Newcastle v CHELSEA: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: St James’ Park

Date: Saturday 2 November

Kick-off: 12.45 GMT

 

With a very good October behind us, we go into our first game for November away at Newcastle.

We’ve just had a month full of press nonsense, late goals, falling out with officials and virtual crowd surfing from Jose Mourinho, who looks completely at home again in his position as Chelsea manager. Once again we’re frustrating attackers with some pretty resolute performances from our backline but alongside that, we now have the honour of some of the Premier League’s best attacking displays from the likes of Hazard, Mata and Oscar.

Hopefully, Mourinho will be insisting we keep our focus on the game for the duration either way, to save the travelling supporters enduring the sort of late drama we were on the wrong end of in this fixture last season.

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Ahead of today’s game, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew could easily have run a 30 minute documentary with his thoughts on Jose Mourinho, saying “What José does, which goes undetected because of his personality where he can be thunderous and articulate in the same sentence, is his work on the training ground, his organisation and what he demands from his players.  Those things sometimes get forgotten.

One of the big stands he makes is commitment, absolute commitment. If players don’t offer that to him, then they don’t play. When you’ve got that at a big club then you’re going to get more results than not. Defensively he’s one of the best coaches there is and you can very rarely score three goals against them. I take my hat off to what he does with his team.

He seems to have repaired his relationship with the owner and that’s made them a formidable force.  They’ve got spending power and great players. José’s one of those charismatic people that fans and players buy into. When you buy into someone like him it can be infectious. When he came back to Chelsea you could see there was a real genuine good feeling about the place and it helps when a manager has got that. It makes the job easier.”

Mind you, whilst Pardew doesn’t bother with the nonsense of a verbal sparring session with Jose pre-match, he makes it clear he’s not averse to proper fisticuffs, insisting “If you’re a football person and you can’t love what José’s about or what he does, then you can’t love the game.  He makes me laugh. But José doesn’t want to be jumping round me because I’ll give him a slap. I’m bigger than him and he knows that. He can jump around in the crowd or whatever he does.”

As for Jose Mourinho, ahead of today’s early kick-off, the Chelsea boss seemed to be a bit more focused on his own squad – or at least which players from it might feature against Newcastle, saying “I don’t say it’s a headache, I say a bad feeling.  It’s not easy for me to leave some players at home or on the bench because I think everyone deserves to play.  To have all those choices is a good problem and to have all the players playing well and committed to the group is fantastic.  But for me the responsibility of saying ‘you don’t play’ is very hard because I feel I am being unfair with the ones I’m not selecting, because they are doing all they can to play and they can’t do any more.  When they come in they give everything, when they have a chance to play they play well.  I change the team and they play a magnificent match so it’s a difficult feeling for me because I’m unfair on them.”

On today’s opponents and what a win might signal today meanwhile, Mourinho says “We know we have one of our most difficult matches of the season but we will try.  Going top is not important. It’s important to go in the right direction and we feel we are improving – the quality of our game is good, the results at the moment are fantastic.  We won every match in every competition in October including Schalke away, Arsenal away, Manchester City at home. They were very difficult matches and we won every one.  But being top or not to be top at the moment is a question of one or two points, it’s not important, although it’s better to be first than fifth.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Newcastle, Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett (both hamstring) and captain Fabricio Coloccini (groin) are all injured.

For Chelsea, Marco van Ginkel (ligaments) is a long term absentee. Jose Mourinho otherwise ha no new injury concerns.

 

TEAMS

NEWCASTLE (Possible line-up): Krul (GK); Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Cabaye, Tiote; Ben Arfa, Ameobi, Remy; Cisse

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech (GK), Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Hazard, Oscar, Schuerrle; Torres

 

LAST MEETING

Newcastle 3-2 Chelsea (2nd February 2013)

 

PREDICTION

Our recent form has been pretty good whilst Newcastle come into today’s game off the back of a couple of defeats but anyone who thinks this should be fairly straightforward for us would do well to remember that not only did Newcastle come from behind to get a late win against us last season but any good form we’ve enjoyed so far this season certainly hasn’t come on the road. Probably the safest prediction to make today is that Mourinho won’t feel the need for a mouthguard.

One Response to “Newcastle v CHELSEA: Preview”

  1. We played a very good game but we couldn’t count on our luck! Next time will be better,. Up blues!!!