Spurs 2 Newcastle 1

A great win for Spurs with a superb, match winning performance by Gareth Bale.

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I had a front row seat for this game and the atmosphere was fantastic. We made a great start but our performance tailed off and Newcastle came back into the game deserving their equaliser. We then finished strongly and in the end could have won by more.

The main talking point of the match was the incredible performance of Bale. Unfortunately it also highlighted our dependence on him. He has now scored our last four goals, in fact all of our goals in the last three matches. That’s six points we would not have got but for his goals.

It is possible to keep him quiet, Manchester United managed it by pretty much double teaming him but this left lots of space for our other creative players, particularly Lenon. So even when he isn’t having a good game, his presence helps open up the opposition.

In this game our failures in the transfer market were very apparent. Clint Dempsey was deployed as a striker for much of the match and he clearly isn’t suited to playing there. There’s a big difference between scoring lots of goals when arriving late in the box from midfield and playing as the main striker where you are the target of the opposition’s defence. Our performance improved when Adebayor came on, despite him not doing a great deal. He became the focus of the Newcastle backline allowing our midfield more space, especially Bale.

Holtby looked promising again. What strikes me about him is his energy and confidence. The crowd were not happy when he went off and Dempsey stayed on. Holtby is young and has just joined us, so easing him through his first few matches is probably a good idea. Besides Dempsey was a lot happier once he could drop off Adebayor.

Lloris impresses me more with each game I see him play. He makes some great saves, but also has the confidence and athleticism to protect his defence. Knowing he is there to clear up and take command of situations must take a lot of pressure off the back four, particularly when playing a high line.

Dembele was a bit off the pace in this game which surprised me. He has been one of our most consistent performers this year. After the first twenty minutes we seemed to lose control in midfield and this allowed Newcastle back into the game. We are certainly missing Sandro. Parker is a good replacement but at his age and coming back off a long term injury, he can’t match the Brazilian’s dynamism.

Things could have been so promising if we had signed Moutinho to give us more strength in midfield and Damiao to give us more of a forward presence. Thank goodness we hung on to Bale.

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