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Newcastle Beachboys vs Arsenal: how to get a prediction dead right (well, almost)

By Tony Attwood

Sometimes there is a moment to sit back and reflect.  To look at the finer points of detail and say, well, yes, while the broad outline is vital the exact issues are important.  Perhaps even to admit that occasionally one doesn’t have to say, “Cor blimely guv that’s a turn up an no mistake”*

I speak of course of the minutiae of writing a column on a forthcoming game 10 hours or so before the match itself kicks off, whereupon one focuses on the players and indeed their identities, the numbers on their backs, and so forth.

Now I doubt that you will recall such petty detail, but for the sake of form here is what I wrote in my column of yesterday morn…

The team, I proclaimed, would be…

Wojciech Szczesny

Eboue, Djourou, Koscileny, Gibbs


JET, Lansbury

Walcott, Bendtner, Vela

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Although I also added the caveat…

“Denilson might get another game,”

And lo, behold, to wit, viz, forsooth, what did we get?  It was exactly my team as selected, apart from where it wasn’t (as in Rosicky and Denilson – whom I semi-selected) played in front of Eastmond.

9.5 out of 11. Not bad eh?

Praise and congratulations are, I think due, and in receiving them I will be modest, retiring and deferential in my normal manner.  You may form an orderly queue at my door.

What I particularly loved about the game played on the Newcastle Riviera (which according to Rhys in his commentary on my preview of the game, is the hub of civilisation and reconstructive thinking), this game was the way Arsenal demonstrated on their own the two different approaches to football.  There were the usual 25 passing moves, swinging it around from side to side of the pitch, and then, just for contrast, just for fun, there were the little bits where every time someone got the ball he gave it back to the Beachboys.

There was also a couple of very droll sections where every time Eastmond passed the ball to anyone they passed it straight back to him.  But he was cool, sanguine, as he gave a look as if to say, “Are you taking the young lady?**

But above and beyond it all Bendtner has scored two crackers in two appearances since his reconstruction, and Theo has now scored something like 345 goals in 5 appearances (although my calculator does seem to be a little on the blink so that might not be quite right).

It is exactly as I have been saying all season. We just have far too big a squad.  How do all these players fit in?  There will be rebellion in the ranks.  Who will we play in the front line against the pornographers of Western Ham?  Could Bendtner and Chamakh both play in a game together (I am not quite sure how, although I suppose you can put Bendtner on the wing).  Theo must play surely after displays like last night.

The midfield of Nasri, Cesc and Song seem to pick themselves, unless you want a second defensive player like Diaby there.  (Incidentally where is Diaby?)

Then there is the issue of Arshavin, who puts through more people for goals than anyone else in the league, and who also plays the game of looking disinterested so often that he not only fools the opposition but also our own supporters…

Oh it is so tough.

I really have to say that I loved last night’s game, from the moment Bendtner took three pot shots at the keeper, as if to say “Look you silly bugger if you keep stopping these I am going to keep kicking them at you”, through the Theo’s ability to run at the goal, put the ball 0.5mm from the keeper’s leg and score.   And their goal was a cracker.

So, with 1-4 against the very tiny totts, and the 0-4 against the beachboys from the Newcastle Riviera, what next?  The sequence demands that our next opponents score minus 1, which would be something of a new development.  Imaginary numbers meet Association Football.  Now there’s a thought and a half.

* Cockney rhyming slang – without the rhyme.

** And with the rhyme – young lady = miss”

Untold Arsenal – refined, selective, to the point

Making the Arsenal – the world’s greatest Xmas present

Arsenal History – not quite as you imagined

33 comments to Newcastle Beachboys vs Arsenal: how to get a prediction dead right (well, almost)

  • Samuel

    You still writing claprtrap mate, Newcastle were rubbish,as woeful as Partizan Belgrade or Braga ,going forward especially at home ,which Newcastle couldn,t do ,and Szczesny in Arsenal,s goal having three saves to make in 90 minutes plus but what about Joey Barton,s crude tackles ,first on Eastmond and then on Cesc ,both from behind with intent to cause maximum damage,no mention of it ,why,s that ?

  • Chris the gasman

    Ah to revel in the delights of our victory and be happy. Unless you are Samuel in which case you can stew and sulk in the unhappiness of the opponents defeat. Come on mate we won !!!!

  • Samuel – no mention of the bad tackling, because we mention it so many times, and I try to add a little variety and cheeryness in a world in which I am very slowly recovering from having food poisoning at the start of the week.

    We can’t talk about the same subject all the time, can we?

  • arsenalist

    good job…all the team was good…eccpet 2 or 3 players…i want to ask….bentdner influenced by chamakh or it seems like??)))i never saw him running like that before _))



  • RedGooner

    Hi Tony, I caught that reply from Rhys also and I must say I have no issue with tearing down StJamesPark either if it stops that idiot Joey Barton from having a place to play football.

    I thought Eboue defended great near the end of yesterdays game was quite impressed by him.

  • obichibz

    i got a good laugh when i heard my channel’s commentator say we got “only two youngsters” and mentioned them as Szczesny and Eastmond in the side that started against the barcodes(like that)… TW 21, KG 21, Deni 22, NB 22, CV 21, JD 23… they are All YOUNG!! mate i yelled… beautiful performance all round… who’s next better watch out!!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Samuel, maybe we make them look rubbish?

    And City was also rubbish I presume? Feel a bit sorry for Vela if he would have scored that goal after some 15 seconds he would have been on fire. Now he seemed influenced by his miss, which was a good stop from the keeper in my opinion. And I will not judge Vela on a one match. He just needs a run of consecutive games in the side before you can judge him.

  • Dan

    I had the pleasurable experience of watching Arsenal thoroughly demotional Newcastle last night but the somewhat less pleasurable experience of having to sit in the Newcastle end. Some of the “fans” comments actually made me feel physically sick. Some fans were shouting for Barton to ‘snap’ Walcott and to end his career, even if they were shouting these comments to a less saint like player (as they no-doubt will be when Cattermole captains Sunderland against them this weekend) it is still disgraceful. Not to mention these were English fans. Assuming Theo continues his insatiable appetite for goals then he will surely be one of Englands star performers in future competitions. I know Newcastle fans are certainly not the only ones to shout comments like this, and those that do are probably in the minority, but with the fans baying for blood is it suprising the players go in too hard or get carried away now and then? I think fans aswell as players and managers have a responsibility to irradicate malicious and dangerous tackling.

    It was not only Arsenal players that were underfire. I heard a fan shout that Hughton should be sacked for playing Perch in the centre. Admittedly not the most inspired tactical decicion but the man led them to a 102 point finish in the Championship and now has them at 9th in the Premiership. To call for his sacking in one of his lowest priority games of the season after what he has done for the club is ludicrous!
    Of course I would have brought these thoughts to the fans attention at the time but was not in too much of a hurry to have 22Stone of half naked Geordie piled on top of me.
    Rant over.
    P.S. When is the draw for the next round?

  • Arun

    Surely.. Arsenal youngsters have redefined the term youngster’. I think, In Arsenal, for you to be called an youngster, you need to be at your teens. Oh! wait a sec, Jack is 18 now and he is a regular first team player. By next year, he would be called a senior player. Then who is an youngster?? Must be those whose age are said in months rather than in years 😉 😀

    When Jack starts a carling cup game next season, What will those boxheads sitting in the box would be saying?? Will they count him out from ‘youngsters’ though he would still be a teenager…

  • Akash

    Yeah, that’s a great win for us.
    By the way, where’s Diaby and why did you called the Hammers as “pornographers”?

  • Dan

    *I had the pleasurable experience of watching Arsenal thoroughly *demolish* Newcastle last night (just correcting a rather strange typing error from an earlier comment where I appear to have made up the word demotional)

  • Akash, West Ham are owned by the men who used to own Birmingham, and who own a whole raft of pornographic magazines, and the main pornographic TV channels on Sky. I have nothing against pornography (up to a point) but just like to point these things out. It is a bit like saying Liverpool America – gives a sense of ownership I feel.

  • Dan – draw for the next round is Saturday lunchtime – should come up on the screens at the Ems during the pre-match build up if you are there.

    And I am not sure Newcastle is actually in England is it?

  • LRV

    Why are we not hearing from the ‘Sack Wenger’ brigade? Should we keep on winning like this? The AAA may take offence if we do. “Well… Who cares?” Oh, and those players castigated by the AAA seem to be firing…

    It is great to be an Arsenal fan, isn’t it?

  • LRV

    Why are we not hearing from the ‘Sack Wenger’ brigade? Should we keep on winning like this? The AAA may take offence if we do. “Well… Who cares?” Oh, and those players castigated by the AAA seem to be firing…

    It is great to be an Arsenal fan, isn’t it? Go Gunners!

  • dxb_gooner

    szczesny last punch just before the final whistle was the best punch ive seen from an arsenal goalkeeper 😛
    lol the distance on his punch was almunia+fabianski combined 😛

    kidding lol .. enjoyed the game .. and this was almost our ‘B’ team .. not ‘A’ . the ‘C’ team are the youngsters right ?

  • LRV are you trying to confuse my fragile brain – posting from two different email addresses indeed! But the AAA are as active as ever, having turned their attention to Djourou. Their aim is quite clear – to undermine his confidence so that he becomes unable to play, so that they can then blame Wenger for not having enough players in that position.

    They did exactly the same with Song with their repulsive “not fit to wear the shirt” campaign against him, and it took him months to recover. Bendtner has been subjected to it ever since he arrived, as has Denilson. When the team wins, they always go after a player, swooping in trying to destroy him, so they can then blame Wenger. There is no end to the dirty tricks they play. Indeed they are even trying to discredit Arshavin now – a player with more passes leading to goals than any other in the EPL!!!

    Fortunately only a tiny handful of this disgraceful bunch actually ever come into the stadium, so it is rare for any of their nonsense to reach the players, but it does happen occasionally. But the roar that went up at the Ems for Bendtner’s first appearance since his injury was something to behold.

  • Paul C.

    I actually think Djourou is settling into things quite nicely. He seems to be stronger with every game, which is just as you would hope from a guy who has hardly played in 18 months. The mistakes he has made seem to be judgement and timing mistakes, again things you would expect from a guy who has been out so long with injury.

    Chesney looked fantastic. But lets not go overboard. AW didnt go overboard when Fabianski made mistakes, we should follow his lead and not go overboard on one great performance, no matter how confident and competent he looked.

    Arshavin is a tricky one for the AAA’s to go after, since he is exactly the type of big money signing they always demand. To go after him is to defeat their own argument. However, I feel like AA is treading on thin ice. He creates goals still, which keeps him in the team, but I dont know anyone who would say his form has been great. He probably has more turnovers than anyone and he gives Clichy very little protection down the left side (especially when compared to the all-action displays we have seen from Nasri down the right). Rosicky must surely be very close to AA now, and is looking superb. AA needs to up his game.

  • Paul C.

    Oh, and I thought Bendtner was excellent last night. Much more of that and Chamakh will have to start worrying. And that is a wonderful problem for AW to have.

  • FunGunner

    Very true about Djourou, Paul C. And he improves through each game, which is also a good sign.

  • Byo

    Tony as always makes very astute observations about our team. For those who have always thought the manager(whose job it is) should be left to do his job, our performances/improvements have come as no surprise. But I must be honest to note that Djourou gives me a few bouts of ingestion in the ManC and Newcastle games. I look for better judgements and resilience from him in future appearances.

  • Terence McGovern

    Hehe! Most newcastle fans don’t think in terms of England mainly because they never leave Newcastle. Come to think of it Most Newcastle fans wiould have issues with thinking as a concept.

    I am gleefully reminded of a fantastic sketch on “Not The Nine O’Clock News” back in the day where they featured the sport of “Geordie Baiting” which was on the increase. Tony may remember it. Hilarious. Geordie dressed in homespun tied to a post and just out of reach were a load of toffs holding cocktails making fun of his accent with lines like

    I say! Geordie person! what do you spread on your bread?

  • naveen

    i know that fabianski has been in a good run..and sheszny seems to be the real deal ( crossing my fingers )
    but it seems that a certain reina wants to leave..and i know that hodgson said hands off him…but i was it worth it to make a move on him? i’m just asking…and i am no AAA…thats because i read about it in a manure site and they were talking shite about reina about how he is not good enough to wear their jersey and i am just asking..what do u guys think..and i would really appreciate a feed back from mr.tony himself 😀


  • Paul C.

    Naveen – In my opinion Reina is a very good ‘keeper, but you have to ask yourself whether he is so much better than Fabianski and Chesney as to warrant a 15-20million bid. I dont think he is anywhere near that good a ‘keeper, and never will be.

  • Rhys Jaggar


    I’m sure you understand when I’m taking the piss, whilst pointing out that there are some good things going on in the NE.

    As a nation we can only prosper if all parts are able to excel at something and that the notion of competition brooks respect without setting in stone royal hierarchies.

    As it turned out my destiny for last night was not listening to the radio but being a taxi for parents whose night out took a strange contour.

    But I did see the goals on the telly later on and thought ‘blimey, if Bendtner and Theo go on doing that, we’ll be in for a fun season’.

    You will be delighted to hear that I will not be at the Emirates on the weekend as a lad who supported Chelsea until he came to the stadium once three years ago is now a demanding pressure on the tickets from his Godmother and a regular recipient of my programme after the games I do go to.

    There is a greater inner confidence in the Arsenal side right now. A few rites of passage in London night clubs coming to an end, perhaps?

    There is a glorious abundance of in-form midfielders and strikers right now. Either that or the teams we are playing simply aren’t all that good. Arsene will now earn his money recycling them in ways which retain their spark without wearing them out.

    So it is the back 8 who must be the most focussed in training in the weeks and months ahead. That is where the trophies will be won and lost this season, I suspect.

    Unless we are in for a ‘you score three, we score four’ sort of season………..

  • naveen

    hmm ok then…i guess its justified then….i have to admit i did not expect fabianski to have such a good run..and its great to know that his no.2 is also not just runnign his mouth..great potential..
    to me reina is a pretty good keeper..i rate him highly due to the fact that besides gerrard and torres he was by far their most influential player..and the credit has to be given.. he’s had a rough start to the season so i guess his form right now does now reflect what i am saying…
    but hey wouldnt it be great to have our young poles work on one particular quality that i really love about reina..his ability to start off a counter attack.. that really would be something!
    but thats what i think.. for now i am just glad that we have 2 keepers that are really having a good run and i m ecstatic about it!
    lets beat the hammers and keep yet another clean sheet.. i really forgot how it felt to have one lol…
    cheers gooners!

  • Paul C.

    Naveen – I actually think Fabianski’s distribution is among his best qualities. I think he is outstanding in that respect. I personally dont think Reina is anywhere near his quality when it comes to kicking and throwing the ball.

  • Adam

    I think people have to understand that Arsene has put in place a squad where almost everyone is playing for their place.

  • naveen

    hmmmm now you r just making me feel embarassed lol…
    i guess the next time i make a comment i should really
    do my research first lol..

  • Paul C.

    Nav – dont worry, it is all just opinion anyway!!

  • Paul C.

    One thing I see is how much more careful AW is being with players and their injuries this season. I think this is also down to our improved squad. I wonder if Walcott and Bendtner would have been rushed back if this was last year, or whether Cesc would have been given that extra week. Would Vermaelen be playing through injury right now if we didnt have Squillaci, Kos and Djourou?

  • LRV

    Sorry Tony. I was, honest to God, not trying to do your head in. My excitement just got the better of me so much that I accidentally used the FB email instead.

    Seriously though, no matter what they try, the AAAs are doomed to failure; irrespective of which of our playing or management staff they go after.