Alan Pardew brought the curtain down on 2013 by bemoaning the breaks that he felt went against his Newcastle United team against Arsenal.
United competed in a even game but Pardew felt Lee Probert missed a foul on Vurnon Anita in the build-up to the Gunners’ opening goal.
“There was definitely a foul before then on (Vurnon) Anita, without a shadow of a doubt; there was a foul on (Moussa) Sissoko that he (referee Lee Probert) didn’t give.
“In terms of the breaks of the decisions, I don’t want to say the referee had a poor game, but sometimes he sees those calls and they go your way, sometimes they don’t.
“Against Stoke, we had all the calls go our way and today, perhaps we were on the other side of it.
“It’s just frustrating, a little bit, that we have not got something on the scoreboard in terms of a point, no more than that.
“One set-play where we didn’t defend well has cost us and we have been good at them all year.”
At least United had a small consolation on a day of little cheer for the resurgent home side. Arsene Wenger – who made an attempt to sign Yohan Cabaye in the last transfer window – will not launch another bid for the France midfielder in January after declaring himself happy with his midfield options.
“We don’t look for midfielders because today, we had not (Mesut) Ozil, not (Aaron) Ramsey, who stayed at home, and we had still three good midfielders and had still (Mikel) Arteta on the bench, so there is no real need in there.”
Still, Pardew felt they might have got more. “I’m disappointed for the players and our fans. It was a very even, very tight, really interesting game. I don’t think we’ve done much wrong,” he reflected.