Arsenal Vs Newcastle Preview

Although Arsenal were knocked out of the Champion’s League last night, they will have taken a great deal of heart and pride in their performance.

Now they are out of all cup competitions they only have the league, and 4th place in particular, to focus on and this could be bad news for us on Monday night. Often, when a team goes out of the Champs league, their league form can also suffer with the players feeling a bit flat, but due to the nature of their European exit and their excellent performances in their last couple of league games, I am quite concerned about facing them at the Emirates next week.

RVP against Williamson is the stuff that nightmares are made from, so it will be vital that we limit the supply to him from midfield. Having said that, I really feel that HBA should start on the right wing to give them something to worry about and to make the fullback think twice about bombing forward in support.

Our best opportunity, IMHO, is to get at their centre backs with the ball on the floor and HBA allows this to happen. He seems to occupy 2-3 of their players, thus creating more space and time for Cabaye and Tiote, and gives them more options when they have the ball. He also has the ability to provide insightful defence splitting passes for Ba and Cisse (when he actually decides to pass the bloody ball). The downside to playing HBA on Monday is that it is vital that we keep the ball as much as possible, but it is only natural that in trying to be creative he is going to give away possession. Despite this, I would definitely put him in the starting eleven.

Once again we will need to rely on the incredible work ethic that Pardew has instilled in this team and maybe a flash of individual brilliance to come away with a result.

How do you guys think we should best deal with the threat of RVP and how do you see us being able to exploit their weaknesses?

Written by Simonbh7

Is Shola Ameobi done?

Many have mentioned that Shola has often played through injuries and has damaged his mobility as a result. Others claim he’s just plain lazy and not up to Premier League standard.

However, one thing I’ve noticed is that his general ability seems to be getting worse and worse as each season passes, and that now, at the age of 30, he may have ran out of any limited ability he originally had.

His best season came in 05-06, when he scored 9 goals in 30 apps, which is almost 1 in 3. However, since then:

06-07: 3 goals in 12 apps
07-08: 0 goals in 6 apps
08-09: 4 goals in 22 apps
09-10: 10 goals in 18 apps (Oh wait it was the Championship)
10-11: 6 goals in 28 apps
11-12: 1 goal in 17 apps

This season seems by far and away his worst yet. His lethargic and lazy performances look worse than ever and represent only a single goal in 17 apps, and he’s a bloody front-man/striker!

Not only that, but even in the derby at the start of this season, a game he usually excels in, he looked lazy and failed to make any impact. It remains to be seen how he will fair on Sunday if he comes on, but if it’s another poor show, then we can chalk this down as the worst season he’s ever had at this club to date.

Do you think it’s all caught up to him and it may be worth considering his retirement? If the trend continues, I dread to think how he will be in the 12-13 season at the age of 31.

 

Written by Chappaz

Fair Play League

We’re bottom as I think most people are aware. This was sort of understandable last year when we had Barton, Nolan and Carroll screaming in the face of the referee every time a decision went against us, but this year we’ve largely been well behaved so I found it unusual why we were so low and decided to look at how it’s calculated:

Red/Yellow cards
This is the only section of the league which is statistical rather than subjective, so we shouldn’t be able to find anything wrong. You start each game with 10 points and lose 1 point for a yellow card, 3 points for a red. I don’t pay much attention to other club’s discipline, but our own has seemed fairly respectable this season, with Chelsea’s standing out because it’s so atrocious.

Newcastle – 22 games – 2 reds and 35 yellows = 179, but we only have 176 in the FPL?
Chelsea – 23 games – 5 reds and 52 yellows = 163, but they have 171 in the FPL?

Respect towards opponents
We’re rock bottom here, and I really can’t fathom why. The most incredulous thing about it is that Liverpool are sixth, despite having a player banned for eight games for racially abusing an opponent, and also refusing to shake hands with the opposition before the game. I’m not sure I wholly support the message the Premier League are sending to kids here?

Respect towards the referee
Again we’re rock bottom. Wayne Rooney’s Man Utd are second somehow. Take note kids, when a decision goes against you you want to get up in the ref’s face screaming until you turn purple and applauding sarcastically, rather than smiling wryly and having a quiet word like Demba Ba does. Remember this. Swansea are top here which is fair enough from what I’ve seen.

Behaviour of team officials
That’s right, we’re stone last again. Pardew to me seems one of the more reserved managers on the touchline, especially compared to say, Sir Alex Ferguson who constantly berates officials during the match, after it, sometimes even before it. Where are Man U in this? Second again, behind Swansea. Roberto Mancini who has come under scrutiny for his card waving antics is sixth.

Behaviour of the public
5 points can be added for:

– Verbal support in acceptable form
– Covert recognition of outstanding play by the opponents

5 points can be deducted for:

– Persistent foul and abusive language
– Persistent abuse of the officials’ decisions
– Aggressive and threatening conduct towards opposing fans

And yes we’re bottom of this as well.

Written by Absolutely Glorious