Struggling Arsenal managed to win against Newcastle

footy

The recent performance of Arsenal has not been good so far. After being beaten by both the Manchester teams, they could not even earn the valuable points in their recent matches against Southampton and West Ham. That is the reason they are placed at the fourth spot after Manchester United and Chelsea in the Premier League table.

Therefore, the recent win against Newcastle must be a huge relief for Wenger whose team is currently five points lagging behind Chelsea. Mesut Ozil did the magic in the 23th minute of the game for the struggling Arsenal and remained till the end of the game. It was a brilliant first half volley that got them the lead.

However, this game also showed the problem which has been recurring throughout the season for Arsenal- not being able to take the chances which they create. Seeing the huge quality difference between the two teams, the dominance from the Arsenal side should have been complete. However, we did not see that happen. Though the win was not as convincing as it should have been, however a win is still a win and the Arsenal’s celebration is not out of place.

The Arsenal side would now be playing against West Ham in their next match. That game is expected to be easy for them. However, the game after that could be a real challenge for them as they will be up against the stronger opponent Liverpool. That is a game which might be of interest for both fans and punters around the world. If you are punter, you could avail from free bets and get bonus codes and know sign up offers from all the top rated UK betting sites. Read reviews for the valuable information or follow the tips for becoming a smart punter. Closely follow all the latest offers of Betfred, Paddy Power, Betway, Coral and all the others, so you can choose the one that fits you the best.

The experiments of Arsenal coach Wenger seemed to work well against the Newcastle team. He brought in Ainsley Maitland-Niles while Alexandre Lacazette was placed for Olivier Giroud.

Although Alex Iwobi and Alexis Sanchez became close to scoring, however the lead came only after the 20th minute of the game. Ozil showed a perfect combination of grace and power to give his team a lead early in the game. When the ball came to Ozil, he used his left leg to deliver the volley past Rob Elliot despite the fact that he was off balance and that he had the time to bring the ball down.

Later, Wenger appreciated that goal calling it “superb” and further commending him in such words: “Usually, he is the guy who 99 per cent of the time in this position, controls the ball and gives it someone else.”

Arsenal were looking very good in the first half of the game. However, by the second half their game looked more defensive. It felt like they had secured the win, and therefore the point of urgency was devoid from their game. Ultimately they prevailed, yet one could see that it was a lot tense towards the end of the game than it should have been.

If we talk about the Newcastle team, the situation for them is looking pretty grim now. Rafa Benitez would definitely have been dissatisfied with the performance of his team. But looking at their performance so far, it was not to be expected that they would win this game. It is been their eighth defeat of the previous nine games, and therefore has seen them drop down to the eighteenth position of the Premier League table, ahead of West Brom and Swansea City only. Benitez has been trying to bring his team up by imploring his players to strengthen their attack and exploit the weaknesses of the opposite team, but so far they have not worked.

 

 

The Newcastle Problem

In the mid 1990s Kevin Keegan performed something of a revolution at St James Park and against the odds turned Newcastle United into title contenders. Not only that, but during the 1995-1996 season he led Newcastle unto a 12 point lead, so convincing that many bookmakers paid out on them lifting the trophy.  They went onto to several 2nd place finishes and had a good run…but then it all went wrong! The nights at the Nou Camp and the consecutive Cup Finals seem oh so long ago now for the toon army faithful and seemingly for the last decade a spiral of decline has been in place. Many blame Mike Ashley….but have the fans got a role to play in this?

The issue can be dated back to that 1995-1996 season when Newcastle thought they had the title won. The 12 point lead was broken down, the title was lost and in my eyes the club never recovered. It was at this stage that fans began to view the club as bigger and more important that it actually was on a national scale. Other than Alan Shearer, Newcastle failed to capture big name players, those players to take them to the next level, and the fans couldn’t understand why and turned on the manager, the club and the director. The simple fact is, that without a winning history, without those trophies and without that special appeal Newcastle were not able to attract who they needed to stay in place….they joined a long list of the teams who have had 2-3 seasons of wonder and faded away.

This “big club” mentality feeds down and the fans got impatient with managers, proven guys like Sam Allardyce were pushed out when in all fairness, better jobs could have been done with time. Newcastle couldn’t understand why two relegations occurred and, more of an issue perhaps, the 6 back to back defeats to local rivals Sunderland.

It all foes down to what I call the Newcastle Problem…..that the club and the fans see them as bigger than they are. Yes they have a loyal fanbase with a huge stadium that is sold out whoever the opposition is…but this doesn’t put them on a par with the top 6 teams in the Premier League.

If Newcastle can just get to grips with the fact they are a middling Premier League team, expect the odd relegation battle and perhaps a drop in division and build from there, they can function much better than they now do. Rafa Benetiez has crafted a team for the Championship which they won, but then wasn’t given the support to make them a Premier League team. And what has this been hampered by? All the sale talks…..which hinge on the factor I have mentioned before, Newcastle are not the club they believe they are and that is why they are not getting the right buyer with the right price.

A whole new mentality is needed at St James, more akin to local rivals Sunderland, or selling clubs like Southampton, if they are to turn themselves into Premier League mainstays once again. Until then, I pity the Toon Army as they will continue to be just a footnote….

Early predictions for Championship promotion

Championship

ChampionshipThe 2016-17 Sky Bet Championship is underway, and predictions as to who is likely to make their way to the promised land of the Premier League come May have been made. Coming into the new season, Newcastle United were considered favourites to reclaim their place in the top flight, with many experts declaring them champions elect before the first game was played.

However, once the season started, it quickly became clear Newcastle won’t have it all their own way, and that they may have some unexpected competition for the automatic promotion places, as well as the title itself.

So, let’s take a look at the main contenders for promotion from the Championship this season.

Newcastle United

The overwhelming favourites, Newcastle United seemingly have everything going for them this season. Having spent more than any other club in the division in the transfer market, and with the most high-profile manager in the league in Rafa Benitez, the Magpies have put themselves in a good position to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of as king. Industry experts such as 888 Sports believe anything other than winning the Championship title would be failure for the club.

While Newcastle sold and loaned out a number of key players during the transfer window, the acquisition of Matt Richie, Dwight Gayle, Grant Hanley, Ciaran Clark and other has only strengthened the perception that the club is set to dominate this year’s Championship.

Derby County

Derby County have been among the favourites to win promotion to the Premier League for the last two or three seasons, but have flattered to deceive. However, the Rams certainly have the talent on the field in the form of players such as Will Hughes, Ikechi Anya and Tom Ince, and under the direction of new manager Nigel Pearson, they have a decent chance of finding themselves among the frontrunners at the business end of the season.

Norwich City

Considered by many to be the biggest threat to Newcastle United’s Championship title hopes this season, Norwich City will have been boosted by holding on to the majority of their best players, such as Robbie Brady and Timm Klose, in the transfer window.

While the Canaries have not strengthened as much as they would have hoped, many experts still see them finishing in the automatic promotion positions and reclaiming their place in the Premier League following their relegation last season.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Expected to be fighting for promotion from the off this season, Brighton and Hove Albion are seen as contenders for an automatic promotion position after finishing third last season. The leadership of Chris Hughton combined with the return of striker Glenn Murray means the Seagulls have all the necessary tools to make it into the Premier League for the first time.

Sheffield Wednesday

The Championship wild card this season, Sheffield Wednesday will be gunning for a play-off place after finishing sixth last season, but a top-two finish could prove beyond them.

The Owls picked up attacking midfielder Almen Abdi from Watford in the summer, and will look to get more out of Fernando Forestieri after he refused to play against Norwich City earlier in the season as he pushed for a transfer.

With the club having signed nine new players, how Wednesday fare this season will likely come down to just how well their acquisitions gel as a team.

Football Rivaries: Newcastle V Sunderland

Newcastle v Sunderland

The North-East of England is known for its passionate football fans and this is based on the intense local rivalry between Newcastle United and Sunderland. For hundreds of years the Mackems and Geordies have collided in derby matches that bring the region to a standstill. The Red and White stripes of Sunderland meeting the Black and White stripes of Newcastle is an annual fixture that fans eagerly anticipate and that always serves us a treat for the neutrals.  Only ten miles apart, the Tyne-Wear derby has a famous history.

The sides first met in 1883 and the passion was evident from the off, taken to a greater extent in 1888 when Sunderland dumped Newcastle out of the FA Cup. Since then the derby has been evenly matched with both teams recording over 50 wins and there being a similar number of ties. The matches themselves tend to be passion filled and unpredictable.

1908 saw a 9-1 victory for Sunderland that to this day is a record in the derby match but Newcastle enjoyed the best of the pre-war period and indeed carried that run into the 1950s. Since then  it has been an evenly matched affair. Legends such as Sunderland’s George Holley, who scored 15 goals in 22 derby matches and Newcastle’s leading derby scorer Jackie Milburn line the history of this game. Shearer being dropped to the bench, the rainy night on which Quinn and Phillips dominated the show at St. James, the 5-1 and the Kerian Richardson free kick all stay firm in the memory.

The rivalry extends beyond the game itself as fans taunt each other over silverware. Sunderland fans point to the 1973 FA Cup victory as evidence of their superiority whilst Newcastle fans can gloat at the runners-up spots in the Premier League and Champions League appearances.  Sunderland fans took great joy in the 2010s when Newcastle found themselves relegated to the lower league but just like the neutrals, part of the Mackems were upset that they would not get the annual joys of derby day.

Players who had crossed the divide are few and far between but the likes of Paul Bracewell, Stephen Caldwell, Titus Bramble and Lionel Perez have been embraced by fans. Time will tell if the latest entry into that list, Jack Colback, will be taken to the Geordie’s hearts.

Newcastle fans will remember the famous afternoon at St James Park when Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan lead the Toon Army to a famous 5-0 victory but lately it is the Black Cats who have had the more to cheer about. Back to back 3-0 away victories, a memorable last minute winner  from Adam Johnson and four wins in a row have made Sunderland the dominant force in the Tyne and Wear derby and with both teams secure in the Premier League it look like we have plenty more action to look forward too.

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