Newcastle 4 – 4 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

I don’t remember the last time I felt such kaleidoscopic emotions in a football game. The first half was exhilarating, beautiful, mesmerising, you pick the adjectives. The second half was worrisome, unnerving, infuriating, I don’t want to dwell on it any further.

Arsenal took the lead in the opening minute. As I’d mentioned in the preview, Walcott wasted no time once he got the chance to run at the defence. The second goal came soon after when a good set-piece from Arshavin was turned in by Djourou for his first goal for the club. Van Persie scored the third and fourth after good work by Walcott and Sagna down the right.

When Arsenal score the first so early it forces the opponents to come out and breaks their organization. Newcastle were opened up with so much ease that it almost got boring at one point. Diaby and Cesc were dropping deep and controlling the play from there. It wasn’t a surprise to see some Newcastle fans leaving the stadium within half an hour.

This game would have continued in the same vein but for two big moments in the first five minutes of the second half. First Djourou limped off to be replaced by Squillaci. Then Barton tried to snap Diaby’s legs in half but failed. Diaby reacted to that and was sent off as the ref showed sympathy towards Barton’s failure at breaking the standing leg of the Frenchman.

From that point on Arsenal lost their composure. They lost their shape. Couldn’t create anything in attack. Couldn’t defend even simple balls.

Newcastle scored four goals. The first time a team has come back from a four goal deficit in the Premiership. Two were penalties of which at least one was a gift from the ref. One was a wonder strike, the kind of which we see a lot against Arsenal, especially when the momentum is with the opposition. And one was a simple goal from a cross. In fairness, Newcastle had a goal disallowed that should have stood.

I’ve no doubt the ref can be blamed for this result. He allowed too many fouls to go unpunished; too many cynical fouls were not booked. It gave Barton the freedom to go for that vicious lunge and set the dominoes in motion.

But I don’t want to blame the ref. Arsenal should have defended the lead even with 10 men. They should have found a way of handling the pressure and of breaking out of the defence. The problem was that with two of our biggest players taken out, the weaknesses of this team were exposed all at once.

It was far too easy for Newcastle to win possession back. They moved the ball from their half to the Arsenal penalty box time and again as if the Gunners weren’t even on the pitch. Too many needless free-kicks were conceded due to poor tackling technique. There was no outlet for Arsenal. There was no attacking plan or ambition. There was no physical presence in the whole of the midfield. There was hardly any defensive minded player in front of the back four. The substitutions were daft.

I would have said there was no leader on the pitch but a leader can’t do anything when the team completely loses its shape and the tactical system flops. The leader does not have the time to tell players how to make the runs, how to defend, and how to keep possession.

There is a reason this kind of a comeback has never happened before. No other team would succumb in such a manner. This was Arsenal at their worst after showing us something pretty close to their best in the first half.

The injuries are mounting again and Diaby has picked up a 3 game ban. I don’t see any point in appealing that because the letter of the law is quite clear. Unfortunately, the law does not take into account the fact that you’ve been at the receiving end of a shocking tackle or the fact that the ref has been an impotent idiot all through the game.

This is just the kind of performance and result that can see the season crumble. A couple of injuries, one moment of madness, and all the good work of the past few weeks was undone.

Individual Performances

Szczesny: Made some good saves. But he must have got his first experience of playing behind a team that just didn’t know how to defend. Now he knows how Almunia felt in many games last season.

Sagna: Worked hard to defend but didn’t have the right support once Diaby was off. Good cross for the assist. Can’t blame him for the performance.

Djourou: Played only the first half and Arsenal were completely dominant in this period. Not sure how he would have been once the team lost the plot but his physical presence would have been useful. Very well taken header for his goal.

Squillaci: Tough to blame him as he didn’t make any glaring individual errors.

Koscielny: Was brilliant in the first half. Conceded the penalty that gave Newcastle the impetus. Not sure if it was a penalty but it is risky to try such tackles in the box. I’ll put that down to inexperience.

Clichy: Pretty much like Sagna. Worked hard but didn’t have much support from Wilshere. Rosicky almost made it worse for Clichy.

When a team concedes 4 goals the defence naturally gets a lot of criticism but I’d not blame the defenders or the keeper for this result. We can’t expect them to deal with a ball in the penalty box every minute for the duration of a half.

Diaby: was impressive in the first half. Dominated physically, controlled the ball well, provided good cover to the defenders. Poor reaction to the tackle. We know he has been at the receiving end of some really bad ones but that is where maturity comes into play.

Cesc: Magnificent in the first half. Came deep and opened Newcastle up far too often. Couldn’t offer any defensive protection in the second half.

Wilshere: Was a passenger for most of the game. Cesc and Diaby ran the show in the first half. Couldn’t offer much in terms of physical presence or tackling in the second half. Can’t blame the youngster, he tried hard and did what he could but lack of experience and his size were against him.

The midfield was unplayable in the first half and would have been good enough in the second but for one rash moment. Subsequently they offered no protection on the wings and Newcastle found clear channels to bring the ball forward and deliver it into the box. We can’t expect Wilshere and Cesc to be the two defensive midfielders and provide physical presence. This squad is dearly missing another defensive minded player.

Walcott: Good goal, good assist. Made many well timed runs. Did his part in attack and as much as he could in defence. He is not a midfielder who can defend on the wings for 45 minutes.

RvP: Two good goals. Decent delivery on set-pieces. Won a number of defensive headers as well. Wasn’t able to make the runs into the channels or offer an outlet when the team was under pressure.

Arshavin: Picked up two assists. Worked hard and tried chasing the ball whenever he could. Made some defensive tackles as well.

The attacking trio were phenomenal in the first half. Couldn’t offer much and their weaknesses were exposed once the midfield was taken out of the picture.

Subs: Rosicky had a very poor game, conceded needless fouls, lost the ball on a couple of occasions. Eboue came on too late in the game but should have done better to protect the right flank. Squillaci I have already covered.

Wenger: Picked the right starting eleven. It looked like Walcott had instructions to play higher up and that worked out well for Arsenal. Didn’t make the right decisions after Diaby was off. He should have brought on Gibbs for Arshavin and Bendtner for RvP. He should have asked Bendtner and Walcott to rotate a bit and offer an outlet from the defence. It’s a waste to see Theo having to defend deep so often.

You know if this game had been reversed, if Arsenal had conceded four in the first half and then made the comeback it would have been seen as a great fight back and a big result. That could have pushed the team forward and the supporters would have been happy. But since it’s been the other way round it will have a reverse impact. This will drag the team down, increase the negative vibes, and affect the confidence of the players. The score is still 4-4 but the way it is seen is completely different.

Now the most important thought in my mind is that we survive the international break without further injuries.

129 Responses to Newcastle 4 – 4 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis

  1. shrek2be says:

    I thought this was the worst piece of refereeing I have ever seen . Utterly disgraceful!!!, I remember that Diaby was tackled by a Bolton player early in this season , even then he was pissed but not enough to wring the guy’s neck like he did today . I have to say the Newcastle fans did a very good job of creating the atmosphere for the referee to be pressurized ,but lets not take away anything from Phil Dowd , he is the man of the match .

    Personally I think what influenced Dowd to show Diaby a red was that at the end of the half after Barton had gone through Arshavin’s legs , Diaby went after Barton which resulted in Barton getting a free kick .
    And I thought Nolan deserved to be off , even i saw Wilshere protesting to the ref ,but nothing happened .

    • Mik says:

      I had the same feeling. If I could vote, then I would vote for Phil Dowd to be the man of the match. He gifted the draw to Newcastle. If Nolan would have been off then the whole game would have changed. I feel sorry for our players. Diaby lost himself and many see him as the black sheep. But it is not his fault that the team conceded 4 goals.

      Hilarious that no paper mentions the wrestling move against Chesney which should have resulted in a red card. Or that the two penalties of the “hard fighting” team were extremely dubious.

      Manchester United saved our day at least.

      • Mik says:

        what I meant is that it’s not Diaby’s fault alone.

        Let’s hope that Djourou will be back for Barcelona.

  2. carlos says:

    Phill Dowd is a cheat. Arsenal should protest anytime he is on duty in any of our games………..

    • richie says:

      At the risk of getting a fine or fines I would object before hand to Dowd officiating at any future Arsenal game. Even as a linesman! I think there’s a rule about this because if a Woman (“lineslady”?) makes the right decision as Ms Massey did, and then can’t be considered because a couple of comments by commentators. Well let someone at the Arsenal call Phil Dowds credibility into question if he’s named to ref or line call in a future game. There will be a furore and a fine will follow but at least we won’t have to see his cheating face controlling our results.

  3. MSL says:

    I thought the Everton game would have given us the belief and composure in adversity like this but nobody seems to have taken the game by the horns. We had a completely disjointed Arsenal for the last 30 mins. So much space in the midfield; we never got compact after losing a man. Eboue couldn’t have arrived soon enough.

    Though I want to blame the referee for the bad result our collective defense was shambles. I don;t know if Rosicky has had a worse game in an Arsenal shirt. I began watching from 60th minute or so and couldn’t find Fab or RvP in our third defending at all. My stream was not great so I could be wrong but we really really need to work on our set pieces. I am still wondering if Pat Rice is cut out for the job. So, we have no Djourou(how long?) and Diaby for 3 games and we need to kick on.

    Sagna and Clichy looked exhausted at the end of it.

    Watching the Utd-Wolves games. HT 2-1 to wolves. lets hope it stays that way.

  4. young gunner says:

    Wow all I got to say is wow what a game. First half we were excellent.

    The turning point in the game was Djourou’s injury and Diaby sending off. Squillaci just is not good enough. But 4 – 0 we should have won that game I don’t lno what happened we couldn’t keep the ball. Plus ref as just awful. I hate that ref so much and he also costs us 2 more pts against sunderland. It was just one of those days but that’s life we got to move on and there are more games to be played. Hopefully, Djourou’s injury is not serious and hopefully this will not destroy our confidence.

  5. Adam says:

    We paid for questioning the ref against Everton and Dowd showed us who decides games. And it will happen again.

    • MSL says:

      That thought did cross my mind. Haha maybe.

      • dEX says:

        Adam. This league is fixed. I do not understand why video tech aint introduced. Human error is inevitable and can also be manipulated. We was not supposed to win that everton game. So the ref made sure we did not win todays. The balance has been restored.

  6. JJ Pittman says:

    A lot of this I’ve said on previous post, but worth repeating, I think. Last newkie goal was only good one. #2 should have been disallowed for handball, but previous disallowed goal by same player not really offside should have stood. Pk awarded for their 3rd goal was the absolute worst refereeing screw job we have faced in a number of years. All that said, we should have taken the air out of the ball earlier and we didn’t. We don’t have the size or strength to park the bus, but we can play keepaway and didn’t. My wife, 61 today, says it all came from too much effort to get RvP his hat trick. Partially agree, but we always play too much “après vous, mon ami”
    I give up on the prem, even tho Wolves are up on Manure in the 64th. Think they will come back? With more than a little help from their friends! We could be rooting to make up 3, but we’re hoping the last place team can hold off 14 with 11.

  7. HexyDre says:

    I dont think Wilshere was a passenger for most of the game, he was impressive in the 1st half but lost the plot in the second (LIKE ALL THE OTHER PLAYERS).
    I agree 100% with you most times but I think you go too hard on Jack.
    Terrible day to be a gooner, one can only hope ManUtd go ahead and lose the game (2-1 ryt now) to mitigate the pain. But knowing ManUtd…the game might end 2-4 😦
    It hurts.

    • Zgunner says:

      It’s never a terrible day to be a Gooner. I am so proud of the lads, and they are lucky there weren’t 5 more minutes to the game as the ref surely would have found away a fifth goal for the hosts!

      I consider this game huge in the minds of the players and it will help their learning. And it will have a positive effect for us in our next games. The players will feel a sting of having been robbed, and will perhaps drive them to playing harder as it to serve justice.

      I have to agree with Desi though, the real concern for the upcoming games is really injuries. Our team is superb and I don’t blame any of our players for the defeat: IT WAS A SCANDAL.

      Long live the Arsenal. We CAN do it.

  8. GunneRon says:

    Newcastle conceded 4 goals within the first 26 minutes. if you think that is league one standard defending, we conceded 4 in just 20. even if the referee was to be partly blamed, thats just not good enough for a premier league side, let alone a title chasing one. The only way for the blow to soften is to see untd drop pts at wolves.

  9. MistaKen says:

    Can someone please tell me when any team has conceded a 0-4 lead in the history of the PL. I think none. What does this say about our spirit and character?

    I don’t remember the last time I believed we were going to win a game before the final whistle. Reduced to watching the club I love from behind the settee week after week

  10. MistaKen says:

    That’s the key point right there GunneRon. 4 goals conceded in 20 minutes is just stupid, stupid, stupid

  11. rohit says:

    we seriously need to reinforce our squad…..we are way too short in depth…..we need to dip in and buy us a referee or two….atleast a linesman is required…..

    • Mick says:

      My thoughts exactly, he was a disgrace. How much would Webb cost in the summer transfer window? It would be a better investment than Hazzard and Sukho! And he’s English.

    • sameep says:

      Manchester United used all their budget on buying all the referees, so there is no QUALITY in the market right now. Arsenal scouts are trying to find one, may be we can take one on loan from Chelsea!! Howard Webb and Phil Dowd have been the signings of the season!!

  12. dEX says:

    YES YES YES MAN U HAVE LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT HAS CHEERED ME UP!!!!!!

  13. Myra says:

    Manure lost. Giggs not sent off. Weird justice done? We’ve gained a point on our rivals despite completely falling apart.

    • Messi's dad says:

      i’ve always admired Giggs for his class and consistency for his long career, but, i must say i did enjoy somewhat seeing him lose his temper as his only shot at the unbeaten achievement eluded him.

      unbeaten with a squad with so many average players? dream on!

      Arsenal will have to recover mentally from this match, but what more Man U? plus, they are facing Man city next with Tevez on form.


      1) Wolves – ManU: 2-1 (THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE INVINCIBLES!!)
      2) Van Persie and Theo coming back to form
      3) Nasri may miss the international friendlies?
      4) We still have an awesome attack
      5) Most importantly – we’re still 2nd in the league, with Man U to face Man City and Chelsea twice

      1) Internationals coming up
      2) We sometimes have an awful defence
      3) We don’t know how to retain possession at the wrong times (under pressure, momentum with the other team)
      4) 3) not helped by Szcesny’s distribution sometimes

  14. alc says:

    man utd finally beaten haha

  15. HexyDre says:


  16. gurkhaligunner says:

    luck manure looseeee

  17. sebas says:

    Flop of the match is arsene wenger’s 2nd half coaching performance with fat phil a close second. Sorry but to say we should have brought on Gibbs or NB52 is retarded. We lose our top CB and defensive midfielder and we should bring in a fullback and striker. Sometimes arsenal just needs to park the bus and hang on to a 4-0 lead. Utterly embarrassing.

    At least man u lost !!!!!!!

    • Waleed says:

      Agree. Bringing on Gibbs and Bendtner doesn’t make any sense.

      When we go down a man, we play deep and narrow, and try to play possession. Against Sunderland we did this extremely well. Kept the ball from them and even created a good chance or two.

      This time we didn’t play so well. One factor was probably the fatigue after playing 3 times in a week.

      But it was Dowd that made sure we wouldn’t win this match. And I know it’s against the rules to blame the ref, but his refereeing was a joke. Or magic, depending on how you see it. Conjured up 2 penalties for Newcastle at crucial times. Created a fk out of nothing for the equalizer.
      And really gave us NOTHING. Not one decision went our way today from Dowd. Barton and Nolan should’ve been sent off, of course.

  18. MistaKen says:

    Cant even get excited about Man U result. This is how unforgivable our result at Newcastle is. Totally unforgivable

  19. Myra says:

    Gooners. Relax now. Relax. Any team can fall apart. We just do it better than everyone else. And yet, another of Wenger’s teams was invincible (hate that word, but it’s true). That’s hard to do. Just ask Fergie.

    If we win two trophies this year the second is a bonus. Keep Fabregas and we are on for the treble next year. Whom is on the down side of getting better? Arshavin, possibly. That’s it. But we need Frimpong to come of age. Another beast in the midfield in the squad and we win that match. We are still ahead of schedule.

  20. Irish Desi Gooner says:

    I was worried from kick off as soon as I saw Fat Phil officiating this match. Even at 4 nil and 11 men, I had a bad feeling that Dowd could still turn the match around.

    Desi, and everyone else, I’d really like to hear your opinions on this. Ive always said that when Mike Dean or Phil Dowd are in charge in our games, we have always been on the wrong end of things. Does anyone else share the same feelings?

    On a more positive note, there will only be one invincibles and that’ll always be us!

    • Indian Gunner says:

      I feel the same…This is the third time this season,phil dowd has screwed up things…First against sunderland,where he intentionally sent off song and played 6 added mins and then spurs at home and finally this mess up…Is it possible for us to write something to the FA and stop this guy from officiating our matches…

      • richie says:

        I’ve said before if it involves us we should criticse Dowd before any match he’s due to officiate at. For sure the FA will fine us but at least Dowd would be ruled out. As a club we can’t write to the FA or the whole club will end up on a disrepute charge, but someone in the club can criticise him and take the fine. Especially if his impartiality is called into question.

  21. Ajinkya says:

    We ourselves are responsible for the slip. Diaby sending off caused imbalance in the midfield, and newcastle capitalized on that.

    • Ajinkya says:

      In the meanwhile, i was thinking what would have happened if we hadn’t scored four. We could have been beaten again.
      It’s over, and it’s a point gained.

  22. rohit says:

    ooooh yeah…..a kick in the teeth for f@$?face mr.shebby singh….he was asking lord arsene to concede the title…..
    …..there can be only one invincibles…..

  23. tony says:

    I F###IN upset , but i seen the reply and I’m very happy we did not loose diaby to a long term injury…

    Manure LOST – and will lose and draw again….

    We will win the league

  24. OnDGooner says:

    Diaby MUST NEVER play for Arsenal again!!!!

    • Metalhead says:

      what was the man thinking when he reacted like that! I understand he has been plagued by injuries but it is incidents like these that have ruined Arsenal to the core! Gallas’ reaction is one that comes to mind. I know it is easier said than done but reacting like that didn’t solve anything!

  25. Metalhead says:

    I feared the title was over for Arsenal. But just as my sickness was about to spiral exponentially, I read that Manu lost. Well as bad as I feel, Arsenal are actually better off than they were before they stated i.e. points wise.

    Having said that conceding a 4 goal lead is not qualities displayed by a title winning team. I can only console myself by saying that it would not have happened if Diaby and Djourou were on the pitch.

    Finally,I don’t usually say things like this but I hope Phil Dowd gets run over by a truck and gets squished like the bug he is!!!!!!!!!!

  26. george ramah says:

    hey wenger, we should cool down
    the best is to come_ 4get newcastle
    think of barca, but remember if u play like today they gonna screw us 5-0 , so its high time u think about the worst case scenario, u r paaid for we are only loyal supporters, mother fucker…

  27. Metalhead says:

    I think tactically Arsene Wenger got it wrong. As soon as Diaby went I though he should brought in Eboue immediately and slotting him in the DM slot. As soon as Diaby went the flood gates opened! I know Eboue is not the best midfielder but I felt Fabregas and Wilshere were were non existent. There were sending the long balls via the wing and the absence of the DM made it really easy for them

    • dotstuff says:

      You can only deal with long balls with tall players.
      Diaby/Djourou were both off. Eboue? he’s been tried in DM before and it wasn’t pretty

  28. gregory says:

    Lets tell it as it is.
    1. Today’s result is a massive disappointment.
    2. Diaby made life difficult by getting send off but he did not lose us the points.
    3. The team lost shape after the first penalty. To the team’s credit, the first fifteen minutes after the Diaby sending off were decent.
    4. After the second newcastle goal the mid field totally collapsed…and that is the real reason for dropping the points
    5.Collectively the team did not defend well.
    6. The referee cannot be exonerated. He was indeed the man of the match.
    7. This game illustrates graphically what we have always known A} song is probably the most important member of the squad because we do not have adequate cover for him. There was no one to fill in for Diaby once he was send off. B} The decision not to buy another central defender was a big gamble and today it backfired. If Djourou does not recover in time we are left with the Koz-Squillaci combination. That is our weakest combination.
    8. There are similarities between our capitulation in this game and in the spurs game…in both matches we became a bit complacent even arrogant after a very easy first half..that is a mentality problem.
    I am happy that Man U lost but we should not forget what needs to be done….have a serious team meeting and speak honestly about this afternoon’s catastrophe.

    • Jay says:

      the djourou koscielny combination have been big this year. their only bad performance at Ipswich.

    • Northbanksy says:

      Gregory, I think you’ve got it spot on!!

    • santori says:

      Yes, I had a feeling we might do ourselves in because we had such a stroll so early on.

      The point (literarily) is all is not lost and we are still in a strong position so we need to regroup and get our heads clear for the next (massive)one.

      Hope Ramsey gets up to speed fast.

  29. gunzblazzin says:

    very well said metalhead, phil dowd and mike dean reall have it in for us gooners, its simple their manure supports, they dont like us and dont wanna see us win.

  30. tomiwagunners says:

    mr chris your analysis is insightful in my own opinion we plyed a good game but today we witness another bias officiating

  31. brins says:

    Hi Desi,
    Agree that the team lost its shape after the sending off. I cannot blame Diaby, though. Even the most professional and cool headed player, who has already suffered a broken leg, would have reacted. Diaby’s career could have ended, had Barton got what he wanted.Diaby should have rolled on the ground and got Barton sent off, but it didn’t happen. I blame it on the thuggery that is being allowed (Joe Barton is the unheralded king of them) in EPL and the MOTM Phil Dowd. It’s difficult to even concentrate, when you see that every decision favors the opposition. (Nolan on Szczesny, yellow cards, both penalties..). Wenger could have saved two points, with better substitutions. He panicked along with the boys..
    Anyway happy to see that we are still the Invincibles

  32. Jay says:

    bendtner could have made a difference because he has size and he can get headers. We lacked size. gibbs was our only defensive minded player left. newcastle bossed us in the second, im appalled by dowd, he had a few smirks, as if he knew what he was doing and i despise this motherf*cker. i hope he rots.

    nolan on Wojciech is unbelievable. i didnt understand that one. and the line judge was right there. idiot pr/ck

    • santori says:

      Nolan got his yellow for that but should have in all fairness deserved a similar punishment to Diaby.

      Ref was rubbish.

  33. gunzblazzin says:

    it really was a referee horror show, thats the only way i can describe it, no way should we ever lose a game we are winning 4-0, its madness.

  34. GunneRon says:

    the blow has indeed been soften….
    Meanwhile somewhere at Fort molineux ol red nose gets a text from a man who supposedly goes by the battle name ‘gay wanker’
    “master, i have managed to see off your old nemesis from down south, who brought together the invincible army you yourself are about to create”
    ol red nose replies ” damnit, i won’t be able to emulate him cos my army have just lost a battle up here. Anyway you make sure that my other allies try their best to hold him off anywhere they encounter him. his current army is getting stronger, so i’l be needing the best possible HELP i can get from you lot, do you understand?”

    gay wanker “aye, aye master. do call me for battle when you are short of resources. I shall readily oblige. So will the others”

    Now you wonder who is this ‘gay wanker’ and who are these ‘other allies’ of ol red nose? do we know them?

    Well we gunners certainly do, and despite the supposedly impossible odds stacked against us, our army led by Lord Wenger is certainly going to defeat all of them in battle and win the war!!! LONG LIVE THE INVINCIBLES, LONG LIVE THE GUNNERS!!!

  35. Andrew Nesbitt says:

    I’m a Newcastle fan but I love watching Arsenal when we’re not playing each other.

    Your lot could have torn us a new one today as we were woeful in the first half. Probably the worst I’ve seen us play since Bolton away earlier this season when we lost 5-1. While we were being monumentally awful, your lot looked awesome and could have been 6-0 up at half-time without complaint.

    Second half, you can blame the referee all you want but Arsenal were almost as bad as we were in the first. Couldn’t pass a ball between each other and were looking to the referee for free kicks every time they lost possession.

    We’ve had our share of crappy refereeing decisions this season with disallowed goals, penalties against us that should never have been given and dismissals that should never have been. (Another disallowed goal today I might add).

    My first viewing of the Barton tackle was that it was a good challenge but the replays showed it to have looked quite nasty as he rolled over Diaby’s standing leg. The ref only got one look and he was behind Barton so it probably didn’t look so bad from where he was. I’m not a Barton fan (he’s a horrible little twat) but I don’t think he knew an awful lot about it as he was covering up to prevent himself getting Diaby’s studs as they went into each other.

    I think our first penalty was soft, it was a nothing challenge from Koscielny, but the second one was very definitely a penalty. Not on Koscielny but on Rosicky – he blatantly pushed Williamson with a two-handed shove as he jumped for the ball.

    So yep, I agree, you had a couple of decisions go against you, but your players need to man up a bit and get on with the game.

    I notice Wenger didn’t have his usual rant about the officials, just said that certain decisions went against them. Probably because he knows that there’d be an FA fine but more importantly, even with a couple of dodgey decisions, his team should have held on to a 4 goal lead.

    I’m with the author of this post though – never been through such a mixture of emotions in a match in my life. Mine just read the other way around.

    • Metalhead says:

      Well, credit to you Newcastle fans. You stood by your team even when the chips were down. The crowd played a huge part! The Arsenal fans at the Emirates can learn a thing or two from you guys!

    • Phil23 says:

      Thanks for the Newcastle perspective without taunting etc. Seems like a fair analysis to me.

    • Ajinkya says:

      i appreciate all honest guys whatever team they may support. You agree that it was a bit unfair. That increases my respect for you.

  36. The Diving Board has both penalties up as dives, can’t say i disagree

    • Sharpshooter says:

      The first penalty is not SOFT, as some are saying, even Desi. It’s a f****** joke!!! The 2nd, wtf happened? Rosicky didn’t push Williamson, the bastard simply dived… It’s easy to say “wow we were 4 up, we can’t lose such an advantage”. Really? With only 10 men and two penalties that never were? What do you expect from our guys? To play against 14 people every game and win?
      P.S. I’m not trying to excuse that idiot called Rosicky…

  37. Phil23 says:

    a versatile defensive player (im gonna say Jan Vertonghen) and we would have won the game with ease. Our injury super crisis wouldn’t exist as we would be able to rotate our defenders/defensive midfielders. We would also be two points off United (well just from this game anyway) with all the momentum. United would feel a lot more pressure and have just lost there first game of the season. We also have the easier fixtures than them. We would be looking forward to the challenge of Barcelona without fear. This is just my opinion but I think that is worth a slightly exuberant fee. This was obvious in the Summer as Desi and others discussed. I didn’t think Arsene should make any signings in January but it was a major mistake not going for Vertonghen in the summer. Imo one of the biggest in Arsenes career. We would be cruising towards the title by now! Anyway thats my rant done…

  38. JJ Pittman says:

    So the historical Arsenal are still the invincible. That’s cool, but don’t let that distract any of us from how bad that 2nd half was despite the horrible refereeing.
    We will not win the Premiership. We will be totally bossed by Barca. The only playernon our team who might start for them will miss the first leg. If we get up on them 4-0, they will beat us 8-4.
    As a 40 year gooner, I will not accept the Careless cup as any indication of recovery, and Brummie thugs are worse than Magpies and they have a 6’5″ striker. Add zebra bias and I foresee a loss, not that it matters, only 3 competitions matter.
    Two lucky draws in FA cup will leave us online wins from that meaningful title, but can we win three more with all the better teams still in it.
    We have to take care of our own business and second half today shows how little second half against Everton meant.
    Can’t help but root for only team I care about, but am more than nervous, now I’m pessimistic. A long ride back to London.

  39. adeleke says:

    wld be nice 4 1nce if we concentrate on d positives of the game….and thank goodness nobody is blamikng diaby 4 d outcome of the game…it cld av bn worst if d game had ended in d toons favour..a vry vital point gained and our unbeaten record stays intact

  40. james says:

    Please can someone mention why Giggs didn’t receive a red for kicking Kevin Doyle today or why Scholes didn’t receive one- not even a yellow- for attempting to use his hand to score.

    This league’s getting ridiculous by the day and it’s hard to understand the complete double standards- every decision (other than the offside that was probably repaid for RVP’s close offside call) went against us and this isn’t the 1st time. Its disgusting that we lost a 4 goal lead but when 2 of those goals are penalties, I’m sorry but its a bit too hard to blame our players completely (those 2 s****y decisions f***ed up anything) and Squillaci as usual isn’t up to snuff.

    To 1 point gained on the Mancs against all odds!!!
    :- should’ve been 3.

  41. Bergkampfan10 says:

    i didnt have a chance to watch this match, but am fuming that they gave up a 4-0 lead!! how preposterous!

    BUT, if you look at the big picture, United lost a match (finally) and we gained a point on them, sure it should have been 3, but 1 point gained is still positive.

    stay positive fellow gooners!

  42. SoCal_Gun says:

    Very disappointing result.

    I hate to say it, but this is the type of capitulation that’s become relatively common for this team

    The result itself is ok though, because ManUre picked up 0 points and we got 1. BUT even AW recognized that this COULD have longer lasting psychological effects. Only time will tell

    • santori says:

      Well dissapointing yes but only to the extent that United lost their match and we could have gained 2 more points on them today. As is, we have at least cut the deficit by one.

  43. Zgunner says:

    I am proud of our players today.. in my experience I have seen fights break out in similar matches and Diaby was a victim of a referee that functions by the remote control of the home crowd. Nolan and Barton are thugs.

    Here’s an excellent article about tonight’s game:–-4-arsenal-match-thoughts-and-individual-analysis/#comment-18891

  44. Tim says:

    It was a collective and basic failure on behalf of the entire team, not the fault of Cesc alone. Diaby’s departure hurt us, but Djourou’s injury hit us even harder. We lacked organisation all over the pitch, but seasoned players should not need telling that when you are a man down it is important that you maintain possession and slow things down. We kept giving the ball back to Newcastle. Dowd’s bad decisions notwithstanding, we got no more than we deserved. The saving grace is United’s defeat. Yes, we could have been two points closer, but in reality the fact we made up ground today is a huge and unexpected bonus.

    Time to move on. There has been so much which has been good about the last few weeks, that we cannot allow today to destroy our season.

  45. Claver says:


    Debating a game like that is pointless.

    The Premiership is fake!!

    Wake up people.

  46. Marcus says:

    Stop blaming the wrong people.

    AS long as officials are as incompetent as Phil Dowd,
    which is a legally safe term by the way, then we can always be messed up like this.

    EPL is corrupt big time in my opinion.

    At least Diaby wasn’t seriously injured.

    Our matches are looking increasingly like

    ‘Escape to Victory’

    Well played lads. We are the best team in the league.
    This is a time to get behind the team, not berate
    the wrong people.

    Its just a shame Diaby didn’t knock Barton’s juggular into his cerebral cortex.

  47. Northbanksy says:

    A bizzare & regrettable result but you also have to give Newcastle credit. They upped their game
    in the second half & without any defence minded midfield player left on the pitch after Diaby had got himself sent off, put us under pressure & we wer’nt robust enough. Teams play holding midfielders for a reason & sadly we didn’t have spare today.
    You can look at this any way you want but had Diaby kept his head we would have won this game.

    • Claver says:

      You are as deluded as Dowd to think Newcastle deserved anything out of that game.

      For you to dare speak dishonourably about Diaby shows your pathetic contempt.


      I wish brains like yours would not be used for such drivel.

  48. richie says:

    Considering all that Diaby has been through injury wise and believeing as I do that Barton’s follow through blocked tackle was calculated to cause injury. Knowing that Abou was going to get a red card I would rather he punched the thug Barton on the chin than just pushed him. Knowing Dowd has history against us I think he was reacting to Cesc calling referee’s credibility into question. I think he was determined to prove a point.
    I also think that is why Moyes did what he did, he knew what he was doing. He knew ref’s would react and one has.

  49. gunzblazzin says:

    yeh i wrote on another blog how important a player like alex song is, ok we had diaby out there but once he was sent off we went to pieces, i remember the totenham comeback and that was hard to take, this takes the biscuit, anyway no credit is taken away from newcastle because they did what they had to do, tiote’s goal was a well worthy to get them a draw.

  50. b.siahaan says:

    And where were the tactics? You have ten men and you are 4-0 up, so what do you do? Well any sensible manager would take off a couple of strikers and put on a couple of defenders, but hang on, we HAVEN’T GOT ANY DEFENDERS!

    • oz_gooner says:

      yeah i agree.. Arsenal’s best form of defence is attacking ..They have proved that havent they?? So tactically u tell your team to stick it to them by and bury a 4-2 comback to a 6-2.. But no….. Arsne tactically got it wrong again..

      Arsenal dont really need another wont work for them because they are not defesively minded anyway.. We need a true DM to stand beside song or cover for him when he’s out.

      • Kushagra India says:

        The point is with our injury record we have taken a huge gamble on our defence…Djooruo has never played more than 20 matches approx per season..

  51. Arsenal4 says:

    This is how it goes.. If Diaby stays down… Barton, could be get red or at least yellow.. We are no doubt will end winning…

    What happen happened. In a way I do feel for Diaby, the slow mo showed he’s lucky baryon didn’t break his legs… He stand up for himself, but not in the right way… If Arsenal survived then the complexion of story will become on how Barton almost broke Diaby….. Well now instead of that the magpies scum can claim the mother of all come back…

    Very frustrating, hopefully the team take on the positives from this game and keep the team spirit alive .. After all we’re still unbeaten in the last 11 games… In just hope Djorou doing ok…

    As for those who’s blaming squillaci, I don’t see the point? None of the goal came from him. let’s just be positive we need everyone in our team at this stage. Keep on believing!

    • Ajinkya says:

      i was thinking exactly the same thing. Diaby should have stayed down. It was a dangerous challenge after all. And he knows what a broken leg feels like. At least the play would have stopped. And what does barton do? He puts in a performance that people would want to nominate for the oscars, pleading innocent. If you look at his face, you would want to have his nose flattened with a kick. WHACK!
      busquets is going to have a tough time at the awards, he’s got so much competition.

  52. oz_gooner says:

    There was 2 min extra time given in the first half for a start.. That 2 min became 3 min 40 sec.. How do u figure Dowd?? He gave every opportunity to newcastle to post at least 1 before half time.. That i thought was a bad sign in itself.

    How scum barton got a away with a yellow for his tackle on arshavin was a disgrace..even the commentary said that tackle would of been a yellow any day of the week.. it was blatant and obvious..but dowd saw it differently

    This performance could easily have bad ramifications for arsenal.. mentally this draw was heartbreaking and demoralising for the players out there for sure..

    With injuiries to djourou and vermalen still out how can we defend agaisnt barca next week.

    This champions league result i believe will have a pivotal outcome. if we lose badly then arsenal will fold for the rest of the year mentally they just wont be able to cope with it. However.. If we win or at least draw against barca it could spark our players back into gear.

  53. Kushagra India says:

    Desi—I believe Kozzer Squid partnership is not cutting the mustard too many errors and they always look nervy when they play together and i would partially blame in on squid..

  54. Kushagra India says:

    about the ref
    barton on shava

    barton tries to snap diabys leg

    barton scores 2 pens

    2nd pens is weakest pen in premiership history

    • santori says:

      You think that’s bad? I had to watch an American feed (FOX) and endure Warren Barton’s stupidity (of course he’s biased).

      he took the opporunity to trash our defense without properly taking into account the mitigating circumstances :

      1) We were down to 10 with Diaby sent off
      2) Ref awarded a soft penalty
      3) Djourou was off with an injury.

      Having said that, as Desi said, we should have had enough composure to lock down the game with a four goal lead.

      Simple case of poor substitutions and failure to issue proper tactical orders from the bench. Wenger and Pat seem to prefer to sit on their hands.

  55. Sonu says:

    Dear Alex Ferguson,

    Many a times, you have won penalties that never were. Scored goals that never were. Extra time that never was. Red cards that never were. Earned free kicks/fouls that never were. Hand balls that never were. Bought referees in transfer windows. Cheated your way through competitions.

    What the fuck were you thinking when you laid your eyes upon our unbeaten record?

  56. santori says:

    Spot on Desi.

    1) Ref was poor. Very soft penalty and Barton got away lightly. Also thought RVP’s volley strike at the end was not offside.

    2)Diaby. Silly. Hope Song will be back end of the week because we are out of muscle without Song, Diaby and dare I say, Denilson.

    3)Subs. Absolutely agree, Bendtner should have come home to hustle and harry and yes Gibbs out right would have given us some extra legs. Rosicky and Eboue were the wrong choice.

    Again goes to the point that Wenger and co. are not sufficient when it comes to tactical changes and communicating them quickly enough.

    4) Exceedingly vexed at the end of the game with the result but about an hour plus later, elated to see United had dropped 3 points and despite our capitulation, we had cut their lead to 4pts. 😀

    5) You are absolutely right that this is the sort of result that could affect our season. Wenger has got to get the team’s mindset fixed quickly.

    We have gained ground despite the result and should put this game to rest.

    Most worrying right now are Djourou and Song’s conditions. Hopefully both will be back next week for the big one.

    • JJ Pittman says:

      1) sad to say RvP was offside
      2) you do not dare say Denilson has any muscle at all
      4) while I despise ManUre & Ferguson, it is on us to get our own results.
      Otherwise, agree, especially Song needed most, he is our most courageous man on pitch,although far from our most talented.

  57. Ajinkya says:

    phil dowd was giving fouls away cheaply in the second half, and that idiot barton was going down almost everytime. The second penalty was cheap but Rosicky was was caught pushing him. He had a poor game indeed.
    As for Squillaci, he may not have committed errors but he does not do much. You couldn’t see him, and it was almost like 9 against 11. Squillaci must improve.
    Considering the possibility that Djourou misses the next game, we are in deep trouble because we are short of defensive midfielders too, with no news on Song and the others coming up.

  58. Arun says:

    Only a ManUnited loss could have consoled me from making this disappointed into distress. Oh! Boy, did it happen. Feeling much relieved now. Now its one point less gap for the top.
    I believe its the timing and combination of errors from our players and officials, also some brilliant display from Newcastle (for their spirit and Tiote goal), we lost two points. When looking at a match like this, you understand the concept of “chaos” theory – how little things add up eventually to become a catastrophe. Allowing a 4 goal comeback in the last half hour of the match is a catastrophic performance from us. There is no denying that.
    But what I would want is a reaction from our players to this result. A positive reaction. A look at themselves in the mirror and swearing to themselves never to repeat a mistake again, never to drop the spirit and swearing to put in a winning performance starting from next match and every match.
    And a final note to Mr.Diaby : In addition,You should swear at yourself not to let the team down again EVER!!!

  59. AP says:

    Again Arsenal commits harakiri and again the team at the top loses and keeps the title race interesting. If history is an indication ManU are going down hereafter.
    Arsenal actually close the lead by a point after conceding 4 goals in a half. Smells like fixing 🙂
    One thing i absolutely do not understand is that at 4-2 with 15 mins left, why would one not bring in someone like Chamakh for his aerial and holding abilities. Arsenal had lost Djourou, were losing everything in the air even inside their box, would really not be looking for a goal from there on, not sure why RVP was kept on field.

  60. Irish Desi Gooner says:


  61. critic says:

    desi, pity such a good article is wasted on moronic fans.

    It seems nobody in arsenal world sees beyond referees and FA corruption.

    Yes refs were idiots but arsenal didn’t show up in the 2nd half. May be they were drunk???

    Ok, no more speculations but u rightly said djorou was the real turning point of the last game and perhaps our season.

    I am getting nervous with arsenal not finishing in cl places with 2 defenders(hopefully, friendlies will be generous on us).

    what’s ur thought on this??

  62. Kushagra India says:

    Desi on the leadership issue ,Viera would never had allowed muppet like Barton flying all over the pitch with 2 footed lunges thats where we lack taking the game by the scruff of the neck as they say Cesc was absent in the 2nd half…Its plain to see we crumble more often than the likes of Manure or Chelski..

  63. Kushagra India says:

    After the loss of JD we couldn’t win anything in the air…

  64. Kushagra India says:

    From Le-Grove–

    “The fact is, sh*t happens in football, things go against you, you pick up injuries, unnecessary red cards and the referees sometimes seem like they’re being paid off by undercover NoTW reporters. It’s how you deal with those issues that decides whether you’re a champion or not.”

    • critic says:

      exactly, and rightly said.

      It’s pathetic that gooners are hiding behind a fact which is now a universal truth.


      The real show of character is gonna next few weeks. Will title contenders show up, or will it be a bunch of losers feeling sorry for themselves????

      I certainly hope the former one. If we don’t win anything then that’s that.

      If anything, this is the time to show to the world what we really are made up of – same old excuses or nail bitting grit.

  65. Kushagra India says:

    Le-Grove Thomas Vermaelen is doing really well in training. The bad news? Well, when we had JD and Kozzer doing fantastically as a partnership, there was no rush to bring back the powerful Belgian. Now we’re facing 3 weeks with Squillaci at the back, there is every chance we’ll rush his rehab. That’s a very dangerous position to be and there is no avoiding the cold hard facts…

  66. Kushagra India says:

    same with Manure Ferdinand injured and their defence messes ..

  67. Kushagra India says:

    Chelsea vs Liverpool tonite I will be a scouser for one day..

  68. Kushagra India says:

    and last but not the least about KARMA. bendy’s wasn’t a pen against huddersfield same with Chamakh in his early days he went down at first chance so we have only ourselves to blame and if Djourou is seriously injured than Wenger big time ,because a manager needs to play on the odds sometimes especially when u r desperate for a trophy that’s not artificial pressure that’s of ur own making…

  69. Sonu says:

    I have for a long time been a critic of Wenger’s substitutions. Now, I am not claiming in anyway I know the game better but the moment that Diaby got sent off the changes should have been made instantly. Arshavin’s presence would become Null and void once we are down to 10 men, playing away at an intimidating place like Newcastle with the team fired up.Bendtner has shown great desire this season to help out the defence and he could have also provided a decent out ball and provided better aerial presence when defending set-plays.
    I just feel Wenger delays his substitutions too long and even if hell breaks loose it seems he has his mind made up to wait until the magical 60 minute mark before he starts to think of a substitution.Even yesterday he made the changes after the Toons scored a goal and were fired up.

    • richie says:

      Against Everton I think Arsene’s changes were spot on! But yesterday’s were unfathomable because knowing Rosicky’s in a bad patch how Arsene could decide to play him in the hope he could play himself into form beats me. Especially in a situation where we were in need of solid performances in midfield.

  70. Hong_gunner says:

    this is shambolic and pathetic. I love my team, have always done it, but last night was pathetic. 1st half, we were cruising and fine, second half, we hit ourselves in the foot once diaby was sent off. we can blame the refs all we like, but you can’t blame a 0-4 lead lost on all refereeing decisions. the 1st penalty was spot on. 2nd penalty was a bit soft for them, but rosicky never needed to go take the chance. Its easier to say in hindsight, but I was there when I felt and saw the nerves of all our players started to shake at 1-4. its tears me apart weak in week out. we are still in with a shout for the title, no doubt, but I’m still in with a belief of the title this year only because there are no other teams who can run away with the league. all the teams have been equally shite. lets not fake ourselves, a team throwing away a 4 goal lead are surely not the best team in the country(yes, we play the best football in the country, but this team aren’t the perfect material yet). if we still want to hide behind the fact that we get kicked everytime everywhere we go, then welcome to football. thats how the game has been played in the country for as long as it has been.

  71. Hong_gunner says:

    and yes, I never have spoken out about any of our players as this(may be I have about Cygan and Stephanov and Jeffers, but fuck it), Squillaci is shit. is it a mere co-incidence that we ship in goals for fun when kos and squid are paired at the back? No. is Kos a bad defender? No. but squillaci might be the worst defender to put on an arsenal shirt for the last 20 years. he doesn’t have pace, doesn’t have strength, is shit in the air, doesn’t have leadership at the back. when you don’t have those, you’re fucked as a defender in the premiership. may be its not his fault that he is shit(or may be it is). but you get my point. I seriously don’t want to see squillaci on the team sheet when we go out at the Emirates to take on Barca. I seriously don’t.
    btw, who’s going? anyone near me? Im towards the front of the lower tier. I’ll be going in my Fabregas shirt. call me if you spot me.

    • Sonu says:

      I thought Squillaci was a decent player when he first arrived but I guess it was just beginners luck.I think he is amongst the worst signings too, right up there with the likes of Silvestre and Cygan.

  72. TAR says:

    Can’t the FA charge this stupid ref for negligence? And i dont understand the papers saying this is an amazing comeback when we played against 12 players?Between Howard Web and Phil Dowd i dont know who is worste, the fake penalty giver or the one who is bias on all counts? I think there’s a bit of underhand stuff going on with the ref’s…

    • Hong_gunner says:

      TAR, yes Dowd is a weak person and a cunt of a referee. but leave that alone. we could have done so many things tactically as well as on the pitch TO PROTECT A 4 GOAL LEAD. as amazed as i’ve been in a long long time.

      • Claver says:


        ManU lost. That tells you the margins are so tight a Ref can change the game.

        Our team fought bravely, the tactics were spot on. The Ref IS to blame,don’t be naive and DON’T hide from the truth.

      • Hong_gunner says:

        @ Claver – you say the team fought bravely, I’ll give you that. you say the tactics were spot on, I’ll rightly tell you you’re a clueless cunt regarding football. yes, the ref was to blame. but don’t make a fool of yourself blaming a 4 goal lead blown away fully on the ref. the ref played his part, yes. but what was Diaby thinking? its a fucking football pitch, you can’t react over there to scums like Barton who keep provoking players all the time. Was Wenger on drugs when he took off Walcott and removed our only chance of getting behind their defense regularly to release the pressure. may be we could have scored a 5th had Walcott stayed on*(in case you understand football). face the truth when you know you’re been wrong, and on saturday, we were utterly shit in the second half.

  73. Kushagra India says:

    If Chelsea miss out at Ucl which will certainly prove God exists ,my mind shudders to think of Torres’ mental health what an IRONY… 😆

  74. Claver says:


    Please, in circumstances like this, could you filter out those comments blaming our players when it is obvious they were playing against the Ref and Newcastle plus an inmate(ex).

    The notion that our players are somehow to blame is idiotic and nonsense.

    If a player is injured because a criminal (ex) like Joey Barton thinks the pitch is a prison fight then the Ref must be held accountable.

    These youngsters have families, those families have trusted the Ref to play by the rules and this is the sort of thing the Ref permits.

    If I had a family member injured like that I’d sue and prove that the Ref’s ‘inconsistencies’ (not fit for use) resulted in injury.

    I think that it’s time players took up Law, much like they did regarding transfers (Bosman).

    The betting industry behind these games has become extremely lucrative. It is naive in the extreme to think that Refs are not influenced by all that money sloshing around.

  75. […] Newcastle 4 – 4 Arsenal: Match Thoughts And Individual Analysis I don’t remember the last time I felt such kaleidoscopic emotions in a football game. The first half was […] […]

  76. Claver says:


    These guys posting on about ‘forget Dowd’ we could have done better, know jack-all about sport or football.

    The fact that ManU lost,in a competitive game with a competent Ref (on the day), tells you that the margins are extremely close. You only need a few decisions to go for you to win a match.

    So for these persons to suggest that our players to suggest that somehow our players are to blame strikes me strange.

    Are these folks being paid to cover the decisions of the Refs? To make it seem everything is ok and Arsenal ‘just’ lost?

    Be very careful Desi, if you are to remain objective please see the trees. Not the wood.

    It is as though it is a kind of propaganda to say the players are to blame. Arsene should have bought players…blah..blah..blah.

    Don’t believe a word of it Desi. The chaps writing this stuff are on here to maintain a kind of status quo.

    Watch the game again Desi, and tell me what you see, with the rule book in one hand.

    It’s rotten, fishy, smarmy…it stinks. And we are being asked to spend an hour of our lives a week watching it.

    We must demand better quality Refs, men of infinitely better integrity than this rotten bunch. Otherwise to hell with it.

  77. Claver says:


    Don’t believe these guys coming on here blaming Arsene and or the team.

    Don’t be swayed by them Desi. Hypocritical liars most of them.

    Our players stood up, fought bravely and did so to a standstill. They will be the more wiser for it.

    I am enormously chuffed to be an Arsenal team supporter. It takes 11+1 to draw with us.

    * It is peculiar that our best players suffer injuries at their peak.

  78. Claver says:

    On and win the next game.

  79. Sonu says:

    This week, it wasn’t the players but the “Referees” who were contesting for the MOTM awards in most games. Every ref made a determined effort but Phil Dowd wins it for the 2 crucial penalties scored against Arsenal and letting Barton play Prison style football which he is accustomed to, earning a draw so Man utd end up with a 4 point lead instead of 2.

  80. Phil23 says:

    I am amazed that there is little reaction after Van Persie competed his hat trick with one of the nicest goals i’ve ever seen yet was denied it by blatantly biased refs. After the pens, after all those things going against us, we then go on to win the game just to have the goal stolen away from us. Why are people so angry over the pens but not angry about the goal we scored being taken away?

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