Published: Sat, January 18, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Players have to step up in absence of big players: Mikel Arteta

Players have to step up in absence of big players: Mikel Arteta

The Blades have been the surprise package in the Premier League after many tipped them for an immediate return to the Championship but the club's first top-flight campaign for 12 years has been a resounding success to date, with the team now sitting sixth in the table. The Arsenal captain will serve the first of his three-match ban when Sheffield United pay the Gunners a visit. The same thing has happened to us a few times.

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However, he has been more than capable of taking the step up with opponents already making plans to thwart his tactical innovations, such as overlapping centre-backs in his preferred 3-5-2 system.

"We had to improve the performance because tonight wasn't at our best". We gave the ball away cheaply.

"Everything they do has a real sense, they are really hard to break down".

He is the Gunners' top scorer, claiming three goals in four Premier League games under Arteta to reach 14 for the season, while fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette has failed to score in six games.

"We received a letter from the FA talking about Oli's future conduct, which is quite right, I believe", Wilder said Friday.

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"I think it's an outstanding news story so far and I'd love it to be a brilliant news story at the end of the season", said Wilder. He is a tough boy, he wants to train, he wants to play and hopefully he will be available for the weekend.

"I've had a word with Oli, but I've got no problem with him going to Swansea".

Aside from their defeats at the Etihad and Anfield, the Blades have been a formidable road outfit with three victories and six draws in the other nine contests.

Unlike most promoted sides, Sheffield have higher aims than just securing safety.

The Gabon striker, 30, was booked for a tackle on Max Meyer in the 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace but the video assistant referee overturned the decision. "You know, when one of your big players is not there, they have to take responsibility". But he mistimed the tackle, made the decision and we have to accept it.

In addition to Aubameyang's absence, Arteta likely will be without defenders Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin as well as central midfielder Lucas Torreira, which may result in 18-year-old Bukayo Saka getting a start at left back.

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Manchester City's John Stones, with whom Arteta worked at the Etihad Stadium, but he said there would be no move for the England worldwide. The Gunners are seeking their second three-match run of shutouts at home, also accomplished from September 24-Oct. 6.

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