Trying desperately not to mention a certain referee, here’s five alternative things noticed from today’s Newcastle v Arsenal game.
1. Who’s Next?
Part of how Newcastle manage to tempt foreigners to sign for the club is the offer of a store card for Next, with special reductions on the tuxedo section. Hence Florian Thauvin following Chancel Mbemba’s lead when he turned up all dolled up in his dicky bow tie. Just wait til he sees the APR on the account though...
2. Andre’s Arsenal history
Andre Marriner (ah damn, that didn’t last long) has previous with Arsenal. Back in March 2014 he sent off Kieran Gibbs for handball on the line against Chelsea, despite it being Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was guilty. Gibbs and the Ox then proceeded to nominate Marriner for the Ice Bucket Challenge a few days later which the ref was happy to oblige with a thumbs up thanks to the Gunners duo. Newcastle fans would be forgiven for wishing they could throw something of their own over the whistler.
3. Chance of a repeat
Before Chancel Mbemba, the last defender Newcastle signed from Anderlecht was one Philippe Albert. Well, I say defender - he was more like a No 10 at times with the way he played. Mbemba tried to replicate Albert’s forages forward from centre-half with a barnstorming run in the first half. Shame that it didn’t end with a delicate chip over the keeper but a realisation that he’d ran into a corner and instead had a quick shimmy back.
4. Justin Lockwood is still my hero
J-Lo cracked a funny at interval about the crossbar challenge participants being careful of the divots in the pitch that the Arsenal players kept tripping over. Brave words from a man wearing the loafers he had on his feet.
5. Sho time again!
Just before transfer deadline, Newcastle paraded a new signing on the pitch. A free agent, available on a Bosman, ready to provide muscle and goals to the attack. Well, muscle at least. Shola Ameobi’s appearance at half-time set pulses racing but his unveiling was only for the Newcastle United Foundation as their new patron. Until Tuesday, perhaps...