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Arsenal vs Newcastle: 7 Things Arsenal Fans Learned from the Newcastle Draw

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Arsenal vs Newcastle: 7 Things Arsenal Fans Learned from the Newcastle Draw
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal commenced their 2011/2012 English Premier League campaign with a goalless stalemate against Newcastle United.

With captain Cesc Fabregas and key playmaker Samir Nasri both absent due to their imminent transfers to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively, naturally the Gunners' lacked their usual efficient, entertaining attacking prowess.

However, Arsene Wenger can be content with the draw.

In what was a somewhat dull encounter in which neither team deserved to win or score, notorious bad boy Joey Barton provided some "entertainment" by enraging Arsenal's £10.5 million signing Gervinho.

The Englishman manhandled the Ivorian striker after Gervinho feebly went to ground in Newcastle's box after a Chiek Tiote challenge. Barton's actions lead to a minor melee in which Gervinho tapped Barton on the head before subsequently receiving a straight red from Peter Walton.

Otherwise, an understrength Arsenal outfit did not evoke a desired response of a team set to to sufficiently challenge for the Premier League title and eradicate their notorious six-season trophy drought.

The absence of Jack Wilshere, who suffered a hamstring injury, and of course the voids left by Nasri and Fabregas were evident, and Wenger will need to enforce signings before the summer concludes.

The Gunners' encounter Italian giants Udinese mid week for the UEFA Champions League qualification play off, and the little Zebras' will provide a much stronger and more clinical test for Wenger's men.

However, there were positives to emerge from the encounter and to earn a point at St James' Park is a solid effort, particularly with a squad lacking in calibre and flair.

BleacherReport reports seven things that Arsenal fans learned from the stalemate with the Magpies.

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