Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Chelsea – 26/09/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Cal

Our worst start to a season this millennium continues as we welcome a Chelsea side also struggling to find form. Last December this fixture saw Mourinho’s then unbeaten Chelsea taste defeat for the first time that season, to a resurgent Newcastle that had just charged up the table following a November to remember. Today both sides are in poor form and far short of where they’d expect to be at this point in the season, although at least Chelsea have a couple of wins to their name.

It would be fitting for our first league win come against Mourinho, who has never won a match at St James’ Park, and his Chelsea team that have been defeated on their last three visits, but after our traditional cup capitulation on Tuesday, any expectations of a positive outcome are greatly diminished.

Tim Krul took the chance to address his team-mates on the club website following that travesty:

“Everybody has to look at themselves in the mirror and ask if they gave everything. If not, they have to start straight away, because what we are doing at the moment is really not good enough. A couple of players put in good performances but there were also some really bad ones.

“Everybody needs to grow now. We need to come out and show we are real men. Chelsea and Manchester City are two massive games and we have to show that we have got the fight for it.

“We have to try and turn it around on Saturday against Chelsea, with 50,000 Geordies being that extra man that we really need right now. Hopefully they will give us the confidence and lift we need. We need them behind us but we need to show them something, too, and give them something to shout about. It is a two-way street.

“Saturday is a new game and we have to show the fans fight and passion, and everybody needs to put in a proper performance.”
– Tim Krul

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Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Sheffield Wednesday – 23/09/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by magonmersey

The Capital One Cup Third Round rolls into Newcastle on Wednesday. The goal shy home team are visited by 12th placed Championship side Wednesday side with league form of 2 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses. Wednesday have progressed with home wins against Mansfield (4-1) and Oxford Utd (1-0).

Finding positives and talking points is difficult from a Newcastle side avoiding the bottom of the table only via goal difference. Three league goals this season are a real concern, with the last league cup round providing as many. Newcastle desperately need a good performance, goals and a win for both the team and supporter enthusiasm. In the absence of much else positive to say, it only leaves cynicism and sarcasm for a preview.

“We’ve got to go out there and perform, and set ourselves up for Saturday. Tomorrow is a massive game.

“Massadio and Jack Colback have knocks. Papiss Cissé has had a problem with his back since West Ham.

“Three, four, five players have already come to me and said they don’t want to be rested tomorrow. That’s the character we need.

“Sheff Wed are a good team I know well from last season. They’ve got good players who can hurt us.

“We’ve got the experience, patience and calm to deal with the current situation. We need to build belief and confidence.”
– Steve McClaren

Breaking with my usual previews I’d like to offer some commentary here. Apparently we have experience, patience and calm. The club’s policy of buying under 25s or PL unproven players leaves us with the youngest PL squad and a deficit of experience. This manifests in when heads drop on conceding and an in ability to hold onto leads. The few senior players we have are not entirely committed (Cissé, Colo, Sissoko, Tioté). Continue reading

Has McClaren Got Full Control of the Dressing Room?

Originally a forum thread by Heisen

A number of issues have cropped up that has made me wonder this. Firstly, you look at our squad, we currently have three key players who have made it known recently their eyes are set elsewhere.

Moussa Sissoko – every interview the man gives, he spouts about wanting to be playing CL football, despite his performances by and large being closer to Championship standard than Champions League.

Papiss Cisse – I think it’s clear to all and sundry that he isn’t happy. Reports he’s been late for training, missed meetings with the management etc. His performances have been lethargic to say the least.

Fabricio Coloccini – signed a new deal in the summer but spent most of it being linked with Palace. Hasn’t looked settled here in almost three years yet has unbelievably retained the armband despite declining performances and a lack of leadership ability.

Yet they all seem undroppable. Coloccini understandably has to play given our lack of options at CB, yet Sissoko and Cisse somehow retained their places yesterday despite putting in appalling performances against West Ham. Continue reading

We’ve got a team of losers

Originally a forum thread by Goat

Literally speaking, but also metaphorically as well.

The more I think about our team, the more it seems that we have a team which has a deep rooted lack of fighting spirit and, to a degree, quality.

The mental side of the game is arguably the single greatest controlling factor on a player’s performance. You can have all of the skill in the world, but you’re shit if you don’t apply it. Just look at the countless smaller teams who have had surprise results against much better sides in the league and in cup runs. Simply wanting it more and turning the underdog status into a strength has a profound effect.

Perhaps we were foolish to think that a few good signings might turn things around. Even with the likes of Mbemba and Wijnaldum on board, we’ve still got a spine in the team which consists of players who crumbled last season and simply gave up.

Coloccini, Haidara, Colback, Anita, Sissoko, Cisse, Obertan, Gouffran. So on and so forth. They’re all still here, and merely a few months ago, they were all part of a team which had gave up hope and repeatedly collapsed under pressure. A new manager and new players don’t suddenly change the mindset and fighting spirit these players have. Continue reading

Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Watford – 19/09/15

Click here to go to the discussion thread by Ramone

Greetings true believers,

So Newcastle haven’t exactly got off to start everyone was hoping for, there have been some decent performances in the first 5 league games under Steve McClaren however there’s also been a reoccurrence some of the all to familiar problems that beset us under our previous coaching regime. Personally I still have hope that we can have quite a good season. There’s definitely work to be done but we seem to have a talented group of players and a coaching staff that want to encourage an exciting style of football.

Watford have had a decent start to their return to the Premier League, with 3 draws against challenging opposition and a very good win at home against Swansea. While many Newcastle fans have viewed this game as perhaps the prime opportunity to get our season fully underway with a win, I can’t see it being an easy game in the slightest. Odion Ighalo, who had an extremely impressive season in the Championship last year, will be a danger going forward and could decide the game.

The last time these two teams met was back in 2010 when Newcastle were still lingering in the Championship. Only two of Newcastle’s starting eleven on that day remain in the squad and there are no survivors for Watford.

Captain Fabricio Colocinni has demanded a response to last week’s disappointing defeat to West Ham but it’s not as if we’ve never heard that before. Let’s see if he means it this time.

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