So this is what I’m seeing: Szcz thumps the ball forward to no one in particular as he always does, and surprisingly, RvP wins the ball in the air. It falls to Rosicky who controls it with one deft touch. The little mozart is oozing confidence. A man dressed as a zebra tries to close him down, but he easily turns him, runs with the ball. RvP, Theo, and Gervinho run ahead of him. Rosicky slows down to survey his options, or so it appears. In actuality he has seen, with the eyes in the back of his head, Song making a dashing run from midfield. Rosicky dallies on the ball, pretends to have a cup of tea at the edge of the box, and as soon as Song flies past him he releases the ball past the static line of zebras. Song is clean through, the flag stays down, and he side foots the ball into the far corner. A finish RvP would be proud of.
I have a strong feeling we will win this game. This should be a routine win. Newcastle are mediocre away from home. Arsenal are imperious at the Emirates. Spurs, the team that can’t stop losing, beat this lot 5-0, so what chance do they have against us?
So yes, I am confident.
Newcastle have some quality players in the side this season, but they can’t match us pass for pass. We will most certainly outplay them. Where they have caused trouble to the big teams has been through direct football, using their physicality to good effect.
Demba Ba and Cabaye have been in their best players. And they have been just as good away from home as they have been at St. James’s. If we can dominate possession, which we probably will, that reduces their threat massively. Their main threat will be set pieces and if we can concentrate and be well organized, we should be able to get the win.
Newcastle don’t really have a very solid back line, and I expect them to struggle against our three striker, especially RvP, for obvious reasons. If we can pass the ball well, keep a healthy supply going to our forwards, they will get chances and Theo and Gervinho will miss a few, but RvP should take them.
But what’s great about our side at the moment, especially at home, is that the threat is coming from everywhere. Against Tottenham it was Sagna who started the scoring. Rosicky got the crucial third. Literally whole team scored against Blackburn. And against Milan Rosicky and Koscielny got on the scoresheet.
We’re not so much a one man team anymore, and a bit more difficult to defend against. Assuming, of course, that our excellent form recently continues.
Don’t know what else to say about Newcastle. It will all depend on how they line up. Pardew said before the game that they had no chance of beating Arsenal, and that they would be happy to finish in the top 8 this season. Was he just being honest, or is he trying to take the pressure off a team that hasn’t won in their last 3 games? Hmm.
If it’s the former, if he is being honest and thinks they have no chance, then expect them to park the bus and play for the 0-0. I wouldn’t like to see that, to be honest. But maybe that isn’t such a bad thing, because Newcastle don’t really have the players to play that way.
If it’s the latter, and Pardew has a sneaky little plan to press us high up and try to play on the front foot, then it would be a lot more interesting. They really haven’t got anything to lose, so they might just go all out for it.
But either way, The Arsenal should be too good for them on this occasion.