Alan Pardew has hailed the current Chelsea side as the best he has ever seen, although he doubts they can go unbeaten in all competitions this season.
The Blues maintained their six-point lead at the head of the Premier League with a convincing 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, which means they have now gone 21 games without tasting defeat. This run has also taken them into the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, and they travel to Derby County in the League Cup quarter-final later this month.
Next up for Jose Mourinho’s side is a trip to Pardew’s Newcastle United, who have recently seen their own good sequence of five straight wins interrupted. The Magpies manager is full of praise for the current Chelsea side, claiming they are the best he has ever witnessed at Stamford Bridge, but he has also warned them that their unbeaten run will eventually come to a crashing end.
“I think it’s difficult – obviously Arsenal have done it and Chelsea have come pretty close before,” he said. “But not in all competitions – that is impossible and I think Jose has admitted that. But they’re making a very good job of it at the moment. It’s the best Chelsea team that I’ve ever seen and I’ve watched them since I was about 12 so I know them pretty well. I think Jose is pretty pleased with what he’s got.”
Although the capital club will be well fancied to get a win at St James’ Park, it is a ground which Mourinho has not enjoyed in the past. In fact, he has never won on Tyneside in the Premier League. His first visit, in May 2005, ended in a 1-1 draw, and the following season they suffered a 1-0 defeat on the final day of the campaign. On both occasions the Blues had already clinched the Premier League title, but that wasn’t the case last season when they were beaten 2-0 in November.
However, he has had success in the League Cup in November 2004 on the way to winning the trophy against Liverpool, but in the same season they were eliminated from the FA Cup at St James’ Park at the fifth round stage courtesy of a Patrick Kluivert goal.
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