Newcastle Preview: Win & Put Pressure On The Top

Seventy-nine years on this day, the two sides met at St James Park the hosts on that day winning by the odd goal in five. A similar result, this time in Arsenal’s favour, is required following Manchester United’s late winner yesterday. It would bring Arsenal to within two points of Chelsea and hoping for a favourable result at Anfield. The opening day draw can be put into some sort of context following the match this afternoon but to be honest, I am not expecting much for a Liverpool side distinguished from their predecessors by the poverty of talent.

In the league, Newcastle has emerged victorious at Goodison and Upton Park’s this season, picking up a point at Molineux. It is their first serious test away from home and comes ten days after Arsenal drubbed them at St James Park in the Carling Cup. Nothing can be read into that result in terms of today’s fixtures, the differences in both sides mean that they will, on paper at least, be stronger.

Arsene noted that he expected all of those who were fit before the Champions League distraction, to be available this afternoon. It would mean a line-up not too dissimilar to the one which eventually overcame West Ham. Indeed, the only alteration which seems to be a certainty is the restoration of Jack Wilshere to the starting XI ahead of Denilson. The England international’s return would add more urgency to the midfield, something which may be required in a home match against a team that will seek to stifle.

Wilshere is playing deeper that people expected but is not complaining, stating that he wants to be a mix of Liam Brady and Patrick Vieira. In other words, the complete midfielder,

Liam Brady is my role model. He has always been there in my career. He has helped me a lot and people have said I am a similar player to him.

I was on the books when Patrick was still here and I think the way he tackled and intercepted play is something I would add to my game.

Great expectations were placed on Wilshere’s shoulders before the start of the season and he has lived up to them. Like Walcott, he could do with adding goals to his game, one goal for his efforts so far seems scant reward. He acknowledges the help that he gets from Cesc, who has been through a similar process at the club, breaking into the first team at a young age with hopes of the future resting on his shoulders. Wilshere seems to be one who listens to such advice and with that his progress can continue unabated.

As much as the attack garners attention, the defence deserves praise. Since conceding against Birmingham, no English team has breached the backline, a situation which was not expected when Lukasz Fabianski took over from the injured Manuel Almunia. The Pole has not yet confirmed his place automatically but credit where it is due, he has proved most of us wrong so far. His displays have been confident, something at odds with last season as he acknowledges,

I have been through a difficult period, but that is life, that is football. You have to just keep working hard and hopefully it will pay off.

He has been helped by having a relatively settled back four in front of him and the fact that the two newcomers have adapted to English football quickly. Were either of Squillaci or Koscielny struggling for form, Fabianski might not have felt so confident in those in front of him.

One other change that Wenger will be contemplating surrounds who makes way for Theo Walcott. The obvious candidate is Samir Nasri, not on the basis of form more that since the win over Braga, he has played in every match bar the Carling Cup win over today’s visitors and has been substituted twice, both inside the last twenty minutes of the matches in Belgrade and at home to Shakhtar. A rest is due, although likely only to mean demotion to the bench in case Cesc suffers a flare-up of his hamstring injury.

Nasri has been outstanding, dominating against Tottenham at White Hart Lane and finding the net five times in subsequent league matches, as well as one in the Champions League. Bringing in Walcott does not diminish that goal threat as he has now got three in his eight games since returning from injury.

The starting XI I would expect this afternoon is with those in brackets replacements if the recoveries are not as quick as hoped:

Fabianski; Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Clichy; Fabregas (Nasri), Song (Denilson), Wilshere; Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin (Vela)

Whatever the case, a win is an absolute requirement. It’s a home match and strong form at The Emirates is the solid foundation upon which to build a title challenge.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

287 thoughts on “Newcastle Preview: Win & Put Pressure On The Top

  1. SUGA3 says:

    Limestone,

    one point is always better than zero points, no?

    I still would not be happy with not winning, but it’s the points that count in May, no?

  2. consolsbob says:

    I think we are saying much the same thing Paul. If we have a strong squad why do we play players who are not fully fit? I would like to know the reasons why Arsene chose to do that.

    We don’t rely on Cesc as we have already proved in recent times. Wildhire can’t be expected to play at top level every week at his age. Chamakh just looks knackered.

  3. Gunner4Ever says:

    Obviously if Liverpool wins, it would be just another week when the EPL is just correcting itself.

    No worries guys, today’s loss is just part of the scheme.

  4. Kenyan gunner says:

    Chelsea, manutd and mancity tend to play at least two defensive midfielders most of the time. We should follow suit.

  5. Limestonegunner says:

    Suga, of course, it is better to get the point, and I wish we had kept out that Carroll header. But I don’t think we could take much consolation from a 0-0 performance, dropping two points, to Newcastle at home and playing so poorly, failing to score. That’s all.

  6. Gainsbourg69 says:

    Torres’ two goals are like putting aloe on a badly burned back. It still hurts but it feels better.

  7. SUGA3 says:

    Limestone,

    in my opinion, we have more than enough in our locker to take the teams like Magpies apart and put a few goals past them – today, we looked in the ‘it’s enough to turn up’ mode and we paid the price, simple as that…

  8. Busch says:

    The EPL ‘correcting itself’?
    That is one helluva way to gloss (ie. ignore) a shite result.
    I guess we get to put our championship hopes on other teams doing the real work, as opposed to our actually beating newly promoted teams at home and winning it on our own.

  9. deano says:

    It’s just makes it even more irritating!

    If Chelsea lose today, then it will be the second time this season that we have failed to make ground on them at home to a newly promoted team.

    I’m glad that people aren’t going overboard about Fabianski. There really was not a lot more he could have done in my view. He was left hopelessly exposed to Newcastle’s principle goal threat and was left no choice but to rush out despite being second favorite.

    No more slip ups…. there can be no excuse with our quality.

    Arsenal..

  10. Finsbury says:

    Is it fair to say almost all managers, tend to rush back players too soon?
    And players tend to state they are fit, when they are not quite there (at the high levels required). Both are clichés, but there are so many examples.

    Torres seems to be recovering from the flogging by Benitez last season, and his efforts to regain fitness and play through the WC. It’s taken a little while.

  11. SUGA3 says:

    deano,

    stopping halfway through when coming out for the ball, where he would get enough jump if he went all the way is a mistake, but I will reserve my judgment on Fabianski until the next few games – I want him to bounce back, let’s wait and see!

  12. Limestonegunner says:

    suga, I think we agree there. And, I have said that the real test now for Fabianski is how he would react to a mistake that was costly. So we will see how he responds in his next game. I think he’ll be alright at Wolves, but the proof is in the pudding.

  13. Firstlady says:

    Will you people stop!it wasnt a fabianski mistake.we were jus poor as a team and it is november the cursed plus fabby and the players coming back warent at their best.am obviously sad we lost but we will come back.

  14. MDGunner says:

    OK, we did not play well at all, but the woodwork “saved” Newcastle three times and really they only had one serious goal scoring chance. I agree that the substitutions (part from AA) were questionable. Luck seems to have deserted us when you consider how poorly ManU played but still got the three points, but unfortunately that’s the way it happens sometimes.
    How about a new rule, when an Arsenal player gets in the box, they have to shoot?

  15. Vince says:

    Torres you beauty! Is there a reason drogba didn’t start for the chavs? I thought taking Jack and Chamakh off today was a massive misjudgement by le boss. The way our midfield works, we have to have either jack or denilson on at all times. We look poor with neither. How we made 3 subs today yet ended the game with Theo still on the pitch baffles me.

  16. Mongolian Gooner says:

    I thought His Highness would come on for Theo at some point.

  17. shottagunna says:

    We did not lose because of the referee. But upon reflection I must say Mike Dean is truly a biased referee. I simply cannot imagine him giving John Terry, Rio Ferdinand or Jaime Carragher a red card in the same situation as Koscielny (sp).
    I am very aware of what I am implying. If it sounds likea duck, walks like a duck, then it sure as hell is the type of referee who is quick to wave a red card at Arsenal players

  18. LimparAssist says:

    RVP looked ready to me. He set Arshavin up for a great chance to equalise, kept possession whenever he had the ball, challenged for one of our better chances in the 2nd against Krul and sent in some dangerous deliveries. His was one of our better performances, I thought. I think AW has been downplaying expectations on his ‘return date’ to try and get BvM to fuck off, when it didn’t work, in he came. Home game is as good a time as any to have him in the squad to come on and work on match fitness – just so happened he came on when we were 0-1 down. If RVP is fit to make the bench and you’re 0-1 down you bring him on.

    There are a whole bunch of reasons for our ineffectiveness across the front line IMO; Williamson and Collocini got the better of Chamakh who didn’t lead the line half as well as he can, Jose Enrique (a good player) always had a partner doubling-up with him on Theo – and I think that’s partly to do with Nasri not getting wide enough on the left, as it allowed Newcastle’s defence to cramp across toward their own left flank and for that extra man to always stick on Theo rather than worry about Nasri on the left. Behind them Fabregas gave the ball away a lot. How often does that happen? Kitchen Sink would remind us all of tic-toc Denilson and I would have to agree with him. When we needed possession most, in the 2nd half, we sacrificed Wilshere (our Denilson for the day), and then Song was going to have to play like two midfielders; and Newcastle weren’t in the mood to let him do it. Part of me liked the early subs but now I’m thinking patience might’ve been the better option. When you have a front line of Bendtner, RVP, Arshavin and Theo, players who haven’t played in the same side for a long time – and then you have a misfiring Cesc behind them, expected to keep them reloaded – it just didn’t work. We looked unusually frantic and far too eager to play the long ball for my liking. And even then we had enough chances to win it. Anyway, a drop in the ocean.

    I’ve always liked Liverpool.

  19. Passenal says:

    Vince, I did not think Jack was that effective today so I was not surprised to see him substituted. Chamakh just could not get into the game and the one chance he got he made the wrong choice to pass rather than shoot. I guess you just get periods like today when nothing is working. We did not create much, Cesc was shockingly off-form and this just seemed to permeate to the other players.

    Based on my view at the ground, at first I was ready to put the goal down to an error of judgement by Fabianski, but on reflection, I thought he had no choice but to come for the ball and was unlucky that Carroll nipped in ahead of him. I think he would have had an uncontested header anyway as Chamakh did not pick him up despite Clichy’s gesturing for him to do so. I’m also not sure that the free kick that led to the goal was correct. Dean seemed to give Newcastle as many free kicks as he could get away with today.

    It was good to see RVP back on the pitch and he got a rousing welcome from the crowd despite a few negative online comments about his place in the team, he still seems to have the support of the majority. I thought he did quite well considering how long he has been out. It will be good to see him and a rejuvenated Cesc back on a more regular basis.

  20. Gooner4Life says:

    The team looked lethargic and leggy. The performance had Champions league hangover written all over it. Credit to Newcastle who gave a team defensive performance and stuck to their game plan. It was probably the best time for Newcastle to play Arsenal. Arsenal lost this one in the midfield, couldnt dominate,misplaced passes and unable to create a platform for sustained attack. This was a game for the sideways passing of Denilson and the driving runs of Diaby and Eboue. The real Arsenal didn’t turn up. Too many players out of sync. Positive can be drawn from RVP ‘s return. As for the result Sh©t happens. If not for the crossbar this may have been a different outcome. Bring on the next game that’s the best way to get this out of the system. And for all those worrying about the title being lost already…. are you for real. The red card for Kos however was very generous.

  21. word says:

    on the bright side, at least we know the mancs are shit this year and now we know chelsea are even shitter than pool (who are really shit) so we still have a massive chance of finishing above everyone once our slightly new look system get fully into the groove. in previous years we have flying high at the top of the table and then dropped off so there is no reason to believe that balance will prevail.

    RVP, theo and cesc are seemingly some way off 100% so to get a run with those 3 ticking would be a huge shot in the arm.

  22. Poliziano says:

    With Denilson in the team:
    3 victories, and three clean sheets in a row for the first time since September 2009. Also the first clean sheet away from home since January, and the first consecutive clean sheets away from home since May 2009.

    Without Denilson in the team:
    2 defeats, no clean sheets, 1 goal scored.

  23. Passenal says:

    I was wondering whether all the rotation is having a negative impact on our rhythm? We need to play the same team for a few games in a row to get our momentum going again. Or maybe Poliziano is right and we just need to get Denilson fit enough to play more regularly as he may not be spectacular, but he is definitely steady and keeps us ticking over really well.

  24. flying dutchman says:

    I don’t think the players are complacent at all. It’s some of the fans who are.
    What is this “we should be stuffing teams like Newcastle” etc? “We” do not have a divine right to steamroller every opposition team, neither do Manu or Chelsea and they also lose/draw the occasional home game (by the way, last week winning 1-0 and now losing by the same score is one point better than drawing 1-1 twice)
    That said, our results are way too inconsistent one week from the next to win the league.

    It seems something is wrong with Cesc, he looks irritable, maybe overly obsessed with his responsibility as captain and trying to shoulder too much? There is clearly more variation without him.

    I thought the goal was partly the keepers’s fault but he should not be blamed or dropped for this. Give him some time and confidence, and a chance to rehab himself on Wednesday.

    Theo is much less effective in this sort of closed games and I would have liked to see different subs too (Rosicky) but it’s all academic now. Thank goodness it looks like no serious consequences for the table with the leaders losing. But what a pity we seem to never take advantage whenever this happens, though a top 2 finish behind Chelsea remains a very realistic target. That would be another improvement on last year. And then there’s the cups with chances of winning silverware, beginning with the CC. Keep supporting, keep hoping, keep believing.

  25. shottagunna says:

    Perfect example of the biased, blinkered refereeing decision by Mike Dean. Yellow card by Webb to Alex for a last man infringement 30 yards from goal.

  26. Poliziano says:

    There we go. Chelsea stuffed by Liverpool 2-0. Well done Roy Hodgson!

  27. Limestonegunner says:

    There we go–thank you Liverpool! Not quite as we were–ManU gains advantage over us, but we can recover if we figure out how to play better in the league.

  28. OneOfUs says:

    This Liverpool result softens the blow a bit. The players are there, but some

    Oh, and Jan Terri > John Terry

    But we all knew that anyway.

  29. shottagunna says:

    Contrary to the emotional over-the-top reactions of our fans (I am guilty at times) to every win, Chelsea’s loss is proof positive that there are no “gimmes” in this league. Arsenal is never going to steamroll all the so-called lesser teams. Furthermore we will be embarrassed if we as fans (and the players) believe we just need to turn-up, especially at home, and a victory is assured. We have the quality players but we need the subjective ingredients (determinatin, consistency) to turn our inherent potential into reality.
    We definitely have a ways to go. It will be an uphill struggle but all is not lost.

  30. OneOfUs says:

    Whoops – accidentally pasted half a comment.

  31. goonerandy says:

    Nobody really played well. Nasri looked our best player before he went off. Jack did pretty well too. Bad decision by Fabianski to come for a ball that he was never going to get cost us the points.

  32. SUGA3 says:

    Liverpool away is not a ‘gimme’ by any stretch of imagination – thing is that we won in less than convincing manner against WHU and lost to Shakhtar, so this should be quite enough to give our boys a point to prove, IMO…

    I am really disappointed and it’s not the result, it’s the manner of defeat…

  33. Passenal says:

    It’s a shame we couldn’t take advantage of chelski’s slip up today, but at least we have not fallen further behind. It looks like the PL is not going to be a romp for any team this season. It really is a case of almost anyone being able to beat almost anyone else. Surely even the mancs luck will run out soon?

  34. deano says:

    Wolves away is a difficult task midweek.

    We need to show the right combination of fight and composure.

    Howard Webb didn’t book John Terry despite 6 clear assaults throughout the course of the match. This is presumably to protect the time space continuum for which all premier league referees are responsible. After all, why would anyone put the fabric of the galaxy at risk for a football match?

    As for Mike Dean, the sniveling little gobshite. As if having to put up with his dire refereeing isn’t bad enough I get scared whenever I see him on screen. He looks like Grendel out of Beowulf.

    As my nan would say: he looks what he is.

  35. Sczesny says:

    We are back where we started this time last year.Almunia injured/dropped his replacement Mannone fucks up Almunia returns.Now Almunia injured/dropped his replacement Fabianski fucks up and Almunia returns its a joke.A club the size of Arsenal should have a world class keeper and not having to keep dropping keepers every 3 months after their next result.To think for 17 years 1990-2007 we had two keeper who were world class.Wenger and keepers just dont go together

  36. 1coolSteve says:

    We may not admit it, but a lot of our losses recently have been down to a lack of team tactical discipline and loss of concentration. I know its not a divine right to win as pointed out by many posters already; but we have no excuse losing to teams like the Broms and Magpies.
    We also seem to always have a sequence of losses after every loss. Am not sure what to ascribe this to. Hope we pick ourselves up and we organise our team defensive shape. We tend to have too many results upsets for a big team.
    Arsene sort it out!!
    COYG

  37. LimparAssist says:

    Classic caller on 606… an Arsenal fan from just north of Hull. “These are harley peed indy-vigils… just geddit in’t NET!”

  38. Max says:

    Two many of our players turn up expecting to win before they earn the right.The same attitude was there against WHU and WBA.There is no such thing as an easy game.Wenger has to tell the players that.The shocking thing about today was there was hardly any improvement in the second half and that is down to Wenger.Not good enough
    The big winners this weekend are Man utd who havent broke sweat this season yet are still unbeaten in all competitions and only 2 pts off the top

  39. DukeG says:

    Maybe Wenger left his whip in his girlfriends house so he couldnt use it on the team at half time like he normally does after a first like that.

  40. Maria says:

    Pass,

    They play Man oil next so let’s hope not!!

  41. sad says:

    i dont think ive seen a stronger Arsenal side on the paper turn up to any match like ever! All the best plaeyrs fit. Yet we loose to Newcastle.

    We played our best, the guys really tried and we still lost. To Newcastle. That jsut should not happen.

  42. lordgunner says:

    when you take your two best attacking player of the day (JW and Nasri),leave two player who have a nightmare (cecs and theo) you know you never gone win.Poor sub by wenger as far i am concern.
    In second half I would have gone Arsahvin-Nasri-song-JW-rosicky-chamak instead od bringing an unfit striker (even so welcome back van persie ….until you get injure on national duty as usual)

  43. Finsbury says:

    Limpar @5:26,

    Nice review. And the Gunners did hit the post and bar. But overall, no tick-tock? Will he be back for Wolves?
    Was nervous about RVPs return. He seemed fine.
    Best way to get over the result is to go and beat Wolves Away.

  44. deano says:

    Am I the only person who thinks Theo looked sharp?

    He made a few dangerous runs and a couple of good attempts.

    You can’t be in the game if your a winger and you midfielders are resorting to long balls!

  45. Gainsbourg69 says:

    Max:

    “The big winners this weekend are Man utd who havent broke sweat this season yet are still unbeaten in all competitions and only 2 pts off the top.”

    Yet they are only three points ahead of us and we’ve lost three. Go figure.

  46. Gainsbourg69 says:

    I was very impressed by Tiote. I’ve been watching him this season and he’s one of the better DM’s in the league. Wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in a top four side next season. Hopefully ours.

  47. deano says:

    Gainsbourgh69

    AND are still topping our group in the CL

    AND are in a strong position in the league cup.

    We simply must win the big games from here on in. And the small games….there are no small games…. We must win all games!

  48. Passenal says:

    Lordgunner – Nasri has a calf problem, which may explain why he was substituted and Wilshere was not at his best today, which was obvious to anyone who was paying attention. Cesc may not have been at his best, but with his skill and ability you can usually expect him to produce something when you least expect it, so I can see why he was kept on. Theo’s pace was always a threat if the right ball could find him. Unfortunately we could not find that ball today.

  49. DukeG says:

    sorry but i cant av this. Fabianski has two choices he stays or he comes, he chose to come and bolloxd it up. the only reason he looked good for 6 fukin games was coz no team we played in them games done a pearl harbour job on us, any team that gives us a bit of airiel bombardment will cause Fab to make mistakes, he is a great shotstopper there is no doubt but it isnt enough. who knows maybe his gaff had an effect on his teammates with the old thinking, here we go again now you have put us in it.,why fukin bother. looked like they didnt give a fuck so that could be as good a reason as any.

  50. Passenal says:

    Goodness Duke, that is some really twisted logic there! You dislike Fabianski and believe some unproven 20 year old is better. I think your position is clear. But you seem to forget that football is a team sport – the whole team did not perform well on the day. Fabianski came for and claimed many crosses today, he got one wrong, but where was his defence at the time? Had he not come for the cross, Carroll would have had a free header and been able to pick his spot. I’m sure you would have been leading the chorus of disapproval for that one as well.

  51. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Duke

    Harsh – where’s your criticism of the defensive marking?

    Pass,

    Football isn’t a team sport – it’s always someone’s fault!

    YW

  52. Passenal says:

    I should know better by now Yogi. It was Clichy’s fault on Wednesday and today it’s Fabianski’s turn! I don’t know where I’m going trying to hold all the players accountable for the result, when we know there are certain players who can do no wrong and others who are at fault even when they are not on the pitch!

  53. Delia----Block112 says:

    Just got in from the Emirates and saw the game much the same as Limpar.
    When I saw the line-up I thought I was in for a real Wengerball treat. How wrong could I have been ! The stray passes, the lack of penetration in the final third, the poor performances by Cesc, Theo ( marked out of the game),Chamakh and to a lesser extent Nasri all played their part. Arshavin picked up the pace but Newcastle stoutly defended their lead. Quite frankly , they were bigger,stronger and keener than us and in Carroll they have a very talented player who worked incredibly hard for his side.
    Can’t say I am too happy at the moment. One bright moment ,I have just seen Messi miss a sitter!

  54. Yogi's Warrior says:

    I confess to not looking too hard – OK not at all – but someone, somewhere must be questioning Cesc’s loyalties after his performance today, as well.

  55. Passenal says:

    Yogi, there were a few around me today telling him to bleep, bleep off back to the BBB bench! I don’t think it’s about that though, I think it’s that hamstring issue. He mentioned in his programme notes just how many games he has played for us and for Spain. Perhaps he needs a few games out to completely put that injury out of his mind and to help him regain his hunger. Even though he is captain, maybe he needs to recover fully and then have to fight for his place in the team.

  56. word says:

    does kos def get a 3 match ban then?

  57. Passenal says:

    Yes word, and there was no way it should have been a red card either. It’s unbelievable that you can ruin someone’s career with a reckless tackle and get the same punishment.

  58. Ateeb says:

    Pathetic performance today. By the whole team, really. I was so excited to see the team he played today, but it went horribly wrong. Cesc, was horrible today, never seen him play so badly for a long time. The only player, who seems to be in the game to me, was the first one to be substituted. Apart from that it was just baffling. Cesc should have been taken off, because on the t.v atleast, Wilshere was playing a lot better. Cesc had too many misplaced passes, and kept losing the ball.

    Can’t blame Fabianksi for the goal, it was horrible defending. He should have done better when he decided to come off his line, but with that sort of defending, you just can’t blame him for the goal.

    And since when did we start playing like the chavs? With all those long balls. The distribution of the ball was pathetic. I guess Pz, makes a lot of sense about Denilson. I really don’t know how we lost this match, with so many big players on the pitch, the creativity was abysmal. I think Rosicky should have come on instead of throwing every striker we have onto the pitch. Whose going to create, and move the ball from the back to the forwards? Clichy and Squallaci with their long balls that we never won. Never passed our way through the pitch today.

  59. Limestonegunner says:

    I thought it would be a one match ban and that three match bans were for violent play offenses. That does seem terribly unjust for a very questionable goal-scoring chance and very minimal contact foul.

  60. word says:

    hopefully tv5 is back soon… but no ‘rushing’ obviously

  61. OneOfUs says:

    Great goal by Eduardo yesterday I think. Apologies if this has already been posted:

  62. Gooner Bob says:

    We go back to the summer why didnt Wenger sign a quality keeper.It was the number 1 priority.First Almunia v WBA now Fabianski today.We cant afford to drop points because of goalkeeping errors.6 pts lost to two promoted sides at HOME

  63. Limestonegunner says:

    We could use finishing like that, OOU!

  64. Limestonegunner says:

    Gooner Bob, I fault the outfield defenders here. It is a common problem for us–set pieces; it is not just Fabianski’s fault. It also isn’t his fault that for some reason we couldn’t score a goal at home. We had real difficulty doing it last weekend as well.

  65. LimparAssist says:

    I’ve been out of the loop, Finsbury. Don’t even know what’s wrong with him. Last I saw he was bossing them at St James’ Park… or SJP… the Sarah Jessica Parker of football grounds… half-covered, oppressively cold, and a massive nose.

    The Willie Young/Paul Allen Cup Final Takedown doesn’t put us Arsenal fans on great footing when it comes to ‘denying a clear goal scoring opportunity’ incidents but this was a pretty farcical dismissal and I fully expect an appeal. The ‘foul’ was just a tangling of legs on the run, hardly a professional foul… plus it happened so wide and high up the pitch that it wasn’t an actual goal scoring opportunity at all… plus Seb Squillaci was in line so Koscielny wasn’t even the last man. ‘OWZAT, Dean!’

    Didn’t Vermaelen just get one match for his straight-red ‘foul’ in similar circumstances on Franco last season?

    Solksjaer on Rob Lee ’98 this was not.

  66. Queen of Suburbia says:

    Did anyone else think the crowd could have done more today?

    Krul was wasting time constantly but most people around me just sat on their hands rather than taking the opportunity to reminds the ref of the rules, also the constant spoiling and diving seemed to suck the life out of the fans as well as our players.

  67. LimparAssist says:

    Oh, well done, YW. Glad you’ve cleared that up. Still want an appeal on principle really but Djourou and Seb can handle Wolves. Each appeal should be treated completely independantly and without context of course but knowing the FA they’ll probably take one look at us with our briefcase of watertight scientific evidence, roll their eyes and say “Ee up, ‘ere we go, lads.” So maybe we should save up our lifelines.

    Fuckers.

  68. LimparAssist says:

    I wasn’t at the game today, QoS, but we’re usually pretty good at pointing out time-wasting. We get it every single game.

    In my experience Sunday football is always a bit sleepier in the stands. Frustrating really for those who are up for it.

  69. Queen of Suburbia says:

    I counted 22 seconds for Krul holding the ball in his hands at one point.

    I felt Mr Dean got a very easy ride today. He really is an awful awful ref.

  70. Queen of Suburbia says:

    On the goal, Chamakh was supposed to be marketing Carroll but didn’t track hom or tried to block his run.

    He also did the same thing on a couple of other set pieces as well. Thankfully without consequence.

    Perhaps we were marking zonally? Either that or he just switched off?

  71. LimparAssist says:

    Just can’t wait for this team to get their rhythm back – it’s so close. Fabregas’ stuttering start to the season is obvious but add to that the comedy revolving door of injuries we’ve had… we’ve been unsettled and a little makeweight for some time. Different personnel each game. We’ve gotta get that mojo-flow back. I think it’s just around the corner and I expect a quick, slick, bedazzling display at Wolves on Wednesday. I also expect Tevez to punish the mancs… and Chelsea’s time will come at our place.

    Arsenal.

  72. 1 loose cannon says:

    second half was unbelievably shocking . no one turned up.created nada. l was so happy to see Robin on the pitch but he wasnt rocking. He wasn’t fit at all. not only him , cesc too. they are eager to play but they need to be honest with the manager when they are not fit, maybe in their head they think they are fit but that wasn’t the case today . We are better that the way we played today. The only positive today was seeing the chavs losing at the same time i’m disappointed. we missed a good opportunity to close the gap. this kind of result is not good it gives hope to the lower sides when they come to the EMIRATES . the only way to put that right is by thrashig someone soon.

  73. word says:

    cheers yogi, never can find my handbook when i need it!

  74. Luke says:

    Talking about time wasting, while Krul was being treated for an “injury”, there were a few Newcastle players chatting and having a drink as if standing around a coffee machine with all the time in world on their hands.

  75. Busch says:

    “Yogi’s Warrior – I confess to not looking too hard – OK not at all – but someone, somewhere must be questioning Cesc’s loyalties after his performance today, as well.”

    Doomer talk.
    All our players are the best at their positions and it is only injuries, refs and the Lord above deciding we will lose that cause our losses.
    Any other explaination means one is a false fan and relegated to the fires of a spud fan.

  76. Harsh says:

    Newcastle didn’t play as well as people are claiming. An objective summary would be that it was a 50-50 match.

    We have a tendency to overrate the opposition if we aren’t tearing them apart. Newcastle did nothing special besides score a lucky goal off of a keeping error and then sit back and hoof it forward the rest of the game.

    Since our midfield was so committed going forward, there was a lot of space between them and our defense so it was easier for Newcastle to keep possession. In addition, the targeted the full-backs, and Sagna and Clichy are not going to win headers against Andy Carroll. Basically they got a some-what lucky opening goal (brave header from Carroll) and their work was cut out for them.

    We also have a tendency to overrate our own team. No offense intended to Limpar Assist, but I disagree with statements such as:

    “I think it’s just around the corner and I expect a quick, slick, bedazzling display at Wolves on Wednesday.”

    Why would Wolves do anything different than Newcastle? Having smelled blood, they will be ready to attack us as well.

    I don’t want to sound like too much of a doomer, but there were some bright spots. Arshavin had some good touches, and things could’ve been very different had Theo’s or Cesc’s shots hit the underside of the bar instead. So it’s not an abject performance, just an awful result.

  77. Dgob says:

    Harsh,

    Although still shrouded in post-match depression, I couldn’t have said it better: “not an abject performance, just an awful result”.

    We played poorly only for the free kick that led to their goal. We were a little over elaborate in the final third and Chamakh was too generous rather than showing the goal-scorer’s greed when opportunities presented themselves. He seemed to have very few (if any) shots. Yet his effort was great and he can easily rectify his problems.

    Our midfield (particularly Walcott and Cesc – about whom I shall say more shortly) lost far too many battles. So the case has to be there that they wanted it more.

    YW,

    I don’t know if everyone has children and has ever watched how they act up for distinct audiences? I ask this because I feel that Cesc is currently acting up for a Barcelona and Spanish team mates who are watching and waiting. Just look at his demeanour this season. I feel that he’s actively resisting any signs of enthusiasm that might lead to those overseas observers thinking that his heart is not wholly and 100% with them. He will not smile and deliberately presents the appearance of a spoilt child who is merely doing his ‘contractual duty’. I jmight be wrong here but your captain has to show enthusiasm and I just do not perceive that with Cesc on the pitch or in interviews this season. Yesterday this was only compounded by what can only be described as an abject performance for someone of his abilities. Maybe his injury is still affecting him and that things will improve but his persona is down to him and needs addressing swiftly. So yes, on this occasion I do see real grounds for questioning his commitment.

    I agree that Rosicky should have replaced him from the start of the second half.

    I still believe that this will be a great season and that’s partly because everyone can be beaten if they don’t show up or are not clinical in front of goal on any given day. And more yet, we do have the best squad bar none. hopefully Diaby recovers fully and Ramsey returns to the fold quickly.

    COYG

  78. Dgob says:

    Above my own post loss irritations, I think our manager said it best:

    “We were never in full flow, but we played against a good Newcastle team who are a team of men, strong physically, mature,” lamented the Arsenal manager. “We did not look sharp and we never found any sharpness. We never found the second gear. Overall, though, I still believe we were very unlucky to lose the game, they had one shot on target. We hit the woodwork two or three times and their keeper made a very good save.”

    Better will come

  79. goonerandy says:

    We didn’t play anywhere near our own high standards, and got nothing from the game. Manure were the same but got all three points. In essence that has been our problem for years. I liken us to an F1 car; if everything is running well we can be unstopable, but if certain elements do not work well we struggle to make it to the finish line.

  80. Passenal says:

    Harsh I think there is some truth in what you say. When we win we are world beaters and domination is just around the corner and when we lose, its the end of the world. The truth lies somewhere in between.

    My worry is the home form – losing to newly promoted teams gives the impression that we are there for the taking and encourages others to adopt the same tactics. It feels like we are returning to the bad old days of a couple of seasons ago when we had to play the 10-men behind the ball teams at home and laboured to get anything. I thought we had found a way around that but we seem to have fallen back into a familiar pattern. Those embarrassing long balls at the end of yesterday’s game that were so inaccurate, kept giving possession back to the opposition and just smacked of desperation and a shortage of creativity. Very disappointing for a team like ours, which prides itself on creativity and beautiful football.

    An honest heart to heart is required between the players. If they really want to win something, they need to start putting their money where their mouths are and fight for it. They have the talent to do it, stop wasting it.

  81. deano says:

    It’s so important for our style of play that we score the first goal. If we get two no team (bar wigan athletic) can come back!

  82. Arsene Baggins says:

    I am saddened to hear about the salacious rumours that Arsene Wenger is having an affair with a 39 year old parisian hip hop failure. Have they nothing better to do than perscute one of the best managers of our time?

  83. Henristic says:

    Seems from the reports like it was part of their game plan to target Fabianski. That is very worrying indeed, because its not the first time we’ve heard a team do that successfully.

    Are other top four defences targeted in the same way? Didn’t seem to work at all when stoke played manu recently. All the long throws and crosses into the box hardly caused a stirr. It will be hard for us to get a away with such a reputation.

    WB and Shakhtar didn’t even have to go that route with us. We just seem to have too many vulnerabilities, not least our own self defeating tendency to be ‘complacent’ and not apply our immense talents well enough.

  84. LimparAssist says:

    Each to their own, Harsh. I remember Molineux last year; great performance, and we are better now than we were then and they are worse. Being as it is that I believe our lack of sharpness, speed and flow against Newcastle was a whole-team dip born of key individuals not playing to their potential, rather than some inevitable targeting of a weak, wounded animal – I see no reason at all to expect anything less than a brilliant comeback against Wolves. We’ll see who’s right.

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