Atsu's Newcastle cancel Christmas party to focus on matches

Arsenal stars looked happy as they completed preparations for their game against Newcastle

Arsenal stars looked happy as they completed preparations for their game against Newcastle

"West Ham's the next game, and we've got to focus fully on that and make sure we do all we can to go there and get a good result".

The Magpies battled and frustrated the Gunners at the Emirates but Mesut Ozil's sumptuous volley sealed a 1-0 win to prolong the visitors' turgid run in the Premier League.

The Newcastle manager wants to strengthen a squad which has been found wanting in the first half of the Premier League campaign.

"They want to give a very clear message that they care and they want to do things right so they have chose to cancel their Christmas party", the former Liverpool boss told reporters. "Overall we deserved to win", Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

"We've seen it with Everton, West Ham and Crystal Palace".

The North Londoners seem to be having problems of their own, having found the back of the net just twice in their last 3 Premier League games, and if not for Mesut Ozil's worldie, might have struggled to get over the line once again.

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Suffice it to say nothing has really gone to plan for either club this season, but this match could represent an opportunity to start turning things around.

Asked if he would celebrate Christmas with his staff, manager Rafael Benitez said: "Normally we will not do it, and the players have also chose to cancel their Christmas party because they have taken responsibility and they think it's important to focus on football". We can stay in the Premier League if we bring in a couple of players. I was asking four or five players about it and they were very clear: "Oh no, we cannot" and that was it. The main thing for me is to be sure that the team continue working like today.

"We have to keep working this way, try to get a result".

"That means if you have a player on loan who's quite good now, then we have to do it". The point is, these aren't the most defensive teams, and David de Gea most definitely doesn't play for all of them.

"So you have to take risks, because you can't compete against them".

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