MATCH PREVIEW: Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium, 2/Jan/16, KO: 3pm, Premier League.

by • January 1, 2016 • Match previewsComments (7)1912

I’ve written fairly extensively about Newcastle United and 2015.  We were all there and we were all angry. I hope Mike Ashley is angry. Whatever his dubious motives for owning our football clubs, he does not want relegation battles.

Whatever his ambition (or lack of) is for the club, he does not like seeing his money wasted on players and managers.

So good riddance to that awful calendar year from a football perspective.  Starting 2016 we have a trip to top of the league side Arsenal, who are in rampant form.  This is Newcastle United, and anything can happen, but a defeat here is surely inevitable.
For me the worst three performances of the McClaren era have come in the past two weeks.  The performances against Wenger1Watford, Leicester, Palace, Man City were all abysmal – but all of those sides are in the top 7 of the Premier League.  It doesn’t excuse those results or performances, but there’s the context that sadly, all of those cubs are years away from United at the moment in terms of what they put out onto that pitch.
Villa, Everton and West Brom represented the most important week or so of the season, and we picked up one point out of 9 scoring one goal.  Not good enough.  There’s no such thing as bad luck after 19 games,  there’s no such thing as ‘signs of a corner being turned.’  January won’t save us.  The damage is done. Do you back us to beat Bournemouth at home?  Do you think we’ll go to Norwich and get a win to stay up?  No chance under this manager.  Bring in whatever desperate signing you want, the key January acquisition needs to be a manager.
I’m baffled he hasn’t been peddled already.  Well I’m not, but I should be.  17 points from 19 games could well be 17 points from 21 games with Arsenal and Man Utd to come next.  Then it’s West Ham at home.  I think it’s reasonable to believe that if we were to lose the next three games, McClaren would have to be sacked as we would likely find our selves 5-7 points from safety?  When any manager gets to that position, that he’s a couple of games away from the sack, why wait.
Anyway Arsenal are top of the league and should really be winning the league this season.  Man City drop so many pointsNorthern Threads Winter Sale they shouldn’t and there are no real other contenders.  Their 4-0 defeat to Southampton was a huge aberration but they’re capable of that.  They don’t ever lose at home to terrible teams though, so they’ll be comfortable winners here.
Who we play with is irrelevant.  Darlow to continue.  I don’t think he did that badly.  The Dummet/Winjaldum left side has provided zero assists away from home this season, but he won’t change it.  Anita’s injury means Tiote comes in.
Sissoko and Janmaat are OK as a partnership and he’ll probably play Perez.  I’d play De Jong as Perez is more influential coming from the bench, but really, it doesn’t matter, does it?
ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892 

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7 Responses to MATCH PREVIEW: Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium, 2/Jan/16, KO: 3pm, Premier League.

  1. Kenny Henderson says:

    If its under 5-0 it’ll be deemed as not to bad. That’s how low we have gone, fuckin futile this lot.

  2. Rob Douglas says:

    The worst performance by far was Sheffield.Wed in the League Cup. That was the most spineless exhibition I’ve seen in nearly 40 years of going. Everton wasn’t bad and we should have at least drawn, possibly won. But you’ve pointed out the bigger problem. Yes, McClaren is not good enough but neither is our squad. It’s full of players who are not up to standard. It’s a deckchairs on the Titanic situation. You say does it matter who we pick? Exactly. And I don’t think many managers could get much better from these players. 5-6 are good at best. But that’s it. The rest are inadequate. I don’t think changing the manager would make much difference. It’s a change of ethos and strategy from the top brass that’s needed. Most people agree and most also say it won’t happen. Sadly, I agree and,therefore, we’re stuffed.

  3. Brian McGarry says:

    Once again we are caught up in this dismal situation.
    The ONLY guy to blame is that bastard Ashley.
    He has made all the decisions, and that is where we are.
    I despise the man, but there is little we as fans can do about it, it makes mw sick.
    Unless McLaren goes we have no chance and I don’t see that bastard firing him.

  4. Jim Myton says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what Ashley does in the next few weeks, stick or bust. He’s spent money in January before, at times to good effect. Carr seems to have 2 pairs of glasses, he wore his normal pair when he watched Thauvin, Riviere etc (the list is too long to carry on with) and must had had his spare pair on when he watched Cabaye and Perez, he’s brought in other decent players but those two were outstanding bits of scouting given the money paid. Charnley is clearly a goon, selling clubs must be rubbing their hands when he walks into a room as he clearly can’t negotiate a decent deal, whether or not the player is worth buying which, clearly, he wouldn’t know anything about. In all of this he is the most obvious weak link, in a very flimsy chain. If he doesn’t understand what’s wrong then how can he fix it?

    McClaren, I really don’t know, I imagine he now wishes he’d left well alone but he should have enough nous and experience to get us out of this. It was interesting how he played down the Liverpool and Spurs results as though he was as surprised as the rest of us and felt he couldn’t take any credit because he’d not done anything different in terms of preparation. I would have to agree with him that the players do seem to be fighting more in recent weeks but if we’re 3-0 down after 25 minutes tomorrow that could change. I’m just not certain that changing manager at this point in the season will do us any good, in part because better options are thin on the ground right now and who on earth would want to work under this regime?

    As for the players, in some ways I don’t blame them. As in the above post, there are 5-6 good players there and they must look around the dressing room and see that the others are likely to make a rick at some point during the game which could lead to a defeat regardless of how much graft they have put in. Simply put, the team more or less picks itself because of a genuine lack of depth in the squad which leads to virtually no competition for places, that’s been pointed out here and elsewhere many times. Most professionals will know when they’ve had a stinker, some of them (Curtis Davies springs to mind) are honest enough to admit it. Put in two or three bad games on the run and you could be said to be out of form, it happens. The problem comes when you know you’re out of form and you are low on confidence but you get picked anyway because the other bloke who should be coming in for you doesn’t exist because he wasn’t bought in the summer, is injured or is out on loan somewhere else. If you have three players on your teamsheet who are low in confidence then the next 90 minutes are not going to be easy, a lack of confidence spreads quicker than an abundance of it. That is one of the reasons why there are sports psychologists, do we have one? Like a qualified one who knows what they are doing?

    Most of the players who are out injured have very rarely played four or five games on the trot, why is that? Aarons, one of the few players to have come up through the ranks in recent years and created a bit of excitement seems to be challenging Michael Owen to the club’s lowest availability per game ratio whilst on the payroll.

    Years ago Keegan binned the reserves because he said it knackered up the pitch and that was a bad move as it meant that fit players who weren’t getting a game in the first team were kicking their heels. have a list of players who have played for the reserves this season, our unused subs from the WBA game have played combined total of eight reserve games between them. Lubo Satka has played eight games for the reserves and I don’t want to single him out but he’s been at the club for a while now and doesn’t seem to have ‘kicked on’. Very, very few of the regular reserve team players will ever have a top-flight career of note if history is anything to go by. All Premier League clubs will be the same to a certain extent as there’s an element of what HR departments like to call natural wastage but in the last fifteen years we’ve had Steven Taylor and Shola Ameobi as the products of the system who have played the most first team games, it’s not exactly “Fergie’s Fledglings” is it? Ashley hasn’t done a great deal to solve this but the problem of bringing through players from the academy etc predates him.

    If we had eleven players with Pavel’s attitude and pride in wearing the shirt out there tomorrow then I’d give us a chance but that all seems like a long, long time ago.

  5. Davy B says:

    I fail to see what changing a manager will do. The players have battled away, they are set up well. Its simply that they are not good enough. You could have a Mourinho / Ferguson partnership but you can’t legislate for Mitro misses, or De Jongs miss, or Darlow letting it slip, as we have in the last 3 matches. That’s 5 points dropped at least, and a much better league position. I personally think we are only 3 good buys away from a decent team.. Whether Carr / Charnley make them is another matter.

  6. tom Bates says:

    Deserved a draw at least against Everton? If Luakaku had his shooting points on it would have been 5 nil

  7. tom Bates says:

    Agree it’s not Mclaren thats the main issue it’s the make up of the squad and the lack of characters or experienced players we have. We have still yet to see a goal scored for us by an English player in the league this season. We’ve been trying the same policy for years and it hasn’t worked.