Unbeaten in the Premiership for 4 Months

Arsenal are the only team in the Premiership who are unbeaten in 2009.

On Saturday, Arsenal will make their longest journey of the season (280 miles) when they travel to Newcastle. There are few factors that will work in Arsenal’s favor:

1)Tomorrow Arsenal will know their opponents in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The squad will be buoyed by this regardless of who they are drawn against.

2) The kick-off time is 5:30 pm. This means that the players and staff will not have to stay overnight in a hotel on Friday. Wenger will treat the game like a Champions League match. The players will meet at the training and fly up to Newcastle at lunch-time. They will be back in London before eleven o’clock. This suits Arsenal.

3) The Phil Brown furor and the Hull City result has united the team and given Arsenal focus. At the end of Tuesday’s win I noticed a very happy Kolo Toure run on to the pitch and hug William Gallas. I thought they weren’t friends.

4) The players are playing for their places. All of them will want to play against Chelsea at the new Wembley.

5) Arshavin will thrive playing at St James Park. It’s a big stadium, with a hostile crowd, but home to a team that are fighting relegation. Only goal difference is keeping Newcastle out of the relegation zone.

6) Newcastle are short on confidence having only beaten West Brom 3-2 in their last 13 games. They have only kept three clean sheets at home all season. Against Bolton (late August), Aston Villa (beginning of November) and Everton (late in February).

Newcastle have held both Chelsea and Manchester United to draws this season and Arsenal have not won at St James Park since December 2004 – when Patrick Vieira scored a deflected goal just before half-time.

The following season was Arsenal’s most miserable time at St James Park under Wenger. Arsenal lost 1-0 to a Nolberto Solano goal after Alan Shearer had elbowed his way through the game. The only good thing about that match was Jens Lehmann knocking out Scott Parker’s front tooth. Nice one Jens!

That defeat to Newcastle was the second in a trio of defeats. It was and is the only time that Wenger has lost three Premiership matches in a row.

The first was against Sam Allardyce’s Bolton at The Reebok(2-0).

The second was away to Newcastle (1-0).

The third was a home defeat to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea (2-0).

The media had a frenzy. They always do when things are not going well for Arsenal.

That season Arsenal finished 4th, knocking Spurs out of the Champions League qualifying spot on the last game of the season. They also reached the semi-finals of the Carling cup – only losing on away goals to Wigan Athletic.

They also reached the Champions League final. It was a good season in my book.

This season is shaping up to be a good one as well. Tomorrows Champions League draw is proof of that.

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