This was a very close game this afternoon, and Newcastle can feel a little unlucky to go down by a single second half goal, after the game was very even for much of the time.
Koscielny bangs in the winning goal for Arsenal
Sunderland managed to be beaten 1-0 at Tottenham, so a late equalizer by Newcastle would have seen Tottenham go into 4th place above Arsenal, but it wasn’t to be, even though Newcastle did their best to come back after we went 1-0 down after 52 minutes, to a Koscielny goal.
And what was too apparent in this game. was we simply don’t have enough players who can score goals – and we certainly need to bring in two strikers in the summer.
To get the bad stuff out of the way – this was Newcastle’s second worst season ever in the Premier League with our second worst points total of 41, our worst goal difference ever at -23, and our worst goals against ever at 68 goals conceded – and we lost a massive 9 games at St. James’ Park. 🙁
Newcastle have finished in an embarrassing 16th position – 5th bottom – which is the lowest we have ever finished apart from our relegation season four years ago, when we were in 18th position – 3rd bottom.
We were 5th top last season and 5th bottom this season – unbelievable – and who said Newcastle were an easy team to support?
But at least we have finished one place above Sunderland – and the two north-east clubs were the bottom two teams above the three teams relegated – it’s hard to get much worse than that unless we are both relegated.
And it just about sums up what has been a simply terrible season in the league for Newcastle – and we have to do an awful lot better next season, or else big changes will need to be made by Mike Ashley.
In our last six games of the season we collected only 5 points and conceded 12 goals and scored only two goals – and mostly we were pathetic in the run-in apart form the win at QPR – which was the only saving grace – although today our lads were a little unlucky yo lose.
There must be a vast improvement next season.
And if Newcastle were hoping to finish on a high today, it just didn’t happen, and other teams beside us in the table like West Ham, Norwich and Fulham all won – and hence our very low and embarrassing position in the league table, as we lost 3 places from the 13th position we started the game in.
But there were also a lot of good things to take out of this game, on a positive note, and the defense was strong and kept Arsenal pegged down for large portions of this game, but it was our lack of goal-scoring up front which was the difference between the sides, and Theo Walcott almost made it worse in added time, when he hit the post when it would have been easier to score.
For Newcastle Yanga-Mbiwa, Steve Harper, Ben Arfa and Yohan Gouffran were our best players – but why was Gouffran taken off in the second half – when he looked one of Newcastle’s most threatening players?
And is it just me or does Yanga-Mbiwa look like a first class player at left back?
The winning goal came from a free kick on the right after 52 minutes, when Podolski headed the ball forward and Koscielny from five yards out banged the ball into the back of the net.
A draw would probably have been a fairer result, but that would have only seen us move up two places in the league table and our position in the Premier League of 16th – after finishing 5th last season – may make it difficult to attract good players in the summer.
In truth – this was a season to forget in the Premier League – and that’s what we’ll do – just as quickly as possible – 5th bottom is not where Newcastle should be.
Finally, Steve Harper had a solid game today – and we thank Steve for being such a great servant of Newcastle United over 20 years, and today he played his 199th and final game for the Tyneside club.
It’s thanks for the memories to Steve Harper – but as far as this season goes the memories were mostly awful and even embarrassing at times.
With such a terrible season we just hope it spurs Mike Ashley into spending some real money to bring in say three top players this summer.
Hope springs eternal – but in truth we’re embarrassed about this season – it’s hard to take.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Steve Harper (c); Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Adam Campbell 81); Yohan Cabaye (Vurnon Anita 57), Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse, Yoan Gouffran (Sylvain Marveaux 65)
Subs not used: Jak Alnwick, Danny Simpson, James Perch, Gabriel Obertan
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs; Mikel Arteta (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 28), Aaron Ramsey; Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla (Jack Wilshere 89) Theo Walcott; Lukas Podolski (Olivier Giroud 78)
Subs not used: Lukasz Fabianski, Nacho Monreal, Thomas Vermaelen, Gervinho
Referee: Howard Webb