It may seem surprising, but Newcastle have more than a decent chance of starting their Premier League season on Saturday with a win against Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger – big troubles in pre-season
The London club have had their own troubles in pre-season, and it now looks like their best two players, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, will almost certainly be leaving the club.
And more to the point, they will not be playing on Saturday at St. James’ Park.
And there’s news today in the Evening Chronicle that Arsene is already upset because he cannot get booked into his favorite hotel on Tyneside, because there is a wedding going on there.
So it seems that Arsene is starting this season as he ended last season, a rather frustrated and angry manager.
This is what a source close to the Arsenal camp told the Evening Chronicle today:
“Arsene loves everything to be perfect when it comes to preparation, but this wedding has thrown a real spanner in the works.”
“It was caused by the kick-off time being changed meaning a change of venue.”
“If it had have been a 3pm kick off, they could have had their pre-match meeting after breakfast and been setting off at lunchtime for the ground.”
“But the rooms they were using for pre-match meetings were already set aside for the wedding – and the alternatives wouldn’t have guaranteed the concentration needed before the game because of the merriment of the wedding party.”
“Having to change the hotel because of a wedding certainly didn’t go down well with Arsene and staying in Durham the night before is hardly ideal.”
Newcastle haven’t had a good pre-season of course, but it could be that things are coming together rather nicely, with Cheick Tiote now back on Tyneside, Gabriel Obertan signed yesterday, and at least Joey Barton is back training with the first team squad, although his status for Saturday is still unclear.
And Arsene Wenger was hardly helped yesterday by these statements from Ian Wright:
“It looks like some dark days are ahead. I’m hearing Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri could be gone within a week — and still only Gervinho, Carl Jenkinson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have arrived.”
“Gael Clichy has left while Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Eboue are on their way, with no other replacements. I often get criticism from Arsenal fans these days and came off Twitter due to the amount of stick.”
“But I was only being honest and I’ve only ever wanted what’s best for the club.” “Yet it seems Wenger’s revolution has ground to a halt. Now, I fear he may end up walking away.”
The disruptions at Arsenal are to Newcastle’s advantage, and given Alan Pardew has a good record against Arsenal in his management career, we could well get a win on Saturday, and even a draw would be okay.
But Newcastle can really help Wenger’s season get off to a terrible start, with a Newcastle win on Saturday, and that will raise the spirits of Newcastle fans everywhere.
That’s what we are hoping for.
Howay The Lads!!