After a terrible and disastrous defensive display at Bolton last weekend, Newcastle played one of their best defensive games of the season against Chelsea yesterday.
Andy Carroll – scoring yesterday – again with his right foot
And they had to, because Chelsea were pressing Newcastle all the game after the first 20 minutes or so, when Newcastle started the game like a steam train.
And it was testament to the character of our players that not only did the team play well yesterday, but we got something out of it too.
As we said in our match report yesterday, if Newcastle can get some consistency together this season, and play with the spirit that was there for all to see yesterday, then we’ll not go too far wrong this season.
Chris Hughton seemed really proud of his side after the game and said this last night:
“It was exactly the kind of response I wanted. It was the only response we could give after the Bolton game,” “It is not like us to concede the kind of goals we did in that game. What you want is a response from every single player that is playing or plays a part.”
“As for the game, it was every bit as tough as I thought it would be. Every time they attack with pace you’re fearful but the moments we had to defend well, we defended well. And we were a goal threat ourselves when we needed to be.”
And we have to give special mention to Campbell and Taylor in the heart of the back four, because this was their first starts in the league, and they had every right to be a little rusty, but both players were strong, and they came into the side and got the job done – special credit must go to these two lads.
And the positional play of Campbell was outstanding – we suppose that’s what you become after 640 first class games – Sol was great and steadied the defense yesterday with his experience and calmness.
He’s still quite a player – even at 36.
And Chris Hughton rightly said their contributions were a major factor in Newcastle getting the point, even though that’s just our second point in our last four games.
“I thought Steven and Sol were part of a team that was outstanding defensively. I think you had to be against the players they were up against,”
“Steven had not played since January, Sol had featured only twice this season so for both of them to get through a game as difficult as the Chelsea one, it was testament to both of their characters.”
Cheick Tiote had another great game, and his presence in the middle of the park showed just what we were missing last week at Bolton, and the Ivorian made a huge difference to the side. Unfortunately Cheick did pick up his 6th yellow card of the season.
And special mention also to Wayne Routledge on the right wing, as Wayne gave it everything he had, and you could tell from the first minute of the game, that Wayne had come to play, and he put in a tremendous amount of work for the side, and maybe his form is coming back.
Newcastle fans love to see a player work their socks off for the side, and that’s just exactly what Wayne did yesterday – he was great!
And Wayne was also unlucky not to score his first PL goal ever, as Ashley Cole acrobatically stopped his 15 yard volley on the goal line in the second half – otherwise Newcastle may have taken all 3 points.
Don’t forget to vote for you Man of the Match on our home page – it’s a tie at 26% each for Cheick Tiote and Jose Enrique right now, followed by Campbell on 14% and Carroll on 13%.