I have to admit to feeling disconsolate after last weeks draw against Crystal Palace. Not because we played badly or gave the game away but because ‘lady luck’ was definitely against us in the way, Torreira went off at half-time, Palace scored and how Aubameyang went into a tackle that got him sent off. In all honesty Aubameyang was probably just as disconsolate as me and hopefully he still had some Xmas chocolate too.
So, today we begin a run of three games without our captain and main goal scorer. In yesterday’s post, Rocky discussed how others will need to step up to the plate and start putting the ball in the back of the net. Since playing under Arteta, Aubameyang was also working hard defensively and so we’re going to miss that part of his game too.
But, as others have discussed, the opportunities are there for Martinelli, Nelson, Lacazette and Nketiah to make it hard for Arteta to leave them out. I’m looking forward to seeing them at some point. Last week I suggested that Lacazette would have found his scoring boots, but he hadn’t …….. come on Laca, do it in front of the home crowd.
There will be late tests for Kolasinac and Torreira. Torreira will be a huge miss as was evident in the second half against Palace, no-one else can do what he does as effectively. Pepe or Nelson to start? Arteta has been saying great things about Nelson and that Pepe needs to improve in training.
Sheffield United have a great away record sadly, although they have lost in their last two outings and their record against London teams isn’t good. Clutching at straws there because we need a win and having sent The Emirates into delirium against Man U I’m hoping it’s three points for the good guys today.
Arteta had this to say about Sheffield United
“I’ve been very impressed. Everything they do has a real sense, they are really difficult to break down.
“The solidarity in their team is incredible, how hard they work for each other and they have very clear principles – in attack and in defence.
“So it will be a very difficult test. I already warned the players today.”
Lets hope the players heed the warnings this time and come out ready for a fight. Sheffield United have the least number of shots on goal (71) in the league ……….. I’ll just leave that there 😉
I’m suggesting this team for today …………
AMN Sokratis Luiz Saka
Xhaka Torreira (fingers crossed)
Nelson Lacazette Martinelli
The sun is going to shine all day in North London and our mate chas is coming to the game. Great omens.
chas and ant if you’re on the train, send some pics ………
Great work, thank you peaches.
We’ve been on the verge of getting it right since Mikel took over. Most games have been marred by VAR, poor reffing or bad luck. SU are a high energy team. We have the better quality, but we know after the last 4 years that a unified team ethic and hard work will defeat talent alone every time.
I’m sure we will start with Ozil, but once again, SU are not the type of side that allows him the time and space to work his magic.
This may turn into another attritional game where we have to keep it tight and wait for them to tire. Let’s get them chasing shadows and control the game … and then take our opportunities clinically when they come,
Nice one, Peaches!
We’ll more than likely be up against 12 men today, with Mr Dean strutting his stuff around the pitch 😖 Might have to let out a little boo when his name is announced!
This is by far my fav day/time to watch the Arsenal… Going to be a tough game, especially if Torreira doesn’t make it. It couldn’t possibly be another draw could it, to go with our other 10?! Oh well, what will be will be…. the sun is shining, albeit a little chilly – thermals?! – The clock end awaits….. COYG
thanks for the post peaches
looking forward to this game and am excited if Martinelli starts.
I read that Martinelli was not named in the Brazil u23’s olympic team so is not leaving us for the qualifying games that start today, which is good news for us but he must be disappointed and will probably want to prove a point which is again good news for us. Also I read that he is openely considering to represent Italy (via his father) if called up because Brazil did not call him.
Like the team, Peaches, except for one!
Like to see Holding fit again.
For me three things are essential today.
1. The whole team must come out at full speed, concentration, and commitment from minute one.
2. “Dynamic” passes through Sheffield lines of defence/effort must be made early on and converted by forwards. 2-0 half time.
3. Concentration for 95 mins required, especially at corners and set pieces.
COYG, make us smile today.
Thanks for the read Peaches
Lovely goal ….. that Martinelli knows how to score 😁
Thank you for starting everyone’s morning. At least out West.
Like what I see, Saka is something.
Did thy eyes deceive me or did we all see Xhaka run with the ball for 20 meters, holy smokes.
Martinelli’s goal was a perfect run on an imperfect cross, but that is why one is supposed to finish their runs.
Strong second half would be welcome.
Enjoying this game and can’t believe what a difference Arteta has been making.
Thank you LBG ……. find some chocolate, it definitely helps ….. a little.
Did my eyes just deceived me a comment from Chas
Hello Fred, how are you? You’ve been very quiet this week …… yes chas came to the game today.
Were did chas sit in lower tier
Yes he sat in the lower tier
Lol welcome to the lower tier chassy baby
I have always found it hard to know the angle to take after a draw: do you focus on the frustrating fact that a win was within our grasp only for a hopes to be dashed so close to the end. Or, do you focus on the the positives of the game of which there were a few.
My initial feelings were that the surface had been scratched with the loss of key attackers and key defenders only to reveal less than adequate replacements and players forced to play out of position. By contrast our opponents looked strong and organised.
This all changed when Martinelli popped up in a position you would expect Lacazette to be to tap the ball into an open net just before half time. Concerns about a make shift team went out of the window when Arsenal took to the field and took control of the game at the beginning of the second half. We obviously needed a second goal which did not materialise and the familiar pattern of our opponents clawing their way back into the game started to unfold in front of our eyes.
If this game were a hurdle race we again fell at the final fence although had this been played six weeks ago we would have lost rather than crawling to the finish line which I suppose is an improvement.
Onwards and upwards.
We have a New Post …………
Sorry LB, your comment was there when I came back to the post, can you move it over onto the new post ……………….
Leno: do you remember the dark days of people moaning and moaning (not unjustly) about the state of our goalkeepers? This young man enables us not to have to do that. Well, that is the thought that goes through my mind when I see him. 8
AMN: It really is a pleasure watching him get more and more reliable as the weeks go on. With Bellerin close to return it should be interesting to see how Arteta deploys him in the future. 7
Mustafi: you have to laugh, he might as well have had the words For Sale on his back or Look at me I can still play and then he made the most embarrassing mistake ten minutes in that almost cost us a goal. In fairness he improved enormously as the game went on. 6
Luiz: goes from strength to strength, really enjoy watching him. 8
Saka: took a huge step forward. He has been bullied off the ball in recent appearances and that is exactly what our opponents tried to do but this had clearly been anticipated and worked on as he stood strong and held his ground. His silky crosses were noticeably better, I think if I had to sum it up in a few words it would be – he now belongs. 8
Torreira: again MOTM by a million miles, mopped almost everything up. 8
Xhaka: a hard working performance, some good passes a couple of his usual howlers that he got away with. 7
Ozil: a bit quite in the first half but came to life at the beginning of the second, an ok Mesut performance. 7
Lacazette: missed his mate Auba, did ok, in a non goal scoring kind of way. 6
Martinelli: love him, his energy, his ball control, his eye for a goal, his tracking back and importantly he passes the ball when that is clearly the right thing to do, the Brazilian is everything that Pepe should be. 8
Pepe: the guy frustrates me, pass the ball man, I don’t need to see another step over. 6