Chelsea Are Simply The Best Team In The Country

Chris Hughton has left nobody under any illusions that tonight’s Carling Cup tie at Chelsea will be a terrific test of the Newcastle side.

Chris Hughton – Chelsea the best team in the country

But the Newcastle manager is still planning to somehow try to get a win at Stamford bridge, which would be a wonderful result, compared to the good result the lads got at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Chelsea have scored 21 goals in their 5 league games and have a goal difference of 20, but Chris Hughton’s star is rising steadily on Tyneside, as the squad has been steadily and carefully strengthened since he took over a very short 15 months ago.

And there’s little doubt that Chris is  a good coach, who has a sound game plan for every game, and knows just exactly what he wants his team to do. And it will be no different tonight even though we expect at least 8 changes from the side that started against Everton.

Chris Hughton talked about the side Newcastle will meet tonight:

“What we are up against is a side which is the best team in the country. They seem to almost have it perfect. They are scoring goals left, right and center and not conceding any.”

“The best way to go there as a team is to not expect to win and enjoy the challenge of going up against the best team in the country.”

“I will set my team out in a way which we hope can get us something from the game. It is hard to stop them.”  “They going to be a game where they were going to be strong favourites and very difficult for us to win, but they are the exciting games.”

“What we will do is make considerable changes from the league game but we are certainly in a better position, squad-wise now, than we were a few weeks ago.”

As we said, we expect Chris to make big changes tonight, but he will involve the fringe first-teamers, rather than the youngsters he played at Accrington Stanley when the lads had a very good 3-2 win.

We expect Ryan Taylor, Sol Campbell, Alan Smith, Jonas Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands and possibly Nile Ranger to get starts at Stamford Bridge tonight, with Tim Krul again in goal, with Steve Harper now out injured for some time.

That would be 8 changes to the side that started on Saturday, so Chelsea are not the only team that will significantly alter their line-up from the weekend league games.

It should be an interesting game and a chance for the Newcastle fringe players to take their opportunity against one of the best club sides in the world.  Newcastle are nowhere near the class of Chelsea right now, we know that,  and it was proved in our first game when the Red Devils were just too good for us in that first league game back in the top flight.

But the strength of this Newcastle side is in their terrific team spirit, discipline, organization and passion, and it may take a few seasons yet, but the Tyneside club is back on the rise again, with an unlikely manager at the helm.

But we just love it .

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • TheMightyOne

    Sep 22, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    Comment #1


    Ranger, BenArfa, Carroll, Barton, Tiote,
    1 more defender, Krul/Soderberg

  • TheMightyOne

    Sep 22, 2010 at 12:23 AM

    Comment #2

    Just hoy Colo on the bench just in case

  • Sav

    Sep 22, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    Comment #3

    Sorry, but Chelsea are in Europe, with a number of extra games more than Newcastle and realistic hopes of winning major trophies. That’s why they feel justified in playing reserves in the Carling.

    What is our excuse?
    No Euro games, only the Carling and FA Cups with any chance to win something. Can our first team really not manage potentially, 6 extra games on top of the 38 league outings?
    What about ‘paying back’ supporters etc. etc.? This is gutless, overpaid nonsense.

  • baro

    Sep 22, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    Comment #4

    Chelsea are extremely dominant this year. They are beast! But, will not play most of their starters THANK GOD DROGBA WILL NOT PLAY!!!!! I think we have a good chance of winning this game. Just to not have lots of mistakes, like Sol Campbell does in reserves. But I go for a 2-1 win to us Newcastle. Nile Ranger hitting two or sharing a goal with Hatem Ben Arfa if he plays.

  • baro

    Sep 22, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    Comment #5

    I hope i get to see Danny Guthrie in action tomorrow. Can’t wait for him to comeback. He is awesome young lad. Will only get better. Awesome future ahead of him

  • JerseyGeordie

    Sep 22, 2010 at 3:14 AM

    Comment #6

    the fact that we can’t field a decent team whilst sitting all our current starting XI shows how thin our squad is, yet you’d risk them in a cup that we most likely have no chance of winning. Smith is the only “reliable” mid we have behind the 3 that played sat, sol the only center back, raylor the only fullback, and jonas the only winger. If andy, enrique, barton, arfa, or colo went down we’d have a serious problem. And you might even be one of the ones blaming hoots for risking them after the fact.
    We have one mission this year and it’s 17th and up. No cups and not europe, deal with it, or maybe it’s your support thats “gutless nonsense”. Maybe you should buy a new light blue top and go “support” man citee. Risking the future of the club for a cup tie is no way of paying back supporters, with the risk of losing to stoke in a much more important game on the weekend.

  • toon_auz

    Sep 22, 2010 at 5:22 AM

    Comment #7

    my opinion what the line should be

    Anyway, like it when Donaldson plays, he looks like a quality player in the making.

  • Toonmania

    Sep 22, 2010 at 6:54 AM

    Comment #8

    What is it with those dam everton supporters, they’ve got some gaul to call us a small club.
    be nice if they got a decent stadium, rather than standing in that damp smelly shitehole of goodison pk (reasonable pies though!!)

  • Toonmania

    Sep 22, 2010 at 6:55 AM

    Comment #9
  • Toon! Toon!

    Sep 22, 2010 at 8:09 AM

    Comment #10

    Ed, i have to point out your title says:
    “Chelsea Are Simply The Best Team In The Country”
    I disagree. They play great football, are top of the league and have some great players.
    However, Newcastle are the best team in the world!!!!
    Now take your blue scarf off and get a jet over to sing yer heart oot for the lads in the singing corner, before doing a naked lap of honour, as penance for your sinful blog title! 😀

    Toon! Toon!

  • Klatoon

    Sep 22, 2010 at 8:39 AM

    Comment #11

    yeah,game live on telly here in Kampala. We dont get that many Newcastle games here but this is a dream week,first Everton live,Chelsea live and Stoke live too. I’d go crazy if we picked up 3 wins in 3 live games

  • john_cena163

    Sep 22, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #12

    I say dnt risk krul in goal. Give ole the chance. I hav faith in him. M exictd to watch da match. Hope v win. I hav a bet of 5000 buks wit my cous who a chelsea fan. 2-1 to newcastle.

  • nufcant

    Sep 22, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #13

    So chelsea are pretty much playing a reserve team? Didn’t our reserves narrowly lose to them 3-2 last week? Should be a good match if that’s the case.

  • austoon

    Sep 22, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    Comment #14

    in the nufc official site, ben arfa’s listed as a striker. hmm..

  • Ericles

    Sep 22, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #15

    Sav has a point. I think CH should put out the best pacy team we can muster tonight. It is about time that some managers realise that the Carling Cup IS NOT a reserve competition. It is a bona fide cup that should be treated with respect and not as an opportunity to try out players or “give others a go”! OK, up and coming players need experience at all levels and in all competitions – but not at the expense of really trying to get somewhere in the Carling Cup. Just because Chelsea may play a “weakened” side tonight it does not mean our club should demeanour itself by lowering ourselves to their level of attitude! We have got to go for it tonight. Howay the lads and play Ben Arfa, Sol, Lovenkrands, Tiotte, Taylor in for Perch, and give Smith a rest at a club on the Kings Road on the way. With the right approach we can beat Chelski tonight. Are you listening Chris?

  • rwpoynter

    Sep 22, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #16

    Regarding Toonmania’s post from the Everton website, I would say that the comment about NUFC being a small club is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. Everton fans are going through a bad patch and last night’s defeat at Brentford won’t help, but it seems that like our fans (and probably every other clubs) there are sensible ones and silly ones. Don’t get rid of David Moyes just because the season hasn’t started well. Every time you change a manager the expectations are high for a few weeks and then all too often disillusionment sets in. Every change of management causes massive restructuring which is unsettling for the players. Ask Nicky Butt. In the six years he was at this club (one of which was spent at Birmingham anyway) he saw TEN changes of management. Is it any wonder the club was relegated? Stability was what NUFC needed and at the moment we seem to have it, though largely it would seem by default, as Mike Ashley couldn’t find a buyer, and the manager’s job at NUFC was unlikely to be easily filled as in the football world, it had become a “poison chalice” and nobody with a track record was going to touch it. So we ended up with Chris and I think we are very lucky because the guy is doing a great job. My message to other NUFC fans is “don’t rock the boat” and to Everton fans is ” don’t go down the line this club of ours did or else you may need a year or two in the Championship to regroup”. As a final note, as a man of 66 years, in my living memory, there are only two clubs who have never been out of the Premier League (or the old First Division). One is Arsenal and the other is Everton!

  • Ericles

    Sep 22, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #17

    CH has got to go against Chelsea with the strongest team we can put out. But – a side that Chelsea do not expect. Not a team that is formulaic and what the opposition expect CH to play. No – we need pace and proactive football. We obviously have Krul in goal and he will not let us down. I am sure he has the mentality for the occasion. Tiotte and ben Arfa have shown already that they can do well away from home.
    Lovenkrands has the guile and Sol the experience to counter Chelsea’s forwards surely? We need Jonas in the line-up too. He is not shy of the big occasion. And it is a big game for us even if not for the Kings Road divas!

  • austoon

    Sep 22, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #18

    well i certainly hope hughton picks a strong team. hope the match preview gets posted in a couple of hrs so i can decide whether or not to wake up for the match (it’s on at 4am here).

  • RichK

    Sep 22, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #19

    I think the team may look something like:


    R.Taylor Campbell Tavernier Kadar

    Ranger Smith Donaldson Jonas

    Ameobi Lovenkrands

    With bench of:
    Ben Arfa

    We shall see………..

  • Davies

    Sep 22, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #20

    Priority is staying up Ericles, not the Carling Cup. If Ben Arfa gets crocked in a cup tie I would imagine that you’d be among the first to criticise the decision to play him. Whilst I agree that the cup shouldn’t be taken lightly, we do have some quality in our squad beyond our preferred starting XI.

    Players like Lovenkrands, Ranger, Ameobi, Ryan Taylor and probably Smith now, aren’t going to get the competitive matches they need to keep their sharpness. Campbell needs to make sure he’s 100% ready to do battle in the EPL and the more senior games players like Kadar and Vuckic get, the better.

    These are all good footballers and they could well get us a result against a “weakened” Chelsea side.

    Whilst it would be brilliant to try to stay in all of the competitions available to us, the depth of our squad will prove to be a massive problem once players start getting injured or suspended.

    Getting a good result tonight IS important, but for morale more than anything else. It’s not healthy to foster an ethos of acceptable loss, and I’m sure whoever starts will give their all for the win.

    Hopefully, next season we’ll have a lot more playing staff and CH can be almost as focussed on the Carling Cup as the FA Cup, or even the league. For now, we have to trust in whatever team is put out and hope it will be good enough.

    I would be surprised if we take anything from this match, but I can’t wait to watch it as I think the lads that play will have a right old go at Chelsea.

    Anyone got a link?

  • GeordieGerman

    Sep 22, 2010 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #21

    Toon! Toon!, Ed said “best team” (which appears to be true). He did not say best club.

  • GeordieGerman

    Sep 22, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #22
  • Davies

    Sep 22, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #23

    Thanks again GG.


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