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Newcastle United 4-4 Arsenal: Gunners Crumble Against Resolute Geordies

Newcastle can’t seem to function without their former star player. Only 47 seconds in, Theo Walcott found the net. Just two minutes later, Johan Djourou sunk one in. In the tenth minute, Robin van Persie hit a long shot. Fifteen minutes later, Bacary Sagna hit a cross to van Persie, who sent the ball right into the net once again. By the 25th minute, the Gunners were four up. Some Newcastle supporters were leaving St James’ Park already – was it for a halftime pie and a pint, twenty minutes early, or were they going home, disappointed and frustrated that their side weren’t functioning without Carroll?

They’ll have to get used to it. Carroll isn’t coming back. As he stated in an interview with BBC Sport, ‘…when I finally make my debut with the number nine that’s when it will hit home that I’m here and I’m here to stay.’ Sorry, Tynesiders – it doesn’t sound promising for you. You can only hope for Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, or Leon Best to step up and take the lead.

In the 39th minute, Leon Best got what looked like a very painful knee to the head. He came off looking disoriented and nauseated. Alan Pardew had a similar look, though his was more nausea than disorientation. Fortunately for both Best and Pardew, Best was able to return to the pitch after just a moment off. However, Best still had a look of confusion about him; it would have been better to keep him off and bring Nile Ranger on in his place.

Alan Pardew has to work with what little he has anymore. The first half showed that Andy Carroll was the glue that kept Newcastle together, even though he had been on the bench with a thigh injury for the past several weeks. Just his presence seemed to be able to inspire his teammates. Now that he’s gone…well, everyone has seen what Newcastle has done – or, rather, hasn’t done – without him.

In the 49th minute, Abu Diaby was ejected for his reaction to a challenge by Joey Barton. It looked as though a proper fight was about to start – Diaby grabs Barton around the neck, and then shoves Kevin Nolan. For once, Newcastle fans could applaud Phil Dowd for a call. Several earlier free kicks were given to Arsenal when they obviously ought to have been given to Newcastle – is Dowd blind, or just biased? I’m not even a Newcastle supporter, and I thought that nearly half of his first-half free kick calls were biased towards the Gunners.

What is Alan Pardew to do? He has to improve his team’s defence. There was absolutely no one in front of Theo Wolcott when the first goal was scored. Two minutes later, Djourou scored. It could have been prevented if Newcastle had a stronger defence. Perhaps not all of the Arsenal goals could have been avoided; van Persie is a strong scorer, and Sagna’s cross was sharp. But if their defence was better, maybe the scoreline wouldn’t be as painful.

He must also improve his team’s offense. Andy Carroll was Newcastle’s only proper striker. Pardew must train secondary players – perhaps not first-team players – as strikers. Pardew cannot be without strikers, or it’s likely that Newcastle will slowly drop down the table, and fall into the relegation zone, joining West Brom and West Ham. No successful team can survive without several proper strikers.

Two penalties to Newcastle, and they’ve brought it to 4-3. Both penalties taken by Joey Barton, and both shot directly in. The second penalty was a very soft penalty; were I the official, I wouldn’t have given it. However, Dowd gave it, and Barton sunk it. Szczezny tapped Barton’s second penalty, but it still hit the net.

And then…Cheick Tioté scored. He equalised. Did you ever expect Newcastle to come back from a four goal deficit? I must admit, I was sceptical. In the 87th minute, Tioté brought the Magpies level with the Gunners. But could they maintain that score until the end? Or would the Gunners add another point to win 5-4?

No. The Magpies proved themselves – although it took two penalties – and drew 4-4. It wasn’t a win, but it wasn’t a painful 4-0 loss. At least they got a point, right, Geordies? Newcastle’s next match is against Blackburn. Can they beat the Rovers without Carroll? Without penalties? We have to wait until next Saturday.

But until then, let’s wallow in the glow of one of the matches of the season for the neutral supporters (and Newcastle fans).

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  1. StephenNUFC

    February 9, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Well said mkeats!!! I’m sick of the whole Andy Carroll saga, and to be quite frank i’m glad he is gone, because all we did was hoof balls up to him. Now, Joey’s tackle on Diaby was fair, anybody remember a certain tackle on Ben Arfa by De Jong??? He broke his leg, and it wasn’t even deemed as a foul, as well as not getting the ball. And i am quite sick of arsenal fans and Arsene Winger, moaning about referees, there are a lot worse decisions that go against other clubs you know, and, as many people here have said, Leon Best had a perfectly good goal dissalowed for offside even though he was half a yard onside. Newcastle get a lot of decisions against them, but we don’t go on TV week in week out complaining about it. Just like mkeats said, we are not a 1 man team, and we have only lost 2 out of 6 games in PL without carroll, and if the news about lovenkrands and best being injured is true, we are well and truely stumped. Back to saturday’s game, it was truely a game of two halves, arsenal outplaying newcastle in first half, as well as the referee being biased to the gunners, and second half, newcastle completely dominated, and Phil Dowd giving more decisions our way, it was a classic, and instead of complaining about shite that we can’t change, we should just remember this amazing game of entertaining football.

  2. mkeats

    February 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    a complete load of shite mate! “the glue that held newcastle together” and “frustrated that newcastle couldnt function without Carroll”. These are lazy quotes taken from the majority of s**t red top newspapers, youll be saying we were shouting for our “messiah” and demanding top 4 football next. Carrolls gone and hasnt played for weeks we have seen some good results without him and plenty of goals.

  3. Andy Kay

    February 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Bloody hell, it sounds like every post on here was made by Arse Wenger. Do all Ar*en*l supporters go on a special course to learn how whine non-stop whenever their team throws away a four goal lead?

    • Phenoum

      February 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

      I think your name “Andy Gay” about sums up your post

      • Andy Kay

        February 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm

        Well Phenoum, thanks for the homophobic insults. And what if I am gay? Is that anything to do with you or the subject in hand (the subject is Ar*en*l blowing a four goal lead, the first time that has ever happened in the EPL by the way).

        Anyway, I am hoping the Gaffer takes note of this and takes steps to ban you for such unpleasant insult. People like you don’t deserve to have a voice on a forum such as this.

        • The Gaffer

          February 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm

          Andy, thanks for bringing this to my attention. The comment made by Phenoum is uncalled for. If he continues comments like that, he’ll be kicked off the site.

          The Gaffer

  4. FIphix

    February 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

    So you spent months recovering from broken bones…then this happens from a well known thug:
    How would you react?

    • Dave C

      February 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

      Well if I was him, I would probably react by grabbing my opponent by the neck, pushing him to the floor, and then pushing away any one who tried to mediate….and then I would get sent off.

      Just because we can empathize with why Diaby reacted the way he did, doesn’t mean the referee was wrong to send him off.

  5. Morgan

    February 6, 2011 at 8:51 am


    Watch the tackle again. Studs up, left the ground. Red card.

  6. Rod

    February 6, 2011 at 8:27 am

    As I watched the referee hand the match to Newcastle (although they do deserve credit for fighting like hell) I couldn’t help but wonder if Wenger had the guts to protest this match to any and all authorities/media. Dowd had a chip on his shoulder (look at the tape at the end of the game) and the horrid affair should see the light of day. The Arsenal Club should seek a remedy.

  7. vermaelen5

    February 6, 2011 at 8:17 am

    Biased against Newcastle in the first half? Please take Arseblogger’s advice, and look at this.

  8. Gaz Hunt

    February 6, 2011 at 1:39 am

    This kind of statement still confuses me:

    (The writer) hates (the team I support) because they published an article that is critical of them.

    Isn’t that one of the main points of a football blog? To critique football. If you want a simple match report go to a newspaper. If you want blatant colour-biased opinion go to your club’s web site.

    Sometimes teams are praised and sometimes they are not. Write an article and email it in if you are really that concerned about bias on this particular site.

    • Troy

      February 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      I feel the same way. Arsenal fans think the writers are biased when they end up on the wrong side of history. Chelsea fans think the writers are biased when they nosedive out of first place. City fans think the writers are biased when the team’s championship credentials are questioned. United fans think the writers are biased when they praise any other club. It’s absurd.

      Blogs are meant to provide commentary more so than breaking news. If you can’t handle your club being criticized, (as Gaz stated) go read the match report or the club’s website so you don’t get your feelers hurt.

  9. diez

    February 5, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Diaby’s red was well deserved. He pushed Barton down, then pushed Nolan who was trying to act as a mediator. He’s lost his head.

    As for the tackle, BARTON GOT THE BALL FIRST. Hard tackle – yes. X-rated tackle? NO.

    The first pen was clearly a pen. Koscielny fell best down in the area. The second one wasn’t a penalty really – though NUFC got a perfectly fine goal ruled out for offside. These things just evens themselves out.

    Fantastic comeback whatsoever. No team would’ve gone 4-0 down at half time and come back and draw the match at full time.

    • Phenoum

      February 6, 2011 at 2:08 am

      hey genious – you obviously dont have an understanding of the RULES of the game. Getting the ball first does not mean you get off scott free – a dangerous tackle is a dangerous tackle and worth a booking whether you go through/over the ball on the way to breaking someone’s leg, or miss the ball altogether. Barton lunged at the ball, ensuring his follow-through comes into Diaby’s leg – that’s reckless and losing control of his body, and worthy of at LEAST a yellow. And you can’t sit there with a straight face and say his slide through Arshavin wasn’t a yellow at least – again, lost control of his body when he went to ground and couldn’t stop himself.

      To reiterate – getting the ball first doesnt have any effect on whether a tackle is dirty or not. Get your facts straight before spewing your ire.

  10. Earl Reed

    February 5, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Could any match be more of a microcosm of a team’s weaknesses?

    How does a team within sniffing distance of the leaders cede a 4 goal lead in the last 25 minutes? I don’t want to take anything away from Newcastle, because they had the momentum after the sending off, and any Premier League team that gains a little confidence is dangerous. But when you’re a team looking to win a Championship, you must be able to shore yourselves up…even down to 10 men.

    And the toughest part is giving up 2 points that should have been in the bag.

    The Voyeur is giving Puppet Jose plenty of fodder this season.

    • Phenoum

      February 7, 2011 at 11:35 am

      “How does a team within sniffing distance of the leaders cede a 4 goal lead in the last 25 minutes? ”

      Hrm – I dont know – how does an “unbeaten” team at the top of the table lose to the bottom team?

  11. Morgan

    February 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Diaby without a doubt should have seen red. His unsportsmanlike reaction is disrespectful to the sport. However, Joey Barton, whose reputation precedes him, doesn’t even see yellow for a red card challenge? Sloppy oversight from Dowd, Barton should have been sent off and the match should have been 10 v 10. If Dowd does his job (which he rarely does), Arsenal would have scooped 3pts. uncontested. Nonetheless, as an Arsenal fan I’m not shocked by the result, merely disappointed, again.

  12. Dave

    February 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    The refs were terrible today. Want further proof? Paul Scholes makes a volleyball play on a corner and only gets a yellow! How flagrant a handball does it have to be to see red? Then minutes later Wolves get away with a clear handball that would have been a penalty kick.

    Dowd is notoriously bad when reffing Arsenal. Look back at the Sunderland game when he called 4 minutes extra time and let it go an extra minute for no reason anyone could figure out. Then Bent equalizes and the whistle is blown.

    All that being said as a Gooner I want to make a few points in closing.

    -Wenger once again waited too long to bunker down. The arrogance of going down a man with that much time left and still not parking the bus shows a lack of pragmatic strategic at this point in the season. Competing on 4 fronts you can’t throw games like this away. When he finally did sub he took out Walcott who was giving the Toons trouble all day for the empty uniform known as Rosicsky. By the time he put Eboue in, it was practically tied.

    -Lack of depth in defense and leadership hurt us. I saw no leadership from RVP or Cesc. This is only worsened by the lack of movement at the transfer window.

    -Joey Barton is a punk. Seriously I’ve watched several games now- even as a neutral and only have come away with the fact that he’s the kid on the lot everyone hates except when he’s on your team (like De Jong). I ca’t for the life of me understand how he got out of that game without a single card.

    • Dave C

      February 5, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      Duh isn’t deliberate handball ALWAYS a yellow (unless it’s a goal-line block by a defender?O

  13. brn442

    February 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    “Andy Carroll was Newcastle’s only proper striker.
    Pardew must train secondary players – perhaps not first-team players – as strikers. Pardew cannot be without strikers, …..
    No successful team can survive without several proper strikers.”

    Was this article written by the Terminator? As he tries to take over the (blog) world? And our poor, beloved leader is locked up on a luxury cruise ship with no internet in 80 degree weather – we’re doomed.

    • Troy

      February 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      fantastic +1

  14. cam5131

    February 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I don’t care how poorly written the article is. The only important thing to me is that Arsenal blew a 4 goal lead against Newcastle. The yearly implosion begins. Good luck against Barca.

  15. RVPFan

    February 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I have noticed this pattern in EPLTalk from a long time, I don’t know if it’s because of jealousy or just pure hate, but EPLtalk hates Arsenal. There is absolutely no denying this. When you say statements like below, it just adds to my sentiment:

    “In the 49th minute, Abu Diaby was ejected for his reaction to a challenge by Joey Barton. It looked as though a proper fight was about to start – Diaby grabs Barton around the neck, and then shoves Kevin Nolan. For once, Newcastle fans could applaud Phil Dowd for a call”.

    Newcastle fans applauded Phil Dowd alright. Two soft penalties, and similar tackle was made to Schezsny and yet nothing. I wonder if those penalties would have been given at Arsenal. It just seems to me Mr. Dowd has a little sympathy for the home team, giving stupid penalties that you would never see in a league 5 league, let alone Premier League.

    The reason why I visited Arsenal forum was to get a non-biased look at EPL, but article after article just wrecks of pure hate for Arsenal.

    I was just amazed at Warron Barton’s comments after the game, where he is saying Wenger is going to blame this and that. Are you freaking kidding me? This guy should be an unbiased analyst on TV, not to freaking give his stupid ass opinions about what Wenger should say and what he shouldn’t say. What load of crap. Analyze the game dumbass.

    I don’t blame Diaby one bit. The guy had his leg snapped in half once. Almost snapped second time and that tackle would have broken his leg also. That tackled warranted red-card and what happens? Diaby gets red and nothing happens to the tackler.

    What does EPLTalk say? Well, good job referee. Nice. Appreciate all the good days here, but I am out.

    • diez

      February 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm

      Barton got the ball first, how in the world is it deserving of a red card? Do you even understand football rules?

      • Phenoum

        February 6, 2011 at 2:09 am

        once again – ball first doesnt mean anything – read up son!

    • Earl Reed

      February 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      As soon as Diaby retaliated, the situation changed. I agree that Barton should have been penalized for the tackle, and maybe he would have been if Diaby didn’t take justice into his own hands.

      In fact, I think Nolan should have been shown off. Oh well…

    • Andy Kay

      February 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      “EPLtalk hates Arsenal. There is absolutely no denying this.”

      Get over it. Everybody hates Ar*en*l. And, yes I’m a Tottenham fan, but like I said, get over it.

    • The Gaffer

      February 7, 2011 at 11:11 am

      RVPfan, “EPLtalk hates Arsenal” — give me a break. We don’t hate Arsenal. We just call it the way we see it, which means you’re not going to read the pro-Arsenal stories you’ll find on Arsenal blogs. Sometimes we’ll praise the Gunners, sometimes we’ll ridicule them (if deserved).

      The Gaffer

      • Phenoum

        February 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

        “We just call it the way we see it”

        Ah yes – as a neutral you certainly didnt have the faintest of footballing intelligence to point out the obvious part Dowd played in this entire game. Mention of the second pen, but nothing about Nolan not going for the same offence as Diaby? Nothing about the non-call tackle on Arshavin? Going so far as to even suggest that Arsenal were “getting the calls” in the first half? F-me if this is “the way we see it”. I thought we were reading posts by competent footballing minds – man was I wrong. This post doesn’t deserve to be defended Gaffer – clearly you can see that?

        • The Gaffer

          February 7, 2011 at 11:38 am

          Phenoum, you’re saying that “…as a neutral you certainly didnt have the faintest of footballing intelligence to point out the obvious part Dowd played in this entire game.” Yet I haven’t even watched the match so I haven’t offered any opinions regarding the matter. I’ve been out of the country since Thursday and plan on watching the match either tonight or tomorrow and will then write a post about what I saw. I’m confident that I’ll be able to watch the match (on replay via DVR) with no preconceived notions since I don’t support a Premier League club. Hold your judgment until I’ve had a chance to share my opinions! 🙂

          The Gaffer

  16. Andy Kay

    February 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    You could have just posted this over and over again:

    Newcastle United 4-4 Arsenal: Gunners Crumble Against Resolute Geordies

    and it would have been enough for me and every other Spurs supporter out there. Best news of the afternoon, funny doesn’t even start to cover it. Thanks Ar*en*l for the wonderful collapse. COYS!!

    • Phenoum

      February 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      Ah yes – the scum of the internet taking a dig, surprise surprise

  17. ian

    February 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Referees need to be slaughtered and replaced with video techs. HELLLLLO matches are in 3D NOW! pretty sure these useless never been a player REFS can be excused to the museum where they belong.

  18. Norfolk Enchants

    February 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Meh. Could be worse. We picked up a point on those f*%ers Man U today. This game only makes us stonger.

    • ossie's dream

      February 5, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      “This game only makes us stronger.”

      Are you on drugs?

      • Norfolk Enchants

        February 5, 2011 at 8:40 pm

        Not at all. This is the wake up call they needed. Winning 4 to 0 wouldn’t have taught them sh!t. We learn more from our mistakes than our successes. Arsenal wins it all this year.

  19. RT

    February 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Think you’ve kind of missed my point to be honest. Not talking about the media reaction. Just that Arsenal players have dived in the past to get penalties as so have Newcastles. The same can be said of every premier league team. When things go your way you don’t mention it but when things don’t you complain and whinge part of being a football fan I guess. Let’s be honest they do even them selves out throughout a season. What’s happened as happened. It was a great game of football it had everything in it that we love; goals, bookings, sending offs, penaltys, drama. Time we moved on

  20. RT

    February 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Great game. Thought the first was defnitely a penalty and the second was soft. Will have to see them again though. What I do find hilarious is Arsenal fans complaining that someone has dived to get a penalty. Only making this point as no one playing for Arsenal in the last few years has ever dived have they.

    • Phenoum

      February 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      Ah yes – but this dive wont be ALL OVER THE NEWS because it wasnt a “foreigner” playing for Arsenal. In fact the news will swell with the pride of a NC comeback, and not mention the ref’s trash performance or the red-card fouls from Barton (2 of them – Diaby, Arshavin).

      But yes – if the table were turned – literally ALL you would hear is about “cheating Arsenal”. Replace Arsene with a brit and swap the French nationalities for English ones, and Arsenal would be the media’s darling team, but no – it’s the butt of jokes and gets sh!t treatment week in- week out.

      • Phenoum

        February 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm

        and by “tables turned” i mean NC and Arsenal playing opposite roles in this game

        • ossie's dream

          February 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm

          who is this “NC” i hear so much about?

          • Phenoum

            February 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm

            If you cant figure that one out – you’re either a fool or a Sp*rs fan

          • ossie's dream

            February 6, 2011 at 8:23 am

            Newcastle City?

  21. Harry

    February 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Arsenal lost not because they played with 10 men but because they have no leader on their team to rally the troops properly. Fabregas is not a leader and I think he knows this is his last season for Arsenal before he moves to Barcelona.

    Barton, like Rooney, often goes unpunished for his cynical tackles. That’s just the way it is. Not fair but some players/teams are allowed to get away with more than other players/teams.

  22. Martin

    February 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Hopefully the podcast will give a better review of the game and offer some real debate about all the blame to go around.

    • ossie's dream

      February 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      Very, very, very, VERY funny game. What a day’s football. Love it. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s Chelsea/Liverpool match provides more fireworks.

      Right, I’m off out to meet a Gooner mate. I won’t gloat ’cause I’m a gentleman.

  23. Andrei

    February 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    And after a meltdown of unbelievable proportions at the end of the day Arsenal gained on United thanks to Wolves heroics.

  24. b

    February 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    “Arsenal when they obviously ought to have been given to Newcastle – is Dowd blind, or just biased? I’m not even a Newcastle supporter, and I thought that nearly half of his first-half free kick calls were biased towards the Gunners.”

    Are you having a laugh? Phil Dowd was crap today, but clearly gave Newcastle every opportunity to get back in this game.

    To get it out of the way early, Best’s goal was clearly onside and that linesman royally screwed that up.

    But Joey Barton could’ve seen two reds in this game. Instead, he didn’t even see a card. His barrel roll from behind on Arshavin was at least yellow worthy. His leg breaker on Diaby was a straight red. Diaby’s push was, too. But Phil Dowd made it clear early on he was going to let Newcastle tackle Arsenal from behind. Van Persie got body checked early on and Dowd gave Newcastle the free kick. When you lose control of the game, sooner or later a player will take justice into his own hands.

    The penalties were both soft. First was a dive, second was a small push that he embellished.

    So, no I don’t see this as the ultimate neutral’s game. I see this as a game where officiating was the story. Which is the worst possible game. It’s only a miracle Barton didn’t seriously injure someone. The guy is scum.

  25. Phenoum

    February 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Ah yes – sensationalist media. I’ll await the story in the coming days about 2 games back to back where the ref’s in Arsenal’s games were utter trash? Saha’s goal, and this game. The no-call on Barton sliding through the back of Arshavin? (Yellow card btw). Different card color for Diaby v Nolan for similar action? Second pen call being BS?

    Wont hold my breath, but you’d do well to prove me wrong.

    • Blindside

      February 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      I agree with you that the London Media will have a field day with this (and ignore the miscalls that go the other way).

      Have to say though that Diaby and Nolan’s reactions were very different–Diaby pushed Barton to the ground, while Nolan was trying to wrestle the ball from Szczesny. Yellows for Szczesny (time-wasting; unsportsmanlike conduct) and Nolan (overreaction; unsportsmanlike contact) were obvious imo.

  26. Phenoum

    February 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Absolute BIASED sh!te writing.

    Nothing about the Red card foul from Barton trying to break Diaby’s leg? Nothing from Nolan tackling Sczcesny with a similar act that got Diaby a red? How is that a yellow? Second Pen was waaay soft.

    I’m f%*king tired of the referee’s in this league calling in favor of the “underdog” – especially against Arsenal. That foul leading to the FK cleared for Tiote’s goal? absolute shit dive. But no – he’s a brit so there’s f#$king not a word said right? Cesc dives – Barton’s just playing for the foul – noble lad!

    Absolutely poor of Arsenal to give up 4, but F me if the ref’s in this league call a fair game once in a while.

    Yes I’m emotional, and yes this article is trash – all your writers hate Arsenal – makes it more fun to bash em right?

    • The Gaffer

      February 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      We don’t hate Arsenal at all. Just because we’re critical of them at times when they drop the ball doesn’t mean we hate them. I admire Arsenal. I only wish more Premier League clubs could be like them.

      The Gaffer

      • Phenoum

        February 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

        Well perhaps you dont hate Arsenal, but you guys sure do love it when they lose or get hard-done by the refs.

        Anyhow – I’m out

        • The Gaffer

          February 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm

          I, nor we, do not love it when Arsenal lose or get hard-done by refs. The story of the day thus far, other than the avalanche of goals, was Newcastle’s incredible comeback against Arsenal. Because we ran a story on it doesn’t mean we hate Arsenal or have anything against them.

          The Gaffer

      • Kautzie

        February 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm

        Somebody needs to look in the archives and back me up on this one, but I could of swore I read an article a while back by you in which you said something like if you could be born again it would be as a spurs fan.

        Statements like that explain to me the anti-arsenal slant and the spurs lovefest that goes on quite often on this site.

    • Blindside

      February 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Arsenal fans have, of course, conveniently forgotten that officials called back a perfectly good goal from Leon Best for offside minutes before he made it a 4-2 match.

      As far as I see it, there were two major refereeing mistakes in this game: disallowing the good Newcastle goal, and the second Newcastle penalty–surely there was contact, but surely that shouldn’t have been a penalty.

      Diaby has only himself to blame for reacting in such an idiotic manner. Players tend to do this when they’re down 0-4, but behaving like this when you’re up by 4 goals? Karma.

      • Phenoum

        February 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm

        Agreed Diaby was poor with his reaction – only caviat being that he’s one player who’se been out for 4+ months at a time following tackles exactly like Barton’s. It’s a bit psychogical for him – but no doubt it’s poor. RVP’s goal (beautiful up and down strike btw) was a close offside call as well – might be ‘evens’ b/w that one and Best’s?

        • Blindside

          February 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

          Those are some good points–the major difference though was that RVP’s goal really was offside, and whereas Best’s goal wasn’t. So the referee made the right call in one play, and a mistake in the other–which really can’t be considered “evens”. RVP’s goal was close, but a clear call for us the fans due to technology. To be fair, Harper also seemed to have given up on the play when he heard the whistle, before the shot was even taken.

          I do think the two referee mistakes that gave Newcastle a goal and took away one did even out each other. The refereeing was horrible all game, but Phil Dowd & Co. were lucky that the two biggest miscalls offset each other.

      • jm

        February 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

        Many, many Arsenal fans recognize two facts:

        (1) Diaby was right to be sent off.
        (2) Best’s goal should have stood.

        But we also allege:

        (3) The first penalty was soft – not unreasonable – but soft.
        (4) The second penalty was shocking.
        (5) Nolan pushed Szesczny (when it was an Arsenal kick-off no less!), and it is Szesczny who gets the yellow. Inconsistency with Diaby sending off.
        (6) The tackle on Diaby that prompted his reaction should have been a yellow. (Plus, Barton’s other tackle on Arshavin, both of which could and probably should have been yellows – this one was not even called a foul).
        (7) RvP’s disallowed goal was at least close. I was too sick to watch too many replays. Arsenal fans seem to be going either way on this one.

        Dowd’s poor day played a part in it, but of course not the only part. Diaby’s reaction played a part, Djourou’s injury played a part, shaky defense played a part and (though I have to break my D’s pattern here!) a hell of an effort from Newcastle played a part (throughout the half, and the equalizer was a very nicely taken goal).

        We ought not, as some have, put all the blame on Dowd. I think we also ought not, as some have, put all the blame on Arsenal’s spirit. Everything went wrong for us in that half – and that still wouldn’t have mattered had Newcastle not played well and taken advantage.

        • Blindside

          February 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm

          Very reasonable post. I definitely agree with some of your points here (1-2, 4, 7), and mostly agree with (3) and (6).

          I take issue with (5) though: Nolan was trying to wrestle the ball from Szesczny, and both players fell while fighting the ball. This is not a case of Nolan just pushing Szesczny to the ground like what Diaby did to Barton. Letting your opponents, who are behind, have the ball after they have scored is common practice in football, and the way Szesczny tried to keep the ball away was not only against the spirit of the game, but also a clear yellow (delay of game–and any referee would call the yellow in this situation). So Szesczny’s yellow was really an obvious one. What you did not mention was that Nolan also got a yellow for his overreaction on Szesczny’s unsportsmanlike conduct, which was also the correct call. Wrestling to get the ball back deserves a yellow, imo.

  27. wtf

    February 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Pretty poorly written article. Take your time instead of just forcing a poor article out.

    • The Gaffer

      February 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      Sorry, this was a bit of a rushed one. I would have written one myself but I’m in Mexico right now and won’t be back in the States until Monday.

      The Gaffer

    • jimbo

      February 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      i agree very poorly written

      • The Gaffer

        February 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm

        This one is more of a stream of consciousness post. Still, Lauren raises some good points.

        The Gaffer

    • Burt Reynolds

      February 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Agreed, stinks of a total rushjob. The exciting comeback was barely even glossed over.

      Don’t be ashamed to go back and edit it the article before posting it. Whats the hurry?

      • The Gaffer

        February 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm

        The hurry is that I have less than an hour of spotty Internet connection in Mexico before I board the cruiseship and won’t have access again until Monday. Sorry.

        The Gaffer

      • Dave C

        February 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm

        Sorry to add to all the hate…but yeah this is a pretty badly written piece.

        Firstly (and possibly worst of all), as far as I can tell, it completely fails to mention one of Newcastle’s first three goals. As far as I can tell, Arsenal were 4-0 up, then Newcastle scored two PKs, and somehow that makes it 4-3 (not just 4-2)?

        Also, some parts seem so anodyne and dumb, it sounds like something my mum would say. Such as:

        He has to improve his team’s defence. No sh*t sherlock. A team that concedes 4 goals in the opening 25 mins has to improve it’s defence? Who’da thunk it?

        There was absolutely no one in front of Theo Wolcott when the first goal was scored
        Duh that’s because he’s famous for being really fast! There were two guys between him and the goal when the pass was played, but he outpaced them. Perhaps a more observation should have been that Newcastle’s defence should have played deeper to prevent fast guys getting in behind.

        He must also improve his team’s offense
        Again, no sh*t sherlock! A team that in the short term needs to overhaul a 4 goal deficit, and in the long term needs to replace their departed main goal-threat “must improve their offense”? Well spotted

        Pardew must train secondary players – perhaps not first-team players – as strikers
        Again, sounds like something my mum would say. “Ooh they ought to teach the reserve goalie or the guy from the pie-shop to be a striker”. They don’t need to train anyone in the ways of being a striker – they need to make do with the strikers they have – mainly Best and Lowenkrands.

        would the Gunners add another point to win 5-4
        I pointed this out on another thread (written by someone else) but NO-ONE calls a goal a “point”. Points are what you get for winning/drawing games. Not for scoring a goal. It’s not basketball.

        However, Best still had a look of confusion about him; it would have been better to keep him off and bring Nile Ranger on in his place.
        Debateable…wasn’t it Best who scored Newcastle’s second goal?? (Not that you would know it from reading this article).

        Lastly, this bit shows a real lack of logic:
        Some Newcastle supporters were leaving St James’ Park already – was it for a halftime pie and a pint, twenty minutes early, or were they going home?

        If they were leaving the actual stadium, obviously they were not just going to get a pie and a pint (since those are sold IN the stadium). I think the writer should have said the Newcastle fans were simply leaving their SEATS (in which case, you could preserve the doubt as to whether they’re buying food and drink, or going home).

        Sorry to be such a hater, but when you put this out there on the internet, you ask for it…

        • Dave C

          February 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm

          Also, this is embarrassing:

          In the tenth minute, Robin van Persie hit a long shot

          A long shot?? It was from just outside the six-yard box!!

          • The Gaffer

            February 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm

            Hi Dave, I messed up on this one in that I should have copyedited it more heavily before posting it. It’s definitely an exception though as I was out of the country and only had a short amount of time to decide whether to post the article or let it wait until Monday when I returned from overseas.

            The Gaffer

          • Dave C

            February 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm

            No problemo – interesting that Lauren herself hasn’t posted any comments/apologies/defence of this article though?

            p.s. would it have been out-of-bounds to make any “Keys & Gray” style jokes about the author’s gender?

          • Elliot

            February 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm

            Wow, people are seriously reviewing reviews though?

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