Tuesday 29th January 2008, 7.45pm
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Conditions: Depressingly familiar
3 - 0
header that came from a Flamini cross and was Adebayor's fourth against us this season. It
was also the first in front of the travelling Toon fans in the South end, all
the others at this stadium having hit the back of the North end net. The
marking was again poor. 0-1
Half time: Arsenal 0 Newcastle 0
Flamini hit an outstanding 25-yarder that swerved away
from Shay Given into the top corner. 0-2
Fabregas got the Arsenal third,
despite a blatant offside in the build-up. 0-3
Full time: Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0
Kevin Keegan commented:
"Just like Saturday, 3-0 looks like a
hammering, but I thought we showed a lot of character here tonight. You can look back at odd decisions, the third goal for them was definitely
offside. And at 1-0 when the game was evenly balanced, Michael Owen was given
offside when he's not.
"It looks like you're whingeing when you say that, but they're facts. And
they change matches.
"If we got points for being genuine, we would have got something - we gave
it everything but just didn't have enough quality at times. Arsenal have the confidence that we lack at the moment, but there were
things to take from the game. We will create more in time with the players we have but it's not
happening at the moment.
"Some of these players aren't used to getting beaten. We have guys who are
used to winning things and they need picking up. We have to get a win from
somewhere and hopefully it will be against Middlesbrough on Sunday."
On the return of Joey Barton:
"He went on and gave us a bit of security in midfield, a little bit of
drive and enthusiasm. Joey's now just got to let his football do the talking. I
think you'll see a new Joey Barton now. He's had a tough time, he's done some silly things. But he's turned
himself around and we're going to help him."
Arsene Wenger said:
"I felt it was a
little bit a repetition of the first game, maybe less sharpness physically on
both sides a little bit, more jaded physically. But overall we controlled well
the game. I liked the signs of maturity we have shown tonight. We knew when to
control the game, too keep the ball and when to accelerate.
Of course we scored three great goals. It was a little bit similar to the first
game, they started very strong. We scored a goal just before half-time, and in
the second half we controlled the game and scored two great goals.
We could have maybe added one or two more but overall... Newcastle worked very
hard and as long as it was 1-0 it was important for us not to make a defensive
"Well for us it's good to win tonight
and see what they will do tomorrow, of course we always enjoy that but it's too
far to go now to just consider everything a result. What's very important is for
us to get ourselves in a position in April where we are head-to-head with Man
United, or with Chelsea, and therefore for that we need now to be consistent and
to win our games."
"I feel we are much more mature. What I
liked tonight is the signs of maturity we have shown in our game. That means
'OK, let's wait, let's be patient, let's move the ball, OK we'll get our chance
and then take it', and we'll not make a mistake defensively. Before, you could
see one year ago we were not capable of doing that."
Magpies @ Gunners -
2007-08: Lost 0-3Newcastle
remain without a Premiership goal in 394 minutes of play and have taken
just two points from the last 21.
2006-07: Drew 1-1 Dyer
2005-06: Lost 0-2
2004-05: Lost 0-1
2003/04: Lost 2-3 Robert, Bernard
2002/03: Lost 0-1
2001/02: Lost 0-3 (FAC)
2001/02: Won 3-1 O'Brien, Shearer, Robert
2000/01: Lost 0-5
1999/00: Drew 0-0
1998/99: Lost 0-3
1997/98: Lost 1-3 Barton
1996/97: Won 1-0 Elliott
1995/96: Lost 0-2 (LC)
1995/96: Lost 0-2
1994/95: Won 3-2 Keown og, Beardsley, Fox
1993/94: Lost 1-2 Beardsley
That was the week that was then, two identical results at the same ground -
and both with an air of depressing inevitability, especially when we'd gone
If anything this game was inferior to the contest on Saturday, with both sides
operating at reduced power and Newcastle showing less attacking appetite.
And of equally large concern was the apparent lack of spirit shown - in stark
contrast to the fighting 1-1 draw on Tyneside between the sides back in
Confidence was the word used in the post-match press conference after KK's
third winless and scoreless game, but that could have been substituted by belief.
We couldn't buy a player in January and we can't buy a goal at present -
although late chances from Butt's free kick and Ameobi's one-on-one could at
least have rid Keegan of that unwanted no goals tag.
At the end only Smith,
Taylor, Barton and Given had the decency to applaud the away fans while the
rest just slumped off - hardly a crowd-pleasing gesture to those who had given
up their time to turn out twice to back their side.
But, before retreating further into misery and contemplating life and the
universe through the bottom of a glass (as we did after this game), a sense of
reality has to intrude at this point.Biffa
The day that we drew at Stoke we were in a state. Goalscoring, defending,
Regardless of whether we had plans A,B or whatever, regardless of whether
Redknapp was ever a genuine candidate or whether the Keegan move was off the
cuff, we were in the clarts.
And as for the transfer thing - having somehow got rid of Woodgate previously
(Freddy's finest hour), we have to say we breathed a sigh of relief when the
Teesside hippy opted not to rejoin us.
While his talent remains evident, getting him on to the pitch has required
massive efforts from the smoggy support staff - and after inheriting Viduka,
taking another riverside reject in similar circumstances was a risk we just
don't consider worth taking.
There's also the small matter of Woodgate's off-field reputation, which may or
may not be unfairly portrayed and gossiped about, but again is something that
we're not really up for in the current climate.
Keegan may well be frustrated at not being able to bring in a new face, but
there would be something classically Newcastle about signing someone with four
players unavailable and out of the country.
And when considers the last three players that have arrived here in January,
we're hardly heartbroken at not adding to the list that consists of Oguchi
Onyewu, Jean-Alain Boumsong and Amdy Faye.
Three games in then, and our expectations upon the arrival of Keegan remain
unchanged - it's the earliest of early days and so far we've underlined the
fact that we're in a slump.
He wouldn't be here if everything was lovely.
The briefest of introductions before a Bolton home game that was inevitably
built up to being a cross between a Hogmanay party and a remake of Gladiator,
but featured two dour sides with the mark of Allardyce cancelling each other
Then following closely behind, twin tortures at the Emirates against a side of
genuine talent and cohesion.
What appears to have dampened enthusiasm slightly was the fact that the
instant KK magic touch failed to reproduce what he'd done previously and
conjure up a victory from somewhere.
If football has changed since Keegan last picked a team, it's that management
is no longer a doodle on the back of a fag packet.
Whether it's gone too far from that style into pseudo science and statistics
though is a moot point. Certainly, footballers don't seem any more intelligent
than they used to be - just greedier.
An off-field revolution on Barrack Road had started last year and continues
apace, as it becomes more and more apparent to those now in command precisely
what has remained flawed and rotting in the last decade.
Be it youth recruitment and development, dubious transfer practices or even
the opening hours of the ticket office and pricing issues, there's at least
awareness where previously there was complacency.
And while the appointment of Dennis Wise left us bemused, attempts at
implementing a new structure - at least there's a recognition that it's no
longer enough for uncle Arthur and Terry Mac to move salt cellars round a
The judgment has already been made though amongst vast tracts of the media,
where the case for the persecution is advanced on a daily basis.
Regardless of the fixture list, regardless of issues of form, fitness, injury
or unavailability, Keegan has already failed apparently - and is shuffling
towards the exit door muttering his previous infamous mantra of "it's not
like it was in the brochure."
What a load of rubbish.
Sunday marks the start of the real work - and of the renaissance,
For others to try and judge KK and us on the events of January is nothing
short of scandalous, but not to collect three points against the Smoggies is
unthinkable - loading the bullets for those whose agenda is increasingly