Wenger’s legacy is fundamental. Free flowing, attacking football by a club with integrity and class.

Arsenal’s Trashing of Newcastle Is Confirmation Of Life After Ozil

Aubameyang breaks his drought in thrashing of Newcastle

It was itzy-bitzy during the first half as Arsenal huffed and puffed trying to find the measure of a poor Newcastle. In the second half they were blown away by the superior canons of the Gunners and the 3-0 scoreline is, to my mind, an accurate reflection of the gulf between both teams.

The Premier league match stats don’t lie.


Newcastle United


Possession %



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Apparently the Geordies and Bteve Bruce came to London with some notion they could make a game of it. It was a 4-4-2 setup with Andy Carroll and Callum Wilson as forwards with Jonjo Shelvey tasked as the main creative in the middle. I have barely watched them all season and whenever I do Andy Carroll is usually coming off the bench.  Clearly they must have thought, like all the poor teams that recently rocked up at the Emirates, that Arsenal is vulnerable.

On the strength of the first half they must have felt heartened by their tactic of sitting back and counter-attacking with long balls aimed in the direction of Carroll. The Gunners defense was up to the task and neither Carroll nor Wilson had a serious sniff at goal.

In return, Arsenal had plenty of possession, attacking primarily down the flanks, notably the combination of Saka and Smith-Rowe on the right and Tierney-Xhaka on the left. Apparently they were set up to create chances for Aubameyang who in the first half had at least four shots on goal. A weak left-footed effort in the 8:00 minute; hitting the post in the 14:00 minute after a neat combination by Smith-Rowe and Saka; a left-footed blast over the bar in the 26:00 minute after being sprung on the counter by Smith Rowe; and finally a 43:00 minute left-footed deflected shot, saved by their keeper, when he was again found by Smith-Rowe who had again drifted into the center.

As the teams trudged off the field at the interval, like most Gooners I feared another night of frustration with the Gabonese obviously lacking in confidence. In my defense at half-time I tweeted the following:

The second half made me look like a football genius, in my own mind at least.

As we have seen repeatedly this season, Arsenal came out in the second half a far more attacking proposition. In this case, counter-attacking with conviction and style. That was not immediately apparent when in the 46:00 Lacazette collared a ball crossed from the flanks and lashed a shot goalwards, to be miraculously palmed away by the goalkeeper in front of the flailing legs of his defenders.

However in the 48:00 minute Newcastle went up for a corner, lost possession and the ball was recovered by Partey who took two touches and found a streaking Auba with an immaculate pass. One v one with a defender for the first time in the game, the Gabonese took him inside then outside and blasted a left-footed shot into the goal, to the palpable relief of himself and his team-mates.

Arsenal had found the bit between their teeth. In the 60:00 minute, Newcastle again lost possession in Arsenal’s half and the ball found ESR who took his defender to the byline and, as is now his trademark, cutback to Saka who made no mistake from about the penalty spot.

Cedric, who started instead Bellerin, ending weeks of speculation as to what was his purpose, if not playing as substitute right back, desperately pursued what seemed a lost cause in the 76:00 minute and lashed a cutback from the byline just within the “baby area” (as colloquially termed by Jamaicans) and Auba instinctively guided it with equal force straight past a despairing keeper and defenders appealing that the ball was out.

So the Gunners score 3 and keep a clean sheet, Auba breaks his drought and Arsenal climb to 10th in the tables. All is well in the Arsenal garden?

Am not sure. Newcastle were poor. They are 15th in the table and if they keep playing like this they could be sucked into the bottom three. They can barely hold onto the ball and when they lose it we were able to make them pay especially in the second-half. If Aubameyang had made use of his chances, the game could have been done and dusted in the first.

Despite my in-game criticism of how ESR was camped out on the right most of the time, he had a very good game. Note he was very productive whenever he drifted inside and created chances for Auba. Of course he has a trade mark give-and-go, third-man run routine with Saka which is worth at least two clear chances per game; the cutback to goal to Saka proves it is potent weapon.

So Arteta must be very happy that he has the horses to run his preferred counter-attacking style after getting rid of Ozil. Well my mum often told me “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” So we will all have to wait and see.


  1. Rosicky@ArsenalJanuary 22, 2021 at 2:59 am

    Nice read Shotta.With Ozil gone it might be be better for the dressing roon as Arteta extends his authority at the club and the players start to look more towards him. Just pretending.
    The most important point in Newcastle win was Aubas first goal as he scored it skillfully dodging 2 defenders & beating the keeper in space of seconds. If Auba can show such kind of skill we often saw last year post lockdown i expect more goals from him.
    Anyway the jury is still out if Arsenal has turned the corner as it was a poor Newcastle side.

    • Tend to agree with your sentiments. Just like the rest of the team, it is way too early to conclude Auba is back. It was less than a week before that he and the rest were struggling vs Crystal Palace.

  2. Rosicky@ArsenalJanuary 23, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    With each passing day the WOBs agenda failing and now at all time low. Arsenal has been faltering big time on and off the field. Management has been poor and decisions regarding tranfers,buying,selling have backfired big time and we are a laughing stock across the country.I am not saying we were perfect under Wenger.Arsene had some weaknesses but every human being does have some.But the downfall is ominous in front of our eyes.
    We told the idiot fans Be careful what you wish for and they have been proven wrong and we at
    have been vindicated.The idiot fans at Arseblog Legroan etc have no place to hide.


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