Newcastle United (Home)
Sunday 10th April 2005
recent FA Cup tie behind us that Newcastle hung onto for dear life
after getting an early goal, I would hope that as their side is
decimated through suspension and injury, that we might take three
points from them and set up a loftier position in the League table.
Bowyer, Dyer and Taylor are all suspended after their game against Aston Villa last week descended into farce, ending with the first two fighting with each other and the team consisting of eight men. This leaves them short of players, especially when added to the injury hit defence and with Shay Given limping out of the UEFA Cup semi-final first leg this week with a recurrence of a hip problem, there are bare bones showing between the bar-code shirts.
Spurs will till have to face the prolific Alan Shearer and there is no doubt in my mind that he will be allowed to get away with murder rather than get as much as a yellow card, while others breathe on him to see red. Trying to keep playing to become the all-time top Geordie goal-scorer, one must admire his ambition, although his self-centred attitude looks like it does not endear him to others. Surprise, surprise.
I would hope that with a reasonably full strength squad to choose from, Martin Jol could put out a side to dismantle the makeshift Newcastle side we will see. In between two UEFA Cup semis and a FA Cup semi on the horizon, the need to keep players ready for those battles ahead mean that some might be preserving themselves.
I think that whoever turns out for the Magpies will put in a determined display, but there will be enough threat from Kanoute and Defoe to trouble them, with Robbie Keane still on the bench and coming on to terrorise their defence later in the match, to ensure that the points come Tottenham's way. The attacking options are now added to by the defenders getting forward too and therefore, plenty of chances should be made for the forwards ... all they have to do is convert them !!
PREDICTION : - Tottenham Hotspur 2 Newcastle United 1
For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : - Noe Pamarot (knee); Pedro Mendes (toe); Thimothee Atouba (suspended); Rob Burch (ankle); - (-)
NEWCASTLE UNITED : Lee Bowyer (suspended); Kieron Dyer (suspended); Steven Taylor (suspended); Titus Bramble (hernia); - (-)
|Tottenham Hotspur 1 Newcastle United 0 (Half-time score : 1-0)|
|Premier League||Venue : White Hart Lane|
|Sunday 10th April 2005||Kick Off : 16.05 p.m.|
|Crowd : 35,885||Referee : S. Bennett (Orpington)|
|Weather : Warm, sunny, some cloud|
|Teams : -|
Davies (Ziegler 84)
Butt (Ambrose 62)
Shearer (Milner 46)
|Colours : - (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)|
|Scorers : -|
|Cards : -|
Brown (persistent [two] fouling) 14
Faye (stopping free-kick being
|Match Report : -|
It was the tale of two goalkeeping errors and one that swung Spurs way, because the error happened to fall to a master goal-scorer in picking up all three points to take Tottenham up to seventh in the league.
It was a sliced clearance early on by Steve Harper, the stand-in Newcastle keeper, that set the tone for his performance and this was a pre-cursor for what happened in the 41st minute. Harper took a back-pass from Babayaro and he hit it low ... low enough for Simon Davies, ten yards away, to stick his leg out to block the ball which fell in front of Defoe ahead of him and his shot beat the dive of Harper that was in vain. It had been a goal Tottenham's play deserved, but perhaps not the way they had thought that it would come.
It was in marked contrast to the Tottenham goalkeeper's mistake in the second half. Having collected a long ball, Paul Robinson tapped the ball out of the Park Lane area for Ledley King to take away, but the Spurs captain had turned his back and run off, leaving the ball in an inviting no-man's land, which James Milner filled. His chip to get the ball over Robbo had to be big, as his former Leeds colleague closed him down, but it was wayward and luckily for Tottenham weak ... just about making it off for a goal-kick, about 15 yards wide of the goal, when a straight shot would have brought about an equaliser.
Spurs has begun the match brightly and a couple of efforts on target tested Harper - one from Brown from the edge of the box and a Gardner header from a corner. Andy Reid showed today that although his final ball is not always as precise as we all might wish, he has the ability to provide chances for the front men. A low ball into the six yard box was just too close to the keeper rather than Defoe and at the other end of the match, he slipped a fine pass into the path of Davies, but he was just unable to gather the ball despite Harper fumbling it as he went through. By that time the Irishman had switched to the right and was fully involved in the way Tottenham were going forward. He got one of the biggest cheers of the day when he chopped Stephen Carr's legs from under him and didn't even get spoken to by the ref !!
The officials were perplexing all the supporters, with decisions both ways which looked just plain wrong. Michael Brown was booked for his second foul, while Alan Shearer was allowed to get away with elbowing Edman in the head right in front of the linesman. Probably because Erik did not make a big thing of it, the veteran striker escaped without a word from the referee. Not so lucky was Ameobi in the second half, when he got King in the face with a flying elbow ... a yellow, but then he has never captained England !!
Reid had two shooting chances, but only took the second, opting to float the first into the box, when he had a clear sight on goal. The latter effort flew wide. Brown hit another speculative effort goal-wards after neatly chipping the ball over Babayaro, but he was way off target too. But with their first serious break, Newcastle should have taken the lead. A floated cross from Jenas saw Ameobi rise highest at the far post, where he had matched up with Kelly, to head down and then the ball rose up and onto the roof of the netting, rather than nestling inside it. It was a let off for Spurs and although it was the 27th minute, Newcastle were looking as though they thought they might sneak something from this match.
Then in the 41st minute the goal came. Unusual, but then Jermain is the man you would want such an opportunity to fall to and he stuck it away with the outside of his foot.
Second half, Shearer failed to appear and Milner stepped into the limelight. He made little difference, as his early control and running appeared aimless. Tottenham would have had the goal of the century had Kelly been able to keep Davies' cross down, as his volley was fiercely hit, but too high following the Welshman's good work in tying Carr in knots.
With Brown having taken a kick and with his booking ruling him out of the next two games (for racking up ten yellows), Sean Davis returned to action at the Lane and made an immediate impact. His passing is intuitive and he gets stuck into tackles in midfield. So does Simon Davies and one (for which he got a boot in the groin) brought the ball into Fredi's path, but he dragged his shot rather than hitting it true. Davis hit a laid back ball from Kanoute over the bar and then Davies took O'Brien's poor clearance and tried to set himself up. Unfortunately, the ball did not come down enough and although he tried to pick a point in the top corner of the goal, his execution took the ball over the bar.
A long clearance saw Defoe on Carr and the former Spurs man was reduced to pulling his arm back to stop him from getting away, but that is what Defoe did and put a pass just behind Fredi, who could not hit it on target.
The introduction on N'Zogbia opened Spurs up a little, as he is a player with pace and one who likes to run with the ball ... something Laurent Robert failed to do today. His work stretched Stephen Kelly, but he stuck to his task and had a really good game, but the block by King as Ambrose lined up a shot that could have left us two points short of what we deserved, allied with some fine marshalling of the defence made the captain the man who did most in the match to preserve our lead.
It was not an enthralling match and there were too many stoppages to keep the flow going, but Tottenham dug in and prevented Newcastle the space to get back into the game. The win takes us to seventh and that might be enough for Europe next season. A few more wins and that "might" will be unnecessary.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - LEDLEY KING
|I FOUGHT NEWTON'S LAW|
|The match ended with three
points for Spurs and I suppose that the last two home games have
evened out the away games at SCBC and Charlton ... two games we had
the majority of the chances and came away with nothing.
It surprised me that the figures on match fo the Day showed Newcastle having a 55%-45% majority of the possession ... especially as they failed to do very much with it. I can remember Robinson only being called into action once and that was to try and save his own mistake, when he played the ball two yards from where Ledley wanted it. Luckily Milner's attempt at the worst chip over a keeper since Geoff Thomas (who we wish well with his battle against Leukaemia) got the ball over the French keeper at Wembley when playing for England, but it ended up nearer the corner flag than the corner of the net.
The only other attempt that the Barcodes had was the header from Ameobi, but although he did well in heading the ball down, it was way over the top after it had bounced upwards.
In contrast Tottenham had about 19 shots (albeit 13 off target) and the one on target that counted was a fortunate one. Harper had not looked comfortable kicking the ball from back-passes from the start and his sliced effort near the beginning of the match ended up going behind him for a corner !! His second fluffed attempt hit Davies and fell kindly for Defoe to pounce on it and slip it past the keeper as he scrambled back into position.
The game seemed strangely flat. Some Spurs attacks threatened to increase the lead, but the Newcastle keeper was not really tested and with him having dropped a clanger, you would have thought that they would have wanted to test his nerves out. Shots did come in during the second half, but most were off target, with the worst of them all being a free-kick touched to Kanoute and he blasted it so high over the top, it was only topped by a later effort from Davis, who tried to reach the top tier of the Paxton !!
The half-time interval had seen the removal of Alan Shearer, who was trying to disprove Isaac Newton's Laws of Gravity by holding down Ledley King by the arm every time he tried to jump for the ball in the air. And when he elbowed Erik Edman in the face, it was outrageous that he was not even spoken to by the referee. A sending off would have been sweet, as he has gotten away with it for so many years, that the suspension of the forward from the approach to a climax to their season would have served him right. It is nothing short of flagrant breaking of the Laws of the Game and his abuse of officials when a decision goes against him is disgraceful too. I fail to see that there is much difference between what he does and what Rooney does, but Shearer always gets away with it.
Of the Spurs players, quite a few shone. Kelly had a really solid match and showed that the words to the old song "You can stick your Stephen Carr ... " apply wholeheartedly. The fact that he got stick and Kelly got cheers shows that there is no fond feeling about his absence. Carrick showed his full range of passing and when Sean Davis arrived on the pitch, he displayed his ability in running and passing from a midfield position. King and Gardner linked well (for a change) in the centre of defence, while Edman did enough to show that he might stay at left back. Andy Reid got about the pitch and showed he has good vision, but he needs to improve his final ball to hit a white shirt and make the most of the space available to him. It was also good to see Simon Davies back to some sort of form after suffering with his calves (he wore support bandages beneath his socks). He got the ball down, passed and moved and took Carr on to get a good cross into the box. A player who will always do a job for the team, he will be an asset if he can stay fit.
not the greatest match, but up into seventh with dreams of Europe beginning to form. Will we see Spurs go through their remaining games in their usual style or will there be a renewed vigour to maintain their push into the top six ? It will be an interesting six matches.
|Other scores this weekend :|
|Norwich City||2||Manchester United||0||Saturday|
|Aston Villa||1||West Bromwich Albion||1||Sunday|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||32||5||13||14||31||52||28||-21|
Back to homepage