For the second time in four games Newcastle had a man sent off in a Premier League game in the first half, and today it was Aleksandar Mitrovic who was sent off for a late tackle on Coquelin after only 16 minutes, and TV replays showed it should have only been a yellow.
Basically referee Andre Marriner ruined this game as a contest after 16 minutes with the sending off, and he also managed to give three Newcastle players a yellow card in the first 26 minutes as each time the Arsenal player would writhe around in agony on the pitch.
These shows of being in agony by players who then get up as if nothing had happened – have to stop – and the Premier League have to be concerned with some of the inept displays of referee we keep witnessing every week.
This was the game – right here
It’s got to be said that Newcastle defended well and looked resilient again in this game, but we just cannot keep getting out players sent off in these games and now it looks like young Mitrovic will miss the next three games – so at least we now know Papiss Cisse will not be sold before the transfer window closes.
The other thing is that when Mitrovic was sent off, Newcastle were just about surviving the tremendous Arsenal pressure they applied early in the game, and we could have made a real game of it if we had 11 men on the pitch.
It could have been a really entertaining game with 11 against 11.
Unfortunately Mitrovic looks to have a reputation that precedes him now, and with two yellow cards and a red in his first four league games he’s prone to get into more trouble unless he can control himself a bit – and that goes for other Newcastle players too.
At one point in the first half with three Newcastle players on yellows we were scared in case Marriner had another player sent off for two yellow cards and we would be down to nine men.
We have lost 6 points this season basically through indiscipline – but we were really hard done by this afternoon.
There’s not much Steve McClaren or the players could do, other than try to hang on and make quick breakaways or rely on a set play to score.
Newcastle even had some luck before the red card, when after 12 minutes Arsenal had a penalty appeal turned down after Thauvin was seen to trip Nacho Monreal in the box.
It was 0-0 at the half and the referee was booed as he left the field for a terrible biased performance.
The Arsenal goal came after 52 minutes when Tim Krul had just made an excellent save, but the ball went to Chamberlain who hit the ball that deflected off Coloccini, and it went in off Tim Krul’s right hand post.
Newcastle were a little unlucky there.
Obviously Arsenal had nearly all the possession and right at the end Olivier Giroud had an open goal, but Tim Krul saved his shot to at least keep the score respectable.
Newcastle defended well again this week and w elooked very well organized, and Steve McClaren brought on Perez, Cisse and Siem de Jong in the second to relieve some of the Newcastle players – who will have again ended this game knackered.
Marriner booked six Newcastle players in addition to sending off Mitrovic with a straight red – so his performance today was suspect to say the very least.
The players sent off and their times of picking up the yellow cards were Sissoko (3), Mbemba (19), Thauvin (26), Anita (48), Wijnaldum (49), Coloccini (90).
So in the first 26 minutes Marriner had issued one red and three yellows to Newcastle players.
So we now have just two points from our first four league games but we have to keep 11 players on the pitch – otherwise it’s going to be a huge problem for the team.
We’ll never know what would have happened today if we had kept 11 men on the pitch, but on the evidence of Newcastle’s good play we would have had a decent chance of a win.
Bottom line – once again a Premier League game is spoiled by the referee, and of course nobody will even be able to talk with Marriner about the stinker he had today.
Steve McClaren will not be able to criticize him either.
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Daryl Janmaat, Chancel Mbemba, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Massadio Haidara; Vurnon Anita (Ayoze Perez, 72) Jack Colback; Moussa Sissoko Papiss Cisse (79), Georginio Wijnaldum, Florian Thauvin (Siem de Jong (87)), Aleksandar Mitrovic
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Hector Bellerin, Gabriel, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla (c); Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Mikel Arteta (81), Alexis Sanchez; Theo Walcott (Olivier Giroud, 69)
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)