Newcastle 4 – 4 Arsenal… Let’s dissect…

Evening All…

For those of you who are extremely angry, I can empathise with your plight, for I am enduring the same pain, the same unbelief and an anger at various people. By now, anyone and everyone reading this will know that we went up to St. James Park and went 3-0 up in the first 10 minutes and 4-0 up in the first half, only to end up drawing the game 4-4… in what can only be considered our worst second half performance of the decade. Worse that our home draw to Sp*rs? Maybe not that bad, considering we had 11 men that time and we were at the Emirates… but regardless of the loss of a man and the poor refereeing decisions, to concede 4 second half goals when clearly on top, is simply not good enough.

The Line Up

Our line up was:


Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Clichy

Wilshere – Diaby

Walcott – Cesc – Arshavin

Van Persie

With a bench of Almunia, Eboue. Gibbs, Squillaci, Rosicky, Bendtner and Chamakh

Electric Start

The start to the game was electric from us – a goal within 45 seconds from Theo Walcott – a great run from the youngster and a great flick pass from Arshavin to get him in – and before we knew it, it was 2-0. A free kick, a ball in by Arshavin and a header from Djourou… and then within 11 minutes, Van Persie made it 3-0 and then made it four with a peach of a header from Sagna’s cross.

To be honest – it was all too easy. It was half time, it was 4-0, we hadn’t broke into a sweat and that was it…

Diaby’s Moment Of Madness

We started the second half in a training match mode and after a reckless challenge from Joey Barton, who should have seen red for a vicious tackle – a leg breaker – angered Diaby who then lashed out at the Newcastle player. Diaby was sent off – and yes, he should have been by the rules of the game, but you would expect the offending player to be sent off first and the victim to receive the benefit of the doubt. I was very angry at Diaby’s reaction – why put your own team into such a situation? Why put yourself in the position to be sent off? And let your team mates down – and why do this when Denilson and Song, the position you’re covering are both out injured – it does show a lack of respect to your team. Yes, Diaby has had injuries previously and yes the Barton challenge was bad and incised him, but what would he gain?

The Referee

On Tuesday, the referee tried to take points away from us, but despite the decisions, we overcame it – today was a completely different story. The ref, first of all failed to send to Barton and did not take the benefit of the doubt with Diaby and then against all odds, he gave two penalties and a free kick (which lead to the equaliser) which would never ever be given in any other match. Conspiracy… maybe.

Arsene summed up the decisions:

I was surprised by both decisions. But I am not the referee and I don’t think my opinion is very important now because we cannot come back and change it.

For me, the decisions against Arsenal seem to be unfair. Yes, every fan of every club has a similar feeling, but simply neutral decisions are not made in the correct way – both penalties that were awarded against us today were not penalties – simple. In no other league, no other game, and no other club would they be given. I implore any one to tell me otherwise.

The Manager

Arsene was surprising upbeat with his comments after the game:

“It was a good game with top intensity. Overall I have to say we played great football and we have to take a lot of positives out of this game. It is difficult at the moment to swallow. But time will help and we will get over that. Overall I think we have to take a lot of encouragement from our first-half performance.”

However, later on Arsenal TV Online, he was slightly more analytical:

“It’s very frustrating because we played a good game and we had an opportunity to take three points in the title race. Newcastle kept fighting, I knew at 4-0 the game was not over because it was important to keep our nerves and continue to play. A team that has already lost the game, when they get back into the game you are always under threat. That was very important for us, not to allow them to get back into the game. Therefore, we are certainly guilty tonight by going down to ten men.”

Yes, we are frustrated – but I do believe external forces to the gain have wrongly influenced the result.

With Man United losing today too – we have suddenly turned a very bad result into not the worst – perspective allows us to see that we’ve gained a point on Man United – albeit, it could have been three…

Until tomorrow…

  • Clampdown59

    Don’t kid yourself, Barton’s tackle was hard but certainly not a leg-breaker. Arse were gash in the second half, no guts, no fight – how much longer should we put up with AW talking shite?

  • devday

    Watch the tackle again – definitely intent to injure the player! MOTD, Football First, take another look. Slow mo it – it was a bad tackle… no card???

    Explain this – why on earth was Nolan not sent off for clothes line tackle on Szcznesy? Much worse that a push on Diaby…!

    If the referee is going to do the basics wrong, send people off, not send other people off and then award two penalties… PLEASE explain what penalty #2 was about! Then what hope in hell do we have???

  • bonathan

    diaby was a fool, and we missed djourou big time after he went off. djourou we could do nothing about, (except sign another decent defender which we didn’t) but for diaby, there is no excuse. yes, he’s had a bad injury in the past, but players are going to look at that and do exactly the same thing i’m afraid. and who could blame them? it’s a dog fight to stay up for some of these teams.

    certain members of our team still don’t react as well as they should to a bit of ruff and tumble. fabregas being one of them (which is not ideal, as captain), diaby being another. in england, you cannot afford to have too many of these players in your team. we have changed our ways on this front somewhat over the last 12 months, and have become more robust.

    however, when djourou went off injured, and with the absence of vermaelen and song, we were always susceptable to this after going down to 10 men and being ruffed up a bit. it was a combination of these things that led to our downfall.

    we are short on numbers in midfield now, but hopefully denilson and song aren’t out for long. otherwise we may need to get lansbury or eastmond back

  • slyonoja

    Yes the referee was not so good,and so?we should just give our best and be over with it.I don’t think arsene has a case,diaby and rosicky has no place in a team with title ambitions,only wenger thinks otherwise….then taking walcot out,what for?

  • devday

    @ Clampdown59:
    I’ve just watched it again on MOTD – that WAS a leg breaker, Barton should have been off.

  • Goonerman

    I can’t believe them mugs on MOTD are saying the Barton challenge was a good robust one! Justbecause he got the ball it does not automatically make it ok. Shawcross got the ball but he still broke ramseys leg!! Barton had no control and the more I watch thatman the more I think he’s a vile human being.

    The worst decision of all is the second penalty I mean there is no explanation as to how that could be given if anything kozza was being stopped fromjumping, a real joke!! At least the second game on MOTD is a lot sweeter lol!!

  • Berth

    Just watched the second penalty; I can only shake my head in disgust. Well we have to keep up and get going, dust ourselves up, make sure we win against Wolves and avoid loosing against Barca. I would like to know when Song and Djourou will be back; its crucial they come back as soon as possible.

  • yemi

    Before the game started, a draw at gt. Jamds’p park would have been a decent result, but after the 1st 15min minutes, a draw would have been an abomination. Diaby took us the abominable way! Should have learnt from sagna’s red card

  • zizou

    Before the sending off episode,Barton had made a horrific tackle on Arsha (in the first half)and it was Diaby who reacted then by returning a foul.The referee more interestingly granted Newcastle a free kick for Diaby’s foul but let off Barton’s foul unnoticed..I think it all lead to the over reaction from Diaby..But anyway,it was a foolish act from Diaby-a professional premierleague footballer!

  • Josiah

    I have had a night to sleep on this and I feel it was diabys fault because hbis sending off completely turned the game around, we were also robbed though because the second penalty was not a penalty. BUT united lose we won point gained rather than point lost YES we shoulda won etc etc but football is a game of two halves and because of circumstances the second half didn’t go our way. Anyone saying wenger should be sacked doesn’t have a clue. We can still win this title.

  • Berth

    Wenger being sacked this time opponents are spending like craze is just out of the equation. The thing is he still remains the best thing that has happened to the club.

    Talking of yesterday;the team selection was for us to defend by attacking; it seemed to be working well before the Diaby destruction. And looking at the defence without Song made it more miserable for us. I mean we had chamack, Bedtner, rosicky, goal keeper and eboue; more than half of the bench were attacking players and that contributed a bit to the miserable evening (maybe 25%).

    Its not exactly disaster but we need to get rid of players who can’t flow in the same tide with the team; you re 4 goals up; it means one thing just feel happy,smile if you can when fouled after all its just a game do not let moment of madness set in. Lets seriously hope Song comes back and that Djourou gets back asap.

  • Berth

    And again the leadership qualities of the captain should be massively questioned; he obviously did not show it yesterday.

    One thing is talking to the media about how bad a player has performed, showing passion by upsetting behaviour but the captain is needed most in situations like yesterdays and am afraid that didn’t happen. Wenger should consider things like these seriously before giving out the captain armband. A captain should have the capacity to lift the team spirit when they are dispirited.

    Guess Denilson was right after all.

  • Tm17

    By the way for anyone in the uk Ramsey is playing right now
    on BBC 1 !!

  • Tony Boy

    I am really starting to get worried about the mentality of this team. 4 up and Newcastle all over the place, then we shoot ourselves in the foot again.

    Yes Barton should have been sent off – awful tackle but Diaby should know by now not to react to this kind of thing. Newcastle are being thrashed their palyers are bound to react with force. We have got to learn to absorb that sort of play and just stick to what we do best – play football.

    Penalties were ridiculous particularly the no.2 which was un real. However why did we come out in the 2nd half in training mode we should have kept playing got 5 & 6 to turn the screw.

    Man U lost but in some ways it makes it worse because we should have been 2 points behind them now really pressing, psychologically we have let Man U players off the hook a little.

    We are now struggling re centre backs (but we know that would happen once we did not buy).

    This is the test now you would think this kind of result would make the players even more determined to prove they can do it – but how knows we will see!

  • tom G

    really appreciate the positive comments here, you’ve cheered me up, and Liverpool have just scored. let’s hope our players, and I agree with what’s been said about both Diaby and Fabregas (and the F*CKING REF), LEARN from this, it could have been worse, but for F*CK’S SAKE it should have been a lot better and it makes me sick what money they’re on..

  • devday
  • Kodjo

    @ Dev

    what does this man i dont understand french…whats it to do with rosicky…is he linked to any betting patterns/groups????

  • devday


    The news broke yesterday. Apparently millions of euros were put on the game at half time for the 4-4 draw, at crazy odds, ranging from 66-1 to 90-1 – apparently Interpol have been contacted by several betting agencies.

    The article and noise in the UK suggest that Dowd and Rosicky were involved as both had terrible performances.

    I doubt the game was fixed, but crazy that Interpol are involved!

  • yemi

    I blamed diaby initialy, but now i am having a re-think because we fans are so miuch like the players…. Over reacting when things don’t go our way.
    Yes you can criticize yes, yes you can point out faults but you also have to be constructive and not destructive, be a part of the solution and not the problem.

    Anytime there is a blip in arsenals performance, you start seeing 30 comments and above on WOA, when the team wins, hardly do you see 10 comments praising a nice performance.
    Then you start seeing comments like ‘Sack wenger’, Buy this, buy that, loan this, recall that. Or how will you explain such a comment as this on the last post
    “Newcastle vs Arsenal – The Preview”

    comment 17:
    zizou says on February 5th, 2011 at 5:29 pm :
    premierleague dreams of 2010-11,R.I.P….

    We ended up gaining a point on the current leaders…
    In as much as i do not want arsenal to rely on or hope for favors from other teams like wolves/ liverpool, we should also know that winning the leaque is a fuction of all these taken together. We draw, man u become visible, chelsea 50M signing failed to deliver.
    In the end it was a good weekend, though it coulda been much better with a win

    On a lighter note:

    I heard chelsea bought Torres without a user manual (LOL)

  • pisssedoff

    No news like bad news

  • yemi

    @ pisssedoff:

    feel you

  • theusualsuspect

    The apologists keep telling us we will win the league, Squelchy and his brother Kosmic were great signings, Diaby and Denilson are the future Baa Baa Baa. And what happens every season, we flatter to deceive and fall short. We wont win the PL this season and that in itself is scandalous, it could and should have been so much better. It’s Groundhog Day every day in the World of Wenger, the man who just keeps doing the same thing over and over again when everyone but him knows it wont work. Now didn’t someone called Albert say that’s the definition of insanity. Maybe whenever the apologists bring up the outdated slogan Arsene knows the realists should counter it with Albert Knows.

  • theusualsuspect




    WE LOST 5