Pride restored at NUFC?

Back on form against Chelsea?
Newcastle head to Chelsea this evening looking to inject a bit of pride into proceedings after the disappointing defeat to Wigan at the weekend.

To be fair to the team they’ve been pretty good at doing that throughout the season and have generally responded well to sobering defeats. However, will they be able to bounce back once more now that they are safe in the knowledge that Europe is already secured?

Personally I don’t think it will be an issue, but it will be a test of character for this team. They won’t have liked losing at the weekend and will want to make amends for it by putting in a performance against Chelsea. It may not be enough for the three points, or even a point, but as long as I see 100% effort from the players I’ll have a bit of my pride restored.

It seems strange to say this after such a stunning season and I know that at the end of the day it is only one defeat, but it was a chance to really take the bull by the horns and keep things ticking along in our favour as we chase a rather surprising Champions League place. That is what disappoints me the most about Wigan – the fact that there was something significant to play for yet the motivation – from manager down to players, all included – wasn’t there.

Anyway, enough doom and gloom!



What has gone on this season has been brilliant. We’ve moved forward so much as a club, both on and off the pitch, and credit and praise must be dished out accordingly. Yes there have been hiccups, rather big hiccups like at Fulham, Tottenham and Wigan, but on the whole we’ve witnessed a bunch of players who have put in everything for this club over the course of the season.

From here on in I’m not expecting anything. I’m not saying we should pack up our bags and go on holiday early, but instead I mean in terms of points return from our next three games. What I do expect is a bit of pride and 100% effort and, if they can do that and take points from the final three games, we may just end up in one of those Champions League places anyway.

Last week we weren’t helped by all the media talk of Champions League qualification. It’s not how we’ve done things this season as, generally anyway, we’ve gone about our business underneath the radar. It showed in our performances as we played with pressure and racked up the wins.

Right now we need to get back to that and ease the pressure whilst restoring pride after Wigan.

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

70 thoughts on “Pride restored at NUFC?

  1. All very good points Toonsy. The season has been great, far far exceeding our expectations and everything looks promising for next season too. However, I’m not expecting any more points except at Everton.

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  2. Just a thought sparked by last night’s game – Aurelio’s a fine left back who hasn’t for some reason cut it at Liverpool. Anyone else think he could do a job in Toon?

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  3. Spot on Toonsy…agree with you on this 100%

    Hope we get something out of this game though and even Man City…..just to show what we’re made off. But if we get nothing from both (probably) as long as we show up and fight I’ll be happy with the season.

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  4. Georgio – Aye I think he’s decent, but he’s made of glass so is out injured quite a bit.

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  5. I suspect, unfortunately, that Chelski are gonna hump us. They’re on fire at the moment, and I can’t see us getting anything.

    Although my view might be influenced by the poor showing at Wigan – if the players actually turn up, then we might stand a chance of nicking something. Tiote has been poor for the last 2 games and is surely due a starring role?

    Alas, I also expect Tottenham to beat Bolton. That said, Muamba is going to be in the stands tonight, hopefully that will spur the team on.

    I think we have to win to still be in the reckoning for CL, unfortunately. I can see us beating Everton IF we have to, but not if there’s nothing riding on it. Tottenham are at home against Villa on the weekend – the only team competing with Blackburn at the wrong end of the form table.

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  6. If we take the battle to Chelsea tonight they will relent. They have an FA Cup and Champions League Final place to look after and will not want to be injured tonight…..Step forward Tiote.

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  7. I also note that “the Toon have now lost five of their previous eight Premier League away games, conceding 19 goals in those five defeats.”

    Doesn’t bode well, does it?

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  8. Toonsy – I also agree with you.

    As bad as the Wigan game was, what was brilliant was the travelling fans support. I think they showed that although the team had a bad day, the fans appreciate what the team have achieved over the whole season.

    I know you were annoyed yesterday with people defending the players and pinning the blame on Pardew, and I agree with you on that aswell. Regardless of what Pardew does, you want to see passion from players, showing anger or frustration when they concede, chasing the opposition down to win the ball back and things like that. I didn’t really see that in the 1st half like.
    I think points will be hard to come by in our last 3 games, but if we end the season working as hard on as we have all season, then that’s all you can ask for as a fan. Particularly the City game. I have always thought of the last home game of the season as one of the most important, that lap of honour for the players should be meaningful. Last season I was there for the Fulham game, where IMO we switched off and allowed them the draw. Forget league position or money lost, as a fan I took that as a huge slap in the face. I don’t expect to see that again this season.

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  9. Maybe I had a bad feed but I wasnt that upset at the wigan game. Wigan played a blinder and I think there are few teams that would have beat them that day in the form they were in.
    The game that sticks in my side all year is the loss at arsenal. The winner was so late and it was really a rush the box kind of goal. If we held on for the draw we’d be by ourselves in forth, one point off 3rd with a game in hand. Grant it arsenal deserved the win but the fact that we were 99.9% there really sticks me…

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  10. Its impossible not to be disappointed with the Wigan result when CL qualification was so close but its also equally impossible to be disappointed with the season as a whole-its been brilliant really!

    Personally I would have preferred if we’d just kept things ticking as we had, don’t talk about Champions League and don’t big up our players or how good our style is-or even talk about how good a point would be at Wigan! I know it was impossible for us not to be linked with CL by the papers, but we didn’t have to go out and say it. Spurs and Chelsea really took us seriously and responded with great results and have thrown down the gauntlet…we couldn’t even get into first gear against Wigan.

    Think we’ll need at least 6 points and probably 7 for CL so I can’t really see it 😕

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  11. Look I think the most of the anguish from the Wigan game is the fault of some of the fans.. winning six on the trot and sitting pretty in 4th spot has generated high expectations that need to be met or else. Maybe some expectations need to be lowered a little and except that we have played above ourselves this season and we will drop some games..shit happens sometimes.. bring on chelsea.. 🙂

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  12. I agree Aussie. I think people looked at the wigan game and expected a win because it’s wigan. But wigan have been in better form than us with some of the teams they’ve beat lately.
    I have full confidence in the lads to turn it around today but honestly, if Chelsea put in a performance like wigan did on Saturday, we really don’t have the squad to match it especially defensively. It would take a boat load of syrup.

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  13. Toonsy ,got to agree mate ,it’s the lack of effort that riles fans more than a loss ,so yes want to see 100% commitment tonight .
    Honestly don’t know what will happen tonight ,would like to think we can nick a point or 3 but Chelski seem to have hit a bit of form .Could be a high from getting into two cup finals in which case some players may hold back a little not wanting to risk an injury , let’s hope so. Also now that Arry has missed out on the England job he’ll be back to concentrating on getting Spuds back in the CL again ,so their game will be interesting too . The thing with Spuds is even though they won on sunday Blackburn were just awful ,not one shot on goal in 93 minutes.Thing is how much confidence have Spuds taken from the win . 😕

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  14. I think that we have been a lot more consistant than last season. I thought we threw away a dozen points from winning positions and hence my target was mid to high 50’s pts. We have achieved that and more.

    I think that the return of Best, Marv & obertan will strengthen the bench and provide more options in play. I expect us to start 4-2-3-1 and then bring Marv or Obertan on if we need to switch to 4-4-2 or if Ba or Cisse are missing.

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  15. @7 Blip
    I prefer to look at as “won two of our last three away games”.

    Also before the Wigan game a stat being bandied around: league’s lowest home scorers vs team with 5 clean sheets in 6. Fuck the stats!

    I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders after the weekend, was so nervous before the Wigan game, now that I think 4th is beyond us i’m excited for the game again, no pressure at all now.

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  16. K-1664 : 😯 Where the hell was I then 😯
    😳 your right of course, just shows how pissed off I was dunnit 👿

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  17. Chewsee are desperate to get 4th tied up so to make the reult of the CL final irrelevant. I have no doubt they will chuck everything at us in the first half, much the same way as wigwam did. After all we NEVER seem to come out the blocks all fired up and ready for action.
    We dont like to be closed down and given no time or space to play our football. This makes our defence panic more often than not, resulting in desperate long passes and loss of control.
    If we can sit deep and tight, pack the midfield and absorb whatever they chuck at us, I have no doubt we will grow in confidence and will catch them on the break.
    However if they score early, we are fecked, as they will do what they did v Barca. 11 men behind the ball and defend like fook.
    Its vital that we score 1st imo.

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  18. Pressure back off us now so I would not be suprised if we get a result at Chelsea. Providing we don’t ship 4 goals in the first half that is. Need to put some crunching tackles in early to see how game they are with the cup final on Saturday.

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  19. We definitely miss Saylor.
    Our defence has been fantastic in general this season but we have acquired a soft underbelly which means if we suffer a set back we are liable to capitulate. I think it’s why we have one of the best clean sheet rates yet a pretty average goals conceded rate.
    Need Saylor back or a new determined defender. We had Joey and Nolan for that as well this season. Maybe the longer Tiote is with us the more he will grow into a leader.

    So assuming we are playing 4-2-3-1 next season, would people prefer Cabaye as he is now in the attacking four? Or next to Tiote in the 2?
    For me it’s actually in the two, I think he could be our Xabi Alonso and become world class in that position. He’s very good in the 3, but we could shift HBA to the centre, let him wreak havoc and bring in a proper right sided player for the right.

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  20. You would have to think that of the 4 games Chelsea have left, the Premier League games mean least to them. Let’s face it, Chelsea beat us and Blackburn and they MIGHT finish 4th and qualify for CL. But, beat Liverpool and Bayern Munich and they win 2 cups and quality for the CL – which is the main prize for Roman Uglybitch.
    That said, this is Chelsea we are talking about and they will expect to win all 4 games, so I really don’t expect them to play a weakened team or have a relaxed attitude tonight.
    We will have to play at 100% and hope for a slice of luck.

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  21. ST, I think HBA could qualify as a “proper right sided player” because he loves to cut in onto his left foot so that he can rip a shot or send in a cross. I think he’s definitely more effective there then he would be on the left side.

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  22. Solanostrumpet.
    Assuming 4-2-3-1 next season, although I would prefer 3-2-3-2. The only people playing out of position currently are Jonas & Ba. I’m happy with Cabaye now that he is doing what Troy told him to do ! 😀

    I think Marv will move into the 3 at Ba’s expense, and can see a new CDM coming in.

    That would give us a bench of Elliott, Raylor, Willo, Perch, Oba, Ba & Shola. as well as any new signings + Best, Gosling, Vuckic, Abeid, Fergie, Tav etc

    Looking Good

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  23. I think in these next two games pride is at stake as much as anything else. Two defeats and people will turn around and say ‘see at the end of the day Newcastle still can’t compete with the big boys and have been lucky this season’. Whereas if we can beat one of them it would show we are the real deal and go very nicely with the Man U result.

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  24. Very good point DJG. Would be extremely good to get at least one positive result out of these.

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  25. I don’t buy into the ‘Chelsea have bigger fish to fry’ thing either. They will be embarrased that we are above them and want to give us a humbling defeat. It’s unbeliveable that Torres has found some form as well right when we are playing them after 16 months. Typical. Sunderland would play them when he hadn’t scored for 3 months and half their players injured. 😉

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  26. I think it’s a myth that their players are all old and will be ‘tired’ because of playing two games a week. I bet they have a good tempo against us and are at least as quick as us. Some teams prefer playing twice a week and it means they have to do less fitness training as they just stay match fit with the quick turnaround.

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  27. I actually think one of the key problems with defence is the passing. Literally Williamson can’t pass short for toffee, Simmo rarely sees a good option and hoofs it, and whilst Santon can run superbly when he’s hemmed in he panicks and runs back towards goal, even passing it dangerously a bit like Enrique used to. Literally Colo is the only one with any composure who can move and pass. The less said about Kru’ls kicks the better….

    That’s literally the one thing i’d change about his game…make him focus on being able to find a midfield player in space-there’s always at least one, you can see them staring at the ball as it flies miles onto the head of an opposition central defender. Ba and Cisse just aren’t target men we can hoof to.

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  28. Doesn’t matter what team they put out if we lose we just aren’t good enough, had a lucky season, and if we win it’s because chelsea are focussing on the cups.

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  29. Yeah Torres hitting form is just typical, its like City finally playing Tevez and him finding form as soon as we’re round the corner, yet they’re perfectly willing to play shite and gift the scum 4 points this seas 😆 🙄

    Still, the danger is Mata for me. Tiote needs a strong performance today, needs to let Mata know who’s boss 😉

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  30. Chelsea definitely need the win. They can’t rely on beating Bayern and NEED CL football. We don’t . . . so we’ll see what happens. Should be a good game and that’s all I’m looking for at this stage. Have to watch Drogba!! I wonder though how many of the team think they’ll still be at Chelsea next season. They might (wishful thinking) not even care about next season’s CL.

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  31. I’m not so sure Chelsea “need” the CL as much as everyone is saying…I kinda get it, but at the same time their players aren’t going to leave if they don’t get it-its not like Spurs. These players are still on absolutely ridiculous wages, even rivalling City players….as for attracting new talent? Well they already have a load of good youngsters, a decent squad, and if Torres has finally hit form then they have a world class striker…

    As such there is pressure on…but not ridiculous pressure. They’ve already beaten the “best team in the world” in two legs remember..

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  32. I agree with a lot of what’s been said in the lead up. But I have a sneaky suspicion that Benny will provide today after a pretty average performance last game, he looked frustrated.

    Followed the blog for quite a while now and thought i’d join the crowd. I’m off to see the game this evening, first game I’ll have gone too since championship season.. Studies have taken hold. Can’t wait!

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  33. Interesting stat:

    Yohan Cabaye & Moussa Dembele: Have made the most tackles in the Premier League this season, with 107 each.

    Provider and tackler. What a dreamboat 😉

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  34. Anyone know any decent sites for watching the game? Can’t believe its not on tv, who the f#ck cares about Spurs v Bolton?!!!! 😡

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  35. Rossco-the game was picked for television a while back mind, they don’t do it on a weekly basis, kind of a shame 😈

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  36. Aye I know, but Sky seem to change their mind whenever they want! I think I’m just used to us being on the TV so much this year. Even more next year with us being in Europe!

    Hopefully there will be a good stream!

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  37. Yeah, and they always have a conveniantly “random” fixture list to deal with. Man City vs Man United alone on monday evening, only a few fixtures before the end of the season….. 🙄

    I know what you mean, we’ve been on a fair few times this season-had loads of sunday matches as well recently. Yeah if we can prove to be good European contenders and keep the attractive football flowing we might even be on more than big teams like Liverpool…. 😆 😉

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  38. Welcome to the mad house toonshire. If you’ve been about for a while i trust you’ll know who to avoid 😉 enjoy the game later, be nice to see a win at chelsea

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  39. Juzt tuned in.

    Agree Toonsy.

    As a one off we can forgive the performance but another lack lustre performance tonight, then questions need to be answered.

    A draw will be a good result.

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  40. Should be a very good game. We will play better and they will be thinking about the weekend ahead. Still calling for a draw but also a return to form for us. Must get Ba into the box more often to take the attention off Cisse and allow Ba to find his form. Great games from Cabaye, Tiote, and Colo a must as well. Krul could be very busy but the lads must be solid in front of him and not panic. If we play well here I think we will beat Man City and destroy their chances for a league title. 😉

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  41. Good to hear from ya Toonshire – enjoy the game mate 😉

    Andy – I agree, dont know when it was decided which game they’d televise?! but I’ve have thought Newcastle v Chelsea would have been a better looking fixture even at the start of the season. In fairness, we’ve done pretty well out of Sky recently and the Muamba recovery may have played it’s part if the decision has been made since their Cup fixture.

    Also agree with Troy, a draw would be a good result tonight, nervously excited now like 😈

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  42. I feel strangely calm considering it’s Chelski ,mind you that won’t last should we play shite . I felt more nervous befor the Wigan game .
    Hello to Toonshire too . 😀

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  43. Spurs will indeed lose to bolton,fabrice muamba will be there to give moral support. 😉

    And the race for 4th will go down to the wire on the last PL game. 😈

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  44. sharpy
    They decided the 2nd half of the televised fixtures in December when we’d slightly dipped in form and the press thought we’d drop down to mid/lower-table.

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  45. Kimtoon – Im relaxed too. Just resigned to a defeat for me though 😉 not saying we cant get anything but definitely would be a bonus

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  46. [email protected]
    “BBC. Andrew from Scotland. How the press are dealing with the hodgson appointment is a disgrace, they’re so pro rednapp that they’re blinded to the idea that Roy might be the better choice. Let him manage before ridiculing him for goodness sake. By the way 3-2 to the toon!”

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  47. @lee_ryder: #nufc Krul – Perch – Coloccini – Williamson – Santon – Cabaye – Tiote – Jonas – Ben Arfa – Cisse – Ba

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  48. interesting line-up from chelsea…its quite weak and we are near full-strength!! really need to take the opportunity and go for the win! will put memories of last weekend to bed and put in a fantastic position to finish out the season! no excuses

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