Snow Joke On Tyneside

Despite the massive amounts of snow around the country, it appears this afternoons match between Newcastle and Chelsea is going ahead.

The Newcastle website currently states; “Staff at Newcastle United are doing everything they can this weekend to ensure that despite the heavy snowfall, Sunday’s Barclays Premier League game with Chelsea can go ahead as scheduled.”

It adds; “Aside from the task of making the pitch area playable, health and safety concerns are being addressed too. The club are working closely with Newcastle City Council and extra staff have been brought in to help make public areas in and around the ground safe and accessible.”

With Terry, Lampard and Zhirkov all still unavailable through injury, and Essien still serving his suspension, Carlo named his team in the press conference on Friday.

We should expect to see Cech in goal, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Alex and Cole at the back, with Ramires, Mikel and Malouda in the middle three. Anelka, Drogba and Kalou will start in the front three position.

At the press conference, Carlo spoke of Ramires and of his early performances; “‘We have to clarify that Ramires is Brazilian, but he is not a Brazilian kind of player. He is a very good defensive player, very aggressive.”

The Italian added; “This moment is not a good moment for the team, and his position is not 100 percent his position, he was better in the second half against Zilina, and arrived two or three times to shoot with power.”

Reflecting on the adaptation period all players go through, he said; “He is 23 years old, he changed country, language, everything, so it is not easy to immediately show your quality. A lot of fantastic players had the same problems, last year Yury Zhirkov had difficulty to adapt.”

Likening it to his own experiences, he said; “I want to mention Michel Platini, when he came to Italy, his first six months was very poor, so it’s normal, so you need to have time to adapt.”

With Newcastle striker Andy Carroll on form for the Magpies, and Chelsea on one of their worst runs in years, Serbian international Ivanovic spoke of the importance of staying focused; “We have to play and show our character and the power of our team. Newcastle is a good team but they have lost a couple of games this season at home. We have to show we can go there and be ready for them.”

Ivanovic continued; “Everyone in this club believes that we have to fight for every game and every point. For me Newcastle is one of the key games this season because it is coming at a difficult moment. We have to stay focused, we have to take part in our training sessions with high intensity, this is important for us and the future of the season. ”

“We have to concentrate, show we are the best and win the game.”

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