A question of trust
Saturday is decision day for Steve McClaren and is there any point in continuing to pursue this away day plan, of hoping to keep the opposition out with a deep midfield sitting on top of the defence and then sneak a goal from somewhere at the other end?
If voting on this issue it would be a resounding no from Newcastle fans to continue in this vein.
This is surely especially true with Newcastle missing their best defender (Mbemba), as well as another game with a makeshift left-back – either Rolando Aarons continuing, or possibly Lascelles or Colback filling in.
Meanwhile at the other end of the pitch, McClaren now has a choice from the likes of Shelvey, Wijnaldum, Mitrovic, Perez, Tiote, Townsend and Sissoko to fill the front six positions.
Apart from Tiote, the strengths of all those players is when it comes to heading towards the opposition goal, not all out defence and hoping for a goal from nowhere.
Chelsea have only won four of their thirteen home games at Stamford Bridge, with five draws and four defeats – a set of home results which is exactly the same as Newcastle’s.
Jonjo Shelvey has already been to Chelsea with Swansea on the opening day of the season and came away with a creditable 2-2 draw.
However, to come away with anything you feel that Newcastle will have to probably score at least two goals, something they have managed only once on their travels when picking up the win at Spurs.
Even a battling defeat would give the Newcastle players confidence if they could repeat some of the attacking purpose they did against West Brom.
A time to be brave but also a time to use the head for Steve McClaren, the transfer spend in the last eight months was almost entirely on progressive players, let’s put a bit of trust in them now.
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