Arsenal vs Newcastle United – Preview of Game

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We have an important FA Cup 4th Round Cup Tie at the Emirates tomorrow, and a Newcastle win against Arsenal may not be that much of a fantasy, as it would have been a couple of weeks ago.

Arsenal of course are coming off their worst defeat of the season when they were thumped 5-1 by Tottenham Hotspur in the semi finals second leg of the Carling Cup which saw Spurs reach the final. However, it was a tremendous game to watch, with both teams attacking each other end to end – the way the game was meant to be played.

This may be a good time or a bad time to meet the London giants, but manager Kevin Keegan insists it’s a good time for Newcastle to be playing Arsenal.

On the Arsenal side of thing Philippe Senderos is available again after missing the Carling Cup tie with an injury to his nose. Johan Djourou (groin) and Robin van Persie (thigh) though are still missing, and Denilson his a hamstring injury and will be out for about 3 weeks or so.

Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Alex Song are at the African Cup of Nations.

On the Newcastle side we are missing Africans – Martins, Faye, Beye and Geremi. Mark Viduka will again miss the game with a calf muscle strain and Joey Barton is still unavailable, due to his strict bail conditions and not being match fit.

Emre will miss the game while serving the second of his two match match ban, for being sent off against Stoke City.

Keegan will pick an attacking Newcastle team in a 4-4-2 formation again, and we think Alan Smith will get a start in his best position – up front – alongside our new captain Michael Owen. We were pleased that Kevin said Alan’s best position is up front, so hopefully we’ll never see him on the wing again, although he can do a decent job in central midfield.

We think Kevin will select the following team:

Carr Taylor Cacapa Enrique
Milner Butt N’Zogbia Duff
Smith Owen
Subs: Harper Rozehnal Ameobi Edgar Troisi

This team gives Alan Smith a chance to partner Owen up front and also gives Charles N’Zogbia another shot at the attacking midfield position, which currently is up for grabs. We don’t have too much in reserve, and with 17 year-old Kazenga Lua Lua being injured, we may see 19 year-old James Troisi, our young Australian, given a turn on the subs bench along with Ameobi.

We think this will be a good attacking game to watch and we’d like to see a lot more belief coming from the Newcastle side, now that Kevin has had a full week to get his unshakable belief in himself and the team, across to the players.

Both managers play attacking football and are so good for the game, and both seem to respect each other, and we could get an excellent attacking game tomorrow – hope so. We’re not expecting too much from the game in truth, but we’d like to see the lads have a go – and we’re sure they’ll do just that.

Fortune favors the brave – and anything is possible – now that Kevin’s back. 😀

What do you think? What team should Kevin field?

Let us know – comments and opinions always welcome – just keep it decent for the youngsters.

Arsenal supporters are also very welcome to our site.

33 comments so far

  • Leo*

    Jan 25, 2008 at 8:27 PM

    Comment #1

    good article. although i dont think we will win it

    attack them, maybe get a draw that would please me. and then bring them back to sjp and we can mash them haha

  • Micky

    Jan 25, 2008 at 8:32 PM

    Comment #2

    I like the look of the above team apart from having Shola on the bench leave him out and put Carroll there instead – much better player and a one for the future, Shoola has had his chance and proved thats he’s never going to do it for Newcastle. Sell him now before everyone else realises.

  • Walter Tibbs

    Jan 25, 2008 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #3

    “…although [Smith] can do a decent job in central midfield.”

    It was a good article up until this point. Smith in central midfield is one of the key reasons we have been so poor this season, and arguably the main reason we were overrun at Old Trafford. Tracks back lazily like the striker he is, can’t pick out a pass and is perhaps the only tackler worse than Paul Scholes.

    He’s an extremely limited player living off his Leeds reputation (which was vastly overrated anyway) and the fact Allardyce paid a scandalous £6mio for him was a major nail in his managerial coffin before the season had even started.

  • toonfan1

    Jan 25, 2008 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #4

    i think that carroll will be on the bench instead of troisi. this is the only change but the line up looks a decent one. maybe we can nick a draw or even a win but we need to keep it tight at the back and play good football. my predication is arsenal 2-1 newcastle with our goal coming from Zog but you neva know with the fa cup…

  • Gooderz

    Jan 25, 2008 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #5

    I hope Smith gets the nod to partner Owen. Arsenal suffered a huge defeat to Spurs and Smith caused no end of problems for them in our last match against them, so whilst they try and bounce back, the threat Smith posed last time could stick in their minds and the gaps may be that bit bigger for Owen, Duff, Zogs, and Milner to exploit.

  • Hadrian

    Jan 25, 2008 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #6

    kev got it spot on today , you cant sit back against team’s like arsenal as sooner or later they always open you up .
    the less time on the ball you give them the better , and get in their face when you have not got the ball.
    i want to see some movement from the lads tommorow , nice thru balls and good one two’s , things that have been lacking all season .

    you picked the same team as me Ed.

  • tommyy

    Jan 25, 2008 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #7

    tbh if we go toe to toe attacking we will likely lose. there just a much better side. as long as we put on a good show im happy though.

  • jimmer

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:05 PM

    Comment #8

    carroll deserves the bench. keep him motivated and hope he can bang the goals in more often, for both reserves and the first team. he can come on when we’re three nil up!

  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:18 PM

    Comment #10

    fk off, we dnt need a fkin centre back, we need a fookin decent central midifielder, at this moment id be happy to go cheap, go eguren, powerful brute of a goalscoring dm, what can we get him for, about 600k! Just giving and example of a half decent player who imo would do well and if we phoned him up now he would run down here and sign straight away.

  • MNToon

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:21 PM

    Comment #11

    Any update on Lua Lua?

  • carl

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:23 PM

    Comment #12

    lads its a long shot but at 7-1 for us to win its worth a tenner

  • antz

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:36 PM

    Comment #13

    dont tell me to f***k off you half witted prick!

  • antz

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:36 PM

    Comment #14

    dont tell me to f***c off you half witted imbocile!!

  • Tripp

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:40 PM

    Comment #15

    I just want a spirited performance. Anything else is gravy.

  • Steve

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:51 PM

    Comment #16

    We dont need a centre half! Do you go to the matches cos if you do, we most be watching different teams. We are DESPERATE for a centre half. Also a left back, centre mid and a goalscorer

  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:55 PM

    Comment #17

    we need a fookin decent cm and that wont put half as much pressure on the defence as is happening at the moment, defend from the front!

  • Greg B

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:56 PM

    Comment #18

    Agree with you Steve, Id say top CB, good creative midfielder and a top, top goalscorer, left back too if possible but I do think Enrique will come on leaps and bounds now with N’Zogbia used there in emergency.
    Also agree, would prefer to see Carroll on bench ahead of Ameobi, especially after his hat-trick for the youth team.
    Finally, antz, that was one fk funny retort 🙂

  • Leo*

    Jan 25, 2008 at 9:59 PM

    Comment #19

    im of the same mind of tom toon that we need a good centre midfielder and it will ease the problems with the defence, at the moment our cm players are enviting the other team to our defence….

    but i also think that if we get woody back we can then push faye into his prefered position and he is a great dcm

    either way because i think faye is a great defender and i think its a good idea to try and get both and a right winger

  • keegan

    Jan 25, 2008 at 10:03 PM

    Comment #20



  • Tom_Toon

    Jan 25, 2008 at 10:08 PM

    Comment #21

    fyi, i wasnt even responding my derogatory comment to antz. Just get a half decent stop gap cm until the summer for under 1 mil and if he isnt that good, at least we got option and if he is good, bargain!

  • briss

    Jan 25, 2008 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #22

    oy, isn’t barton supposed to be in the starting 11 or on the bench for this match? i still think barton is a good player and shouldn’t be written off for his future here like. i know KK hasn’t turned his back on him yet, he said so himself!

  • daiv

    Jan 25, 2008 at 10:35 PM

    Comment #23

    Smith is rubbish. The worst buy of BFS. Kev will realize soon and he’ll start for Hartlepool reserves. Cent mid is a real weakness. We create very little so score very little. We could have maradonna playing for us but he would be useless as well because he would not get the ball in dangerous positions. Forget defence and attack Kev..focus on the two positions in central mid

  • Dave

    Jan 25, 2008 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #24

    rozehnal instead of butt

  • ToonKing

    Jan 25, 2008 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #25

    i don’t know, i’ve been running my mouth to mates and on other forums, that we will win in style…………..but deep inside i’m just a scared little kid who knows that we might very well loose this one…… 🙁 ……. 🙂

  • DanOx

    Jan 25, 2008 at 11:32 PM

    Comment #26

    I reckon Rozenhal for Cacapa, From quotes this week KK seems to have inspired our czech CB. Also Woody would be a quality signing, he was absolutely awesome under bobby, if i remember rightly, just his presence in the team caused titus to play like a world class centre back, imagine what he could do for taylor… At the very least lets give arsenal a good scare in these next 2 games.

  • scott9

    Jan 26, 2008 at 12:09 AM

    Comment #27

    yes thats what i said yesterday tom_toon just get a cheap cm
    we really need a central midfiled player even if its someone on loan its a no lose situation .
    i reaaly hope we get pandev aswell i want to see some flair

  • Steve

    Jan 26, 2008 at 1:10 AM

    Comment #28

    I like Beye but Cacapa, Rosenthal and Enrique are just not up to the rigours of the Premiership. Too many mistakes, they are simply not good enough. For years we have been weak in central defence. You can have the best and hardest working midfielders in the world but if you dont have decent central defenders, you are pissing against the wind cos thats the areas where teams pump balls into. Lets get through this season by making a couple of additions (centre half Woodgate and a goal scorer in the mould of Kyut) Come the summer go after both Carrick and Berbetov as our big signings supported by Wes Brown and Wayne Bridge

  • Ryan Syahril

    Jan 26, 2008 at 4:07 AM

    Comment #29

    Good article Ed..
    My 11st eleven would be:
    We’ll win or draw if we score first and lead them at the untill 75 minutes. If they lead us at the an hour mark.. I would say bye!bye! FA Cup 2008!
    (just my prediction…. Hoowaayyy!)

  • liam

    Jan 26, 2008 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #30





    Subs: Harper Rozenhal Troisi Carroll Ameobi

  • Sinead

    Jan 26, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #31

    “Fortune favors the brave – and anything is possible”

    (I’m going to ramble so bare with me)

    It does, but for that Newcastle need to be brave, to put themselves on the line here, they’ve nothing to loose. Nothing at all.

    I don’t know how many of ye know the Munster rugby team a few might a few mightn’t. But there’s a few says that they have, one is “Stand Up and Fight”

    Another one is

    “To the Brave and the Faithful Nothing is Impossible.”

    If there was ever a team that wins it when they’ve no right to, when all the odds are against them and are playing a team made of superstars and millions, in a do or die match, and everyone says they can’t. It’s Munster, they’ve been famous for making the impossible possible, because they’ve the “Sheer bloody mindedness” to win when they’re not supposed to, they’re so passionate and the amount of pride they have is insane. The fans play a massive role in that, because they cheer every tackle, every effort. But the Munster lads fight for every inch of grass on that pitch.

    Now Newcastle, really have no right to win today, but that still doesn’t mean that they can’t. There’s always been a sense of romance about the Munster team, I can’t really explain it, it’s not in football anymore really because of players going in and out, no one plays for their own city, not really, it’s all very business like. But I believe that if Newcastle do stand up and fight and do believe then they can win this match, or at least make Arsenal bloody work for it.

    Once they play their best, once they run down every ball, cover every peace of grass, then faith will decide. You can’t ask for any more then that.
    Then when Munster do loose they’re not booed off the pitch, their fans sing them off, I’ve been watching them play for God knows how many years, I have NEVER heard one boe from a Munster fan. Do you how many Newcastle fans have had this season alone??

    I’m going to borrow another phrase from Irish sport, about what Newcastle need to do today..”give it a lash” and not look back.

    There’s no point sitting there, playing defensively waiting for Arsenal to attack cause they’ll eventually probably score with all the class they have. Newcastle need to run at them bring the game to them, attack them, and if we do concede we need to pick the ball out of the net and go at them again. Fortunes favours the brave?? Then they need to show their fans and everyone else how brave they really are.

  • ChrisL

    Jan 26, 2008 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #32

    You just need to look at Keegan’s history of the wingers he picks to know that we’re very unlikely to see Smith out there again. He wants pace or skill or both (Think Ginola/Gillespie), neither of those are Alan’s strong points. He’ll be just fine up front with Owen.

  • xf8e8aa

    Feb 7, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #33

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