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MOAN GOAL; Strikers can't hit the net themselves but Rambo says: Don't judge us yet.




Coloccini 52 og

DAVID ANDERSON talks to Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, who reckons it is far too early to start criticising his club's lack of firepower

GARY NEVILLE has been an annoying backseat driver for Arsene Wenger as the manager attempts to get Arsenal motoring.

Neville has been chirping away as the Gunners have crunched through the gears like some learner driver. They are stuck somewhere between second and third, and have definitely still to rediscover their va va voom.

But at least they can switch the hazard lights off after registering their second away win of the campaign.

Aaron Ramsey claims it is too soon for the likes of Sky Sports pundit Neville to judge them and insists that time will only come after their 10th Premier League game - against Everton - at the Emirates on October 24. "It's too early now," he said. "You can't read too much into how the table is looking. You have to wait 10 games and see where you are then.

"Teams are going to have upsets and so many things can happen in this league. Hopefully, that opening-day upset against West Ham will be our only one for a long time. If we go on a run now after the international break, and win our next five or six games, then we will be there or thereabouts again.

"It's important just to concentrate on what we know we can do."

Ramsey claims the players do not listen to Neville's criticism and instead focus on their own performance.

"We don't take too much notice," said the Wales midfielder. "We know what we're capable of doing.

"We know the players we have and it's just important for us to concentrate on that and sometimes come to these sort of places and grind out results."

Grind is the word and Arsenal's clunky display was not easy on the eye. Yes, they dominated possession and created chance after chance against a Newcastle side reduced to 10 men after Aleksandar Mitrovic's early red card. But they still look short in midfield and up front.

They could have done with a midfield enforcer to help Francis Coquelin deal with Toon's physical approach, particularly in the first half when the hosts threw themselves into tackles like Viking berserkers. They required someone like Patrick Vieira who would have sorted the Magpies out after the first bad tackle.

Arsenal also need a top-class striker and Theo Walcott, who played there at St James' Park, is not a natural hitman. From 54 shots in their four league games, the Gunners have netted just three times - and two of those have been own goals, including Fabricio Coloccini's here.

So would Ramsey like to see Wenger splash some cash on new faces before 6pm tomorrow?

"That's up to the manager," he added. "We have a lot of quality in this squad, and a lot of competition for places as well. I'm fairly confident this squad can go and challenge for many titles this season and for many years to come."

It is hard to see the basis for Ramsey's confidence and, already, Manchester City's tail lights are fast disappearing into the distance for Arsenal.

NEWCASTLE: Krul 7, Janmaat 6, Mbemba 7, Coloccini 7, Haidara 6, Colback 6, (Perez 72, 5), Sissoko 6 (Cisse 78), Anita 6, Wijnaldum 6, Thauvin 5 (De Jong 87), Mitrovic 4. ARSENAL: Cech 6, Bellerin 7, Gabriel 6, Koscielny 6, Monreal 7, Coquelin 6, Cazorla 7, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7 (Arteta 81), Ramsey 8, Sanchez 7, Walcott 5 (Giroud 69, 5).

REF: Andre Marriner ATT: 50,388



9 AUG v Newcastle: Mitrovic is booked 22 seconds into his debut for tackle on Matt Targett

15 AUG v Swansea: Takes 91 seconds to get booked on his second appearance after clashing with Neil Taylor

22 AUG v Man Utd: Manages to get through 88 minutes on first start without getting into trouble

29 AUG v Arsenal: Sent off after 16 minutes for dangerous studs-up tackle on Francis Coquelin



NOSE IN FRONT Walcott sees another chance slip by after the Gunners celebrate their own goal winner (right)
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 31, 2015
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