For the second weekend running Newcastle showed considerable spirit and fight on Saturday in the 1-0 defeat at home by Arsenal, but the big factor on Saturday was the sending off of Aleksandar Mitrovic after 16 minutes, and it was always going to be hard to get anything out of the game with 10 men.
But we ended up losing only 1-0 through an own goal from Fab Coloccini as an Oxlade-Chamberlain shot was deflected into the goal after 52 minutes.
Steve McClaren on sideline on Saturday
Newcastle have come under attack for the way they play the game, and Arsenal players were writhing in agony on the pitch whenever any strong challenges came in from the Newcastle players – and we noticed they all made remarkably quick recoveries.
McClaren wants his side to continue with the same kind of physical approach we have seen in all the games this season:
“I think everybody wants to see the game played that way. You can’t take it away.”
“This is what northern people are. They’re working-class people and you’ve got to show spirit and fight and attitude and wanting to win.”
“With 11 or 10 players, that’s what we showed. There can be no change in our approach, no. We’ve got to be like that.”
“We need to be a little more controlled in certain situations but we’re very young, the youngest team in the Premier League with Taylor going out and Mbemba, coming in.”
“There’s a lot to work on. It was disappointing because it’s not really a contest when you play 75 minutes with ten men.”
“I don’t think that was a dirty game. Football’s a contact sport and you have to impose yourself, against Arsenal especially.”
“There were fouls, but I thought it was an over-reaction.”
We should hear today whether Newcastle will appeal the red card that Mitrovic picked up – but we doubt the club will bother – we have no chance of winning an appeal.
What do you think?