There’s no other way to describe the game. Arsenal unleashed on Sheffield United in one of the most controlled performances of the season.
Controlled because we were patient.
Controlled because the manager heavily rotated his starting 11.
Controlled because we took off key players when we needed to.
Don’t talk to me about the opposition, they play in the Premier League, they are worth the same three points as Manchester City. Heading into easy games and making them look easy hasn’t been our strong suit over the past 4 years. Just think back to the unraveling of our title last season, those were easy games, we failed.
It didn’t look like it was going to be a hammering. We didn’t score our first goal until the 28th minute and it took an Eddie wonder-turn to make the breakthrough. The first 45 minutes gave us just 3 shots on target. Arsenal controlled the game, but it didn’t feel particularly swaggerish.
The second half was a touch better – 5 shots on target, 4 goals.
Eddie was the star if we’re honest. He scored a hattrick. He deserved one after the hammering he took after his cameo in the week. Each goal was different. One revolved around a Bergkamp-like turn, one was a poacher’s goal, and the final one was a rocket from outside the box. It showed his talents. He needs to do it more often, but as we look at the numbers right now, he’s earned 2 penalties, scored 7 goals in 13, and has 5 in the Premier League right now. Not bad for someone everyone says we need to sell to Hull next week,
There were other big performances.
Zinchenko reminded eveyrone of his qualities with a roaming full back performances. I thought Kiwior slipped into defence with no drama. Kai hasn’t had a blowout performance, but he functioned will in the side and was a credit to the team.
We didn’t really notice the lack of Odegaard, Declan Rice led the team really well, and Smith Rowe had a really promising game with a a lovely assist to cap it.
Tomi scored a great goal, cementing his iconic status amongst the base.
My overall takeway was: Wow, that was a mature game.
We put minutes into legs that needed them, gave rest to players that had to have it, and there was no noticeable difference in the way we played.
Having a rotation 11 deliver to those sorts of standards really does tell you how far Arteta has taken the culture at the club – and how well our recruitment team has done. When Fabio Vieira is coming on and getting an assist (looked like it) and scoring a penalty. You know the squad is in good shape.
Short one today, I am stacked with things to do, if you want more reaction, you know where the podcast is at! (below)
Have a great day! Let’s hope United do some damage tomorrrow!