Arsenal’s trio of Song, Rosicky and in particular, Arteta played very well in the centre of midfield – he made more than twice as many passes than Cabaye and Tiote put together. He created 4 chances and won 64% of his ground duels (7 out of 11) and won the ball back in midfield on 9 occasions, showing that he’s not just a ball player.
With Newcastle failing to keep possession of the ball, we offered very little upfront – Ba feeding off scraps and lacked the service and support up front. Other than Ben Arfa’s goal, Newcastle only had one other attempt on target, a soft attempt by Cheick Tiote.
In the end, Arsenal probably deserved the victory, as Newcastle just didn’t offer enough and made it another dismal display in the capital, to add to the visits to Fulham and Spurs.
Arsenal had 61% and had a vastly superior passing success rate at 86% compared to Newcastle’s 74%.
Newcastle have always had a problem playing against a five man midfield, as often Pardew has opted for a 4-4-2 formation, meaning Cabaye and Tiote would be outnumbered in the centre of midfield.
It seemed that Pardew had learned his lesson from previous games and he was probably more cautious after playing 4-4-2 at Spurs, where we were thrashed, but playing 4-5-1, my preference would have to have played a midfield trio of Tiote, Cabaye and Guthrie. Coming away to Arsenal, it’s important to keep the ball, but unfortunately Newcastle couldn’t capitalise on their decent start to the game and gave the ball too readily.
One plus side was the performance of Hatem Ben Arfa. Other than the goal that was very well taken, he completed 24 out of 26 passes, retaining possession of the ball very well and he also created two other chances for his team mates – creativity is something that Newcastle lack.
The result means Newcastle stay in 6th place, 5 points behind Chelsea and 2 points ahead of Liverpool, after their 3-0 victory in the Merseyside derby.
Next up is a visit from Norwich City on Sunday afternoon, as Newcastle hope to stop a win-less streak of five games on the trot.
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes a author privileges!) See Demo’s and videos about the Stats Centre & read about new additions to the stats centre.