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Magpie Bemoans Newcastle’s Soft Start Against Chelsea

Newcastle’s listless start against Chelsea did not befit a team just one spot above 18th in the table and heading for a relegation fray. There needed to be a sense of urgency from the opening whistle but Newcastle came out of the gate with an air of complacency.

A struggle against the in-form Blues was likely in the cards no matter what, but the difference in approach for the second half made the first 45 minutes all the more unforgivable.

Jamaal Lascelles returned after missing the last two matches to captain the team last night. Lascelles made an early goal-saving tackle on Tammy Abraham, which after the match Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel labeled as reckless saying:

“He risks too much of an injury of the opponent and, for me, it’s a foul because of that. It’s reckless but it was not to criticize. It was just to discuss with the fourth official.”

So what is Jamaal supposed to do, just let Abraham have an unobstructed shot on goal?

It was good to have the captain back but in the end, it didn’t alter the outcome as some poor defending led to two Chelsea strikes in the first half. That proved to be all they needed despite the improved second half from Newcastle.

Lascelles was interviewed after the game and he was disappointed with the Magpies’ start saying they needed to be nastier. This is what he said as published in The Chronicle.

“I just think we did not start well enough.

“From our goal-kick, we kicked it out for a throw-in and that set the tone.

“We need to realize we shouldn’t need to go one or two down to get going.

“We were off them a bit and made it easy.

“Against a team like Chelsea you have to be nasty and if you don’t do that their quality will come through.”

Newcastle’s next match is on Sunday at Old Trafford. The table could shift dramatically by then with Fulham to play twice prior to kickoff. The following day is also one to watch as Brighton host Crystal Palace.

We once again have to keep our eyes on the teams around us but Newcastle still have their fate in their hands. But it’s going to take consistency and wins for that to remain the case much longer.

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468 comments so far

  • cleveleysbob

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #41

    Tsunki, part deux just as good, spans well, but you’ve got to keep the tune in your head. 😉

  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #43

    If we’re to continue to play ASM on the left, Dumett has to play LB.

    ASM even on his best day, does no defensive work, which we can’t afford atm.

    I’d drop him, he may be our most dangerous but he’s also the biggest liability.

    Best we’ve played this season was when Fraser was on the left, ASM on bench.

    I think ASM is more productive on the right, but RB is also a dodgy position due to the idiots in charge.

    ManU I’d play.

    Krafth Fed Clarke Dummet
    ASM Almiron Hayden Wilock Fraser


    I’m in two minds over ASM and Carrol, Almiron could help out Krafth from there.

    Carrol or Joe, I’d probably go for Carrol for the hold up, Joe needs runners round him and I don’t think we’ll be up their end of the pitch much.

    Our approach to the game isn’t dictated by the formation, player selection and set up do that.

  • cleveleysbob

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #44

    Thanks Jail. One of my biggest regrets, not seeing them live. Got the double album CD special edition of “The Wall” live, bloody love it. 🙂

  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #45

    You don’t need to be nasty against a team like Chelsea at all, where is he getting this from? We’re missing a bite in midfield sure, but we don’t have to be aggressive to get points from games. How about some pre-planning? Tactics? Playing players in a formation and position which is suitable for the formation and players the other team are posing? Being positive on the ball? Looking forward instead of backwards for a pass? Playing the ball out from the back instead of booting it? Committing men forward when we have the ball? Showing some energy when tracking back and closing down? Not all having a tea party at the near post when a ball comes in?

    I’ll stop or i’ll just go on and fill the whole bloody page…

  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #46


    I’m thinking real bus, double decker type.

    If you’re worried about restrictions, we could park a burger van in front of the gates.

    All the socially distanced dog walkers will appreciate refreshments 😉

  • idahomagpie

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #47

    Lascelles is not a captain – does little to lead the team while on the field (don’t know about behind the scenes). Could have given 2 penalties yesterday – one on Abraham and definitely one on Werner. Much rather have Darlow as Captain back on the defensive side.

  • Carson80

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #48

    Ha Adamn snap, only my comment is slightly more abbreviated. Fully agree though.

  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #49

    If Scharr wasn’t injured I’d hoi him up front for a bit.

    Hell of a shot on him, has his moments skill wise, be a proper handful for defences.

    I’d be trying allsorts, not burying my head in the sand, like those in power at SJP

  • cleveleysbob

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #50

    OP, yeah, that’s better, might have to borrow a dog though. 😉

  • The Wife

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #51

    FYI – When you are being moderated, all your comments are held in ‘pending’ until someone reviews and approves them. Since there is a considerable time difference between the majority of the audience and the blog owners, there can be a lag in approvals if the comments are made during hours when the blog is not being monitored. Just keep that in mind.

    Another FYI for new users/first-time posters – The very first post anyone makes is automatically held in ‘pending’ to await approval. I believe that’s a precaution set up to catch spammers.

  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #52


    I’d ditch Lascelles if we had other CBs fit.

    Not sure on Darlow as captain, if Dubs was in net, I’d give him armband in a heartbeat.

  • Adamn_92

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #53

    Carson, sorry i didn’t see your comment! Wish I did as I could have just said I agree with that to save me typing haha

    idahomagpie, when he first was made captain it seemed a great shout after hearing him give the senior players a shakedown and getting into them for bad performances. It seems he’s lost that bite and leadership quality ever since Rafa walked out and Bruce walked in. It’s a shame really, but I agree I think he’s not a great captain right now. He needs to be showing more passion and getting the players fired up before and during matches. He seems happy to just tow the line at the moment and plod along with the rest towards relegation.

  • Carson80

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #54

    No need to apologise, great minds think alike.

  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #55

    The Wife

    I much preferred Jessie as your Avatar, it had a air of authority. I was also kinda waiting for Neil to change to Woody.

    Oh well

  • Shoulders knees

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #56


    No one seems able to gee the lads up on the pitch, no one even points fingers when mistakes are made. Just a few shrugs of the shoulders and take the kick off.

  • The Wife

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #57

    Jail for Ashley,

    Regarding your comment to geordietom. To my mind, it was uncalled for. Dialing back the snarkiness some would do you good.

  • Tyran21

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #58

    Bruce: “I don’t think the approach is going to be any different. We’ve decided this is the way forward for us, so we’ll keep the same thing we’ve been trying to achieve.”

    Also means ” Don’t blame me when relegated, it’s what the fans wants”

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #59

    In any other team in the EPL Anderson would have had 1st team games, it’s shameful not to have given him a chance.

    He’s got a great attitude and if he doesn’t get a chance I expect he’ll want to be off, he’d be a hit in the Bundesleague.

  • geordietom

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #60

    jail ,,

    i asked you the other week to stop referencing me in your posts so im asking you again dont use my name to get your heart count up if you dont mind …

    also a famous quote off you ” I DONT POST MUCH WHEN I’M AT HOME ” what a load of bollocks youv’e never been off the blog stirring the crap ( hit and run )

    and you have a cheek telling people to keep the peace on here you never stop poking people do you MR HIT AND RUN …

    you also so said that you couldn’t read a comment on here as you left your glasses in your car , strange as your supposed to be on a course at the time what did you do take your opera glasses in with you …

    last thing asking nicely please stop using my name in your comments …

  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #61


    Aint seen him.

    Yet I know how bad we are at blooding our youngins.

    Where would you play him, for who?

  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:54 PM

    Comment #62

    😮 😳

  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #63

    That was for jail 😀

  • Romford mag

    Feb 16, 2021 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #64


    I agree he should be starting over Hendrick !

  • Optimistic prime

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #65
  • lesh

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #66


    Did I comment on or question the fact you go to the pub kitchen for your pizzas?

    Questioning the motives of a man of your Colibri is out of the question – even if your local pub has a an outside, heated Covid-proofed waiting area where customers can help themselves to free drink while waiting for their very expensive take away.

    Never would I question anyone braving the elements to provide food for their family.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #67


  • Carson80

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #68

    Be nice to see everybody posting on here again, since the turn of the year it has got quieter and quieter.

  • chancel be a fine thing

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #69

    I’m no coach, but with my limited understanding, I would say the midfield diamond is best used in an attacking high press style of play, with the four midfielders working as a unit, forcing the opposition to the flanks, cutting off their passing options with an overload, winning the ball and catching out the opposition out of position and creating turnover opportunities to score.
    However, if the opposition beat this press, there are large vacant areas of the pitch to exploit.
    Our pressing doesn’t seem very organised to me, we have someone putting pressure on the ball and a couple of nearby players marked, but there is no cutting off of passing angles and often the man on the ball can make a simple 20 yard pass between our ‘press’ immediately putting us on the back foot.
    Our players have probably only been aware of the concept of pressing since Jones arrived, and he is having to apply his ideas with one hand tied behind his back.
    Players need constant reminders to get back into shape and to correct their positioning, yet Bruce is the only coach allowed to shout and he hasn’t got a clue what is going on.
    I am happy we brought Jones in, he is obviously a coach who understands how to play in his chosen formation and we have improvements in our play since his arrival, BUT I really wish his formation of expertise had been 352, which for me is the most solid defensively with good options for fast counter attacks and holding a higher line/pressing. Especially for teams with less footballing brain to share amongst the team like our good selves.

  • chancel be a fine thing

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #70

    Why oh why does Bruce announce how we are going to play days before the match?????? I would wager there is not another professional coach in the world who does this. Maybe it’s because he is soooo nice. But my money would be on him being unfathomably thick.

  • DrGloom

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #71

    Is Bruce telling every other manager we will stick with diamond formation so you can play to the wings and bypass our midfield ?

  • hibbit

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #72

    Lesh LOL
    I bet you could get into durham jail easier than you can get into the pub car park, one car out one one car in, you don’t even get out of the car, you pay for your on the phone when you order, and they put it in the boot when you pick it up,
    they have had a real bad run and are just hanging on by the skin of their teeth, really sad to see such a good family business go down the pan like this,

  • DrGloom

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #73

    Romford – thanks for the Anderson tweet link, seems he’s wondering why he didn’t get game time ( or even bench time last night ), he couldn’t have been worse than Shelvey last night

  • chancel be a fine thing

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:21 PM

    Comment #74

    While I’m busy ranting to myself, I will just add that ther has not been one single mention of Joelinton’s sublime back heel to set Miggy up with our best chance of the match. Not during the match thread or after. You can bet your house that if he’d taken a heavy touch during the match…….

  • coming home

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #75


  • magicmac54

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:27 PM

    Comment #76
  • Romford mag

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #77


    Aye mate , he should definitely be getting more game time !

    He looked good when he came on against arsenal in the F.A cup game ! He seemed to want to push forward and didn’t look out of place at all

  • chancel be a fine thing

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #78

    Would be interesting to see what our starting 11 would be if Jones was picking the team.

  • DrGloom

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:32 PM

    Comment #79

    Rom – Bruce sticking to the old guard yet again, surprising as they’ve never actually delivered for him

  • Tsunki

    Feb 16, 2021 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #80

    Bah. Humbug. If the Bard had posted Comfortably Numbnuts the blog would have ground to a halt with all the hearting. 🙁


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