In a week which most Newcastle United supporters thought couldn’t get much better, a trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal loomed on the horizon. After the euphoria of thrashing Sunderland 5-1, Toon fans could be forgiven thinking that history would repeat itself and Newcastle would leave the Emirates empty handed as per usual.
Gunners fans saw Newcastle as an easy three points, and hoped to cement their placing toward the top of the league. Arsene Wenger however praised Newcastle and gaffer Chris Hughton throughout the week saying how impressed he was with how Newcastle were playing. A couple of weeks ago Newcastle United fielded a team of youngsters and reserves in the League Cup and rightfully lost to an Arsenal side who were impressive on the night.
The Premier League though is where it’s at and the senior players for Newcastle have proven themselves to be no pushovers recently. Barton, Carroll, Tiote, and Nolan in particular have been impressive, Tiote especially showing just why he’s so highly regarded by the NUFC coaches.
The NUFC faithful who made the long journey south could quite hardly believe their eyes when Andy Carroll headed in just on the stroke of half-time. Even with minutes to go, Arsenal are more than capable of unlocking the sternest of defences but the Newcastle rearguard held on, with Williamson and young Tim Krul doing a sterling job. yes, we did have the post and crossbar to thank on a couple of occasions, but make no mistake, Newcastle dealt quite comfortably with everything a full strength Arsenal side could throw at them – Tiote having Fabregas in his back pocket throughout the game.
Turmoil and front page headlines have dogged the Newcastle United camp throughout the past couple of weeks, but the Newcastle players are made of sterner stuff than they’re given credit for and are showing everyone just what they’re capable of. While our target remains 17th place and Premier League survival, Newcastle fans across the globe can be proud of their team, and their team proud of them.
Howay the Toon