Newcastle midfielder Jacob Murphy has revealed the toughest opponent himself & Newcastle have faced this season, while on the ‘vibe with five’ podcast on YouTube.
Newcastle restricted Arsenal to a 0-0 draw on the 3rd January and were the first side to prevent the Gunners from winning at the Emirates Stadium in the league this season.
However despite picking up a point, Arsenal dominated the match with 17 shots and 67% possession. The Gunners just weren’t able to find a winner on the day but that didn’t stop Jacob Murphy stating that Arsenal were still the toughest opponent Newcastle have faced so far this season.
Jacob Murphy’s response when asked who the toughest opponent he has faced this season is, individually and as a team:
“As a team, Arsenal. I think Arteta has done a brilliant job. He made some really clever signings in the summer as well.
Technically I think their superior to a lot of teams, but tactically it’s hard to get anywhere near them. It’s hard to lock down their shape.”
Arsenal have won 23 out of their 29 Premier League games this season and currently sit top of the table, eight points clear of Manchester City in second.
The Gunners have the best away form in the league by a big margin and they’ll need that form to continue if they want to win their first league title since 2003/04 with trips to Anfield, the Etihad and St James’ Park still to come.
Jacob Murphy went on to say that Oleksandr Zinchenko is the toughest individual opponent he has faced this season, with the Ukrainian’s technical ability on another level.
“It was tough playing against Zinchenko. I think he slipped three passes right between me & Sean [Longstaff] in the space of 15 minutes. He has no right to put the ball where he did and he was getting it through tiny gaps. You think you’re in a good defensive shape and he’s still picking out passes like that.”
This isn’t something new to Arsenal fans who have watched the Ukrainian dictate games from left-back all season. Emile Smith Rowe also agrees with the Newcastle midfielder as he recently said in an interview that Zinchenko is one of the best technical players he has ever seen.
There’s no denying the signings of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko have taken Arsenal to another level this season. However they’re not the only reason Arsenal find themselves top of the Premier League.
Bukayo Saka & Gabriel Martinelli have 25 goals between them in the league so far and with nine games to go that number could very well go above 30 and more.
With both just 21-years-old, the future is frightening and Jacob Murphy agrees with the fact that the two Arsenal wingers are extremely difficult to play against in Mikel Arteta’s system.
“Obviously Saka is deadly. Martinelli is frightening too.”
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