Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Street Fighters Spike Gunners

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Street Fighters Spike Gunners

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Oliver

I don't know what Newcastle United fans must have thought was the more pleasing.

Beating Arsenal ( or hearing Arsene Wenger bleating, whinging and moaning about it afterwards.

Have Arsenal got short memories? Can't they remember the corresponding game last season when Ashley Cole took the lace out of the ball in the penalty area with referee Steve Bennett and his Scunthorpe assistant referee Dave Babski being the only two people at St James' Park who did not see it, or did not have the bottle to say they had seen it?

And have Arsenal and Wenger already forgotten the opening game of the season when the hapless Bennett sent off Jermaine Jenas and had to send a grovelling apology to Tyneside admitting he was wrong?

Wenger, of course, sees no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil as far as Arsenal are concerned. And perhaps he did not see his keeper Jens Lehmann flatten Scott Parker with his elbow.

Instead of lambasting United in general and Alan Shearer in particular before a world-wide audience after the game, the Arsenal manager should have been in his own dressing room asking his side why they had not had the game won when they were streets ahead of United in the first half.

But United came out like street fighters in the second half, and even before Gilberto, who made such a meal of that Jenas foul at Highbury, was sent off in the 57th minute, Arsenal were already on the ropes.

The only surprise was that the knockout blow from the admirable Nobly Solano did not come until the 82nd minute after Shearer had done brilliantly to get the ball to him.

Perhaps another reason for Wenger's fury was the fact that he did not bid for Michael Owen when it became obvious that the England striker was leaving Real Madrid in the summer.

Not surprisingly, after a four- match lay-off because of a groin injury Owen was a bit ring rusty, but there can be no doubt that had he been in an Arsenal shirt on Saturday night then the Gunners would have gone home with the three points. …

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