If ever Newcastle fans wanted proof of how far the club has fallen, just check out the record of Pavel Srnicek and his team-mates against Arsenal.
The ‘recent’ record is just unbelievably bad and full credit to the thousands who snapped up the tickets more than a month before today’s game.
Newcastle United have lost the last eight matches against Arsenal and in the last 20, the Magpies have only won one.
Even that solitary win sums up Mike Ashley’s disastrous running of the club.
Newcastle beat Sunderland 5-1 in that famous Halloween performance and then a week later on 7 November 2010 went to the Emirates and beat Arsenal 1-0.
Yet within a month, Mike Ashley took the chance to sack Chris Hughton when Newcastle lost a game at West Brom, despite the club safely position in mid-table – 12th.
The Newcastle owner then sold the scorer of that winner Andy Carroll in the January (2011) and paid off the creator of the goal, Joey Barton, at the end of that 2010/11 season.
You have to laugh when people say Mike Ashley shows loyalty to those he employs at Newcastle United, a lame argument solely based on how he kept his puppet Alan Pardew in place no matter what. Which appears to be very likely the case with Steve McClaren, just so long as he follows the script it doesn’t matter how clueless or negative his tactics are, he won’t get the boot.
I’m taking you back to happier times though, the story begins 7 May 1994…..
7 May 1994 Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0
18 September 1994 Arsenal 2 Newcastle 3
19 March 1995 Newcastle 1 Arsenal 0
2 January 1996 Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0
10 January 1996 Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0
23 March 1996 Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0
30 November 1996 Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2
3 May 1997 Arsenal 0 Newcastle 1
The above are the games Pavel Srnicek played for Newcastle against Arsenal.
United actually won the first four and Pav kept clean sheets in three of them!
His run of wins was actually only halted with that infamous League Cup quarter-final match at Highbury when David Ginola was kicked from pillar to post and then the first time he retaliated he was sent straight off.
To this day I think that was a trophy we were destined to win and very likely it was a night that also cost us the title, as Ginola never quite reached his previous heights afterwards.
In total Pavel Srnicek won a remarkable (in today’s terms) five out of eight against Arsenal, with the last one being the first time the two teams met in London with Arsene Wenger in charge.
The following 41 meetings under Arsene Wenger have seen four Newcastle wins.
Two clubs that have moved in such contrasting directions, one superbly managed on and off the pitch and one a total joke now, on and off the pitch…
Thanks for the memories Pavel, great times to live through for all Newcastle fans.