“Seems like a lot of fouls and injuries,” suggests Jay Van Wassenhoven. ”Can we get an estimate of what would be the World Cup stoppage time to be added?”
I think it would have been tripled.
Half time: Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle
The half ends with Joelinton missing a great chance at the back post. Arsenal certainly started off the brightest but Newcastle have turned this match into a proper scrap. Neither goalkeeper has had to do much. The referee has handed out five yellow cards, which is the most telling thing about the opening 45 minutes.
45 mins: Two minutes added on.
44 mins: Arsenal try to break on Newcastle but a sea of black and white shirts chase back with Trippier dispossessing Martinelli.
Manchester United 1-0 Bournemouth (Casemiro)
42 mins: Trippier launches the free-kick into the box, Burn goes down inside the area but the referee awards a foul in Arsenal’s favour.
VAR checked to see if there is a penalty somewhere within the stramash.
Xhaka is booked for taking down Schar. The referee has been the busiest man so far. The match is now officially “scrappy”.
40 mins: Arsenal look to take a quick throw but Newcastle assistant Tindall gets to the ball first and knocks it away, much to the home supporters’ chagrin.
Newcastle players surround the ref after Odegaard pulls back Almiron. Andrew Madley produces the yellow card again. He’s had a busy half.
38 mins: Almiron gives Xhaka a tap on the ankles from behind, leaving the Arsenal man in pain. Due to his love of handing out yellow cards a few minutes ago, referee Madley decides he can’t dish out any more in the near future.
36 mins: Zinchenko passes the ball straight to Wilson about 35 yards from the Arsenal goal, he takes a couple of touches and passes it through to Joelinton but he cannot find an angle for the shot.
Real person Gary Naylor has some big ideas.
34 mins: Joelinton sprints back to try to dispossess Odegaard, which he succeeds in doing. Admittedly, he achieves by kicking him in the ankle and giving away a free-kick.
Odegaard lifts the free-kick into the box for Gabriel to attack but his header is off target.
32 mins: Newcastle are very compact with 10 men behind the ball. Arsenal are biding their time, waiting to find a gap in this defensive structure.
Nketiah is booked for pulling back Schar. A bit pointless from the Arsenal striker, considering the defender is in his own half.
30 mins: Nketiah is fouled again, this time by Burn. Newcastle need to regain a little bit of focus.
Looks like Newcastle are now putting three men on Saka to keep him as quiet as possible.
28 mins: Guimaraes is the first man in the book for sliding rather late on Nketiah, which should appease Arteta.
Guimaraes is soon joined in the ref’s notebook by Wilson for a very high boot on Saliba. It is a “striker’s challenge”.
26 mins: Since the break in play for Joelinton’s injury, it’s all been a touch slow. On the touchline, however, it is far more fun because Arteta is lambasting the fourth official over a free-kick Newcastle won on the halfway line.
24 mins: “Does anyone else remember that slightly strange BBC interview where Steve Crossman seemed to think it was important to buy retro fizzy cola bottle sweets from Bury Market and take them to Trippier at Atletico Madrid (I guess tripe is harder on get on a plane)? asks Tom Stratford.
”Trippier just looked fairly bemused by his efforts. Possibly because you imagine Pick N’Mix doesn’t feature highly on a Diego Simeone fitness regime diet.”
Thankfully, I have no recollection of this.
22 mins: Joelinton is on the deck holding his head after a coming together with White. It looks like White’s boot makes contact with the Brazilian’s forehead. After a bit of treatment and a check for an obvious concussion, he sits up.
Fulham are winning at Leicester through Mitrovic.
20 mins: Burn does well to hold up Saka and bloke his cross. Only another mins to go, Dan.
“After an hour with my two-year-old grandson, I pass out,” emails Jeff Sachs. “I hope you can stay up the whole game.”
We still have hope, that’s the important thing.
18 mins: Trippier swings in a corner from the left onto Schar’s head but he loops the ball over.
Elsewhere … Brighton are 1-0 up at Everton thanks to Mitoma.
“After a bright start Everton has given up a goal,” says Mary Waltz. “I naively hoped 2023 would be different. Sigh.”
16 mins: Odegaard gets to the byline on the right and tries to jab the ball into the danger area but it rebounds off a defender and then Pope, hitting the Norwegian on the way out of play.
Bukayo Saka v Dan Burn could be the telling individual battle in this game. As much as I like Burn, it looks he will need to be at his best to stop the England winger tonight.
14 mins: I look after my two-year-old daughter on Tuesdays and do not usually work but it is nice to make an exception for this. Admittedly, after chasing a toddler all day, watching Premier League football is somewhat of a relief. This looks like a it could be far more fun making sure she does not eat every object she finds in the house.
Nketiah takes the ball from the halfway all the way to the box, he does a couple of dummies before laying into Xhaka’s path to hit but his connection is poor.
12 mins: Wilson has Newcastle’s first shot with a low drive from the edge of the area but Ramsdale is fully behind it.
“Good to see Butler-Oyedeji on the bench!” says Mark Barbara. “With Smith-Rowe out and Maitland-Niles not around any more, we needed another double barrel surname.”
Always good to see an academy graduate get the call-up.
10 mins: Trippier lumps a free-kick from the halfway line into the box for Schar to flick on. Thankfully for Arsenal, there is a defender there to collect it and clear.
8 mins: Saka, who has looked really impressive, dribbles through the middle before slipping a pass out to Martinelli, who plays it through to Xhaka but he cannot keep his cross in play. Arsenal are looking good here. Newcastle need to up their game.
“I’ve always appreciated the MBM,” says Justin Madson, “particularly as a US fan who does not have the money to pay for 6 separate streaming services to watch football. At this point though, often the most exciting moment is when “1 new update” appears and the page is yet to refresh. Is it Peter Oh with another legendary play on words? Mary Waltz sharing the struggles of an Evertonian Californian? Gary Naylor, who is definitely real, saying some comment to put MBM’ers up in arms? No, turns out it was just Darwin Nunez blootering another shot into the stands. Too bad, it could have been something interesting.”
Sadly, most the time it is just me blathering on.
6 mins: Saka collects the ball on the right wing and drives for the box, beat a couple of defenders for pace to get to the byline, from where he gets into a shooting position but Pope blocks it.
The ball comes back to Saka in the box and he goes down under a challenge but the referee has no interest in it.
4 mins: It is very wet in north London this evening. Properly chucking it down.
Martinelli gets the ball in space on the left and bundles his way into the box. White sprints in and tries to shoot but it just loops up towards the touchline, where Martinelli is waiting to knock it back to Odegaard. The Arsenal skipper steadies himself but cannot get over the ball and volleys it well over the bar.
2 mins: Burn whacks the ball long but well beyond Wilson, allowing Ramsdale to collect. Arsenal try to pass the ball around but barely get time to think under pressure from the Newcastle press.
“So, thanks to nominative determinism, do we think Trippier is a tripe fan?” asks Joe Pearson.
He is from Bury and they do plenty of it in Bury market.
Peep! Peep! Peep! Here we go!
“I wonder if it is the weather, these Scandinavians. Are always having an existential crises.”
Jeff Sachs fears the cold.
“Oh lord,” says Charles Antaki, “Mikel Arteta has gone and done it – he’s trained his players to play for exactly 96 minutes and then stop, allowing the other side to walk in a few goals before the final extra-extra-time whistle. Arsenal fans are very familiar with the many ways in which the side can screw up and crash out, but this would be a new one.”
I reckon they can push it to 97 minutes.
Keith Barclay re Trippier: “FYI: one of the 5 yellow cards was in the Carabao Cup so does not count…”
“Hello from a rather chilly Sweden,” says Julian Menz. “As a Chelsea fan, I find myself facing multiple existential questions.
“IGrowing up in the 80s and especially 96? when Keegan had his magnificent moment, I would have been more than happy for the Toon to win something. As a London publican at the time, I can vouch for the fact that their supporters are class.
“Now though, I am hoping Arsenal win, in the vain hope that we might be able to scrape into 4th.
“I have to admit I spent a few years living up Finsbury Park, Muswell Hill, Bounds Green, but still.
“Wanting Arsenal to win? Actually, I hope they win the PL to be honest. My club are shite at the moment, it’s a London Thing.”
“I live in Peru and a traditional dish there is Cau Cau,” says Jimmy McManners. “Made of potatoes cooked in tripe (and the jelly that comes from it when boiled), aji amarillo (yellow chili) and huacatay (a Peruvian mint, mild in flavour) I avoided it for six years, and when I finally ate it, I regretted avoiding it for so long.”
Mikel Arteta: “They are a really good side in a good moment. It will be a great test.
“We always look to play at the highest level.
“We have other players to step in. Eddie has done really well and the team have stepped up.
“We try always to maximise 96 minutes.
“I can’t other people’s expectations, I can only manage the players ands staff.”
“You can tell Mr Sachs,” emails Mary Waltz, “that as an Everton fan good food helps me get through the fear and loathing of a relegation battle. Large volumes of booze is no longer an option so pork, beef, offal, and large quantities of fresh veg are my anti-depressants.”
“Hi Will,” says Mark Mackarel. “I thought Kieran Trippier had got himself suspended for this game by getting a yellow against Leeds? Nervous Arsenal fan grasping at straws here.”
He is definitely playing, so enjoy the nerves.
Howe also ruled out Newcastle having a clause to sign Cristiano Ronaldo if they qualify for the Champions League, which is funny on every level.
Eddie Howe: “I think it will produce a good game. From our perspective we need to at our best tonight.
“Tactically, they play a very high level game, so we have to be tactically good to be in the game. We have our way of playing, too, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
“He [Callum Wilson] is keen to play, he’s had a period at the World Cup, he came back and picked up an illness, which was a blow. He is back and ready.
“I think there is pressure on both teams. There is pressure on us, we have lived well with that pressure this season.”
“Happy New Year!” Happy New Year, Peter Oh. “I can’t believe you’re still on about Mary Waltz’s tripe (soup-making adventures)!
“As for the reader on jury duty. It’s clearly a case of guilt by (Football) Association.”
I have no new ideas, as you well know, Peter.
“I’m in Portugal and tripe is still widely eaten,” says Tim Stappard in reference to tripe soup. “In fact the nickname for people from Porto is Tripeiros.”
“You can tell Mr. Pearson ( see 1854) that my Romanian tripe soup experiment went well,” says Mary Waltz. “I grew up in southern California and had many versions of home cooked Menudo, Mexican tripe soup, but the Romanian version was different, but satisfying.”
Jeff Sachs emails: “Seems winter influencing MBM recently with many comments about food.”
We all need to stay well-fed, Jeff.
Les Ferdinand thinks there are no weaknesses in the Arsenal team, which is a bold statement.
For legal reasons, I omit the sender’s name.
“Absolutely gutted to be stuck sitting in a dreary, fluorescent-lit waiting room on jury duty instead of at the pub watching my Arsenal go 10 points clear.
“Be mindful: your commentary could be the difference between a “guilty” verdict or exoneration…”
Good to add an extra layer of excitement to the blog.
“I Ciorba de burta this on holiday in Romania a few years back,” says Darren Hall. “One of my friends, Valerio, tried it and said ‘it tastes like a farmyard’.”
There could be a new forward at Arsenal soon, if they can sort out a deal with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Mikel Arteta on the big match.
If you would like some match-relevant content, then I can offer that too.
Naturally, some of you might want me to further discuss the team news. However, Joe Pearson wants to take us back to a chat in my most recent MBM on Sunday. “Wanted you to know that I made Ciorba de Perisoare last night, based on a couple recipes I found online. Unique flavor profile that I don’t think I’ve encountered before. And a startlingly vibrant orange color (tomato paste and sour cream will do that). Anyway, thanks for opening my eyes (and palate) to a whole new world of foods! And good luck to Mary Waltz with her upcoming Ciorba de Burta experiment!”
Subs: Dubravka, Lascelles, Saint-Maximin, Ritchie, Lewis, Manquillo, Wood, Murphy, Anderson
Not many would have expected this fixture to first v third but here we are. Both teams thoroughly merit their positions in the Premier League after fantastic starts to the season.
Arsenal have returned from the World Cup firing, brushing aside West Ham and Brighton on their way to extending the lead at the top to seven points. With Manchester City having to wait until Thursday to face Chelsea, the gap between first and second could grow wider tonight to put more pressure on Pep Guardiola and his charges.
It will be up to Newcastle to stop Arsenal and they have shown themselves more than capable of doing that against the very best this season. Eddie Howe has created a cohesive unit and turned them into serious top-four contenders. There is real quality all across the pitch at Newcastle and they will be confident of doing a job on the Gunners. They will be motivated by the fact a win would send them second in the league.