Newcastle United (The Emirates Stadium)
FA Cup 4th Round: Saturday 26th January 2008 (3pm)
Premier League: Tuesday 29th January (7.45pm)
After the heavy defeat midweek against Spurs, Arsenal have a chance to progress into the next round of the FA Cup and keep the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the table in the Premier League. The only thing standing in the way?
I haven’t actually commented on the return of Kevin Keegan, but whatever has been said I’m not sure it’s the dream ticket all the Geordies have been hoping for. Don’t get me wrong, Keegan is a lovable character – I mean who can forget that rant against Alex Ferguson?
We know King Kev is a man who wears his heart of his sleeve and he has shown in the past that the pressure can get to him. I just think that in today’s game (where the pressure is as intense as ever) with 24 hour sports channels and more media coverage than ever before Keegan might find the strain a bit too much. Remember he’s walked out on football clubs before.
Another problem I think Newcastle have at the moment is what Sam Allardyce left behind.
Newcastle is a club with big potential, and with fantastic fans but am I the only one who thinks the current squad they have is average at best? If you watch Match of the Day you would think that being the Newcastle manager was one of the most coveted positions in world football. I think there needs to be a lot of rebuilding before Newcastle will be where they want to be.
But then again Alan Shearer is the man offering his opinions so you would expect them to be biased wouldn’t you?
One of my friends is a Geordie and when I asked him what his predictions were for the Arsenal v Newcastle double header he was sceptical about the impact of Keegan’s return and thought Arsenal would win both games; 2-1 and 2-0.
Well I would take those results right now.
You can understand the lack of optimism from the Geordies, especially after a stale draw against Bolton last weekend but I think Newcastle will be more of a threat than everyone thinks. Yes, we are at home but no-one is giving Newcastle a chance and that’s when teams are at their most dangerous.
If Arsenal can get their act together after losing midweek and the Adebayor/Bendtner fight then we should be too much for Newcastle and win both games. But you can’t take anything for granted in this Cup or League. Look what happened when we had an off day at St James’ Park – we could have lost that game.
There’s been some reports of Bendtner being too cocky which has apparently rubbed some of the Arsenal players the wrong way, while others say Adebayor and Bendtner have had a long-running fued. Well whatever it all was hopefully Arsene has sorted it out because Arsenal have come too far this season to just start fighting amongst themselves.