Newcastle Night.

We are back from the international break and as we now hurtle headlong into the home straight of the Premier League campaign… each game going forward is going to be must-win and potentially season-defining.
Good day one and all.
‘Monday night football’ comes to the Emirates Stadium tonight as Arsenal, in search of their 10th successive league home win, host Newcastle United.
The Gunners go into this game unbeaten in their last five league outings (W4, D1), outscoring their opponents 12-3; the GA column is particularly welcoming as it means we don’t have to be so kamikaze like in attack but rather more balanced with our ‘shape’, and the 2-0 victory over Manchester United prior to the inter-break, a game we never looked like losing, is something we now hope to not only replicate but to also use as a platform for improved performances with quite a few handy matches coming up in the run-in.
Geordies boss Rafael Benitez is working his magic once more to guide his side to the safety of mid-table as they look much better compared to when we played earlier in the season. From being winless in their opening ten league games (D3, L7) and in the relegation zone mid January, he stuck by his pragmatic tactics and turn things around to now have them on a decent run with only two defeats in their last nine games (W5, D2).
Most of that good form are at St James’ Park and they don’t travel well, with their last win on the road the 15th December at Huddersfield. So it’s unlikely that Rafa will “have a go”, it’s not in his DNA, and we should expect him rolling out vintage Rafaball: ’11-men behind the ball to stifle the opposition of any space in hopes of nicking a draw’ – anything more will be a bonus, anything less, well, their next game is at the SJP against Crystal Palace.
For Arsenal to get the win here we will need to get the visitors off their game very early and not allow them to getting too comfortable – they do have the patience of Job -because in this charge toward Champions League qualification we cannot afford any mistakes in matches considered to be ‘bankers’, keeping in mind the form of teams around us as only one point separate 3rd from 6th on the league table.
There’s two Newcastle players we will need to keep at arm’s length, top scorer Salomon Rondon, who has 9 goals and 5 assists, and January signing Miguel Almiron; the Magpies’ improved showings coincided with his arrival.
Gunner-in-chief Unai Emery will have a few concerns, Aaron Ramsey got back from international duty with injury but is expected fit, so too Nacho Monreal who missed the trip to Dubai. It’s said Granit Xhaka will have a late fitness test, though he could miss out as it’s reported he didn’t make training yesterday. Lucas Torreira of course is serving suspension.
Newcastle have been playing well recently and that is certainly something that will give the away end reason for optimism, however, Arsenal do crank things up in front of the Emirates faithful and I don’t think tonight will be different.
Here’s hoping the boys give a good account of themselves.

27 comments on “Newcastle Night.

  1. Aaaah! The “GF” in third paragraph should be “GA”. My mistake.

    An Arsenal win tonight will really put the pressure on the the other 3 teams in our fourway battle for the two CL spots.

    Do that thing Unai!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good write up Labo, largely reassuring words, certainly hope their away form to remain consistent.

    I know it’s been said before but I think Emery and the players deserve great credit in getting to the team to their current league position whilst maintaining a presence in Europe. A top 4 league position could open all manner of doors – not merely precious additional transfer funds but also in attracting those as yet unsigned players harbouring CL ambitions. Not to mention the ambitions of our squad.

    Looking forward to tonight, just hope everyone has awoken from the intersnoooooze …


    Liked by 3 people

  3. Nice one LG,
    I don’t see any handy games for us in the run in, all of the teams are battling for something or are in good form so tonight is massively important to get back in the groove any to make sure we don’t put additional pressure on ourselves with all the away games coming up.
    If we are short in midfield tonight the forward line will have to take their chances to secure the win.
    It would be great to see another red and white masterclass however I’d just be happy with the three points COYG.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My optimistic head (the only head I have) is making me think a couple of bob on Arsenal, Wolves, Palace, Southampton for tonight, Tues, Wed and Friday respectively would be a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. no xhaka or koscielny in the squad tonight

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Arsenal FC
    ‏Verified account @Arsenal
    2m2 minutes ago

    🗞 An update on our two absentees…

    Xhaka – misses out with a tight left groin
    Koscielny – misses out with a bruised left foot

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Leno
    Sokratis Mustafi Monreal
    Maitland-Niles, Ramsey Guendouzi Kolasinac
    Ozil Iwobi
    Subs:Cech, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Suarez, Jenkinson, Nketiah

    Liked by 1 person

  8. COYG!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Perfectly good Ramsey goal disallowed.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Taylor is as bent as a nine bob note

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Some of the football we are playing is amazing. Ozil in the thick of it. Ramsey being superb. Save off the line by their defender is probably the save of the season.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Shit refereeing.

    Montreal gets a yellow for a clean tackle.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. That looked like an own goal by the Newcastle goalkeeper, if so, appalling refereeing….again

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Goodness me ,Taylor. He looked very confident there it was a Laca handball. If you can’t see it’s the big geezer in a bright keeper top, with flipping gloves on his hands….geez

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Now lets keep clean sheet and not get Sok booking

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mainland-Niles is a very exciting prospect

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Mainland-Niles is a very exciting prospect….

    Liked by 2 people

  18. He may of also been fouling Lacazette too. Why no booking if deliberate handball into the net too? crooked Manc twat

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Excellent workmanlike performance nice to see us keep going in order to beat a stubborn defence and even more stubborn officials.
    Another brilliant advert for VAR on every decision not just the big ones. Well done lads

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Georgaki

    2nd time recently Ainsley has got stronger and stronger as game progresses. Maybe in part down to excellent athleticism/speed but seems to grow in confidence and assurance at same time.

    Great to see him playing well and improving like this. Hopefully far from done either and will keep getting better. Huge potential.

    Bemused he wasn’t with Eng u21’s last break and they appear to prefer young Spud, Walker-Peters, at the moment, who, though decent and done well with England youth teams for years, hasn’t done a quarter of what Ainsley has in first team football (for a higher placed team!)

    Liked by 1 person

  21. If the EPL has Ligue 1’s referees we’d win our 14th. title very quickly.
    Thanks Labo.
    Taylor forced Arsenal to play attritional football. We are losing too many players to cheap shots.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. That won’t be Newcastle’s best performance of the season, the Gunners were good enough on the night to beat the twelve opponents.

    Props to the understrength midfield, friends thought Matteo had a shocker but all I could see was the game ably managed by the league’s outstanding CM. wasn’t allowed to score the first time.

    A fitting tribute from Rambo to Rocky.

    Rocky was actually included in the original title alongside Rambo and some other words and names for my vaguely legible article, I’m just grateful George published it!

    Since he came back into the starting elevens alongside Ozil there’s been a steady build up of form, confidence and most importantly of all spirit pashun and grit as the players aren’t weirded out by he fact that the two best footballers at the club were out he starting eleven.

    The two best footballers on the park tonight?
    Not a debate.
    But a joy to behold. (This is the cipher George was looking for, I think…).

    Liked by 1 person

  23. If the PL had Football refs, then some of them might be allowed to ref in Football tournaments like the European Cup/Champions League, World Cup, etc…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Linked with Zubizaretta for technical director role now. Just had a look through Marseille signings in his time and not too inspired by them.

    Thauvin been excellent. Luiz Gustavo a solid player. Payet a mercurial talent. others like Mandanda, Njie, Rami, past it Evra. This year’s were Strootman (25), Amavi (10), couple i know nothing of- Caleta-Car (19 mill) and Radonjic (12 mill), and of course Mario.

    Can’t really pick out a style from that lot, other than trying to get a real mix of ages with experienced pros, youngsters and some in prime years.

    Spent good money by Ligue 1 standards and I haven’t noticed if it has yielded impressive play/ team. 5th at present, so I’m guessing St Ettiene and especially Lille above them have done better with their cash.

    Anyway, could be just a rumour, and can’t say for sure how they are playing or anything, but not initially too excited by the idea

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Imagine if our away form was half as good as our home form….

    I hear only man city have a better home form than we do.

    hope we can be steady in the next few games

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: