Sheffield Untidy v Arsenal – the lineup, the injuries and the chitterchatter

By Bulldog Drummond.

There’s an amusing preview to this match on the BBC website in which “Lawro” says “Sheffield United do not look like they have got a goal in them at the moment” and then goes on to predict a scoreline of 1-1 with Sheffield winning on penalties.

Rather quaintly Lawro (not his real name)  says,  “Some people point the blame at former manager Arsene Wenger, but I don’t agree with that. Even his worst Gunners team would beat this current Arsenal side, easily.”

Actually Arsenal knew from at least April 2018 that Mr Wenger would be leaving, so that notion of a bad side doesn’t really hang together.  But the criticism on the BBC website is pretty much what we see everywhere now, as in, “There just seems a total lack of a cohesive plan at the club when it comes to things like scouting, recruitment and contracts, and I feel sorry for manager Mikel Arteta, because none of it is his fault.”

Which seems to put all the blame on Emery, which is actually not very fair – unless  “Lawro” (not his real name) is blaming the placard waving boo-boys.  However to hedge their bets the BBC are saying that even if Arsenal win, they will still have plenty of problems.  It is the journalists’ theme of the day and indeed was put up on the chalkboard in the now re-opened Toppled Bollard pub so everyone knew what line to follow.

Here are a couple of more interesting points from the BBC site today


  • Arsenal have progressed from 13 of their past 15 FA Cup quarter-final matches, losing in this run in 2010-11 against Manchester United and 2015-16 against Watford.
  • Eddie Nketiah has scored in all four of his domestic cup appearances this season for Leeds United and Arsenal, netting four goals. In his career, Nketiah has scored six goals in eight domestic cup games (FA/League Cup), averaging a goal every 83 minutes.

Sportsmole give us as a line up


Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Holding, Saka;

Xhaka, Guendouzi;

Nelson, Willock, Aubameyang;



The Standard, eccentric as ever, tell us that “Sheffield United vs Arsenal is scheduled for a 1pm BST kick-off ” – as if that might change, perhaps if there is a volcanic eruption or an invasion of poisonous bat-lizards.  They then fail to make a team selection

The Telegraph gives us to win 2-1, which is a nice change, but they too won’t venture into a team selection either.

The 4th Official website goes with

Emiliano Martinez;

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac;

Reiss Nelson, Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka;

Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette


I am not sure about putting Auba on the beach – unless he really is showing signs of fatigue.

The Hard Tackle says that the manager will be conserving strength for the more important match against Norwich City, although I would have thought Arteta would fancy trying to rescue to the season by emulating Mr Wenger with a Cup win.  They go with the option of giving Bellerin “a breather” and so come up with…


Mustafi, Luiz, Holding;

Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Willock, Saka;

Nelson, Lacazette,



Personally I would not drop Xhaka, as these last two have done.  I was never part of the “get rid of him” fanaticism which is always endemic within Arsenal (Mustafi, Holdin, Luiz have all had it) and he seems to me to be doing a really good job, and is not looking tired.

Actually on that subject, Arsenal core have two headlines on Xhaka

“Granit Xhaka reveals talks with Mikel Arteta that convinced him to stay” and “Granit Xhaka’s agent confirms his exit from Arsenal”.  Pesky things these players.  Always changing their minds.

But Xhaka is reported injured in some quarters.  However Physioroom only has these injuriees

Player Injury Detail Back Playing?
Calum Chambers Knee Injury Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury – ACL Injury 29/08/2020 Ruled Out
Lucas Torreira Di Pascua Ankle/Foot Injury Fibula Fracture 07/07/2020 50%
Cedric Soares Head/Face Injury Broken Nose 01/07/2020 50%
Bernd Leno Knee Injury Knee Ligament Injury Ruled Out
Gabriel Martinelli Knee Injury Meniscus Tear Ruled Out
Pablo Mari Villar Ankle/Foot Injury Ankle Ligament Injury Ruled Out

Here’s Sportskeeda’s line up

Emiliano Martinez,

Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac,

Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock,

Mesut Ozil,

Reiss Nelson, Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah

It’s on BT Sprout, there are updates on 5 Live, but the best commentary comes on Arsenal TV.





21 Replies to “Sheffield Untidy v Arsenal – the lineup, the injuries and the chitterchatter”

  1. I like to think that we can win this one in normal time,if we stop passing the ball all the way back to the keeper.
    I like to see use the width of the wings , and whip in early crosses into the box. We have players with speed and the technique to score.
    Up the Gunners !

  2. A beautiful message to be shared.

    A man, who regularly attended meetings with his friends, suddenly without any notice stopped participating.

    After a few weeks, one very cold night the leader of that group decided to visit him.

    He found the man at home, alone, sitting in front of a fireplace where a bright and cozy fire burned. The man welcomed the leader. There was a great silence.

    The two men only watched the dancing flames around the logs that crackled in the fireplace.

    After a few minutes the leader, without saying a word, examined the embers that formed and selected one of them, glowing most brightly of all, removing it to the side with a pair of tongs. Then he sat down again.

    The host was paying attention to everything, fascinated. Before long, the lone ember flame subsided, until there was only a momentary glow and the fire soon went out.

    In a short time what was previously bright light and heat had become nothing more than a black and dead piece of coal.

    Very few words had been spoken since the greeting.

    Before preparing to leave, the leader with the tongs picked up the useless coal and placed it again in the middle of the fire. Immediately, the ember was rekindled, fueled by the light and heat of the burning coals around him.

    When the leader reached the door to leave, the host said: “Thank you for your visit and for your beautiful lesson. I’ll return to the group soon.”

    Why is the group extinguished…..?

    Very simple:
    Because each member that withdraws takes fire ans heat from the rest.

    It’s worth reminding group members that they are a part of the flame.

    It’s also good to remind us that we are all responsible for keeping each other’s flame burning and we must promote the union among us so that the fire is really strong, effective and lasting.


    It doesn’t matter if sometimes we are bothered by so many negative messages that reach the chat. What matters is to be connected. We are here to meet, learn, exchange ideas or simply to know that we are not alone.

    Let’s keep the flame alive.


    Life is beautiful with like minded friends…

    Up the Gunners !

  3. Hi Brickfields.

    I heard this story a while ago and have oftened wonder what would the leader do in a central heated home.

    I can’t think of anything, can you?

    Best wishes


  4. Here’s the line up. I am not sure of the exact positioning of each player but I think this is about right….

    Maitland Niles, Mustafi, David Luiz, Kolasinac
    Tierney, Xhaka, Willock
    Saka, Lacazette Pepe

  5. so the ball in our net on a corner but ruled offside…interesting…no on saw the Sheffield player with both hands holding Xhaka down so he couldn’t jump

  6. A kick on Lacas ankle calle a tiny touch by the pundit!! It was a clear pen yet there were inquisitions galore. There was insinuation that Laca dived.

    Pepe scores the pen, 1-0 to the Arsenal

  7. Surprised by the fair officiating and immediate decision. This might be a good game.

  8. Basham not carded for his kick on Laca!! Far too many Blade professional fouls allowed to go uncarded. The pull backs on players seem to go unchecked by the pundits and many seem to get a laugh rather than admonishment.

  9. A tidy display so far. We are starting to play a wee bit better in the midfield than our previous matches.

    We have had few problems playing out from the back but it is interesting to note the difference between us and say…Man City. When pressed they are able to by-pass it in three passes. It takes us at least double that and by then there is no quick counter. I surmise this will come in time.

    Pepe looks lively today, as does Tierney.

  10. Difficult watching the biased officiating but worse is the Macamanaman shriek like a damaged parrot, calling all the plays for the Blades and all he could say when a high leap into Ceballos resulted in a foul is ‘unfortunate’.

    The jump with studs showing into the mid riff of an opponent is a foul and a yellow card at the least.

  11. Great win despite the odds. The Man U goal keeper seems more like an unsporting rule than ever.

  12. I wouldn’t say that Sheffield United were dirty but their best chances came from set pieces where they tried to bowl over our players. McBurnie was an obvious target man but he uses his hands to jump off our defenders and was never called.

    Our counters are getting better. Tierney adds a lot to the left and Pepe was solid today. We are still a bit light in midfield…If we are not playing Oezil because of his lack of defense, I would hope that we would be much better defensively or physically without him and I am uncertain of this. We definitely lack his vision on the pitch.

    All in all, a good, professional performance. Up the Guns!

  13. Woo Hoo , Hoo ! Well done lads . Much better going foward , but gets me nervous when we defend.

  14. @ Charles – Never really thought about it as we here never worry about such things !
    Depending on what organisation the leader is from , but am sure he would made an offer the older guy couldn’t refuse !

  15. II thought that I was watching a replay of Stoke City with the amount of foul play in the game. Perhaps we will draw Bolton in the Semi final

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