WHAT a time to be making the big trek north. Chelsea travel to Newcastle on Saturday to play a club in limbo.

Following Steve Bruce’s multi-million pay-off by the Magpies’ new Middle East owners, the Premier League leaders arrive in town to face a side uncertain about anything and everything.

At least it isn’t an early kick-off. The Blues’ record for early starts at St James’ Park is woeful, so mid-afternoon will suit a team still buzzing after firing seven past Norwich last weekend.

That performance, without first-choice strike team Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, sent a strong message to the watching world.

There are no weak links in a squad which is now learning how to live with Thomas Tuchel’s animated and demanding management style.

It struck me last Saturday, watching from the press seats just above the dug-outs, that Tuchel most closely resembles Basil Fawlty.

Those spindly legs, the exasperated expression, the flailing arms as he tries to convey his vexation at a wayward pass or a mistimed movement… it shrieks John Cleese at his most provoked in the lobby of his Torquay hotel.

Whether that makes Tuchel’s assistant and right-hand man Arno Michels Stamford Bridge’s Sybil is another matter.

Mason Mount, buoyed by a hat-trick against the Canaries in a ridiculously free-scoring game, will be eager to build on his success. Surprisingly he had gone 25 games for club and country without a goal before Norwich arrived in SW6. Now he’s hungry for more.