The Warm Down: Newcastle United hand Arteta’s Arsenal routine three points
Photo credit: (Getty Images/Pool)

Having gone four games unbeaten, Newcastle United looked far from the side that snatched a late point at Anfield the previous week as they went down 2-0 to Arsenal on Sunday.

Recent super sub Joe Willock was ineligible to feature against his parent club, and it was almost as if his Newcastle teammates were waiting for him to rescue the points again. 

Even still, Head Coach Steve Bruce made just one change from the side that drew with the reigning Premier League champions, and it was supposed to be a positive switch with top scorer, Callum Wilson, returning to the starting eleven.

Even he struggled to get involved in the game, and his showing summed up what was a poor day at the office for The Magpies.

Newcastle look lost

Without disrespecting the players who featured for Arsenal on Sunday, it was essentially their second team on show, barring the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and David Luiz.

Mikel Arteta has all of his eggs in one basket as he tries to win the UEFA Europa League to salvage what has been an otherwise dismal campaign by their standards, with not even a top-half finish in the Premier League guaranteed.

From a Newcastle standpoint, they surely should have made more of the chance to all but secure survival in the top flight for another season, and they certainly won’t want to get drawn into challenges over the final weeks if nearest rivals, Fulham, pick up a couple of wins in their final matches of the season. The two meet at Craven Cottage on the final day.

Against Arsenal, Newcastle managed just one shot on target, and even the talented Allan Saint-Maximin struggled to make his usual impact. 

Stray passing was a regular theme and they rarely troubled their opponents.

On the beach?

In reality, it is going to take a huge miracle for Newcastle to go down at the end of this season, with a nine goal swing required for Fulham to leapfrog their relegation rivals, but stranger things have happened.

Despite Steve Bruce admitting that he believes otherwise, it looked as if the players feel that they are already safe which can be a dangerous game.

As much as fans are currently unable to be in attendance at games, The Magpies have provided some great late season memories despite there being nothing to play for in the past, with big wins against Chelsea and Fulham naming just two final day triumphs.

Even if safety is all but secured, the players should still go out there to give their loyal supporters something to enjoy in the final weeks of the campaign.