Alan Pardew said this after the match;
“I felt that for 70 minutes we were more than a match (for Arsenal) and at 3-3 it was about closing out the game. We just couldn’t do it we just didn’t have enough legs on the pitch.
We got ourselves in two great positions to get something out of the game and at 2-2 I was just desperate to make us tighter. But we couldn’t get tight for whatever reason and that is something we have to sort out”.
I think if we put too much focus on the last six or seven minutes of normal time we are missing the point. The match was gone by then and unfortunately it just summed up the lack of options we have from the bench.
I think the real story of the match was the fact that Newcastle had to work really hard for their goals whereas Alan Hansen would (and maybe did do but there is no way I’m also suffering through Match Of The Day) have a field day analysing Newcastle’s defensive lapses that made it so easy for the Gunners.
I think the late goals that skewed the scoreline can be put down to not having the legs (and decent alternatives to put on the pitch) but the fact Newcastle ended up 4-3 down after being the better team has to go down to a lack of quality in defence.
Alan Pardew laid it out for Mike Ashley in the summer and publicly said we needed at least two defenders, Ashley gambled on not spending any money and it has massively backfired.
Looking for positives from the Emirates, maybe those late goals that made for an embarrassing final score will be the extra push Ashley needs to finally back his manager’s judgement.