Tales of the expected unfold once again at the Emirates

By Lee Ryder on Aug 30, 08 09:17 PM

A TOUGH footballing lesson from the mighty Arsenal is all Newcastle United have to stew over for the next fortnight after the Gunners recorded their third 3-0 win over the Mags this year.

Newcastle were simply pinned back from the start of the game and with the transfer deadline ready to slam shut on Monday, the paper thin squad (decimated further by James Milner's exit and an injury to Jose Enrique) have two weeks to lick painful wounds.

United were a million miles behind Arsenal before this game kicked off and while four points from the opening three games still probably puts Newcastle in credit when it comes to pre-season expectations, there are still several causes for concern for the Toon Army.

One of them being United's lack of cutting edge.

Not enough chances for the Mags today and even when they did break through on occasion the day was summed up when the only clear cut chance of the day in the first half resulted in Michael Owen steering the ball off his own man in the shape of Shola Ameobi.

Shola's inclusion underlined the lack of depth in a Toon team that struggled badly to carve up open some world class opposition.

And had it not been for Shay Given the scoreline could have been even worse.

The sight of Mike Ashley necking his half-time beer was certainly one United fans can associate with on a day when Newcastle just weren't at the races.


Scotland Steve said:

I'm an Arsenal fan and thus was pleased with the performance today. It appears the Gooners are settling into stride.

But that's not what I want to mention here.

Newcastle are a team we've always respected for tradition and the frankly unbelievable Geordie enthusiasm. You're a club to admire.

Having said that, it made me sick to see Barton come on at the end of the game -- and immediately slash through Samir Nasri with no attempt to get the ball. Then Barton stood there with a smirk on his face.

It was beautiful to see Nasri come right back and bundle over the clown with an obvious trip.

Barton might be a tough guy around innocent civilians, but he's lucky he doesn't have to meet Nasri out in the car park. The boy isn't very big, but you don't survive 20 years on the mean streets of Marseille without being able to take care of yourself.

It's a shame that a big, proud club like Newcastle would resort to putting a thug like Barton on the pitch.

You deserve better.

Good luck with the season.

Dean said:

Hi lee,
Today proved we were a long way off the top four sides, Plus also the negativity shown by the scottish commentator on setanta was unreal, saying the clubs in a crisis and players shouldn't sign for Newcastle.He Portraited the club in the wrong mannor! Getting back to the football,we need to invest soon.

cheers Dean.

Andrew Fordy said:

What are you on about?

It was a great tackle and he won the ball.

As for the sly trip, I bet he was feared on the "mean streets of Marseille" with those tactics.


AC said:

What are you on about? Barton is scum and it just shows how far your club have fallen allowing your best player to leave last week and keeping on this piece of vermin. Shame on Newcastle. Shame on Keegen.

Andrew Fordy said:

Best player???

Milner, 3 goals and 2 assists last season.

Hardly a star winger.

anon said:

Seem to remember Gooners allowing their twice convicted drink driving captain to be allowed a second chance on his release from prison

Short memories but the press will ensure the media circus runs on and on

Wayne said:

Where is our "WOW" signing ?? Mike ashley please stop making empty promises. I'm not hoping for "WOW" signings now i only hope we can have decent players and not young kids out on the subs bench ! I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hope i can really go "WOW" when the transfer window close

Tardonicus said:

I've never been more in awe watching my team get run off the pitch. Arsenal are playing the beautiful football we aspire to play again.

On the bad taste in the mouth from seeing Joey Barton on the pitch, the question is WHY? Why did we need to introduce he of such grotesque baggage on national television in minute 89? I'm willing to see if Joey has been "scared straight" by his current situation and is a model player from here on out, but that's the only way I'll accept him. I don't want to see Barton on the pitch til his troubles are behind him. But he's not done being punished yet, he'll certainly be suspended for awhile as of this week, right? So why did we need to introduce him at all today?

Charles said:

Come on, Barton deserves more than he's got. He has reformed since KK got here, and its only the matter whether he can control himself or not. If you eliminate him out of football, he'll need a job, then its more trouble to the civilians.

Kk has given him ONE last chance and I think we've got to stick to it. Let's give Barton a chnace and scorn those fools who said these men deserves nothing. If its so, why not reignite capital punishment, you'll only be ruining the man anyway. The term of 'Jail' is reformation, not destruction.

Anyway, the team yesterday has highlighted one important thing...we've got nothing...Putting Amoebi there was utter crap and only proved to the world that Newcastle needs more players! Imagine selling Milner now! Why can't they wait? Now its a crisis and who's to blame? Why can't they wait till we've got a replacement.

Owen deserves something yesterday, a contract perhaps. With a good partner (Viduka or Martins), he'll score, not with Amoebi, he even blocked one off him.

If we don't see those signings, then I'm afraid Newcastle has got to coup. I'm not a Freddie anarchist, but the way this goes now, its hardly anything worth saying...

hagfromvietnam said:

Tardonicus, I agree with your comments about the style in which we were outplayed from the start, and I totally agree with your comments about Barton. Come on Keegan what are you thinking of brining this thug onto another clubs pitch at 89th minute. Maybe it was to give him some creadence before his next judgement on friday with the FA. I just can't imagine why so many people are bending over backwards to help Barton when it was quite clear, during his brief input into the Arsenal game, that his intentions are still very much in mind.
NUFC need to fully review their options on this thug and treat him with the contempt he deserves. My heroes where black and white at St James Park but he will never be one of them.


Frank W said:

Keegan is A great communicator and, apparently, an excellent motivator, but it has to be said he is a tactical dunce. Even when he had a great side he always had a good "plan A" but if that didn't work there was never a "plan B". At Arsenal our team were run ragged by a team of talented kids. Shola was picked when, according to Keegan, he was a week away from being fit ( why?) and he contributed very little. The last third of the game saw lots of tired legs on our side but what did our tactical genius do? He waited untill the 88th minute to bring on two subs.
Last weekend we had Alan Smith on the subs bench when he was injured and "was only going to be used in an emergency". If he was injured he shouldn't have been there.
Why wont Keegan play any of the kids ? Are they so desperately bad that they cant get a game even when we are so short of players?. If the forwards amongst them cant get a game when we are without Viduka, Martins, Smith, Duff, Carrol (and now Milner) and Amoebi is played when he is unfit, what chance will they ever get ? There have been great opportunities/excuses to blood some of the kids but Keegan is so tactically bereft that he cant see them.Last time he was here he ruined the youth development programme by disbanding the reserves and taking away the stepping stone between the Academy and the first team. This time he is simply not picking the youths. He would rather pick unfit "star" players and have unfit "star" subs rather than take a chance that one of the young kids will bring a spark or some positive running into the team. They do get some time on the bench but if they cant get even a few minutes on the field in the current situation I cant see how they will ever get a game under Keegan.

STEVE said:

NEWCASTLES performance yesterday is all down to wise and ashley,keegan is working miracles with what he has available....the whole situation at the toon just now can be summed up simply.......SHOLA AMEOBI.....end of.

Frank W said:

The point is that Keegan doesn't utilise what is available. He only uses the established players or those that have been bought in. Are the current crop of youngsters really so bad that not one of them can even get a few minutes on the pitch in the current situation ?

Simon said:

I don't wish to sound too disingenuous towards KK, but it’s no big surprise that today we are talking about Barton and not the fact that our largely first choice (Ameobi aside) XI were simply played off the pitch by Arsenal? Whilst I agree that the squad is woefully understaffed you’d have to look at the back four and think “first choiceâ€?, and most people would have expected N’Zogbia & Gutierrez to have taken the game to Arsenal a bit more with Butt & Guthrie breaking things up in midfield.

Certainly, there is a lack of resources to change things from the bench but at the end of the day, we should be looking at that team that played last night and expecting better. There will be teams that, player for player, are worse than NUFC that will push Arsenal, even at home, much harder. An extremely disappointing performance... calling it predictable is letting those players off the hook far too easily.

Heck Collins said:

As usual, poor in centre midfield and let down by poor final balls (Charlie, especially) and poor quality in the box (Shola: leave, please). Barton needs to go. Fat Sam (and Fred) should never have bought him.

I suspect Beye and Enriquez were crocked to begin with.

I suspect the reason why KK doesn't play the 'youngsters' is because they're not good enough.

Heck Collins said:

As usual, poor in centre midfield and let down by poor final balls (Charlie, especially) and poor quality in the box (Shola: leave, please). Barton needs to go. Fat Sam (and Fred) should never have bought him.

I suspect Beye and Enriquez were crocked to begin with.

I suspect the reason why KK doesn't play the 'youngsters' is because they're not good enough.

David said:

Frank W. its interesting that you mention youngsters but don't name any. Is that because you've never head of any of them - meaniung they're not any good / haven't shown enough to capture any headlines? Carroll and Lua Lua have both had some time under KK but are both injured. KK Picked his only senior players yesterday against one of the best teams in the world - we aren't even one of the best in the prem. This will take a couple of seasons MINIMUM. Get real!

RAF Mark said:

Well lets get the big question out of the way. Barton, yes he should be playing and to be honest he should have been on the pitch long before the end. Alot of the gooners fans booed when he came on ...hang on is this not the team that had the drug squad playing for them..surely a punch up(whilst I condon) is bad it is no where near as a cocaine habit..did the england fans boo powder adams when he came back or mercer NO!!! is the answer. Its all to easy to forget those isn't it. If you can't handle a good tackle get of the pitch.

As for the game well we were not even on the park and I am sorry but KK got it wrong as much as alot of the players...90% of the team forgot to start playing and as for kk BACKING OF AMEOBI prior to the match..well thats tells a tale of behind the scene's. Shola is past it by a mile. If thats all he have I would have let one of the youngsters have a taste at least they would have run for the ball. Butt just spent the entire gaem complaining when he should have filling the gap in mid field. The boys at the back were playing against 7 players all match with NO cover from mid field. Why did KK go with 5 across the middle especially after it was obvious the players by large where not up for it. For god sake sell/get rid of the dead would like smith and shola and stop selling our decent players can you give a player a new deal and then sell him a few months later..moving jonas out to the wing only left us open through thr middle as his fantastic work rate was not matched by butt.

Please sign some more players who are fit to wear the B&W shirt and get rid of the rubbush...that includes DENNIS WISE. Ashley you want to reduce the wage packet well start there and let the manager KK do his job. IF you cant do that then get back to the ranks and not part of our beloved club.

Joe Bloggs said:

Are comments reviewed?

paul shipman said:

it makes me sick to see ashley downing his pint while we lose terribly on the pitch we sold one of our best players in milner and it seems ashley is determined to drive owen out of our beloved sjp when are we gonna realise ashley is fleecing us and lining his own pockets wheres the BIG signings he promised us ??? its time to put your money where your cakehole is BIG man because the fans are starting to wise up as shown in the attendance @ the last game @ sjp 5 thousand down keegan is doing the best he can with what hes got my message is ASHLEY AND WISE GET OUT

Sy said:

This blog is like a yo-yo nowadays, it's ridiculous.

Realistically, we were never going to win yesterday.

Realistically, once we conceded it was always going to be difficult to get anything, as we're generally not very good when we fall behind, particularly against a team like Arsenal.

And realistically, we don't have a big enough squad to challenge Arsenal at their place at the best of times, let alone when we have so many injuries.

So let's put things into perspective. Two of our opening three league games have been against two of the best teams in Europe and two of the most feared fixtures of the season are over with. I can live with going down at Arsenal and the others. What's key is that we get three points against Hull next time out and the other clubs outside the top four.

Before the season I doubt you'd find anyone who expected us to get any points from Man U and Arsenal away, so I see that as a point gained, and two big tests at the start of the season to build on.

As for the game, we were the victims of a home referee in the first half - he gave us nothing and was giving Arsenal free kicks for blatant dives and perfectly good tackles. It really showed our lack of squad depth when we had to start Ameobi, who failed a medical about two weeks ago, and unfortunately this just proved that he's not good enough for this club. When he plays, the midfield and forward line are so detached that we never look like creating anything, and the one thing we did create, Ameobi got in Owen's way. I would've rather seen us play someone like Zamblera who's on the up. I don't think it would've made any real difference, but at least it would serve the future rather than sticking in the past with players who obviously don't have a future here, which I feel we do too much of.

It seemed to me that Coloccini picked up an injury around the 75 minute mark, and I was praying Keegan would take him off to avoid him damaging himself but he took Beye off instead. I was worried, but hopefully he's ok because he has made a big difference to the defence, despite yesterday's result, and I'd hate to lose him to an injury after such a good start.

My only other point is that Jonas Gutierrez looks by far and away the best player at the club, even though he didn't have the most productive of games yesterday.

I'm glad Ashley was there to see how desperately we need reinforcements, but time is running short now and I don't think we'll get the numbers we need...time will tell, here's hoping.

Paul Gadd said:

Kevin Keegan has turned from being a top manager with fire in his belly into a meek, lying, devious, sucking up to Mike Ashley wimp.

The old Kev would not have put up with such interference and rubbish from other people at the club the way he is doing now.
If you thing that King Kev is manager of the club now you are so wrong. He is nothing but a high profile mouthpiece for Ashley and his cronies.
As for the possibility of Newcastle United signing Thimothee Atouba, god help us. This man makes Babyaro look great!

Bob Harvey said:

The booing of Barton was probably the biggest noise in the history of the Emirates Stadium.
No sinners in north London then, eh? Pull the other one, I used to live in Highbury.
Barton's tackle was perfectly legitimate. Who said so? ----- Lee Dixon.
Barton should have replaced Ameobi at half time.

Phil said:

One very positive aspect of the Arsenal game, is that Danny Guthrie looks like a fine signing, and will grow to be a very comfortable player on the ball. Coloccini and Gutierrez are both top notch players. Owen was poor, and I'm not surprised that Capello was not impressed. Ameobi was very slow. You cannot carry ONE weak player against Arsenal let alone several. My fear is that these drubbings humiliate, and drag down the quality players. Shay was tremendous, but we need quality in all positions. Arsenal made some of our players look too pedestrian. We need 5 more quality players.

Charles said:

Frank W, you said KK should have switched to Plan B. What is Plan B? Maybe KK should have introduced the youngsters in place of the weaker seniors but could they had made the difference?

We are down to bare bones here. Some marrow had already been spilled, so try to tell him what is Plan B. There is no Plan B because it couldn't have been done since that owner of NUFC had the gall to sell one of our finer players on a time where reinforcements are needed. They can all eat the newspapers, because THEY are to be faulted. Kevin just uses whatever he's been given. You can't make a building using shit in place of cement.

And I have said it before, leave Barton in peace. We english were prided for our democratic ways and no capital punishment, so why are we still refusing to give a player some air?

Nasri was the one who cut him down and the boos turned to cheers. What is this? He deserve it? If you stole from your mother's purse, and she does the same later, can she be applauded?

Let him off. The more we hate him, the worse he becomes. We got to boost our own team. Nobody pushed the back of Cantona or Gazza when they commited any foul use of temper.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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