Arsenal v Sheffield United: the team…

by Bulldog Drummond

As we started to put this little piece together the story emerged that “Blades agree £23.5m deal for Liverpool striker Brewster”.  That is from the BBC.

Sheffield United have always been a difficult team for us to beat in the Premier League.  We’ve played them eight times, won two, lost two, and drawn the other four.  We’ve scored 10 they have six.

The BBC have come up with a couple of stats for us…

  • Arsenal are winless in their past three league games against Sheffield United (D1, L2), with their most recent victory in 2006 – although they did beat them in an FA Cup quarter-final in June.
  • The Blades have gone 10 league matches without a victory away to Arsenal since beating them 1-0 at Highbury in August 1971 (D2, L8).

And you remember all those negative pieces they come out with all the time when Arsenal are not doing so well, well today they come up with the fact that Arsenal “are unbeaten in their last 40 home league matches against sides starting the day in the relegation zone (W38, D2), with their last such defeat coming against West Ham in April 2007.”

Plus it seems we have the second best conversion rate of shots of any team in the League at the moment, which is not bad.

Here is the full league table after all of yesterday’s games

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Everton 4 4 0 0 12 5 7 12
2 Leicester City 3 3 0 0 12 4 8 9
3 Liverpool 3 3 0 0 9 4 5 9
4 Chelsea 4 2 1 1 10 6 4 7
5 Leeds United 4 2 1 1 9 8 1 7
6 Newcastle United 4 2 1 1 6 5 1 7
7 Aston Villa 2 2 0 0 4 0 4 6
8 Arsenal 3 2 0 1 6 4 2 6
9 Crystal Palace 4 2 0 2 5 7 -2 6
10 Tottenham Hotspur 3 1 1 1 6 4 2 4
11 Manchester City 3 1 1 1 6 7 -1 4
12 West Ham United 3 1 0 2 5 4 1 3
13 Manchester United 2 1 0 1 4 5 -1 3
14 Brighton and Hove Albion 4 1 0 3 8 10 -2 3
15 Southampton 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
16 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 1 0 2 3 7 -4 3
17 West Bromwich Albion 3 0 1 2 5 11 -6 1
18 Sheffield United 3 0 0 3 0 4 -4 0
19 Burnley 3 0 0 3 3 8 -5 0
20 Fulham 3 0 0 3 3 10 -7 0

So what team shall we put out, I might hear you ask if I were standing closer…

MSN, who I don’t think we have quoted before for a lineup have us to win 3-1 with a line up of…


Holding, Luiz, Tierney;

Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles;

Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang.


Sports Mole offer up


Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Bellerin, Xhaka, Elneny, Maitland-Niles;

Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang


The Star in their coverage ask, “Are any tickets available?” and they dutifully answer…

“No. All Premier League games are currently being played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”  I thought it was rather good of them to tell us. Someone might not have noticed.

Unfortunately, they then forgot to give us a team.  But Talk Sport obliged with


Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka

Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang

The Daily Canon is of a similar mind but with a little variation


Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Bellerin, Ceballos, Xhaka, Saka

Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang

And the transfer news from the Daily Mail says, “Lucas Torreira undergoes Atletico Madrid medical as Arsenal midfielder closes in on season-long loan deal with option to buy for £22m”

The actual team seems to be


Gabriel, Luiz, Tierney, Bellerin,

Elneny, Ceballos, Saka,

Willian, Nketiah, Aubameyang


Some sites are whipping up a big fuss on the internet about Pepe not playing, but the predictors above have generally gone for Willian.

34 Replies to “Arsenal v Sheffield United: the team…”

  1. Actual team is as expected

    Gabriel, Luiz, Tierney, Bellerin,

    Elneny, Ceballos, Saka,

    Willian, Nketiah, Aubameyang

    Lee Mason is the PGMOL official with slope duties.

    He missed an opportunity to send Luiz off for a shirt pull that Alan Smith was braying over.

    Blades using pace to try to upset the playing from the back that is Arsenals want. They also use whatever means to slow down Saka. Looks like a good game in poor weather conditions.

  2. Sander Berg jumps off the ground and plants his studs on Aubas ankle. It should be a red VAR does f all to see if the tackle is red!!

  3. Half time for our Ladies as well as the men. We are playing Bristol City who we beat 11-1 last season. It has been a different story so far today. Bristol took the lead in the seventh minute following a dreadful pass by the usually reliable Leah Williamson. We have huffed and puffed for the rest of the half but time and time again our passing has been off. We finally equalised three minutes before the break when Nobbs scored her third in consecutive games. All to play for in the second half and surely we can’t be as bad in the second half can we?

  4. @Menace,

    the idiots on french TV are so anti-Arsenal, it is ridiculous. for 5 minutes, instead of commenting the game, they spent a good 5 minutes telling the viewers how Luiz has no place in the team, the defence is in shambles, I mean for 5 freaking minutes….

    They did however point out that the agression in Auba should have been a red card, and did mention it at halftime again – this time it was Emmanuel Petit who brought it up

    Ah yes. Sheffields defense is one of the best in the PL, they did say that as well….

  5. Two beautiful goals in 3.5 mins!! first one after a series of intricate passing Bellerin lobs a cross for Saka to plant in the roof of the net. The second was another Bellerin one two to Pepe who accelerated into the Blades box and left footed it into the far post corner.

    Good momentum and now the pundits are a little quieter.

  6. How the No 17 McGoldrick is not been carded is an absolute tragedy!! He elbowed Elneny in the throat, kicked Ceballos a few time and then kicks Elneny from behind without any contact with the ball. Lee Mason has a word!!!! what a fcuking joke of a referee he is.

  7. Sods Law states that the twat that should probably been sent off scores against us!!

    McGoldrick scores for the blades after a long period of shaving the grass on our pitch!!

  8. Lee Mason shows his true colours. Sheffield United pressure the Arsenal goal in time added on and their keeper comes forward as well. The ball eventually falls to an Arsenal player and then to Auba who is clear to run toward the empty goal but not with this official. The final whistle goes at the right time but not at what is the correct time.

    It is usual to allow time beyond the designated amount if it will result in an obvious goal ( but not in the PGMOL Atsenal Laws).

  9. Sheffield United, like Burnley yesterday, are basically a super-fit pub team, who get results by kicking opponents as far as the ref allows. Today the ref let them get away with loads of fouls. Instead of the one yellow card and the occasional telling-off,
    they should have had 2 red cards and at least 3 yellows.

  10. Watching the referees give Martial a red and not use VAR to see both Lamela’s forearm to Martial’s face and then his slow motion dive to the pitch was bile producing. I am a fan of neither team but if Martial was to get a red then Lamela deserved at least a red and then a yellow for his actions.

    For the life of me, I can’t understand how the league uses VAR.

  11. @GGG

    PGMOL are a total incompentent bunch of clowns unable to grasp the rules of football and, worse, unable to apply the rules they think they know systematically. Most of them have issues with basic calculus (plus, minus).

    I just don’t understand why the owners put up with these clowns. Sure, some teams like Arsenal are being regularly robbed, but what about Manure today ? Not that I care for them, but that red card was a typical Arsenal red card.

    Incidentaly, the idiots on french TV were losing their mind about it. It was so funny hear them complain about the injustice and hoe Manure were ‘suffering’….welcome to our Arsenal world you clowns….

  12. And what about Evra after the match ?

    Irrespective of whether his extreme critique of the United performance is valid or not I find it very telling the way he was devastated to have to sit there and tear the Team and the Club he loves apart. He went as far as to say, much like Sanchez wanted to tear his United contract up after one training session, he wants to tear up his SKY contract so he didn’t have to sit there destroying the Club he loves.

    Contrast that to how our ex players simply cant wait to to rip in to Arsenals players, Managers and the Club at every opportunity. They love it.

  13. Luke Shaw should have had a straight red late in the game , knew what he was doing and he was no where near the ball .
    A red card could also have made an example of taking one for the team and stop a lot of those type of tackles happening , was that a referees discretion decision?

  14. Man Utd 1 – 6 Spurs

    Now we have Aston Villa 5 – 1 Liverpool after 58 mins. Amazing.

  15. It’s finished Aston Villa 7 – 2 Liverpool and that’s enough for us to move above Liverpool back in to the top 4. Amazing stuff.

  16. Maybe its what goes around comes around finally @Nitram. Dirty elbow Mane got covid. Was watching with a Liverpool supporter and manchester united supporter made my day 😂

  17. Well, Pool! is thus out of the invincible race…
    This leaves only Villa and Everton.

    Amazing season start.

    And now we’ve got a 2 week break.

  18. GoingGoingGooner

    They could of indeed, but even so it was one of those games where so many things went their way. As you say there were the 3 deflections that went their way. Also I think there were 3 of the narrowest of narrow offside calls that also went their way.

    But as you suggest Villa could of scored even more, hitting the bar a squandering some decent chances.

    Villas statistics make interesting reading. They had 18 shots, which is well above average. 11 of those on target, which is also above average. But even so, scoring 7 from those 18 shots is extremely unusual. The PL average, in fact Villas average, is a goal every 7 shots, but today Villa scored every 2.5 shots.

    That suggest either Villas strikers are much better than we previously thought, or Liverpool have an awful goalie, or Villa had a bit of good fortune, or most likely a bit of each.

    Either way quite a remarkable match with quite remarkable performances, for totally opposite reasons, from both sides.

  19. GoingGoingGooner
    4 October 2020 at 17:05

    You are spot on with the PGMOL not using the pitch side monitor. It is against the Laws of the Game for a third party outside the field of play to referee the match. The third party can advise the referee and the referee must use the monitor to make the decision.
    In my opinion Lamela should have had a red card on two accounts – for elbow to Martial face and for simulation of a dead chicken. Martial should have had a yellow card and the official should be banned from officiating football or any sport.

    The Arsenal game as shown on MOTD was without any reference to the clear red card that should have been given for the off the floor dive onto Auba’s ankle.

  20. Just a thought , maybe the style of football Klopp has Liverpool playing is not sustainable , 3 really tough games in 6 days . High press and lots of movement , most short burst runs done at least 80 to 90% effort and no Mane playing .

  21. Steve Vallins

    Absolutely spot on. Mrs N and I had said exactly that during the game.

    Even the commentators, never the sharpest tools in the box, mentioned how ‘heavy legged’ the Liverpool player’s seemed, but without making the observation on their style of play that you have suggested.

    It’s not a criticism, despite yesterday’s stuffing Liverpool are still going to be the team to beat, but the kind of intensity required for them to impose their game on the opponent must be exhausting.

    What with the intensity of games due to COVID we may see more of this, especially for the elite teams having to play CL games as well.

    Only time will tell if it has a real impact over the season or whether they find a way to deal with it. It may mean sacrificing the lesser competitions.

  22. @ Nitram
    As Covid lockdowns came in back in March Liverpool were struggling and hadn’t won in 3 or 4 games and it would have been interesting to have seen how the season would have panned out if it continued . They had amassed a good points lead at that stage of the season and then the intensity dropped out there game maybe because the knock out stage of the CL had returned and games coming every 3 to 4 days
    My feeling is you cannot play this type of high energy game without continual rotation of players , it takes its toll on the players eventually , Klopp has had 2 good seasons and is now going into his 3rd , we wait and see what happens .

  23. I seem to remember that in his Dortmund days they also suffered a break down when fatigue crept in later in de season. Now they had a big advantage that looked enough but I do think that if theys eason had continued wihtout interruption their final lead wouldn’t have been so big.

  24. There was a lot of advantage that was given last season including the VAR decisions. This season there is a better understanding of how Klopp plays and the seldf admitted risks he takes. Villa exploited them all and Klopps stubborness got him the wake up call.

    VAR started reasonably this season but has reverted to type with officials not asking for replay on pitch side monitors. This makes the game subject to lawsuits for being ‘not as advertised’ because of not adhereing to the Laws of the Game.

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