Newcastle v Arsenal more interesting than Southampton shambles

Arsenal 3 Southampton 2

Long 17 Aubameyang 28 Welbeck 38 Austin 73 Welbeck 81

With seven changes from the team that beat CSKA Moscow on Thursday night, Arsenal stuttered and stumbled.

Danny Welbeck scored twice after the visitors were gifted an early lead.

Even before  Shane Long scored, Calum Chambers had to kick a shot by James Ward-Prowse off the line.

Mustafi’s mistake on  the first goal was beyond belief.

Does Mustafi not know that defending is about good habits? Does he think it’s about improvisation? To decide to let that cross by Hojgjerg go to Petr Cech was grossly unprofessional.

Shane Long nipped in front of him, unable to believe his luck!

Arsenal 0 Southampton 1

One Gooner told me last night that until Mustafi arrived he had thought Stepanovs was the worst centre half Arsenal have ever had.

A scrappy end-of-season match fizzled out and a silly scuffle broke out after Jack Wilshere had severely impeded a run by Jack Stephens.

Ref Andre Marriner should have sent both players off. Instead he left Wilshere on but soon after that he sent off Elneny for an impetuous shove.

 Let’s face it, Arsenal have had easy games recently.

After losing 3-0 and 3-0 to Man City, Arsene FC lost 2-1 at Brighton. That was the bad news. The good news was that they had games coming up against weak opposition. A cursory glance at the fixtures told me that.

I was sure they’d beat AC Milan (2-0) and Watford (3-0) and AC Milan again (3-1) and it was no surprise when they beat Stoke (3-0).

CSKA Moscow are a feeble outfit but 4-1 was a higher score than I expected.

Since Southampton are about to be relegated, I was sure Arsenal would despatch them and they eventually managed to do that.

Newcastle v Arsenal is next Sunday at 1.30pm.

Paul Merson thinks Jonjo Shelvey should be in the England squad.

A South London boy who played for Charlton, Shelvey wasn’t good enough for Liverpool but he’s a dynamic passer whose early goal at Leicester helped them to a 2-1 victory.

Rafa Benitez said, “Jonjo is a good player but if he has good players around him like with England he can be even better.”

That remark reminds me of a night at Wembley when Steve Stone was injured and doing radio and I asked him about  his earliest games for England.

Steve just said, “It’s easier with good players.”