MATCH REPORT: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Newcastle United 2, White Hart Lane, 13/Dec/15, KO: 4pm, Premier League. Att: 35,768.

by • December 13, 2015 • Match reportsComments (15)4147

TRUE15 LUKE 1977 Voucher (1)

 

I saw today as a genuine test of where we stand with Steve McClaren’s Newcastle United. After finally bothering their arses to show the footballing basics (namely running, pressing, tackling, and graft) last week against Liverpool- could they put in at least the same performance against Spurs in the Capital a week later? Failure to show this level of effort, for me- would be the end of McClaren and a telling sign that things really haven’t improved one jot since the dreadful days of Pardew and Carver.

Walking up to White Hart Lane, I was reminded yet again of how much of a shit hole many of London’s Premier League stadium locations really are. Grim, run down holes- which often are a pain in the arse to get to. And I actually reside in North London! Makes you realise how lucky we are to have a stadium actually IN the city, in the pleasant surroundings of
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Unsurprisingly, McClaren put out an unchanged side to the one who beat Liverpool seven days earlier. Can’t complain at SpursaDec15that really. What I would say however, is that Cisse playing essentially as a lone striker, is a completely failed and wasted venture. It’s been proven across 3 managers now, with neither Pardew, Carver, or McClaren really getting their head round it. Surely what Cisse can do- Mitrovic can do at least as well, but can also offer an actual outlet, target, and ability on the ball.

The first half saw United apply worthy effort which was the first tick in the box, but that was coupled with gaping holes of quality. For thirty minutes, neither side really tested the goalkeepers. Newcastle only really looked like an attacking threat when Sissoko carried the ball- which is so often the case. The frustrating French midfielder has looked more arsed in the past week, which is surely a positive.

Half an hour in, the game finally came to life. United had their first proper chance when a rare Dummett cross from the left was met by Cisse, who headed wide of the mark. This was followed by two top class saves from Elliot in quick succession. The second was particularly eye catching- a point blank tip over from Lamela. Elliot had a lot of shite
thrown his way when called in to replace Krul, most of which was completely unjustified in my opinion from a bloke who was our third choice keeper. He was outstanding today- and added assurance to his saves. He doesn’t look out of place in the Premier League one jot.

Unfortunately the Spurs pressure was shortly after rewarded. An Eriksen corner was met by an untested Dier header, and Elliot’s fingertips weren’t enough to stop the ball hitting the net. It was really poor defending.

Despite going in at half time 1-0 down, due to it only being a one goal deficit, hope still remained. I did feel that the only pre-order-hamburgway of us getting back into the game was taking the completely ineffective Cisse off, allowing us to get more runners in behind and pressing higher up. United came out unchanged however, and started the half really positively.
Early on, another Sissoko run resulted in a great through ball for Cisse, but the striker pulled the ball miserably wide. This was followed by yet another goal bound save from the excellent Elliot. It’s worth noting the consistent touches of class by Wijnaldum in the middle.
Often, with two men on him, he would work his way out of tight spaces with the ball at this feet. He looked a level above any other player on the pitch in periods. We won’t hang on to him for long.

The games direction really did change following McClarens first two substitutions. Perez came on for the largely ineffective De Jong, and Mitrovic replaced the awful Cisse. It was all United from that point, with wave after wave of attack helped by constant ball winning in the middle by the likes of Colback and Anita. I thought Colback was another
who was excellent today. Covered miles of grass and never stopped.

We were rightfully rewarded for our attacking prowess on 74 minutes. Worky ticket ex mackem Danny Rose handballed toClassic1 the left of the Spurs box to give away a free kick. This was well delivered by Colback to pick out Coloccini at the back post who headed it back into the area, and super sub Mitrovic somehow managed to poke it home. Raptures of delight
in the away end. Why wasn’t he on from the start?

Although most Mags would have happily taken the point pre match- the match only looked like it would have one winner from that point. Ayoze Perez was in blinding form running through the middle, and made us look a much more expansive side- and allowing Sissoko to make more runs in behind Rose at full back. Our defence was resolute and snuffed every
Spurs attack out- they didn’t look like scoring.

The game was nearly won when a brilliant Sissoko cross across goal on 90 minutes was agonisingly missed by Mitrovic, Link to Toon Photography websitebut the despair was short lived. Mitro was involved again looping a header over the top of the Spurs defence, into the path of the imperious Perez- who stuck it in the back of the net from a tight angle. Absolute scenes from the travelling
supporters and another rare moment to cherish. The final whistle was responded to with a warming show of solidarity from the players celebrating on the pitch, and an absolutely bouncing away end.

Have Newcastle finally turned a corner? Has the penny dropped? On this performance, you would certainly feel inclined to say yes, given the quality of the opposition and the character showed when going a goal behind. Villa have to be put to the sword next week but in the meantime- let’s all enjoy another Monday morning after a wholly unexpected
victory.

Newcastle United: Elliot 9 (MOM),Janmaat 7, Colocinni 8, Mbemba 8, Dummet 7, Anita 7, Colback 8, Sissoko 8, Wijnaldum 8, de Jong 6, Cisse 4

Subs: Perez 9 Mitrovic 9 Gouffran 6

Their fans- 5 bit of noise first half, but anonymous second half

Our fans – 9 – sang hearts out for the full 90 and not many nob head radgies which is a nice change from the norm.

Ref: Roger East- gave Spurs some strange decisions and didn’t give us a lot throughout. The booking of Perez a particularly strange one. Fell on his arse and received the textbook cheer from the crowd.

 

RICHARD SMITH – Follow Richard on @@richysmith100

Post-match Interview with Ayoze Perez courtesy of Radio Newcastle – just click here

 

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15 Responses to MATCH REPORT: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Newcastle United 2, White Hart Lane, 13/Dec/15, KO: 4pm, Premier League. Att: 35,768.

  1. Bob says:

    Still not sure how we did that. Couldn’t string more than three passes together, we passed to white shirts often and spurs always seemed to get second balls, Gini was almost anonymous and Sissoko only decided to join in mid way through second half. Perez showed why he should play. But hey, we won. Great stuff

    • Jackson says:

      Slightly odd viewpoint considering we were the away side at a very in form club.

      Hmm. Anyone would think you were trolling!

      • Mark says:

        Bob has a point though – our first half pass success rate was 61% – according to the Guardian report, it’s the worst percentage by a PL team in a half in four years. So the stats back the fact that our passing was shite – the worst passing display by a side in four years is pretty crap. Still happy with the win mind!

      • Bob says:

        Certainly not trolling, don’t know how you came to that conclusion. Doesn’t matter if we are home or away we should be able to pass to another nufc player. As they say football is a matter of opinion and, for what it’s worth that was mine as the game progressed. Maybe a bit harsh, particularly on Gini with the second half improving as it did. Hopefully, with this and the Liverpool win confidence will improve and we’ll see better displays.

  2. Rob says:

    Cisse did his job for the time he was on – he pressed their centre-halves and chased back much more than Mitro would have done.

  3. Jarra mick says:

    Bob comments are spot on if you just look at the first half, passing was piss poor. Happily we were much better after the break and I’m sure they’ll point to the fact they had a mid week game that was why they were so poor. Thought we deserved the win in the end. Completely agree with comments about Sissoko and Colo in the first half but second half they all put a shift in.

    • SteveP says:

      If they did cite the Europa League game as a factor then they’re being rather sneaky. Only 4 of the players that started yesterday, started the game on Thursday.
      That would be the sort of bullshit excuse we used to get from Pardew during our season in the EL

  4. Micky Miller says:

    Good report, You can shove pass percentage statistics up your twats..The only meaningful ‘fact is 1-2..

  5. John says:

    Surely McClaren deserves some credit here? I was begging for changes at half time but they came out a lot sharper without any subs. Then lo and behold, 2 subs, change the shape a bit, spurs didn’t seem ready for Perez and mitro and both subs score. Wallop. Lovely 3 points.

    First half was proper shite, mind. Gave the ball away as if it had the lurgy!

  6. Andy says:

    Good display from the lads. They pressed us hard in the first half but we stuck in and stayed in the game. Second half we were definately the better side. Think you are being a bit harsh on Cisse. Had little service but still helped close down their defence. His biggest mistake was getting in the way of De Jong’s shot early on.

    Thought Sissoko and Janmaat had good games. But there wasn’t a weak link in the side. Long may it continue!

  7. Mikey says:

    Yeah , first half did waste passes, no-one really taking on the initiative , second half complete turn around , with our pressing and determination , excellent result for us , Elliot played a blinder as well as sissoko and gini , always love turning Spurs over , roll on villa with a warm glow.

  8. Stuart79 says:

    Just a point about the second comment. Doesn’t matter whether you’re home or away, it shouldn’t mean the passing should be so poor. It really is an area we need to improve on.

    Regardless of that though, we competed brilliantly in the second half and I agreed with what Shearer said on MOTD2 – it was almost like we decided we were good enough to attack in the second half and kept the ball for longer and moved forward with it. With Perez’s movement it should always give us a chance as long as the midfielders are moving in the right direction – forward!

    Villa at home will be totally different though. How do we break them down? It’s not our strong point so would like to see him start with Perez, Mitro and De Jong.

    Onwards and upwards I suppose…

  9. colin peat says:

    Spurs biggest weakness is at left back so why didn’t we get at him in the first half. Great second half from whole team more of the same on Saturday hopefully we need 5 – 7 points in next four games

  10. Simon Sharp says:

    I do love getting a win at Spurs, no matter how it comes or how unlikely. Whether it’s a Pedro shimmy to bamboozle Ian Walker, a Martins thunderbolt or more great work from Ayoze, it’s always great to rub Spurs’ noses in it and days like yesterday make up a bit for the shoeing we got in the League Cup last year or that game when Adebayor ripped us to shreds.

    I largely agree with the comments above. Long balls get us nowhere as there’s no-one in that part of the pitch who’s going to hold up the ball or even win a physical battle to win an aerial challenge, so aimless punts up the park are a complete waste of time. Much better getting the ball to feet, where Sissoko (when he’s arsed) or Wijnaldum can run at players. That was where we succeeded second half, although we’d have been out of the game had it not been for Elliot. Not his biggest fan at all but he did very well yesterday.

    So hopefully onwards and upwards, although it would be typical of us to fail to beat Villa on Saturday (aye, they are truly awful, but we’ve matched them for ineptitude at times this season). We will be expected to take the game to them, dominate possession and create chances. So not easy. If we’re to survive, we need an absolute minimum of 20 points by the end of the year, and ideally some investment in January. I won’t hold my breath.