Arsenal vs. Newcastle Preview: One Foot Away From St. Totteringham’s Day
When Arsenal visited St. James Park, or the Sports Direct Arena as it’s now called, Adolf Hitler’s long lost grandson played on the right for the hosts. Following the rash comments about the club’s transfer policy of the club he put on Twitter, nobody expected Joey Barton to play for Newcastle but I felt that he played the match because he was essential piece of Newcastle’s jigsaw puzzle…before he was flushed out to Queens Park Rangers.
Call him Hitler, a ruffian, a brawler, a jail bird, serial rapist, a mass murderer or the killer of one million jews; Joey Barton had the most cultured right foot in Newcastle and he used it to great effect especially with their set pieces.
The major talking point of the match occurred when Gervinho ran with the ball and made a theatrical dive to win a penalty but the ref was having none of it. As the game went on, Gervinho was about getting up when Hilter forgot about the game and bragged him up like a beggar that owed him money and had not payed. Steven Taylor quickly ran in between the two men to assume the role of a peace-keeper but they still held each other’s jerseys.
As expected, the area was getting crowded with bodies but Gervinho made a ghastly error that cost him his place on the pitch. He stretched his hand and made some contact with Hilter, but the Nazi hit the turf someone that was fired with a sawn-off shotgun at close range. The initial peacemaker Taylor turned on the screw by signifying to the ref that an elbow was used. Tempers started flaring up and words were exchanged. The ref moved the two guilty parties away from the crime scene and brandished Gervinho with a red card on his Arsenal debut while that Nazi bloke escaped with a yellow.
Gervinho has learnt his lessons from that ordeal though.
Seven months after the goalless stalemate in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Arsenal have had a topsy-turvy campaign so far while Newcastle has been performing above everyone’s expectations. Arsenal has laid its eggs on a Robin van Persie basket while Newcastle’s “shepherd” Alan Pardew has counted on his Ba Ba Black Senegalese Sheep for the goods.
After Arsene Wenger showered praise on David Moyes following his 10-year anniversary with the Toffees, the Scot gave a befitting gift with a win over Arsenal’s fierce rivals, Tottenham. However, Wenger is still wary of the threat Newcastle poses:
“You could say that [I am surprised] if you look purely at the number of points they have. They were not expected there.
They have bought very well in a very efficient way. Some players have made a name now who were completely unknown at the start of the season. Therefore when you look at their quality it is not surprising they are where they are.”
The spirits are high at the Emirates and Carl Jenkinson has stated that the momentum is building. The youngster talked about the morale-boosting victories over Liverpool and AC Milan and made mention about the air of disappointment that swarmed around the players as they believed that they were capable of achieving the impossible that fateful Tuesday night.
Thomas Vermaelen has tipped his team for great things and has declared that he’s not worried about losing out on a top four finish. Arsenal has a squad amassed with talent but it’s very unfortunate to know that a large chunk of the players in this team haven’t gotten the feeling of standing on a podium to celebrate a trophy.
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The past two encounters between these sides have produced red cards for Arsenal players and it affected the final outcome of the game. With Chelsea securing a narrow win over those Rugby goons, they are now level on points with Arsenal so there’ll be no room for complacency.
Despite the attacking threat of Papiss Cisse and the Ba Ba Black Senegalese sheep, Arsenal will also have to contend with a very hard working midfield of Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote, a close-knit defense of Steven Taylor and that Argentine bloke that has the same crazy hairstyle with Barcelona’s Carles Puyol and the retired Ivan Campo and of course, the goal keeping exploits of the impressive Tim Krul.
Moving over to team news, Andre Santos will be available for selection and that is a major plus in my opinion. He got injured in Athens last December and spent a long while recuperating from his ankle injury. His absence coupled with Kieran Gibbs’ hernia surgeries, saw Arsenal deploy Thomas Vermaelen on the left and he wasn’t too impressive. He even went as far as whining that he’s not happy playing there, like his manager had a choice.
Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey are fully fit but there are still doubts over the fitness of Yossi Benayoun and the fragile One. Per Mertesacker, Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong are the only long-term absentees.
For my proposed starting line up, I expect Wojciech Szczesny to continue sticking his nose in Chelsea’s affairs stay between the sticks. The young Pole kept a clean sheet against AC Milan and it must have boosted his confidence. This game might be too soon for Andre Santos, so I expected Kieran Gibbs to get the nod at left back. Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny will complete the defense line.
Alex Song has promised to supply more ammunition for Robin van Persie, but he’ll have to make sure he does his primary job of protecting his back four while Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky will complete the midfield trident.
Arsene Wenger has a very fit forward line to choose from but he says that he wants to use the Ox responsibly. I have a hunch that he’ll start with Le Forehead and Theo Walcott with the Flying Dutchman spearheading the attack.
A win against Newcastle will bring Arsenal within touching distance of their rivals Tottenham. Arsenal will face Everton, Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers while Tottenham faces Bolton, Stoke and Chelsea. With such a tough fixture list for Arsenal’s rivals that has seen them lose three on the trot;
It’s fair to say that the Gunners are one foot away from St. Totteringham’s day.
To whom it may concern, I strongly suggest that you have a look on a brilliant article from B/R Featured Columinst Allan Jiang tagged Top 5 Things Pele Does Not Want You to Know.
It’s sure to challenge your views of the footballing legend.
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Posted on March 12, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Match Preview, Premier League and tagged Arsenal, Football, Newcastle, Premier League. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
A must win for Arsenal tonight since chelsea have covered the gap. We are still top on goal difference though. To me I think Gervinho still isn’t settled. He didn’t have a very good time at the africa cup of nations and missing the penalty in the finals against zambia only made it worse. I would want Alex oxlade chamberlain to start but I feel wenger will let gervinho start. Overall great post. Keep it up !!!
But I’ll prefer Gervinho to start ahead of the Ox. Wenger could unleash him when Newcastle’s back line has gassed out.
Here’s to an Arsenal win tonight!
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