Newcastle’s defence against Arsenal’s attack: the shots, the team, the result




By Bulldog Drummond

Having gone through most of the statistics that we can find there is just one thing left we can look at which we haven’t considered before, before we get to the team… shots per game.


Team Shots pg Shots On Target  pg Efficiency Goals per game Efficiency
Arsenal away 13.8 4.5 33% 2.0 44.44%
Newcastle home 15.8 7.6 48% 2.4 31.58%


As we might expect Newcastle shoot more at home than Arsenal do away and they get more shots on target, hence their efficiency in terms of getting shots on target is also obviously better than Arsenal’s. 

But if we measure the goals per game against the shots on target Arsenal come out a lot more efficient.  Which means that if Arsenal can increase their shots on target in away games while keeping the same level of accuracy, the efficiency rating will go up further.  And that must be the idea: more shots on target in away games.

So that is about it for the statistics, which means all that is left is the prediction of who will be playing.

Taking advantage of the fact that the Standard is regularly running headlines such as “team news” and then not making a prediction of the team, Football.London is going overboard by dishing out several predictions per game.

Their first one is


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu;

Jorginho, Rice, Odegaard;

Saka, Trossard, Martinelli.

Version two turns out to be exactly the same except with Nketiah in as centre forward.  Version three is the same as version two except that Odegaard and Rice swap positions.  Which makes one wonder, is it really worth having three predictions?

Pain in the Arsenal give us


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu;

Rice, Odegaard, Havertz;

Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli.

And 90 min offer


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu;

Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice;

Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli

And I think that is it.  But just to finish off, here’s something we haven’t done before, as far as I can remember,  the first the league table ordered by the number of goals scored.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Aston Villa 10 7 1 2 26 14 12 22
2 Newcastle United 10 5 2 3 26 11 15 17
3 Arsenal 10 7 3 0 23 8 15 24


And then to complete the show, the league table ordered by the number of goals conceded


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 10 8 0 2 22 7 15 24
2 Arsenal 10 7 3 0 23 8 15 24
3 Tottenham Hotspur 10 8 2 0 22 9 13 26
4 Liverpool 10 7 2 1 23 9 14 23
5 Newcastle United 10 5 2 3 26 11 15 17


Putting those two tables together the conclusion could be that it will be a 3-3 draw, or at least a draw of some sort.   Whatever happens focus will then turn to Tottenham’s next game – at home to Chelsea, which on the basis of what has happened so far this season should be a home win.  Which will put yet more pressure on both Newcastle and Arsenal not to settle for a draw but to go for a result.

Odegaard to score the winner from 25 yards in the last minute?

28 Replies to “Newcastle’s defence against Arsenal’s attack: the shots, the team, the result”

  1. OMG, how havertz did not get a red…. and why VAR did not intervene is beyond me.
    And Atwell does respect regulations and give a yellow to each player who comes complaining.
    Strange strange….
    That being said, Atwell let quite a few things go, like Saka being taken down on every possible occasion.

  2. This Guimareis guy is a real thug. What he is getting away with is just unbelievable.
    On German TV the commentators don’t understand how he did not yet geet a red.
    As much as I can understand the concept of letting a game flow, even if it is physical, he commited a few acts that had nothing to do with the game and everything with aggression for the sake of it.
    Wonder how that will end. he really seems to let the atmosphere influence his physical commitment way beyond what is acceptable.
    Hope none of our player gets hurt and that all keep their cool.
    That being said, I feel Havertz is up to the physicality of the game, as well as Rice and Saliba.

  3. Chris

    It wasn’t a great challenge but reckless not dangerous is a yellow, and that was about right.

    On the other hand a blatant elbow by Bruno on Jorginho was a nailed on red and he didn’t even get booked. But really that was VAR yet again not intervening.

    I thought the ref was a homer, no, he WAS a homer. But when the chips were down he didn’t panic and get swept away by the Newcastle players and the crowd baying for blood.

    He will be under immense pressure from both in the second half so I’m just hoping he holds his nerve, but it’s a worry that a big call will go Newcastle’s way.

  4. All the expert at halftime agree that the Guimareis attack on Jorginho was not a red card offence because it was with his forearm and not his elbow.
    So there we have it, if you are going to attack an opposition player do it with your forearm, that appears to be acceptable according to the expert pundits.

  5. Guys,

    I still have that 4-4 from more then a decade ago when Newcastle scared the living daylights out of a relatively young Arsenal team who in the end were worried about their health.

    I must say that the Gunners are showing grits, are up to the physical level and not being outmuscled. Just the way Eddie did it and ‘splashed’ the defender was an example. Not something I’m used to seing him do.

    Arsenal need to keep their wits and not let themselves be provoked now. Keep their heads cool and let Newcastle lose their nerves

  6. mick shelley

    “All the expert at halftime agree that the Guimareis attack on Jorginho was not a red card offence because it was with his forearm and not his elbow.

    And according to Neville the push on Gabriel was just a Quarter of a foul. WTF is that supposed to mean? A foul is a foul, whole, half or quarter.

    He’s trying to justify absolutely everything Newcaste do.

    Absolute joke.

  7. Even cant believe the officials today, and that’s saying something.

    100% sending off for Bruno. VAR JOKE.

    100% foul on Gabriel for goal. VAR JOKE.

    When VAR was introduced I said it would be used as an extra weapon to stitch us up. If the ref don’t get us VAR will.

  8. I’m quite a patient, tolerant guy, but I really am getting sick of this VAR shit.

    I still love my Arsenal but I really am falling out of love with football, if I haven’t already.

  9. 1932 cup final result all over again. That was only the ball out over the dead ball line. Today we also had a foul on a Arsenal defender and an offside ignored. That said, our defence had gone to sleep and Raya made a mess of the cross.

    Burn clattered Saka on at least 3 occasion in first twenty minutes. Guimares did enough for 2 red cards.

    I was disappointed that Saka and Martinelli always turned back inside, suggesting a lack of confidence?

  10. This was a 50/50 match. We carried the play but did not show a lot of creativity…fair play to Newcastle for that. The goal was a bit of a hash. I’ve seen that foul given before…but Raya missed the cross…

    That thug Bruno…can’t believe that wasn’t called.

    Still, the boys did OK today. No one quit, no one cried…we move on.

  11. Why is it that Hawkeye in tennis can determine whether a small ball travelling at up to 140mph is on the line or not but football cannot.

  12. @Nitram Like you I realise that most games are now decided by either poor decisions or VAR “errors”. It is beginning to become quite obvious that games are decided beforehand. If you then watch the game the commentators always agree with the referees’ “decisions”! As most leagues are decided by very few points you only need to “arrange” a couple of results to make a difference.

    I am watching a game at present and the “expert” has just mentioned somebody being “too close” at a free kick. Funny how they never normally mention this when players are only 1 mtr away!!! BTW the player was about 12 mtrs away!

    I have said before at least the wrestling bodies call their sport entertainment. Maybe FIFA, UEFA, The FA and premier league could do the same and call referees “media influenced entertainment adjudicators” – this would be an honest description.

    Reality and fairness – what a strange concept!

    The governing bodies are wondering why fans are less interested – we could tell them but they wouldn’t listen

  13. I said before the start of this match two things worried me.First was Stuart ATWELL as ref.Bloody useless.The second & more important was VAR & Madley in charge.Who hates us.Knew we were going to get shafted by the pair of way or another.And so it comes to pass.Another shameless apology from PGMOL & Webb? Won’t hold my breath.Arteta was 100% right to call this out in his post match interview.he’ll be charged of course.Now onto that Snake Neville.
    Whenever there’s a var or incident that needs querying & will fall in Arsenals favour.He backtracks & looks for any get out he can find not to justify it for Arsenal.Yet we have fans who think he’s fair with honest opinions.Wake up ffs!

  14. If the game is corrupt, and it didn’t have a good look today, if you want answers, the old maxim is “follow the money”
    In football, by incredible coincidence, the money leads to Qatar, Abu Dhabi and, erm, Saudi

  15. Les Williams

    “I am watching a game at present and the “expert” has just mentioned somebody being “too close” at a free kick. Funny how they never normally mention this when players are only 1 metres away!!! BTW the player was about 12 metres away!”

    Positive pete

    “Now onto that Snake Neville. Whenever there’s a VAR or incident that needs querying & will fall in Arsenals favour. He backtracks & looks for any get out he can find not to justify it for Arsenal. Yet we have fans who think he’s fair with honest opinions. Wake up ffs!”

    This ability the pundits have to justify the unjustifiable is infuriating, but it’s not new.

    I have mentioned this before on here, but it was an incident that stuck in my mind because it was simply unbelievable. And it was similar to the bullshit Neville was spouting tonight.

    First off, I cannot recall the exact match or incident as it was years ago, but it was a ridiculously soft penalty given against Arsenal. In fact it was never a penalty. Anyway, it was given, so as it was Arsenal it was down to the pundits to justify it, and somehow justify it they did. The replays clearly showed the minutest of touches from the defender. It was never a foul. there was never enough contact to invoke the dramatic ‘fall’ from the forward.

    To justify this ridiculous decision Andy Gray said:

    “The rules don’t say there has to be a lot of contact, they just say there has to be contact”

    I remember thinking, WTF. Do they?

    Where in the rules does it say it’s a non contact sport???? Where in the rules does it say ‘contact is a foul’?

    Nobody questioned what he said. It was like, yep that’s true. If you make contact with an opponent that’s a foul.

    The ability these guys have to justify the unjustifiable, (It’s only a small foul so it’s not a foul) when it suits, is shameful.

    I’m sick of it.

  16. Shafted !

    Nothing else to say that hasn’t already been said.

    I think the slightest of touches was David Luiz against Wolves.

  17. What I want to say is, people should not confuse how we ‘played’ with how we were ‘officiated’.

    I’ve heard people dismiss, or at least play down some diabolical decisions against us on the basis of, ‘we didn’t deserve to win anyway’, which is completely irrelevant. How we played and how we are officiated are 2 separate matters. Even Adrian Clarke on did it after the Chelsea game.

    Okay, we didn’t play brilliant at Chelsea, but if it wasn’t for a couple of diabolical decisions we would of won, and isn’t that what makes champions? Not playing great and winning?

    Okay, we didn’t play brilliant today but we deserved a draw, and that would of been a great point.

    Not playing brilliant, but not playing bad either, and we should of got 4 points. On the face of it not a bad return from those 2 fixtures. But we have been cheated out of 3 points by the officials, it’s as simple as that.

  18. I didn’t watch the after match crap on SKY, or rather I couldn’t, so I didn’t know what Arteta had said, but I’ve just read it on

    All I can say is brilliant. Absolutely spot on. The English game, or at least how it is officiated is, as Arteta put it an utter embarrassment.

  19. Premier League already Close ranks to hide their incompetence. , former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher explains the process for the VAR not overturning Goal.

  20. After Arteta’s open press conference (not the quickie on Sky), the Sky pundits were certainly taken aback by the directness of Arteta’s argument, and even went as far as to call it a rant. It wasn’t a rant. It was a succinct statement of fact. I’ve been waiting for a long time for somebody to call out PGMOL for their dishonesty. Arteta will get into trouble for telling it like it is, but I think it’s time that people stood up to PGMOL’s results-centric officiating system, and demand a return to a rule-based system that treats all teams fairly.

    Forget about the offside check. That wasn’t clear from the images I saw.

    Was the ball out of play? I thought it was. There was a point when Sky were trying to freeze the image of the ball where it certainly looked out (as opposed to the still image they chose to show as “evidence”).

    Was there a foul on Gabriel by Joelinton? Definitely. The punditry tried to justify the decision by claiming that Gabriel was trying to head the ball. So what? A two-handed push in the back is still a foul, and created the opportunity for Gordon to score.

    If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

  21. Ball out of play, the guys on german TV were saying that VAR stated a part of the ball was still on the line.
    Now I am all ready to accept this when I see the computer picture that shows the lines etc etc like we see everytime there is a hair of an Arsenal player being offside.

    fact is we did not see any picture, none whatsoever was presented which to me means there was nothing more then the one we’ve seen that shows a ball outside the field.

    So my conclusion is that the VAR decided on their own that it was still inbounds and they cannot justify it as the picture shows.

    As for the foul…is anyone surprised ?

    At some point the incompetence these people are showing in not being able to go past their biases passes the threshold of just incompetence to wade into something courts ought to be deciding – just consider the millions lost by arsenal in the course of pst seasons because of that incompetence. Responsibility is something that needs to be considered.

  22. Thinking about it, a few questions do arise :

    – when did that refereeing crew last go to some Gulf State country last for some lucrative second job ?
    – when will they go ?
    – did the referee have some bad week(s) and the poor chap needed not to be contradicted in the court of public opinion ?

  23. I texted my pal, who was at Newcastle, early on and told him Attwells ‘demeanour was very aggressive as if he was looking to stamp his authority on proceedings. Although we we re royally stitched up the glaring fact is that we only had one shot on target. We were pessimistic as soon as we knew Attwell was in charge and our forebodings turned out to be well justified. I am increasingly pleased I didn’t renew my season ticket. One of the main reasons was that I was utterly fed up paying good money to witness referees, either incompetent or with an agenda, ruin matches. Mty first match at Highbury was on 19th April 1952.
    Can’t see me going to the Emirates again.

  24. Mick , I know where you are coming from . I find it harder every year to justify the outlay to spend hours in a car feeling frustrated by things that don’t add up.
    Immediately after the Havertz tackle and the way Attwell started to lose control , PGMOL went into protection mode. If he had been told to send Guimares off there would have been a riot .
    They chickened it on his behalf.!
    We have already had Dean confess to making decisions to help a mate . I wonder if Madley and Attwell play golf together.
    You beat me by a bit , my first game was a cup replay against Preston in 1956.

  25. Gooner Murphy

    “Dermot Gallagher explains the process for the VAR not overturning Goal”

    Well what a surprise.

    Justifying utter incompetence is what the media do. And lets be clear here, Gallagher is part of the media. He works for SKY.

    We all saw Howard Webb bending over backwards to defend Michael Oliver’s decision not to send off Kovacic with:

    “There were some small differences that led the VAR referees to feel that the decision on the field was not a clear and obvious error, and they felt that if they had intervened it would have been a re-arbitration of that decision by the referee in the field.”

    Again on SKY. Being paid by SKY

    More evidence the media don’t actually want the referees to apply the Laws Of The Game correctly:

    This is how Danny Murphy deemed to justify Oliver’s incompetence on MOTD:

    “I actually like what the referee’s done there,” the former Liverpool midfielder continued. “Not every tackle you miss should be a yellow. Michael Oliver’s a good ref and he’s from a tough part of the world so he knows what he’s on about.”

    “That’s the problem, exactly that, and that’s where people get frustrated,” he said when asked about refereeing calls in other games. “Recent events we’ve seen, that’s two yellows, but I’m glad he [Oliver] made the decisions he did.”

    So he admits it was the wrong call but he was glad he made the wrong call. You couldn’t make it up.

    Ally McCoist also admitted it was the wrong call but said it was ‘refreshing’ that he didn’t send him off.

    So lets be clear on this, McCoist thinks it’s ‘refreshing’ that the referee made the WRONG decision. Again, you couldn’t make it up.

    This shows there is absolutely zero desire to hold the officials to account, let alone see them apply the Laws Of The Game.

    But the ultimate proof of this lack of desire to hold the officials to account came from an article in The Sun by Mark Irwin, who clearly doesn’t want us looking too closely at how Stockley Park works. This is what he said in reaction to Howard Webb’s suggestion that referees could be Mic’d Up so we can hear how they come to their decisions, and my reactions to them, taken from an article a couple of weeks ago:

    Mark Irwin

    “What exactly is refs’ chief Webb hoping to achieve with match officials Mic’dup?”

    Hmmm. Accountability perhaps? openness perhaps?

    “Because we really don’t want to hear him and Michael Oliver telling us how VAR has f***** up”

    Hmmmm. Don’t we? I thought that was exactly what we wanted?

    “We’re already well aware of the wrong calls the Premier League’s elite officials have made this season”

    Yes, we are. But it’s not just this season is it? It’s been going on for years.

    “Replaying those errors with running commentary from Stockley Park is just going to p*** us off even more”

    Is it? Not really. What does p*** us off is people like you Irwin, that really don’t want to face up to them. To MAKE them accountable. Why is that? Is it perhaps, despite your faux outrage at the sheer incompetence of it all, you DON’T WANT to face up to them? Maybe the truth is you DON’T WANT to make them accountable?

    But it’s in the last paragraph that the real double talk exposes the reality. He says:

    “So maybe Webb should stay silent if the best he can come up with is ‘yes, we’re useless, but at least we are honest about it’”

    Well, actually he did come up with more than that by the suggestion that referee’s should be Mic’d up and Irwins response was to say he didn’t want it!!!!

    Yet again you couldn’t make it up.

    Mikey also saw through all this Bull**** huffing and puffing when he made this observation after the Man City debacle:

    “It was fantastic to hear Webb come out and say, “we’ve taken steps” in respect of ensuring there is no future VAR debacle as happened in the Spuds/Liverpool game. (Shame the media didn’t bang on about the Brentford offside against us!!).

    Although the big question is what does “taken steps” actually mean. He didn’t say what steps, he didn’t say how this would rectify things, he didn’t say what sanctions would be taken against those who cocked up, and he didn’t say why they couldn’t do the same again (and if they did what punishments would be meted out).

    It the same old secretive, unaccountable PGMO mafia. Nothing will change but they’ve given a meaningless statement to the media so everything is now ok. Farce!”

    Exactly. An utter farce.

    Which leads us back to what Gooner Murphy said at the top:

    Premier League already Close ranks to hide their incompetence. “Dermot Gallagher explains the process for the VAR not overturning Goal”

    There is absolutely zero desire from the media, from the referees, from the PGMOL, The FA or The Premier league to sort this debacle out.

  26. Porter – February 1 957 replay Arsenal 2 Preston 1 after a 3 3 draw at Deepdale. In the sixth round we lost 2 1 to WBA at Highbury after a 2 2 draw at the
    Hawthorns. I recall a picture in the paper showing one of West Brom’s goals. The picture clearly showed the linesman’s flag raised for offside but the
    referee ignored it. Seems we were victims as long ago as that!

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