Interesting from Pat Nevin.
The former player talking about the two clubs ahead of Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
The former Chelsea winger getting ‘just a little bit nostalgic’ as he puts it.
Pat Nevin signed for Chelsea in 1983 and he recalls the first time he ever played against Newcastle United.
The two clubs in the second tier and it was a 4-0 home win for the blues but the big thing Nevin recalls:
“As we battered them 4-0 and I was having one of those days when beating players was embarrassingly easy, I noticed that with five minutes to go, Keegan, a player of world renown and now well into his thirties, was working harder than any other player on the pitch.
I loved the fact he had such a positive attitude even in those hopeless circumstances.”
Kevin Keegan retired at the end of that season after leading Newcastle to promotion. Chelsea actually finished top but it was Newcastle who grabbed most headlines despite going up in third, thanks mainly to Keegan and the exhilarating football they showed with Beardsley, Waddle and McDermott also in the team.
Moving forward 36 years and Pat Nevin is very impressed with the current Chelsea team, as he feels that now under Frank Lampard everybody is giving 100%. Quite remarkable if true considering how recent years have seen their players turning it on and off depending largely on their opinion of the manager at the time.
Nice to see Pat Nevin including Newcastle United in this, saying how he was impressed at the spirit NUFC showed against Man Utd, spirit missing the previous week against Leicester.
The former Chelsea player picking out a couple of Newcastle players in particular: ‘The young Longstaff brothers in midfield last week were the epitome of the pride in their play and in their shirts that the home fans wanted to see.’
There is no guarantee of a positive result on Saturday as Chelsea do have some very good players BUT at the very least we expect Newcastle’s players to continue with the attitude shown in the Man Utd game, anything less is unacceptable.
Pat Nevin talking to the official Chelsea site:
‘For once I would like to get just a little bit nostalgic here. I always have a nice memory to fall back on when Newcastle United turn up at Stamford Bridge. In my first season playing for Chelsea it was this game, and one specific moment in this game, that started my relationship with Chelsea fans. It wasn’t a goal or even an assist but a mazy dribble the length of the pitch beating, depending in who you talk to, six or nine players en route. Some of them might have been beaten twice, I will admit.
The reason for the uncertainty is that the game wasn’t filmed, something that is hard to imagine these days when every game and just about every training session is on camera, whether that is the senior team or the youths. So I can exaggerate how many players I went round if I want to, but I don’t because sometimes a memory, however blurred by the years, is a pleasant enough thing to have. Even more pleasant are the consequences.
Back then Newcastle had a former European Player of the Year in their side in one Kevin Keegan, alongside other world class players such as Peter Beardsley and Chris Waddle. Years later Chris and I became friends through the media, while Peter and I became team-mates at Everton but it was Keegan who had the biggest influence on me that day. As we battered them 4-0 and I was having one of those days when beating players was embarrassingly easy, I noticed that with five minutes to go, Keegan, a player of world renown and now well into his thirties, was working harder than any other player on the pitch.
I loved the fact he had such a positive attitude even in those hopeless circumstances. He knew there was no chance of winning the game but there was a pride in his performance that shone through for me. I might have been getting the acclaim of the fans and all the headlines the next day as well, and Kevin Keegan was being ultra-positive about me to the assembled media, but the real lesson came from watching him.
It is a lesson that not every player takes on board, it isn’t always easy when you are being lauded by everyone to see the value of having pride in your work even when things are not go so well. I watched Newcastle a few weeks back against Manchester United and I saw an echo of that spirit, which is handy for them, as the week before when losing to Leicester the spirit was notable only for its absence.
The young Longstaff brothers in midfield last week were the epitome of the pride in their play and in their shirts that the home fans wanted to see. Every football fan knows it when he or she sees it. All players try during games, but there is something over and above the norm that we as fans are looking for. At Chelsea I think we should consider ourselves lucky that we have that attitude all the way through our entire current side.’