Game on! Newcastle v Chelsea

Back on home turf
Hello, and welcome one and all to what is likely to be an emotional ‘Game on’ article that takes us through every twist and turn of Chelsea’s visit to St James’ Park.

It’s an early start so well done for getting out of your pit, but there is good reason to be doing so as fans of NUFC get the chance to pay their respect to a modern great of Newcastle United, Gary Speed, who tragically passed away last weekend.

As you will all be aware of, a day of tribute was planned by the club including the singing of the famous Welsh hymn ‘Bread of Heaven’ and the holding up of cards in the East Stand that will depict the number 11 followed by a minute of applause in recognition of a player who represented the Black and White cause a total of 284 times. The full tribute will now not go ahead at the request of Speed’s wife as she would like to be in attendance although the minute of applause will still be observed.

Moving back onto the game, it won’t be easy, but it’s a game that we could win, if that makes sense? Basically I’ve read the views of some who seem to think that three points against Chelsea is a given. I don’t happen to follow that train of thought and think some are vastly underrating Chelsea on the basis of, by their standards, a poor run of form.

I don’t expect a win, but I do think we are capable of pulling off a victory. However I’m also mindful that Chelsea have quality that can hurt us all over the pitch and that it’s only a matter of time before they click and get a result. We must guard against any complacency and ensure that it doesn’t happen against us today!

In terms of match previews, once again Shamrock has provided another excellent, detailed preview which you can read by clicking here and whilst your at it why not take a gander at Ben’s take on the match by clicking here.

With the match being on Sky there are sure to be plenty of internet streams although I always urge caution when predicting the availability of them, even when technically there should be plenty knocking about. Luckily I’m at the match today along with Marktoon and Jay Jay so I don’t need one, but the rest of you guys do so if anyone happens to stumble across a decent one then why not hoy a link to it in the ‘comments’ section below and share it with your fellow NUFC fans?

That just about sums this particular article up now and it’s over to you guys to get the banter flowing. Keep your eyes peeled for my match report which I’ll get on as soon as I get back as it’ll be written from being at the game first hand, again. Hopefully I can write about us getting three points in the bag, again.

Howay the lads!

Newcastle: Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Ryan Taylor; Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Danny Guthrie, Peter Lovenkrands; Hatem Ben Arfa; Demba Ba

Subs: Steve Harper, Davide Santon, James Perch, Dan Gosling, Sammy Ameobi, Leon Best, Shola Ameobi

Chelsea: Petr Cech; Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, John Terry (c), Ashley Cole; Ramires, Oriol Romeu, Frank Lampard; Daniel Sturridge, Didier Drogba, Juan Mata

Subs: Ross Turnbull, Jose Bosingwa, Ryan Bertrand, Raul Meireles, Florent Malouda, Salomon Kalou, Fernando Torres

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.

377 thoughts on “Game on! Newcastle v Chelsea

  1. Sorry lads hate to be a glass half empty sort but if Colo and Saylor out for too long we’ll drop like a stone ,theyr’e key as we don’t have enough goals in us out side of Ba and if our back line is weak ,well you get the picture. Thank god we got a good start to season.

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  2. Time for Santon to play in front of raylor i reckon.

    Didnt have our usual luck out there, chin up, least its a hard 3 games out of the way.

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  3. Seriously, Santon has to come in. Studridge has murdered Raylor on the left hand side today. Notice most of the chelsea attack came in from the left hand side of our team. Raylor is a liability to the team and he has just proven that he is NOT a left-back. On a sidenote, I really hope Saylor and Colo will pull through for the next game. We are very short in defence.

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  4. Looks like our luck ran out today. They only scored that 2nd one coz Saylor was injured, and then they get a third when Saylor is off.

    Colo and Saylor injured = trouble.

    Ref bottled it in the first few minutes as well.

    But the lads took the game to them.

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  5. Raylor didnt have a great game today tho. Maybe its time for a change. Maybe. Always a tough game today tho.

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  6. Didn’t deserve 3-0. How many times did we hit the woodwork? Four?

    I know it won’t stop it happening, but special mention to James Perch who did not put a foot wrong all game. Obertan was awful.

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  7. We do occasionally sign the odd expensive mistake! I think if he does not get a game against Norwich or Swansea then we can assume something is wrong for sure Dve.

    I’m not convinced Ashley will splash the cash based on this run of results and the injuries we have picked up. If we get to January still in the top 6 or 7, he will consider that good progress on and off the pitch. I doubt he has the ambition to try and break the top 4 at this stage…

    Only 1 or 2 in January I think, but so long as they are in the right positions and we can finish the season in top 7, I’ll be happy. 🙂

    We really do need to get some depth in defence though. That’s a big concern.

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  8. First the scoreline was very unfair on us. I was proud that they kept fighting till the end- I really am not worried that we’ve lost a few against very good teams as in those games we have shown we are a good organized team who should push for Europe.

    However we really missed Jonas today providing cover for Raylor. I also agree that it should be time to give Santon a run. It also shows the weakness in our squad as we really missed Colo as a leader (Perch did well at CB but Colo offers something else). If we’d had him Jonas and Tiote we’d have definitely got a result today.

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  9. Alright lads,

    Missed the match but I gather we were unlucky?

    My mate was saying it shouldn’t have been a Chelsea throw for their goal or something?

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  10. That wasn’t meant as a slight on Guthrie who put in a good shift it’s just that Tiote does give us more bite.

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  11. Ryan Taylor is absolutley ****e! Why constantly play him out of position and not give Santon a chance? Sturridge has murdered him all day today!

    Also, why Sammy came on was abit puzzling for me??? The lad needs to pack on a few stones since the chicken legs that he is!

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  12. Well we dont really know why Santon isnt getting gametime. Maybe because Pardew wanted to keep the same back four for as long as possible? Maybe Santon is having trouble with communicating with the other players, communucating being an important part of defending. Maybe now is the time to let him play? Hopefully because he seems like an exciting prospect.

    Brisvegas – how is it going? How is Nakajima-Ferran playing for the roarcelona?

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  13. APP,

    Santon shouldnt have a problem communicating with the guy beside him (colo) and the guy in front (jonas) as they both speak Italiano

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  14. Toonsy I agree that Perch was decent and has looked better , I think Pards has improved him as he doesn’t make rash challenges anymore.
    But I hope he isn’t covering for Colo too long 😕

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  15. That was the old Newcastle we saw today. Pardew only reacts when it is too late. That said:

    >Perch was poor;
    >Cabaye gave away a clear penalty and slept to allow Matta in for the cross from which Drogba scored.
    > Ben arfa does not know when to pass and is too keen to take on the whole team on his own. Loses the ball too often up front as a result.
    >Ryan Taylor apart from vacating his position in the first half allowing Sturridge a free run at goal did fine. People get on his back because he is an easy scapegoat

    What we have seen is that since playing one striker up front we have struggled for goals and have been isolated so badly up front unable to string together 3 passes. When Shola came on with two up front we played far better and were able to hold the ball better.

    1 point from 9 leaves us exposed from now. These are not the teams we are fighting so one cannot be so upset.

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  16. APP I understand about keeping an unbeaten back 4 together, but during that time we have lost 90% of Jonas because he is doing so much to help Raylor out.
    He hasn’t even got much time on the pitch as a sub and from what I seen of him from before he is better than what we have, I just think there is more to it.
    Maybe it’s just me being Paranoid 😕

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  17. Get a life michael12, Pardew made two changes before the 2nd half even kicked off.
    Ameobi on was clearly a terrific decision as he caused all sorts of problems

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  18. Michael12 – I don’t think Ben Arfa should play behind a central striker. In the last few games… we don’t really look as much of a threat as oppose to when we have Best or Shola upfront in a 4-4-2. What I don’t understand is if McLoven can play on the wing then why can’t Benny?

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  19. my view on the players today:

    Krul – Fantastic, world class, simples.
    Simmo – Quiet game, they didnt really attack us on his side did they?
    Saylor – Great, commanding performance
    Collo – Short time – did nothing wrong.
    Raylor – Though time today dealing with Sturrigde’s pace.
    Obertan – Seemed indecisive when in possession, did well defensively.
    Guthrie – Really good performance, did nothing wrong?
    Cabaye – One error, the bad marking of mata at the throw-in. otherwise good.
    McLoven – Quite good offensively, went missing way way too much defensively leaving Raylor fighting for himself.
    Ben Arfa – They marked him out of the game, still maybe a bit rusty.
    Ba – Did well , would’ve scored if granted the deserved penalty.
    Perch – Surprisingly well, have faith in him to do well enough.
    Shola – Couldnt have done more than he did. good power sub-in
    Sammy – a little indecisive as well as obertan.

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  20. Michael12 >Ryan Taylor apart from vacating his position in the first half allowing Sturridge a free run at goal did fine. People get on his back because he is an easy scapegoat

    So is Pards, Benny, Cabaye and Perch your scapegoats ❓ ❓

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  21. Michael, Perch was not poor. He’s not 1st team material for sure, but he held his own.

    Raylor was shocking. He is not made a scapegoat, he attracts criticism because he is not a full back and today highlighted this. Without Guti to help him do his job, he suffers big time. Sturridge left him for dead more times than I care to remember. He was completely outclassed.

    I agree about Ben Arfa, not sure we should be using him for every game. There is a time and a place and he really only suits a limited range of tactics.

    When we went 4-4-2 we conceded 2 further goals and almost conceded a lot more, so not sure why you think we held the ball so much better? I’d say we held it far less, which made the game more open and end to end.

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  22. We will get a lot of credit for this performance.
    I for one am very proud of the lads, missing Tiote/Colo/Guti couldn’t have expected much more.
    I thought Raylor actually had an alright game, Loven/Sameobi dont offer much defensive coverage, can’t see what he did wrong this game?

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  23. Perch was good. My only memories of him from way back int he mists of time when he got a yellow card for each breath he took on the field.

    I do remember Toonsy writing once or twice about sterling performances from Perchy in reserve or cup games that I didn’t see, so I’m not entirely surprised.

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  24. Daydreaming time is over.
    Top 6 was always a hopeful pipedream.

    Lets cement top 8 this season and push on from there.

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  25. Big Dave – Agreed, Jonas’ game forward has gone missing because he has had to help out Raylor. But we have still got some pretty good results. But it will be exciting to see if Santon is given game time against Norwich, Swansea and WBA. Could be a good time to let him get a real taste of the PL.

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  26. Shamrock, I still think we should give Benny a shot on the wing. Pardew makes some stupid decisions. We could have went with Ba and Shola upfront from the start or Ba and McLoven, and Benny on the left wing with Santon just behind him.

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  27. I have always said that the Best and Ba partnership is our best one as they link really well. Ben Arfa is clearly not match fit yet, but at times he gave the ball away and that allowed them to attack.

    Against Stoke Best and Ba were brilliant and I think they made oppositions fear us and I think Pardew should use those two in our next game.

    Santon needs to come in against Norwich next week, Raylor has done a good job but we need to make changes for next week.

    If one of Saylor or Coloccini is fit then I think Tamas Kadar should be brought in as he is good at CB. No disrespect to Perch but I would be a lot happier with Kadar playing.

    We also need to invest in another RB, Simpson had an inconsistent game today and got beaten way too easily in the game. He always backs off attackers and never goes in for a tackle.

    Chelsea had 12 men today and Luiz should have been sent off. We didn’t deserve to lose like that.

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  28. Pardew – I dont see why Benny on the wing would not work – provided he had a full back behind him that can defend – because Arfa wont be helping out too much in our own 3rd that’s for sure! He might try, but he wont be effective.

    Definately time to see what Santon is all about.

    Worried about our Colo/Saylor teaming…

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  29. They we have to play Kadar then, he can do the job for us. Maybe this is his chance to get back into the team

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  30. Well If neither Saylor nor Colo is available for next game we are looking at Perch-Willo or Perch-Kadar for central defence? We could use a Tiote sitting deep then helping out, assuming he is fit then.

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  31. @Alan Pardew: Absolutely. He is tricky but he so too often dribbles from too deep I do not know if he overestimates his ability or underestimates that of the midfielder and defender he is trying to get by. I would rather he was on the wing. Too often today in the first half he kept getting caught in possession when the play was begging a pass.

    On another note in response to those bashing R Taylor. R Taylor played well Save for his first half misadventures. He recovered.

    Cabaye was poor today. Both him and perch are to blame for the Drogba Goal.

    What is also clear is that one striker or at least Ba up front alone does not work. When Shola came on with two up front we held up the ball in the final third far better.

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  32. Anybody know about how far off from a return Willo is? Cos if he is then it would be better to play him and Kadar

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  33. On the back on the performance from today, and his little sub apperances, I would have no fear in playing Perch v Norwich. But as Arfa Chance says, if Tiote fit maybe play him at CB??? or would it be too risky? Dont know which level Kadar is at, at the moment.

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  34. Zoe – Williamson is over his injury, but has no game time – even at reserves level. Probably a fortnight until he is realistically ready to play and even then it’s pushing it. Like you called for, I’d be happier for Kadar to get the nod.

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  35. I think we’re better with two strikers too. Shola made a big difference.

    It ain’t the loss that bugs me, it’s the injuries today. I’m happy with even the single point we got from these three games. Taylor & Colo hurt? That’s a big problem.

    Perch did pretty well, but the stability at the back is shattered now. Is this the moment to introduce Santon? I didn’t think Raylor was that bad, today but he’s been wobbly for the last few games.

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  36. I would play Perch and Kadar then, would be happy with that combination. Hopefully Tiote is fit and then he can sit a lot deeper to help the defence out

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  37. Yes, if we are going to have an unsettled defence for a few weeks we will need proper protection from midfield. Touch wood Tiote is back sooner rather than later…

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  38. Just back from match, kin gutted – we were def worth a point
    Obertan was pretty useless and Lovenkrands was nowhere to be seen whenever they attacked down our left, taylor totally exposed as the defender he really is without Jonas covering his ass
    Shola played well when he came on

    no doubt motd sofa will love this tonight

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  39. @Shamrock: I agree we conceded 2 goals. When we went 4-4-2 we hit the bar numerous times had the ball cleared off the line. When we were 0-1 down in the final 5 mins we threw the kitchen sink and that included defenders vacating their positions to add more number up front the goals 2 we conceded came in the 89th and 90th minutes that shows at this stage we were throwing everyone forward.

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  40. ben arfa should never of been took off perch shoulds be no way near the first team , santon can play centre haf

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  41. Yeah there’s no doubt that the injuries from today’s game are the big worry and Norwich are a good team at home. We need to have a strong midfield to support those at the back so hopefully Tiote is back and Jonas should also be there to provide support

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  42. It was not the last 2 minutes that all Chelsea’s chances came. It was for a good half an hour. End to end. We were not keeping the ball as well as when we were at 4-5-1, so I disagree with you on that part Michael – however I do agree that we looked more dangerous with 4-4-2 ourselves and were unlucky not to score a couple ourselves…

    Zoe – Glad to help 🙂 Got an idea myself but nothing to do with what we were talking about! Haha 😉

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  43. Shamrock- Haha, I’m going to start writing it in a min and do some research into who we can play in those positions etc

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  44. Pardew’s last word on Tiote yesterday was that he was not optimistic he would be available for Norwich… 😕

    We could be in for a bit of a grounding at Norwich…

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  45. @Marktoonmental Ben Arfa was rusty today, it will take a while for him to get back to his old self but at times when he should have passed the ball he ran it straight into chelsea shirts. He also played the ball behind players which stopped the flow of our attack leading us to have to start the move again

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  46. Big Dave, Raylor was in no man’s land for both the second and third goals.
    He should have been man marking but instead chose to stand behind Krul on the line.

    Shocking school boy defending.

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  47. Hopefullly Collo’s and S.Taylers injurys arn’t that bad and they will be back in 1-2 weeks time and when is best back and gutierez?

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  48. Lawro said we will draw 1-1 so that’s what f*cked us

    CB options for norwich I would say are Perch, Santon, Kadar, maybe Simmo and even though I think Raylor should be ‘given a rest’ I don’t know if Pards will want to change 3 of the back 4 because he’s got 2 enforced on him already, but my opinion is stick Santon in, anywhere, because he needs games.

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  49. just got back from the match. excellent first team, a few injuries and we look crap. Tiote for Guthrie, we just about get away with. Lover for Jonas, Perch for Colo streched us to the limit although Shola made a difference when he replaced a rusty Barfa.

    Obertan needs to apply himself more..

    shame we didnt do better as Chelsea didnt look great but were better than us.

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  50. Dissapointed with the result, thought we deserved a draw at least.

    Although I have to say our squad is looking thinner by the day.

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