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Could they have done much more?

By Lee Ryder on Dec 14, 06 08:38 AM

Brave battlers at the home of the champions

It's hard to make losing 1-0 sound positive but could injury hit Newcastle have put anymore into their defeat at Stamford Bridge?

The team is well and truly down to the bare bones and things have now got even worse thanks to Charles N'Zogbia's knee injury which means he is unlikely to kick a ball again until 2007.

But it took a late goal from Didier Drogba to pinch the points last night.

And Jose Mourinho had to rely on his multi million pound subs bench to win the game.

Indeed the Blues boss had to go back on his initial thoughts by dragging Drogba off the bench and £32million man Andriy Shevchenko who combined, albeit somewhat luckily, for the only goal of the game.

United also had their chances and Antoine Sibierski missed two golden opportunities when he struck the crossbar in the first half then headed straight at Hilario in the second just before Chelsea scored.

All in all a much better effort than in previous years and Glenn Roeder's side were still in with a shout even in stoppage time.

There's nothing enjoyable about getting beat off anybody but perhaps United can look behind the result in this one.

And if they do they will find a solid performance that should be capable of seeing off Watford at St James' Park on Saturday.

*The latest talk in takes place at Idols on Saturday at 1.45pm with Players Inc editor Steve Wraith and former Toon players Joe Allon and Kevin Carr

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5 Comments

Ian Teasdale said:

The full team of kids did a fantastic job against one of the biggest teams in the world in their own back yard.
Everybody in the country thought we would take a hammering, how wrong everybody was.
There is no shame in loosing 1-0 to Chelsea.
The whole team was virtually faultless, they played as a unit even though some of the team had few appearances (it shows they train well together).
Even though we are down past the bare bones and down to the marrow with the squad, bases on last nights performance WATCH OUT WATFORD.
Well done the mags,
Ian

Greg P said:

This performance shows the 'stars' of the team that their over inflated wages won't assure them a first team place. The youngsters (and couple of old ones) proved that team spirit and hard work are something which will maintain our position in the top flight. Its a world away from Sheff Utd!
Its also great to see that we have a future with the likes Krul, Taylor, Hunty, Ramage, Milner, Zog, Martins and Pattison who could all do a job for the next 10 years.

jackie w said:

sort of agree with ian teasdale,But i am a bit fed up with this acceptance that a one nil defeat is some sort of achievement.Yes we were playing the english champions and yes they are the richest club in the world and yes they have quality players throughout blah,blah,blah,it might as well been 5-0 cause the facts are we came away with nowt.Granted it was a good effort but in truth chelsea played crap and any neutral watching the game would have put the low margin down to that fact and not down to any great performance by us,i am as stated before am a total biased optimist in everything black and white,but cups aside if we finish mid table people are still going to praise Roeder for dragging us up from the relegation places. And in your heart of hearts everyone knows this is not acceptable,i am not saying we should be beating the likes of chelsea but we should be in the pack fighting for champions league.We have a massive fan base and chuck a new shirt in the shop and we will all spend our last to get it . Fair play to big fred he has given the gaffer cash and stood by him all the way but its just not happening.Yes we have had our share of bad luck on the injury front but in reality up untill a couple of weeks ago had a lot of cash running around on the pitch,sometimes nearly ten times as much nas our oponents and still been beat or scraped a draw.And as we all are to well aware there is no magic wand at the toon or no quick fix and untill we get a top drawer gaffer or a remarkable run of luck we will continue to plod along.But i for one am looking for a bit more than what we are achieving , so a one nil defeat wether it be at chelsea or wigan is still crap. OK enough of the rant i will get back to the game on sat and if its anything less than a comfortable three points for us then january may be the time to bring in a new boss as well as players,,,jackie

Ray Wilson said:

Hi Lee, Shame about the Chelsea defeat,we certainly did not deserve to
lose.Pity that Sibs could not have got just a little more direction on his
headed chances as if he had we would have won. Still a lot of positives
emerged, I like the look of young Huntingdon at right back and with a few
more games under his belt I think he could hold his place,Taylor and Ramage
were excellent though Ramage could have prevented Drogbas goal if he had not
allowed Drogba to get in front of him,defenders must learn when a cross is
coming from the left or the right it is fundamental defending not to allow
the forward to get in between the defender and the ball, I think Peter
Ramage knew that from his actions of pounding the ground with his head when
Drogba scored,Still Ramage and Taylor are fine young defenders and they will
learn fast.Nicky Butt was again outstanding andrelly it would be a travesty
should he not be in the team.Generally we have done exceptionally well
without Parker,Duff and a few others.Parker to me tends to fiddle on the
ball too much as does Duff and when you watch them they variably make the
pass they were going to make in the first place and it gets infuriating to
watch as it gives defenders all the time in the world to mark and cover. The
likes of Martins,Milner and Zoggy always benefit from the quick pass and
this is one reason why I think we have looked a better team, Dyer and Emre
fit into this pattern so that is a bonus, Parker and Duff clearly do not so
it will be interesting to see if we go backwards again when they return as I
am sure GR wants them both in his team.I do not feel we need to spend big on
defenders when the window opens,to me the defence has responded to Nigel
Pearson and I wish Glen would give more of the kids a chance. If Nobby is
out for a while I would certainly keep young Huntingdon in as he was very
assured against a very capable Robben. Carr should never return-past his
sell by date by now,and if we can produce another Taylor,Ramage,or
Huntingdon out of the academy to play at left back,boy we would have a very
assured defensive future,though Nicky Butts influence on their development
must not be underestimated. Butt has shown the recent form which made him an
England star and long may it continue. The signing we should make in the
window has to be a confirmed premier league striker who can bring out the
best in Martins and form a decent partnership, Possible are Bent, Beattie,
or Crouch ,the first one though is not for sale the other two cant be
guaranteed a place and they may jump at the chance,Beattie has not done well
at Everton and does not fit into the way Moyes likes his team to play {He
prefers Johnson and Cahill }so Beattie may want to come ,dont dismiss him
,his form at Everton has not been good,but neither has his body language
which tells me a lot. Well that's all we need,now tell Glen to go and get
them. Howay the lads.

Alan said:

I know longer watch united at the park but watch plenty on sky and very
rarely enjoy it, they have no creative midfield players who can feed Martins
with the right kind of service, he will do the business if given the right
service, Peter Crouch would be a great asset for him to feed off so get an offer
in united, Alan Ainslie.

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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