Newcastle United-Arsenal Preview
Steve Bruce hit out at his Newcastle United side after their dismal defeat to lowly Sheffield United, insisting "the gloves are off" ahead of Monday's Premier League meeting with Arsenal.
Newcastle had Ryan Fraser sent off as they lost 1-0 to the Blades on Tuesday, as Chris Wilder's team claimed their first league win of the season.
The Magpies had just 33.8 per cent of the possession at Bramall Lane, while only Fraser and Callum Wilson spent, on average, more time in the Blades' half than Newcastle's.
Bruce came in for criticism after the display, but on Friday, he came out swinging at his own team.
"We were absolutely frigging hopeless the other night," he said. "Absolute s**** we were. I have to accept it.
"I've let them (the players) be comfortable but the gloves are off now. I'm going to do it my way. I've said from day one the way I wanted to play and haven't done it enough."
While Bruce hardly kept his anger under wraps, a more measured Mikel Arteta was left to reflect on a disappointing home draw to Crystal Palace on Thursday.
Palace often looked the more dangerous side at Emirates Stadium, but it is nevertheless four league games unbeaten for Arsenal, who were also able to welcome Thomas Partey back from injury.
"He's made the right steps. He hasn't played much football during the past four months," Arteta said of the former Atletico Madrid midfielder. He had an injury exactly in the same place as he had before when he got injured against Spurs.
"Now we have the reassurance that he can compete. He did it for 25, 30 minutes. He did it well, he didn't feel anything. So now we are going to be looking for the next step."
Arsenal - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang has either scored (three) or assisted (two) in five of his six games against Newcastle in all competitions, finding the net in each of his last three against the Magpies.
Newcastle United - Andy Carroll
Carroll has scored five Premier League goals against Arsenal - against no side has he scored more in the competition. He was the last player to score a winning goal for Newcastle away against the Gunners (November 2010), and had nine of the Magpies' 12 shots in their recent FA Cup meeting against them.
•Arsenal have won 14 of their last 15 Premier League matches against Newcastle (L1), losing the other 1-2 in April 2018.
•The Gunners have kept 25 Premier League clean sheets against Newcastle - only Manchester United have kept more against a specific opponent in the competition's history (27 against both Tottenham and Aston Villa).
•Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-0 at home in the FA Cup on January 9 - if they win here, it will be their shortest gap (nine days) between home victories against the same opponent since January 2008, when they beat Newcastle twice at the Emirates in the space of three days.
•Bruce has never won an away Premier League game against Arsenal (D3 L8), with his sides scoring just three goals in 11 away games against the Gunners.
•Newcastle have lost their last eight away Premier League matches against Arsenal since a 1-0 victory in November 2010.
Updated January 15, 2021