MATCH PREVIEW: Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United, 17/Dec/14, White Hart Lane. 7:45 League Cup, Q. Final

by • December 16, 2014 • Match previewsComments (24)2774

It’s probably best not to take the Arsenal defeat too much to heart. The best team won, WHL1easily. Not sure there was a huge amount, defensively, we could have done. It looked like Arsenal’s front 3 threw us a bit. I certainly wasn’t expecting a front 3, of strikers from them and it looked like we couldn’t handle it. Certainly we could have done better in possession ourselves. Tiote was sloppy on the ball. Ameobi looked out of his depth. Gouffran struggled to make an impact. Cisse struggled to hold up the ball, his first touch was far too heavy, way too often. But, there’s no disgrace in losing by 3 goals at Arsenal.

Will the outcome affect our mood going into a huge week? We’ll have to see, but I expect to hear positive noises from within the camp.

Personally, I want to beat Spurs, however, I have already concluded that Chelsea will piss the League Cup. With the runner up not being a route into Europe, I wonder what value there is left for us, in a competition that Chelsea will walk? How valuable is a “day out” at Wembley? None at all. Losing a final hurts like hell. You can have a “day out” at a game in London 6 times a season if that’s actually a thing that you value. But having left Wembley Stadium on the wrong end of things 4 times, “getting to Wembley” means fuck all if you lose. Don’t fall for this “Day out at Wembley” patter. It was invented by the Mackems as safety net, to ensure if they got their arses tanned by Man City last season, people wouldn’t take the piss. It’s not real, it’s absolute shit.

With that in mind, I’d personally prioritise the fixture with Sunderland over the cup tie. We absolutely can not afford 4 defeats in a row to Sunderland, 3 of which would be on our patch. That would be humiliating. So I would be doing everything I could to make sure the team I wanted to play on Sunday were in the best condition to do so. Too many of our players seem far too fragile to play both games for my liking.

There’s a discussion to be had about whether premier league conditioned, professional footballers should be able to play 3 games in a week and I wouldn’t say they can’t. But when you know your opponent won’t have to do that, why would you? Also, when I recall our season in the Europa League under Pardew, we were constantly told that we weren’t equipped to play these extra games. What’s changed? Ok, maybe that’s a reflection on the manager as much as anything else as any midweek distraction from his plans for the weekend fixture and he gets an attack of the vapours, but maybe there’s some truth in his thinking too? It certainly didn’t work when we played Benfica at home a few days before we played the mackems 2 seasons ago.

But, that absolutely does not mean, I want to lose to Spurs. Of course I don’t. I want to beat them, but I want to beat them with a team that won’t impact on our chances of beating the Mackems. Can it be done? I don’t see why not. We beat Man City in the last round with a team most would have written off.

What’s in our favour? Well, we have an extra day rest on Spurs from the weekend’s fixtures, and Spurs also played 90 minutes out in Turkey on Thursday. Now, whilst only Walker, Lamela and Soldado started both games, the travelling, preparation and planning for the 3 games in a week must have an impact. Can we use that to our advantage? Hopefully. Of course you expect Spurs to have a squad able to deal with extra fixtures and they have lot of players on their books and some good ones in reserve but I’d hope to be catching them feeling a little weary. Certainly I’d think extra time would be better news for us than them. Also, we’ve won there on our last 2 visits.

This is Spurs’s 27th competitive fixture of the season and it’ll only be our 20th. That must be an advantage to us?

What’s not in our favour? Well our record in general at White Hart Lane isn’t great. Since 1984, we’ve lost 17 out of 28 games there. We’ve won only 8 times. Our record at the quarter final stage of the league cup makes grim reading too. We’ve lost 5 out of 6 league cup quarter finals and lost every one away from home.

In order to get to this stage, Spurs have beaten Nottingham Forest (3-1) at home in round 3 (as European competing sides don’t enter until this round) and they then beat Brighton & Hove Albion (2-0) at home. Harry Kane has 2 goals in this competition having scored in both rounds.

Team wise, Spurs tend to use Vorn in goal for this competition. Fazio, Townsend, Lennon and Paulinho also seem to feature so Spurs have plenty of quality in depth.

Team News

No change to the goal keeping situation. It would be incredibly difficult to put Woodman in goal for his debut and a goal keeper should be fairly confident of coming through a game without a red card or injury, so I expect Alnwick to play.

Steven Taylor returns from suspension, just as Daryl Janaat gets himself suspended. Possible options are Taylor at RB, Anita at RB, Dummett at RB and Haidara at LB. Personally I’d save Taylor and Coloccini for Sunday. Colo has just returned from injury and was carrying the knock going into Arsenal, so could he get through 2 more games this week? I’m not sure. I’ll put his stinker at Arsenal down to him carrying an injury too.

Moussa Sissoko returns from suspension but is absolutely, crucial to Sunday, whilst Tiote has moved to 1 yellow card away from a suspension. Would I risk him? No way. No chance could you trust Tiote to not get a yellow card. Remember when all he to do was, not get sent off at Stevenage, and the subsequent arse, he made of that? Can’t trust him, put him on the bench. Abeid may be back for this one. This would be good news at the kid was playing well. Colback has served his ban for 5 yellows already and seems fairly durable, so he could play without any worries for Sunday. I wouldn’t play Ameobi vs Sunderland and his fine goal here a few weeks ago would make him a natural to start. Pardew likes Gouffran and he may be useful for tracking back and covering on either side. Could Anita do a job in midfield? That leaves Cabella. Play him or keep him for Sunday? I know what I’d do.

Up top, we know Cisse is carrying a knee injury and can’t start too many games. Perez is young enough to cope with 2 games but Armstrong did a fine job at Man City and there’s a £6m striker with something to prove at the club too.

Injured

Elliot – Thigh – January

Krul – Ankle –  January

De Jong – Groin – no return date

Santon – Knee – no return date

Ryan Taylor – Knee – no return date

Good – Groin – no return date

Obertan – Groin – no return date

Aarons – Hamstring – Sunderland

Suspended

Daryl Janmaat 1 game

Team I’d pick (4-2-3-1)

1.Alnwick: 2. Anita, 6. Williamson, 5. Dummett, 3. Haidara:  4. Abeid, 8. Colback: 7. Gouffran. 10. Perez, 11. Ameobi: 9. Riviere

Subs

Woodman, Steven Taylor, Cisse, Sissoko, Armstrong, Coloccini, Cabella

Team I think Pardew will pick  (4-2-3-1)

1.Alnwick: 2. Steven Taylor, 6. Williamson, 5. Coloccini, 3. Dummett: 4. Tiote, 8. Colback: 7. Gouffran. 10. Sissoko, 11. Ameobi:, 9. Perez

Subs

Woodman, Haidara, Cisse, Abeid, Cabella, Anita, Riviere

Referee: Andre Marriner

History at Spurs in the League Cup

Only once have we met at White Hart Lane in the league cup. That came as part of a 2 legged semi final in 1976.

75/76 Lost 0-1 The 2 sides had met at St James’ park in the league and played out a 2-2 drawhwever United were embarking on a dramatic, League Cup campaign. First up were Southport, with United romping to a 6-0 (Gowling 4, Cannell 2) win at SJP. Bristol Rovers would provide a stiffer test and after a 1-1 draw (Gowling) in the West Country. United completed the job on Tyneside with a 2-0 win. (Tommy Craig pen, Nattrass) QPR were then dismissed down in the smoke 3-1 (Supermac, Micky Burns & Geoff Nulty) A home tie vs Notts County was settled with an OG (1-0), which set up the 2 legged clash with Spurs.

With Pat Jennings in superb form United were unable to register an away goal and shipped in a sloppy one, which allowed John Pratt to nod home from inches out.

If you want to see goalies with no gloves, short shorts, Spurs singing “Oh when the Whites go marching in”, instead of “Spurs” and the old fashioned offside rule in effect, then check out the highlights here.

Of course United still had the home leg in the tank and raced in to an early lead, wiping out Spurs’ advantage (Gowling). United went in front early in the 2nd half through Glen Keeley and extended the lead through Geoff Nulty. Spurs reduced the arrears with 30 minutes to play but it was United who went through, in front of 49,902.

We’ll discuss the final on a day when we’re all feeling absolutely, fucking , miserable.

Spurs Fanzines

Fighting cock (no laughing at the back there) – Click here

“Come On You Spurs” is not only a shit chant, but a fanzine title too, apparently – Click here 

Predictions

Difficult thing to do with Newcastle United. Daft enough to beat the teams were not supposed to, but absolutely, phenomenal at letting everybody down on the big occasion. 1-1. Penalties……… Eyes covered, stomach churning, breath holding………Carnage!!!

Opposition Danger Man

Lennon seems to be a constant thorn in our side.

CHRIS BETTS – Follow Chris on @tfbettsy1892 

 

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24 Responses to MATCH PREVIEW: Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United, 17/Dec/14, White Hart Lane. 7:45 League Cup, Q. Final

  1. Paul smith says:

    If I didn’t know better I’d think you’d been got at. “Save them for Sunday’ ? This club has been pisding supporters off for what seems a very long time and not playing a strong side in the cups is at the very core of that. I thought hell would freeze over before true faith started actually advocating it. Amazed frankly. Alan Pardew should play his strongest side tomorrow night come hell or high water and give spurs a game for all our sakes

    • Chris Betts says:

      The team we beat Man City with wasnt the team you’d consider to be our strongest on paper, but it beat them. I think we could pick a side that could beat Spurs but keep a lot of players fresh for Sunday. What’s wrokg with beating Spurs with my team? You’d get the same outcome of we beat them with your team

  2. Rob says:

    So would you be happy for them to play a weakened side against Spurs for the sake of Sunday?

    • Chris Betts says:

      Beating Spurs won’t mean we’ll win the league cup but beating Sunderland won’t mean I walk out of SJP feeling embarrassed again.

      • Rob says:

        But likewise, saving all of our players for Sunday won’t guarantee we’ll win on Sunday. What if we had tonight picked a team a youth players, and ended up losing both games.
        We probably won’t win on Sunday regardless.

    • Chris Betts says:

      A “weakened” team had our best result for years when we beat Man City. I’d be more than happy to pick a team tonight that gave certain players maximum rest for Sunday, but would hopefully still win tonight

  3. Allan says:

    Prioritise a league game over a quarter final coz Chelsea will walk it? I thought we beat them 2 – 1 only a week or so ago? If professional footballers can’t play in a cup quarter final then a local derby 4 days later they shouldn’t be called professionals. And if the manager can’t hadle it he shouldn’t be in the job! Utter twaddle!

  4. Keiron Young says:

    You need to be more positive Chris! You’re writing off the league as Chelsea will win it. That is likely but you know what maybe Newcastle can win it. I hope Pardew thinks less negatively after all we have recently beaten Chelsea fair and square. And I don’t buy into a good result at Spurs will mean inevitable defeat against Sunderland. In fact, the opposite seems more likely as good results generally lead to more good results injuries not withstanding. I think as much as we can knock Pardew (and shit I have as much as anyone) I think the players are grafting and our recent upturn has been built on solid graft rather than free flowing expansive footy. So fuck it, let’s win both man.

    • Chris Betts says:

      I’m more than happy to win both. And I absolutely want to beat Spurs, but even doing that still leaves a huge task of either beating Chelsea over 2 legs, or at Wembley and at the moment, Whilst we’re capable of turning them over on our patch, I’m not convinced we’d get a result at their place, and personally I think we’d lose in a one off scenario too……… Having said all of that, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be wrong and see Coloccini waving a shiny, silver pot, with black & white ribbons all over Wembley, honestly

  5. Callum Patterson says:

    Not to have a go, but I’m sure, like many of us, you would have been angered when the club came out and stated that cups weren’t a priority. With attitudes like this towards the competition that NUFC have the best chance of winning (still only a slim chance, but still more likely than the FA Cup), why should the club make the cups a priority?

    For me, the Spurs game is much more important than Sunday. Of course, I want to win both, but out of the two you have to think about how many times we’ve actually reached the latter stages of a competition in recent years? Apart from the Europa League a couple of seasons ago, I THINK you have to go back to the days of Roeder/Souness for when we last got this far (I may be wrong on that one). On the other hand, we play the mackems twice a season. Plus, looking at the bigger picture, while they’ve beaten us in the last 3 games, when was the last time they finished above us in the League?

    The derby is their biggest fixture of the season. Doesn’t mean it has to be ours.

    • Chris Betts says:

      look, I want the club to win every competition it enters, that’s never changed, since going to bed disappointed after watching us lose in the Guinness Soccer 6 a-side on BBC sportsnight or bowing out of the Full Members Cup. I’d love to win one, but I honestly, don’t think it will be this one.

      I feel this Derby takes on some extra importance due to losing 3 in a row. 4 in a row (3 of which are at SJP) I’d find humiliating and totally unacceptable

  6. Mark says:

    Sorry Chris, always enjoy your previews, and this isn’t meant in a derogatory way, but you’re wrong here – if the footballing Gods offered me a win tonight but a 0-5 humping on Saturday, I’d take the win tonight. This is our biggest game of the season (until the next round) – theirs is Saturday. They can have their bragging rights all they want – i just want to see us win something. I think Liverpool will lose to Bournemouth tonight, only leaving Chelsea. I know you think their name is on the trophy, but it’s only a week and a half since we beat them!

    • Chris Betts says:

      Mark, I hope you’re right, I really do. If we win it then I’d be doing cartwheels with joy. And the point I was trying to make was that losing in a final is probably the 2nd worst experience I can think of (relegation being the worst) so we could still beat Spurs yet experience the 2nd worst experience there is (imo).

      The other issue is, that for as long as iv been going, losing to Sunderland has always been the exception than the rule, losing 4 in a row would damage pride, in a big way, so is Pardew the man to trust to manage 2 competing priorities at crunch time? He’s not proved to be in the past for us

      • Mark says:

        I know where you’re coming from, I too left Wembley 4 times having seen us beaten, and the ‘day out’ shite didn’t cut the mustard!

        TBH, I don’t trust Pardew managing anything correctly, and he’s the sort of clown who’d field a weaken team in one match and get thumped in both. His derby record is fantastically shit – and we’ve never lost four in a row. Despite the lull recently, if he loses twice in the next few days there’ll be people wanting to hang him by the bollox from the Gallowgate; tonight is on paper the tougher game, but I reckon tonight’s a better chance to win, given his defensive set up which sometimes gets better results against better teams. Let’s just hope for two wins!

  7. Ed Bell says:

    Being greedy I want to win both but if we can only have one then I’d rather win tonight…

    I can remember how awful it felt when Sunderland were leading against Citeh in the final last season, the thought of the mackems with silverware (worse than the 3-0s tbh). I reckon that winning a domestic trophy after 60 years would hurt them far more than any derby win ever could, The 5-0 was a great day but we can’t put in our list of honours…

    If we could win tonight and avoid Chelsea in the semi-finals then we’ll always have a chance in a one-off. As you said a little further up, Colo, with a trophy with black and white ribbons; makes the hairs on my arms stand up just thinking about it…

    • Chris Betts says:

      Win both. That’ll do for me. My faith in that happening isn’t great though. Partly cos Newcastle United seem to have mastered the art of buggering things up when they ‘really’ matter. And partly cos Pardew seems unable to play the Derby

  8. Jackson Yates says:

    Have to agree with the consensus here: I’d rather we beat Spurs and progressed in the cup than win against Sunderland. The derby is increasingly, I’m afraid, becoming a bit of a pantomime with two bald men fighting over a comb. We always finish above them anyway, regardless, and that is the only indicator of who is the better team.

  9. Pat Hughes says:

    I don’t know. I can still remember walking home (couldn’t get the bus, too weepy) after the 3-0 defeat at home in tears. I moaned at the kids and growled at the dog for days but I think it was more the manner in which we gave up and handed them the points, gift-wrapped like the previous year. Couldn’t face that again. However, I want to win tonight, I want everyone to play their hearts out and I want no nonsense from the match officials. Hate the losing feeling but I’m one of those who can accept defeat if everyone on the pitch has performed and tried their best. Paranoid perhaps but I knew we would lose to Arsenal, Pardew virtually promised the points to Wenger in his pre-match ramblings and I can hear Ashley now … Steady on old chap, no dosh for hotels, smart suits and no advertising my tat at Wembley. I’ll take my medicine now 🙂

  10. Mikey says:

    Our biggest game of the season..I certainly want to us to win…and we always have finished above sunderland…yeah gut renching if we do get beat by the mackems…but I want to see us win some silverware

    • Pat Hughes says:

      The FA Cup it is then – if we’re allowed to compete and allowed to add to our woefully weak squad in January

  11. Mick says:

    Well Bettsy you got your wish, good night all round for you, your lad got a full game and we got hammered. Not that it was all his fault but he kept up his absolutely shocking poor form. Keeping out of the way mainly but cocking up whenever he was involved.

  12. Tom Bates says:

    Surely winning something or getting close is the point of football? I fail to see the value of finishing say 9th for example even if we win the derby. I would rather go to Wembley and risk losing in the final as youve got to be in it to win it. Think too many been brainwashed by Sky and the club that the premier league is the be all and end all. Top 10 lap of honour everyone?