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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0

1 month ago
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Monday night ended Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0.

A dominant performance from Eddie Howe’s side.

They had to be patient but the goals eventually came, two in the second half and it could / should have been more.

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

One to eleven – near perfection

Every single player in a black and white shirt has had a really good game as United saved the best ‘til last.

A high intensity display like that is the benchmark to aim for next season. Pressing teams. Tight at the back. Tenacious in midfield.

All of them get very high marks. The players should take a well-earned bow, because they have served up a really memorable night in this new era for the football club.

The game harked back to the heady days of Kevin Keegan and Bobby Robson.

St James Park has a new lease of life.

Hunting in packs

Bruno and Joelinton are the engine room of this team. They drive it forward in tandem. Last night they both really stood out.

Against a club like Arsenal, Bruno, in particular, was streets ahead of everyone. His stats are amazing and his highlights reel is even better.

A goal. 82% passing accuracy. He’s a Rolls Royce.

Gallic flair

A vastly improved display from ASM. He was a real threat. That should snuff out hopefully these calls to sell this player.

He’s got great pace and is such a threat. His talents need to be harnessed not jettisoned.

A thorn in Arsenal’s side all night until he came off as a sub.

NEGATIVES (were there any?)

It could be even better

Callum Wilson came back in and put in a sterling display. He even played on through the pain barrier after losing a tooth.

He’s a key player for us, no doubt. His fitness record is the issue.

If you look at this game, just imagine what we could have done to the Gunners with a really really top-drawer centre forward to come on in his place.

In the summer we need another striker so we can push on and take games away from teams when the like of Wilson doesn’t fire, that is meant as no disrespect to Chris Wood.

Sky Sports

The coverage on Sky was too slanted towards Arsenal. They always do this.

At full-time they spent far too long on the Arteta inquest and showed almost none of the NUFC players thanking the fans on the lap of honour.

And how is it that they allow ex-Gooner Alan Smith on commentary when Arsenal are involved. It really seems to lack balance.

Don’t want it to end

Such is the scale of the turnaround overseen by Eddie Howe, that I found myself at full time almost wanting there to still be a few more home games.

What a contrast to the first half of the season, when we couldn’t wait fit it to be over and done with.

Roll on August.

Another slight note of sadness was the fact that for many of the current crop, that was their last time on the hallowed turf as Newcastle United players.

They go with mainly good memories but some of them will know they have to make way for the new era, given a Premier League squad is limited to 25.

Five years on from promotion under Rafa, it is finally time to reshape this Championship set-up.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 – Monday 16 May 8pm

Goals:

Arsenal:

Newcastle:

White OG 55, Bruno G 85

Possession was Arsenal 49% Newcastle 51%

Total shots were Arsenal 11 Newcastle 16

Shots on target were Arsenal 2 Newcastle 4

Corners were Arsenal 8 Newcastle 12

Referee: Darren England

Attendance:  52,274 (Arsenal 3,000)

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth, Schar (Lascelles 49), Burn, Targett, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin (Fraser 77), Almiron (Murphy 76), Wilson (Gayle 90+4))

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Dummett, Ritchie, Fernandez, Trippier

(Mikel Arteta with blinding honesty after Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Arsenal 0 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Monday’s superb victory – Read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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