A 'Wee Northern Side' visit & reports suggest THREE new signings in January..

Morning all.

Pat Rice has been awarded an MBE in the Queens New Years Honours List and Wenger is thrilled:

 I am absolutely delighted because if someone deserves it, it’s Pat Rice.

He had 100 per cent genuine commitment every day and you respect that when you see that from somebody, and he is someone you could go to war with. You would love to be in the trenches with Pat and those are very difficult qualities to find in modern society.

Rice greeted the news with shock and joy:

I’m delighted and honoured to be receiving an MBE. The news of the award came as a complete surprise and I’m just so flattered to be included in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Football and Arsenal have been my life and I have so many fantastic memories during my career. I have been lucky to have played and worked with so many great individuals, and through hard work I have enjoyed some success along the way.

Well done Pat Rice, he deserves his award…..

According to reports in The Metro, Arsenal are planning a move for Anthony Knockaert in January and the same newspaper claims that Arsene Wenger is looking for three new signings in January,the Leicester City winger being one of them, M’Vila and Henry being the other two.

Then of course there is Demba Ba, Arda Turan, Alessandro Matri, Sunzu and many many more…

Anyway, the only ‘three’ we Gooners are truly interested in today are the three points on offer for today’s game against Newcastle, the ‘Wee Club’ from up North…

Sorry, but what a joke. A ‘wee club’? Newcastle are hardly that are they, they have huge home and away support, they are a club with vast tradition and just because they haven’t been gifted won all that Fergie has, it hardly justify’s the insulting comments the Scotsman directed at them yesterday does it?

The sooner Fergie hangs up his hair-drier the better!!

Of course those comments came after he needed referee Mike Riley’s assistance to win three points against Newcastle on Boxing Day and how he escaped a punishment from the FA is beyond me.

Anyway, Newcastle were robbed on Wednesday and they could cause us masses of problems today too, the only plus for us is our defence is not quite as bad as the Mancs. It’s not great I know, but we haven’t conceded too many of late (how I don’t know) and if we keep up that kind of record then who knows what could happen today.

Stats for those who care about them, personally I think they mean little:

    Head-to-head

  • Arsenal needed a Thomas Vermaelen stoppage-time winner to complete a 2-1 comeback win in the corresponding fixture last January.
  • The Gunners have lost just one of their last 10 matches against Newcastle (W4, D5, L1)
  • The Magpies have won on four of 18 Premier League trips to Arsenal, latterly in November 2010 when Andy Carroll headed the winner.
  • This is the third time the two clubs have met on this date: Arsenal won the previous encounters in 1984 and 2004.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal are on a three-match Premier League winning streak – their best form since March.
  • They have won 18 league matches in 2012, their joint-lowest tally in a calendar year under Arsene Wenger. They also recorded 18 victories in 1997.
  • If Arsenal lose against Newcastle, they will equal their most defeats in a calendar year under Wenger – 10, set in 2006 and 2010.
  • The Gunners have kept seven clean sheets in 18 league games, a record bettered only by Chelsea (eight) and Stoke (nine).
  • Theo Walcott has scored 11 goals in all competitions for the club this season, just two shy of equalling his most prolific campaign in 2010-11.

Newcastle

  • Alan Pardew’s side have lost seven of their last nine league fixtures, collecting six points out of the last available 27.
  • Newcastle are yet to record an away win this season (D4, L5). They have lost their last four fixtures on the road, conceding 10 goals in the process.
  • The Magpies have scored in each of their last six league games, their best scoring run of the season.

Newcastle outs:

Mike Williamson is suspended, Vurnon Anita, Jonas Gutierrez, Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling and Haris Vuckic are all injured!

Arsenal outs:

Fabianski, Diaby and Santos.

On paper it’s a home victory!

But this is Newcastle we are facing, a team with more spirit within it than a tin of Carlsberg Special Brew and if our players think that they will roll over and surrender the points easy then they need sacking.

The Emirates needs a convincing victory with a really good performance!

Will they get it?

That remains to be seen……..

Have a good day all…..

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