By 90Min
August 25, 2018

It's been another turbulent week for Newcastle United, as a poor draw with Cardiff was followed by continued off-the-field drama.

Former Executive Director of Football Dennis Wise reared his head, as did commentator Andy Gray, to discredit the allegations and frustrations that Newcastle fans have been voicing in recent weeks.

Alongside that ongoing saga, the continued match day protests outside Sports Direct have been being organised and the general discontent towards Mike Ashley continues to simmer through the city.

Cardiff City FC/GettyImages

As such, it could be easy for the football to be lost in all that.

However, if Newcastle are going to perform another miracle-working this season, it absolutely cannot be allowed to.

The players find themselves in the middle of a vat of discontent and anger right now and they need to find inspiration when they're out on the pitch.

That inspiration comes from one place in football; the terraces.

St. James' Park needs to be in full voice once again this Sunday, cheering and roaring on the players no matter the ongoing dramas elsewhere in the club. Those players need to see the fans behind them to have the inspiration to drive on.

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Against Cardiff, Newcastle missed their best chance in their opening five games to pick up three points.

That shifts the focus to trying to do the much more difficult task of trying to claim at least one notable scalp. Chelsea are the first one of these consecutive challenges to present themselves.

In the Magpies' favour is that the Blues have a poor record at St. James' Park and were put to the sword at the end of last season. If the crowd unites in numbers and voice, the team is there to be unsettled.

Cardiff City FC/GettyImages

New boss Maurizio Sarri has not yet experienced a Tyneside in full voice. It's an imposing prospect, and can just offer that little bit extra nervousness and doubt to the opponents.

Given Chelsea's impressive start to the season, Newcastle are going to need all the advantages they can muster, and the crowd is arguably one of the biggest they can get.

It can also spur on those in black and white. Players play better when they know that they've got the crowd behind them. Things start going their way, and there is much greater determination to keep the positive feelings flowing.

Dan Mullan/GettyImages

With the crowd behind them and a strong intensity to Newcastle's game, they could rock Chelsea.

It was how the Magpies turned around their fortunes at the end of last season against the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal.

Score a goal, especially the opening goal, and that touchpaper of support will simply ignite. It becomes a wall of noise and encouragement, and its tough to keep ones focus and commitment faced up against it.

Rafa Benitez called on spirit as being almost as key as ability to help underdogs Newcastle win the match.

Whether he meant it to or not, his comments also extend to the fans. They too need to show that spirit being asked of the players.

In the misery of the off-the-field struggles and infuriating comments from distant pundits it can be difficult, but they have to show that spirit and strength of character to push away the negativity. Once they step in that stadium they need to be pushing forward encouragement, not discontent.

Stu Forster/GettyImages

The crowd may well be Newcastle's biggest asset against a strong Chelsea team on Sunday, and that means the fans might well be the most important individual in black and white when deciding the outcome of the game.

They simply have to be behind the team. Forget the problems. Forget Mike Ashley. Forget everything else. That's the message.

From minute one they must just scream, shout and chant for those eleven players on that pitch and the man directing them from the touchline.

They are who matter. Nobody else.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)