Newcastle United (Away)
Premier League

Monday 22nd October 2007


Just prior to the match, the announcement was rumoured that exiting Spurs vice-chairman Paul Kemsley intends to come back to Tottenham to buy the club in partnership with Newcastle United chairman and THFC fan, Mike Ashley.  It is not a new story, but was it put out at the time to destabilise the Toon ahead of a game that is important for Spurs ?

With Paul Robinson missing with a calf injury picked up in England's defeat in Russia, Radek Cerny comes in and has been a sound replacement when he has had the opportunity to play in ENO's absence.  It is hoped that Kaboul and Dawson will be able to cope with the pace and strength of Viduka and Owen, with a stress being put on getting tight to them.  This should reduce the amount of space they have to get shots in on target, although Owen has the ability to run at players, even though he has lost some of his younger pace through his litany of injuries.  Behind those two, Obafemi Martins might feature and he has both talents, as witnessed by his goal at the Lane last season.  We will need to shackle him and it might be necessary to deploy a midfielder sitting deep to make sure the defence is protected.

There is a worry that the midfield are leaving the opposition a bit too much space to play in.  N'zogbia has been doing well for the home side wide on the flanks, but that is normally from left back.  He can push on, with the left midfielder tucking in behind to cover him, but if we can get Lennon giving him problems, then it might tie up the left side.  But United also have Nicky Butt,  Milner, Geremi and Emre to chose from to add endeavour and graft to the midfield and while Spurs like to play the ball it is necessary for them to get back behind the ball when they lose possession to provide a defensive barrier for Newcastle to have to break down.

The defence of Newcastle has been fairly sound this season, especially at home.  New central defender Cacapa and right back David Rozenhal have settled in quickly, but a number of injuries have meant that the defence has had to be shuffled from time to time.  Former Tottenham defender Stephen Carr is unlikely to feature, as he has suffered numerous injuries and Habib Beye and Peter Ramage have been in and out of the team.  Steven Taylor has been strong in the centre of defence, with some fine performances for club and for England Under-21s too.  Having taken Abdoulaye Faye from Bolton with him, Allardyce knows the strengths of the defensive midfielder, who can play at the back too, while Jose Enrique came in from Villareal to add to the choice in the back four.

If we do get behind the United back four, then we will be faced by Shay Given, who usually has a good game against us.  The only way he might be beaten is from set-pieces, when we can play balls into the area and get some of our taller players to threaten the home goal.  Not the tallest of keepers, he is susceptible to lobs, but the right ball needs to be played behind the defence to get our strikers in to isolate Given one-on-one.

Newcastle like to get wide and play balls in for Owen and Viduka to get ahead of the opposition defenders, so it is important for Spurs to stop the ball getting there or to shut down the wide-man on the ball to prevent crosses coming in.  To do this there will have to be plenty of running from our midfielders to close down the Newcastle midfield and also to get forward to support our strikers, so that when the ball is played up to them, it doesn't come straight back.  It is also about time Berbatov started scoring regularly and any chances that come his way must test the keeper.

With the Toon's home form impressive, perhaps the best we can hope for is a point, but after the way we played at Liverpool, perhaps I am being pessimistic when I think it will end ...

PREDICTION : -  Newcastle United  1   Tottenham Hotspur   1

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


NEWCASTLE UNITED :  Peter Ramage (knee); Damien Duff (ankle); Stephen Carr (one injury or another); Alan Smith (suspended)

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (knee); Ricardo Rocha (knee); Wayne Routledge (knee); Paul Robinson (calf); Kevin Prince Boateng (ankle); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee)


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Radio :  
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 (live coverage)
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If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
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North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Newcastle United   3   Tottenham Hotspur    1      (Half-time score : 1-0)

Premier League
Venue : -  St. James Park
Monday 22nd October 2007
Kick Off :  8.00 p.m.
Crowd :   51,411
Referee :  Steve Bennett (Orpington)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Gallowgate end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Dry, but chilly
Teams : - 
Newcastle United :


Jose Enrique

Geremi (c)
Emre (Barton 71)
N'Zogbia (Milner 46  )

Owen (Rozehnal 79)

Unused subs

Tottenham Hotspur :



Malbranque (Berbatov 58)
Bale      (Tainio 19)

Keane (c) 
Bent (Lennon 78)

Unused subs

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Newcastle United

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Newcastle United

Martins 45
Cacapa 51
Milner 73

Tottenham Hotspur

Keane 57

Cards : -  
Newcastle United

Beye (foul) 62
Butt (dissent)  70


Tottenham Hotspur 

Bale (dissent) 13
Chimbonda (foul)  36


Match Report : -  
For a long period in the first half, it looked as though Spurs might complete a successful defensive performance, but then just seconds before the end of it, one slip caused that to evaporate and any chance of anything from the game going with it.  To end up losing 1-3 was down to some sloppy play and some slack defending.

The team really need to start putting in some effort in the games we are playing and to start putting some results together.  I know that going into this match we were unbeaten for six games, but this consisted of three league draws, two cups wins and a draw in the UEFA Cup.  Not exactly the point gathering exercise we need to propel us up the table.

With the defence unable to keep out any opposition, the midfield seem to be playing too far up the field and the forwards are not firing on all cylinders at the moment.  It all adds up to what ended up being a pitiful display, even taking into account that United are good at home and we are crap away and we never do well up there.




Reaction : -



When Michael Dawson starts playing the part of one of the Keystone Kops in our defending, then things are really on the slide.  Daws had a poor game, being responsible for the first two goals and looked unsettled all match.  Playing with Kaboul, he has looked OK, but Younes was losing it tonight and his lax awareness on the ball almost lead to him conceding possession in dangerous positions.

Not that he was the only one to do so.  Chimbonda, Lee and Jenas all showed loose passing or loose control to hand the ball to Newcastle, who didn't really need it to be given to them to cause problems for Tottenham.

Cerny was helpless with all three goals and made one good save from Owen's curling shot and another at Martins' feet.  But it was up front we looked lightweight.  Berbatov's sulky cameo was not the most committed effort I have ever seen, while Keane tried to be too clever too often and Bent looks right out of touch.  He should be given a run out in the Reserves to get some confidence back.

Only when Lennon came on did we show any real attacking threat, apart from one good ball in from Zokora that Bent got a header to and the ball bounced off the post for Keane to convert.

It is cold in the North-East.  We never do well there.  But you sensed that at 1-2, we might just sneak something out of the game.  That was until Lady Luck gave a huge assist to Milner, who showed perhaps his true ability with an air shot that dropped for him to hit the second go past Cerny.

I suppose the only saving grace of that goal was that it wasn't in the last minute of the game.


The person to blame for the problems at the Lane is Daniel Levy.

He has completely destabilised the club, from the moment it was announced that Ramos had been offered Martin Jol's position.  This was an underhand move which took place four games into the new season.  What the hell was he thinking of ?

The board gave the manager millions to spend in the summer to bolster the squad.  Then behind his back they are trying to recruit a replacement.  This is showing total disrespect towards Jol and in doing so, causes unease throughout the playing staff and management.  This is reflected in the start we have made to the season.  

I am surprised Martin Jol didn't tell them to stick their job, especially in view of what he has achieved in the last two seasons for the club.

I feel the situation has gone too far now, and will probably end up with MJ losing his job and causing more destabilisation for the team.  
Levy has made a complete mess of the situation, and truly is a "baby faced assassin."
Does he care I doubt it ? He just likes playing the big I am.


Man for man or zonal ?? 

I wondered which and it seemed like Dawson wasn't sure, as he looked around too late to see Cacapa racing in to score.

Come on Chrissie Hughton .. .sort out the defence !




Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 2 Bolton Wanderers 0 Saturday
Aston Villa 1 Manchester Unite 4 Saturday
Blackburn Rovers 4 Reading 2 Saturday
Everton 2 Liverpool 1 Saturday
Fulham 0 Derby County 0 Saturday
Manchester City 1 Birmingham City 0 Saturday
Middlesbrough 0 Chelsea 2 Saturday
Wigan Athletic 0 Portsmouth 2 Saturday
West Ham United 3 Sunderland 1 Sunday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 9 8 1 0 21 6 25 +15
2 Manchester United 10 7 2 1 15 3 23 +12
3 Manchester City 10 7 1 2 15 7 22 +8
4 Liverpool 9 5 4 0 16 5 19 +11
5 Portsmouth 10 5 3 2 21 12 18 +7
6 Blackburn Rovers 9 5 3 1 13 8 18 +5
7 Chelsea 10 5 3 2 10 8 18 +2
8 Newcastle United 9 5 2 2 16 11 17 +5
9 Aston Villa 9 4 2 3 13 12 15 +1
10 West Ham United 9 4 1 4 12 9 13 +3
11 Everton 10 4 1 5 13 13 13 0
12 Reading 10 3 1 6 12 22 10 -10
13 Fulham 10 1 5 4 12 16 8 -4
14 Birmingham City 10 2 2 6 8 13 8 -5
15 Wigan Athletic 10 2 2 6 8 14 8 -6
16 Sunderland 10 2 2 6 11 19 8 -8
17 Middlesbrough 10 2 2 6 10 18 8 -8
18 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 10 1 4 5 17 21 7 -4
19 Derby County 10 1 3 6 5 22 6 -17
20 Bolton Wanderers 10 1 2 7 9 16 5 -7




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