Arsenal v Newcastle: injuries, yellow cards and recent form




By Bulldog Drummond

Looking at where we have got to, the implications are confusing.  Arsenal should easily beat Newcastle who are not doing that well overall and particularly not very well over the last six or ten games.  And not to put too fine a point on it, not very well away from home.  But… we do have referee problems with the man selected by PGMO for this match, and that could swing the game against us (see the referee who just doesn’t oversee home wins).

On the injury front Arsenal have five men with problems,   The only clubs with fewer men down are Wolverhampton Wanderers (one), West Ham United (two), and Manchester City (three), leaving Arsenal (rather obviously) fourth in the Premier League injury list.

The worst off clubs for injuries are…

  • Liverpool: 10
  • Chelsea: 9
  • Newcastle United: 9
  • Sheffield United: 9

Arsenal’s injuries list always starts with Jurrien Timber about whom the message is “we are going to start to do some bits with us in the next week or so” – meaning some basic training.

Takehiro Tomiuyasu is ruled out but expects to be back very soon.  Oleksandr Zinchenko is “not far away” (which probably means Finsbury Park).   As for Thomas Partey the feeling seems to be that he is physically ready to play but he has been out for so long that the return has to be gentle and carefully managed.  I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of a behind-closed-doors friendly in which he plays just to get his body used to the situation again, but others talk of his return to the bench today.

Gabriel Fernando de Jesus is said to be ready but I suspect if he plays it will be as a substitute.  For Newcastle our old pal Joe Willock is back in training.

However there is an utterly scurrilous report in the Shields Gazette which says, “Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is set to be targeted by Arsenal this Saturday (8pm kick-off) as he faces a two-match Premier League ban.”   

The point is the player needs just one more yellow to be banned.   But if such a thing were said in relation to any other event in British life there would immediately be a law suit for defamation and libel, but it seems with football the media act with absolute impunity.

“The Brazilian” (as he seems to be known) has been shown nine yellow cards in the Premier League this season and is just one more booking away from a two-match ban. Guimaraes has managed to avoid a booking in each of Newcastle’s last four league matches since he picked up his ninth yellow card in a 3-2 defeat to Manchester City last month.

So, as we know, because everyone keeps repeating it, Arsenal have started a year with five straight league wins for the first time ever.   Less commented upon but just as true, Newcastle have just played five without defeat, beating Fulham, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, while drawing with Luton Town and AFC Bournemouth.

However, a closer look at that list makes it a little less spectacular.  Clubs can of course only beat who they are scheduled to play but only two of those teams that Newcastle have beaten have actually been doing better than Newcastle of late.   Indeed Aston Villa 1 Newcastle United 3 was very much a surprise result.

But in the last six games Newcastle have beaten Bournemouth, Luton Town, Nottingham Forest and Fulham, which is less impressive than we might at first think.  Not least because Fulham (who were beaten in an FA Cup game) are currently by far the worst performing team in the league, while Forest and Luton have only one win each in the league in the last six games.

Coming shortly, the final episode: the team.

There is an index to our recent series on the home page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *