Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, October 19, 2019

What the starting 11 should be against Sheffield Utd

By 1970's Gooner

This game coming up on Monday night away at Sheffield Utd will be the toughest Arsenal will face since Liverpool away but also the most significant so far.

Arsenal are in 4th position at the moment but really performances have not been up to standard and 4th position is more a result of weaknesses shown by other rivals aiming for the 4 top places rather than Arsenal's good football.

I have watched Sheffield Utd play this season against Everton away and Liverpool home. 

They are a very difficult team to beat but at the same time they do not sit back and park the bus. They are extremely well organised and are very adept at coming out of defence by their very accurate passes to their forward man. They are much better at this than Burnley. 

They also support their attacks with players from midfield and sometimes by one of their central defenders! They are a blend of a more modernised but also defensively minded Championship or 1970's side.

Their biggest strength lies in midfield where they are very industrious, full of running and tight pressing for 90 minutes. They fared very well against Liverpool's well oiled midfield trio.

They thoroughly deserved their away win at Everton and were very unlucky not to beat Liverpool or even get a draw as they created the more dangerous chances against them. It needed a howler from their goalkeeper, letting the ball slip through his fingers and legs, for Liverpool to beat them.

Those chances they created were defended very well by Liverpool. This Arsenal defence would have been inadequate to keep them out.

So Emery will need to be very careful in this game and put emphasis on matching them in midfield in terms of energy and strength as well as be very mindful of halting their counter attacks when they are in transition.

Emery's choices in midfield will need to take the above in mind and that is why I would play a defensively minded player as in Torreira along side Guendouzi and a more creative player like Ceballos. I would not start Ozil...

In defence I would keep the pairing of Socrates and Luiz and also Chambers as a right back as Bellerin will need to be eased back slowly considering how long he's been out. At left back I would start Tierney as he is a better defender and also more effective going forward with his accurate crosses and cut backs than Kolasinac.

In attack it looks as though Lacazette nay have to start on the bench as he may not be able to last 90 minutes. If fit of course he would walk straight into the side. Pepe's performances have been much below standard and in my opinion he needs to be rested and introduced back into the side later when he is ready. 

So if Lacazette could start today I would keep Saka and put Pepe on the bench. Otherwise Pepe will be given another chance alongside Aubameyang and Saka.


Chambers   Luiz  Socrates Tierney

Torreira Guendouzi

Pepe   Ceballos   Saka


This is the moat significant game for Arsenal so far as they need to show to themselves and us that they can get results away from home (only one win so far) but also because the other top 4 aspirants face easier and winnable games. I don't think that they are going to be handing Arsenal any presents as they have done so far and any slip up we can end up 6th or 7th.