OPPONENTS Newcastle United
COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Sunday 26th October 2014
VENUE White Hart Lane






Mid-table Spurs entertain Newcastle United, who sit in 18th position in the Premier League despite beating Leicester City at St. James' Park last time out.  A win for either side will see them shift up the table a few places and it will do wonders for their confidence.

It is a post Europa League match for Tottenham ,while Newcastle have had a week's rest, with players having time to get over knocks, but the 5-1 win Spurs enjoyed means that they will be buoyant and the pressure is still on Alan Pardew, who is looking over his shoulder after every game to see if Mike Ashley will plunge the knife between his shoulder blades.  Having lost a number of players in the summer (and previous transfer windows), it hasn't been that easy for the former Barnet man, but he has had new recruits and some World Cup stars among them, so he has to make a better fist of it and hopefully, he will do that after today.

The main drawback that prevented Tottenham beating Newcastle at the Lane last season was Tim Krul, who put in the performance of his life to stop everything that was thrown at him.  This year, let's hope he doesn't have a second life.  A good stopper, Krul can be caught out on his angles sometimes, so Spurs will need to put him to the test once more.

The defence in front of him has been augmented by the arrival of Dutchman Daryl Janmaat, who Spurs had looked at.  He has had a tough introduction into the Premier League, but has the Ajax academy training behind him, so he can't be all that bad.  He likes to get forward and may have to be aware of the spaces he leaves behind him.  Fabricio Collocini and Mike Williamson constitute the centre of defence, with sniper victim Steven Taylor always fighting to get into the first team.   Collocini had fallen out with the club last season, saying his family were homesick, but it looks like all has been resolved now, while Williamson has been battling injury to be fit for this match.  At full backs, there could be young and old, with Paul Dummett, who likes to get forward and join in the scoring, with Ryan Taylor, who has been sidelined for the best part of two years with ligament trouble.   Formerly of Wigan Athletic, he used to like to overlap on the wing, but this may not be as effective as it once was, although he is a dead ball expert, with a fierce and accurate shot.  It is more likely that Taylor could be on the bench,  with Massaido Haidrara also available and a regular bench-warmer.

Having lost Cabaye and Ben Arfa in midfield, Newcastle visited their near neighbours to secure the services of Jack Colback, a hard-working midfielder, who can join the forwards, but has a defensive midfielder's mindset.  Several of the Toon engine room are similar, with Vurnon Anita, Remy Cabella, Moussa Cissoko and Chiekh Tiote all possessing skill and plenty of effort.  The one player they might have possessed who could pull something out of the hat was Ben Arfa, but having got on the wrong side of the manager, he was shipped off to Hull City on loan. Their main creative spark is vested in Gabriel Obertan, but his recent goal against Leicester was the first anyone had heard of him for a long time.  A step-over addict, his skill often over-shone what he produced as an end product.  Maybe that has changed, so we will see.

In attack, Papiss Cisse was a doubt and that might be a big blow for Newcastle if he is out, with summer signing Siem de Jong already side-lined long term with a knee problem.  Sammy Ameobi is still there, although his brother Shola has left for a Second Division Turkish side !!  Yoan Gouffran, who scored at the Lane a few seasons back is still there, but his effect on the side appears to be less then back then, while new French striker Emmanuel Riviere is yet to find his scoring groove in England.  Young Spanish forward Ayoze Perez came from Tenerife, but has yet to find the net in seven appearances, although he has a series of wacky haircuts !!  Another new signing Emmanuel Rivière matches Perez for a lack of goals and time spent in the barber's chair by the look of him.

Tottenham might not be as tired as after previous Europa League matches, as the win over Asteras wasn't too taxing and was at home, so we don't even have to travel away for this match.  I expect there to be changes and I would drop Adebayor until he learns how to stay on-side, but I guess he will start, even though he played on Thursday.  Kaboul will be back, but Vertonghen may also play, with Fazio suspended, so Rose will return at left back and Dier continue at right back.  Poch will reinstate his first choice three attacking midfielders of Chadli, Eriksen and Lamela, with Capoue and may put Paulinho in alongside him, although I would prefer to see Stambouli start. 

Pardew will try to pack the midfield and leave one up front (Cisse if fit) to try and nick a goal.  Spurs must be creative enough to pull Newcastle around to make their opportunities count.  I think they can do it, but once more, it won't be easy.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2         Newcastle United    1
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
There could be late fitness tests for Kyle Naughton and Nabil Bentaleb (both ankle), but Kyle Walker is still re-habilitating from his hip surgery.  Federico Fazio serves the first of a three match ban.
Newcastle will be without Siem de Jong (hamstring), Davide Santon (knee) and Jonas Guttierez (testicular cancer), but Chiekh Tiote (shin), Emmanuel Riviere (knock), Mike Willliamson (pulled muscle), Paul Dummett (hamstring), Curtis Good (groin), Ryan Taylor (knee) and Papiss Cisse (knee) are all late decisions for Alan Pardew to decide if they are ready to play.

Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.35 - 23.35 (highlights)  Also available online.

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Radio :  
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Tottenham Hotspur  1 (1)                                                                        Newcastle United  2 (0)
Premier League
Sunday 26th October 2014                                                                                                                             Kick off 13:30
White Hart Lane
Adebayor 18m 05s Ameobi 45m 08s
Perez 58m 01s
Capoue (foul on Colback)  
Rose (dissent) 90



Gouffran (foul on Dier) 23
Colback (foul on Lamela) 50
Krul (time-wasting) 87   
Janmaat (foul on Rose) 90


Crowd :   35,658 Weather :  Dry, mild
Referee :  Anthony Taylor (Cheshire) Assistant Referees :  Mr. J. Brooks; Mr. I. Hussin
Fourth Official :  Mike Jones -
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Newcastle United : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS

15  Eric DIER
  4  Younes KABOUL (c)
  3  Danny ROSE     

29  Etienne CAPOUE      (18  Harry KANE 67)
38  Ryan MASON

22  Nacer CHADLI
23  Christian ERIKSEN
11  Erik LAMELA (  7  Aaron LENNON 78)

10  Emmanuel ADEBAYOR (  9  Roberto SOLDADO 83)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

19  Mousa DEMBELE

    1  Tim KRUL     

22  Daryl JANMAAT      
27  Steven TAYLOR
  2  Fabricio COLLOCINI (c)
36  Paul DUMMETT

  8  Vernun ANITA  (20  Remi CABELLA 46)
14  Jack COLBACK     

11  Yoan GOUFFRAN     
  Moussa SISSOKO
25  Gabriel OBERTAN  (28  Sammy AMEOBI 46  )

17  PEREZ GUTTIEREZ  (19  Massadio HAIDARA 79)

Unused subs: 
  4  Ryan TAYLOR
15  Facundo FERREYRA

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Alan Pardew
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Wonga
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   Puma
Match report

What started out as a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Bill Nicholson's death ended with boos ringing around White Hart Lane, with many no doubt coming from the Stub Hubbers who turned out for this match.  With a lot of unfamiliar faces seated around me, there were comments from them throughout the game that showed that they thought the team should win just because they were in attendance ... even though one of them didn't even know Townsend's first name.  When Newcastle turned the match around in the second half, they were quick to show their displeasure and blame all and sundry for the loss.

The fickle nature of football fans never ceases to amaze me. For those of us who have been coming to the Lane for many years, this sort of outcome is not a surprise.  That is not to say that it doesn't hurt, but the reaction of some newbies is way out of proportion.  The vile abuse heaped upon some players cannot be intended to inspire them, but I suppose when you pay such high prices for tickets thee days, you feel you are entitled to voice your feelings about the result. 

Some players had turned out in midweek for the Europa League match, but tiredness in physical terms can't be cited as an excuse for such slack defending that let Newcastle recover a 0-1 deficit to run out 2-1 winners.  Having looked entirely secure in the first half, despite not exactly stretching Tim Krul in the Toon goal, Spurs were dominating possession and territorial occupation. 

The start by Spurs looked promising, with Rose hitting a cross into the box and appealing for a penalty as it hit Dummett but Anthony Taylor waved play on, for what was not to be the last time.   The referee was allowing some physical challenges to go un punished, but the Newcastle players seemed keen to go to ground easily and Spurs used the flanks, but the crossing left a  lotto be desired, with most over-hit.  As far as efforts on goal went, Vertonghen smashed one too high and when Taylor's header won against Adebayor, the ball dropped kindly to Eriksen, but the Dane's shot went wide.  Ryan Mason then sliced a shot high and wide, with Dummett copying his effort at the other end. 

Newcastle should really have taken the lead on 15 minutes, when Sissoko crossed from their left and Lloris could only punch weakly to the edge of the box, where Jack Colback hit a shot back at goal, but it went wide, with only Kaboul back on the line.  With the visitors having a couple of chances Tottenham's goal in the 18th minute came a little against the run of play.  Lamela played in Adebayor, who fed Chadli on the left of the box.  The Belgian's shot was blocked, then Eriksen's follow-up was too, but the ball came out to Mason, who curled a cross towards the far post form the left and Adebayor got up ahead of Lamela to head back across Krul and the ball looped into the net where the keeper had just come from.  Spurs had shown enough in the opening ten minutes to indicate that they could get a lead and this was surely the base for the team to build a decent lead on.

But the attacking play slowed and the chances failed to materialise, with Krul not having to make a save in the remainder of the half.  Lamela set up Rose, in space 20 yards out, for a shot, but the full back was leaning back and the ball went too high, but when he was brought down by a challenge from Obertan, the referee pointed into the penalty area and the crowd thought he had awarded a spot-kick, but in fact he was giving a goal-kick ... in a fashion that was hitherto unknown in the game, so why did he hare towards the middle of the goal just for that ?  It was another example of Anthony Taylor's odd officiating.

In the second half, he went back to book Etienne Capoue for pulling Colback's shorts.  Fair enough, but in the first half, he failed to give a free-kick, let alone book a Newcastle player for nearly removing Vertonghen's shirt.  Choosing to book Krul after 87 minutes, when he was wasting time soon after Newcastle equalised made my understanding of the point stretch to it's very limits.  The fact the keeper then continued in the remaining minutes saw the referee ignore the matter.  The man in the middle was not adept at playing advantage either, as Capoue was taken out after playing the ball forward and Spurs looked to break, but the ball was brought back for a free-kick, yet, when the French midfielder received his yellow card, it was some minutes after Taylor had allowed Newcastle to continue their attack.

Consistency ... what consistency ??

It took four players to dispossess Sissoko as he moved towards the edge of the Spurs area, but then Tottenham looked to break with Eriksen passing out to Adebayor, but when Chadli was played wide right, his intended cross was cut out by Collocini.  It is these sort of opportunities we don't seem to make the most of.   The following attacks failed to get many effort son target, with Mason having one blocked, while Capoue suffered the same fate with his shot.  Just before half time, Tottenham had a great chance, with Newcastle's defenders (Collocini, Taylor and Dummett) concentrating on pulling Vertonghen, Kaboul and Adebayor in the box.  This allowed Eriksen to put his free-kick to the far post and find Chadli, but the winger's volley was over the top, when he really needed to hit the target. 

The Spurs legends who had turned out to pay tribute to Bill Nick (Cliff Jones, Mullery, Jennings, Gilzean, Beal, Chivers, Pratt, Ray Clemence, Roberts, Sinton, Lacy, Miller, Hazard, Falco, and Anderton) were brought out before the match and during the break Jones, Gilzean and Chivers reminisced about the great man.  His legacy weighs heavy on all the Spurs teams who have followed, but they should be inspired by this and not weighed down by it.

Quite what Mr. Nicholson would have made of what came next I do not know.  Newcastle United brought on Sammy Ameobi for Anita and Cabella for Obertan.  From the kick off, Colback played a ball into the left wing area and Dier was asleep to allow the ball in behind him, allowing Ameobi a straight run onto it and into the box, to drive a low shot across Lloris and into the far corner to level the scores with EIGHT seconds of the second half gone.  It was a poor goal defensively, with the lack of concentration letting Newcastle back in the game without much effort.

It might have been worse moments later, when Ameobi's left wing ball across the face of goal could not be reached by Perez.  With 53 minutes gone, Chadli played Rose down the left touchline and his early low cross was struck goalwards by Eriksen, but with precision rather than power and Collocini managed to get something on it to take it wide of the opposite post.  But four minutes later Perez had got on the end of a cross from Cabella on the left to head past Lloris to make it 2-1 to United.  The goal started way back, with Sissoko having an easy task of skipping past Dier, then nobody challenging him before Cabella's cross saw the Newcastle forward beat Rose in the air to nod the goal that turned the match on it's head.

Pochettino's response was to take Capoue off for Kane, which left Eriksen dropping back to play alongside Mason and this disrupted the shape of the side.  The build-up became slower and therefore allowed Newcastle to get plenty of men back behind the ball.  Before Etienne left the field, he played the ball forward and Adebayor laid it on for Eriksen, but his shot was deflected over Krul's goal.  But by then Cabella had a chance running into the box, but only found Hugo's side-netting at his near post. 

Tottenham did have a 66th minute 'goal' disallowed when Eriksen's corner was pushed into his own net by Krul, but the linesman ruled it had gone out of play before coming back onto the pitch and then a couple of minutes later, Spurs did actually force Krul to save when Rose's cross was slightly behind Kane, but he managed to get a shot away, but straight at the keeper.  Eriksen had one deflected wide, substitute Lennon lashed one over from 20 yards out and Soldado tried a high volley, but could only slice it weakly at goal.  The best opportunity came in the 90th minute, when Kane made some space on the right wing and blasted a low cross across the face of goal ... with nobody in a white shirt there to get a touch which would have brought the equaliser.  The ball went out for a throw-in and Danny Rose appeared to get booked for wanting to take the throw, with the officials not signalling which way it was given.  As Newcastle were reluctant to take anything quickly, perhaps it was Rose's way of saying (as UEFA do) "Get on with the game".

So the final whistle went and all those who seem to think that there is a divine right for Tottenham to win were less than happy.  To have the right to win, you have to earn it and for all the possession and  shots (17), only two were on target.  The same number as for Newcastle.  Our conversion rate of chances into goals has been poor for too ling now and the way the team work in the attacking third needs to be concentrated on, as much as the concentration of our defence in our final third.

It still looks like the side is a work in progress and that is fine, as long as there are signs of progress from that.  Poch said it was the best 45 minutes of the season so far in the first half.  If that is so, it still didn't bring the rewards such play should realise.  One goal from our one effort on the mark was a good return, but not for the amount of attacking we did.  Quick, incisive passing with good movement to give the opposition worries is the way to open them up, but too often, the ball goes sideways, when there are good forward options available ... if the players look for the runs that will hurt the opposition.

One this form, Burnley will be looking to see when Spurs feature in their fixture list.

Next week's trip to Aston Villa becomes a big match when it shouldn't be and then Stoke City's visit to the Lane will be another test of the team's resolve.

Burton Bradstock




Newcastle United were wrongly named as they took their name from an old castle in the City of Newcastle.

Their distinctive black and white striped shirts have been given the club's followers the nickname "the Barcodes", but when the club was first formed, they were known as "the Humbuggers" following Everton's nickname being tagged to a local sweet.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Crystal Palace 2 West Bromwich Albion 1 Saturday
Liverpool 0 Hull City 0 Saturday
Southampton 1 Stoke City 0 Saturday
Sunderland 0 Arsenal 2 Saturday
Swansea City 2 Leicester City 0 Saturday
West Ham United 2 Manchester City 1 Saturday
Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1 Sunday
Burnley 1 Everton 3 Sunday
QPR 2 Aston Villa 0 Monday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 9 7 2 0 24 9 23 +15
2 Southampton 9 6 1 2 20 5 19 +15
3 Manchester City 9 5 2 2 19 10 17 +9
4 West Ham United 9 5 1 3 17 12 16 +5
5 Arsenal 9 3 5 1 15 11 14 +4
6 Swansea City 9 4 2 3 13 10 14 +3
7 Liverpool 9 4 2 3 13 12 14 +1
8 Manchester United 9 3 4 2 16 13 13 +3
9 Everton 9 3 3 3 19 17 12 +2
10 Hull City 9 2 5 2 13 14 11 -1
11 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 9 3 2 4 11 13 11 -2
12 Stoke City 9 3 2 4 8 10 11 -2
13 West Bromwich Albion 9 2 4 3 12 13 10 -1
14 Newcastle United 9 2 4 3 10 15 10 -5
15 Aston Villa 9 3 1 5 4 14 10 -10
16 Crystal Palace 9 2 3 4 13 16 9 -3
17 Leicester City 9 2 3 4 11 15 9 -4
18 Sunderland 9 1 5 3 8 17 8 -9
19 QPR 9 2 1 6 8 18 7 -10
20 Burnley 9 0 4 5 5 16 4 -11


Position before match :  10th
Position after match :  11th
Position after the weekend :  11th


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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