Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle: Strong start surrendered once again as NUFC shoot themselves in the foot

It was Man Utd away 2.0, that. After Gayle put us 1-0 up after 12 minutes, Chelsea went in at the break 2-1 up and ran out comfortable 3-1 winners in the end, with individual errors at the back costing us dearly one again.

A decent first half effort and a game we started so well in, but it shows once again that application and teamwork will only get you so far – especially against these top teams.

Gayle’s goal was the product of some really good early pressing and alertness from our front three in the opening stages, but, despite this early promise, we never looked like keeping Chelsea at bay for long.

With stars like Eden Hazard (who ran the show) and Alvaro Morata, it’s never going to be easy to contain a Chelsea side full of quality, but more individual errors cost us once again – undermining what was a really promising start to the game.

It was an interesting team selection from Rafa. I thought the system makes sense, and worked in parts, but the players filling certain key roles were highly questionable:



NUFC XI – (3-4-2-1) – Darlow – Mbemba, Lejeune – Manquillo, Diame, Merino, Ritchie – Murphy, Perez – Gayle.

Diame no longer has the legs to work in a two-man midfield. He and Merino were quite sloppy and struggled to properly protect the two centre-backs from the floating Eden Hazard. Easy to say now, but I’d have far preferred Hayden next to Merino in a game like this.

Ritchie at left-wing back just didn’t work. He had a shocker, costing us the second and third goal with some really basic errors. Usually, you’d back Ritchie to be switched on enough to play that wing-back role, but he’s left Yedlin exposed so many times recently, so it’s not like we weren’t warned on that front.

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We were partly punished for taking the lead too soon and being unable to work out how to approach the game, partly punished by the clear gulf in class across the two sides, but it was individual errors that really killed us once again today.

Another frustrating afternoon, but this isn’t the game to get annoyed about. We have two massive home games coming up now (Leicester and Everton).

Let’s look forward to the much needed return of Lascelles and Dummett, put this one behind us and hope for some big results in the weeks to come.

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

 

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan – he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

101 thoughts on “Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle: Strong start surrendered once again as NUFC shoot themselves in the foot

  1. Watching the Chelsea game it just seemed that as soon as they scored there was an acceptance by our team of the inevitable. It may have been inevitable but they didn’t have to accept it – does that make sense. I really think Rafa is missing something in not starting players that have absolute belief in themselves. I would put Mitro and Shelvey in this category and also Gayle. Gayle started in non-league and now he is a 12 million quid player. I would say Lascelles, Moreno and Ritchie are close as well but they start when fit.

    We have average players for the most part but we still should not just bend over and take it up the arse. Go down fighting and have a bit of swagger.

    I know Rafa is all about shape and organization but at the moment we need a lift. You will never get that from Joselu or Diame or probably not Hayden or Perez no matter their work rates and “playing for the team”.

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  2. Eric, I can see what you’re saying and to a point I agree. It’s easy to raise your game against stiff opposition for say a one off cup game, we see it in the fa cup all the time with giant killings. When you come up against better equipped sides consistently or on a run of games it’s very different though.Manure, Chelsea, Leicester and even Watford are really tough opposition and all with proven quality up front. We don’t have a real goal getter at present, even Mitro isn’t a cert to get us all we’d need to be sure of surviving, though I’m sure he offers more than Joselu I grant you.
    I think Rafa is pretty hamstrung at the moment and for what ever reason he won’t start Mitro, god knows I wish he would, but maybe he see’s something we don’t.

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  3. So reports in the Times say Staveley has give Jabba a take it or leave it (two week deadline) bid of £250m. Daily Mail said it will be rejected but Jabba will look at £300m.

    What a load of shite – all of it!

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  4. Stuart79:
    So reports in the Times say Staveley has give Jabba a take it or leave it (two week deadline) bid of £250m. Daily Mail said it will be rejected but Jabba will look at £300m.

    What a load of shite – all of it!

    Another sign the rags have sod all to talk about so let’s make a storey up and get some papers sold,don’t worry as transfer window gets closer they will find some other crap storey to report

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  5. Stu, past caring now mate, we know it won’t happen, never was truth be told.
    Why you would hang onto something you can’t afford to maintain is beyond me.
    I mean, would you keep hold of a house you couldn’t afford to update ? I know I wouldn’t .

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  6. Kim – Ashley has several estates full of houses. He doesn’t care about updating one. Of course he could afford it but he doesn’t want to.

    These reports are all rubbish. Last week they said PCP had offered £300m but Ashley had turned it down. This week they say the bid is £250m but ashley would accept £300m. Rubbish.

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  7. Jabba is buying Brixten market 30 mil,bet in a year or two he will close it knock it down and build houses on it,A Brazil saying jabba is going back to buy Rangers if and when he sells the toon as he will easy get back into Europe to sell his gear in the Europium market

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  8. Icedog:
    Jabba is buying Brixten market 30 mil,bet in a year or two he will close it knock it down and build houses on it,A Brazil saying jabba is going back to buy Rangers if and when he sells the toon as he will easy get back into Europe to sell his gear in the Europium market

    Makes sense.

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  9. georgio:
    Kim – Ashley has several estates full of houses. He doesn’t care about updating one. Of course he could afford it but he doesn’t want to.

    These reports are all rubbish. Last week they said PCP had offered £300m but Ashley had turned it down. This week they say the bid is £250m but ashley would accept £300m. Rubbish.

    why doesn’t that surprise me

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  10. heard something is happening at toon dont know what it is couple of people running aboot,could be only something aboot team,trying to find more,sorry i dont know more could be nowt

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  11. icedog:
    heard something is happening at toon dont know what it is couple of people running aboot,could be only something aboot team,trying to find more,sorry i dont know more could be nowt

    Sounds like the PR machine is broken 😉

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  12. Am I the only one who kind of believe it?

    The news was from Times. Times is something, right?

    Last week the news from Mid East saying the offer was below 300M, and it was a cash payment. It matches with the information today 250M one time payment. It sounds much less than Ashley asked for, but it is ONE TIME CASH PAYMENT, NO RISK! Ashlely knows it is not a bad deal. I kind of agree him that if it is 300M cash it will be perfect.

    I can only hope Amanda throw 300M cash to Ashley and say: now get out of here! I know, I am dreaming again. 😀

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  13. Funrafa I hope it true mate, really I do because as the club will never move forward under Ashley. More depressing football with cheap signings.

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  14. 250 million ia good offer because there is a chance the club could go down even with Rafa at the helm. If we get relegated the clubs will decrease and with Ashley running the club his likes exciting the fan’s with catastrophic football.

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  15. George Caulkin‏Verified account @CaulkinTheTimes · 7h

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    funrafa, only journo I trust is George Caulkin (TIMES )

    On NUFC takeover: contact ongoing. As things stand, nowt else on the table. Ashley holding out for more ££ but it’s a risk – lower they are in the table, less club is effectively worth. Longer it takes for agreement (deal would take a month), less chance to improve in January.

    19 replies . 55 retweets 95 likes

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    Like 95

    George Caulkin‏Verified account
    @CaulkinTheTimes

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    The key thing (for me, anyway) is that there is, by all accounts, a willingness to keep talking. And they are doing. It may be frustrating and tortuous etc etc, but they have to be allowed to get on with it

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  16. Agree Kim. However at the moment timing is also everything. The winter window is the only chance to ensure Toon will stay in PL this season. If we miss the chance, it will be too risky for any investor to even think of buying the club this season. Ashley is a $ man. He must know it. So either he invests in it to ensure it will stay or he sells it so it is non of his business. He can not just sit on it without doing anything. otherwise he can not afford the loss of himself.

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  17. The stories are that Rafa wants a 20 million investment from Ashley. That suggests that he does not believe the takeover would go through in time. They mention at least 3 players needed – striker, number 10, leftback. That would cost way in excess of 20 million for anyone decent – NO MORE JOSELUS PLEASE. It would also suggest that players are on the block. Obviously Colback but also probably Mitro and maybe even Gayle even though he seems back in Rafa’s plans. Probably Mbemba too, as these are our most saleable assets that Rafa has used sparingly.

    So, the total transfer kitty he is looking at is about 40 million, with Ashley funding 20 of that. Ashley would be mad not to do it.

    Then there is the sticking point of wages. You might say put in a relegation clause but what player in their right mind would accept that when there are probably PL teams lining up in January? What about the pull of Rafa you might say? Well we all know Rafa will be off if we are relegated. He will probably be off in January if Ashley fcks about as usual. Rafa has been around the block and I am sure he has lost patience with the Fat Man.

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  18. Aren’t there really only 5 scenarios left in this high stakes game of poker. Because Rafa is part of the package and if he goes then NUFC are far less attractive to PCP:

    1. Ashley sells for far less than his original asking price because of the risk of relegation and need for reinforcements to keep NUFC in the PL.

    2. Rafa sells for closer to his asking price with a relegation clause.

    3. There is an impasse but Ashley gives Rafa sufficient funds to keep him at NUFC with the expectation of a buyout in the summer when NUFC are NOT relegated.

    4. Ashley refuses to budge with PCP or Rafa and Rafa walks because he doesn’t want another relegation on his CV.

    5. Ashley doesn’t sell and doesn’t give Rafa money but he stays anyway, rolling the dice on relegation and betting that he can keep us up by the skin of our teeth with an inferior squad.

    I think the results between now and the middle of January would determine if Rafa chooses 4 or 5 if the Fat Man doesn’t stump up some cash.

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