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Opinion

This is what I get for being optimistic- Or how officials ruined our match

24 seconds ago
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Maybe this is my fault for going into a match expecting an improved performance, but we seemed to be backsliding in our performance, the final score reading Newcastle 0 Arsenal 2.

Newcastle looking very ordinary and after Elneny smashed in a goal within the first five minutes, after a very lucky ball fell to him from a completely spooned shot from Aubameyang.

Side note – is it just me or do far too many players get their first goal, or their first goal in x number of matches, against Newcastle United?

Maybe we just don’t want anyone to have an unfavourable record on their CV?

The only real moment of interest in the entire first half was Ceballos’ frankly pathetic dive after Almiron came within a foot of him. The fact that Almiron got a yellow for that was absolutely ridiculous and how Ceballos doesn’t die of shame after looking back at that poor acting display, I don’t know- not exactly BAFTA worthy.

The second half continued in much the same way as the first, with Arsenal players going down whenever a Newcastle player so much as looked in their direction.

Another very dull slog of a match, again only made interesting by another Arsenal goal, after another one of those marginal offside VAR checks (looked exactly the same as all of the ones ruled offside to me, but how can you know at this point),

A final bit of officiating controversy as Schar was sent off in the dying moments for a late challenge, while reckless and not necessary, it was never a red card.

When Newcastle United are not in immediate peril, we just don’t turn up

When we needed results after the Brighton loss, we turned up for four matches and got some results which mean that we’re as good as safe, to overtake us now Fulham have to win three of their next four, and hope we (or Burnley) pick up no more points in the season. Not impossible, but highly improbable.

Due to this, it looked like we didn’t play with the same urgency or intensity that we’ve seen lately. Sandals on lads, we’re off to the beach.

Officials left a lot to be desired

Where would I even begin with this one?

First there was Almiron’s yellow- after Ceballos went down due to the onrush of air after being dispossessed, Mike Dean immediately brandishing the yellow, no check for that one.

Xhaxa’s elbow to the chest of one of our players while on a yellow, somehow a foul but not a yellow, only for the commentators to say “would have been a yellow if he didn’t already have one” – well then it’s a yellow and he gets sent off then right? Apparently not.

Then we had the second goal. An undeniably great cross but looking at that VAR offside check, compared to some of the other checks that have had goals ruled offside, looked identical. Where’s the consistency? What makes a level player offside and what doesn’t? I don’t know, and at this point I’m not sure the people in the VAR booth do either. Offside calls went against us at the attacking end too, with Wilson being called offside after a scramble in the Arsenal box, despite being several feet onside after a few ricochets. Did this get looked at, as every other offside call does? Of course it didn’t, that would be fair!

Finally, Schar’s “red card” for a challenge – while 100% a foul, was simply rubber stamped as a red after Mike Dean decided to rub salt in the wounds for no good reason. Officials definitely the Man/Men of the Match for Arsenal

Squad definitely needs reinforcement in the summer

Without Willock, our need for reinforcements was laid bare for all to see.

Needing two goals to scrape a point, we call on Schar, Joelinton and Gayle.

Not exactly brimming with confidence there…

Whether it’s free transfers who know the league, loaning in promising youngsters, or (shock horror) spending money on first team players, we need to bring in players to bulk out our team.

Otherwise we are going to end up in this exact same position next season and we can’t always rely on three teams being consistently worse than us.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Arsenal 2 – Sunday 2 May 2pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Schar red card 90

Arsenal:

Elneny 5, Aubameyang 66

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Arsenal 62% (61%) Newcastle 38% (39%)

Total shots were Arsenal 19 (13)  Newcastle 5 (3)

Shots on target were Arsenal 5 (3) Newcastle 1 (1)

Corners were Arsenal 7 (4) Newcastle 3 (2)

Referee: Mike Dean

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez (Schar 72), Clark (Gayle 84), Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Joelinton 73), Wilson, Saint-Maximin

Unused Subs:

Mark Gillespie, Emil Krafth, Jamal Lewis, Matty Longstaff, Jeff Hendrick, Elliot Anderson

Crowd: 00,000

(Newcastle 0 Arsenal 2 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Arsenal 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s defeat – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Arsenal Reserves 2 – Total capitulation from Steve Bruce – Read HERE)

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