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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0

2 months ago
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Saturday night ended Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0.

Newcastle United doing ok in the first half before the usual defeat to Arsenal, Fabian Schar should have had a penalty awarded for a challenge, whilst Jonjo Shelvey saw a brilliant Ramsdale tip onto the bar deny him.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game, this time it is David Punton.

POSITIVES

Small steps

The opening half hour of the game should show the players where we need to get to.

That was our best spell and was in stark contrast to the bad Newcastle that sat back too much after the break.

At least we created chances. We desperately need some to go in though, and not just cannon the woodwork.

M Dubs returns

It felt more calming to see the return of our best goalkeeper.

Dubravka has been a big miss and that is no disrespect to Karl Darlow.

We are going to need the Slovakian at his best if we are going to get out the mess that we are in. We have to hope he remains error free and doesn’t make any blunders like we saw at the Euros.

Bans for two players

This one is controversial.

To see the loss of Matt Ritchie and Jamaal Lascelles to suspension as positives is harsh, but as Alan Shearer himself pointed out, it is perhaps not as much of a blow at all really.

Lascelles has been poor and maybe needs time out of the firing line. Ritchie, while he’s a committed runner, simply isn’t a left back and that experiment can’t go on, surely?

NEGATIVES

Taking on water

We were never going to get anything at Arsenal, we have a woeful record there, but failure to get anything kept us plumb last.

We are propping up that table. Adrift. One more bad weekend allied to wins for others in and around us and we may have already taken on too much water to stay afloat come May. We need to find a way to get a win.

States the obvious, but if the players go much longer like this, then chants of ‘not fit to wear the shirt’ could event happen.

Flat footed defence

The defending is a major worry.

The way we were exposed for the goals, even if one was after that penalty shout was waved away at the other end. It’s a Championship defence and we are being found out. Change is needed. Players in the dressing room will know it. Their legacy has to be top flight survival.

No depth?

Watching the performances of Clark, Fraser and Krafth was troubling.

Is there anything there in reserve? Answer: Not really.

This group of players have clearly responded to Howe, but now this testing trip to the Emirates is over with, it is high time to step it up. It’s now or never, lads.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 27 November 12.30pm

Goals:

Arsenal:

Saka 56, Martinelli 66

Newcastle:

(In brackets the first half stats)

Possession was Arsenal 66% (79%) Newcastle 34% (21%)

Total shots were Arsenal 24 (12)  Newcastle 9 (4)

Shots on target were Arsenal 6 (2) Newcastle 5 (2)

Corners were Arsenal 4 (1) Newcastle 4 (2)

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Crowd: 59,886 (Newcastle 3,000)

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Fraser, Krafth, Schar, Lascelles, Ritchie (Almiron 67), Shelvey (Hayden 89), Willock, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton (Murphy 67), Wilson

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Hendrick, Lewis, Manquillo, Clark, Longstaff

(Former top referee rules on this controversial Arsenal v Newcastle incident – Read HERE)

(Two Newcastle United players pick up suspensions in 2-0 defeat at Arsenal – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer half-time, full-time and penalty reactions to Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0 – Read HERE)

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

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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