The Warm Down: Arsenal 2-1 Sheffield United
A police officers helmet and Arsenal shirts are seen on the seats as a memorial to Sergeant Matt Ratana who was recently killed in the line of duty before the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium in London on October 4, 2020. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP)

Two second half goals in the space of four minutes gave Arsenal the victory, despite a late goal for Sheffield United, as Nicolas Pepe quality came good.

The Gunners struggled to break down the resolute Sheffield United defence and went into the break level at 0-0. It was Mikel Arteta’s second half substitutions that changed the game. 

The arrival of Pepe in the second half proved to be the catalyst for Arsenal, the winger scored one and was heavily involved in the Arsenal opener. The impact of Pepe will no doubt encourage Arsenal fans, as their record signing scored his first goal of the season and could be making a play into the starting XI.

  • The need for a creative midfielder 

Arsenal struggled for creativity in the last few games and are lacking the man to execute the final pass or create that spark. The deal for Houssem Aouar looks dead in the water, and the inexperience of Joe Willock in that role is proving costly for Arsenal. Mesut Ozil looks to be perfect for Arsenal in the short term and is already at the club, considering he is earning in the excess of £350,000 per week it would make a lot of sense that he plays rather than watches from home. 

  • David Luiz still has a mistake in him

David Luiz has had spells of strong and poor form since he arrived at Arsenal last summer. His performance against Sheffield United was one of his weaker performances, and came in for some criticism, with many believing he should have received a red card for a pull of the shirt of Oliver Burke. 

  • Mikel Arteta doesn’t know his strongest XI

The Arsenal lineup confused fans when it was announced, Alexandre Lacazette, the top scorer this season being benched in favour for Eddie Nketiah. New signing, Gabriel, returned to the team after being dropped for the trip to Anfield. The return of Mohammad Elneny to the first team has broken up last seasons’ strong pairing of Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos, much to the bafflement of the Gunners’ faithful. It is worrying that Arteta still doesn’t know his best XI, and after a small number of arrivals, only Willian has established himself as a regular.