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