Arsenal and Sheffield United will meet in the Premier League next season for the first time since December 2006.
Stan Collymore wants Arsenal to be more like Sheffield United.
Arsenal are staring at a third successive season outside of the Premier League’s top-four places after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.
And, according to Collymore, one problem Unai Emery’s side must overcome next season is a ‘flaky dressing room’ – an issue with which the Arsenal manager’s Sheffield United counterpart is less familiar.
“Emery needs to sign two or three players with bottle and character this summer to make up for the flakiness in Arsenal’s dressing room,” wrote the former Liverpool and England striker in his Daily Mirror column (May 7, page 51).
“Emery’s squad is the exact opposite of the one Chris Wilder has had at his disposal this season as his Sheffield United won promotion to the Premier League.
“The Blades, physically and mentally strong, don’t have an iota of Arsenal’s talent or ability.
“What they do have, though, is 10 times the leadership, belief and camaraderie, and that has served them so well in the Championship over the last nine months.”
And the Sheffield United references do not end there, with Collymore suggesting that Arsenal should target tenacious players in the mould of Roy Keane and a former Blades midfielder.
“What you want ideally is a mix of both,” he added. “And Emery will get that only if he can find a couple of players with the tenacity of a Roy Keane or a Vinnie Jones.”
Arsenal and Sheffield United will meet in the Premier League next season for the first time since December 2006, when the Blades were 1-0 winners at Bramall Lane.
Wilder took charge of his boyhood club three years ago – shortly after they recorded their lowest league finish (11th in the third tier) since 1982.