Let’s stop complaining and see what Arsenal can learn from this narrow defeat to Newcastle

Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle, albeit with a contentious goal, has sparked an undue sense of apocalypse among some fans. It’s important to remember that this was the Gunners’ first loss of the Premier League season, and while disappointing, it wasn’t a woeful performance. Rather, it shed light on a pressing issue: the need for greater squad depth.

Beyond the starting 11, the team seems to lack the necessary quality to maintain effectiveness when key players are sidelined due to injury. This deficiency is evident in Arteta’s reluctance to rely on fringe players, and one can hardly blame him. Facing a formidable defense on their home turf requires the patient and methodical approach we’ve seen Arsenal execute successfully against other top sides like City and Sevilla.

However, untimely VAR and referee decisions altered the complexion of the game, leaving Arsenal with a mountain to climb in an already hostile environment. Despite the setback, this won’t deter the Gunners from bouncing back and silencing the critics. They played to their strengths against one of the most physically imposing sides in the Premier League, giving as good as they got.

While this approach may not be suitable for every match, a dose of realism is warranted. Possession was generally commendable, but the absence of key players like our first-choice striker, playmaker, and top-tier defensive midfielder undeniably made the task harder. The replacements failed to seize their opportunity, magnifying the challenge.

Arteta’s immediate concern must be addressing the lack of quality beyond the starting lineup. While there are a handful of capable backups, too many fall short. Injuries are an unfortunate reality, but when critical positions aren’t adequately covered, the team’s task becomes exponentially harder.

It’s crucial to remember that all players make mistakes. Blind criticism of individual players like Raya and Havertz could potentially harm their already fragile confidence. Arteta has done commendable work in rebuilding the fan base’s positivity after previous toxicity, and it’s imperative that we avoid a return to that atmosphere. Arsenal’s strength lies in unity, resilience, and a measured perspective on setbacks.

So let’s all calm down and instead of knee-jerk criticism, let’s look at what we can learn from this defeat and improve in the future. You know it makes sense!

Jack Anderson

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Tags Arsenal squad Newcastle


  1. Arteta has surely learned from the Spurs, Chelsea and Newcastle games, but I don’t think he can change his tactics drastically in the middle of the season

    Remember, he needed the season break to prepare his players against Man City

    I believe Timber, Jesus and Partey will improve our consistency if they become injury-free next year

    1. One very important fact that has been obvious so far this season is that; we’ll never be able to play the fast paced, free flowing football, which was our trade mark for most of last season with a midfield of Jorginho and/or Havertz.
      There’s a reason the Chelsea hierarchy decided to get rid of these guys.

      As long as a player like Partey remains sidelined and the gaffer sticks with his selection and tactics, I doubt we’ll come near the heights we achieved last season.

      For now I’m eager to see how much has been learnt from the past few games if any at all.

    2. my worry is that he doesn’t learn. And he seems to be very stubborn in certain circumstances such as Raya and Havertz. No doubt the missing players fill big holes but he has to learn how to win games with big holes. He hasn’t shown me that yet.

    3. Gai, a little tactical adjustment and twick from the gaffer will help players perform better and win games. It was said of PepG his player are always ready to play 3 different styles if need be in the cause of any match if needed. You can’t win Epl if you aren’t smart in decision making when a match is on. And we are not yet in mid season just 11 matches played. A lot can still be done by coaches using int break windows.

  2. Quote from the article:

    “Beyond the starting 11, the team seems to lack the necessary quality to maintain effectiveness when key players are sidelined due to injury. This deficiency is evident in Arteta’s reluctance to rely on fringe players, and one can hardly blame him.” “critical positions aren’t adequately covered”

    Can Jack, the writer, really not see the complete irony of these statements he’s made? A piece full of half truths IMO, mentioning many genuine issues but conveniently no mention of the cause.

  3. What exactly does this article mean by “Arsenal learning from the defeat at St. James Park?”. Let’s call a spade a spade here, Arteta has to learn that his favourite players, Jorghino and Havertz actually don’t bring anything to the table. They are a baggage that’s weighing heavily on the team. Let’s see the other players with better potential. I’ll call it potential even though nearly all of the players capable in the two positions “given” Jorghino/Havertz are proven quality players.

    1. Arteta didn’t really have many other options than to play Jorghino & Havertz, as Odegaard, Party & ESR are all injured, leaving just these two plus Vieira & Elneny available.

  4. Yea, let’s stop complaining.
    I am super confident the problem with PL officials and VAR will all go away if everyone just stops talking about it .

  5. Mikel has learnt the following last week
    Raya is a top top class GK, needs to start the next game
    Havs is top top class AM, somehow needs to be on the pitch every game
    Trossad is pure waste, needs to be benched again
    Eddie is one of the best clinical strikers in the world, the whole FIFA is biased against him for not recommending him for the Ballon de Or, will start the next game.
    Jorginho is a Pirlo clone, will fit in somewhere as our very own Andreas Elneny is making a comeback.
    We will win the treble this season

    1. I didn’t expect you to resort to such cynicism IG as you are capable of being more constructive in your comments.As fans I think we are all very frustrated at the loss of 3 points given the issues surrounding what proved to be the winning goal, but faced with the injuries to Lehman such as Partey, Jesus and Odegaard, perhaps you could explain where you feel Arteta went wrong in his selection given the players available to him.You may well revert to me and point out the fact that certain players should not have been signed by Arsenal, but let’s hear what you have to offer in a constructive sense with regard to the team selection .

      1. Dad, the players available are all his choice, either by contract extension or he hired them. When everyone knows Partey is injury prone why no back up? 10M for Jorginho? 34M for Viera? 100k for Eddie? Flo was dismissed for a paltry sum? Gab J is a 3 match pony, the 4th he gets injured! Zinny can’t defend one bit.65M for the big German. What a mess this summer. Klop was wise to snap Allister from BHA, Gapko, etc. After an exciting season last year, Mikel has weakened the team. He needs to go as soon as possible. No sympathy. Agree that the refereeing was poor, but we could not score a single goal. That should worry you and me and all true fans. Period!

        1. As expected, nothing constructive to say. Apparently, all it takes to be a true fan is to complain about everything.

  6. That goal should not have been given. However my concern is that no Arsenal player followed or tried to stop Willock that is given too much freedom.

    1. It looked to me as though both White & Saliba both thought the ball was out of play so didn’t bother. Should play to the whistle of course, but it looked so obvious.

      1. Raya does not deserve his spot, I know that Ramsdale had some shaky moments but Raya has cost us several goals this year. My fear is that Ramsdale’s confidence is shot. We may have gone from having two number one goalkeepers to none.

        Maybe Zinny works in midfield because this year it seems we are 9 vs. 10 when he is on. Don’t know if it is style, injury or age but he is not having the impact of last year. And it isn’t all on him…

  7. Sincerely, I have lost all passion, and enthusiasm in the love for the game of football. These days they don’t even hide it anymore. This isn’t a case of incompetence but gross corruption.

    The league has been bought by the oil rich clubs. Of what benefit will it be to try and win the league when you know you are going to be cheated and robbed off points here and there.

    I strongly stand with Mikel in saying that it is a disgrace to football to think that these kind of things can be happening in this century. Arsenal will never win the league again and their only crime is trying to run a club rightly… I give up on football.

  8. Will we ever have this lineup one day or are we a jinxed team?
    Martinelli Odegaard Saka
    Rice Partey
    Timber Magalhaes Saliba White
    This is the team I envisaged for the Arsenal this season but for one reason or the other we have never fielded this 11.We surely can be a totally different Arsenal from what we are witnessing.

    1. But Cliff, our esteemed leader has other ideas.

      I have read the above comments, and for the most part they echo everything I have been saying all of this season (however many of of my comments Admin Pat won’t publish)

      Our “poor man’s Pep” decided, with a mere $100m last summer, he could make us Premier League champions!

      His ego ran away with him!!!

      The net result is that, in my view, we will be lucky to make the top 5 this season, and in addition Arteta has managed to upset both Partey and Ramsdale to the point where they are both close to leaving.

      Will Arteta finally admit his mistakes and drop Havertz and Raya?

      I suspect his ego won’t let him, even if we lose to Seville tomorrow!

  9. The loss against WHU and Newcastle underlined we don’t have enough quality beyond our core players. We need to take stock of Nelson, Nketiah, Viera, Kiwior and Havartz etc, they are simply not on the level we want the team to perform to.

    1. I think you are completely wrong on Kwior who I feel will go on to prove himself superior to Gabriel who is error prone and lacks composure under pressure.

  10. We need to look at the facts, Arteta has been manager for nearly 4 years and, according to the Daily Telegraph, has spent £600m on new players. I’m not really interested in which ‘phase’ we are in only the quality of the squad after that amount of time and money spent. Seriously, we do not look like an EPL or UCL winning team, so what’s left? Either the Carabao or FA Cup or finishing in the top 4 again. The reason I’m raising this topic is having recently watched potential rivals such as Man City and Bayern (to name two) I fear we are not near their level particularly looking at quality of our bench. The way City destroyed Man U at Old Trafford was frightening considering no de Bruynne and Haaland (for the 2nd half). Personally I think we were a better team last season which doesn’t say much after the huge spend in the summer and even if we win one of the domestic cups I don’t believe it will satisfy the owners’ expectations.

    There has been an awful lot of both hubris and pessimism posted on this site, my intention is to be realistic.

    1. Those two teams have built formidable teams over a number of years. Yet, the fact is that at full strength we will be a serious challenge for either of those teams if we are to meet in any competition.
      To build a squad able to match MC is going to cost a lot of money unless you are able to unearth several unknown talents.
      It was always going to be difficult to match the brilliance of early last season when so much came together for a period of time.

  11. I think most of us here may be forgetting how the team would look had Partey, Odegaard and Timber ben fit. Jurrien Timber would have mad a massive difference to this squad if not for miss-fortune at the start of the season. Partey out for months too. What if they were all fit? We all know how much Odegaard means to the team.

    On the other hand, we have to accept that our backup (Viera, Havertz and jorginho etc.) are not at the right level to keep us competitive in big games. One massive obvious fact is we need a proven striker. And the other obvious fact is Raya is FAR from comfortable between the sticks.

    Yes, I blame Arteta to an extent but I also have to question the individual players who seem to be happy in their mediocre performances. When you know you are limited as a manager, there is only so much you can do. Will some of our summer spending turn out to be wasted (again)? Time will tell. But, Rice is quality and Timber looked quality too. So it’s not all bad. With our best players fit again I’m sure we can get back on track. The likes of Havertz can still prove us wrong. He just needs to get on with it, soon!!!

  12. I know what i have learnt. Our football is flawed. 60% possession, 11 corners to Newcastle 0, no shots on target first half and no real save needed from Newcastles keeper. The player who gave the ball away the most (Martinelli) didn’t hit a player with a cross. Haverz lost possession 15 times, the second worst player in the team, with a pass succession rate of 70%. Saka and Nketiah failing to hit the target at all. Raya giving the ball away the the second most of any Arsenal player. And all played far too slow.

  13. What I have learned is that if the team continue to produce these uninspiring performances we might as well write this season off and hope we qualify for the Europa.

    Until something substantially changes I see nothing but another hard laborious slog.

  14. The invincible record remains intact, for another season , but I tell you something this Spuds team team all fight for their one another

  15. I don’t know much about Timber’s attacking play but I don’t see his absence as a major calamity as defensively we are ok. Our problem is cutting edge attack. We know that Eddie and Harvertz are not going to provide that, Odegard will have his non moments and Sska and Saliba can’t always do it on their own. Some here go on and on about Trossard who can have his moments but is not the type to impact a game over 90 minutes. Everyone here seems to be satisfied with White and Tomiyasu as wing backs. That’s ok if all you are asking for is defensive cover , however attack wise they give us nothing and this lack of support is one of the reasons why Odegard has fewer passing options and Saka and Martinelli can often be nullified. Yes, White does go forward, but one decent pass out of three is not going to terrify well organized defenses. In the end though it is what it is. Arteta can’t complain that these are the cards he has been dealt. These are his picks and he is the captain. I would say though that anything less than top four would be a failure and there would be no justification in retaining his services.

    1. Joe,Timbers availability means more stability across the defence,more physicality and energy in the entire team and more forward play and more liberty to the offensive players because of better cover behind them.
      It also means Zinchenko moves to compete for a chance in his natural midfield position which makes us more stable
      It finally means we can then offload some dead wood in Cedric,Jorginho and even Elneny because he can cover all positions in defence and also play as D.M.This way, we create room for a quality C.F who we really need.

      1. Thanks Cliff. I don’t know much about Timber’s and am hoping he comes back strong and not physically wrecked like Bellerin after his long term injury. However, knowing that in White and Tomiyasu we already had two good back up centre halves wouldn’t it have been to invest the 40 million in a potent attacking wingback who could have added an additional threat. I’m somewhat frustrated by Edu and Arteta’s lack of imagination ( or laziness?)when scouting players. Even with his limited budget range, Wegner was able to come up with cut price jewels like Santi and Monreal.

  16. It’s no longer the Arteta fan club; it’s now the Arteta cult. I can’t understand why we cannot criticize the coach and awful players.

  17. The writer speaks about a lack of depth as if Arteta has been a mere spectator in that process. He’s spent 100m on Havertz and Viera. Havertz’ combined xga/xg numbers this season are dreadful. He didn’t play a single key pass all day yesterday; and only completed 33 passes the whole game. No, criticism of him is not unwarranted.

    The same goes for Raya, who for the second time since the Chelsea game was caught out of position on a routine cross that any starting keeper from the 4th division would be expected to gobble up…..and it led to a goal. That’s now 2 points vs Chelsea and at least one point vs. Newcastle he’s cost us.

    These under performing players were supposed to be our depth this year. Their presence here has Arteta’s hands all over the decision to bring them in. Yes, we do lack depth; but that’s on Edu and Arteta, not some kind of unfortunate accident.

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