Arsenal v Newcastle United: A Close Look at The Magpies And How To Beat Them

Arsenal vs. Newcastle (03/01/23) – Game preview

Tomorrow we will play one of the most anticipated games of the season. Two teams with young and talented managers with significant, yet not unlimited budget, focusing on smart transfers rather than spending huge on already established world class players. Still, I will not say this is one of the most critical games Arsenal face, as I am confident of a home win.

I’m not usually that optimistic – in fact I expect to gather 0 points from our 2 games against Manchester City (feel free, TA, to censure that remark) – but we are in a great form, they are slightly on the descend, we play home with almost the full squad available while Newcastle will miss main hitman Isak as well as Targett from their strongest line-up.

However, this post is not about my expectations or predictions (2:0 by the way), but a short analysis of the opposition. Based on the reception, it could become a returning column ahead of the PL games in the season, but let’s not look that far just now.

Newcastle is a popular club in England. Partly because they are currently the only PL club in a surprisingly large area, partly because they have an English-players-heavy squad. Their last silverware came from the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup back in 1969, but they had 3 FA Cup and 1 League Cup runner-up performance since. Even when they were in the top tier, they were rarely a top half team – not to mention being a top-6 contender – but this is expected to change this year, as per the upgraded circumstances: new owners, money invested in the squad and a talented manager started to bear fruits. We will play some close games with them, but let’s hope it will not happen tomorrow.

The most valuable players are Bruno Guimarães, Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin, but Isak is injured. Saint-Maximin plays for the Magpies for 4 years and was a smart transfer back than, but Bruno is the real deal (like White or Gabriel M.) it was a genius move to sign him even for 42M, and similarly was a genius move for Bruno to select Newcastle – even though Arsenal was reported to be courting him.

The most  consistently performing Newcastle players this season are Kieran Trippier (the best RB in the PL, another smart transfer from both parties), the above mentioned Bruno, Joelinton, Miguel Almirón and Fabian Schär. Out of the 17 games Newcastle had played in the PL this season (W:9, D:7, L:1) their players were nominated MotM 13 times. That is 7 players with a single award, and Trippier with 6!

Formation-wise Newcastle is the easiest team to predict. They always play 4-3-3, and they rarely switch with mid-game substitutions. They have a really tall squad (like an old-school British club), so they love attacking set pieces where both attackers (Isak, Wood) and defenders (Botman, Burn) are aerial threats. Thank god we have Saliba and Gabriel who both are anti-aircraft towers when needed. On the other hand they are not really  strong in ‘general striker duty’ with Woods and Isak both scoring twice, Wilson 6 times and all of them being caught offside countless of times. Their most clinical scorer is Almiron with 9, who is having his best year with the club, while Trippier (4), Guimaraes and Saint-Maximin (3-3) are leading the assist chart.

It also shows inefficiencies from the striking department that they scored only 5 goals from the 6-yard box compared to a 9.4 xG, while out of the penalty area they scored 8 while the corresponding xG was only 2.5! They scored 5 times from corners, which is quite remarkable, and Trippier is dangerous from direct free kicks. If we can neuter that then we are favorite to win the game, though. Newcastle scored the most goals (8 and 7 respectively) in the beginning of the second half and the end of the first half – so practically the middle of the game). While out of the 11 games they conceded, nine came in the second half, so they might be prone to fatigue or concentration lapses.

Since 2018 we have been winning all eight of our encounters with the Toons, apart from our very last, the 2:0 defeat at St. James’ Park that practically lost us the desired top-four finish. However we are on a five-games winning streak in the PL, while Newcastle just ended theirs with a draw against Leeds a couple of days back.

So how can we beat the Magpies now? Well, for a cliché answer: with dedication, hard work and luck. J

But if we want to go a level deeper, I think we should favour attacks in the middle and on the right, as Martinelli will face Trippier and Schär, two from the best in-form defenders in the entire Premier League. Let’s forget about high crosses from the byline, as Botman, Burn and Pope are really tall. So apart from corners, I wouldn’t bank on high balls into the penalty box. Yet, some of their old guard are more athletic than actually technical, so dribbling and 1-2 passes could be an efficient weapon against players like Longstaff, Lascelles, Murphy, Burn or Lewis. We should target their right flank, and play with short and quick passes as Pope is efficient against long shots and has great reflexes. I won’t mind if Odegaard becomes MotM for the 3rd time in a row, as Newcastle is an opponent that suits his strengths, and he is in an otherworldly form right now.

I’m not even wasting your time with a predicted line-up, as we all know that if possible Arteta will send the same XI to the pitch, which is not bad seeing the record-breaking run. Yet I would consider starting Tierney ahead of Zinchenko, as Oleks might be eager to press and support the attacks, while the key threat might be coming from Trippier. What we should take care of, tough, is that Saka and Saliba are on 4 yellow cards, and if they get booked today they will miss the NLD on the 15th of January. But if they stay sober/disciplined in January the yellow card count will be reset.

 The 2:0 prediction might seem like a conservative estimation, but let’s not forget that Newcastle conceded the least goals in the league, and that 11 is almost 8 less than the quality of the attempts, so they have a good GK and some quality defenders.


By Peter Barany

67 thoughts on “Arsenal v Newcastle United: A Close Look at The Magpies And How To Beat Them

  • These are GN5s new competition prediction games:

    These are next weekend choices – FA Cup games-

    Crystal Palace v Southampton
    Boreham Wood v Accrington Stanley *
    Brentford v West Ham United
    Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers
    Manchester City v Chelsea *
    Villarreal v Real Madrid *

    And this was his update on the scores at the end of our last post:

    Here are the results from last weekend for our competition-

    For the week-

    1st Madhu with 5/6 plus one correct score and a share of most correct predictions = 9 points
    2nd GN5 with 5/6 plus a share of most correct predictions = 7 points
    3rd OX10 with 4/6 plus one correct score = 6 points
    4th Total, Eris, Kev & Le Gall with 4/6 = 4 points
    8th Stuart with 3/6 = 3 points
    Season to date-

    1st Kev & OX10 with 64.80
    3rd Madhu with 55.80
    4th Eris with 53.13
    5th Total with 49.33
    6th Stuart with 49.00
    7th GN5 with 42.33
    8th Le Gall with 38.18

  • Great post, PB, and I hope there will be many more to come (if you can find the time for it, of course)!

    I feel I will be much more prepared for the game now. It so sad that a good manager like Howe chose to go to the Oily Magpies. He is, no surprise, doing a fantastic job with a good squad, but not a great one. I didn’t know Trippier was so influential and will indeed be one to watch. I am wary of the space we leave behind our high line, and Newcastle United already showed against Man City – in what was one of the best PL games of the season so far – how much they like it if you come and attack them and leave all that precious space behind for counter attacks. We need to be patient and disciplined against them, and that includes guarding the edge of the penalty box for those shots you wrote about.

    I think this will end as a draw but hope your full of confidence prediction will be correct. It will be a big test for us as NU have not much to lose and will come to enjoy themselves. Arsenal, on the other hand, will have to play with focus and maturity and try and get all three points. A win would be a massive shout out to our opponents.

  • Thanks PB. Forensically interesting as are all your posts. Tierney may well be the best call against the inform Almiron. Always good to watch Chris Wood play, he leads the line for our NZ national team. A big brave striker with a sister (an exceptional midfielder) who plays for our Kerikeri woman’s team. Also good to follow the career of Joe Willock. He’s having an exceptional season, let’s hope he has a stinker tomorrow.
    Re: yellow cards: would it not be our FA Cup game against Oxford City which would be affected?

  • Stuart, it’s Oxford United not City but I believe that your point is correct and a couple of tactical yellow cards near the end of the match wouldn’t be the end of the world.

  • Crystal Palace v Southampton H
    Boreham Wood v Accrington Stanley * 0-2
    Brentford v West Ham United H
    Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers A
    Manchester City v Chelsea * 2-0
    Villarreal v Real Madrid * 1-2

  • Thanks Ox. My best mate over here is an Oxford fan. We wind each other up. I call his team “City” and he calls mine “Arsenil”. I can’t shake the habit. I visited the old Manor Ground twice in the ’80’s to watch Arsenal (I was living in St Albans), sadly they cleaned us up on both occasions.

    Brentford on a roll. Made Liverpool look very average.

    Crystal Palace v Southampton H
    Boreham Wood v Accrington Stanley * 0-1
    Brentford v West Ham United H
    Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers H
    Manchester City v Chelsea * 1-2
    Villarreal v Real Madrid * 1-0

  • Kev, re rumours, yes I am also feeling that Mudryk is on his way, but I just like to see it confirmed before I get too excited 😜😜😜

  • Nice, Ox. I can just see you bunny hopping up Holywell Hill. I was almost killed at the roundabout at the top of town, struck by a stolen car seeking to evade the police who were giving chase. Broken ribs, punctured lung. It was three weeks before my wedding day. Spent the whole of our honeymoon playing scrabble… 😒

  • Crystal Palace v Southampton H
    Boreham Wood v Accrington Stanley * 2-1
    Brentford v West Ham United H
    Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers H
    Manchester City v Chelsea * 2-0
    Villarreal v Real Madrid * 1-3

  • Interesting read PB. New Castle are doing well and is definitely a new kind of challenge to Arsenal. Hope we gte over them. Pool losing again today to Bees m and that we can really make this out year. I would take a draw as well. A win for NC will spur them to challenge us andan C for the title. They do have the advantage of not playing any European competition. Interesting matchup for sure. Pretty nervous though.

  • Very good preview and opposition tactical analysis, PB.
    Newcastle have been growing in leaps and bounds, first, when the new owners were announced then a second bump when Eddie Howe was appointed. It has been credit to the coach that they have been on the up, defensively and offensively. Saint-Maximin has not been starting games lately (injury, maybe?) but I fully expect him to see action against us. Calum Wilson, as always, would be rearing to force Gabriel and Saliba into errors; Willock would want to do well at his old stomping ground too. But, they will be as nervous as any visitor to the Emirates.

    Personally, I feel if we can win the possession battle, we should be able to control them and win the game. We can put their full backs under pressure with our wingers so, Trippier and Almiron should be doing some defending too, against Martinelli and Tierney. Burns and Willock/Saint-Maximin should be kept busy by Saka and White.

    It is a game we need to win so as to consolidate our position further, knowing bigger games await us in the not too distant future. A draw won’t be a terrible result, either.

  • PB, I believe the Oxford united FA cup game, coming before the next league game, would be the one at which our players who risk suspension get to miss, should they pick up another card. Sneaky as it may sound, I like the idea of both Saka and Saliba copping late cards later today.

  • Thanks for the kind reception, guys.

    Regarding the yellow cards and the subsequent suspension in my understanding – which may be wrong – cannot be carried over to domestic cups, neither the yellow card count, nor the actual suspension. (Unlike straight red cards, where the player will have to sit out the next 1-3 games irrespective of the competition.) This is the text I found:

    “According to Premier League rules, any player earning five bookings from their side’s first 19 Premier League matches will serve a one-match ban in the same competition.” I think the main details here are the first 19 – which means, that irrespective of the actual round, Saka, Saliba (and Jesus, but he shouldn’t care) must avoid booking in the next 3 PL games, to be exempt from the 5YC-1S rule – and the ‘same competition’, which in my interpretation means that Bukayo or William will serve that ban in the NLD.

    Anyway if you will be watching tonight’s game with an English commentary, I’m sure they will provide the correct interpretation, as I’m merely hypothesizing here.

  • Just caught up with the latest post(s)-comments
    Thanks, P. – what’s to add after such a thorough job?
    Well, first I agree with your “Kieran” suggestion, so that Trippier-Almiron might have a more “defense-minded” LB to face. We all know that won’t happen, though, MA will pick the very same side as he did for the Brighton game, according to the rule stating that we should focus on our own strengths, and not be unsettled by our opponents’ – which makes a lot of sense, too.
    Now, you’ve left our Joe W. out of the picture… the stats may not tell the same story, but my impression is that he’s the one who ignites things up for them very often. Through-balls right between our two CBs have been one of our (very few) vulnerabilities this season, and Joe’s clever runs into the box trigger such passes ideally, so let’s be wary.
    On a good day, Saint-Maximin is one of the most creative players on the planet, so should he be picked, his duel against Ben Le Blanc will be fascinating stuff – but I’m confident Ben will prevail.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Eddie’s moves around the box were too much to deal with for these tall CBs you mentioned, but at the same time they’re the best defense in the League, so … Actually I would be tempted to predict a 3-2 Arsenal win, but the defensive records of the two teams do not point to such a prolific game
    (Off-topic) I’m not excited – at all – by the Mudryck deal (even though I think he’s an excellent player), even less so by the “Joao Felix” one. I know that sayin’ so I get to be the black sheep in the family but I might explain myself later on
    Anyway, thanks again, P. and COYG of course

  • Crystal Palace 3 Southampton 1
    Boreham Wood 2 Accrington Stanley 1
    Brentford – West Ham United H
    Norwich City – Blackburn Rovers A
    Manchester City 4 Chelsea 0
    Villarreal 0 Real Madrid 2

    Just found this on the “Orbinho” twitter account:
    Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and William Saliba are all one booking away from a suspension. The “amnesty” kicks in after 19 league matches.

  • LG, it is frightening that we know so much about current Arsenal and Arteta, but tonight it will turn out if we know anything about football. 🙂

    Honestly, I didn’t expect Willock to start. He was very quiet whenever faced his old team, however he is a mainstay in today’s Newcastle, so I could be wrong. But with Wilson attacking along with Almiron and Saint-Maximin on the wings, I expect to see Bruno Guimaraes, Longstaff and Joelinton to start in midfield, with the latter making a remarkable transition from attack to midfield.

    Similarly to your point I’m not excited on impressed about the big-money attacking options either. I don’t doubt Felix and Mudryk being good players, but both are terribly overpriced. Felix is due to his former transfer price, and Mykhailo because his club leader is a delusional clown. Taken into account that Liverpool bought Gakpo for 42M – a player who is clearly better than both our targets – I honestly wish we buy neither of them. I would be fine (and sleep as a baby) if Chelsea pays 100M-100M for Fernandez and Mudryk, and also if the Ukrainian stays at Donetsk and we demonstrate that we don’t let us be bullied around. Let’s pay 60M for SMS and move on with the campaign, as Saka & Martinelli are in top form, while Smith-Row and Vieira are ready to step in if needed. Nelson could be available in a few weeks, and Jesus in another couple, so I don’t think we should break our transfer records for a player who is expected to sit on the bench not only this season but in the next as well. (Unless of course either Saka or Martinelli are inevitable to be sold to Man City or Real Madrid.)

  • “both are terribly overpriced”
    “Gakpo for 42M – a player who is clearly better than both our targets”
    My points exactly, P.
    as well as those about Reiss, Emil, and … I would add Cozier-Duberry!!
    Not to mention the (can’t-wait-for-them) returns of Charlie P., Folarin, and to top it all I wouldn’t be surprised if Nwaneri turned out to be a very early bloomer.

  • Gakpo could well become Liverpool’s Vd Beek. The Dutch competition is a level below the PL. I like Gakpo but he struggles in the big games and, just like our Pepe, needs space to be really effective. Space is at a premium in the PL.

    Martinelli and Saka are excellent in tight spaces; they still make things happen. Let’s see how Gakpo does in tight spaces. One injury to Saka or Martinelli and our wing play – a key part of our play – is seriously compromised. It would be a huge setback and the alternatives you both mention – PB and Legall – are romantic ones but they are not ready to fill the gap. The arrival of Mudryk, the name alone suggests a fearsome warrior, will be really necessary to keep our momentum going. Arsenal should not overpay though; I agree with that. We are too light in our back ups to Saka, Martinelli and Jesus, and that is what A&E are keen to address.

  • Stuart, I’m glad that you survived that crash!

    Like others, I’m worried that our targets are overpriced but I thought the same about Aaron and Ben so what do I know?

  • TA, you know the Eredivisie much more than I do. And I’ve been following Gakpo only for about a year. But this season I wouldn’t say Cody didn’t deliver in big games. He scored against Ajax in the Dutch super cup and assisted in the league winning both games. He scored and made 3 assists (getting a 10 rating) against Feyenoord. He scored against Wales, Poland, Qatar, Senegal and Ecuador, being nominated MotM in the first 3. And I could keep on citing statistics…

    You are right that the Dutch competition is not on the PL level. Same applies to Portugal. These are not top 5 leagues, but still above Turkey, Belgium, Russia, UKRAINE and the MLS. Anyway, some big money signings from the Netherlands and Portugal are struggling (vd Beek, Mattheus Nunes, Donyell Malen, Hirving Lozano), for some the jury is still out (Hakim Ziyech, Fabio Vieira, Darwin Nunez, Luis Sinisterra, Antony), and some hit the ground running and became overnight sensations (Luis Díaz, Frenkie de Jong, Bruno Fernandes, Nuno Mendes, Teun Koopmeiners, Vitinha, Rúben Dias, Matthijs de Ligt).

    Yet it is a good argument that if a player even from France or Italy needs a few months to adapt to the PL then for players from Liga Portugal or the Eredivisie shouldn’t be expected to do miracles in the weeks after they signed, but that should apply even more to the Ukrainian Premier Liga, where there are only 3 (!) players worth £10M+ according to TransferMarkt:

    Apart from his intimidating name I don’t think Mudryk would be a clear upgrade on ESR and Vieira, and by the time he could start playing confidently we’ll have Nelson and Jesus back. Yet, I won’t mind Edu signing him, but this bidding war makes me sick. Anyway, my money is on Gakpo when it will come to the goal contributions per 90 minutes at the end of the season, and I won’t mind anyone challenging with his candidate.

  • PB, all good points.

    The big games for Gakpo this season were Arsenal away, Argentina and by all accounts, he was underwhelming. I look at him closely and thought he struggled in tight spaces. PL will be the big test. But yes let’s give him time. He is a good lad and I think Arsenal were close to going for him but then changed their minds.

  • We could have at least drive the price up a little. It seems like a steal. 🙂
    Stupid Chelsea is paying unjustified, crazy money for Fernandez, according to rumors. He is a good player, but for that money I won’t mind them signing him a bit.

  • C Palace v Southampton………Home
    Boreham W v Accrington S…. Away (1-3)
    Brentford v West Ham Utd….. Home
    Norwich City v Blackburn R… Home
    Manchester City v Chelsea…. Home (3-2)
    Villarreal v Real Madrid………… Away (1-3)

  • Stu that sounds alarming and only three weeks before you got married, fortunately someone was keeping an eye on you, as I think is always the case, stay safe.

  • I understand Total, it’s dangerous to buy into new players until they’re certain but I’m hopeful, let’s leave there.

  • Expected line up:

    White, Sal, Big Gab, Tomi
    Ode, Granit
    Saka, Eddie, Marti

    That is my guess. Tomiyasu shuts the left corridor off, better than Kieran or Zinch.

  • …..and, yes PB. You are right about the game Saka and Saliba may be suspended from. Good job!

  • They’re catching their breath
    Nil-nil after such a start says a lot about what it takes to score a goal against them

  • PB, Mykhaylo Mudryk will certainly improve us, if not immediately, in the quality of the bench we put out. I agree he is over-priced, for an unproven quantity, but he will score us goals and assist a lot.

    I have no interest in Jao Felix, though.

  • The red has allowed the game to get scrappy with his choice to dish out yellow cards for every challenge. Now, he has put himself in a situation where he can’t stop.
    It looks a nervy game for both sides, it must be said, as our early momentum has turned cautious now. The ref has managed to get our guys concerned about going into tackles. First half should end goalless and we’d have to find other ways to break the visitors’ defence down.

  • As expected, a tough match. Scrappy and full of fouls. The manager will need to work his magic now. The Oily Barcodes will tire, but so may we. Shame we didn’t score in those first ten minutes. But all to play for and the boys are doing well.

  • They’ve put our flame out
    They’re well-drilled, impressive athletes, and there’s something Sacchi -esque about the way Howe make them occupy space
    Granit is not the light bringer he was pre-WC, and I think our left-flank is too predictable; I wish Marti darted into the centre of the pitch time and again, so Oleks might overlap and use this silky left-foot of his to deliver deadly crosses
    Great football game anyway, seen from the stands the intensity must be breathtaking

  • Good points, Legall. We need to increase our numbers when we attack on the wings, as they are doubling up on Saka and Martinelli. There will be more space and I think we’ll crack them open soon.

  • Felix is much more experienced and probably more talented, too, but definitely more prolific. However he is 2 years older than Mudryk, so the comparison is not exactly fair.

    My 3 main arguments against Felix are his possibly 9-digit asking price, his reported €280k salary per week (which is slightly under £250k), and the fact that he wants to leave Madrid as he is fed up with being the backup for Morata and Griezman (or Suarez in previous years), and looking for a club where he can be the undisputed #1 attacker. And that shouldn’t be Arsenal, although he is a really fine player.

  • This has turned into a game for Eddie to score the winner with his knee, or his butt, after three or four rebounds off as many players in the 6-yard-box

  • Almiron, Wilson off
    Howe’s closing time
    Might be a mistake, they were good at holding the ball up these 2
    Come on lads, prove me right!!

  • Now that was such an annoying game guess I have to be glad with the positives: not a loss, no red card and no new injuries but I was hoping we would throw on Viera or somebody to have a go. Granit could have found the winner but he really looks in need of a break to me these games are coming thick and fast as it is.

  • I think we deserved the three points but it was not to be. A bit of fatigue and lack of real options on the bench to approach our attack differently. Nevertheless, I am very proud of the boys and happy enough with the draw.

    Now we can rest a bunch of first team players for almost two weeks, which is highly welcome.

  • They wrapped their sticky thread around our tired legs
    Soon, Emil’s going to entangle us from such webs
    Proud of the boys’ bravery

  • We could have easily got mugged there, Newcastle have only conceded 11 goals in the Premier League, Howe is building from the back, they also do a nice line in shithousery and I can them and us having quite a few tasty tear ups in the years to come, especially once they get some decent strikers and open up, in fact they remind me a bit of Chelsea in that first season when Mourinho took over.

    Our attacking players just seemed a bit leggy, the passing lacked its usual snap and accuracy because a few times we were just a final ball away from opening them up, disappointed but not downhearted, over to you Chelsea on Thursday.

  • Phew! Had to catch my breath after that one. It is only the 3rd time we’ve dropped points all season so a lot to be positive about, still.
    That was a game and a half, even if scrappy. Newcastle defended well and Arsenal didn’t have the right answers/options to break them down. A good draw for the visitors, but we are still top of the league.
    Newcastle are the best defence in the EPL. Today, I understood why.

  • And over to you Mr Edu because th3 lack of options on the bench screamed out for all to see and need addressing this window, we really don’t want to go through a litany ‘if only’s’ next May, get it done Edu…

  • Everyone forgets we had two good penalty shouts to win the game; the Burns (Gabriel shirt grab) one more than the Murphy handball. How has Howard Webb’s referees (on field and VAR) not called those or even reviewed the first one?

    I think we played well but the Newcastle shape was just too difficult to break down and we acked options off the bench to change something. It may be the template for most teams now, coming to ours so we need to find a solution to such defending: patience, composure and decision making.
    The worst that can come off this is City being behind us by only 5 points, but that’s even better than where we were a few weeks before the world cup break.

  • All good points.

    Kev, I also thought the Magpies looked like that Oily lot in West London when Mourinho was their manager.

    We had four shots on target and normally we score at least one from those. Yes they defended well but so did we. I am actually disappointed in Newcastle, thought they had more football in them.

  • I am with you on that first penalty shout how did it not get reviewed? A clear penalty if there was ever any and for me the second one is very debatable but it was not meant to be. Reiss is so unlucky he is seeing his last chance slip away with this latest injury after missing the start of the season with another one. What a shame he did make a big impact filling in for Saka when nobody expected it and who knows Mikel might have trusted him a little more as he would ESR if he was available. Now with a new winger seemingly on the agenda his time to convince Mikel and Edu to give him a new contract may have passed. Who knows still a ways to go so hopefully he recovers soon.

  • To be fair to Newcastle some of their players are just recovering from injuries and they do not yet have a deep squad and Isak has hardly kicked a ball for them since his big money move. I am sure they would have been more attacking if they were at home so we better be up for it up there, a great result for them today.

  • Eris, apparently under Webb the VAR guys have been advised to operate a ‘light touch’ whatever that means? Anyway pulling someone’s shirt almost over their head can’t be heavy enough for VAR to intervene, which really negates the whole process, but it is what it is…

  • Yes Total I saw some brief highlights about an hour after the game and on any othe4 day Odegaard finds the net, Gabriel is on target with that header ( a great chance), Martinellis flick drops inside the far post and Eddie slips the ball part the leg of the goalkeeper, Newcastle alternatively had one really good chance when Joalinton should have scored with his head, other than that they pretty much focused on defending for 90 minutes other than wasting time and don’t tell me that 5 minutes added on at the end reflected on the time they wasted, the referee was clearly not up to the standard of this fixture…

  • Other than Brighton, Liverpool and Man City which teams are going to open up against Arsenal and not get hurt. We have to be prepared for more of that and its makes sense for them but is not pleasing to watch. What excuse do Spurs have for playing like that when they clearly have a lot of talent. Actually I believe Villa under Emery will be very dangerous as he has them going forward with purpose.

  • Between 5th January and the 14th January, Man City have 4 games, Chelsea in the FACup, Southampton in the League Cup and Chelsea then Man Utd in the EPL.

    Good luck with that…

  • A tense encounter, NFC were quite dour in their tactics, understandable but unattractive. Our boys worked very hard but just lacked the incisiveness which has got us this far. Even viewing from 14,000 kilometres away from the Emirates I could see Gabriel deserved a penalty. Head shakingly unbelievable.
    Still, a point, no injuries or suspensions, and a wee rest for some of our regular starters before the NLD and Manure games. Not to be sniffed at.

  • Scrappy affair and not fully expected. Looking at the way they played last season at their home I was happy that NC sat back in the second half and waited for set pieces. We lacked composure in our final balls. Even Ode lost composure in his final delivery. I thought Eddie did very well considering that he didn’t have much service. He created couple of opportunities for himself and could well have squeezed past Popes leg on another day. Both our wingers suffered today and we’re not at thie best but still caused enough trouble.
    I thought Granit faded in second half. He had couple of moments in the box where a little bit more quality and speed could have given us a goal. I thought Arteta should have replaced him for Viera late in the game to get some composure and quality. May be he doesn’t trust him yet for such big games. We really are thread bare and the title race is unsustainable with such a squad.
    All in all it was a good point and we have a bit of rest till the game against Spurs. Hope they get recharged and may be have ESR and a new winger by then.

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