The latest pre-season opposition to be put in the frame is a trip abroad to…..Cardiff.

Reports coming out of Wales claim that Newcastle United will play in the Welsh capital on Saturday 11th August which is a week before the Premier League opens up again.

This news follows on from it looking increasingly likely that Newcastle United will head to South Africa as the main focus of their pre-season preparations.

The Vodacom Challenge, a four-team tournament that is hosted by the Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, was in severe doubt until Vodacom recently agreed to renew their sponsorship.

If they reach agreement, it is almost certain that Newcastle would be the headline participant.

The options open for pre-season were limited thanks to St.James’ Park having the honour of hosting Olympic football matches from 26th July to 4th August but with St.James’ Park also having to be returned to the branding of S***** D***** A**** or some other alternative (Olympic rules meaning sponsors’ branding having to be removed).

Newcastle are also strongly linked with a possible pre-season match against Sporting Lisbon, also at a venue that isn’t….St.James’ Park.

Andgeo 5pts

Same old Arsene, always cheating!!!

1957 5pts

Interesting picture on the match of the day running time article.

Don't remember, on the day, this challenge being given as a foul, the Arsenal player definitely wasn't booked for it, presumably having your foot near someone's head isn't dangerous play in the view of the match day officials.

Any ref out there who can explain why the challenge above merits no card while a block or a trip does (sometimes)

TonnekToon 5pts

@1957 I'm surprised he wasn't booked for having his head too close to the oppositions foot !

stepaylor 5pts

Alot being said about the ref and my own opinion is that mitrovic should have seen yellow not red. However, i thought thauvin's challenge early on was a penalty. We did ok against a side who have better players than us in almost every position. Ask yourself this? Would any of our team today get into their first eleven?

PhilYare 5pts

nee shots and nee corners is shocking. same points as the mackems

LeazesEnder 5pts

Victory to Wenger in securing the services of the ref.....

Andgeo 5pts

This happens every time we play arsenal. There is always something going on in the papers the week before we play them. And, the only way they could have won yeaterday was against 10men. I wonder if other clubs experience similar when playing them. Doesn't help when half the press are arsenal fans.

paul janes
paul janes 5pts

Both against Swansea and Arsenal who are 'footballing' teams we've to say the least made our presence felt,that is a recipe for yellow and red cards.

As for Mitrovic,well ,optimists are saying he's young and he'll learn I'm not at all sure as his game is based on physicality and he's canny slow,gutted we've signed him in preference to Austin.

Hope I'm proved wrong.

Demented_Man 5pts

No complaints about the referee today. You can't just kick teams off the pitch these days to make up for a difference of class.

PhilYare 5pts

@Demented_Man agreed, even if we had 11 we wouldnt have been interested in venturing near their penalty box. Cech could have had a few pints at the strawberry

1957 5pts

I don't think Arsene and me were at the same game apart from agreeing Mitrovic deserved a red within the letter of the law.if anything the referee set himself from the first minute not to be seen as a 'homer' ignoring the over dramatic falls to the ground by players in red to get fellow professionals booked (simulation surely even if there was contact) and went completely the other way, interesting that Howard Webb and the referees organisation saw fit to come out and back him within an hour, damage limitation?...

I think we have the beginnings of a good team, their committment is fantastic and the crowd fed off that and produced a fantastic atmosphere, last season we would have wilted and the ground would have been silent.

howaymebonnylads 5pts

It's funny you know but I bumped into Arene Wenger after the game and he did a triple salko onto his posterior followed by waving an imaginary card at my mate who happened to have a green t-shirt on.

In all seriousness though, if Olivier Giroud had of stood on Vurnon Anita's foot it would have been an unfortunate mistimed tackle that at worst was  a yellow.  It's every time we play Arsenal they seem to have a knack of throwing themselves to the floor and demanding a card.  If only we weren't so honest and did the same!!!

Toonarden 5pts

Marriner? - He should have stuck to his sailing job.

He certainly threw us overboard to Arsenal and Wenger today.

murvar 5pts

I felt let down by Mitro. 11 v 11 I think we could have caused them problems. One thing we can say for certain is that we are learning how to defend at last. Much has been said about the negativity of playing 2 holding midfielders but all that means to me is that when we attack, one of them remains deeper - they aren't both @holding@ when we are going forward. In the later part of last season we would have lost that game by 3 or 4. Rio F said we would lose by  "2 minimum" before the game - with 11 men!

SteveSmith16 5pts

I've not been the most supportive of the current regime the last couple of years but the officiating today was disgusting, and I feel for those who paid money to watch an evenly contested football game.

The icing on the cake for me was when he played advantage while we were forced to play the ball almost back to Krul from the foul.

Danch2576 5pts

The referee was determined to give Arsenal everything they wanted, nothing the fans did influenced him as the only yellow he dished out to the cheating diving babies from North London saw him them book Gini for not being happy at getting fouled. Joke performance from the ref. Typical arrogant rubbish from Wenger too. We played very well against so called title contenders and had the game been fair we would probably have won it.