Following our third straight win in a row, we entertain Arsenal this Sunday erm, ‘fam’.
Rafa’s Mags sit on 38 points with 6 to play & a properly mint 10 point cushion between us and the third bottom Saints.
We’ll now definitely stay up. In fact, despite his public utterance of us still not being safe, I reckon Mr Benítez will be contemplating 8th spot and the outside possibility of a Europa League berth. If you’d offered all of this before we slipped into the bottom 3 just prior to entertaining Jose’s Reds I reckon there would have been a decent percentage of Mags offering kidneys & small children.
Arsenal come to Gallowgate in their best form of the season, having won five off the bounce in all competitions. However, Sunday will be their fifth match in 15 days. Add to this they’ll be flying home from Moscow in the early hours of Friday before having to travel
300 miles north. you’d imagine fatigue could be an issue for them. It certainly would be for us, they do have a much bigger squad though.
Wenger has won them a boatload of silverware but many of the natives of North London have had enough of him. We’ve all seen recent images of the Emirates and thousands of empty seats. Are their fans the equivalent of Timmy Timpson, the wonderful ‘spoilt bastard’ from Viz? Or do they have a point?
If I’m honest, it’s probably somewhere in between. A lot of Mags look on, perplexed at the level of grief Arsene gets having won so much. But their fans real issue is that they’ve gone from being the ‘invincibles’ to ‘top table’ also rans. In the 90’s & 00’s they were at times the best club in this country. In truth, they look a pale shadow of that. Still, the almighty whingeing on Arsenal TV makes them sound like they’re following the mackems!
Anyway, enough about them. Following Newcastle in 2018 has been wonderful. I saw a league table that the exemplary @bigchrisholt posted on Twitter the other day, and if the season had begun on New Year’s Day we’d be sitting pretty in 6th spot.
We’ve come good at just the right time. Rafa’s obvious pedigree has once more shone through. He has us so well organised. Having a goalkeeper who commands his box has really helped the whole defence. Kenedy’s introduction as added pace, power, guile, assists & goals. Hopefully, Slimani can come with a cameo and add something to our front line, also.
I’ve waxed lyrical in recent weeks about our last three home performances, but last week away at Leicester was really something else. We looked good value for the three points and the spirit and endeavour of the whole side was a joy to behold. It’s a tough place to go and win.
So, to Sunday. Well, Arsenal still do have a number of very decent players. Ozil is world class when he wants it and the likes Aubameyang, from what I’ve witnessed so far looks like he could be a real handful. However, we’re right in the groove going into this one too, so I’m plumping for a narrow home win. HTL!
NICK CLARK – FOLLOW NICK ON @Clark5Nick
You will see below that we have a new issue of true faith out. It is TF137. true faith is Newcastle United’s longest running and most widely read fanzine. Since 1999 we have provided the alternative view on life at Newcastle Unitedand the world around it. Despite being fiercely patriotic Geordies, the fanzine is also internationalist in its outlook and that’s why we are always looking into the world of football beyond these shores. In this issue issue you will find articles related to football in Saudi Arabia, South America, Italy and Mags from India coming to SJP.
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