Tuesday 3 January 2023

Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle & ‘Scandalous Penalties’

Arsenal's Mikel Arteta is successfully building a siege mentality at the club and his post-match outburst regarding 'scandalous penalties' is further proof of it.

However, Arteta may face disciplinary action from the FA after this or, at the least, he risks upsetting the vast majority of referees. That may help decisions to become more favourable in future.

The truth is the referee dished out too many yellow cards, but got the major decisions correct.

Then again, Arteta deserves a lot of credit for publicly stating how proud he is of the team and keeping his language positive, despite being asked whether or not he thinks Arsenal have 'dropped points'. Arteta refused to engage with the negative language of the question and this indicates that the manager fully understands the psychology behind creating successful teams.

Meanwhile, Newcastle deserve credit for their defensive performance, although they employed the dark arts of time wasting to ensure they achieved a draw.

Nick Pope made a good save to deny Nketiah with his feet while, unfortunately for Arsenal and Arteta, none of the 'scandalous penalties' should have been given. What's more, Newcastle deserved their point.

Arsenal will have to get used to more teams doubling up on Saka to quell the threat on that flank, but this young team seem capable of overcoming obstacles, judging by how they've performed this season.

The transfer market may not provide the answer to any perceived problems but, instead, to stay eight points clear at the top, the Gunners might need Smith-Rowe fit again. Once he's back, even the most stubborn of defences will crumble.

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