Strange claims from Charlie Nicholas when discussing Arsenal and Newcastle United
Charlie Nicholas has been discussing Sunday’s match at the Emirates.
The former Gunners striker making an embarrassing gaffe as he says ‘we’ when referring to Arsenal, when supposedly an impartial ‘expert’/pundit.
No surprise when he thinks ‘we’ will win, going for a 3-1 victory for the home side.
However, the logic/explanation is totally absent as for why Arsenal should suddenly burst into form in terms of both scoring goals and winning games.
The Gunners having won only two of their last 17 Premier League games and only one of eight since Mikel Arteta came in.
Arteta has made Arsenal difficult to beat (sounds familiar!) and to score against, in their first 17 Premier League games this season, Arsenal scored 17 and conceded 24, under Mike Arteta, it is scored 8 and conceded 7 in eight PL matches.
Continuing to make it up as he goes along, Charlie Nicholas also declares: ‘Newcastle have been very good away from home under Steve Bruce.’
Hmmm, well only Villa have conceded more goals on their travels than Newcastle’s 24, with all three in the relegation spots conceding less than NUFC.
As for points, only five clubs (all in the bottom six) have picked up less than the 11 points Steve Bruce’s team have away from home.
Nicholas also reckons Joelinton ‘has improved a lot’…well he was terrible against Norwich in the last Premier League match and before that, no significant improvement either. Scoring against League One clubs Oxford and Rochdale hasn’t convinced any Newcastle fan that suddenly we are going to see a £40m (£43m according to Mike Ashley) Premier League goalscorer.
Bottom line is that on Sunday it is a game between two poor teams, Arsenal with two wins in their last 17 Premier League games and Newcastle one in their last seven.
Newcastle fans hope we might at last see Steve Bruce break out of the ultra defensive mindset, especially with now Rose and Lazaro as wing-backs but reality is that it will be all out defence from NUFC as usual and the only big question probably, is whether Arteta/Arsenal are brave enough to get players forward and break them down.
There is always the wildcard that Steve Bruce could fluke another win, as Arsenal are no great shakes at the minute and just maybe Newcastle will create the usual one or two chances and take one of them.
Charlie Nicholas talking to Sky Sports:
“It has been an intriguing break for Arsenal.
“For the first time, Mikel Arteta can go and properly work with the players for an extended period of time.
“He is still trying to get his point across but Arsenal are more together and more understanding of what is expected of them, in terms of the commitment and togetherness.
“It is not bang on though. They are becoming a side that is hard to beat but Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still do not have the balance right in terms of scoring goals.
“People will question about whether Aubameyang likes playing on left.
“Lacazette also has no confidence at the moment but let’s hope it is more positive after the break. The unity and organisation at the back is still key, while we will have fresh players once more.
“Meanwhile, Newcastle have been very good away from home under Steve Bruce.
“He will go to frustrate Arsenal and will look to counter-attack with Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton, who has improved a lot.
“It will be a tough afternoon but Arsenal seem to have some drive back.
“The negative could be waiting around for Aubameyang and Lacazette to kick back into form.
“Gabriel Martinelli has been in great form but we need to start seeing more from Nicolas Pepe.
“The Gunners are not good enough to make the top four but they must have a go at it. For that reason they will be firing and up for this game in order to come away with the three points.
“Prediction is Arsenal 3 Newcastle 1.”
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