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Newcastle’s Positive Stretch Undone By A Fine-Tuned Chelsea Machine



After scoring 7 goals in our last 4 games, Newcastle were held in check by a superior Chelsea team last night at Stamford Bridge. A 2-0 defeat was not unexpected but stings nonetheless considering the other results over the weekend.

Fulham moved to just 7 points behind with their 2-0 win at Everton on Sunday. They travel to Burnley tomorrow before inviting Sheffield United to Craven Cottage on Saturday. We’ll have a better idea of how precarious our current position is by kick-off at Old Trafford on Sunday.

I’m trying to stick to an adage my parents told me as a youngster, and still do today actually, ‘stop worrying, it may never happen.’ So for now at least, I’ll try not to worry too much about the Cottagers.

While points were desperately needed last night, the lads weren’t terrible – just completely outclassed by a much better side. There was no catching Chelsea on an off-night as they are still in the afterglow of the new manager bump. Thomas Tuchel had them well-prepared yesterday.

It’s hard to really say if the loss of Callum Wilson had much of an impact on last night’s performance. Newcastle struggled to find openings and didn’t have any real clear-cut chances. Chelsea were just so good at both ends and could have been up by three or four at half-time.

Dwight Gayle is not the answer in a wider role as he’s basically a poacher. Joelinton came on for Dwight in the second half and had a few moments. He offers a bit more on the right in the 4-3-3. Though Chelsea anticipated our plan and executed a perfect counter to it in the first half.

The second half was an improvement as Newcastle pressed higher and increased their tempo. We saw more of the ball but had difficulty with it against the well-schooled Chelsea defense.

All in all, not a terrible performance but a result Newcastle can ill-afford at this moment. However, it’s only Tuesday, Fulham are seven points behind. Newcastle are within touching distance of some of the clubs ahead of us. I’ll try to not panic just yet.

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36 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #1

    Ironically if we played park the bus last night we could have had a point. Just saying. Don’t throw stuff.

    1
  • Not another deJong

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #2

    Booooo

    0
  • Not another deJong

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #3

    If we were Man City the Diamond 433 would have worked.

    0
  • Carson80

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #4

    Why didn’t they play Dummet at left back and have Lewis pushed further forward to protect him and attack, Almiron should have been playing on the right to help Krafth. We shouldn’t be playing the same formation every game just because it worked last time out.

    8
  • carltoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #5

    Carson80, that’s a far to sensible suggestion, we’re talking about Bruce here

    4
  • carltoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #6

    Congratulations NYmag, great news, you’ll be the best grandad ever, now no spoiling her, 🙂

    1
  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #7

    No idea why they play Lewis instead of dummett because Lewis is not ready. I’m sure there is going to be a decent player in there some time but thus isn’t the academy. Dummett was always the go-to for sheer defensive nous so why can’t Bruce see we needed that? Gayle was a void on the right, as some said, the dynamism of Fraser would have been better deployed. And it was a hard watch seeing Clark and Lascelles trying to hold the two full backs in and get their Central Defence organised.

    2
  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #8

    Carson80

    That makes far too much sense for Bruce to consider! His choices honestly do amaze me and not in a good way. I’m still shocked by how many goals we concede from a ball being cut back into the box from the touchline. Lost track of how many we’ve conceded due to that, surely it’s something someone in the coaching set up must have noticed by now and needs to be worked on in training? All defends crowd to the 6 yard box and leave acres of room for a tap in anywhere else in the box, midfielders don’t track or if they do they over run to the 6 yard box to join the defenders. It’s awful and needs to be improved, it seems like teams have spotted that weakness too so it’ll continue to happen if we don’t work on it.

    5
  • Carson80

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #9

    Cartoon very true but this is a bloke who has been managing for donkeys years. Might be being harsh here but I think it’s time for Dubs to be brought back in. Team I would of played last night.
    DUBS
    KRAFTH, LASC, CLARKE, DUMMET
    ALMIRON, HAYDEN, LEWIS
    ASM, FRASER, WILLOCK.
    Very solid with plenty of pace for the track back, counter attack and press.

    3
  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #10

    Tom

    Have you learnt nothing?

    6
  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #11

    Their tap in from the spot looked like all our players were busy stamping out a camp fire near the goal post. I agree it’s disturbing how the square on the box oncoming player seems to never be closed down.

    1
  • Carson80

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #12

    Adamn, Bruce amazes me in that he is still managing a football club in this day and age. There is definitely a player in Lewis I just think he is totally shot of confidence, he was going forward last night in the 2nd half Fraser made the run for him, Lewis turns around and passes it sideways. Think if I was the players I would just go on the pitch and think “bugger this we’re going to play the way we want”.

    3
  • toon22

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #13

    Unless something changes were right in the clarts

    2
  • toon22

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #14

    Can’t ignore it anymore
    Cabbage heed needs to go
    I’d rather the turd went first but right now that won’t help

    The idiot needs removed from the club

    2
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #15

    Lewis has had all of his qualities coached out of him he plays with such fear now that he can’t do the basics correctly now

    Bruce has curbed his attacking instincts but they also don’t know how to make him defensively solid either

    6
  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #16

    We are definitely and solidly in the realm now of trying, or rather hoping, to be the fourth worst team in the league. Hayle is evidently well behind the pace and we cannot afford him the luxury of catching up. Carroll cuts a desperate bony and leggy character like a maniac running through the kitchenware section clattering into things and disrupting everything. Krafth and Lewis are not really PL standard. We have lost key defenders and our only real striking option. We rely on almirons energy but Bruce for the life of him doesn’t know where to put him because he hasn’t the players to use to support him. ASM is playing the virtuoso show pony – good imparts but nor where it counts, and I’ll be honest here, he takes away as much as he contributes so far he’s probably still carrying something I don’t know but lately he is starting to look reminiscent of those players who realise they need to keep an eye on the lifeboat.

    I think Bruce has taken some of Jones input on board but his mutton handed approach is still the overriding authority because you can tell that squad was just not quite set up with the right players for the formation.

    4
  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #17

    Years ago I used an analogy regarding someone’s contribution to the blog as akin to someone entering a room full of people talking amicably, farting, then leaving again.

    I think that just happened this morning 🙂

    11
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #18

    Tsunki,
    It’s a fine line though, if we had of parked the bus and got beat people would have said they were there for the taking, why didn’t we get at them. 2-0 was respectable in the end. If they’d needed to score by 5 clear goals it would have finished 5-0 or 6-1 etc if they’d opened up and went for it, if they’d done a Leeds.

    0
  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #19

    Carson80

    Yeah there’s no way Bruce should be managing any football team right now, his style of play and tactics are far too dated that any slightly modern football team will rip it to shreds. Lewis is definitely a prospect and could become a decent attacking left back. I think his defending can always be suspect such as positional awareness, but that can be coached and his attacking play is better than what we’re seeing right now. Can only assume it’s the way he’s being told to play, looks scared to play forwards and have the freedom to bomb forward. The one occasion he did bomb forward last night, he was picked out and was in behind, we need to see more of that. Doubt we will under Bruce though, he’ll have a heart attack seeing his full backs go past the halfway line.

    2
  • kimbo

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #20

    How many points are we going to get before the end of the season, I am struggling to see us get more than 34.
    We will need to win the 2 last games for survival.
    We are the 3rd worst team in the league, Bruce out!!!!!!

    1
  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #21

    True, but five across the back needn’t have stopped us having a go. Thing is Bruce has used bus parking as his go-to for so long he’s worn it out. Bruce is lying in the bed he made now.

    3
  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #22

    Kimbo I have us getting around 35.which is the Firms magic number.

    1
  • hibbit

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #23

    Lee @ 15
    Re Lewis on top of all that he was continually left to deal with two Chelsea players,
    not a word on here about Graeme Jones has he been banished to the stands or is he not as good as many had hoped ???

    2
  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #24

    We would actually be better going back to basics with a flat back 4 of Krafth, Lascalles, Clark and Dummett with no one really getting forward and getting caught out of position

    Then a midfield 3 of Hayden, Willock and Almiron as the no 10

    With Fraser LW , ASM or Murphy as the right wing and then anyone as the striker hell just stick Shelvey up front so he doesn’t need to run at all

    2
  • Moonraker15

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #25

    Bruce says the players are “enjoying it”!
    No they’re not you fat numpty; no one likes losing even disinterested has beens like Gayle and Shelvey !
    Oh god Bruce’s post match interview was embarrassing; after a full analysis from Tuchel Bruce says we improved second half!
    Give me strength!

    4
  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #26

    Speaking of lying, apparently Dave T is crying that my statement of trying to keep the peace last night was a lie. And of course his chum has chimed in with a short vid of Disneys pinocchio. 😀

    I don’t begrudge them that, if they want to haunt twitter and it helps them with what they’ve got, enjoy it, I say. 🙂

    10
  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #27

    Hibbit

    Don’t go there, can’t criticise the new hero

    3
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #28

    Good morning all, i didn`t see the game last night due to work but reading through some of the posts i get the impression we were poor.
    Chelsea are on a roll atm and look like finishing top 4, we were never going to get anything from that game.
    This weekend won`t be any better really, Manure are in good form too so even a point looks unlikely.
    The time to worry for me is when the `WINNABLE` games come along and we are still losing.
    Whatever happens i will still come to the same conclusion, that Bruce is the most negatively thinking manager i have ever seen, not just his tactics, but his interviews are so sombre you want to kick the tv.

    4
  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 16, 2021 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #29

    Tsunki

    Don’t bother rising to it.

    All weekend people have been poking and prodding, goading for a reaction whilst claiming they’re victims.

    Infuriating and laughable, I’m choosing to laugh atm.

    9
  • hibbit

    Feb 16, 2021 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #30

    OP somebody has to the lads either been shafted or he’s no good.
    to be honest i dont have a clue which of the two it is ,

    3
  • kimbo

    Feb 16, 2021 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #31

    This season is the Mclaren season repeated ,we are going down!!!!

    2
  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #32

    Its a hard watch seeing a coach that has cruised through a career without keeping up with current events coming to the realisation the sport has not just left him behind, it hasn’t even left him a note to say they’ve moved. 🙂

    His tactics aren’t really much more than go out and play in your position and don’t forget to mark a man now and again. His interviews are the same stock tripe garnered from multiple sources of like-ability coaches’ clichés and buzzphrases that went out with 70’s ex player pundits, no better than “sick as a parrot” and “over the moon” and “game of two halves” etc.

    I think even though Ashley knew he was hiring from the old dvd bin he’s getting a bit of a shock at just how low he aimed for now.

    4
  • Carson80

    Feb 16, 2021 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #33

    Adamn totally agree on all your points, for me I wouldn’t be playing him as a defender he needs to be further forward and without the shackles of having to defend all the time I think his confidence would come back. Hibbit in regards to Jones I think he likes his diamond formation too much. Seem to remember reading about his time at Luton and how all was hunky dory for the fist 15 games then the wheels started to fall off.

    2
  • Moonraker15

    Feb 16, 2021 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #34

    22
    Problem is has Bruce’s job been saved by bringing in Jonesey? The worry for me is I’m not sure there’s a clear line of responsibility; it looked chaotic on the touch line when making substitutions. Jonesey had the iPad, whilst Bruce was talking to Carroll and Agnew shouting instructions with Clemence looking totally bemused!

    3
  • Shoulders knees

    Feb 16, 2021 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #35

    Must say they were not untreated second half had game won and knew it.

    0
  • WLtoon

    Feb 16, 2021 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #36

    Living in an area where it is 60/40 in favour of Nufc, i am very aware of the ribbing coming my way if we go down, not just the relegation issue but the fact the mackems are on the verge of having a new owner, apparently he is worth 2B, or at least his family are.
    If you think it is bad this season then just wait until we are in the champo with Bruce, taking a tonking off the Boro and the mackems will hammer home just what might of been if the Saudi`s hadn`t walked.
    Oh yes, i am the bringer of good tidings this morning lol

    2


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