Arsenal v Newcastle – What Went Wrong? (Or Right, If You’re Alan Pardew!)
Arsenal v Newcastle Match Report
Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0 Monday 28 April 8pm
Alan Pardew has said that he thinks Monday night’s display was a big improvement, if that were in any way true then it definitely wouldn’t say much for what had gone before.
There were also comments along the lines of doing great until conceded by both manager and players but surely this is just masking reality.
Yes Newcastle survived for twenty five minutes but stationing ten defenders in front of your goalkeeper isn’t what I count as a ‘plan’.
Before the inevitable first goal, Mathieu Debuchy had got forward well a couple of times but with little end product.
When the goal came it was more route one than the usual Arsenal tippy tappy style. A free-kick not far inside the Newcastle half was knocked in and Koscielny got on the end of it – not the best ever defended set-piece and certainly not the kind of cheap goal from a free-kick/corner that we can ever force.
The second goal may have ended up as one that should have been ruled out for offside but that does not excuse the shambles that exposed Tim Krul.
Arsenal broke the initial offside trap and after saving two efforts that were lashed at him with no defender in sight, the Gunners got a stroke of luck as the ball ended up at Ozil’s feet right in front of goal. No flag and maybe a little more than Arseanl deserved at half-time but Newcastle can have no complaints having invited the pressure on.
Afterwards I saw that the match commentators could not believe that Alan Pardew didn’t try and change things to attempt to salvage something. It is very depressing that nobody I know expressed surprise that this wasn’t tried, with damage limitation seemingly the only thing on the manager’s mind.
So the same players and the same tactics – little wonder then that a third arrived, Giroud heading past Tim Krul from an Ozil left wing cross.
This then did produce a change with Shola trundling onto the pitch in place of the ineffective Gosling, it may of course have been a change of personnel but the outcome was no better.
Mapou was given the last six minutes and youngster Adam Armstrong came on with a minute to go – words fail me.
This was always going to be a tough match but Newcastle ended up creating two decent chances all match which is a big ask to be converted into goals, considering how pretty much all of our players have no kind of goalscoring pedigree.
Cardiff up next, can Pardew survive seven in a row?
Team: Krul, Debuchy (Mapou 84), Coloccini, Williamson, Dummett, Tiote, Anita, Sissoko, Gosling (Shola 70), Gouffran (Armstrong 89), Remy
Unused Subs: Elliot, Haidara, Steven Taylor, Obertan
Ref: Neil Swarbrick
Crowd: 60,023 (1,800 Newcastle)
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