Newcastle coach, Steve McClaren has said he has instructed his charges to be physical when they face table-topping Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday. The Magpies picked just a point from their December fixtures against Aston Villa, Everton and West Brom. The coach has warned his team that they would have more than German midfield maestro, Mesut Ozil to contend with when they lock horns in their first Premier League match of the year.
“It is about collective organisation and discipline – and a certain amount of aggression will be required.
“We have come across many, many good players in every team. Ozil is just another one of them which we will have to contend with. But they have others – [Olivier] Giroud is scoring goals left, right and centre, [Theo] Walcott is coming into form, [Aaron] Ramsey is a very good midfield player.
“Despite what they are missing, they have still got quality,” he said.
McClaren also hailed the Gunners squad for their performance this season saying they were favourites for the title. He also expressed confidence that his relegation-threatened Newcastle can get something at the Emirates.
Arsenal go into the match with some key players still out to injury. Midfield war horse, Tomas Rosicky is still in the treatment room with Jack Wilshere suffering a new setback recently casting doubts over his February return date. Francis Coquelin is still out as well. Chilean engine room, Alexis Sanchez is also on the sidelines with injury and English prodigy, Danny Welbeck is out. The manager, Arsene Wenger, has said the team would be active in the January transfer window. Egyptian midfielder, Mohamed Elneny is expected to complete his move from Basel soon as a medical has been done last week in Paris. The Gunners have also been linked with PSG want-away star, Adrien Rabiot, who has been a long term target of Wenger’s. The team will also have to brace up for some exits as Colombian keeper, David Ospina is believed to be uncomfortable with his bench role, since the arrival of Petr Cech from Chelsea, and seeking a move away from North London. French fullback, Mathieu Debuchy is also said to want a move away from the Emirates with PSG monitoring his progress.
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