Arsenal, Newcastle


By David Bradford

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is not getting the respect he deserves from the fans after the loss against Stoke City last weekend now sees the Gunners in sixth place 13 points behind league leaders Chelsea.

Pardew whose side face Arsenal at the Emirates this weekend told the daily mail ahead of the match: ‘The incident at the train station was totally disrespectful. I think 99 per cent of Arsenal fans would have been ashamed of that and we could get the backlash of it.

They will want to show how much they love him.

‘That stadium should be named after him. The job he did in that move across (from Highbury), when they had all that debt and he had to be very careful with the transfer budget — it was a miracle that he kept them in the Champions League.

‘I think everyone at Arsenal knows he’s done a magnificent job. For me, he’s the second best manager in Premier League history (behind Sir Alex Ferguson). Jose (Mourinho) hasn’t done enough yet.’

Frenchman Wenger seems to have found an unlikely ally in Pardew who once pushed the 65-year-old back in 2006 at Upton Park when West Ham scored a late winner against Arsenal.

Pardew added: ‘I’ve had one run-in with Arsene, but otherwise he’s been fantastic. I have nothing but respect for him and I’ve always enjoyed watching his teams.’

Both teams are only separated by goal difference after Newcastle’s win over the then unbeaten Chelsea at St James park that keeps Arsenal’s Invincible 2003-2004 unbeaten record intact with the Magpies boss adding: ‘I imagine Arsene might have had a glass of wine after that game.’

‘When you have that tag you don’t want to lose it to anyone.

‘But we can only worry about us, it was a tremendous performance against Chelsea and the players can be proud.

‘We’re on a good run but this is a difficult one because Arsenal away has not been a happy hunting ground for us. They have given us a thumping and on one occasion it was an embarrassing scoreline (7-3, in 2012).

‘The games at our place have been a lot closer and we hope this one is a lot tighter as well.’