By Bulldog Drummond
Here’s the deal. Papiss Cissé brought forward his knee surgery scheduled for the summer after receiving a seven-match ban for spitting) and so can’t play. He’s one of many. Cheik Tioté, Steven Taylor and, and, and… lots and lots of zebras covered in stripes but not on the pitch.
Fabricio Coloccini is suspended meaning that Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson will be in defence, alongside Daryl Janmaat and Mike Williamson who will also be in defence. Janmaat will play at centre-half and Peter Beardsley will play outside left. Andy Cole is at left back with Les Ferdinand in defensive midfield. Paul Gascoigne should be in goal while Hughie Gallacher will help out in the kitchens. David Ginola will run the hair salon at the Gallowgate end, so no change there. Kevin Keegan is the kit man and Malcolm Macdonald is unavailable due to the terms of his contract.
But seriously, (well no, not quite, its a match day and that is never a time to be completely serious) up front they will have Ayoze Pérez (“brilliant”), Emmanuel Rivière (“inadequate”), Adam Armstrong (“unproven”) and Facundo Ferreyra (“hopeless”). Bit like the aaa previewing the Arsenal.
Actually I think this injury stuff is a load of made up twaddle. Everyone is fit, and these players are actually superb, and they are doing a Monaco, trying to lull us into a sense of false security. Or not, as the case may be.
So, as we saw in this morning’s piece, going out of the Champs League normally means we really start bucking the ideas up and going to all out victory. Our current runs are five league wins in a row, and 13 of the last 15 – or over the longer term, an amazing 80% win rate in all competitions. See the table at the end.
But the members of the Eggheads, a BBC 2 show I’d never heard of, have us down to lose 1-0.
However here are two Olivier Giroud stats that I’ve just seen which avoids me having to repeat the Giroud v Henry stats yet again.
Giroud has scored six in his last five games against Newcastle. And he has scored eight in his last 11 games and is now scoring at a rate of 108 minutes per goal. The people who do better than him are
- Lionel Messi, (Barcelona)
- Cristiano Ronaldo, (Real Mad)
- Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)
- Alexander Meier (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Meanwhile in case Giroud has an off day, Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck are all able to knock in the occasional one or two.
Oh and Theo has scored six in six.
Newcastle however have ten League cards of a reddish hue since the opening day of the 2013/14 season. The top red rating. So traffic lights all round.
Here’s another little snippet: we have had 15 different goalscorers in the League this year – more than anyone else.
- Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle (December 2014)
- Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle (April 2014)
- Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal (December 2013)
- Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal (May 2013)
- Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle (December 2012)
Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Bellerin,
Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott
Beached: Szczesny, Welbeck, Coquelin, Chambers, Gibbs, Gabriel, Flamini, Rosicky.
But there is always a bit of bad news somewhere, so here it is. We are the only team not to win a Premier League game after going 4-0 up at half time.
On the other hand Alexis Sanchez has scored the first goal of the game more often than any other Premier League player this season. Should be a doddle. Or failing that a total cock-up.
Here’s Arsenal’s build up (just in case you were too busy trying to get semi-final tickets to take it all in). I’ve included everything since the last time we met the zebras.
The overall result in case you are interested is Won 16, Drawn 1; Lost 3. Win percentage in all matches 80%.
March 2015: W5 D0 L0
|Champions League||Monaco 0 Arsenal 2||17 Mar||W|
|Premier League||Arsenal 3 West Ham U 0||14 Mar||W|
|FA Cup – Sixth Round||Man Utd 1 Arsenal 2||9 Mar||W|
|Premier League||QPR 1 Arsenal 2||4 Mar||W|
|Premier League||Arsenal 2 Everton 0||1 Mar||W|
February 2015: W4 D0 L2
|Champions League||Arsenal 1 Monaco 3||25 Feb||L|
|Premier League||Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 2||21 Feb||W|
|FA Cup – Fifth Round||Arsenal 2 Middlesbrough 0||15 Feb||W|
|Premier League||Arsenal 2 Leicester 1||10 Feb||W|
|Premier League||Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1||7 Feb||L|
|Premier League||Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0||1 Feb||W|
January 2015: W4 D0 L1
|FA Cup – Fourth Round||Brighton 2 Arsenal 3||Sun 25 Jan||W|
|Premier League||Man City 0 Arsenal 2||Sun 18 Jan||W|
|Premier League||Arsenal 3 Stoke 0||Sun 11 Jan||W|
|FA Cup – Third Round||Arsenal 2 Hull City 0||Sun 4 Jan||W|
|Premier League||Soton 2 Arsenal 0||Thu 1 Jan||L|
December 2014: W 3 D 1 L 0
|Premier League||West Ham United 1 Arsenal 2||Sun 28 Dec||W|
|Premier League||Arsenal 2 QPR 1||Fri 26 Dec||W|
|Premier League||Liverpool 2 Arsenal 2||Sun 21 Dec||D|
|Premier League||Arsenal 4 Newcastle 1||Sat 13 Dec||W|
- Arsenal v Manchester City Women’s Continental League Cup semi-final – match preview
- How Man City’s problems began to arise…. nine years ago
- The media pile into Manchester City, but where have they been all this time?
- Manchester City accused of over 100 breaches of Premier League financial rules
- Every club now knows how to beat Arsenal (according to reports)