Arsenal v Newcastle Treatment Room
We are proud to bring you the Arsenal v Newcastle Treatment Room, the latest in our regular feature where before each match, industry specialist Ben Dinnery brings you all the latest injury news ahead of the game.
If you use Twitter then make sure you follow @BenDinnery for all the up to date injury information, both for Newcastle United and across the rest of football.
Despondent, disillusioned, devastated and hugely disappointed; the end of the season can’t come soon enough for me….
Like a lot of supporters this campaign, and in particular the second half, is about as much as I can take. I can accept defeat, the occasional poor performance(s), but I will not tolerate the lacklustre, laissez-faire attitude the players are currently displaying, going through the motions, waiting for the referee to call a halt to proceedings before one final knockout blow.
All the hard work, promise and hope built upon a solid start to 2013/14 has been sucked in, chewed up and spat kerbside, while all around mock at the farcical goings on at our club.
Newcastle make the unenviable trip to The Emirates on Monday night on the back of five straight defeats and face an Arsenal side that need a win to almost guarantee Champions League football. Although the chances of another 7-3 drubbing are unlikely for the Gunners, for whom injury casualties in recent times have surpassed even our dizzy heights, are able to call upon some of their bigger stars just at the right time.
Aaron Ramsey (thigh) started his first Premier League game of 2014 in last week’s win at Hull and the Welsh midfielder picked up exactly where he left off with two assists and a goal to cap a fine individual performance. Mesut Ozil returned following a six week absence due to a hamstring injury, looking refreshed and playing the brand of football which had supporters salivating back in September when he burst onto British soil.
Factor the current form of German international Lukas Podolski (4 goals in 2 games), and the undoubted talent of Santi Cazorla, and Newcastle United would struggle at the best of times. Kieron Gibbs, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry all remain out but captain Thomas Vermaelen will return after a muscular problem. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain maybe limited to a place on the bench as he continues to manage an ongoing groin issue.
For Newcastle the early team news offered a glimmer of hope with the news that Ben Arfa had recovered from a minor thigh injury and was available for selection following his brief stint in France, but as always our off field antics over shadow the build-up.
At the time of writing though, several reports suggest a bust-up between Pardew and Ben Arfa with Hatem being sent home “for the good of the team.” Make of that what you will, but doubt this is not the last we’ve heard on this matter.
Papiss Cisse will miss out after the striker fractured his patella during the defeat to Swansea while Luuk de Jong (ankle) is also rated as very doubtful.
On a brighter note Moussa Sissoko has returned to training and will travel but don’t expect to see the likes of Davide Santon or Sammy Ameobi who make up some of our eight absentees, or as Alan Pardew would say, eighteen.
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