Newcastle Pre-Match: Giroud should start, but the Dembas need taming!


I’ve always had a soft spot for Newcastle United: they have a great loyal supporter base, are good to watch, and Bergkamp scored the best goal ever against them!

I’d like to start by apologising to Tim Krul for some of the words I said about him last time we met. For those who can’t remember this is what happened:

Yes, he did start time wasting very early on; yes, I hate when keepers do it, but I just wish he had of belted up Brave Sir Robin after the game. Then again, perhaps I should be more respectful when talking about Robin because according to Fergie he died during the Swansea game (thank you Ashley Williams).

(Just for those who missed it or need a good laugh. I did notice his accidental slip and todger grab also)

Anyway, back to the game!

Replacing Chris Hughton, after he had just brought Newcastle back in to the league, was always going to be a tough task, but until recently Alan Pardew had done it with perfection. They started last season like a house on fire: ‘who cares we all thought’, ‘they’ll drop off soon’. Well they did not, they finished 5th on the table, ahead of Chelsea, which is to be commended. Pardew has a bit of Arsene in him, with his eye for talented bargains; just look who he has signed since he’s joined the club:

Ba, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Cisse, and Santon: that list is definitely not to be scoffed at.

Newcastle are an organised bunch who like to sit back defensively and hit you on the counter. I know what you’re thinking ‘yak, our least favourite tactic to play against’. It worked well against Man U and Liverpool,  not to mention all last season, however, they are missing key personnel who contribute enormously to this tactic.

Missing in Action:

Sick bay NU

Arsenal: Rosicky returns, Diaby (thigh) is apparently back next week, Santos returns, leaving only Fabianski (ankle) on the long term injury list.

Newcastle: Ben Arfa (hamstring), Cabaye (groin), Gutierrez (leg), Ryan and Steven Taylor. Williamson may not come up for this one. Tiote returns from his one match ban.

An opposition with a bigger injury list than ours…yep it’s true I just pinched myself and their troubles remain. It is a shame, though, because it really has wreaked their season, then again it has done worse to ours in the past.

Predicted Line-up:

starting line-up NU

Optimistically, I am hoping we do not see Theo start in the middle again. He’s been okay the last two games, but we need better than okay. To me he walks around like Henry, you know; with a bit of a swagger. He doesn’t bust a lung, he doesn’t chase, and most of all he has not earned that right! He tends to time his runs too soon leaving the midfielders with no outlet and he gets muscled off the ball too easily. I’m hoping Giroud slips back in to test the average Williamson (Santi and Ox should try their best to attack him at all costs); just like Bendtner did a couple of seasons back.

The rest of the team picks itself really.

Previous Encounters:

Arsenal 2 – Newcastle 1

Some guy scored for us and then Vermaelen scored a ripper of a goal with seconds remaining on the clock. Some guy got in a tussle afterwards, the noise coming from the fans was immense.

Newcastle 0 – Arsenal 0

Joey Barton dived and made an arse of himself (what’s new), Gerv got sent off, Song got banned for stupidly stamping on him, but hugged him afterwards anyway. Poor game, and not the start we wanted for the season.

Not going to go into the 4-4 draw.

Form Guide (all competitions):               Arsenal: WWLWL            Newcastle: LWLLL

Despite our Cup blip, we are coming off our third premier league win on the trot. If we are a serious team with grand aspirations we must continue to perform. Teams around us won’t continually slip up leaving the door ajar for us to climb up the ladder; ‘Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect’, and I feel this is the case for us: let’s make our own future, I don’t give a stuff about other teams, I don’t want to watch other teams praying to Dennis that they slip up! Time to go on a tear, and have another unbeaten run!

Newcastle took the lead at Old Trafford not once, not twice, but three times yet did not leave with a solitary point for all their effort. They put up a prodigious showing, but in true Man United fashion they were out scraped by the final whistle. Despite their valiant showing they sit on a paltry 20 points (5 off relegation zone) and have lost 7 of their last 9 matches. Interesting to note that Newcastle have not won their previous 15 away games.

One to Watch:

Jack the Lad: He recently signed a long term deal with the club and really is a joy to watch. He isn’t afraid to do the dirty things no one else wants to, and cops it from the opposition week in and week out. That’s okay though, not even a kick to the plums could keep him down! If he continues on the right path this bloke is easily going to be a legend in the making. The best thing of all is, I couldn’t care less if he has a stinker, because if he does I can rest easy knowing he still gave 110%. Look for him to take control of the midfield in this one.


I will be keeping a watchful eye on Ba throughout the match. Not only because he is a dangerous forward who could trouble our defence, but because he may be joining Arsenal in the future. He would definitely add to our squad (that I’m sure of), I just hope he has a stinker and doesn’t touch the ball in this fixture!

Key-Match up:

Key Matchup NU

The Demba Senegalese duo:

Demba Ba:

12/13: 11 goals in 18 (1) games (only behind Michu and BSR)

Papiss Demba Cisse

Only scored 3 goals this season thus far but managed to score 13 goals in 13 matches last season for Newcastle.

Both are top notch strikers and capable of brilliance (Cisse’s goal last season against Chelsea was amazing!), but unfortunately for Newcastle they do not really know how to work together. Last season Ba was on fire, he could do no wrong -> He jetted off to the African Cup of Nations -> In came Cisse -> He went on a tear -> Ba came back -> Cisse continued his form, Ba didn’t and went quiet -> Season ends -> Ba kicks in to gear again, Cisse does not -> What can Pardew do? It’s the same sort of position I feel Arsenal would have been in if we brought in Huntelaar. He’s too similar to Giroud, separate they are class players, together…not so much.

Let’s hope these two don’t click against us. If they do, Vermaelen and Mertesacker will have to be on their toes. The loss of Ben Arfa will definitely help quell their influence.

Pre-Match Finger:

kid finger

The Media! The transfer window hasn’t begun yet but already we are being linked with every striker on the planet. It has gotten to the point where every defender, keeper, striker, winger, attacking and defensive midfielder, and some kids have been linked with us at one time or another. Loose sources, friends of friends, twisted quotes, money hungry players, ‘Arsenals bazillion dollar war-chest’, and of course the Theo Walcott Saga. It really is enough to drive a man bonkers. The sad thing is I’ll still be there every morning and night scouring the Arsenal/transfer news sites sitting and hoping (or swearing at Theo). Damn you media…damn you to hell!

Pre-Match pat on the back:

pat on the back

This week’s pat on the back is a two parter.

Firstly I’d like to thank the tube strike for being responsible for postponing our match against West Ham. Yes it was terrible not having a Boxing Day match to watch but it has been a welcome break for the team, and after the food I consumed on Christmas a bear-like hibernation period was needed. It allowed our first teamers a chance to freshen over a normally busy fixture period. We go in to the match fresh as a daisy (still think we should rotate the squad more often so we are fresher more often) whereas Newcastle come in after a 4-3 slog in the wet against Man United…big benefit!

Secondly (I can’t believe I’m saying this) I’d like to give a pat on the back to the Medical team. It’s been a long, LONG time since we have had such an empty sick bay (not to jinx it of course). I’m not going to get too carried away though because unfortunately the ghost of Diaby haunts the area and I’m sure he will be getting withdrawal symptoms soon enough! Here’s to good health…long may it prosper!

Heck I’m going with one more. Alan Pardew deserves one too; I like how he goes about it!

Ask the opposition (1)

‘Ask the opposition’ returns again this week. It is designed to get some friendly banter from our opposition fans and get their insight for the match ahead.  This week the answers were kindly provided by Paul from , and Kev from

1) What are your thoughts on the Demba Ba situation?

Paul: Most of the stuff in the media about it is just wild speculation; hence I don’t pay much attention to it. However, the basic situation is that while Mike Ashley (the owner of Newcastle United) wants top players, he wants them for 50% off like the cheap tat in his Sports Direct shops and that includes their wages too. This is how the whole Demba Ba situation has come about, and why Ba and his advisors cling on to his release clause. His knee problem is the complicating factor for a move however, and if it wasn’t for that he’d probably be long gone by now. Then again, if it wasn’t for his knee problem he almost certainly wouldn’t be at Newcastle United in the first place. 

Ba knows that his career may be limited by a few years and he wants to make the most of it financially but there isn’t much chance of that at Newcastle, but although a lot of other clubs will undoubtedly show keen interest in such a good striker, they will cool off when they look at the medical reports and try to insure him etc. This is probably why the situation has dragged on for so long and if he does move for a much higher weekly wage, he would almost certainly have to take some kind of “quid pro quo” which will involve little compensation if he was injured and out of the game for good.

Kev: His agent is after £2m on any transfer, and he is the one pulling the strings.

Great player, superb skills as an individual – but not a team player – and not the brightest button in the box.

2) Who has been Newcastle’s best player so far this season? What is he capable of?

Paul: Hatem Ben Arfa who scored an excellent goal against your lot last time. He’s capable of unlocking teams on his own with his amazing dribbling, the vision of his passing, his excellent long shots and so on. However, he won’t be playing so I’ll also pick Demba Ba for this game. This is because he has been feeding on crumbs this season because of the lack of creativity in the side (from the manager not the players). Despite this he is still one of the highest scorers in the Premier League which is a bit of a miracle, and a tribute to his superb finishing.  

Kev:  Probably Ba in my opinion. Loads have under-achieved being played out of position because of Pardew’s weird system.

3) What formations and tactics are you most likely to employ in this match?

Paul: That’s a good question with Newcastle at the moment. Alan Pardew had had us playing some awful “route one” football for most of the season so far, the kind of football he’s used to. The tactics were mostly a 4-4-2 where we had no midfield and were soaking up pressure in our own half looking to dispossess the opposition, only to launch huge “hit and hope” balls over a midfield void to the strikers which usually fell back to the opposition anyway. However, there seems to have been some kind of player revolt recently and although there have still been defeats in the last few games, two of these have been against the Manchester giants and performances and style of play have improved markedly for the most part.  So now you can probably expect to see a 4-3-3 formation with a far more subtle and patient approach through the midfield. In the unlikely event that we go a couple of goals up though, expect Pardew to revert to type.

Kev: Depends who is available. Tactics change weekly with Pardew.

4) What position/player is your weakness link?

Paul: If I must, then James Perch might be filling in for an injured Willamson at Centre Back. Now don’t get me wrong, the lad’s done very well from humble beginnings, especially in the defensive midfield. However he might be a little vulnerable in the air in the centre of defence, though this might benefit teams like Stoke more than Arsenal.

Kev: Everywhere. Injuries have halted any hope of a regular team/formation.

5) What has happened to Newcastle this season?

Paul: See the rant at question 3! Though there have also been issues like Mike Ashley not investing in the squad for European football, along with injuries and such, I still think that the main factor has been Alan Pardew’s Reading circa 1990 tactics. He is one of those managers like many before him who has a good season then gets found out, like he did at West Ham.

Kev: We have been clueless in so many matches. Players playing out of position, and kids not good enough.
Ba and Cisse don’t work as a team; defence is like the days of Titus Bramble.

6) Which Arsenal player would you love in your team and why?

Paul: Santi Cazorla for similar reasons to Ben Arfa. Both are great visionary playmakers and although I’ll just give the dribbling to Benny (his control is amazing), on the other hand one thing about Cazorla is that even though he’s only about 5′ 6″ he’ll muck in and defend more than Benny when the team are up against it. Both are fantastic, world class players. 

Kev: About nine or ten of them – different class to us.

7) What is your match prediction?

Paul: I would say that Arsenal are favourites and will probably win, but as I’ve been so negative in parts above, I’ll be optimistic and say that if we perform as well as we have in patches of recent games then we just might get a draw, so I’ll go for a Desmond 2-2  (though my head says 2-1 or 3-1 to Arsenal). 

Kev: 2-0 Arsenal.


Newcastle is a tough team to break down. Their defence is strong and Krul is a very good, up and coming keeper, with something to prove after our last encounter. Nevertheless, they are a shadow of their former selves, injuries have blighted their squad and the Ba/Cisse duo isn’t firing. We will have to fight tooth and nail in this one, but I expect a resurgent and rested Arsenal to run over the top off a flat and soggy Newcastle.

2-0 to the good guys.

Written by: Oz Gunner.

93 thoughts on “Newcastle Pre-Match: Giroud should start, but the Dembas need taming!

  • Fantastic article/ analysis. I’m going with a 3-1 score line; Theo to score a brace, Ba to score then Rosicky to come on and score a screamer. I can only dream p.s for any punters out there ; Evens for Arsenal to win and the game to be over 2.5 goals..Keep up the good work Oz Gunner!

  • Morning Oz 🙂

    Thanks for a fantastic, epic Prematch!! 😛

    That was some game when we last hosted the Barcodes and I reckon it will be another cracker tomorrow. Love the NU fans comments. Unlike you, they are not so keen on Pardew, but anybody who squares up against rotten Fergie is a good one in my book hahaha 😛

    We will have to play a lot better than we did last Saturday, if we are to collect all three points, but there is luckily no risk of the team not taking this one very seriously after NU performance against the Mancs.

  • I clicked on “Liked”, but that does not do it justice, there should be a “Loved It” to click on !.
    Thank you Oz, you do the best pre-match anywhere “Ba” None !. 🙂
    Now while your up and about, I`m off to Z, have a great day and good night to the rest of you. 🙂


    Did I mention that post was, Absolute F**king Class, with a Capital AFC !. 🙂

  • @ Joe

    cheers Joe, much appreciated. I’d prefer Theo benched and Ox grabbing the brace (until he signs he’s a ghost to me). Oh how I’d love to see a Rosicky long distance strike again…those were the days!

    @ TA


    haha they shouldn’t be going against our CB’s. Verm is on the up again and BFG is solid as always. They will find no love tomorrow at the Emirates.
    I agree, they have to be up and about for this one and I hope they’ve studied the Man U game well because it won’t be a walk in the park!

    Yeah I thought he had been doing an okay job at Newcastle, just injuries getting the better of the team. Goes to show how wrong I was.

    @ GLIC

    Cheers GLIC, far too kind my friend. I feel Ba should be purchased for the puns alone, he provides endless opportunity!

    Thank you, enjoy your snooze

  • Oz, it will be really interesting what will happen up-front for Arsenal tomorrow. I like Giroud up-front with Gerv and Theo or Ox on the wings, but also the fluid-three of Pod, Theo and Ox. What will it be? Have not got a fecking clue! 😈

    Key for me will be to get Cazorla to play as close as possible to the front three and to free up Jack to dictate the game behind all of them. That means a big role once again for Arteta and Jack in my view.

  • Morning all..
    @VCC.. Do I need to reply my prediction..??

    Oz.. great post bro..

    MU were overconfident again Newc.. and they almost paid for that..
    But I think We will win.. We play a better football than MU.. hehe.. and no Ben Arfa make me less worry.. hehe.

    Oz my friend.. I love your team.. but I think Walcott will play central.. again.. as Wenger still hoping to get him signing the contract..
    But bench him is also another option to give some pressure.. sign or bench.. hehe..

    I agree with the comment about Ba and Cisse.. they play the same role and just didn’t match one another.. My Indonesian -Newc fan- friend also said the same thing.. and he wished Arsenal do bring Ba.. so Cisse will be shining again.. hehe..

    Newc will play open.. as they need to win to get a better position in the league..
    And as We known.. Open game.. Offensive game is what We really good at..
    So I predict We will see lots of goal.. Maybe another 5-2 magic score.. hehe..

    Go Gunners

  • Brilliant Oz, thanks for such a comprehensive, insightful pre-match, a thoroughly enjoyable read.
    I complain about our relative lack of success compared to Liverpool and MU, but The ‘Toon Army’ really have been starved of it. Newcastle are a big club with a huge passionate support who get over 50,000 most games at St. James Park, yet their last ‘major’ trophy was way back in 1969, The Fairs Cup/UEFA Cup. The last of their four titles was 1927, and their last FA Cup in 1955. Decades of mis-management and poor decisions have badly let down generations of loyal worship.
    We always seem to do well against Newcastle, and with their commendable effort at Old Trafford only three days ago, they can’t be relishing a trip to Arsenal. We are well rested and should be fired-up and raring to go. I think we’ll win tomorrow.
    Not a lot wrong with your line-up, Oz, the only change I would make is Oxlade-Chamberlain for Walcott, only because Walcott rarely offers us a great deal when he plays wide.
    3-2 The Arsenal.

  • Thanks Herbs..
    Hope We get a newyears gift tomorrow wacthing Arsenal win.. win a lot of goal.. hehe..

  • I do like the fluid three TA but I’d prefer if Pod was the more central of the 3 with Walcott ducking inside every now and then. Jack and Arteta will be up for it, they have a very good tandem going at the moment. Santi pushing forward as much as possible can only bring good news!

    goede nacht TA

    Morning Henry, thank you kindly.
    I agree ManU did underestimate them but unfortunately in true manU fashion they get over the line!
    Sign or bench is definitely what I’d go with. I’d rather see a youngster like ryo come back in and play on the wing rather than see someone play who does not want to be there.

    5-2, I’d love to see that again!

  • Cheers Herb, much appreciated!
    I couldn’t agree more, the black and white army is a great supporter base. I think Mike Ashley has led them on a bit of a roller coaster in recent years. Not topping up the squad with extra Europa fixtures was a terrible mistake, one that has created a lot of problems.
    They are far more like able without Caroll and Barton in the team and I hope they sort out their problems soon.

    I’d prefer Ox also, he’s on the up again and deserves game time. Theo’s attitude from ‘something to prove’ to ‘sh*t don’t stink’ really has rubbed me the wrong way. He needs to remember who stuck by him for this long, but oh well life goes on i guess.

    I’m hoping the ManU game has taken a lot of wind out of their sails

    Thank you once again

  • Herbs.. our new Governoor.. make a very popular rule for Newyear eve this year.. there will be a car free night in the main central road in Jakarta..from Monas till Sudirman.. So that thousands citizen of Jakarta can enjoy the newyear eve altogether..

    But I prefer to go to a tall building like my office.. And go to the top roof – 8 floor.. and watch the fireworks from all of the corner of Jakarta.. very great view indeed..

  • Oz.. Agree with you for Miyaichi.. Where is he..?? Is he get another injure..??
    Can We bring him back in January..??
    We need someone who can play as fast as Walcott in RW position.. as Walcott will never want to play in that position again.. hehe..

  • That’s brilliant Henry, I hope you all have a wonderful night.
    We’ve got two interesting away games after tomorrow, Southampton on Tuesday, and Swansea in the FA Cup the following weekend, so a win tomorrow is vital. It keeps our run going, it keeps pressure on our rivals, as well as ending the year on a victorious note, taking us into 2013 with good positive energy.

  • @ Henry

    He is on loan at Wigan. We could recall him but I believe it’d be a waste and we’d have to pay a fee.
    Unfortunately he’s played a grand total of 54 mins in the league for Wigan thus far. He did manage to debut for Japan though.

    Problems with injury have ruined his chances on loan, i hope he can rectify it soon so we can have another jet next season.

  • Oz, fantastic match preview mate! I loved the snippets with Kevin and Paul as they really gave insight into Newcastle’s situation this year and tactics/strategy going into the game from their perspective. Demba on Santi’s body was hilarious and just looks so off haha!

    I’ll have to admit I was a big fan of van Judas’ emotion against Newcastle and Krul last year and felt it really fired the team up and helped our cause in a comeback. The Senegalese duo are dangerous as always, but I feel we can take advantage and dominate the midfield where Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Gutierrez and Anita are all out injured.

  • Also, I completely agree oz, screw the media! They always manage to suck me in despite the skepticism I’ve developed over the years but I can never get enough of a juicy rumour, especially when it’s a link to an exceptional talent that could really improve our side. I guess the summer transfer window brought with it a renewed sense of optimism when we bought established stars in Podolski, Santi and to a lesser extent, Giroud.

  • G’day all,afternoon OZ. How are we? 🙂

    I wanna smash these guys today, if only for the pathetic show they have produced to punish mankind. “Geordie shore”. WTF?

    @ Oz,
    Class, absolute class. I really like your lay out for the pre-match and was an absolute joy to read. You also got me thinking. You know how certain parts of stadiums and certain bars within stadiums are named after players/legends? Well i think it is only fitting that Arsenal name their medical/fitness /rehab centre after Diaby. “the Diaby Bay”, or something like that.

    Now, on to the line up. Hmm, if your going with a line up that you think Arsene will come out with then i think you may be onto something although, i feel that Walcott will start. Personally though, id like to see Ox get a run of games, and out wide i think he would keep Santon pretty tame. I would also like to see Rosicky start wide left with either Poldi or Theo central, with Giroo coming on to break the ice if need be. Once again mate, top pre match, me like very much!

    @VCC, Good morning sunshine!
    I thought id let you in on my six predictions before you hit your local for your weekly dose of frothies. 🙂 Drumroll……..

    Aston Villan- win
    Manure- win
    $hitty- win
    Stoke- win
    Chelski- win
    Bin dippers- win

    the ARSENAL- we will do the job regardless. WIN

    Which reminds me.
    Why do they have glass bins in merseyside? … Because the scousers love to do some window shopping. hehehehehehe.

    Ive been fishing all night and morning, so after my ‘triple S’, im looking forward to what “the clogged one” has to say on our Arrrrtetettttaaaaaaaaa. 🙂
    oooh, and Oz been doing some overtime, double post. impressive my friend.
    OK, smell you all later 🙂

  • Dear me, i realised ive put in 7 selections. What the?
    VCC, can you please take out the Villans result please and thanks.

  • Afternoon PPP, cheers for the kind words.I’m good as always, yourself?

    You’ve going to hate me for saying this but I love Geordie Shore. Me and the Mrs can’t stop laughing when it’s on. It’s that Jersey crap I can’t stand. I almost added a Geordie shore question in the ‘ask the opposition’ section haha

    good idea, it makes me wonder whether or not players study whilst playing like other professional athletes do. The amount of time spent in there Diaby could have done a Physios degree, or something of that nature.

    Santi said he’d like to play more with Rosicky so who knows maybe a return to the left may be on the cards.

    2 posts, add them together and you get half a decent one 🙂

    Enjoy your day

  • Thanks goon, much appreciated.
    They are sneaky buggers aren’t they. We give it to our female counterparts all the time saying they are gossipers ect ect, yet look at us when it comes to the Arsenal! They talk about the latest shoes and bags, and we talk about the latest bosman or young messi!

    I was a fan of that blokes emotion in that game also, i’d like to see it more often from our players

  • Awesome pre match OZ.

    Love the angle from the Newcastle fans, nice touch. Always good to hear from the opposition, especially when it’s fair minded. I have respect for the Toon army. A couple of seasons ago at the Emirates, my Son and I were walking to the stadium and got to the pub on the corner by the ARSENAL large letters (forgot the name of the pub) and were dying for a pee. The pub had been literally taken over by black and white fans. We had no option but to brave going into the toilets. A little bit of friendly banter was all we received. Top supporters, they deserve better from their chairman.

    PPP, thanks for your six. Odds = 32-1.

  • STUNNING, Oz, simply STUNNING!!! 🙂

    What a tremendous talent we have uncovered — superb write up, and deserves a second and third reading. 😀

    Now —- either you or Tazzer will need to get your eraser out and take out the first ‘i’ in taiming in the headline!! Naughty boys! 😛

  • Cheers Redders: my mistake entirely! 😳

    Morning all and a special welcome to fellow – to Oz, PPP and Alex – Aussie Gooner Fatema, who commented on a previous post ‘Calling All International Gooners’! 🙂

  • Cheers VCC and RA, glad you enjoyed it!

    @ RA

    I fear that my shocking grasp of English may have temporarily rubbed off onto TA. It is no surprise he makes a spelling mistake after reading my pre-match. It’s the hardest job in football haha.

    @ VCC

    glad you got in an out trouble free. But I have no doubt you both would have taken a few down with you if you were set upon. I’ve seen Footloose and Kevin Bacon’s gymnastics meant he was a good fighter, i see you in much the same light!

    @ Fatema

    Welcome to the Aussie contingent, I hope you’re still reading and about

  • Hi Oz…Im a lover not a fighter.

    I just wanted to put the record straight about the Toon Army. Good bunch of guys.

    I have the same warmth for Liverpool fans.

    The worst are Manc, chavs and Leeds. WHU (Inter city Firm were horrendous when I was young, ICF…..they were not to be messed with)

  • Ozzy, your pre matches are absoloutly awsome. I am not saying this to wipe your botty, its simply a fact. Outsatnding.

    The only problem is that if some one new to reading blogs finds this they might think all articles on the net are of this quality, when they are obviously not. I had a similar experience many years ago but in reverse. Before the advent of the internet and Vidieo i had to make do with dirty mags frim the top shelf. When i finaly got myself a real women it came as a great shock to me to find that they didnt have staples across there stomachs hahahaha

    Its going to be very tough today. Pardew knows how to play against Wengers teams. i feel its a question of not making silly mistakes at the back, Newcastle have goals in them. If we can avoid this, then i feel we will get the points.

  • Hi VCC, of course your right..If we play to our capabilities we will tonk them. I see on your worst list you forgot Millwall. Mind you weve hardly ever played them, but when we did they were a nightmare. Years ago when we played them in the cup they wanted to fight every one. Bunch of “No Marks”.

  • Brought i little smile to my face too VCC. Its not easy playing at that farm in Sunderland.

  • Hows that sage thing going? Its a good time to learn that VCC becasue payroll is going live in April, putting employers under pressure to get good payroll support.

  • Exactly TMHT……come April the pressure will be on employers big time apparently.

    I got through the first 8 weeks and managed to pass an aptitude test to go further with the second 8 week course. Not sure how they will be able to enforce it, because what Ive seen not every company will be able to submit early enough imo.

    It was tricky at the end as the youngsters were wizzing away, but I kept up, JUST.

    I enjoyed it though, we had a smashing teacher which helped.

  • Nice one VCC.

    Not to sure how it will work either. Going to have to do a seminar on “going live” in Febuary so i know whats going on.

  • My little fear with our game today is complacency.
    I have no doubt that when you take out the likes of ben arfa, cabaye, gutierrez, marveaux, anita (basically their whole midfield) and throw in perch at the back, we should run the show and win with ease. However, these games have tended to be a thorn in our side and we struggle and end up beating ourselves. Newcastle is a pretty big name when talking about football in England, but the team on paper today is not even worthy of the championship.

    This is where i would like us to stamp some authority. Am i asking too much? We went to old toilet last season with basically a second string team and got massacred. I want teams to start fearing coming to the Grove, i want them to panic when their best players are out.

    I think its crucial we score first today, and hopefully early. That should shut em up, stop any time wasting and eliminate any factors, that have in the past, triggered us to implode.

    I also believe Artetetta is crucial in this game. Actually, he is always crucial to our game as i believe that he plays the best possession football in our side. Without the ball we cant attack. He makes the ball work for him and us. I get that he doesnt get noticed, and i guess he is a little like Gilberto, in the way that sometimes he is invisable. (we wont realise just how important he is until he is gone or properly replaced) but for now he is vital.

    Today we might see Toon play like your Stokes or West Hams, hoofing the ball up over their non existent midfield for a quick and direct route to Cisse and Ba. I cant see them damaging us and TV5 must ensure our players remain calm and stick to our own game plan of posession footy. They will tire out very quickly and im hoping for a blow out at that stage of the game.

    One last thing, i promise. Last week or the week before, Jack was saying that he was only at 75%. Wenger confirmed that Jack still had a lot more in him and will get there in the coming weeks. So here i sit, patiently waiting and adding 7-8% improvement for every week of training and game time. When Jack gets to 100% and is ready to rip the oppo a new one, thats when we will be pleasantly surprised at how good the rest of the team looks and gels around him..

    OK, enough from me…..for now 😉


  • PPP/Total….we need to come out of the traps racing. I hate it when we start lethargic. It seems to get the crowd on our back and we can’t seem to up the pace. It’s then if we go behind the only time we inject pace into our game.

  • Hi Oz,
    Talk about a comprehensive pre match report.Its Great!
    Not much needs to be said at all, the main thing is that we get the 3 points today.
    We need to play more cohesive and win the battle from midfield and whilst Walcott upfront is a concern, hopefully he will surprise us all.
    Go the gunners

    And keep up the great work

  • Hi TA,

    Just wanted to say keep up the good work on the site, it’s great to see all the different opinions but in the end we all want the same result.
    A win and a team that plays ‘The Arsenal’ way.

  • This is the result to send Vicky over the edge with confusion !.

    Queens Park 0-1 Rangers.

    “How the f**k did they manage to beat theirselves ?”. hahaha

  • I sincerely hope your last one is wrong and the Arsenal come away with a 2-1 win 🙂

  • Hi Glic,
    Just as well that is the scores from Scottish Div3 other wise it would be a very strange result even by QPR’s standards

  • The Ox showed how to do it. Keep your head – measure up — and Kaboom!!

    Theo scored a brilliant goal — then fluffed three more chances. I do not pretend to understand him in truth.

    Anyway 2:1 will do me!!! 😀

  • what is going on with this game. Conceding 2 goals due to defensive lapses. Gibbs and Sagna are having shockers

  • Problem is Oz, the excitement is one thing, but Sagna and Gibbs have been rubbish!!

    Sagna responsible for one of their goals, and Gibbs has caused two of their goals.

  • they do need to pull their head in. Not switched on enough, sagna should definitely know better!

  • Despite the fact that we are finding the back of the net, we are really struggling defensively. We just cannot shut out a game or take control instead it just becomes a nervous panic

  • Never been happier to be wrong about Theo! He looks amazing out there, what a cross on Giroud’s goal! This is more like it, saving us from Gibbs and Sagna. What a statement by Giroud, who to start at striker against SOTON???

  • The downside to this as we all know is that now that we have two forwards that have scored 2 goals each, we will no longer be in the market for a striker

  • Oz,
    it does look like that defending is optional this season. Its a simple game, score more than you concede. GO THEO . WHAT A HATTRICK!! Give him what he wants

  • Jesus Christ, 3 goals and 2 assists what a beautiful solo effort for the last goal. He should get an assist for that too!

  • maybe a post match signing??? come on theo make us happy!!!

    Sounds good to me RA, quite the pair!

  • 14 goals this season for Theo and Giroud just missed out on a hattrick himself.
    lets play them together. Slow start to the game but what a second half performance.
    Theos third was reminiscent of the goal he scored against Chelski last season

  • Of course alex has pointed out the bad news. This win likely means no new signings in January.

  • Lets be happy for the result, four in a row lets hope this momentum keeps going.
    Good night or should i say good morning to all and yes OZ it is a beautiful day.
    Until next time

  • Thanks for the wake up call Redders 🙂

    Cant wait to watch the whole game on `player tomorrow . 🙂

    I got my boss two tickets for that game, he certainly got his monies worth !. I shall be asking for a rise !. hahaha

  • Pardew must be crazy..
    Try to beat us at emirates.. with such an open games.. hehe..

    As I said before.. if Newc play offensively.. then they will get some problem.. as no team playing offensive game better than us.. hehe..

    7-3 is much much better than 5-2.. haha..
    And it almost 8.. what a night..
    Very special Newyear gift..

    But I only got one point.. huhuhu..
    Nevermind.. I still a happy gunners.. hahaha..

  • Evening guys! 😛

    Crazy game of football but what a second half of the second half performance! I will write something about the game now and get back later. 🙂

  • Boring boring Arsenal, did someone say we need a striker? I’ve just got home from “The Prince’s Stadium” its about a kilometre and not once did my feet touch the ground. I floated past the pubs, with no great urge to stop, I didn’t feel like slowing down, I’m now sitting in my livingroom with a large glass of Red, and I’m still buzzing, I expect to be buzzing into the new year, such is the power of a good win! I expected that to be a tough game, after the Toon narrowly lost to Manu’er, I knew they’d be up for it and they were, just not as up for it as us. There are still questions to be answered by our defenders, especially Gibbs who went missing twice with disaterous results. Any team that doesn’t park the bus gives us space, if you give us space, we can hurt you. (which is why the Swansea game was so abnormal). The extra rest seems to have worked out well for us, just hope we can keep our momentum going, that extra 4 goals just did our GD a world of good. Happy New year Gooners!! Still buzzing in N.5.

  • Very very jealous. Must have been unreal being there! This buzzing this morning. Definitely going to download that game and keep it on record.

    Pod was exceptional, i hope he kicks on after that one!

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