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Season 2007-08
Arsenal (a) Premiership

Date: Tuesday 29th January 2008, 7.45pm

 Emirates Stadium

Depressingly familiar

Admission: 32 

Programme: 3  




Newcastle United

3 - 0



40 mins A simple 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

72 mins
Flamini hit an outstanding 25-yarder that swerved away from Shay Given into the top corner.  0-2

80 mins Fabregas got the Arsenal third, despite a blatant offside in the build-up. 0-3

Full time: Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0

We Said

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."

They Said

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 mistake."

"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 - Premiership years

2007-08: Lost 0-3
Drew 1-1 Dyer
Lost 0-2
Lost 0-1
Lost 2-3 Robert, Bernard
Lost 0-1
Lost 0-3 (FAC)
Won 3-1 O'Brien, Shearer, Robert
Lost 0-5           
Drew 0-0          
Lost 0-3  
Lost 1-3 Barton
Won 1-0 Elliott
Lost 0-2 (LC)
Lost 0-2
Won 3-2 Keown og, Beardsley, Fox
1993/94: Lost 1-2 Beardsley

Newcastle remain without a Premiership goal in 394 minutes of play and have taken just two points from the last 21.


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 behind.

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 November. 

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.

The day that we drew at Stoke we were in a state. Goalscoring, defending, everything. 

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 out.

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 canteen table.

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, hopefully. 

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 evident.



Page last updated 18 October, 2018