It’s good news that Newcastle have avoided the bait put out by Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill a couple of days ago, and the Tyneside club stayed silent after Martin’s rather surprising outburst at his press conference on Tuesday.
John Carver – preparing for trip to Arsenal
That’s good because it’s time to put the derby behind us – it’s over – it’s gone – and we got one point from it – time to move on.
And of course it doesn’t get any easier as next up for the lads is a very tough game at Arsenal next Monday night.
Arsenal did really well on Tuesday night when they only just failed to come back form the 4-0 trouncing they took in Milan in the first leg of their European tie with AC Milan.
They were 3-0 up at the half, but couldn’t get those extra two goals which would have seen them mount the most incredible comeback in European Champions League history.
If Newcastle can show some of the form over the last 11 games that they were in earlier this season , we have a decent chance of finishing 6th in the league table.
And that would be the best we have done since Bobby Robson was sacked for only getting Newcastle into 5th position in the 2003-2004 season.
I’m not making this up – as that was one of the major reasons given by then Chairman Freddy Shepherd on why Bobby was sacked in late August of 2004.
Assistant Manager John Carver was at the Emirates for the Arsenal-Milan tie on Tuesday night, and he had this to say today to the local press corps:
“The derby is out of the way now and we concentrate on the last 11 games.” “Arsenal put in so much effort the other night and while they won 3-0 it must have been hugely disappointing to do that and not get through.”
“It would have been incredible if they’d come back.” “But for us now this is still a tough game.” “And Arsenal have that extra couple of days to recover with the game being on the Monday.”
“We don’t know what team they will play.” “But the good news is we have a decent record over them of late.” “We beat them 1-0 there last season, and staged the fightback in the 4-4 draw last year.”
“And this year we had the 0-0 draw at home on the first game of the season.” “They are strong but we will look to continue our record against them.”
Arsene Wenger has finally got Arsenal back on track, and they are starting to play good attacking football again and are in 4th position in the league table, above Chelsea.
Newcastle’s chance on Monday is to concentrate on Arsenal’s still weak defense, and we have to hope that Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi can upset the Arsenal rearguard, and if they can do that we could get a point in London.
The last thing we want next Monday is to concede five goals again for the the third time running in London.
That would be a disaster – and I wish I hadn’t even mentioned it – come to think of it. 😀