Newcastle destroyed, but result doesn’t vindicate a dry January

by & filed under Match report.

Newcastle finished 5th last year. They’re contenders for top four this year. This game was the first of note we’ve had in a while. 3 points were imperative, but as I said before the game, finding our style and confidence was of equal importance.

My oh my did we deliver. The ten goal thriller didn’t go all our own way, defensive frailties were exposed as is par the course for this side. What did go our way was an attacking master class, the likes of which we’ve seen a few times this season (from my records, that’s the 6th game we’ve scored five or more).

There were stand out performances up front from a number of the boys. Theo Walcott easily had his best game in the red and white of Arsenal last night. Based on what he turned in yesterday, I’ll be eating humble pie by the truck load. He played off the last man with intelligence, he helped us break at pace and he showed world class ingenuity at times. He was totally unplayable.

His first goal opened the scoring, he was played in with a low hard pass from Podolski, he held the line perfectly, steamed into the box and slotted into the bottom corner with confident precision when he could have opted for the pass to Santi.

His second came from a Gibbs cross, he controlled it in the area, swivelled and powered into the top corner. His third was goal of the season so far, after a quick freekick with Jack, he jinked into the area past two players, he was chopped down, fell to his knees, got back up and chipped the ball past Krul… all in one slick move! A masterful demonstration of what you can do if you stay on your feet.

Chamberlain also had a very solid game, he used his skill and ability to go round players on numerous occasions to great effect. His goal was courtesy of Podolski intercepting a throw in, Cazorla bringing the ball down with some tight control, he played it across the box, Chambo controlled it and drilled it low and hard back across Krul’s goal into the net.

Podolski seemed to be the man at the heart of everything. He’s finally starting to deliver on his big reputation, but far more as a provider… even if he’s not directly offering the killer pass, he’s often involved in the build up like Hleb used to be. The German was credited on the score sheet after Jack found his way into the box from a smart one two, he then chipped delightfully to the back post, Krul made a hash clearing, leaving Lukas free to slam home.

The final two goals to talk about came from Giroud who came on for a cameo appareance. His first goal was courtesy of a viscous cross from Theo into the 6 yard box, the big Frenchman slammed home his header with ease. His second was a more individual, he powered a near post shot past the down beaten Krul. He was over the moon… he needed to justify his place in the side and he certainly did. That’s 11 goals and 9 assists for his half season. Pretty impressive you have to say.

Things didn’t go all our way. We were pegged back three times. Demba Ba levelled with a Frank Lampard like deflected freekick. He slammed his shot at Jack, who turned his back on it, the ball ricocheting into the middle of the goal. Any other day I’d be taking Jack to town over that… you take it in the face at any level of the game. The second came from Marveax after Obertan easily beat Sagna, passed across the six years box where an untracked Marveax was on hand to tap in. The third was Ba again. Gibbs went to sleep, Ba slipped in behind him and slammed home for an easy goal.

Our full backs were poor defensively yesterday. Simple mistakes that shouldn’t happen, happened. For all the joy of beating Newcastle with a 7 goal tally, we can’t ignore the simple fact that conceding sloppy goals is not going to help us long term.

However, for the time, we’ll just pretend that attack is the best form of defence.

It’s crazy that from a stats point of view, things don’t quote correlate. We had less possession, our pass completion rate was lower than Newcastle’s and we only managed ten shots on target… a 70% conversion rate!

What yesterday proved is that we can still be a devastating force when it comes to playing attacking football. It showed that we’re capable of a plan A and a plan B with our style. Giroud is the polar opposite to Theo, but in certain games, just as effective. It also showed how much we’ve missed pace and decisiveness up front. Theo allowed us to stretch Newcastle all evening. If we sign another striker, they have to have pace and power. Demba Ba looked like the missing ingredient we don’t have. However, as it seems unlikely we’ll take a risk on a dodgy knee, we need to find someone similar. Pace is the prerequisite.

What last night can’t do is act like some sort of vindication Wenger doesn’t need to spend. Our squad is still desperately lacking quality back up. Diaby needs replacing, we’re a striker and a back up keeper short. If Theo is moving into the middle, I think it’s fair to suggest we need a winger… someone who likes playing there. A Nani or a Zaha would suffice.

The important thing is that the core of the team are gelling. Jack Wilshere is an immense driving force. He’s getting sharper as each game passes and he’s starting to control the middle of the park. He turns an interception to an attack with great speed, once he starts adding goals to his skillet he’ll be we’ll worth the massive contract he’s on.

Things are looking good, if we make the right moves in January, we’ll make third at a canter and definitely win the Champions League.

Have a great day, and if you get the chance, crop me a picture of Alan Pardew’s smacked arse face when he started getting pounded! It makes me smile so, so much!

Have a great day!

352 Responses to “Newcastle destroyed, but result doesn’t vindicate a dry January”

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  1. Samir

    Imagine a

    ……………….Back 5……………….

    Could be our team if Wenger had balls of steel.

  2. Radio Raheem

    “Radio Raheem – Not just our game, was asking what relevance you place on your own comment”

    You mean context? Well, I made that clear didn’t I? The matches I have seen.

    You keep bringing in Felaini. This just adds ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ something I never mentioned in my initial comment. Personally, I try to steer clear of such things in a case like this one.

    I thought Chelsea did well they’ve tended to lose there lately and I think that was Everton’s first home defeat in the league.

    You talk about Distin’s tackle I felt it was more of a poor play by Torres. Besides, one tackle could not hold such a weighting you are trying to apportion it, for me anyway, in the context of an exhilarating match. The match was exciting to me not inspiring.

  3. Al

    City….. But chelsea won the champions league and city got dumped out the first round so doesn’t it mean chelsea had the most efficient team….

  4. AA23

    Aren’t Cazorl’sa stats better than Mata’s and Silvas so far this season?
    In a way worse team
    Sometimes we should be thankful for what we have.
    He’s a world class player.
    Any team would love to have him.

  5. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – Of course context, mate if all you’ve watched is one game and that was the Everton one you could say it’s the best you’ve seen and that’d be the end of it, but it’d be in the context of one game.

    If you compared it to our game all your points would be valid, I’m just wondering where you rank it, do you feel you’ve watched enough of a proportion of this seasons games to say that you’d place it that highly and if so do you think that it’d stand out amongst the best games you’ve ever seen or simply as a decent game amongst a poor league/ season.

    The Fellaini bit, I’ve seen Everton play better this year and yes with Fellaini, I’d just say they were a better team with him, and in general I don’t think even with all their players plying at their peak you’d get a better team performance without him, like I said he raises the threshold and for me you could see that Everton didn’t have much more to offer than they did against Chelsea.

    It was just what you expect from them.

    It’s all upto you really, I’ve tried to explain, I’m simply repeating what I’ve said now.

    I watched the game and for me it was just what you’d expect from an Everton team missing someone like Fellaini and for me a Chelsea team that aren’t making the most of the talent they have for whatever reason.

  6. AA23

    Cazorla just about nicking it stats wise
    Just though
    But I think he takes it based on what he’s got around him on the pitch.
    All bollocks though
    wish we had both.

  7. AA23

    Cazorla at Chelsea with that squad and Mata at Arsenal with our squad?

    I think it would be just as hard to separate them…
    Thank fuck for that
    We have at least one world class player.

  8. Radio Raheem


    I have seen quite a few premier matches that should be clear enough by now. (In fact it is implicit in the original comment)

    Everton hit the woodwork 3 times without reaching this ‘Felaini threshold’ so you could argue what was lacking was luck more than finding an extra performance.

    I think Chelsea are happy with the result and performance and you don’t have to take it from me.

    My points are valid they’re mine but you are allowed to disagree. Again, what is the point of all of this?

    You are repeating yourself because your questions are not leading anywhere. In a way you remind me of my students. You must be in your 20s.

  9. gambon

    Both are just top class players. The big problem is the next time a Cazorla/Mata becomes apparent in the game we will likely miss out.

    Its telling that we only signed Cazorla cos he was cheap.

    Mata was a lot at £23m but hes worth £30m easily now.

    This is why I hate it when people say “its too risky buying xxxx”.

    When you buy a player you dont lose money, its just a transfer of assets from cash to intangible assets.

    For example Podolski was £10m, probably worth £15-18m now. Giroud was £10m or so, probably worth at least that still, Cazorla £16m, now worth £30m.

    If we were to spend £100m next week, the chances are that group of players would still be worth £100m in 1/2/3 years time.

    The big problem at the club is the wage bill, and that is all Wengers fault.

  10. Incesc

    But what about any Carroll, stewart downing and Jordan Henderson.

    All that money king kenny spent.

    Man, Liverpool fans must cry themselves to sleep

  11. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – For what it’s worth I thought you were quite young aswell.

    It’s simple put the game in context of the games you’ve seen this season and then relate it to the level of performance of teams and the league as a whole this year.

    For me the game might’ve stood out, but the performances from either team didn’t really, I’ve seen better from both. I’ve seen better from us as a singular team, like you say the games earlier in the season, especially Liverpool and in terms of the Citeh game I thought as a ‘football’ fan you’d probably garner more watching that.

    On the whole the leagues been poor this year and that’s evident in how this game stands out this season, but would be pretty much par in years gone by.

  12. Gunner2301

    What I don’t understand with Wenger that he’ll pay 10-12 mill for Walcott, Chamberlain even Kos he paid over the odds for, however he won’t spend proportionally the same on established players.

  13. Keyser

    gambon – “This is why I hate it when people say “its too risky buying xxxx”.”

    You seem to have trouble with equating Chelsea buying ‘Mata’ and us buying him. Chelsea bought him, Oscar and Hazard, added Marin, Moses and others.

    Cazorla is the better buy for us, that’s simple, he’s experienced, intelligent and knows what and when to sacrifice for the benefit of the team.

    Citeh are not efficient in terms of us or most teams in the league, that’s complete bullshit, in terms of Citeh as a club and them setting out to win the league, they achieved that and you’ve said because they set themselves a target and succeeded they deserve credit. Fine.

    That’s temepered with them winning the league with the greatest financial deficit in football history, something which you ignore.

  14. Keyser

    “however he won’t spend proportionally the same on established players.”

    Because we’ve only got soo much money can only be wrong soo many times.

    We’ve got 3 strikers in Giroud, Podolski, Walcott, or whatever combination you want, we’d be completely fucked if we’d bought in Torres for the same price, that’s all, I don’t get why people struggle with this.

    Yeah, sometimes it means we miss out on talented players, but that’s the position we’re in.

  15. Radio Raheem


    I’d like to think I’m young at heart or ‘Radio Raheem’ is anyway.

    Do you see the folly in the statement below?

    “It’s simple put the game in context of the games you’ve seen this season and then relate it to the level of performance of teams and the league as a whole this year.”

    Now go back to my original comments. It’s all there – ‘I’ not ‘The’ also ‘this season’ not ‘ever’

    What/who is a football fan? What should a football fan like or not like? How have you determined this? Why?

    You should have asked me what I like as a football fan then perhaps state what you like then we might have had a more constructive conversation marveling or mocking our idiosyncrasies.

  16. gambon

    “That’s temepered with them winning the league with the greatest financial deficit in football history, something which you ignore.”

    No, i think its you that doesnt understand business.

    Citys defecits were part of the plan from day 1.

    Buy a club cheap, invest heavily to make them a top club, then let the “off field” side catch up with the “on field” side.

    Something they have done brilliantly.

    They couldve bought Arsenal for £1bn, instead they have bought city, made them a top club, and overtaken us both on and off the pitch for less.

    As of next season they will be self sufficient if they want to be, not that they will be too bothered about that yet.

  17. gambon

    ” we’d be completely fucked if we’d bought in Torres for the same price, that’s all, I don’t get why people struggle with this.”

    Fucking hell, who are you Gazidis’ son?

    You think theres a middle ground between buying utter shit and the 5th most expensive player ever?

  18. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – I was asking for your opinion not deriding your comments, you seem stuck on this. I was asking where ‘you’d’ rank the game in the ones you’ve seen this year and if so from how many, as in sample size, and then whether you thought that was just specific to this season.

    “Don’t get me wrong as a fan love it whenever we win but as a lover of football it starts to get complicated”

    You could just go by your own parameters, against Citeh we were both organised and the skill level was higher, likewise the threshold, we kept good distance between lines and pressed well when we had to like the game there the year before where we lost but people actually accepted the way we played and the quality of the match.

  19. Keyser

    gambon – “Citys defecits were part of the plan from day 1.”

    Firstly it’s a business within a Sport and secondly you plum, what have you compared it against, it’s the biggest loss in football history, what have you got going against that to deem it efficient ? You’ve just decided they set out to win the league, ergo they must be efficient, when it’s painstakingly obvious that they could’ve been more efficient.

    FFS not even halfway through the season they sent a 40 million pound player on holiday and you’re sitting there marvelling at how efficient they were, at what point does that become acceptable ?!

    Fuck middle ground if that’s the bollocks you want to sound out as viable.

  20. Radio Raheem


    Can you count how many premier league matches you have watched this year? Well, I thought it was obvious I was referring to this season (if I did not say so categorically). I did say I ranked it as the best.

    Why do you think I feel you are deriding my comment? I feel you made some mistakes and I have tried to show this to you at a pace determined by yourself. Underpinning your mistakes is a fundamental flaw we all make – that of binary logic and essentialism.

    I did say why I preferred this match to ours against City.

  21. Royal Bludger

    Guys (and girls!) – if you follow energy politics, gas is the new oil. Saudi Arabia are using all the spare oil money to invest in gas – anywhere.

    Qatar have the 3rd largest gas reserves in the world. They are rich beyond our comprehension.

    Hence City.

    (Hence the war in Syria being funded by Qatar – to prevent an Iran, Syria, Russia gas pipeline that could maginalise them. You won’t read it in the papers – that’s what football is for!).

  22. Keyser

    “Can you count how many premier league matches you have watched this year? ”

    I know I’ve watched enough in my opinion to find instances of better organisation and of us showing a better one off ‘team’ performance, which is why I asked for the context of your opinion, if you’ve watched a few I’d take it as simply the best game ‘YOU’VE’ watched, if it’s the majority of games or enough for you to feel that your statement could be wider ranging I was simply asking you to expand on your opinion.

    Where’s the error ?!

  23. gambon


    Since the takeover in 2008 Man City have gone from 9th with 55 points to Champions with 89 points.

    They have gone from a club that was bought for £200m to a £1bn club.

    They have gone from not even top 20 in terms of turnover to top 6 now.

    As of next season they will be a bigger club than Arsenal on the pitch, a bigger club off the pitch, just a better club.

    Thats efficiency.

    Could Arsenal do the same? Absolutely. Invest in the team to grow the club, we wont though, we have no ambition and no business brains.

  24. Marko

    Mario Gotze now is almost as good as the likes of Mata and Cazorla and Fabregas and if he stays on course when he gets to Fab’s age mid 20’s he’ll be better than the lot imo. Better than Hamsik, Belhanda, Modric he’s the only player under 20/21 worth the 35-40 million you’d pay for him.

  25. Radio Raheem


    I think you would find that I used the idiom, ‘quite a few’ which means many or a large number.

    So what is many you might want to ask? Or what is ‘enough’ I might ask in reply?

    The bottom line is I made a comment you disagree. You could spared yourself the hassle by saying why you disagreed instead of going through all the rigmarole.

    Now this is where your error lies. Implicit in your ‘digging’ and apparent in all your comments since is a underlying assumptions of several idealisms. For example, an ideal of what a football lover should like, an ideal of the number of matches one should see before making the comment I made…it’s almost like only you should be able to make this comment anyone else making such a comment has to justify it…

    Like I showed asking for a sample is ludicrous as even you cannot remember all the matches and there is no way of finding how much I have seen is right. Assuming you have watched more than anyone else why should I place any value on your observations?

  26. Keyser

    gambon – You’re still stuck with what they’ve achieved, rather than what they could’ve, all you do is list where they came from to where they’ve gone, how have they done it efficiently exactly ?!

    Where’s the comparison ?! There isn’t any really except that they won the league last year with the biggest loss in football history.

  27. gambon

    Fucking hell Keyser and all you can go on about is “the biggest loss in football history” when you have no understanding of accounting losses and how irrelevant they are in Citys case.

  28. Marko

    Yeah I dunno how efficient City are when you consider how much their squad is being paid, the fact that every time a transfer window opens they buy players they don’t necessarily need. They barely play or don’t give enough game time to the likes off Balotelli, Dzeko, Milner, Lescott, Garcia, Rodwell and Sinclair and they paid big money for the likes of Bellamy, Santa Cruz, Adebayor and had to pay their wages for when they went on loan and when they got rid of them had to pay them off to go too. All this with a not too big fan base and a stadium under 50,000. Not very efficient. Great squad though.

  29. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – Mate, it’s not me, it’s about how much value you place on your own opinion, and why. I’m simply giving you the chance to explain it for yourself, don’t you ever look back and evaluate your own opinion ?!

    The conversation advances when you both know each others starting position, you just seem to be pretty irritated at being questioned in the first place like you thought I was criticising your opinion.

    “For example, an ideal of what a football lover should like, an ideal of the number of matches one should see before making the comment I made…it’s almost like only you should be able to make this comment anyone else making such a comment has to justify it…”

    This bears the crux of the argument, I didn’t ask for the ideal of either, I simply asked for yours.

    You said you like the organisation and the distance between lines, I pointed
    to the Liverpool game for us as an individual team performance, as a game Liverpool were pretty poor.

    “Don’t get me wrong as a fan love it whenever we win but as a lover of football it starts to get complicated.”

    You mentioned the love of football, again for me the Citeh demonstrated what you highlighted above far better.

    Where you’ve gone wrong is jumping on my comment when I was simply relating it back to yours.

  30. Keyser

    gambon – “when you have no understanding of accounting losses and how irrelevant they are in Citys case.”

    They’re irrelevant to Citeh, because Citeh have endless funds to meet a goal, it’s whether they could’ve achieved it more efficiently you plum and you’re yet to show fuckall reason as to why not.

    How the fuck can you say it was efficient when you have no comparison ? Think about, Jack Walker funded Blackburn to a title wouldn’t a valid comparison be along those lines ?!

  31. gambon

    “the fact that every time a transfer window opens they buy players they don’t necessarily need”

    See this is utter bullshit. They have a smaller squad than us. Its a complete myth that they just buy players for the sake of it.

    They havent been major spenders since they bought Silva/Yaya/Balotelli etc.

  32. Radio Raheem


    Lol you have come up with your standard gibberish again,

    “Radio Raheem – Mate, it’s not me, it’s about how much value you place on your own opinion, and why.”

    What does this even mean? Have you not been reading? I have said why I liked it and the context. The opinion I posed is an evaluated one. That means after considering the matches I have seen this one is the best. Simple. It’s an opinion simple.

    This is my position how difficult is t for you to understand?

    I also said why I preferred this game to ours against City…oh look I have said this before!!

    Now this, below, makes no sense whatsoever,

    “Where you’ve gone wrong is jumping on my comment when I was simply relating it back to yours.”

    Good night matey

  33. Keyser

    “That means after considering the matches I have seen this one is the best.”

    fucking hell, that’s it, do you feel like you’ve watched enough to form a general opinion, or just something you feel which you can’t really substantiate.

    Of course you said it before, you do that quite a lot, without ever reading what I’m actually saying and inferring what your want. I mean go back and read your own comments.

    “It’s not like we’re a surpreme specimen, football’s been pretty poor as a whole this year, if Liverpool were more of a challenge the way we took them apart was good, today’s Everton vs Chelsea game didn’t seem all that exciting, there must be plenty of others.”

    This is my first reply, should I have put some question marks in, a few ‘Hmms or something.

    and what was the response..

    “That is your opinion which I completely disagree with as I’m sure you have figured.”

    Heh, and there you go, Good Night mate.

  34. Marko

    Gambon 25 squad list is what I’m talking about how do they have a smaller squad than us? And that’s bollox about them not spending since yaya and the rest last summer Mancini was complaining about the purchases that were done cause if it was up to that bellend they’d off had a strikeforce of Balotelli, Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko and Van Persie for one sometimes 2 positions (good luck keeping all those happy and on 150,000-250,000 a week). Got rid of Johnson cause he complained of not getting enough gametime and replaced him with Sinclair who isn’t getting enough gametime. Are we efficient? Fuck no. But to suggest City are efficient purely cause they won the league doesn’t make sense it just shows a non-efficient team can win the league.

  35. SDE

    Royal Bludger

    I feel for Radio Raheem..Really do…

    On your analysis of the qatar’s gas exploration..

    That’s old news matey..You’re well behind on the info curve..
    The underlying issue in Syria,is partly that,& partly due to conflicts of interest in ideology as well..b/w the various actors in play..
    But that’s been a contentious issue for as long as I can remember..

    Good to know,you follow geopolitics..Happy new year to you & to the rest of the grovers,in advance..

  36. gambon


    They have a 26 man squad, with 2 on loan.

    We have a 26 man squad, with 14 on loan.

    So yeah, they are pretty efficient.

    If you think all of their players are on £200k per week youre mental. They have a wage bill of £180m, we have a wage bill of £140m.

    We have about 80 players on the wage bill, so on average an Arsenal player only earns £10k per week less than a city player.

    So you think our squad is on £140k-£240k per week?

  37. gambon

    Also, before I go, understand this…

    In 2 years time, in the 2014-15 season, maybe even next year, we will have a wage bill that matches what Citys was last year, or certainly very close. (Provided we dont fall out of the CL)

    Now do you expect us to have the quality of player that City had last season within the next 12-18 months? Tevez/Aguero/Yaya/Kompany/Hart etc?

    There are 2 ways we can go..

    1- Have 26 players on £100k per week each regardless of talent, 20 players on loan, a huge youth squad

    2- 4-5 absolute top class players, backed up by 20 good, not elite players

    I know which i prefer.

    We can afford to do either, and with Wenger incharge i fear we will see Koscielny, Diaby, Ramsey all on £100k pw.

  38. AKB moron

    what the 7-3 proved only was that walcott can play better through the middle (finally its sunk into wengers concrete inflexible garlic lump of a brain) and that too many games in a row will leave players drained at the latter stages of the consecutive game(as it proved for newcastle).
    We were exciting to watch and credit to the team, however i believe the win only makes wenger keep that wallet firmly cl;osed. That will be his downfall when the hard games sort out his lack of a top quality squad.

  39. radio arsenal

    So NU were destroyed. Bear in mind at least 4 regulars were missing. I shuddder to think what they could have done to a poor defence when the magpies scored their 2nd and 3rd goals.s.The defence is still a problem and Wenger shd be less bullish about meeting BM. The German could have easily ripped the gunners defence like a knife slicing thru butter.
    Be warned,Arsene.

  40. Gregg

    For the love of god will someone come in and save this club. That shamble of shit is unnaceptable. Soton keeper did not make one save in the whole match. 92 football league teams, make no mistake Arsenal are the worst when they don’t have the ball. It’s beyond belief. Commentator said Soton defended well ? Absolute bollox, they didn’t have anything to defend against. I’ve supported these cunts for 40 years, today is the day that they shamed every player thats ever played for them.

  41. Deano

    Gregg, I agree with every word.

    As AW passes my house every morning on his way to the training ground, I was thinking of putting up a sign in French saying: Goodbye M Wenger, thanks for the memories !

    Sorry forgot to thank Geoff and Pedders for their insight and entertaining blog !

    All the best for 2013