Newcastle United vs Arsenal Match Preview: Is this Team Now Fully Focused on the League


After watching the second leg of the Monaco tie, I was extremely conflicted when writing this Arsenal Match Preview. On one hand Arsenal played wonderfully, for the most part. The team pushed high up the pitch and was able to pressure their opponent  in their own half.

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Yet key players like Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla played an average game at best. The team played well but the big money signings of the club looked either uninterested or jaded. This could spell trouble for the games coming up, which is very worrisome because we are now approaching the end of an exciting Premier League season.

Prediction: Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal

1) Sanchez looks tired, Ozil looks lost

Throughout that whole Monaco game, Sanchez continued to run up and down the pitch, he supported the defense, ran around the midfield and made some great runs when the ball was in the final third. Sanchez continues to show the importance of hand work even when you are very talented! Yet for the past few games it seems like he has lost a step. He isn’t quite as amazing as he was at the beginning of the season.

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Ozil on the other hand, is completely different. He looks fine and when he has his head in the game he plays a brand of soccer I have always appreciated. It is why I always support Ozil, his contribution to the team is immense and although he doesn’t make the highlight plays, he makes the simple ones that make those spectacular plays possible.

Yet Ozil has not been playing all too well and at times I wonder if he was subbed out. When Arsenal doesn’t include him in the build up, Ozil seems to look away and not care about what’s going on. That needs to change for this team to continue to win, and I have full confidence in Wenger to make the necessary changes.

2) Arsenal Just won AT MONACO 

Let that sink in for a second…

Despite Arsenal’s 5th consecutive loss in the round of 16, the team has to be praised for their determination and effort while playing at a very hostile pitch. Per, we see that Monaco is tied for the lowest amount of goals conceded per game. That makes the 2-0 score line very impressive. Despite the result on aggregate, Arsenal have been playing much better and the away win at Monaco might signal another push similar to the one Arsenal made last year after losing to AC Milan.

Sep 6, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Chile forward Alexis Sanchez (7) controls the ball ahead of Mexico midfielder Jose Juan Vazquez (15) during the first half at Levi

3) Wenger always has an answer

Funny how things have changed. Less than 6 months ago I was claiming Wenger should be gone because he is so inflexible. Yet in this time, Wenger has shown he knows how to manage a close game, he brought in some defensive help and he realized Mathieu Flamini is not the solution for the anchor in midfield.

Against Monaco Wenger switched up his tactics and played something that resembled a 4-4-2. It shows that Wenger is still one of the best managers in the world and although he is a little stubborn, a little old school he still has the ability to guide Arsenal to more wins and hopefully a top-3 finish in the league.

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