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Cloggy controversy! Arsenal 2, Newcastle United 1

Posted on March 17th, 2012 | 22 Comments |

Arsenal v Newcastle United.
Ben Arfa's goal, the only real highlight for the Magpies.
Venue: Ashburton Grove, London.
Date: Mon 12th Mar 2012.
Kick-Off: 8pm.
Referee: Howard Webb.

Well, Arsenal came from behind once more to clinch victory for the fourth time in a row, which I have been informed is a Premiership record. Whilst the first half of the game wasn’t exactly dull, a minute or two of pure excitement (with two goals in the process) put the rest of it in the shade somewhat. The second half was generally an exciting affair, though not necessarily for the right reasons from a black and white perspective. Despite being pounded by the Gunners’ artilllery, they were not finishing their fairly numerous chances as they might, and with some sterling defensive work, the Magpies almost held on. Sadly it was not be though, with Geordie hearts broken right at the death.

This was my second visit to the Emirates. After resisting the temptation to purchase local specialist publication, “Up the Arse!” myself and my Arsenal supporting friend made our way past the stadium for our Geordie rendezvous in the adjoining away coach park. I have to admit that I was still mightily impressed by this fine edifice, even more so once we were inside. It was verging on “brass monkeys” weather, but at least the seats were very comfortable, not that we used them very much as virtually all the visiting Geordies were standing throughout the game, which made a refreshing change from the fluoro-nazis at St James’ Park.

Surprise selection from the Silver Supremo.

First surprise was that that Pardew would actually be starting with Ben Arfa, leaving his new hitman, Papiss Cissé, on the bench. This would normally tend to suggest that Ben Arfa would be a link between the midfield and Demba Ba up at the front with the also selected Gabriel Obertan on the right flank. However, in another diversion from the norm, it seemed that there was some kind of role reversal was taking place once play got underway, with Obertan himself linking with Ba.

Strategy outflanked.

Despite the rather surprising changes, Newcastle United’s strategy still looked fairly direct, with the Magpies’ still endeavouring to defend from the front with the likes of Gutierrez, Ba and Obertan attempting to nip Arsenal’s attacks in the bud, at the back. However, Arsenal merely urinated on Pardew’s chips by slipping ’round the side instead. Though the Gunners spotlight is undoubtedly on Robin “He scores when he wants” van Persie at the moment, with the Dutchman picking up a somewhat predictable “Player of the Month” award before the kick-off (and before his predictable goal), it was Walcott who was almost certainly the man of this match in this game. To say he dominated Davide Santon in the first half would be something of an understatement. This was not to say that it was all one sided though, especially with the Magpies actually scoring the first goal. We did have some success on the counter, and though Arsenal undoubtedly had the lion’s share of the chances, they could have made more of them on another day too.

Once again on a positive Magpie note, we were winning quite a few knockdowns, not least a rare Vermaelen mistake which eventually led to out only goal of the game. The “Verminator” kicked the ball stright at Tiote, with Ba picking up the ball from Mr.T, who left the ball for Obertan to roll out wide for Benny. Kieron Gibbs could perhaps have been tighter and better at stopping the mercurila Frenchman from jinking inside him and getting on to his favoured left foot. As we know though, he does do it rather well and this is not to detract unduly from what was another brilliant, and characteristic goal from the Gallic Garrincha, cutting in from the right with his usual ablomb and finishing things off with an accurate and powerful finish into a narrow gap. Some said that Arsenal goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, should have done better because it was at his near post but I wouldn’t say that at all. From where I was sitting (and on replays), Ben Arfa’s shot could have caught any goalkeeper out, near post or not. Arsenal 0 – 1 Newcastle United.

Guti’s gallavanting, Williamson’s wobble.

Many blamed Williamson for what was to come exactly 53 seconds later after he slipped to the ground. Such things happen and he had a very creditable game overall. I would say that the makings of Arsenal’s extremly swift reply arguably came sooner, when a slightly below par Gutierrez seemed to fall asleep on the job in the afterglow of our goal. As I mentioned previously, Walcott was on fire in this game, and both Rosicky and Sagna behind him weren’t too shabby either. Our frisky little Argentinian colt just went on walkabout when he should have been attending to their considerable threat on the right hand side, especially so with Santon having what could be described as a bit of a mare. Some excellent combination play from the three Arsenal players mentioned above left both of our left sided players for dead, and it was this which allowed the in form Walcott to roll the ball very nicely to the flying Dutchman. He then turned a stumbling Williamson inside out to make an excellent low finish past past the stumbling Williamson and our own flying Dutchman, Tim Krul. Arsenal 1 – 1 Newcastle United.

So, as I’ve written, Arsenal were dominating on both flanks, though especially the right one. On a more negative note (for them) they were squandering some of their fairly numerous chances, and they could have been more effective on another day. Despite what the Arsenal crowd were singing, and also his prolific goal tally this season, van Persie doesn’t always score quite when he wants to. Of course, one should also give some credit to the Magpies’ central defensive pairing of Captian Colo and Mike Williamson too, who were two of our better players on the night overall. Once Santon was (rightly) pulled off by Pardew, the much maligned James Perch and Danny Simpson put in decent, if not spectacular shifts in their respective full back roles. This isn’t to say that Arsenal didn’t keep the pressure up even more in the second half after the substitution, and at some stages we were being battered like a Whitby cod to be frank.

Arsenal were running our poor defenders even more ragged after the break, but were still having difficulties making their dominance count. Tomas Rosicky tested Krul with a glancing header, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming about as close as he could get with a dipping volley moments after that. Half way through the half, Rosicky had what was the miss of the game, a real sitter which he completely miscued after a great Walcott cut back. There were more too. However Arsenal’s frustration wasn’t all down to a certain lack of killer instinct. It was also a tribute to the Magpies’ defence that it took until the last few seconds for the Gooners to finally get their winning goal. Both Coloccini and Williamson made some crucial inteceptions, with Williamson making some important headed clearences. Simpson cleared yet another one off the line too. They were so close, but alas, it wasn’t to be.

With not a little disgruntlement amongst the Toon travellers at the five minutes of extra time awarded by Howard Webb, Newcastle were actually on the attack when Simpson broke down with an injury in the Arsenal half and the Gooners countered. With Toon a man down, and the rest pretty knackered from what must have been a particularly tiring game, Alex Song and Walcott broke at some pace, with Vermaelen making a scorching run from his own area towards the Newcastle end. Song passed diagonally to Walcott, with Walcott crossing into the area with Van Persie trying to pick it up at first, but it ended as a flick on for Vermaelen who by now was in an excellent position at the back post, except for a looming Krul. However, unfortunately for us, the “Verminator” is a very attacking kind of defender who can finish like a forward, which he did with some aplomb, Krul-ly slotting the ball past our flying Dutchman.

Dutch handbags.

The game wasn’t quite over just yet, there was still time for some cloggy controversy between Arsenal and Newcastle’s Dutch compatriots, a resumption of some handbags which took place earlier in the game. It transpired that Van Persie seemed to think that his fellow Dutch international had been timewasting and trying to break Arsenal’s attacking flow throughout the the game, and decided to make himself look a little foolish by carrying on like a spoiled bairn. Why a Captain should want to do this just after the game had just been all but sealed for Arsenal with only a few seconds to go was beyond me. This rapidly spread to the other members of each team as these affairs often do, bringing the game to a rather undignified close, well, almost. As I mentioned, there were a few more seconds of play resulting in a free kick which Krul hopefully punted up the pitch towards the Arsenal area. However, Howard Webb blew his whistle when the ball was still in flight, and that was that. Time for a curry!

Teams, stats etc…

Score: Arsenal 2 – 1 Newcastle United

Goals: Hatem Ben Arfa (14), (Robin van Persie (15), Thomas Vermaelen (90+4).

Yellow cards: Cheick Tiote (63), Laurent Koscielny (77), Jonas Gutierrez (86), Robin van Persie (90+7).

Red cards: None.

Possession: Arsenal 60.5%, Newcastle United 39.5%

Shots on target: Arsenal 8, Newcastle United 2.

Shots off target: Arsenal 8, Newcastle United 0.

Teams.

Arsenal (4-3-3): Wojciech Szczęsny (G), Baccary Sagna, Lautrnt Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen, Kieron Gibbs, Alex Song, Tomáš Rosický (Aaron Ramsey 76), Mikel Arteta, Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Gervinho 68).

Subs: Łukasz Fabiański (G), Andre Santos, Aaron Ramsey, Johan Djourou, Gervinho, Marouane Chamakh, Yossi Benayoun.

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon (James Perch HT), Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote (Danny Guthrie 81), Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Gabriel Obertan (Shola Ameobi 61), Demba Ba.

Subs: Rob Elliot (G), Danny Guthrie, Papiss Cisse, James Perch, Danny Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Haris Vuckic.

Arsenal v Newcastle United full match video, extended highlights, post-match interviews…

Post match fallout – Krul v Van Persie rumble simmers.

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22 Responses

  1. I’m not sure why the blame for the Dutch spat is all falling on RVP’s shoulders. I am an Arsenal fan who was at the game and Krul was taking a huge time to take his kicks and RVP just took the p at the end verbally. Krul was the one that exacerbated the situation by coming out of his goal to argue about it rather than concentrate on the thing that Newcastle should have been thinking about ie knicking a goal (ala Liverpool last season, who scored in the 98th minute).

    Why should RVP be the one to apologise, which is what Alan Pardew and others seem to be saying?

    Let me know if I’m missing something, shouldn’t Krul be stronger (no-one hit him or anything, the ‘assault’ was purely verbal) and also apologise to the Newcastle fans for blowing the whole thing up and diverting attention away from his time-wasting?

  2. krul didnt take any longer than any other keeper in this league, get a grip man and stop jumpin on the band wagon im sure robin van persie and his over inflated ego can look after himself!

  3. Aye,
    some of us were at the game too & there was no time wasting going on by Krul.
    I seem to remember him taking a goal kick, once, from the ‘other’ side of the 6 yard box, simply as he is left footed so it made sense to take it from his right side.
    Right footed ‘keepers do the same thing every game. He did this once, really early in the game. The homers did start their dumb whistling etc from this point, obviously, they don’t necessarily realize that Krul is left footed, so just thought he was time wasting. From then on it was every time he got the ball, they moaned/whistled.
    The telling factor was that the ref never once warned or threatened him with sanction in the game, so there was no case.

    Get over it!

    RVP should know better, he’s a seasoned pro & great player, not to mention a national team mate of Tim’s. Tim in turn is a veritable bairn compared.
    RVP should take a little look at himself, is this the behaviour expected of a team capt.?

    Period!?!

  4. I was happy with the argument – Arsenal have rarely shown such spirit, see the Gary Neville comments on this. I was also happy that the game fizzled out rather than Newcastle making an effort to get their 98th minute goal.

    All I am asking (politely throughout you notice) is why this all falls on RVP, who also was not warned throughout the game for anything he did. It takes two to have an argument and Krul shouldn’t be worrying about any verbal slight. I have always looked on Newcastle being a relatively tough breed – why are you vexed about someone saying a few words rather than Krul not concentrating on the game? Would Malcolm Mac or Terry Mc have worried about a few words or would they have thought to get on trying to get a goal back?

    I am over it – we won – and happy not to post again. I’m just fascinated that you aren’t looking at what Krul did by coming out of his goal to argue or willing to take any account of his actions.

  5. @UTD111

    How is RVP captain of Arsenal?

    His scoring record?????

    His support for the club since an early age??? Excellent disciplinary record (two red cards a long time ago, neither nasty)??? Passion to win???

    I can’t think.

  6. CB says:
    March 17, 2012 at 11:56 am
    @UTD111

    How is RVP captain of Arsenal?

    His scoring record?????

    His support for the club since an early age??? Excellent disciplinary record (two red cards a long time ago, neither nasty)??? Passion to win???

    I can’t think.
    ______________________________________

    You’re upset…..I can tell……:)

  7. Thanks, UTD111, nice to see someone online with a sense of humour.

    I have liked Newcastle over the years, never had a problems with them at all (loved Malcom Mac, he lived near me when he moved to Arsenal), I’m not trying to stir any controversy.

    Still would love to know what RVP’s crime (ie something serious, I’m sure he laughed at Krul and took the p) was and why everything is directed at him rather than Krul but guess I’m not going to find out (so I will assume it is a way of diverting attention away from the result and Krul taking any responsibility for his behaviour).

  8. CB – I think from a United perspective, we think the claims that Tim was wasting time are what is being exaggerated. There’s a perception that this paranoia from Arsenal fans happens quite regularly at the Emirates…

    There is a difference between time wasting and slowing the game down to disrupt the opponents flow. Where the ball is in play, Krul was under no obligation to kick it anywhere if Arsenal couldn’t be bothered to challenge for it.

    But Van Plonker’s actions to us we’re out of order, as they were personal – intended to provoke – not the sort of behaviour to be expected of a club captain.

  9. From an Arsenal perspective there is too little noise and interaction from the crowd so I was pleased to hear some, coming on the back of the great 5pur2 and Milan games. I’m prepared to accept that Krul was the pantomime villain in part. Arsenal’s ethos is always to score (even when we should be trying to kill the game at 1 up, for example) so anything that slows this down would provoke that reaction.

    I am prepared to accept RVP was rude (but not a plonker, rather a god), but would ask you to invert that – how did you feel when Barton got Arsenal players sent off (and I’m not taking away their part in that, Gervinho and Diaby were stupid), that it was OK? Was there a lot of Newcastle condemnation on these?

    And do you feel Krul did anything wrong?

  10. I dont get that macho tude in regard to standing at games and the fact that many clubs ignore it when done by away fans.
    It’s both an ignorant and selfish act, ignoring those who would prefer to sit in the seats provided.
    I have been to stadiums where they not only stand, but stand on the seats, making it near impossible to follow the game.
    It’s one thing to be a staunch supporter, but does’nt give anyone the right to spoil the game for others.
    And i got no problem with ejecting them.
    Being a steward at certain stadiums can be a tough job, so for the most part my sympathies lie with them as opposed to the fans, who if they behaved in a civil manner, would have no problem to begin with.

  11. It seems like the arsenal fans seem to think the whole workday owes them a living.

    Remember there are two teams to every game who deserve to win just as much as the next. Just because arsenal feel they should be in the champions league doesn’t mean we are or any other team for that matter are going to step aside .

    The premier league is not a foregone conclusion. We or any other team are not here to make up the numbers. We are here to compete.

    So if you arsenal fans think krul was infringing on you morals rights to win even home game because you deserve it. Get a grip. The past is futile. We all deserve what we achieve tomorrow nothing is guaranteed on past performances.

    If you think krul was time wasting why was he not cautioned? I’m sure the referees report won’t show any mention of any time wasting.

    If you think other teams have to step aside and copitulate then it is a typical view of you big man arsene whinger his constant “blame everyone else” attitude over the years has been a joke.

    Get a breaking life you bunch of spoilt children. You won’t win jack for another 6 years.

  12. Van Persie vs Krul,
    Who knows what it was all about ?
    Does anyone relly care ?
    Handbgs, let it go !

  13. “Marcelo Bielsa, the madman of modern football”
    Tell that to Alex Ferguson!
    Any chance we could swap him for Pardew ?
    What ! not as long as Ashley is here you say ?

  14. @Stephen C

    Not sure who said anything that you have in your post. Newcastle competed and defended well, Arsenal were on top most of the game, a draw would have been a feasible result.

    And Arsenal won, which was hard to argue about given the balance of play. Arsenal have never had anything against Newcastle, I think you have been reading the press too much and read to much into AW defending his team, even when they don’t deserve it.

  15. it more to do with the time wasting theory.

    krul wasnt wasting time. he has the right to take his kick from any side of his box.

    the arsenal players had the attitude that he had to rush his kick, take it from where they placed it and kick it on a weaker foot. their unsportsmanlike behavior was a disgrace and their attitudes stunk.

    each player on the pitch deserves equal right to that football without prejudiced.

    the arsenal players wanted krul to kick the ball as soon as he had it in his hands.

    their attitudes were petulant and disrespectful, who are they to say they deserve to win more than anyone else.

    newcastle united as well as any other club in the prem arent just a formality. we arent just 6 point in the bag.

    the way the players behaved and the blind view of time wasting by most arsenal fans says its all.

    look at the facts, krul wasnt time wasting, he was well within the laws of the game, if he was time wasting he would have been cautioned, if he continued he would have been booked. if there was an issue with time wasting it would have been noted by the ref and mentioned to krul by an official.

    but we all know why arsenal wanted the win so much, it was nothing to do with newcastle united its more the jealousy you have towards the spurs fans.

    i wander what the arsenal fans will think should they finish 4th and chelsea win the champions league.

  16. Hey all, long time reader. 1st time poster.

    I’d like to quickly add a view on the Krul vs Van Persie debate.
    I support Newcastle, so maybe am a bit biased. But according to the rules of football, Krul did absolutely nothing wrong (and I challenge any Arsenal fan to prove otherwise). Even if he DID slow the game down purposely, he is fully entitled to do so if that’s the way his team is playing the game.
    Krul and Newcastle have just as much right to play at a slow tempo as Arsenal do to play at a fast one, Arsenal do not “own” the speed of the game just because they are at home.
    Stoke gear themselves up to score from set pieces, Swansea play possession, in this instance Newcastle played tactics that slowed the game down and broke up Arsenal’s fluidity – and it worked for 93 minutes (to an extent).

    The argument issue was 1st caused by Arsenal fans booing Krul unnecessarily, which caused Van Persie to act out the frustrations of the crowd and have a word (which is no crime). However, both players over-reacted and it blew up. However, I think Van Persie has come out of it looking slightly worse…

  17. ibiza dave

    that exactly what i was trying to get to.

    it seems arsenal have the “whole world owes us a living” theory of football where we need to play into their hands each time we have the ball.

    each team plays to win, with the tools and tactics they have to use.

    arsenal seem to play with a pram and toys, and when things dont go their way they throw their toys out of the buggy.
    which firmly can be found at arsene whingers door.

    bad losers and ever worse winners. just goes to show how desperate they are to catch spurs. but i guess if it was us v makems im sure we would spit our dummies out.

    but then again we are men not soft southern ponce’s. so i think we would rise above it.

  18. LOL, Stephen C. Though I think that proves your last point on Arsenal being ss ponces.

    However we are getting better at creating an atmosphere at the Emirates, which lead to the spat. It is a while since we had that ’12th man’. And actually, we haven’t had that attitude from the players (like Adams, Keown etc ie being a bunch of narky gits who want to win) for a while, so it is a welcome return – long may it last.

    Good luck for the rest of the season.

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