The Guardian, Jamie Jackson: “Newcastle arrived in west London with a team showing 10 changes from the one that defeated Everton at the weekend, with Fabricio Coloccini the only survivor and Sol Campbell finally making his debut for the club four days after his 36th birthday. Carlo Ancelotti switched nine of the side from Sunday’s 4-0 rout of Blackpool and welcomed back John Terry in an experimental side that featured Ross Turnbull for regular keeper Petr Cech, Patrick van Aanholt and Jeffrey Bruma, the young Dutch defenders, plus the forwards Gaël Kakuta and Daniel Sturridge.”
Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “Unbelievable. This was one of the great Cup ties, a game that will shape the dreams of Newcastle United fans and stalk the sleep of Chelsea supporters. This was an epic match finally settled when Shola Ameobi rose high in injury time to knock Chelsea out of the Carling Cup, giving Newcastle United their first success here in 23 attempts. Unforgettable. This will hurt Chelsea deeply because they fought like lions to claw back a 3-1 deficit, playing for most of the second half with 10 men after Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun departed injured.”
Official Chelsea FC Website: “Plenty of entertainment but plenty of mistakes at Stamford Bridge as a much-changed Chelsea side suffered a first home domestic cup defeat for two years.”
I always enjoy the early rounds of the The Football League Cup, sorry I mean the The Milk Cup, sorry I mean the The Littlewoods Cup, sorry I mean the The Rumbelows Cup, sorry I mean the The Coca-Cola Cup, sorry I mean the The Worthington Cup, ok ok the The Carling Cup, whatever, it’s just a second-rate competition hence my chance to write the report. Not like I’m bitter or anything but I know exactly how Ross Turnbull feels, kept on the side-lines until something unimportant comes along, but if either of us put in a bad performance boy are we going to get some stick.
Newcastle’s trophy cabinet has been empty since winning the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969, ignoring the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2006 which can’t really count. Therefore for teams like Newcastle (and Arsenal) the Carling Cup really needs to be taken seriously because, even though it’s the third priority domestic competition, it’s the only silverware that they have any possibility of winning. For us the trophy cabinet is filling up nicely so tonight was a sensible time to nurture and develop some of our youngsters.
After taking an early lead I thought it would be another routine victory. Unfortunately three mistakes, first by John Terry missing a defensive header, second by Bruma giving away an unnecessary free kick and third a combination of a poor Ferreira pass and feeble Turnbull attempted save cost us the game. Despite a spirited fight back to 3-3 when down to 10 men due to injuries to Kalou and Benayoun we lost it 3-4 with weak defence of a cross in injury time.
Since we played the youngsters I thought it appropriate to write a school report.
- Turnbull – during the school’s summer tour I did need to speak to you on several occasions about your behaviour. Unfortunately you haven’t taken heed of these warnings and tonight your performance was totally unacceptable. I shall ask the Headmaster to write to your parents suggesting that you are moved to a school where the expectations are less.
- Ferreira – one poor pass but so far a steady term’s work.
- Terry – not up to your normal standard. I know you’ve recently been unwell and maybe you should have stayed at home longer although your mother did seem quite anxious to get you out the house.
- Van Aanholt – scored one, fantastic run and pass to create the second but one or two sloppy bits of play. Overall very encouraging as a left-back. Please try not to socialise outside school with our other left-back Ashley because although he’s one of our brightest pupils he has some rather unpleasant habits that could well lead you astray.
- Bruma – bit excitable, calm down boy. Don’t try to tackle when you can’t win the ball and try to pass to someone wearing the same tie.
- Ramires – I know it’s a long way from home and you’re missing your parents but hope you settle in.
- Benayoun – tried reasonably hard. Sorry to hear about your leg. Is it your hamstring? Is it kosher to have a hamstring?
- Zhirkov – I’ve had reports of you whinging behind the bike sheds about not being promoted to prefect. Carry on like tonight and you’ll be kept down a year.
- Sturridge – oh dear. I know the headmaster has been talking you up recently but really! Poor runs, losing the ball, being in the wrong position, selfish instead of passing. Would you be happier joining the woodwork class?
- Anelka – I know in the past you’ve been accused of being sullen but I’m most impressed by your change in behaviour. Today the class got a bit ragged but you stepped up to the plate, scored a great goal, took the coolest ever penalty and fought hard for the team. Keep this up and you could be Head Boy.
- Kakuta – poor chap, such weighty expectations on your shoulders. Keep studying hard.
- Kalou – I know you blow hot and cold and sometimes are subjected to the cruellest remarks from the other boys. You’ve played some useful cameo roles recently and I hope your leg injury isn’t too serious because I think you’ll be missed more than some realise.
- Alex – spirited as ever and did your best in a difficult situation.
- McEachran – dear Josh, what can I say. In all my years of teaching I can’t remember such an impressive performance from one so young. Time on the ball, fine passing and several runs skipping past defenders as if they didn’t exist. Please remember me when you’re famous.
An interesting performance from the class. I was particularly pleased with the number of parents that came to watch and pleasantly surprised by the number of new faces, which makes me think there are rather more parents than Martin Samuel would give us credit for. Slightly disappointed with the views expressed by some parents who seem more obsessed with test results than teaching. How are we supposed to develop our youngsters if all we do is tests with the mature students?
There are some who think we’ve had an easy start to our term. What utter nonsense. For the comparable lessons last year our results are even better. I’d like to reassure parents that our school will top the league tables once again this year and that you should continue paying the fees.