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Jan 232011

Match Report

Newcastle United 1 – Tottenham Hotspur 1


Coloccini 59

Lennon 90

Aaron Lennon had a moment of brilliance in the 90th minute to secure Spurs a share of the spoils from their trip up to St. James Park after a sublime goal from Fabricio Coloccini and a resilient Newcastle kept the high-powered Tottenham under wraps for the majority of the match.

Coming into this match, much was made of Spurs inability to win at Newcastle in recent years with the home side taking maximum points in 8 of the last 9 meetings. There were some changes to Tottenham’s line-up due to injuries with Carlo Cudicini replacing Gomes in goal, former United captain Jermaine Jenas in for Wilson Palacios and Gareth Bale moving to left-back for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, which allowed for Steven Pienaar to make his Spurs debut in Bale’s usual position.

First Half

Right from the whistle, one could sense this was to be a different story altogether. Within the first few minutes, Spurs made their intentions known as Jermain Defoe lashed a shot narrowly wide after some good work from Man of the Match Aaron Lennon. Tottenham was flying around the pitch, playing some attractive football, until Gareth Bale had to be subbed off due to injury at the 11 minute mark. He was replaced by former Newcastle player, Sebastian Bassong, much to the delight of the home crowd. Alan Pardew must have been pleased to see Bale not being able to cause headaches to his side for the remainder of the match. The majority of the first half consisted of Tottenham trying to break down a stubborn Newcastle team who, when in possession never seemed to threaten. Only once during the opening period did Newcastle ask questions of the Tottenham back-line and to be honest, they were unlucky not be a goal up when Leon Best clipped the underside of the crossbar after some neat work and a fine cross from Jonas Gutierrez, who gave Alan Hutton problems all throughout the entire 90 minutes. For the remainder of the first 45, it continued to be one-way traffic and should have been 1 nil to the visitors when Rafael van der Vaart, after some neat work from new signing Steven Pienaar, played the ball into the path of the on-rushing Jermain Defoe. He seemed destined to score, but some excellent keeping from Newcastle keeper Steven Harper denied the England striker. This opportunity was basically a microcosm of Tottenham’s strikers inability to finish chances this season. The halftime whistle came and I am sure Defoe’s miss was the first thing Harry Redknapp spoke about in the dressing room.

Second Half

While the first half was all Tottenham, Newcastle came roaring back from the start of the second 45. More good work from Gutierrez allowed Best another free header, which he pushed wide as Newcastle brought men forward. These openings almost led to some counter-attacking chances for the visitors, but Spurs wasted these chances with poor passes and lapses in concentration, with new signing Pienaar being guilty of many of these opportunities. Tottenham were left to rue these spurned chances as Newcastle took the lead, against the run of play, after a long ball from Danny Guthrie into the box that was controlled well by center-back Coliccini, who took a few touches to take tortured right-back Alan Hutton out of position and make space for him to fire in a shot, that should have been beaten away by Cudicini, but instead went into the back of the net. With their backs against the wall, Spurs pushed forward and almost equalized shortly after when more good work from Lennon made space on the left, and only a fine save from Harper at the near post prevented the diminutive winger from getting on the score-sheet. The disappointing Jenas was replaced by striker Peter Crouch as Harry rearranged the team into a 3-5-2 with Lennon and Hutton as wing-backs, as he felt a more direct approach might result in a goal for the visitors. Unfortunately, this almost resulted in a second goal for the visitors. Only a fine save from Cudicini prevented substitute Peter Lovenkrands from putting the home side out of reach. At the other end, midfield maestro Luka Modric rattled the crossbar with a stinging drive after another fine move by Lennon. At this point of the match, it was strictly Tottenham attacking and Newcastle playing the counter, which they did to almost perfection when a four on two resulted in a wasted cross that put Gutierrez out of play. As it looked like the match was Newcastle’s, the ever-pesky Jermain Defoe managed to knock-down a long-ball, get the ball out of his feet and to an on-rushing Lennon, who jinked back and forth, turned Danny Simpson the wrong way, and fired in a low shot past Harper and low into the near post. It was at least what Spurs deserved after controlling most of the match.

Talkng Points/ Questions

I ask this question almost after every loss or draw, why is it that individual errors continue to haunt us? How could Cudicini not have stopped the Coliccini goal? How many times did Hutton need to be skinned before Harry realized that he should not be our starting right-back? Why wasn’t the ineffective Pienaar replaced earlier as we have the ultra-talented Niko Kranjcar who loves playing on the left side of midfield? How many times are we going to let our best striker, Roman Pavlyuchenko, sit on the bench and stick with the ineffective Crouch and Defoe? Why wasn’t Sandro played as a defensive midfielder as Newcastle is quite the physical side? And the number one question…..WHY DOES HARRY INSIST ON PLAYING JERMAINE JENAS? We loan out good players and keep the bad ones, why?

  16 Responses to “Newcastle v Tottenham Post-match Analysis”

  1. Haven’t had time to read the full article here, but I did watch the match and I, as I’m sure many of the Tottenham faithful mostly agree with your talking points..

    Its very harsh to criticise Pienaar after just one game – I always like the player but, I don’t think he’s good enough for where we want to be, a pointless buy?? Niko came on and had some really good touches – we’ve got him – why Pienaar?????

    Roman Pavlyuchenko is more potent than Defoe or Crouch, but why is Harry sidelining him at the moment?

  2. Someone please explain to me why Krancjar did not come on for Bale?

  3. Again, the selection and substitution was not properly done for this match. Unless Pav is injured, he should have been given a chance to play. We still have a scoring and finishing problem.

    • Pavlyuchenko has usually managed to score when picked for Spurs, but Redknapp will always prefer the two Englishman if they are available, so his chances have been limited at Tottenham

      also cause van der vart plays just behind the striker he only uses one striker

  4. as a newcastle fan i always try to read what the other sides fans have to say about the match and i have to say you got it spot on mate and if harry keeps wasting such a talent as Krancjar on the bench at your place, i just hope the fat shite ashley snaps him up for us.And thankyou for a very entertaining afternoon.

  5. @Beanbag

    Bale was playing LB, so when he got hurt Seb came on. I’m sure you don’t want Niko in as a defender!

  6. Per Jamesy, fully agree, Kranjcar can do that job as well or better. Pienaar looked a little off pace and gave the ball away too easily. Didn’t quite see the point in buying him, better to give kranjcar playing time and keep him (or dos Santos for that matter), and opportunity to do so now with possibility of Bale needing a rest.

  7. this is the buisness end of the season and now we will begin to see Harry’s tactical frailties as we did last week against Man U. Harry’s a great guy and a good manager but not a great one.

    • This as hard as it maybe to hear for some spurs supporters is the truth…and of course he guided us to the champions league, and everyone always talks about how we were fighting relegation until he came, that was down to Ramos having mashed potatoes between his ears, we were already on the cusp with Jol of top four, with a squad that was nowhere near as talented as now …i can’t say this enough our success has been b/c of the huge amount of quality in our squad much more than hiring harry…i honestly think we have the best overall squad in the PL, and only Barca and RM have better squads for the rest of the world…tactically harry is laughable, and the favoritism he has towards some players makes me want to be sick.

  8. Both Pienaar and Cranjcar don’t have the personality and other qualities we need to move to next level. The policy of Spurs concerning the buy of players has been disastrous last decades. We miss the right scouting system and we don’t know what kind of players should we buy. The main qualities of a player are: intelligence (most important human quality), strong personality/winner’s mentality (necessary because football is a competitive sport), physical strength (necessary because football is a physical demanding sport which also includes personal duels), high level of technique, speed (one of most important factors of today’s football (see Barcelona and other top teams). We should buy only players who have all, if possible, or as many of these qualities. Anyway not less than three of them. Football is been playing by humans and humans have qualities. The qualities of the players you have in your team determine the quality of your team. One more point: serious teams detect and cure their shortcomings as soon as possible. We have the four worst scoring strikers of all the teams in any major football league of Europe. When we’ll buy one at least scoring striker? Shall it happen when the difference with the other teams in the top five will become unbridgeable?

  9. Why can’t Harry see Hutton is fncking useless. He got skinned all afternoon by gutierrez, yes, gutierrez. He made Gutierrez look like Lionel messi and he fell on his arse, again, when he should have been at the very least getting a block in for their goal. Get shot of him. Bring in Charlie and get walker back from villa. And why we’ve wasted money on pienaar when we had both nico and gio who are more than capable of doing a job is beyond me. WAKE UP HARRY!

  10. Just trying to think outside of the box, but maybe it would have been wise to at least put Pav on the bench…instead of relying on Defoe (0 PL Goals) and Crouch (1 PL Goal)…if pav picked up a knock i take it back, but i didn’t see anything to say he wasn’t fit…honestly, if pav’s only going to be used as back up to Crouch than he should for his sake just leave, he’s the best striker we’ve got at the club and can’t get a game…it will cost us champs lge football next year and our squad is too talented to not be playing in the CL.

  11. Harry seems to select the players he likes rather than those who can perform.

  12. reason Roman Pavlyuchenkodid not play cause harry prefers british strikers ,i agree Roman Pavlyuchenko has more qualities,
    he also likes to play van der vart just behind the striker reason we have only one striker on the field

  13. When was the last time Defoe scored a league goal in open play?

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