A much-changed Arsenal cruise past Sheffield United

It was nice to see Arsenal play a very solid game to beat Sheffield United yesterday, with a much-needed clean sheet to give us added confidence for the big game in Prague on Thursday. But Arteta had to make many changes due to the absence of Luiz, Tierney, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe and Aubameyang, but the shuffled line-up played admirably to cheer Arteta up.

The boss said after the game: “We had a really strong performance. A clean sheet which was needed after a long run without it. We were very efficient, intelligent and composed with the ball, which I am very pleased with. We showed dedication, understanding and it was the right attitude so overall, I’m very happy.

“A win always brings confidence, better spirits, better atmosphere and better energy and we’ll need all that on Thursday to go through.”

In the absence of our captain, it was Lacazette that yet again stepped up with two goals, an excellent team effort for his first and a great poachers goal for the icing on the cake, and Arteta is hoping he can carry on this form for the rest of the campaign. He said about the first one: “It was a typical Arsenal goal. I think it was really high quality and the finish from Laca and the movement was really good as well. He’s playing really well at the moment, scoring goals and he’s full of confidence, so he just needs to keep going.

“Yeah, he’s in great form with a high level of confidence and he needs to keep doing it right up until the end of the season because if he’s able to continue this run, it will mean that the team is doing well and we are winning football matches. ”

The other goal was Gabriel Martinelli’s first goal for 14 months, and Arteta was very pleased but pleaded for patience with him and our other youngsters. “Yes, I am [delighted]. I’m asking you to be patient because we have a lot of players who are 19/20-years-old and if you compare where we are with them with other Premier League clubs, then we’re at the top end. It’s not common. Gabi has the right path and the right development. He’s got an agreeable attitude and talent and he’s got all of his future in front of him. We have to manage that and try to give him the right amount of minutes and the games for him to develop and continue to get better.”

So a good win for our confidence ahead of Thursday, despite our enforced changes. It was our first clean sheet in 12 games too, so hopefully all the planets will align in our favour on Thursday…

Tags Arteta presser Shefield United


  1. A J says:

    Our general tempo was much better.

    Our play throughout the 90+ min’s was pacey, direct, quicker between the lines with intent/purpose.

    The defending was for the most part no nonsense.

    All the from the first minute – i.e. no slow start !

    Caveat – against a very, very poor Sheff’ Utd side who offered virtually nothing.

    But to be fair, yes, we were a lot better on the day.

    So pleased for Martinelli.

    1. instrooments says:

      Spot on AJ… Sheffield Utd offered nothing, no pressing, sloppy passes and all… I just hope the win brought back some confidence with it..

      Ceballos in CAM is a lot better than DM, he expresses himself better.

      Martinelli should own the left wing for now and he’s also good in the air,

      we need all attacking threats on the pitch on Thursday…slavia is a different challenge to Sheffield Utd, I hope they don’t defend deep for a Goaless draw

      1. ozziegunner says:

        If they do, it is important to start fast with the right attacking players to get the first goal, while keeping discipline in defense at the back.
        Martinelli, Lacazette and Pepe to start.

        1. Yossarian says:


  2. Alex says:

    Pepe is always frustrating. Looses simple balls and gives silly passes but produces most of the time. He is our greatest goal threat after Auba and put more shift than Auba. It is better playing him and cope with his errors than playing a William that keeps the ball so much but takes no risk. How do you score or assist if you only try the easy passes. That is the reason we sometimes have sterile possessions moving between midfield and our defenders because no body wants to loose the ball.

    1. reddb10 says:

      Totally agree with you Alex. Pepe should be given more game time. The more he plays the more likely we will be to see his brilliance shine through.
      Along with Martinelli they should have the wings and even interchange like Robben and Ribery used to do at Bayern.
      Partey was great last night and Laca seems better without Auba on the pitch.

  3. Khadii says:

    Chambers is much more direct than the football-brain-dead Bellerin. I agree we can do better in the RB position, but Chambers and Cedric are definitely better than Bellerin. Mari is way more calm and composed than Gabriel and Luiz. Its no coincidence that we kept our 1st clean sheet in 15 games with him back in the team as we’ve become accustomed to those clean sheets with him in the past.

    Martinelli if fit, should play the remaining games. Matt Ryan should be given a chance. Hell even Runnarsson got more chances. Its at decisions like this that Arteta frustrates. When u make Leno feel undisputed, he comes up with brain farts. Look how Henderson has been given his chance at Man Utd.

    Arteta should play same team on Thursday, except with Saka’s injury, i’d prefer Nelson in place of Willian.
    Willian usually comes on, and even when opposition defenders are tired, he becomes anonymous. SMH

    1. Bur says:

      Agree Leno is a liability Willian should have played his last game of the season last night, sorry he offers very little. I have always maintained that Arsenal are way better with a predominantly British back line, no airs or graces tackle hard and clear the ball without hesitation!! I could be wrong but look at our glory years, Bold, Keown, Adams, Winterburn, Cole, Campbell, etc,and then the creative players midfield and upfront. A teams foundation is its defence

  4. Bur says:

    Have to say Sako’s form has dipped as well as Auba, I would leave them both at home on Thursday evening and bring Martinelli and the young lad Balogun. Why not? It is obvious that Auba is not captain material and hasn’t kicked a ball since his new contract.

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