ALAN Pardew did not park the bus and Newcastle United’s long-suffering fans couldn’t find a bus.
But the club’s away support did find their voice at the Emirates Stadium.
And last night’s chants against Pardew underlined the depth of feeling on Tyneside after a club-record sixth successive Premier League defeat.
It was a long evening on the pitch for the players and longer still off the field for the fans.
And this 3-0 loss has left United’s manager looking more vulnerable than ever.
You would have forgiven any supporter for heading for Holloway Road Tube station before the shutters came down after Mesut Ozil scored Arsenal’s second goal late in the first half.
But the club’s 2,000 travelling fans stayed, despite the travel chaos that awaited them at the end of the game because of the Tube strike, which started halfway through the game.
Their team – again – offered next to nothing going forward.
Clearly, the gameplan was based around frustrating Arsenal.
But this was no defensive masterclass of the kind overseen by Jose Mourinho at Anfield on Sunday.
The build-up to the game was dominated by the decision from Pardew – back on the touchline after a seven-match ban – to leave Hatem Ben Arfa out.
Arsenal manager Arsenal Wenger talked about the “potential” of United’s team in his programme notes.
Wenger wrote: “We know that they have players who can make a difference like (Moussa) Sissoko, (Loic) Remy, (Yoan) Gouffran and (Hatem) Ben Arfa, when he plays.”
But it turned out to be a embarrassingly one-sided contest, despite the return of Loic Remy to the starting XI.
Newcastle, however, started well enough.
They diligently set about their task of frustrating Arsenal, who struggled to find pockets space and get in behind their visitors.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini slid in to block a dangerous ball from Ozil, who also volleyed a shot wide of goal in the 18th minute after Tim Krul punched a Santi Cazorla corner to him.
Remy, making his first start since March 1, had to come deep looking for the ball.
Moussa Sissoko created a chance for himself with a superb piece of skill. The midfielder played the ball one side of Per Mertesacker and ran past him the other, but his flighted effort from distance was well over Wojciech Szczesny’s goal.
But Newcastle’s good work was undone in the 26th minute.
Sissoko gave away a needless free-kick for foul on Olivier Giroud, and Laurent Koscielny slid in ahead of the midfielder to prod Santi Cazorla’s delivery past Tim Krul.
Krul then denied Lukas Podolski, who got above Paul Dummett to head a Cazorla corner at goal.
Newcastle’s Cheik Tiote latched on to a loose ball 35 yards from goal and cracked a fierce drive with his right foot, but the shot was gathered by Szczesny.
Fit-again defender Mathieu Debuchy also tried his luck from distance after breaking up the right-hand side. Again, Szczesny was equal to the effort.
But the game seemingly was all but out of reach by the half-time break.
Krul twice denied Giroud, who had broke up the right, but the ball squirmed to the unmarked Ozil at the far post.
Cazorla forced another save from Krul before the interval, which couldn’t come soon enough for Pardew.
There was no discernable change in pace from United, who were soon camped in their own half.
Yoan Gouffran did break upfield and test Szczesny after Remy set him free.
But the game was well and truly over, if it hadn’t been before, when Giroud headed Ozil’s left-wing cross past Krul in the 66th minute.
Newcastle’s fans – tucked into one corner of the Emirates Stadium – were soon singing “Alan Pardew, it’s six in a row”.
Arsenal’s supporters quickly responded with “you’re getting sacked in the morning”.
That was met with a chant of “you’re nothing special, Tottenham scored four” from United’s contingent, who can surely only dream of seeing their team find the opposition net four times.
“Arsenal were good,” Pardew told SportMail.
“Ozil and (Aaron) Ramsey asked all sorts of questions that were difficult to answer.
“But we did a really good job for long periods of the game.
“The 20 minutes before half time was the part of the game that disappointed me. We were good in the rest of the game.
“We had to show some character in the second half - we were 2-0 down on the back of five defeats.
“That’s a big test of your resolve.
“If we’d got a goal, perhaps when Gouff (Yoan Gouffran) went through, we could have put a nervousness into them, but unfortunately it didn’t happen.”