Sheffield United v Arsenal: who can come out of this alive?

By Bulldog Drummond

As is the media’s tradition when Arsenal have a bad result, the knives are out for the players and the manager, with ceaseless negative commentary.  It is an absolute fundamental of these writers that they have no impact on events, they only report, but that seems very unlikely.

Sheffield United have a poor home record with only Fulham’s being worse (and that just by goal difference).

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
19 Sheffield United home 15 3 1 11 10 22 -12 10
10 Arsenal away 15 6 3 6 22 17 5 21

By itself, this should indicate an easy Arsenal win, but the media assault upon Arsenal has been so intense that much will depend on how the players are coping with the attacks.  Reactions can be anything from worry over making a single mistake that will cause the player to be hounded by the press and assaulted on antisocial media, through to anger which can boil over into reckless fouls.  Either way, the media get what they have predicted; a poor Arsenal display.

Of course, it is necessary for the media to continue to attack Arsenal, in order to avoid even a second’s consideration that they might be to blame, with their endless criticism, sniping, and attacks bound to have an impact on even the most hardened player.  In such circumstances, the apparent signing of Balogun is little short of a miracle.

After a run of five without defeat, Arsenal have now had four games without a win (two draws and two defeats), but the most distressing fact is that in the last seven league games Arsenal’s results are three wins, two draws and two defeats, at a time when every point was vital to try and climb into the top six and get an automatic European place.

14 Feb 2021 Arsenal v Leeds United W 4-2 Premier League
21 Feb 2021 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-1 Premier League
28 Feb 2021 Leicester City v Arsenal W 1-3 Premier League
06 Mar 2021 Burnley v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
14 Mar 2021 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-1 Premier League
21 Mar 2021 West Ham United v Arsenal D 3-3 Premier League
03 Apr 2021 Arsenal v Liverpool L 0-3 Premier League

During this spell we have scored 13 goals.

Over the same period of time Sheffield United’s Premier League results have yielded just one win and two goals.

15 Feb 2021 West Ham United v Sheffield United L 3-0 Premier League
20 Feb 2021 Fulham v Sheffield United L 1-0 Premier League
28 Feb 2021 Sheffield United v Liverpool L 0-2 Premier League
03 Mar 2021 Sheffield United v Aston Villa W 1-0 Premier League
06 Mar 2021 Sheffield United v Southampton L 0-2 Premier League
14 Mar 2021 Leicester City v Sheffield United L 5-0 Premier League
03 Apr 2021 Leeds United v Sheffield United L 2-1 Premier League

Anything but a clear and easy win is liable to cause major eruptions in the media.

The collapase of Sheffield United is particularly extraordinary when one considers the final table of last season

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 38 32 3 3 85 33 52 99
2 Manchester City 38 26 3 9 102 35 67 81
3 Manchester United 38 18 12 8 66 36 30 66
4 Chelsea 38 20 6 12 69 54 15 66
5 Leicester City 38 18 8 12 67 41 26 62
6 Tottenham Hotspur 38 16 11 11 61 47 14 59
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 15 14 9 51 40 11 59
8 Arsenal 38 14 14 10 56 48 8 56
9 Sheffield United 38 14 12 12 39 39 0 54

Injuries, the psychological impact of the poor start, some bad luck… all of these factors and more of the same seem to be the general reason given for the club’s collapse, and after 12 league defeats in the first 13 games (the other was a draw) their season was pretty much dead and buried.

Chris Wilder finally left last month, but under the caretaker manager Chris Heckinbottom it has been more of the same in terms of results.

More later…

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4 Replies to “Sheffield United v Arsenal: who can come out of this alive?”

  1. It’s pretty fortunate none of the expert “journalists” bother to do any research. Had they done so they would have spotted that recently Sheffield Utd only lost 0-2 at home to Liverpool which would clearly indicate to the media “experts” that this makes them a far better side than Arsenal and that it should in fact be us in 20th and that we are therefore “lucky” to be where we are…………

  2. Mikey i give you the benefite off the doubt that you are truely an Arsenal supporter. If not of cause i understand you rediqueless and unfounded comparison between Arsenal and Sheffield. But if a truely supporter you do exactly what Tony so accurately pointed out our foes doing namely bombarded Arsenal, there manager and players with negatism to brake them dawn. Please refrain from that or my i in all humbleness ask you to refrain from this. You surely dont help us at all in this way.

  3. @ K F

    I’m guessing English isn’t your first language but it’s certainly better than my second language.

    What I was saying was that I hate the way the media say bad things about Arsenal which are incorrect.

    I love Arsenal and UA. I believe supporters should support! I hate negativity and criticism.. it only hurts the club. I think we agree with each other.

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