Two League defeats and a midweek lose to City in the cup, have got people questioning Potters suitability for the job. I firmly believe he should be given time. Some people have short memories, we lost to transfers, 3 members of our reasonably solid defence and gained Cucurella who seems to be a bit of an accident waiting to happen. On top of that, injuries to James, Forfana and Kante as well as Chillwell have robbed us of our better players. Add to that an underperforming strike force and we almost have a perfect recipe for a crap season whoever is in charge.
So onto high flying Newcastle, and again unfortunately I believe we will suffer an adverse result, and the chorus calling for Potters head will increase.
Hopefully I will be proved wrong!
Lewis Hall gets a premier debut start, and Sterling is missing with a migraine as Potter tries a different formation with 6 academy players chosen in the starting 11.
A foul on Broja brings an early opportunity for the Blues to get the ball into the box, Gallaghers free-kick gathered by the goalie.
Loftus Cheek goes down after 4mins and is replaced by Silva.
15 minutes in and it’s pretty even stuff so far with neither team asking many questions of the other.
Newcastles high press is starting to cause Mendy and Chelsea a few problems.
On 28 minutes a fast break sees Hall get the ball to Broja who turns and fires a tame shot into the goalies hands.
On the half hour Jorginho is booked for a tactical foul on Guimares in the centre circle.
35 minutes gone and Chelsea have a corner which is easily headed away by Burn.
Newcastle then win two corners and the man mountain Burn comes up for them, but both come to nothing.
The first half is petering out as 2minutes of extra time is announced.
Newcastle have an appeal for a penalty, the ball hitting Chalobahs arm as he goes down, it’s not given, but get a corner which is cleared and the whistle goes.
The restart see Pulisic replace Dave, and the Blues look a bit more positive going forward.
On 50 minutes Newcastle have a good chance but the Blues defence holds firm.
The volume of noise in St James Park goes up a notch.
Chelsea under pressure, 55mins and Trippier takes out Pulisic and earns a yellow card.
Willock puts a good ball in but its met and cleared by a Chelsea player.
59 minutes and Koulabaly goes down and gets treatment, cramp or a pulled muscle we shall see.
60 minutes and Botman catches Gallagher with a high boot, no foul.
Chelsea change shape again going to what looks like 4-3-3
65 mins and Gallagher has a good strike turned around the post by Pope.
The corner comes to nothing.
66 minutes and Willock fires an unstoppable shot past Mendy 1-0 to the Magpies just as Chelsea were beginning to find some joy.
Several Chelsea subs warming up.
72mins sees a triple change, Mount,Hall and Broja coming off, Cucurella, Havertz and Ziyech coming on.
75 mins Newcastle subs sees Wood replaced by Callum Wilson.
Chelsea still slow in their build up play and playing a bit to much backwards football.
10 minutes to go, a Cucurella ball causes a bit of chaos in the Newcastle area but no-one can get on the end of it.
I can hear a chant of Chelsea finally as St James Park gets a bit nervy
84 mins the goal scorer Willock goes off replaced by Murphy
Botman goes down again , and is subbed by Targett.
88 mins and Koulabaly is booked for bringing down Almeron on the edge of the area.
The resulting free-kick by Trippier is poor and is easily cleared.
7 added minutes
Newcastle doing a good job of holding the ball, and win a corner.
94 mins Pope is booked for delaying the a goal kick.
1 minute to go and Dan Burn gives away a needless free kick, Mendy goes up for it
Longstaff is then booked for a reckless challenge on Cucurella
Jamel lascelles is then booked for stopping Cucurella taking a throw in even though he was not playing.
The whistle goes and it all kicks off on the pitch Havertz getting involved with several Newcastle players.
The referee looks like he’s going to take a few more names.
So my fears were realised although our play seems to be getting better.
3 losses on the bounce, hopefully Potter will have the world cup break to think what to do about it and some of our players get over their injuries and we get no new ones.
Blues MOTM for me was Gallagher and for Newcastle their Goal scorer Willock.