Paul Merson brands Arsenal “flat-track bullies” and points out “worrying sign”

Arsenal have won just one of their four games against the so-called "Big Six" this season
(Image: Getty Images)


Before that, however, they welcome winless Newcastle to the Emirates on Saturday – and Merson is predicting a big victory for the hosts.

"I would expect Arsenal to get back on the horse against Newcastle," Merson told Sportskeeda. "They proved that they’re flat-track bullies last weekend.

"They’ve played a game apiece against the top three and they’ve been completely and utterly blown away this season.

"It is a worrying sign, but they have been winning games that they are expected to win.

"Newcastle didn’t get a particularly great result against Brentford the other day, but they did have a good game.

"Their fans want to see good football from them, but I don’t see them troubling Arsenal this weekend."

Merson's verdict will worry Newcastle, who are desperate to pick up their first Premier League win of the season.

The Toon recently appointed Eddie Howe as their new manager after a Saudi-backed consortium completed a takeover of the club last month.

Howe is expected to have plenty of cash to spend in January but may struggle to persuade players to join his Geordie revolution with the team in such a dire position.

Eddie Howe is after his first win as Newcastle manager
(Image: Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Newcastle have conceded 27 goals in 12 Premier League games to sit bottom of the table, five points from safety.

What's perhaps most concerning is their fixtures list, with games against Leicester, Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd to come before Christmas.

Mirror Football columnist and former Premier League midfielder Robbie Savage fears for Newcastle.

"There is still plenty of time – more than enough – for Howe to collect the 33 or maybe 35 additional points needed to stay up," wrote Savage in last week's column.

"And if he chalks up two or three wins early in his reign, the momentum should be enough to lift Newcastle safely into mid-table.

"I always enjoyed watching Howe's Bournemouth teams, the way they made fast starts and their high tempo. But in their five seasons in the top flight under Howe, the Cherries conceded 67, 67, 61, 70 and 65 goals.

"For all their attacking flair, they were not famous for keeping the back door locked – and Newcastle have yet to keep a clean sheet this season… I still fear Newcastle might be going down."