Arsenal v Newcastle – Premier League match preview

Monday night action at The Emirates

Monday night action at The Emirates
Newcastle head to The Emirates tomorrow evening as 4th meets 6th in this clash of contenders for Europe.

I never though I would be saying that at the start of the season!

Anyway, it’s Alan Pardew’s 50th Premier League game in charge of United and he will be going to the Emirates looking for a win if you look at his pre-match chitter-chatter.

Of the 49 league games under his stewardship we’ve won 18, drawn 17 and lost 14 giving Pardew an ultimate win percentage of 36% although if you purely take into account the results of this season, with what this starting to be his own team, his percentage lifts to 44%.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing however is the loss percentage – it’s only 28% which is pretty good to be honest and equates to us losing ten games a season roughly. It would also equate to us picking up 54 points a season, which would put us in with a shout of Europe pretty much every season. Once again, if you average it out to results this season alone, using the 44% win percentage, that points total would rise to 63 points, which would pretty much be enough for Europe.

Anyway, how about some team news?


Arsene Wenger will be without Abou Diaby, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Per Mertesacker and Emmanuel Frimpong, while Sebastien Squillaci, AndrΓ© Santos, Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Aaron Ramsey, and Theo Walcott are all rated as doubtful.


Leon Best, Sammy Ameobi, Sylvain Marveaux, Steve Harper, Nile Ranger and Steven Taylor all remain out, and now we have Peter Lovenkrands added to the list. The Dane has picked up a thigh injury which could mean he has kicked his last ball for the club as his contract runs out in the summer.

Dan Gosling is available for selection despite his red card in the reserve Tyne-Wear derby in midweek.


A lot is being made of how we’ve dipped since the game against Manchester United at the turn of the year. The reality is that we’ve lost just two league games since then so we’re still picking up points, even if the last two home games have only yielded draws.

However Arsenal have hit a purple patch and haven’t lost in the league since the 22nd January – a 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United. They’ve been scoring goals in recent weeks too, with their last two home league games yielding a return of 12 goals.

Tactic talk

Any success will largely depend on keeping Robin van Persie quiet. The Dutchman looks a shoe in for the Golden Boot (haha!) this season and tops the scoring stakes with 25 goals.

To keep him quiet we will need to close down the channels and not give Arsenal any space to pick out those killer passes that they like to thread through. Aeriel prowess at the back won’t be the most important factor in this one.

However there is a tendency for teams to try and soak up the pressure that Arsenal will inevitably put on you. It’s great if it can be pulled off, like we did last season, but more often than not you are just inviting problems on yourself.

We need to also make sure that we have an attacking presence. The Arsenal defence has shown throughout the season that they can be got at, which is why I’d play Hatem Ben Arfa from the start in some role. He’s earned it after his second half cameo against Sunderland last week and we could do with someone who will run at the Arsenal defence. Granted it probably means dropping Papiss Cisse, but I just feel we’ll be better off with ball retention by playing Ben Arfa.

Final thoughts

Personally I’m not expecting much from the match other than 100% from our players. It’s going to be a tough ask, but if we put in 100% you just never quite know. We’re quite good at springing the odd upset these days but we’ll see.

Arsenal have just beaten Tottenham and AC Milan at the Emirates with a win at Anfield thrown in for good measure. They are a good side, unplayable on their day in fact. I just hope that day isn’t Monday!

Howay the lads!

Date: Monday, 12th March, 2012
Kick-off: 8pm – Live on Sky
Venue: The Emirates Stadium

121 thoughts on “Arsenal v Newcastle – Premier League match preview

  1. Just saw matt spiro (who first broke the news about amalfitano) tweeted that gameiro just scored in injury time for PSG before saying he’ll likely be sold at the end of the season. “An excellent, affordable signing”. With PSG rivalling man city’s money i’d say they’ll take a reasonable cut on the Β£10m(?) they paid in the summer. Striker won’t be a top priority in the summer but if there’s value there, we had strong interest and we’re not exactly flush with quality up front


  2. Jon R:

    Please understand that my argument is all about form. I’m not saying Rosicky etc are top class midfielders. Rosicky in particular has been very poor for the last few years, but he has suddenly found form out of nowhere in the last few games and that’s what worries me as we play Arsenal tomorrow.

    I agree this Arsenal side are a shadow of their previous sides, they are not even a patch on their squad last year, but currently they are playing very well and it’s just typical for us to play them when they’re on a high.

    Isn’t that the same for all teams though? Very few clubs can sell a good player and be 100% sure they are going to be replaced with a player just as good, or better. However, our chances of doing so seem relatively high based on our previous business.


  3. The Kid……or from an alternative point of view, you could say that the chances are relatively low based on the fact that every team buys players that don’t work out at some point and we’re due one πŸ˜‰



    I suppose you could look at it like that. Either way, I would much prefer be in our position than say, Liverpool’s. A squad filled with mediocre players that are probably all on sky high wages and long term contracts. Not only will it be hard to get rid, but what quality players can they replace them with? They are not a Champions League side anymore and will only continue to attract mediocre/good players. Bad times for them, me thinks.


  5. Richie spot on most supporters think that Carr can just keep pulling them out of his hat, and some even think that it would be no big deal to get rid of Tiote or anyother big player because we will be able to replace them 😯 yeah sure we could do that and then a yr after when the replacement starts to play well we could flog them and just keep doing that πŸ˜• because we will never be in a position to hold on to the top players and never will be because we keep rebuilding the team every year


  6. Big Dave

    I agree Carr can’t keep pulling them out of his hat, but I do not agree with the second part.

    Each time a quality player gets sold I assume it will be for big money. This will allow us to strengthen multiple areas in the squad and thus the team will become more competitive. Very similar to what Spurs did up until Harry joined. Now they are in a position to turn down big offers as they have reinvested wisely and developed a top class side that competes with those who are trying to buy their best players i.e. Man United & Chelsea. This is what we are trying to do.

    Of course you can’t bank on it, but that is the plan and so far it is working.


  7. I am 100% for the Mike Ashley model and believe it comprises elements of the Lyon, Spurs, Dortmund and Arsenal model. It’s not the model that annoys me about them, it’s their inability to be straight with us.

    …Although saying that, they haven’t told a fib in a little while. πŸ™„


  8. The Kid says:
    March 11, 2012 at 20:56

    ‘I agree this Arsenal side are a shadow of their previous sides, they are not even a patch on their squad last year, but currently they are playing very well and it’s just typical for us to play them when they’re on a high.’

    After a high there is a come down I’m sure many people realise that. Three games of suddenly playing a lot better, can they keep that going for four games ❗


  9. The Kid
    I to are a fan of the Ashley model but all of the teams around about us are using a different financial model so it aint a level playing field. Winning the league is impossible and you need to be mighty fortnuate to win a cup. Sometimes you wonder why bother.


  10. The Kid I believe to build a real good team you need stability and that imo means keeping our best players and adding to them.
    The way you are suggesting is that if we get a big money offer for anyone we should sell because we can replace them with cheaper players and hope that we will invest the rest of the money into other areas πŸ˜• well I can’t see that working because as soon as the replacement player comes good we will then sell them and start all over again.
    we have been short of quality backup/1st team contenders for a long time if we sell one of our better players all efforts will be pleased in replacing them, with the chance that we wont have time to get the other players in.


  11. DJG:
    Again that’s one way of looking at it, but is Spurs dropping points doesn’t further inspire them then what will?

    I agree you can’t win much with this model(Maybe a cup or two), but that’s down to the FA/UEFA allowing football to get his out of hand. It is frustrating, but I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy watching the team develop bit by bit. Think about how happy you were when you read that Krul and Colo had signed new contracts. City/United/Chelsea fans rarely have such emotion as they are hardly ever in danger of losing players. It may not be the best example, but I love that side of the game and it can’t be bought.


  12. Big Dave

    I think you are missing my point. What I am saying is, after selling players for big money a few times we will have hopefully reinvested the money into the squad and improved in a competitive sense. As we do that year on year, less and less teams will be able to come in for our players as we will be nearer to them on the pitch. Of course you are still under threat from the sovereign state clubs(as Spurs are), but overall you are in a better position to tell 90% of clubs to F off. That’s all I am trying to say.

    As I keep saying, Spurs are a perfect example of this. They lost Carrick, Keane and Berbatov for big money and reinvested wisely. It’s up to us to try and do the same.


  13. The Kid
    Aye I agree you do get a buzz when a young un comes through.

    Also agree with Big Dave that wonga will always talk. Arsenal with their policy and highest match ticket prices cannot retain their stars then we will not.

    I pay my money and after forty five years of going to games have given up on winning anything and just want to be entertained


  14. Dubtoon – Isn’t Ba a fan of PSG, wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some sort of swap deal in that move.


  15. Sharpy.

    Good point and I would take that too. I don’t feel Ba has any intention to stick around here with us and I also have reservations about his ability to play alongside Cisse. They don’t seem to compliment each other that well from the little I have seen of them as a pair. I would love a forward two of Gameiro and Cisse though.


  16. Dubtoon, a striker will be a top priority in the Summer cos we will lose Ba and Cisse for possibly 8 games next season with Acon qualifying round in October and the actual tournament in Jan/Feb.

    For the same reason I can’t see any team coming in for Ba this year.


  17. The Kid ” I think you are missing my point. What I am saying is, after selling players for big money a few times we will have hopefully reinvested the money into the squad and improved in a competitive sense” what they way we strenghtened the team with the carroll money ?

    You say from what little you have seen Ba and Cisse they don’t compliment eachother, but you would love to see us having Gameiro and Cisse as our strike partnership ? have you seen them play together to know they would compliment eachother ?


  18. Well just watched a football talk show here in holland and Jan Vertongen was a guest in the studio , he wont be playing for us next season . He said enough when questioned with out actually saying he has signed for them , but he will be playing for Arsenal next season .


  19. The Kid…agree with you about Liverpool, although they aren’t stuck with mediocre players because of where they are in the league, they bought the wrong players in the first place, if they’d spent the same money but on proven quality players then I’ve no doubt they’d be at least challenging the top four….oh and had a decent manager πŸ˜‰ .
    Money does and always will talk, Man City were a “mediocre” team…until they got money, spend it on the right players with the right manager and a bit of luck then chances are you’ll do well. Hopefully as you say we’ll one day be in a position when we can tell the big clubs to feck off when they come in for one of our players and be able to compete with them financially, but we won’t break into the top 4(consistently) without doing so and spending cash on quality,. Hopefully that day will come πŸ˜€


  20. Big Dave

    “what they way we strenghtened the team with the carroll money ?” Yes, just like that. We have since replaced Carroll with Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse. We have also used the money to give bumper contracts to Krul and Colo.

    “You say from what little you have seen Ba and Cisse they don’t compliment eachother, but you would love to see us having Gameiro and Cisse as our strike partnership ? have you seen them play together to know they would compliment eachother ?” No, I haven’t. However, in terms of attributes, it makes sense. Gameiro is a pacey, off the shoulder striker and the Cisse & Ba partnership lacks real pace. The Ba & Cisse partnership may come good, it’s early days and I admit they haven’t had that much time together. However, will Ba be here through pre-season + next season to develop the understanding? I have my doubts


  21. Axel

    That wouldn’t surprise me. I read an article earlier on today saying that Arsenal plan to sign Podolski, Vertonghen and Goetze in a bid to convince RVP to stay.


  22. Arsenal will have a canny team, if they pull that off……especially the keeping RVP part.

    Anyhoo, early start for me and its gone midnight here so later lads.


  23. Axel
    what’s your verdict on toby alderweild(think thats his name)? And Douglas of FC Twente?
    Really hope Ba stays, as I genuinely think the Cisse – Ba partnership is gunna be a good one.
    Lovenkrance will leave in the summer hopefully Ranger and possibly best. Meaning we’ll have Ba, Cisse, Shola, and the youngsters that are still around, meaning we’ll need some back up, someone young like the swedish kid at man city or Rhodes, either of whom we can tell that they can be loaned out to another PL side for constant game time, to be recalled when neccessary (injuries, ACON). Thoughts?


  24. Whats this i heard earlier about VP agreeing a deal with city, is it bull? Or just a rumour that’s likely?


  25. AndyMag

    Who knows, mate? It’s all rumours, but City have previous of tapping up Arsenal players so I wouldn’t put it past them…Saying that, if the Gooners do end up signing Vertonghen, Podolski and Goetze they would have a better side than City.


  26. For all of the money they’ve spent, I really don’t think much of City’s squad. Silva and Yaya often make the players around them look better than they are.


  27. The kid
    Is podolski really as good as everyone is making out? Why hasn’t any big clubs moved in sooner and why did Bayern Munich originally let him leave? Also where is this rumour that Goetze will be going to Arsenal coming from, isnt Madrid, Man U and Chelsea all looking at him.


  28. ANDYMAG we need too stay clear of Douglas he is imo overhyped ,i honestly thing he would be another Boumsong . Anderwield is a very talented defender who will go on too be a class international player but he is still quite young . i would be pleased with his signing but for us too move on next season maybe we should be looking for a defender with the same ability but more expeirence .


  29. The kid
    Statistically Man City have a good team but they’re a ‘bought team’ so don’t really care about the club. They don’t fight for the club which is why they were knocked out of the CL and could be out of Europa soon as well, these are tournaments that don’t just require skill but hard work and professionalism, that is why barca are so good, and why there isn’t likely to be an English club in the next couple of rounds cus all 4 clubs are as previously stated ‘bought clubs’.


  30. cheers axel, good to hear an insight into the players everyone wants, sure carr knows who we should get πŸ˜‰


  31. AndyMag

    Read that one, mate. There is also another article somewhere that includes Vertonghen in the list of Arsenal’s most wanted.

    As for Podolski, it’s a bit of a strange one. A journalist I trust for all matters Bundesliga has been raving non-stop about him (Raphael Honigstein) and reckons he has improved a lot over the last 18 months. I see your point though, he didn’t set the world alight at Bayern and for a long time was seen as the player who never lived up to the hype. I guess we will see next season.


  32. Thanks for that axel. Disappointing to hear that about Douglas. Worth taking on a free even? Obviously wages, signing bonus to consider but cheaper than buying. I remember mcclaren wanted to keep hold of him but maybe that was to do with not being able to get a replacement


  33. Axel – sorry mate, I’ve just seen your post re the young swede from City, wasn’t ignoring it mate just see it there, thanks though. I reckon we could pick him up for very little if Feyenoord don’t fancy him.

    I agree with Dave, stability is what’s needed, but if it’s just one player – keeping Tiote as an example, taking Β£25m for him would allow us to bring afew players in – but then keep the rest of the team together. However I don’t believe that would happen like.
    As hypothetically speaking, we sell Tiote Β£25m then someone comes in for Cabaye for Β£20m, we knock them back but they keep coming back up to Β£30m – would they really stand their ground or who they say “well how could we not take that kind of money?”


  34. Hypothetically speaking, “IF” they manage to enforce FFP rules(which I have serious doubts they will), then surely the days of getting Β£20m and Β£30m have gone, clubs will be lucky if they get Β£10m for their big players with Β£5m probably being the more common sum and considered a large fee.
    That in turn may ruin some Championship clubs as the days of them getting Β£3-5m for players will be gone and they’ll be lucky if they ever get Β£1m for a player, and the lower down the league, the lower the fees. Clubs who rely on selling players for big money to stay afloat will strugle to survive, where’s the “Fair Play” in that?…..just a “hypothetical” thought πŸ˜‰


  35. Cheers Witters πŸ˜† πŸ˜† ……..and on that, I’m away up the coast hoose hunting πŸ˜‰


  36. Richie, Have you had a hair cut… You look different on your avatar… πŸ˜†

    oh, 3 -1 to the Gunners as much as it pains me to say it…. I hope HBA starts as well, we need to really give them something to think about going forward..


  37. Aussie….oh, to have hair to cut πŸ˜₯ ….and Toonsy, no I got out of bed because you were on ya way home from work, 2’s and company and all that πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†


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