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Newcastle United v ‘Spurs match report + highlights and post match interviews.

Posted on January 22nd, 2011 | 44 Comments |

Our match correspondent is no David Bailey!
Our match correspondent is no David Bailey!
Injury time sees us give up a goal for the second week running as Spurs hold Newcastle to a draw at St James’ Park.

Given that I live in Somerset, I don’t get to many home games these days, so I was keen to take advantage of my 4-day spell in Newcastle by taking in the match against Spurs. I had a swift pint in Fluid and then made my way into the ground to find that I’d once again forgotten my specs, which seems to be something of a tradition for me these days. So I watched what could have been Bruce Willis, John Cleese and Meryl Streep warming up on the pitch and then it was game on.

The first half was a fairly even affair. Spurs seemed to have plenty possession without threatening but, whilst we didn’t see quite as much of the ball as them, we looked the more dangerous in front of goal.

Jermain Defoe took a few punts at goal in the opening 10 minutes but they were neither here nor there, Enrique easily blocking one and the other flying wide. Gareth Bale then got himself crocked. I’m not entirely sure what happened but he clearly wasn’t fit to play on so he was swapped for Sebastien Bassong, who was of course roundly booed as he came on and every time he got the ball thereafter.

Leon Best was the first of our boys to threaten, forcing Gallas to block a shot at about 12 minutes. Jonas then started to make some tidy little runs up the left but, as is sometimes the case with him, he’d either try to take on one player too many or mess up the final ball, which was frustrating. Anyway, we did get Shola into a position to take a couple of shots but both were off target and failed to trouble Spurs too much.

Leon Best probably came closest in the first half when he got on the end of a cross from Enrique and took a shot that saved by the post. Every time a Spurs player sneezed the ref was giving them a free kick and that helped Defoe and Lennon to get on the end of a dead ball and run at us from time to time, but our defence looked solid – particularly Coloccini – and their attacks were fairly easily snuffed out.

Half time came and, overall, it was probably fair that the teams were level. Then, Tino Asprilla put in a guest appearance and had a crack at the crossbar challenge and shortly after we were underway with the second half.

Jonas finally managed to get in some decent crosses in early in the second half and found Best’s head with one of them, although unfortunately it went wide. Then Guthrie set up Shola whose shot was saved by the keeper. Finally, the ref awarded us a free kick and that surprised us so much that we had a bit of a purple patch.

About an hour into the game, on the back of some concerted attacking, Guthrie sent a good pass in to Coloccini. The Argentinian then chested it down and planted in a cracking shot from 10 yards to the bottom right corner of the goal. 1-0 to us.

Best was then substituted for Lovenkrands and the Dane should have made it 2-0 from a one-on-one situation with Cudicini, but he somehow messed it up. Ameobi then had a couple more chances, one of which needed a hand from Cudicini to put it wide of the post.

Perch came on for Guthrie for no reason I could see and Spurs then started to press a bit more. For a period of about 10 minutes we simply couldn’t keep the ball and as Spurs kept coming at us I had a feeling of inevitability about Spurs scoring.

Lennon forced Harper into a save and Modric clattered one against the croosbar, but somehow we hung on even though our defence seemed to lose focus, our midfield kept losing the ball and Shola seemed to lose interest.

A few minutes before the 90, Shola went off and Ranger came on and within a couple of minutes he had a chance on goal that he really ought to have played back but instead shot wide.

90 minutes was up and I breathed a sigh of relief as it looked like we’d survived Spurs’ onslaught and were taking 3 points. Alas, injury time was to plague us for the second match in a row as Lennon found space to take a shot inside our penalty area and slammed it into the bottom corner.

Bah, I thought. But I suppose overall it was a fair result on the way the game went.

Match highlights and post match interviews.

Teams.

Newcastle United:
Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Sanchez Jose Enrique, Joey Barton, Danny Guthrie, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best, Shola Ameobi.

Subs: Nile Ranger, Sol Campbell, Tim Krul, Shane Ferguson, Xisco, James Perch, Peter Lovenkrands.

Tottenham Hotspur: Carlo Cudecini, Alan Hutton, Michael Dawson, William Gallas, Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Luka Modric, Jermaine Jenas, Steven Pienaar, Rafael Van Der Vaart, Jermaine Defoe.

Subs: Peter Crouch, Niko Krancjar, Younes Kaboul, Vedran Corluka, Sebastien Bassong, Raniere Sandro, Stipe Pletikosa.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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44 Responses

  1. Hugh, Coloccini the Colossus was definitely man of the match, though I think you may have been a little harsh on his ponytailed compatriot. Guti had a very decent game today IMO.

  2. Good strike from Colo but the keeper should have had it really.

    Lovenkrands, Best and Strolla just aren’t good enough really if we want to progress. They need too many chances to score.

  3. And Pardew? Set the team up well, gave Jonas a new brief, and gave Guthrie a job to do which he stuck to. Perch didn’t screw up either… If he did I missed it. Only criticism was he left Shola on too long, before bringing on Ranger. Has Pardew made us hard to beat?

  4. Yes he has, Wimbledon. Our defence looks a million times better. It’s just in attack where we’re struggling.

    We’ve scored most of our goals in three games against teams that have either been in disarray, pathetically poor or just bottled it.

  5. could see why someone said on another blog ranger is our messi ;)great run tho and if he had of scored it be a perfect way to get your first goal in the premier league

  6. What a biased load of shit. Yes, spurs were not spurs today but we deserved at least a draw. COYS

  7. I said it the other day and noone agreed with me. Danny Simpson is not good enough. Most of his game is fine but if he continues to back off his opponent all the way to the six yard box then teams are going to target our right side and WILL score goals just like Lennon did today. Once they switched him to their left wing they created much much more than when he was up against Enrique.

  8. Pardew has said that our problem is that we are too attack minded. No Alvin our problem is we do not score the second goal to finish teams off. We need a poacher in the box. We will not get one now but should find one in the summer.

  9. No he didn’t,
    he said at the end of this game, when we shoulda been closing up shop & playing out the last few minutes to win-we were too attack minded.
    Listen carefully.

  10. Not a classic, but entertaining enough.
    The first half was for the most part route one, high balls into the box and understandably so.
    Best worked hard but had few opportunities, Shola unfortunately did`nt have a great game.
    Thought the first half was a bit scrappy, with niether side playing particularly well.
    The only positive was we did`nt allow Spurs to play their game.
    Second half was more entertaining, with the two Argentino`s and El Toro playing well, both Joey and Nolan had below par games IMO, but not terrible and contrary to Fake Chiek`s comment, believe Simpson is comming along just fine, he`s improved immensly over time.
    Things became wideopen late in the game, with both sides attacking and counter attacking and we were unfortunate not to get a second goal.
    Hey it`s exciting to watch, but we must learn to protect leads late in the game, though the defense played well for the most part.
    Looking at the league tables, where we are seventh, hope there`s no false sense of security, being the point difference between the seventh and bottom side is not that great, probably have more parity if measured in points than any time in the leagues history and there`s probably few sides who would be rash enough to guarantee survival.

  11. How is Simpson coming along fine? He’s been doing his ridiculous backing off routine since the 2-2 draw with West Brom a year ago. Costs us too many goals. If he can’t learn to close someone down or at least show them out wide in 12 months, then I don’t really see how he is progressing. The rest of his game is fine, but for a full back to have such a huge weakness in closing down is not acceptable in the Premier League. He got away with it by and large in the Championship but no longer. I hope he can change and prove me wrong but it’s been going on for too long.

  12. Why? Because he didn’t beat Crouch in the air? The goal was 2 people’s fault. Barton’s for his awful pass to Cudicini when we had 3 on 2 and the corner flag beckoning, and Simpson for giving Lennon all the time in the world to do whatever he wanted to.

  13. Fake
    Did it accur to you what took place to-day ?
    The fact is Lennon was switched to the let wing, being he was going nowhere playing against El Toro, who can match him for pace.
    Simpson unfortunately cant match either for pace, therefore has to back off in order to get a couple of yards advantage, should he attempt a run.
    Duh !

  14. There’s a long list of wingers that Simpson has backed off from. Lennon is the latest to join said list. Lacking the pace of an opponent doesn’t mean you have to back off at such a distance that the opponent can decide to go either way, shoot or cross. If Simpson backed off, but was closer to the opponent, he would snuff out more attacks. Lacking the pace of an opponent also doesn’t mean you can’t have the tactical awareness to force a dangerous right footed player onto his weaker foot.

  15. That blasted git perch should be gotten rid of.he’s absolutely rubbish.and why does ranger get himself into such promising positions and mess up when it really matters?
    so frustrating considering we could have won 3 pts that day but instead had to settle for 1.we should learn to put a game to bed and control a match from then on and our gaffer should stop trying to play EVERYONE just for the sake of it.

  16. we need fernando llorente!i actually thnk he’s the spanish equivalent of our own andy carroll.would be good if we had one of those strikers who put whatever chances he got into the back of the net at least half the time.pity is we’ll have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to get someone like that for cheap.
    why exactly did we go after brum’s larrsson player?is he the replacement for routledge?

  17. Arguably many fans and pundits thought we would lose against the unwashed (who would be fired up for revenge) and Spurs (the most attack minded team in the league) especially as we were without Taylor, Tiote, Carroll and Gosling for Spurs. The fact that we didn’t lose and were robbed of a win in the dying minutes of both games points to the fact that collectively the team played exceptionally well with some outstanding individual performances. Without tempting fate it would appear that Pardew is successfully building upon the work that Hughton did with a strong and resiliant team. Yes, we have some weak links but overall we have more skillfull players of premiership quality than the odd few who are leftovers from the championship. I’m really pleased that Pardew is working hard to tie down the current and future key players to long term contracts and thereby build stability in the squad and club instead of like so many managers rushing off to buy new players without having spent sufficient time looking at the current players and often disgarding them because they weren’t their players. Also, I like the choice of Carver and the six months as it’s vital to the squad and the club that the manager and his assistant can work together. And if we are to believe the papers, Newcastle are now being tough but realistic with any player who wants to join the club and is given the two fingers if they think they can demand whatever they want in wages. Disappointing as the two draws were, overall I think things are looking good and whilst there isn’t that many points between us and the relegation spots there are many more clubs in the mix who have far poorer teams than us. At the start of the season if someone had said we would be 7th in January I would not have believed them. All the team have to do now is keep playing for each other and believing that they can secure a European spot. HTL

  18. What yesterdays game highlights is following from the 5under1and game, the current front two and back up strikers are poor, we mad one defensive error and were punished but if the numerous chances spurned by Ameobi and Lovenkrands in particular, had been put away, we wouldnt be talking about being robbed yet again.
    Its no good the rest of the team playing out of their skins with good deliverynwhen te end product is pathetic, weak, shanked, attempts at goal.

  19. Steven Taylor should play ahead of Simpson at right back in future and when all fit i think this is our best team

    ___________________________Harper________________________

    S.Taylor_________Williamson______Coloccini________Enrique

    Barton______________________Tiote__________________Jonas

    _____________________Nolan_________Ben Arfa______________

    ___________________________Carroll_______________________

  20. 100% agree Kamar. A new signing would be nice but Barton and Enrique tied down to long term contracts appeals to me even more.

    I thought that was Jonas’s best game for a while yesterday, maybe all the rumours of signing wingers making him nervous..?

    And i thought Lovenkrands was at fault for the Ranger miss, he should’ve been right in there screaming for the ball.

    Great game though, makes you wonder on the last two games alone if we wouldve scored more with Andy playing.

    Very pleased with how Pardew has started, we’ve been a few minutes away from 4 premiership clean sheets in a row, you can only assume that with our best two attackers back we wouldve killed the game off.

  21. Look lads what me and Fake are saying is that Simmo is nota bad player but if the side is wanting to improve and next season push for a top ten / eight finish we need a beeter right back.
    Bring Ben Arfa, Tiote and AC into that side yesterday and we have the makings of a decent side.
    Our summer transfer policy should be
    1. A strike partner for Carroll
    2. A right side midfield
    3. A right back

  22. yes it was poor defendin for there goal but the fact is it was bartons fault we were on the attack 3 v 2 and barton jus played the ball to there keeper n then they went n scored

  23. why will ppl not giv credit were its due best was brilliant yesterday his hold up play was excellent he only giv the ball away once and he hit the bar, if u dont like a player far enough but dont jus ignore there good work

  24. Davy
    The players cannae get nowt right.
    Last week they sat deep and tried to see it out and failed. This week we go for the second and fail.
    Its a cruel thing being a Toon fan and player

  25. Thought Best did ok yesterday. He and Shoala don’t look a partnership though. Would be happy with him as a back up. I was impressed with Ranger. The lad has all the talent lets hope he can sort his head out and do all the hard work in training the coaches are asking for.

  26. I agree with toonfactor that that is our best team, but that’s 4-3-3 which I agree with. However we seem wedded o 4-4-2 in which case I agree with budalovesa patsy re targets.

    What I would also like to see is a left footed Joeyb to play on the left of a 4-3-3 midfield possibly Ozan Ipek and a rightfooted HBA to play right of front 3. perhaps Youssef El Arabi who we have been linked with

  27. budalovesa patsy, I think you are getting ahead of yourself, what would your starting line up and formation be if we made the 3 signings you suggested?

    The way i see it, you are suggesting to drop Simpson, Jonas and Nolan, pretty sure team spirit would take a huge hit if that happened!
    Half the reason we are doing so well is the spirit and passion of the lads for the club and for each other, I dont think we should rush into replacing people and developing too quickly or we’ll lose that spirit a la Man City.

    Also I think Simpson has improved so much in the last year, if he can do the same in 2011 he’ll be a great prospect, like many people havesaid, Jose struggled in the premier league for his first two seasons and look at him now. And in case you haven’t noticed, the league isn’t awash with great right backs.

    Can people please post what signings they would like to make and in what position and i would be happy to tell them how wrong they are.

  28. Solano’s Trumpet
    You are mis-interpreting what I said. Of the three you mention Simmo would be the only definite change. It is additions to the squad I am asking for. Look at us now we haven’t had our best eleven out on the pitch for weeks and it is costing us.
    No side can get by with eleven players

  29. Is it costing us? We are 7th in the league and the past four games we have come moments away from 12 points. That is with our best defensive mid, attacking mid and striker injured.

    Give it time, Simpson has all the credentials to be quality, the only things he is lacking will come from experience. Again it’s all very well saying we need a new right back but who do you suggest? Bearing in mind it can often take a while for a foreign player to adapt (Colo and Enrique) and the inflated prices of English players.

    I say stick with him, agree we need some back up, but Best is growing on me and Nile is on the brink of something massive! He missed the chance, but the way he created was quality, Henry-esq.

  30. Please correct me if I’m reading you wrong SolanosTrumpet.

    Our squad is great as it is and we don’t need to strengthen either the first team or the overall squad?

    All potential buys are wrong because english players are overpriced and all foreigners need too long to adapt

  31. I’ll correct you for him Premandup, not having a dig, but I read it as he thinks our squad is a bit better than people are giving it credit for. We don’t need a replacement right back as anyone that would come in now who would be any better than simpson would be either massively overpriced or take the same amount of time as it will take simpson to get to the same level, so there’s no point?
    I think he’s suggesting that given time our strikers will get goals their just feeling their way in, so for this season without any signings we will get buy then in the summer re-assess?

  32. Now that I’m happy to agree with. Don’t NEED any new signings desperately this window, but think that given the policy of signing young but relatively proven talent then the positions that Buda suggests for 4-4-2 or I suggested for 4-3-3 are potential priorities. This does not mean that I am looking to drop Nolan or Jonas, however competition for places is good.

  33. The slagging that Simpson got from Shearer and the rest of the media’s pundits isnt exactly going to boost the bloke’s confidence is it ? If we’re going to criticise then Williamson should take a share of the blame as he also allowed Lennon to cut past him instead of holding his ground and waiting for Lennon to make his move.

    IMO he was on to a loser whichever way he played Lennon. Although he’s trying to show him the outside he can only go so far before he eventually offers Lennon a clear shot at goal on the exposed left hand side.

    Its a tricky decision for a young full back especially when confronted by a nippy little bastad like Lennon. If you stick too close to him, he can skip past you and leave you for dead but if you let him run with the ball he can take his time before making his move and you’re in your own penalty area before you know it.

    IMO someone should have been given the task of tracking back with Lennon so Simmo wasnt always going to be the last man.

    The one thing I’m pretty sure about Simmo is that he’ll learn with experience and will become a better player. Not sure I can say the same about Williamson though :(

  34. If you watch a replay of this game, notice that the vast majority of the NUFC long balls forward are to Best or Shola, and that Best & Shola receive the pass. On the other hand, most of Spurs long passes were headed away by our central defenders. This speaks well for what NUFC have in the middle.

    I thing DannyS is getting better week by week, and notice that AP has Barton dropping back to intervene when Danny was dropping too far back. I’d keep faith in the lad through the rest of the season. One of the reasons NUFC may not have found a winger for that Simmo’s side is that whoever NUFC would sign must be good defensively as well as being a good crosser.

  35. I thought Ranger brought more energy and skill to the game in the short time he was on than Shola did in 80 minutes. Best also put himself about and could possibly link up well with Ranger. Ranger does deserve more playing time. Great game though. We have the foundation for a great team.

  36. Completely agree with that team Toon Factor. Nolan needs to play in a more advanced role because as good as he is, central midfielder he is not.

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