Newcastle – Arsenal 1-2, blood sweat and joy…

By Walter Broeckx

Again a few changes compared to the side that started the midweek match. Arsène Wenger makes three changes to the side that beat Monaco 2-0 on Tuesday.

Calum Chambers comes in for Bellerin who had some cramps at the end of the Monaco match and Gabriel comes in the place of Per Mertesacker in the heart of the defence.

Further upfront a big miss is Özil. Özil is sick and so Ramsey comes in his place in the starting line. This will mean that Cazorla will play more advanced in midfield.

The team that starts the match: Ospina, Chambers, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Alexis, Cazorla, Welbeck, Giroud. On the substitute bench we had : Szczesny, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Bellerin, Flamini, Rosicky, Walcott.

Arsenal with the ball first and Giroud trying to set up a teammate to have a shot but Newcastle with a quick counter but luckily a few Arsenal defenders on hand to put in some blocks. Newcastle dropping deep to defend hoping for a Lucky break. Ospina has to be alert to head a ball away that bounced off a Newcastle striker and ended up in no-mansland.

A first chance for Arsenal but a few Newcastle defenders on hand to block the shot from Alexis in to a corner. But Newcastle also looking dangerous when they can start a counter from time to time.
Giroud then with a ball to Ramsey but he couldn’t curl it around Krul and the chance was gone.

Newcastle needing a lot of small fouls so far to stop the Arsenal engine from starting to roll. And from one of those fouls Cazorla delivers the free kick, Welbeck heads it further and Giroud “knees” it over the line. 0-1 to the Arsenal after 24 minutes.

And hardly a minute later a great attack from Arsenal. Alexis with a great turn and laying it off to Welbeck who misses his volley. And another chance for Arsenal but this time a defender can head it in to a corner. But no problem as Cazorla takes the corner and who else but Giroud is on hand to head it in to the bottom corner. 0-2 to the Arsenal after 28 minutes.

Ayoze going down wit no contact but getting a free kick for Newcastle but the Arsenal wall is on hand to divert in to a corner. Welbeck with a promising run but he couldn’t get in a cross at the end. Ramsey then getting an arm in the way when Giroud was going to pull the trigger to score a hattrick. Krul just in time to snatch a ball away from the on storming Ramsey seconds later.

Arsenal then losing the ball a bit too easy at right back and leading to spell where Newcastle look threathening but again Kos and Gabriel manage to block any attempt of a shot before it could lead to Ospina having to make a save. Ayoze running offside twice for Newcastle.

Some up and under football in the closing minutes with both teams losing the ball too easy. Arsenal then try to play a bit more football leading to Ramsey beinc called back from an offside which was wrong. But a good 0-2 lead at half time for Arsenal.

Newcastle looking a bit sharper in the second half and an attack on their right flank leading to a low cross and Sissoko can fire it in from around the penalty spot. 1-2 after 48 minutes. And a minute later a dangerous shot just curles wide from the far post of Ospina. We better wake up now.

Colback pulling Alexis down but no yellow card. Finally a good ball forward from Arsenal but Janmaat on hand to stop a lob from Giroud and divert it in to a corner. Newcastle get anotger chabce but the shot goes straight at Ospina. Giroud then being flattened by an arm in the neck but the ref sees no foul.

Worrying sight when Cazorla is limping. More Coquelin also got a knock on the head without the ref stopping the game. A corner to Newcastle and a great stop from Ospina on the line to keep us in front. Coquelin could return again with a new shirt after his nose had been bleading again.
Giroud being called back but he was level with the defender.

Flamini and Rosicky making themselves ready to come on in the place of Alexis and Cazorla who was limping for a while. Still 20 minutes to go. Arsenal losing the ball but luckily a defender can take the sting out of the shot and it gets an easy ball for Ospina.

Some very tired looking legs in the Arsenal team. Welbeck with a great sprint on the left but the angle was too narrow so Krul could make a block. A pull back might have been better. A dive from a Newcastle player in the penalty area waved away by the ref. Rightfully so.

More and more pressure from Newcastle in the closing minutes and Ospina can get a foot to a diverted shot. Ospina who was blocked at each corner by the way. And the one time he wasn’t he could make an easy catch. For Arsenal Welbeck came off and Bellerin came on.

Gabriel getting an arm in the face but no foul says the ref. Giroud doing excellent in winning a free kick that leads to Bellering getting a chance but Krul can stop his cross before it reaches Giroud.

After a second half full of tired legs we hung on to our lead and took the so important 3 points. Hats off to Newcastle for the brilliant fight and hats off to Giroud once again.

A hard fought 3 points and now off to a deserved rest for some players. Some clearly need it after a hectic run in the last week.

6 wins in a row. The first time this season and that without Özil, who when not playing one could see what he brings to the team when it comes to keeping the ball flowing and keeping it in the team.

81 Replies to “Newcastle – Arsenal 1-2, blood sweat and joy…”

  1. If I may add myself… a typical Newcastle – Arsenal match like in the last years over there. Difficult but still we win in the end. Almost like the Germans…but this time without the Germans 😉

  2. I’ll repeat once more:

    aside from Giroud (8 goals in 6 games against Newcastle now), Coquelin deserves ten out of ten. I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen a player breaking so many attacks from the opponents.

    Ospina – the best goalkeeper in Arsene’s era. Yes, there was Jens, and David before Jens, but Ospina looks Casillas-esque in terms of using his inches (pun intended). That save with his leg while lying on the ground was something Oliver Kahn would have been proud of.

  3. A very hard fought win, made all the more difficult by the incompetent plonker of a ref.

    Some great performances from our guys and some lovely football before the half time phone call to the incompetent took effect.

    But, well played our guys and another valuable three points.

    Oh … Giroud….did someone say he wasn’t good enough?

  4. Stream was all over the place first half, nerves were the second.

    Absolutely delighted to get those points. Few grounds in the country where home team’s form counts for as little as St James park. They beat the Vincibles this year and should’ve beaten Utd.

    Not going to trouble my mind thinking about 2nd half performance when tiredness was so evident.

    If someone were to dedicate a huge chunk of their life to it, I’m sure they could come up with sequences from nearly all commentators showing them warmly endorsing a ref’s policy of keeping the cards in the pocket against Arsenal, while insisting flatly ‘that’s a booking that’ for the same infringements from Arsenal players.

    Didn’t cost us today and nothing truly outrageous happened, but it’s still ridiculous how often we have to put up with it. God knows if refs are even aware of it, but it’s an ultra familiar sight to see them opting for a word in the ear instead of the cards they just don’t hesitate to give us with any chance.

    Still, forget the unbookables, that was a vital win

  5. bjtgooner

    “Oh … Giroud….did someone say he wasn’t good enough?”

    I know. It’s laughable.

    Some people are just so blinded by the media shit they cant see what’s in front of there own eyes.

    Giroud is going to be an all time legend for our Club.

  6. The fouls in the first half were part of the reason for the tight finish. Good honest officiating would have had Arsenal playing against 1 less or maybe even 2 less players.

    However, playing against 14 is not unusual for the gunners these last few years. despite all that we still come out on top. So fuck you PGMO you are past your sell by date.

  7. Didn’t see it but sounds like a hard fought win by the weary. Just as well, as all other results today went against us, again!
    Ref sounds like a complete waste of space, again……

  8. Santi and Coquelin were constantly barged out of the ball…

    And sometimes our players were guilty of underweighted short passes in their own half. Or else….hard fought champions type of a victory

    Go gunners ….

  9. A comment from a Serbian forum (not by an Arsenal fan):

    “I’ve never seen before this what the referee has been doing to Arsenal against Newcastle. If they all come home healthy and alive, it’ll be great.”

  10. @jambug

    If Giroud scores any more the TV punters and their aaaa followers might think we are a 1 man team! 🙂

  11. Arsene noted after the game, 3 away games in 2 weeks.

    The joy of almost 20.

    Alexis is still leading scorer at 19.
    Giroud (the useless one, NOT!) is closing rapidly at 17.
    Cazorla, Ramsey, Welbeck at 8 a piece (about 20).
    And the rest of the pack with a combined 25 (almost 20).

    We must be a one man team.

  12. Great win for the Gunners, especially after the mid-week CL away game. Fingers & toes crossed for the players over the internationals.

    Wenger out! 😉

  13. The PGMO has made a statement about the wrong red card.

    But, what they don’t say is that Mike Riley 😈 required that ManCity win. And if the referee sends off the wrong player early in the game, it almost guarantees ManCity a win, and the red will be rescinded. So the referee decided that Macauly (sp?) looked the most tired of the players, and sent him off. ManCity got there win, and there will be no suspension.

    The only losers, are the fans hoping to see a fair game.

  14. Another refereeing blunder and Mike Dean also called out as arrogant and unfair by Leicester manager. Can the pgmol continue to keep a lid on this?

    As for the game it was a poor performance but we dug in and got the 3 points. At this stage of the season it’s all that matters.

    Oh and message to Paul Scholes. We badly missed the player of the year since Jan today… Ozil.

  15. Walter
    Your last paragraph explains the question that was going through my mind, about why we couldn’t seem able to keep the ball in last 20 minutes or so. It was just a pass or two before losing possession. Ozil would have held on to the ball a lot longer, bringing others into play. Some strange offside calls against us. A very good win though. 8 more games to go.

  16. Not impressed with ref but just remembered something- Newc’s 4-4 could never have happened without Dowd’s help that day. The pen for their third was utter tripe and I feel sure he would have given a pen in that situation with Kos and cabbella at the end.

    So, not good from another card shy whistler, but could have been worse. Whisper it, but things have been a bit better/less bad of late, and it’s easy to see how it allows for wins and draws which, with the more atrocious officiating, would be worse results.

    Same with the Chambers pen claim for handball.

    Also, Giroud’s first came 30 secs after Colback had deliberately stepped on him after initial foul. Sweet moment.

  17. bjtgooner

    We could be the first ‘one man team’ in history where the one man is actually crap !!!

  18. Damien Martinez was only loaned to Rotherham yesterday, and he played the full 90 in goal for Rotherham over Sheffield Wednesday. Wednesday scored twice in injury time to win 3-2.

    Damien faced 15 shots, of which 6 were on target.

    Toral came on for Brentford at 71 minutes, and Brentford scored both their goals with Toral on to tie 2-2.

    Sanogo didn’t feature in the Crystal Palace game today.

  19. Strange offside calls? Strange calls whole game. Fouls taking the ball after barging our players; barging our player off the ball; knee in the back when going up for a header twice without being seen by officials!!! Cheating bastards. I am sure there was a chance he would have given a pen against us but he bottled it because it was so blatant a dive.

  20. @Rick,

    Exactly, and its a prove, when we get a fair/less biased game, we are the best team. We could have one the league had the refs been fairer. I can accept refs mistakes, but not cheating.

  21. Lot of debate post matches about referees with Leicester manager and Stoke manager utterly outraged. Before the games Sky very much debating referees.

    This would never have happened three years ago – it was all “it all evens out in the end”. Of course no one touches the big “why?” questions – “why are we having all these ref problems” and “why are the media so afraid of the why question?”

    But it is thanks to Walter and Andrew that we have got this far and taken the debate onto the national media.

    Another three or four years and someone will slip and suddenly say “wny?” I really believe we are half way there.

    I heard the match on Five Live. Aged about 200 years in the last 10 minutes. But still alive enough to go for a dance tonight.

  22. I couldn’t believe it today when I heard Jeff Stelling say:

    “Our referees, that get 98% of there decisions correct have……”

    Okay it’s not much, but at least they are starting to question that preposterous claim from the PGMOL.

    The cracks are beginning to appear.

  23. Funny really as I’m sat here watching one of the PGMOL’s finest get 98% of the decisions wrong !!

  24. wow will the mafios give us a breather after todays mafiantic game?? we need prayers and consistence because the way i see things its going to be very hard for the Arsenal to be in top four but as always we do not have to give up.

  25. That was an appalling performance by the ref and his assistants!- incorrect offside calls that were significant and several fouls by Newcastle that were ignored. I am not suggesting that they were all malicious or yellow card offences, but to just let play go on was ridiculous. While all those were against us, I felt that the penalty was a big call in our favour- did not look like a dive to me and hence, possibly yet another bad decision by the ref.
    Have there been two halves so different in a game! The effort of the midweek game showed on the players in the second half and it was important to score early, which we did. This template of 2-1 victories, scoring 2 first and letting one in later, has been repeated for the sixth time this season- West Ham, QPRx2, Leicester, Crystal Palace and now Newcastle. This, while probably being more comfortable for players rather than chasing a game and winning 2-1, certainly makes very uncomfortable viewing for fans. Anything for the victory though!

  26. By the way, although I didn’t see or hear the match, so I can only go on what I’ve heard and read here on untold, it sounds like Newcastle fans can also be proud of there team.

    Even if the Referee was a bit lenient it doesn’t sound like they went out to hurt our players at all.

    Newcastle where down to the bare bones player wise.

    2 nil down at Ht.

    They really could of been forgiven for throwing the towel in, but they most certainly did not, so credit where credit is due.

    We hung on and I’m proud of that, but the Geordies can also be proud of there players efforts.

  27. Sounds like another bad weekend which will keep refs in the spotlight. As has been posted, soon, someone is going to be asking why. At best, it is clear the honest refs need video technology, at worse, some need a custodial sentence if their mistakes are not honest.
    Haven’t seen it, but sounds like spurs getting help again, happening rather a lot this season. Maybe Mike Dean had a Arry Redknapp flashback today?
    How much longer can Riley say nothing and survive. I would imagine some of Riley’s bosses are getting nervous.

  28. Reading some of the news, I found a collection of player ratings, and a stat.

    Ospina (9,7,6,7,6), Chambers (6,6,6,6,6), Gabriel (7,7,7,7,5), Koscielny (6,7,8,7,8), Monreal (6,6,6,6,7), Coquelin (6,8,6,6,7), Ramsey (6,6,5,7,6), Sanchez (6,7,5,6,6), Cazorla (7,6,6,6,7), Welbeck (6,6,6,6,7), Giroud (8,8,8,9,8).

    Used subs: Bellerin (6,,,,), Flamini (5,,6,6,5), Rosicky (5,,4,6,6).

    Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla now has more assists than any other player since 2012 following Newcastle win
    27 assists

  29. Any of you daft enough, like me, at look at comments from sites other than this have probably seen a few complaining about why players have no right to be tired. Just tried to help out one particular chump with some interesting stats I read this week. Meant to produce them here at some point as they are pretty eye-opening. I’m guessing he won’t thank me for trying to help him out.

    ‘Being a professional sportsmen doesn’t alter the fact you have physical limits.

    An 800 metre runner finishes his race, he can’t run that fast again for a while. Doesn’t matter how much you pay him nor how much you shout at him or insist he should do it. They’re the exact same as us in terms of having physical limits and needing time to recover; the difference is they have much higher limits than us.

    Nice little stat in a good football book I read this week : ‘

    ”at the same time the ground covered by players sprinting increased by 40 per cent between 2000 and 2006 alone : a sprint is classed as a run made at quicker than 7 metres per second, equivalent to running 100 metres in 14 seconds flat. In the premier league season 2006-7 the average number of sprints per team per match was 330.2. In 2013-14 it was 431.1, a 30.6 per cent increase. Over the same period there has been a 20 per cent decrease in recovery time between high-intensity sprints. Clearly, over a long season of fifty-plus matches, the wear and tear arising from this kind of extreme exertion is considerable”

    If the ex-pro’s did their job properly they’d look into that sort of thing and be less mystified about why players can’t play as much as they did in their (much less physically demanding) playing days.’

  30. Rich

    Good stats, but not exactly eye opening for any one with any knowledge of profesional football.
    Sprints and stop-starts are the primary culprit in all hamstring issues, rather then fouls. When your squad features some of the most explosives players in the league , like Arsenal does , then rotation becomes of the almost importance.

    Let’s look at today’s game for example. Four matches in two weeks, three away and all of them won. The game in Monaco was especially taxing because of the extra effort , physical and mental, players did put in it.

    Some heavy legs all over the pitch for Arsenal , but we managed to put in an impressive performance in the first half. The second half was a different story however, because as it often happens when your legs are tired , sitting down for fifteen minutes doesn’t make them any fresher and it’s hard to get going again.

    New castle , who were bood off the pitch at half time by their own fans, started the second half with a spring in their step, and put us under tremendous presure from the off. It was obvious we couldn’t cope in the midfield , then why wait til the 71 st minute to bring on some fresh legs.

    If you can’t rotate your squad against the depleted New Castle United, then who can you rotate against.
    Isn’t Rosicky a capably replacement for tired Cazorla , who has been phenomenal btw, but why wait till the 71 st minute to bring him on?

    All credit to the players for showing enough fight and grit to withstand the New Castle battering , but on a day like today the manager has to do better.

    Giroud was tremendous again, and I agree with others on here that he doesn’t get his due recognition. The only player stoping him from his first Arsenal hat trick was our own Ramsey. Poor positioning awareness by Aaron , he needs to do better.

  31. @Tom
    What is it that, from miles away, makes you think you are in a better position than the assembled Arsenal medical and management team with their years of experience and on the spot knowledge of the players physical condition, to assess the the right moment when substitutions should be made?

  32. Tom,

    I love how you co-opt stats/opinions that support your position, no matter how tangentially.

    “….not exactly eye opening for anyone with any knowledge of professional football.
    Sprints and stop-starts are the primary culprit in all hamstring issues, rather then fouls. When your squad features some of the most explosives players in the league, like Arsenal does, then rotation becomes of the almost importance.”

    Your condescending tone aside, are you seriously trying to say here that the sort of sprints that Rich was talking about is exclusive to Arsenal players? You have always preferred to blame Arsenal and especially Arsene Wenger for our injuries (which I find absurd) but that’s your position and you have every right to hold it. But please stop misinterpreting other people’s comments to support your stand. Rich quoted a stat for professional players generally and you made it all about Arsenal. Damn, you are disingenuous!

    I saw the full game today and while I also wanted new players to be brought in sooner, your arrogant chastising tone here in addressing Arsene Wenger’s timing is ridiculous. Who are you again Tom and what exactly have you achieved in this game to talk down to one of the greatest managers in the game like this? Had we ended up drawing or losing the game after the substitution, I suspect that you’ll be singing a totally different tune. Monday Morning Quarterbacking is easy, Captain Hindsight.

    I wanted fresh players brought in sooner too but unlike you, I defer to the decision making of the man who knows vastly more than me and whose decision once game was vindicated. We won.

  33. Tom

    “but on a day like today the manager has to do better.”

    Other than win our 3rd away game in 12 days how ‘better’ do you mean exactly?

  34. I think I’ll have to go Tom’s way on this one.

    I think the game where Mesut Ozil has the furthest distance is about 12km. Let’s round that up to 16km, which is about 10 miles. For the average 160 pound male, a mile is about 100 Calories of expenditure. So, we are attributing about 1000 Calories to the running Mesut Ozil did on the best day. Tour de France is nominally 2000+ Calories per day, for 20 days. The getting up to speed phase takes more energy than steady state, but we already gave Mesut a 33% freeby on this handwaving. I don’t think the players are approaching physiological limits yet. Some people take longer to recover from road trips than others. I think the two activities I can’t account for are the energy needs in recovering from getting whacked N times in a game, and having to concentrate on a subject for 90 minutes with only a single break. While most people do not have long attention spans, those of us with autism can concentrate on a subject for many hours, not just 90 minutes.

    Or do you have other processes whereby energy is draining?

    Not too far from where I am living now, they have a 24 hour race called the Death Race. Nominally running around a mountain a bunch of times. Uphill, downhill, over logs, across creeks. You can do it as a single person, or as a team. I always thought that a football team should run that as a team. Probably good training.

  35. Gord

    It’s not whether Tom is right or wrong, but the fact he seems to think he knows better than Arsenals experienced medical team, Steve Bould and Arsene wenger, whilst sat on his couch god knows how many miles away.

    Forgive me for having more faith in Wenger than I do in Tom.

  36. Mick
    I’m not in a better position than Arsene Wenger to asses when substitutions should be made , but I have an opinion and I’m not afraid to voice it.

    Arsene Wenger is known for making substitutions on or around 70-75 minute in most of Arsenal games ,unless there’s an injury involved, and sometimes that’s just waiting too long, especially when the game desperately calls for a change of momentum.

    Players , no matter how professional, need their manager to bail them out sometimes, especially when they are being overrun like we were in the second half.

    Certain things are more obvious from a distance sometimes.
    I seem to remember you voicing your dis belief some time ago that Arsene Wenger would leave Chambers all on his own against the Swansea’s Jefferson Montero, who skinned Chambers over and over on the left wing.
    What made you think Chambers wasn’t handling it ,from miles and miles away, and perhaps that Arsene Wenger should’ve done something about it,
    Or was it some other Mick 🙂

    Besides that’s just my own observation and an opinion with which you are welcome to disagree.

  37. Gord,

    You are free to go with Tom but are you also going with his insinuation that this “short sprint” issue is peculiar to Arsenal players and therefore responsible for our injuries instead of the demonstrably higher number of kicking that our players receive?

    As an engineer who practice mathematics for a living, I know better than to use numbers to justify all my positions. Sometimes numbers work in debates, other times they just make us come across as show-offs. Just a friendly tip.

  38. Nice one for “the unbookables” Rich, love that.

    Crazy ref, nutty assistant with that offside call and completely bongo Newcastle fans leaving a home game after 25mins. This modern football is a mad game.

  39. Speaking of rotation, what is going on with Theo? Ozil sick, Sanchez fatigued, Ox injured and still no Theo. We all know Welbeck can put in more of a shift in certain areas of the pitch, but as a fan of Theo, starting to get a bit worried, he , like Jack is the sort of player who needs a few games to get to his best. Thought maybe this would be a good game to help get him going?

  40. @Tom
    Of course you are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to my opinion on your opinion.

  41. Mandy Dodd

    Me too. I love Theo.

    I have always felt that Arsene loves Theo too. I’ve never had any reason to doubt Wengers faith in him, but I must admit it’s getting a bit worrying (for Theo) now.

    Maybe it’s just the sheer intensity of the games we are playing at the moment. Maybe he just feels, what with this new plan B of conceding possession and defending deeper, it’s just not the right time for his re introduction.

    Whatever it is I do hope it comes good for Theo because I would be gutted to lose him.

  42. Bootoomee

    Actually , I never said Arsene Wenger is to blame for Arsenal injury problems. Don’t make shit up to go fit your narrative.

    What I have always maintained is that Arsenal injury problems are a complex issue and everything needs to be looked at , including rotation and training methods.
    Arsene Wenger himself had said in the past that he should’ve given a player ( Ramsey) some rest sooner before he got injured( hamstring), but it was difficult to do because he was playing so well.

    Or perhaps playing Cazorla on two days “rest” when one of those rest days included an eighteen our flight from Ecuador ,after his stint with the Spanish side, where Cazorla played in humid conditions on a saggy pitch.
    Do you need a degree in sports science and physical fitness , to conclude that that perhaps was not a right selection?
    Except that we were short of midfielders and desperate to win Against Villa at home, so that was ok, right?

    Look, we have had these discussions before , you and I, so let’s not waste anybody’s time .

    You can call me disingenuous or whatever else suits you , and I’m totally fine with that. You have your opinion and I have mine when it comes to injuries.
    You believe they all happen because we get kicked off the pitch , and I don’t care to change anyone’s mind , least of all yours.

  43. Tired should not be a reason to withdraw a player from the field. The fitness of any player (even goaltenders) should be such that they could play 150 minutes (90 plus two times 30) without trouble on any given game day.

    If a player gets injured, yes substitute the player.

    All managers try to pick 10 outfielders who can handle what the other 10 outfield players will bring. What the opposing team will bring is unknown, and that is one reason to switch players up who are neither tired or injured. To change your alignment to better work against what the other team actually brought, as opposed to what you thought they would bring.

    Some players just have exceptionally good or bad days. In which case your own manager may have to remove you (bad) or allow for you (good).

    In any event, you only have a small number of substitutions you can make, and if someone gets injured after all substitutions are finished, that is too bad. Which is partly why substitutions seldom take place in the first half, and usually not until at least 15 minutes are gone in the second half.

  44. Agree Jambug, could be very good reasons for delaying his return, unless Theo has fitness issues or something like that, I fear we could lose him, but guess ultimately that is between the manager and player.

  45. A while ago, Wenger had an interview on about Theo. He said that if a player ruptures his ACL after age 28, that player almost never comes back. If a player ruptures his ACL before age 25, it is very likely they do come back. Well, I think Theo is on the 25. Theo has had more than his share of injuries, and so Wenger is just being a little more careful. If we were short forwards, he might be pressured into using him. I was hoping Theo would have started today.

  46. Bootoomee

    “I wanted fresh players brought in sooner too but unlike you, I defer to the decision making of the man who knows vastly more than me and whose decision once game was vindicated. We won.”

    This is a very telling passage from you, really.
    You basically agree with my opinion , but since it includes the critique of Arsene Wenger , then of course you must disagree with it.

    An you call me disingenuous 🙂

    Just because it worked out and we won , it doesn’t mean it was the right move by the menager.

  47. Gord

    I do hope you are right.

    At 18 I snapped a cruciate and ruptured an anterior ligament, as well as damaging one, and completely losing another cartilage, all in one incident.

    Took 4 years to get back on a football field. Never anything like the same player.

    Just had surgery on it again last year.

    I know the treatment these players get is amazing but recovering from these type of injuries is very hit and miss.

    My fingers are well and truly crossed for Theo.

  48. Good win but i was nervous in second half when we tired a little and were overrun at times, but we held out and there seemed to be no great deliberate attempt to derail Arsenal, seemed more like a ref who likes to warn and leave the cards in his pocket.

  49. Jambug and Mandy Dodd, fully agreed, Wenger surely loves Walcott – he invests a personally in players he’s developed as youths.

    Because this season more than ever players’ positions are under threat pretty much from 1-11, he’s been able to see how different player combinations affect the team’s performance level and results. Big team performances in big games recently as well as the two Champions League games against a Monaco team with many young, fast AND technically gifted players brings into sharp relief just how high our standards have to be to be, and how Walcott’s skillset is just not as unique once seemed.

    Whatever happens with the negotiations, I hope he stays and is still able to contribute as a squad member.

  50. I don’t know where Wenger got the 25/28 numbers from. I had never run across anything like that.

    I don’t like the idea of taking semibranosis and semitendonosis from one leg, to rebuild an ACL. That is losing half your hamstrings to rebuild the ACL.

    I don’t know what the medical staff would have had Theo doing. Thinking about it, I think having him play badminton against a really good player would work. That way they could build up to larger forces on the rebuilt tissue.

    On my right knee, I had 2 successive 2nd degree MCL sprains (one year after the other). On the left knee I had 2 strange injuries never properly characterised. In either event, recovery balances two things: it takes 6 weeks to make a meaningful change in a biological system and you need progressive overload.

  51. Before any game we can all have an ‘opinion’ as to who should or shouldn’t play.

    During any game we can all have an opinion as to who should come off, and who should go on.

    Alas there is only one man, and his assistant, that actually has to make that decision.

    The guy that makes all those decisions is the guy that knows all the players inside out.

    He knows all there fitness levels.

    He knows the tactics he wants to employ and who is best to apply them.

    The vindication or otherwise of his decisions can only be made against the final result.

    Surely a victory, especially a 3rd away victory in 12 days is vindication of the decisions made.

    Yes we all may have an ‘opinion’ but to suggest we know better than Wenger, as some do, is simply arrogance in the extreme, but I guess we do have some arrogant people visiting this site.

  52. Tom,

    During every game, I think of many things that I think Wenger should do differently BASED on my myopic and emotional view of how things are going in the game, moment by moment. Thinking that the manager should do something differently and chastising for not doing so (as you are doing here), especially after his preferred approach worked just makes you look like a fool with a massive chip on his shoulder.

    As much as I disagree with your pedantic nature when desperately trying to win arguments, I will not be a hypocrite and lay into you for holding a view that I shared. Early in the 2nd half, I thought that Wenger should bring in new players as I had done on countless other occasions. But the manager had always made his substitutions whenever he thought they were needed and unlike you and I, his decisions are not based on the tensions and emotions of the game but on sound knowledge of the game and his players that people like us can only dream of (despite your claim of “knowledge of profesional football”).

    Your peculiar nature shines through once again when you try to arrogate my tangential agreement with you as a victory for your position. That, Tom, is why you are disingenuous.

  53. @Tom

    “Arsene Wenger is known for making substitutions on or around 70-75 minute in most of Arsenal games ,unless there’s an injury involved, and sometimes that’s just waiting too long, especially when the game desperately calls for a change of momentum.”

    Can you prove that a substitute in the period 70-75 mins is too late?

    Also lets look at e.g. Welbeck: – from September he has been substituted off at minute; 87,77,

  54. I think it is difficult to objectively criticise Wenger’s decision on when to substitute players because it worked. We won the game. And, though Newcastle had the run of the play in the second half they actually had very few cut and dried chances. They had a shedload of corners but by and large we handled them OK. So, despite their fatigue, Arsenal were able to cope with Newcastle.

  55. @Tom

    “Arsene Wenger is known for making substitutions on or around 70-75 minute in most of Arsenal games ,unless there’s an injury involved, and sometimes that’s just waiting too long, especially when the game desperately calls for a change of momentum.”

    Can you prove that a substitute in the period 70-75 mins is too late?

    Also lets look at e.g. Welbeck: – from September he has been substituted off at minute; 87,77,80,80,78,71,76,74,71,88 – where no injuries were involved and came on as a sub at minute; 46,87,90,65. So in this case AW didn’t sub Welbeck on or off mostly in the 70-75 minute time slot. I have chosen Welbeck by random, I have data similar data for all our players.

    Therefore, I’m not convinced that your assertion that AW is known for making substitutions in the 70-75 minute period is in fact sound. Further, even if he did make such substitutions – he is in a better position and with considerably more knowledge and experience than anyone to make that call.

    Tom, you are entitled to your opinion, but sometimes you come across very badly – too keen to stir it without any backup data.

  56. Just like some people lie, some players lie. If the manager asks them how they are, they will say 100%. Even if they are only 50%.

    In any event, the manager has some idea of the fitness of all his players. They can also observe the game. How likely is it that any of my players are going to get injured due to the inaction of the referee coupled by the aggressiveness of the other team. A bonehead for a referee or an exceptionally aggressive opposition, do substitutions late.

    Ben Foster of Southampton is done for the season (6 months initial prognosis). Hodgson has called up the QPR and Stoke goaltenders.

  57. I think most substitutions made at 87 or more minutes, are due either a player being hurt or a player has had an exceptionally good game, and the manager wants the fans to be able to express that to the player in the substitution.

  58. Tom,

    The fact football game mgt is far more complex than you thought .

    Most Weenger-san ‘s substitution happened at 60+ mins.

    Please don’t get into domains that you try to impose opinions . It is meaningless unless you are a proven expert in thee game.

  59. Hearing about City benefitting from an early sending off got me thinking, when was last time that happened for us?

    Anyone know? While we’re at it, I can’t recall any instances of us benefitting from last-man rule, nor of players being sent off against us vs top four rivals, not early on anyway. Generally, unless there was an actual leg breaker, nobody goes against us early in matches, and it is often in the last minutes.

    There are a few exceptions- Adebayor in one of the 5-2s, Blackburn twice had people sent off fairly early (one was first half, don’t remember second)- but I’m pretty sure the stats would be very weird if someone were able to compile them.

    These are things harder to keep track of than penalties for or against (-7 in the four previous seasons), or even sendings off for and against, and pretty difficult even to get a concise accusation about, let alone prove, but these patterns, spread over a long period, really seem to defy normal explanation.

    That painful Southampton defeat this year- last man foul on Sanchez, should’ve gone; last week, two minutes in, tricky to spot but should’ve been a pen and a red. We just don’t get em; while others, sometimes when really in need of them, like City today, do get them. No red for us there.

    United could even get nice 1st half sendings off, from Webb, at home to Wigan in the good old days!

    Help me out with any examples you have ,people. I wouldn’t want to be unnecessarily suspicious here

  60. Rich,

    Colback once was sent off against us, dont remember with whom but it was in the first half

  61. Rich
    You’re not alone in being ‘suspicious’ her. with enough time I could try and find some of the data you ask for,but i have not got the time. But I agree with you on all the things you point out; red cards to the opposition when playing against Arsenal rarely come in the first half, or even before minute 70. Just like bookings for the other teams, a player from the opposing team could start fouling from the second minute but will only get booked late in the match, 8 or 10 fouls later (latest one being fellaini).

    I feel most of the punishment meted out to the opposing team will be after its become apparent we will be going to win the match, or if it’s too late to have any impact on the match. There will be one or two exceptions obviously, so no need for anyone to point at one red card or penalty conceded by the other team against us. We’re talking of the normal trend here.

  62. Cheers Al, Yassin.

    Colback must have been while at Sunderland,then. I’ll try rack my brain tomorrow and see if I can come up with a Utd player between keane in the late 90s and Di Maria in 2015.

    Enough footy for one day anyway, I think.

    Let’s hope for Utd and Liverpool to both get stuffed tomorrow and everyday (still haven’t decided what’s best for that one. My Utd hatred is pretty deep)

  63. The manager’s substitutions are based on his reading of the game and the player’s fitness. It’s an absolute joke to suggest anyone outside the club knows better. Don’t respond to it and if you’ve voiced an ‘opinion’ based upon your viewpoint from the couch, as @jambug has pointed out, don’t go on trying to defend it. I refer you to @jambug’s 10:46 PM post, as well. I’ll also point out Wenger’s substitutions at Monaco. Look it up. Much earlier because he was going for it and wanted to keep up the pace and pressure. As for the ref…well we’re not surprised. It’s ironic and humorous that in the aftermath of the ref-crowding nightmare during the Chelsea v PSG match, Arsene Wenger is the only manager who has come out publicly defending the refs! And for this he gets the usual PGMO treatment. Maybe he should take a page from Sir AF and invite them to dinner. They’d probably poison him…after he’s paid the bill, of course.

  64. When it comes to injuries it is a simple matter of preference of proof. I’ll kick the back of your legs a few dozen times and I’ll do a few sprints. Who do you think will be injured?

    Giroud took two heavy knees in his back & one on the top of his buttock. I think he will suffer some sciatic nerve issues as a result. A soft massage on his muscles might allay some of it but his spine will need specific attention as it is there that the nerve gets trapped. The knee to the buttock might cause hamstring issues on his left leg.

    The tackle on Coquelin on the by line by Cabella was a red card offence not a simple talking to by the PGMO cheat. The flailing arms that got Coq & Gabriel were not exactly mistakes. I just wish one of the players caught the official with one of those, so that he could understand the pain.

  65. Oh My God! Responsible ex-Arsenal players still exist!

    > Arsenal legend Frank McLintock believes Gabriel Paulista can prove himself to be a capable replacement for Thomas Vermaelen

    The only problem with that news article, is that Gabriel’s surname is not Paulista.

    But beyond that, it is a wonderful headline.

    I would quote the article itself, except that I disagree that Per is having a bad season. Running articles about Arsenal players having a bad season seems to be a constant theme of the source.

  66. goonersince72

    “Arsene Wenger is the only manager who has come out publicly defending the refs! And for this he gets the usual PGMO treatment. Maybe he should take a page from Sir AF and invite them to dinner. They’d probably poison him…after he’s paid the bill, of course.” 😆

    Very true.

    It’s the same with the media. Wenger must be one of the most obliging Managers out there. Always faces the media after a game, win lose or draw. And what thanks does he get? A monitor shoved under his nose to get him to comment on a contentious decision. Wenger is the only Manager I’ve seen that done to. At press conferences he’s always open, honest and humorous yet they constantly try to trip him up, get him to make controversial comments and then miss quote him shamelessly the next day. He never bans them or throws his toys out of the pram.

    I’ll be honest here when I say Wenger is a far bigger man than me.

    I would have great problems in backing Referees that constantly stitch us up and as for the media ! By now there wouldn’t be a journalist that WASN’T banned !!

  67. WOO HOO , HOO ! Well done guys ! Saw only the last few minutes of the game and the highlights .
    Time for a breather and to come back roaring !
    Up the Gunners !

  68. I do remember a Man City defender being sent off quite early in a game against Arsenal a few years ago , but not able to recall his name.
    Too many players to keep tract and with very high turnovers !

  69. “But I agree with you on all the things you point out; red cards to the opposition when playing against Arsenal rarely come in the first half, or even before minute 70”

    On top of my head, I can recall of that early sent off for Sidwell when we won at Fulham 1:0 (surreal game – Sidwell got his red around 10th minute, Mertesacker scored after Kos’ flick-on assist, we were still struggling to put the game in bed and Giroud got a direct red card in the injury-time of the second half).

    That prick Taylor got sent off in the 2nd minute after destroying Eduardo’s career.

    Boulahrouz was sent off before the end of the first half when we played against Chelsea at home (2006-07). Gilberto converted it but they got their equalizer.

  70. 48 seconds. Sent off! For what, I don’t know. I need coffee first. But that is the headline at BBC Sport.

  71. > 48 seconds. Sent off! For what, I don’t know. I need coffee first. But that is the headline at BBC Sport.

    >> Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was sent off against Manchester United just 48 seconds after coming on as a half-time substitute.

    >> The 34-year-old, who is due to join LA Galaxy at the end of the season, appeared to stamp on Ander Herrera after the Spaniard tackled him.

    >> Gerrard has just returned from injury and is now set to miss three games.

    >> That includes the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Blackburn, and two of eight remaining Premier League games.

    Gerrard you cheat!. Serves you right.

  72. What a wonderful example Gerrard is to other players, and to children learning the game. Open up the Daily Mail commentary after the game is finished, and what does one find?

    Hopefully the referee doesn’t report this, and the discipline committee can act:

    > More controversy after the final whistle as Martin Skrtel blatantly stamped on David de Gea’s ankle trying to run in on goal in the final seconds. The Liverpool defender though has completely got away with it.

    This should be a card. You can’t be tripping an opposition player by grabbing his leg.

    > Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli reaches out at Manchester United’s Chris Smalling ankle after a touchline clash

    And also in the news, is Mike Riley 😈 calling for technology to be used to help officiating. First up, attach a high tension wire to Riley’s chair, and if he suggests a referee for a game or is asked for approval, give him electric shock.

  73. Bootoomee

    Please go. And take jambug with you. Come back when you realize that this club was NOT founded by Arsene Wenger. Who do you think you are – telling lifelong Arsenal supporters the only way is your way? Disgusting.

  74. dieter

    “telling lifelong Arsenal supporters the only way is your way”

    If you can point out where I said that I’d be happy to debate it with you.

    I wont hold my breath.

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