THE NEWCASTLE TRAP

by .

Arsenal vs Newcastle is going to be a very BIG game.

The trajectory of our season hit a pigeon mid-air – and we’re unsure how quickly the pilots can gain control of the plane. Hopefully, that was just a bout of turbulence and not an engine blowout.

The good news on the Arsenal front is some of the Newcastle special weapons aren’t available. Callum Wilson, a monster bully of a striker, isn’t available. Joelinton, one of the strongest midfielders in the Premier League is also not around. That limits their chance to pressure out the backline in the same way.

Their tactical plan is likely to be a basic one… sit deep and catch us on the break with Almiron, Antony Gordon and Isak. A deadly forward line that can kill you in an instant. They’ll likely set up with three centre-backs for setpiece protection and slip Livermento in to cause us issues going forward… and perhaps defensively by locking up our wingers.

The opening 20 minutes will be the worst. Players will feel the fatigue both physically and mentally and Newcastle will be setting up to make us feel that 10x more than usual.

These are the games that test the resolve of BIG teams. City dropped 2 points against Chelsea after battering Copenhagen, this game, if we’re honest, has a draw written all over it.

The injury news is murky again, and I think the majority of that is likely focused on derisking the run-in. Why rush anyone back for the weekend when we have a 9 game break before Sheffield United? We need to have availability for the Champions League return game against Porto and the most important game of the season is City after the international break. We simply have to have a big squad to choose from because unpredictability is our friend in that match-up. We should have most of our players back by then, including Zinchenko, who has been out for 3 weeks, and tracking for a return in the next two unless the injury was really bad / he spent his downtime eating Dominoes.

The Porto return leg is a huge game and we could have good news there if Chelsea beat Leeds in the FA Cup which postpones our game with them the Saturday after the game. That means we can plan for extra time because our international break will start early.

I’ve also been thinking about the Porto game and some of the over-the-top praise they’ve been getting.

  1. They didn’t play football – at home. At least when Lens beat us they had a go. This is a team that is 3rd in the Portuguese league, they aren’t going to perform that miracle again.
  2. They fluked the ref. He was so bad he’ll get a write-up for ruining the flow of the game and giving TV fans a bum deal by only allowing 51% of the game to get played out. It’ll be a better ref in the next game and they’ll be briefed on the stupidity of the last game.
  3. Arteta will coach his players to within an inch of their lives for the next game. Less dumb, more smarts.
  4. Only one of our players had ever played a Champions League last 16 game. They now have that experience – and they’ve tasted serious pain in an environment where it cost us nothing. They will not be that cagey at home.
  5. We will have our linebreaker weapons back for the next game. All the idiots disrespecting the name of Zinchenko are now begging for him in midfield. If you have him and Jesus in the next game, you are not getting an attacking performance like the one we saw.

We were beaten by unsavoury tactics, nerves, and an absolutely brilliant goal caused by some dimness at the end of the game. It’ll take a miracle for that to happen again. I don’t think that’s going to happen.

But… course correcting the result this weekend is an important step towards winning that game. Don’t let the teams behind us get into the race.

Ok, that’s me done. Check out the latest podcast below.

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Isaac

1st?

Gommit

First early post on the new comment format

Gommit

Nice post Pedro, I agree that it was no masterclass but it got them a win because of a late long-distance goal and an annoying ref.

Gommit

🏆

TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

We’ve got bigger fish to fry… we’ve got it all in our hands…

NJ Gooner

Gabi’s number?

Tom

Pedro, we were beaten because we created next to nothing and had zero shots in target.
A case of nerves maybe, but stop with this ”unlucky” nonsense.
The good news is Porto don’t travel well, apparently, and we should be more relaxed at home.

NJ Gooner

Perhaps the Porto game prepared us well for tomorrow’s game? Newcastle will also squeeze the play and look for a counterattack. It would help if Zinny is surprisingly available, or Partey for that matter, at least off the bench.

I don'[t think we can start the same 11. We need some freshness. Jorginho and/or ESR to start in midfield, where fatigue from Wednesday will be most evident, with Kai in the no. 9 occupying their big center-halves? Bring on some of Wednesday’s player late if needed?

rollen

Arteta will coach them now, so why he didn’t do that during 4 years already. We all know that nothing will change.
Zinchenko is decent attacker but absolutely shit defender and it’s a big handicap in big games.
Porto is shit and if we don’t beat them at home it’s on us, not on ref.

rollen

IMO Porto is bigger game than City.
Highly unlikely we will get much at Etihad.

Nigel Tufnel

Pedro, Really strong post today. Spot on with the Porto summary. I was thinking the same about Zinchenko and his incisive passing. It’s funny how quickly we forget how good some of our players are, and magnify their weaknesses. Is this part true?: “He was so bad he’ll get a write-up for ruining the flow of the game and giving TV fans a bum deal by only allowing 51% of the game to get played out. It’ll be a better ref in the next game and they’ll be briefed on the stupidity of the last game.” Is that really how… Read more »

Positive pete

2nd.Nailed it Pedro.Despite what some of the muppets on here may argue( see previous thread).

Nigel Tufnel

Arsecast was great on the summary of Porto also. I didn’t know they lead their league by a wide margin for fouls drawn, (yellows too) .. they also lead for numbers of fouls and yellows committed.

I hope the coaches spoke about that in preparation. If not, that was a big miss.

Positive pete

Go it.Youre too polite.He was Dogshit.

Josip Skoblar

I dread the Newcastle game. The barcodes are the most negative team in the PL. They do not park buses, they park huge lorries.

Rich

Zinchenko has started 17 PL games this season, we’ve conceded 13 in those games, based off 38 games, we’d be on to concede just 29.. Played 3.5 games in the CL, and we’ve conceded 2. Zinchenko wins us territory, he gets us on the front foot, so we then defend less on the backfoot. His game will always carry risk… But we can’t demand that our players are brave against the press, then complain when they occasionally get caught out… Then demand they also have no risk in their passing against well structured mid + deep blocks… It’s difficult to… Read more »

Luteo Guenreira

So far the away record for Arsenal in the CL this year has been 1 win, 1 draw, and 2 losses, with a goal difference of -1. At home we are 3-0 with a goal difference of +12, and 3 clean sheets. Based on the trend we should probably be bullish about the return leg. I said it before but to me exiting at the round of 16 if we’re serious about being title challengers would be a disaster. Just another reminder that away days in the CL are tough.

Luteo Guenreira

Joke Friday

Three larger women walk into a bar. A guy overhears them speaking in a thick accent, so he goes up to them and asks them “Hello! Are you three fine ladies from Scotland?”

One of the women turns around and responds in an aggressive tone “It’s Wales, you idiot!”

*************

The man gets a look of apology and responds, “Oh, I’m so sorry! Are you three whales from Scotland?”

Tom

Luteo, getting bounced in the last 16 by peak Barca or Bayern is no problem, but not this Porto side.
Olympiacos, Benfica, Villareal, and now Porto, it would make for some ugly European record under Arteta.

Luteo Guenreira

Tom I mean I think we worked to get that higher seed and avoid some of the better teams, so to lose to Porto as clear favourites would definitely add another black mark to Arteta’s pretty dysmal European results so far. At the same time, we have 3rd best odds to win the whole thing, and so much of the talk has been “we can play with anyone and would feel confident against anyone but City and Madrid.” I’d be pretty upset even if it were Barca or Bayern. Although I feel lot less frisky about it after that Porto… Read more »

Luteo Guenreira

Fucking hell what I wouldn’t give for prime RVP in this squad right now.

Ustyno

I pray the second leg against Porto don’t get drag too long without a goal,the longer the game goes without a goal nerve will will rise but I hope it doesn’t get to that

Newcastle will be tough especially with tired legs from us,we need to get 3 points

RAY in LA

The Guardian ran an article about Newcastle’s high press and their vulnerability to quick breaks…I don’t remember them making much effort to get out their own half last time they visited

Anyhow, Newcastle will likely be good practice for the return game against Porto — shit-housery, time-wasting, falling bodies, bus-parking, Trippier as supplemental ref…if we’re very lucky a football game may break out, but I doubt it

Tom

Luteo, I never bought into the Arsenal top three CL favorites narrative myself, but I do believe over two legs we can play with anyone.
Obviously inexperience was always going to be a factor, as it proved, conceding in the last minute after losing possession easily while pushing players up the pitch unnecessarily.

RAY in LA

A Key Match Incident Panel has reviewed VAR so far this season, their conclusions…

VAR corrected 24 ref errors

and introduced 20 VAR errors

Still looks more like a coin-toss than a safety net

rollen

How many of those 20 were against Arsenal or in favor of City and Newandertals ?

On paper we are 3rd strongest team in CL.
But this team record over many years is Master Bedwetters. Hopefully this will end this season, bit doesn’t look like.

Socrates

I think Arteta should have rotated on that Porto game. Our options were limited but I think ESR and Eddie should have gotten more minutes and one of Eddie or Jorgi should have started. This is Arteta’s undoing of not trusting the bench. While they may not be as good as the starters, Porto spent weeks preparing for that starting 11 and employed their tactics effectively. Start Eddie or ESR and they’re immediately unsure of the gameplan.

Socrates

I hope that we don’t start out flying for the Newcastle or Porto game. The expectation is to make things right and an emotional approach may lead to silly mistakes at the back. A calm start is what is required as Newcastle will probably be set up to defend. A slow start with increasing intensity in the right moments would lull Newcastle into a false sense of security and then quickly catch them off guard.

Dissenter

Socrates
I hope that we don’t start out flying for the Newcastle or Porto game. The expectation is to make things right and an emotional approach may lead to silly mistakes at the back.”

Actually that “calm” approach will let Porto settle well into the game and defend their one goal lead.

TheLegendaryDB10

Agreed Diss. We absolutely need to go out guns blazing vs Porto. We need to put Porto on the back foot, score 2 goals in the first half, open the game up (hopefully the ref cards the Portuguese like hell as they will be fouling like maniacs by that point (red card?)) and we score another goal or 2 to put the game to bed. We are capable of doing this as displayed in our last 3 epl games. I think nerves didn’t help at all which is probably why we reverted to our square passing instead of being more… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by TheLegendaryDB10
Guns of SF

The comedy of errors against NC needs to not be forgotten. That push on Maghales was insane

Jonnygunner

Fucking hell what I wouldn’t give for prime RVP in this squad right now.

He’d have been playing for United …..

TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

Pedro, surely your far too young to remember Stop That Pigeon…

China1

Xhaka scored contributing to leverkusens latest win I really hope they win the league this season NO ONE was unhappier with xhaka at arsenal than me in the old days. I chatted no end of shit about him and based off his performances and when he swore at the fans it felt warranted. But what a turnaround story. He managed a total 180 at arsenal and left a really well appreciated player by even those of us who had been unhappy with him all those years. To then go back to his old club and lift the title in his… Read more »

China1

I am not really looking ahead to Porto or anything else

Newcastle are looming large as a team that would LOVE to piss us off with another game of shit housery

Frankly I feel nervous about this match – which is usually a good sign because my predictions are usually wrong. I’m saying 2-1 to Newcastle in a very u pleasant shit game full of fouls and bad feeling.

Now let my prediction come false and flip that result pls

georgia boy

Luteo consider the Wales jokes stolen. Fantastic!

Canadian Gooner

Callum Wilson is a “monster bully of a striker” … Lol ok

Aasim

On paper, both Porto and Newcastle should never trouble us. The fact that both of these teams have beaten us, even though none of the traditional top 6 have (this season in the league), alludes only to the lack of mental fortitude and focus of the players. We lack that self belief to simply swat the lower tier sides. Be dismissive about them and treat them as irrelevant. Like Fergie famously said, it’s only Spurs !! That’s the kind of self belief we need when facing our so called bogey sides like West Ham, Villa, Castle, etc. We also don’t… Read more »

Marky Mark

Little legs looked diminutive in the goal again. Porto thought they’d take the chance and it paid off.
He’s not got the inches, so he needs to be a yard nearer to his goal. Still not seen him pull off a world class save despite the continual PR job against Ramsdale.
If Ramsdale needed to be replaced?!? They should have done some broader research and of course sacked Cana

Marky Mark

China1 I always had a soft spot for Xhaka – his discussion on the AST broadcast showed he was intelligent and a reasonable guy.
You just made me think about GD4 who obsessively hated Xhaka ( some weird crap about reminding him of an ex partner) Anyway GD4 disappeared so maybe he’s progressed onto Leverkusen forums running a hate campaign on Xhaka right this moment

Domi B

We’ll kick their ass Pedro, no doubt about it. After our naive display vs Porto and a loss, our boys will be itching for a scalp, midweek away Euro game or no midweek (Euro away) game. Absolutely no doubt. COYG!

Siddeeq

Xhaka was performed well in the Bundesliga before we signed him.

Its no surprise he is doing well there now.

He was mediocre in the EPL for majority of the time

Siddeeq

Rice was nearest to Galeno when he took the shot for Portos goal.

He turns to his left instead of blocking the shot

Pierre

We should go for the jugular tonight , newcastle are a team that are struggling at the back , conceding goals and are probably missing their keeper as much as anyone. They look like a team who need better protection from the centre midfield area, Bruno for me is not disciplined enough to play the role and we will find him out tonight, so don’t be surprised if he sees red as he struggles to contain our attacks.. I’m not sure Eddie Howe will risk Isak tonight , will probably be on the bench as will willock. I’m thinking a… Read more »

Bob N16

After the disappointing result on Wednesday, this evening’s match is massively important.

I’ve just received an email from a supporters group asking to hold up something for the match today and effectively ‘sing up for the boys’. The club has sent a similar encouragement to create an atmosphere.
I think the 8pm ko time on a Saturday evening will make these ‘call to arms’ unnecessary!

David Smith

That’s optimistic thinking Pedro, that a ref will be called out for doing Arsenal

benkind

Can anyone who believes the referee on Wednesday was bad and needs a review please provide a list of the errors he committed. Like I am very curious.

The referee was the least of out problems on Wednesday. I don’t remember 1 controversial calls that I was like yeah, that definitely cost us a goal.

Newcastle tonight, our home record against them is very good and we should really beat them. COYG

Bob N16

benkind, the ref stopped short of being a ‘homer’ but he gave free kicks for minimal contact and allowed numerous fouling from the Porto players – no ‘cumulative’ yellows. Porto played in an understandable way to try and negate Arsenal, which of course was their right but the ref’s officiating aided their ‘anti football’ tactics. Funnily enough it made me remember Newcastle home last season when the Beheaders were constantly going down ‘injured’ breaking up the flow of the game, which was almost certainly the worst game I went to that year ebevn though it ended in a draw not… Read more »

Pierre

To be honest , I don’t think we have a lot to complain about with the ref, yes they were falling about when hardly touched but I was just as frustrated with our constant time wasting when taking corners, free kicks etc, there was no willingness to speed up the play , we were quite happy to let the game be played at such a slow pace and settle for a goalless draw, that was until we were sloppy on the ball 3 times in the last minute and was punished with the late goal.. A strong ref is what… Read more »

Mysticleaves

Xhaka was never suited to the EPL. Was a very net negative for us. One of the major reasons we remained a EL level team. I loved the prospects of him when he came (because of his hardman stance and his performances for Gladbach) but it didn’t take long to see he wasn’t up to the races. He deserved all the flak (performance wise that he coped playing for Arsenal. Fans just wanted a better player than him since he couldn’t give any better than he was giving. That said, no personal hate. He’s back in the Bliga and he’s… Read more »

Mysticleaves

We have a strong team**

Chris

For anyone having issues with scrolling on the comments getting stuck, I’ve just found that swiping to the left or right slightly while scrolling up or down at the same time seems to release it.

Also if you used both thumbs one after the other to ‘climb’ up the screen can work but if you lose it you just go back to where the screen is locked (on a screens worth of comments)

Rich

We never did Xhaka any favours, we have to set teams up to succeed, not to fail. A player in one system, under one manager, could look like a world beater, but in a different system under a different manager, that might nullify their strengths, and expose their weaknesses. He was never as bad of a player as some seemed to think, the problem was the regularity of his brain farts, but they disappeared in his last 18 months. Partly due to maturity, partly due to Arteta putting him in a system that setup him up to succeed. These types… Read more »

Siddeeq

You will Not get away with the rugby style football in the CL that the English want to export abroad.

Rich

Always smoke + mirrors, cloaks and daggers, with Arteta and player availability. Would be good to get both Jesus + Zinchenko back today.. But if they’re not ready, with Tomi definitely out, our back 4 should pick itself… The only other senior option we have is Cedric. Then it’s just whether we bring either Jorginho or Smith Rowe into midfield, or stick with our lot… Then whether it’s Martinelli or Trossard on the left. Maybe we’ll get Partey on the bench, but he’s been out since October, and that was off the back of a 5 week injury.. Try and… Read more »

jwl

I thought Xhaka was a cockwomble ever since he arrived and told that story about how his parents gave him the house key even tho he had older brother. Xhaka was the kid who would remind the teacher that they forgot to assign homework for weekend five minutes before bell goes on Friday afternoon. I’m glad he doing well in Germany tho, it would be brilliant if he and his teammates could stop Kane from winning any medals again this year.

Marky Mark

One thing about the Good Old Arsenal and covered in the podcast. Is we become very rooted in our game state if we get crappy shithousery. It would be relatively simple to get the additional touches around the box and if touched collapse like we’d been taken out by a sniper. Instead we fade into a mediocre blob. Only then to be finished off by a 25 yarder. Btw since on various podcasts I kept on hearing Ramsdale wouldn’t have saved various theoretical shots like it was a statement of factI would just like to say Ramsdale WOULD HAVE SAVED… Read more »

jwl

Jesus seen this morning with the squad for their walkabout but Partey and Zinny were not present.

Kpankulu

Pedro: nice post. I also enjoyed the podcast the other day. I disagree about one thing you indicated, though. The game against Newcastle United later today IS the most important game of the season. If we don’t win, we will fall off the pace in the title race. The game after that will then become THE most important one, and so on. 🙂 Now, I’m not an unrealistic fan expecting us to win every game, but the “take each game one at a time” approach [for me at least] means that I hope the team is not looking ahead to… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Kpankulu
G8

The Villans breathing down our necks now..we have to keep winning or the unthinkable might happen!

G8

Fulham wasted few good chances, iwobi in particular was guilty of some atrocious shooting.

Manure would eventually go to score albeit a counter attack or a stupid defensive mistake !

Pierre

Markymark
Yes , Ramsdale may have saved that shot on Wednesday night if he was out of position similar to the goal he let in at home to fulham earlier in the season when he panicked and allowed a 25 yard shot to bounce into the net because he had completely lost his bearings of where his goal was.

Evidence
https://youtu.be/DwvdZyvcVOg?si=RWIYr39uhOhxW7qe

TheLegendaryDB10

New post

Marky Mark

One things for sure Pierre – Raya didn’t save it and we’ve got plenty of evidence of Raya’s clangers

Chris

Martinelli my word

Dissenter

There’s a new post you plonkers
it’s been open for hours

King Kai

Ok geez. Up the Arsenal

Ali

wow – nice

Ali

good

Ali

hello again

Ali

Hi from the mobile