’re two nill up cruising and the whole team looks balanced. This has to be a wake up call for Arteta.

sAMa

Didn’t think it was much of Auba’s movement. What changed everything was Pepe’s pass to Bellerin and Bellerin moving forward to cross the ball. I noticed in the first half Elneny and Ceballos made too many backward passes and that put Arsenal in too much pressure. You can’t create chances by passing the ball backwards, at least if you can’t make a direct forward pass make diagonal passes. I think it’s what Arteta corrected after the first half that improved our game a little plus the subs.

Goonerink

I think that was the reasoning behind the game plan first half, both cbs are known for having good diagonals, elneny tasked with filling in at right cb when the team is overloading on the left flank.

Tanned arse

They passed and supported depending on what was required. There were plenty of forward passes but clearly the directive is to pull the other teams forwards on to our back line and seperate them from their midfield. Those 2 bossed it

A Different George

I thought Elneny played exceptionally well. No, he’s still not a brilliant creative force, but great positioning in defending, providing the extra cover through his workrate, and always offering a safe option to pass to on attack. A hard forearm in his neck (not given because, you know, that’s football) was, I think, the only time he was dispossessed.

The Frog

I really like what I have seen from him so far this season, not spectacular but very tidy, seems good to have him back in the squad!

Gurjot

Elneny did a great Donkey’s job filling in for RB…moreover it was his run into the box that created the pass for the Bellerin run and the subsequent assist for the opener

SB Still

Now for the midfield additions through the transfer market.

CarlosLA

Auba in the center. Breakthrough! Genius!

Seriously, hopefully this sticks.

Public Elneny

Whilst we’re still lacking fluidity, it’s so important to change up our approach every now and then

Teams had pretty much figured us out with Auba on the left, we were relying on luck or individual brilliance for our goals. Playing him through the middle gives them problems they hadn’t prepared for. When teams figure this new way out, and we start to go a little stale, move him out onto the left again. Keep them guessing

Adrian

Willian will be criticized for his performance but Pepe also didn’t see much ball after scoring. Our problem is we play heavily from left and involve right side very less. I feel whether it is Willian or Pepe, it will not change much unless we get them involve which will require more creativity from midfield. Anyways good to win game

Adrian

I mean for first half performance. He was more involved in second half and played a good part in first goal. Hope Arteta starts next match with Willian-Auba-Pepe. If it doesn’t work then change it

Parisian Weetabix

Interesting that the goal came from that overload with the combination play between the two of them. As soon as they were both even at the start of the move you could just sense the level of play went up now we had two clever players playing together – even if they didn’t end up playing the key passes you can see how the defenders were drawn to that side by their presence, leaving Saka free on the near. Makes you wonder if Willian can’t play in the middle a bit more often since he seems to have the skillset… Read more »

loose_cannon

Willian was good second half, swapping between 10 and left wing. When he first came I thought he’d play in the middle and he does look better there. A front four of him, Auba, Saka and Pepe has promise.

Jack

There’s going to be a lot of fixtures over the next few months, a lot congested as well – We cannot go a whole season with just Elneny, Xhaka and Ceballos as our midfielders honestly.

Fabulous

Will probably recall Guendouzi at some point. Willock is there as well.

Fabulous

Having said that; not getting neither of Auoar nor Partey isn’t helping our top 4 ambitions at all. On the one hand I’m glad we’re not being taken for fools again (e.g. Pepe for 72m) – Auoar is nowhere near 60m nor is Partey 50m, but on the other hand the fact that we can’t identify any alternatives is worrying. Van De Beek went for 34m, to a team already stacked in midfield, that could’ve been a good solution.

Pepe The Frog

Agreed, but I don’t believe Van De Beek would have been the solution. He’s like Ramsey but with poor passing and vision. He’s a good goalscoring option to have in your midfield, but he doesn’t create enough.

santi's thigh grab

Agree, we should be scouting younger than Partey and cheaper for both. Screwy market though, some teams just trying to stay alive.

anonarse

Do we still have scouts?

Guns Up

Agree with this completely. Would rather no deal than be bullied by a smaller club yet again on price. I feel like Arteta and Edu have a plan B (or hope, at least). Arteta probably has plans B–Z. That said, I thought Elneny was quite tidy today and Ceballos was mostly excellent.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Isn’t Jorginho part of the alternatives?

santi's thigh grab

ESR as well. Willian and Saka asa well. Arteta has options.

Andy

I don’t understand how Ibrahim Sangaré went to PSV for £9 million without seemingly any competition from other clubs when it seems there’s so much upside there. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a nice to a Premier League club in the summer

Obama Young

Kroenkes won’t invest in this club, so we are going to have to go with internal solutions. Saka and Willian should be tried at attacking midfield. ESR should get a chance in the Europa group stages to show what he can do.
Obviously, it’d be better to improve by bringing in more talent, but the owners refuse to do it, so we’ve got to find internal answers.

goonerrah

10 mins of good football. The rest was dreadful.

Starting to feel a little Uni Emery like….

Artitty

To be fair, Sheffield Utd are hardly pushovers, and they defended deep. Midfield creativity is obviously needed though

goonero

Personnel is one thing and anyone can see we’re lacking there, but tactically I thought Arteta was very negative today until the early sub and formation change. Elneny playing at right back, Ceballos barely pushing beyond the centre circle. There was a chasm in midfield with little Eddie stranded in the middle. The only ball progression was left through Auba and Tierney overlapping to put in a cross for Nketiah to fight for between Sheffield’s giants or the same from the right (the two times it was worked that way) between Willian and Bellerin. It was dire football. And as… Read more »

mjc1892

Immeasurably different. We were conceding like 20 shots a game during that unbeaten run with Emery and just getting incredibly lucky. McGoldrick’s goal today is just one of those you can’t do anything about, and they’re probably the worst offensive team in the league right now, but we looked confident at the back. Especially Gabriel, who I thought was excellent. Perhaps I’m overly optimistic but I think the offensive fluidity will come once we’ve got a solid base to build from.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

You are being unfair to Emery. There is no luck over 20 games. I couldn’t even criticize Emery’s line up without getting massive downvotes at the time. Arteta, watch your back.

Reality check

Emery got his line up wrong regularly, use to make a lot of half time substitutions.

A Different George

I was especially impressed with Gabriel’s pace as a central defender, seemingly able to provide cover over the width of the pitch. He will continue to make some mistakes, but looks like a solid foundation for the next half-dozen years or more.

Gooner

To be fair with nketiah on, we basically had 10 men. Once we went 2 nil up we massively took our foot off the gas and possibly became a little too relaxed but sheffield never really threatened us

Having willian, pepe and saka on the pitch made us look dangerous. Auba stuck on the left wing first half wasn’t working and possibly leads to us being less creative.

Cm numbers look short with the regularity of games we have . Would be v worrying if no one is bought in- expect an underwhelming stop gap on loan.

Cygan’sbaldspot

It’s not pretty but we are getting results. Under Emery we would have lost or conceded a late equaliser. We’re getting points playing ugly and I trust that in time we’ll be playing attractive attacking football again. It’s kinda hard when you have no midfield and are relying on fullbacks to create everything.

Gooner

Both our goals were far from ugly and looked solid at the back. Even when they scored there wasnt any panic

goonerrah

Don’t forget Uni in his first season did ok results wise, but eventually your luck changes or you get found out.
I’m slowly seeing similarities with Arteta and Uni Emery.

I don’t know how much better Arteta is. He is an injury and a couple bad results away from where Uni was in his second season.

Reality check

We didn’t beat Sheffield last season so that’s a plus I guess..

Oregoon

With Emery that would have probably ended as a tie. More positional awareness from Arteta’s team not to mention resolve.

CarlosLA

It was pretty dreadful but you have a short memory if you think we look anything like the Emery days. We are organized, players know their roles and we are hard to break down. We offer shockingly little creativity going fwd and Arteta knows that.

Artitty

Gabriel, Bellerin and Ceballos are doing grand!

Artetas Assistant

All heart

nikoniko

Good progress. Last time round it was a draw. Today it is a win. Gabriel starts every game for me. Onwards

atom

Auba up top just adds something as he is so much more dynamic/clinical than Lacca. It sounds like Luiz is doing a great job of helping bed in Gabriel/Martinelli etc. the past 2 years and in that sense has been a good addition. He just has so many mistakes in him as a player at this point though that I really hope someone steps up enough to where we can phase him out as the year goes on. We still need to upgrade the midfield – I trust Arteta but really am not crazy about reports of us going after… Read more »

Fabulous

Get in. Another good result. Slowly but surely.

Alex

Good solid win, not spectacular but I’m more than happy. Two lovely goals – one involving 6 players in quick succession and a finish from Saka that was not as clear cut as he made it look. The second from Pepe just pure individual quality. Good Sunday.

Qutubkhan

Goal vs West Ham came from a midfielder making a run behind the defence(Ceballos). Today it was Elneny. His run off the ball for the first goal threw Sheffield into disarray. It’s so so important to have runners from midfield and it shows why we’ve chased Aouar, he can take the ball on the turn and make runs behind a defence.
Decent performance by the team, last 30 minutes(goal aside) were pretty much a training exercise.

loose_cannon

Second half performance could be a bit of a blueprint for how we should approach most of our games this season. Between Saka, Pepe, Willian and Ceballos we have enough creativity, so let’s get them on the pitch at the same time.

Ealing

The problems are if we play the same players all the time, players get tiered and we get found out

Tanned arse

Elneny and ceballos absolutely bossed that. Combined great. Setting tempo, supporting everywhere. Protecting with pace sharpness and intelligence. Seemed to take 5 minute bursts where one would dominate then the other took over. As soon as that partnership was broken we totally capitulated. Really think as a fan group we have to reassess elneny and what he brings because he’s an excellent fit in this side and certainly campared to a torriera and for me xhaka too, simply due to speed at which he works

Obama Young

Elneny is the Egyptian Ray Parlour!

pound4pound

I agree the new-look front 3 was very promising. Imagine if they got more direct, world-class service. If we sign Aouar and he’s at the quality I saw in CL last season, we’re likely a top-4 side. If we don’t sign an attacking midfielder, I think we end up in the 6-9 range.

That difference alone is worth the full transfer fee for Aouar! Get the deal done.

Qwaliteee

A good result, three points and pleased for Saka and Pepe.

My moans about an Ozil-less creativity-starved midfield, our poorly-funded transfer market woes and our disgraceful ownership are all well documented, so I’ll leave the nit-picking / home truths to the rest of you.

Fatgooner

Strange game.

It was a rubbish, boring match that was decided by 3 excellent goals. We just about deserved to win but, yet again, the midfield quality was dreadful. We have absolutely not creativity in the middle of the park. And Nketiah awful again up front.

Nice goals by Saka and Pepe and United’s was excellent too. Nine point from 4 games a good start but we need to buy by tomorrow. Our midfield simply not good enough.

Tzabo

Agreed, Nketiah is very poor

Tanned arse

‘Quality in midfield dreadful’????…..wow! Must have watched a totally different match or totally different view on what ‘quality’ is. Their directive is to dictate and boss the pattern of the game in primarily deep positions. They played with intelligence and knowhow throughout. There are 5 players ahead of them to create. Asking them to create on top of everything else they’re doing is ridiculous. They got forward maybe twice each with elneny being a major player in the first goal and ceballos playing the most creative pass of the game, one touch to auba in front of goal.

Ollie123

Gabriel was outstanding. Confident and solid, as well as contributing going forward

Tanned arse

Yup, proper defender who not only fits into the defensive structure but can win his individual battles with ease and doesn’t need protecting by others

Crash Fistfight

If only he didn’t have to keep covering for Luiz the whole game.

Tanned arse

Pepe, for me,will always deliver if you put him in positions where he can utilise his star ability of dribbling in dangerous areas and finishing rather than stuck out wide doing the job of an ordinary player.

Pepe The Frog

True. That was a typical Pepe goal. He scored plenty of those when he was at Lille. But as somebody here pointed out, our system right now without that creative midfielder doesn’t really help the right-sided attacking players.

Jeremy

A few observations. Very solid defensively (I’m going to give credit to their attacker for their goal because it was a fantastic strike). Two excellent goals from us. Really excellent. Gabriel was brilliant for the whole game and deserved a clean sheet. However, our midfield only started to work when we moved William more central and Pepe out wide to give us some dynamism. Until then we were controlled but impotent. We desparately we need a creative midfielder in the next 48 hours…make it happen Edu.

Alex

Borges and Luiz were out of this world. They cost a lot but it’s money well spent! Thank Kia, you’ve offered us jewels! Thank you Arsenal!

Biggles

Another pretty underwhelming overall performance really. The important thing is the points, but Arsenal were unspectacular before the two goals – Leno had hardly anything to do – but no great shakes in front of the opposition goal either. Sheffield Utd sneaked one in and, if we’re honest, it wouldn’t have been inconceivable for them to have equalised in injury time. I think the fairest thing to say is, good we picked up the points (albeit against a side who haven’t got any), but it’s still very much “work in progress” for Arteta and co.

Looney

Great 3 points. Watching an Arsenal match has lost its appeal though.

Gooner

Go support someone else then

Artetas Assistant

Gabriel: Not in this league

PGunner

Eh?

kaius

Imagine if we’d lost him to Utd? Him and the other Gabi are gonna be such legends here

Artetas Assistant

??

Woulda been painful. He’s cruising .

Artete Tots

Just feel our Possession Value in the first 30mins is really low.. We can’t afford to always rely on sudden quality to win our matches over the season.

What we need is consistency throughout a match. It doesn’t help that our midfield duo is still too weak to make that consistency happen anytime soon..

That said, always happy that we get a win!

Shance

I really can’t see why Saka is not a guaranteed starter at this point. Most assists last year, already made decisive contributions in two games this year. Put Auba in the middle, get the kid on the pitch from the start.

Oregoon

That’s coming if we don’t buy anyone.

Greg in Seattle

I envision the football leadership doing that calculus as they assess the market. Does he cost 30m or less, because that’s our limit? If an attacker, is he assured of being better than Saka and Martinelli? If a creative player, is he going to step straight into the XI and be better than a redeployed Saka or Willian, or even Ceballos pushed forward? If a CDM, better than a committed-to Elneny or AMN? And I think that at the sub-30 price tag, the answers to those questions are often going to be “no”, unless we are Wengerian in finding a… Read more »

Oregoon

Feel like our regrets this transfer window are down to not moving players out. Seems difficult to bring people in when we still have Guendouzi and Ozil on the team with no discernible contribution besides using up towels. We may yet see Chambers or AMN in the middle at some time.

A P

What contributions can Gwen and Ozil provide if they are conscientiously not being picked?

Oregoon

What contributions will they make if being played?

Matty Cakes

If we are gonna play a progressive 4-2-3-1 formation then at some point it would be nice to see Ozil on the bench.
I’m not saying this for the Ozil fanboys out there because I wouldn’t play him in the bigger fixtures but I think if you are trying to create chances against deep defence then he’s the best in the squad.
We ain’t shifting him and we do pay him rather well.

A P

Omitting Ozil from the squad is akin to cutting the nose to spite the face.

Finally Pepe and Bellerin combined properly and the end product was a winner. Those are the type of (open-play) goals he used to score at Lille

A little annoyed that Sheffield United’s 1st goal of their season came against us but I am glad we’re beginning to move away from a back three.

Great header by Saka too, I don’t think he’s scored one before.

Mike_14

Interesting to see a back four and I think it kinda worked. We got two good goals and I thought that we worked the ball quite nicely. Just the late goal to spoil the clean sheet but the win is most important. Leno – fine, Tierney – solid, Gabriel – I quite like him, no nonsense, Luiz – like Luiz, plays on the brink sometimes, sometimes quite good…, Bellerin – did ok, nice assist for Pepe goal, Saka – congrats on a goal and callup, I like how he plays even if he will make a mistake sometimes, Elneny –… Read more »

Teryima Adi

Three points in thrc

Teryima Adi

Three points in the kitty. Average performance

Ordnance Dave

Had to work on birthday, so couldn’t watch the match. Just got home, nice present to find out the result. Well in you gunners!

Auba

Thank Goodness!

Great win

MumbaiGooner

We looked better without Xhaka. Not to bash him, but without him the midfield doesn’t look like a ponderous left-footed elephant. He provides some cover around the left side in defence, but not enough to sacrifice the kind of mobility we saw today.

Futsboller

Yeah, really wondered why Arteta decided to bring him on for Ceballos — let Dani finish the game, or at least bring on some legs for him to disrupt play in the middle (like AMN). Elneny did well playing on the right side of the back three at times, and really covered a lot of ground — a much more mobile midfield today. Xhaka can be important for us this year, but I’d prefer to see more of this mobility going forwards. Willian was not very good today, and though I think he did get around better when given the… Read more »

Greg in Seattle

Agree, especially against this defensive setup. Xhaka more dangerous with his distribution when we are pinned back against better teams but the trade off with Elneny’s mobility, switched-on-ness, and no-nonsense tempo setting is something to consider. He was in the box and part of the first team goal, also. Ceballoneny is worth more assessment IMO.

NMArsenal

Xhaka was excluded coz there were too many left footer in back in Luiz and Gabriel. Look how Elneny went back in the RCB slot a lot.

Only One Dennis Bergkamp

I don’t think we looked good in the middle of the park, with or without him. There’s no one to open up defences, and we can’t keep playing counter attacking football, especially against teams that will sit back. Also, isn’t the whole ‘play out from the back’ predicated on being able to find balls through opposition midfields and then defences? I don’t think we have an answer to that; just hope there’s a transfer in there today. And to think we haven’t solved the holding midfield problem AND we’re letting Torreira and Guendouzi go out on loan. Hoping there’s another… Read more »

Only one Dennis Bergkamp

Great to get the three points, and very pleased for both Saka and Pepe. But don’t we look really devoid of creativity in the middle of the park? Across all 4 games, we’ve been laboured in possession with a spark here and there. Not going to use the O-word here, but we need someone to open up packed defences like Sheffield United’s.
And we have a day to find someone….

Greg in Seattle

If we don’t find someone I expect Arteta will have to reconsider just how far off Özil is from being an option.

Crash Fistfight

I might be mad, and I know it didn’t have any bearing on the result in the end, but I couldn’t understand why we decided to start lumping the ball upfield from goal kicks as soon as Sheffield United scored. I thought it made more sense to eat up the clock by passing it out from the back (you can always lump it if you’re under pressure).

Just me?

Oregoon

Pretty conservative, that is for sure. Sheffield was not showing much danger transitioning from turnovers, so I thought we would have continued to try and spread them out. We have shown that a few could passes can lead to a pretty decent scoring chance.

Paul Roberts

Sheffield came for a draw, When we scored it was all over with our counter attacker coming on.

Qwertymonster

Lots of people commenting that Arteta should go with a back 4 but it leaves us very open. Do/ Did not have the midfield for it. With Partey and Gabriel coming in, maybe the upgrade in individual quality allows for a 4231. It has to be defense first because the Arsenal team is only a little better than mid and lower table teams. And if we can still keep getting 3 points as long as we can be solid at the back it’s a win win. Maybe Arteta will use the 60 min mark to go for the kill if… Read more »