Arsenal beat Newcastle 4-0 in the Carling Cup less than a fortnight ago and face the Magpies again on Sunday but this time in the Premier League.
Chris Hughton’s side will go into the game with a 5-1 hammering of arch rivals Sunderland behind them meaning confidence will be flowing on Tyneside.
Will that confidence give the travelling Toon Army belief they can get a result at Emirates Stadium? We spoke to Lee Ryder of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle to get a Newcastle perspective on the game.
Naturally it was disappointing. I think a lot of Newcastle fans wanted to push on a little bit and get further in that competition. But if you look at the Newcastle line up that night, although it was a strong team, the manager Chris Hughton has made it pretty clear that he wanted to rest a couple of players for the Premier League game against Sunderland and that is what he did. We shot ourselves in the foot early on with the Tim Krul own goal which was a disappointing one to concede. Then I think we were unlucky with the second one when Mike Williamson was blocked by Bendtner and Walcott ran through and scored. You’ve got to put your hands up and say Arsenal are a quality side and can beat teams when they aren’t at their best. So fair play to Arsenal for getting through but maybe the scoreline was a bit flattering.
MAN OF THE MOMENT
If you had to pick out a player to watch it would be Andy Carroll. He is capable of giving defences a real run for their money. He was throwing the Sunderland defence around like little toys on Sunday and though he didn’t score he made the space for everyone else to score. He is the danger man and he can score goals as he demonstrated at West Ham not so long ago. I think he did alright when he came on in the Carling Cup - he had a couple of chances and on a different night he might have tucked them away. He will relish going up against any defender in the Premier League because he’s got so much personal confidence. He will be one to watch and in terms of how good he is I personally think he could get into the England squad ahead of the game against France. That would be richly deserved because he is the sort of player England are lacking.
The thing with Arsenal is that they have got so many quality players. Even the players that aren’t first choice would walk straight into most Premier League teams. Whether he learnt anything from the defeat in the Carling Cup I don’t know because he already knew that Arsenal have one of the best squads in the Premier League. It’s a surprise they haven’t won the title in the last few years with the players they have got.
Everyone is still on cloud nine after the Sunderland result. Yes it will give you confidence but the important thing is that people don’t get carried away too much because playing Sunderland and playing Arsenal are two completely different things. If anyone thinks it might be the same scoreline at the Emirates they might be in for a rude awakening. Confidence is high in the camp because we’ve gone to West Ham and Chelsea and won so our form in London isn’t that bad this season.
He’s played two games so far. It took him a while to get fully fit because he joined up with the squad late so he was always playing catch up with match fitness. He played about three or four Reserve games this year but he’s been hit with a thigh injury so unfortunately for him we haven’t seen much of Sol Campbell. He would find it difficult to get into the team anyway at the moment because Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini are playing so well. You can’t fault his attitude, he’s been a first-class professional since he’s been here. It’s fantastic to have a player with his experience on board.
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
There is a real spirit in the camp. They will have to work as a team with their mentality. Whether it will be a more defensive performance we will see, but certainly in away games so far he has packed the midfield a bit and just tried to get a result on the day. If they could get a result on Sunday that would be a fantastic achievement.