One step forward, two steps back. The exhilarating 4-0 demolition of QPR, the humbling by Liverpool. The hard fought victory against Southampton, another debacle at Manchester City. Five goals in the Europa League, this frustrating loss at home to Newcastle.
Just when you think Pochettino’s Spurs side are getting somewhere they let you down again.
It would be unfair to be all doom and gloom, the performance had it’s good points. At half time it felt like a comfortable but not stellar 1-0. Tottenham had passed the ball around nicely and dominated possession. Newcastle had done very little. We hadn’t made the most of our opportunities but it didn’t look like our opponents had it in them to punish us.
As in previous games, at times we were a frustratingly missed pass away from a good move and when the chances came they were wasted.
I had championed Soldado’s further inclusion and, after his hat-trick in midweek, Harry Kane had a strong case too. Pochettino went with Adebayor who is clearly his number one choice up front. The decision seemed to come good, when in the 17th minute the big striker rose to meet a beautiful Mason cross. Although, Adebayor did little else to justify the manager’s faith in him.
In the move that led to the goal, several players had tried to drill the ball into the box and failed, meeting well organised Newcastle blocks. Mason saw the opportunity at the back post and delicately curled a lofted cross onto the head of Adebayor. The young midfielder is a class act.
Half time was to prove instrumental. Newcastle made two attacking substitutions. Pardew reportedly had strong words with his players and sent them out early to run some warm up drills while Spurs were still in the dressing room. The move was surprisingly effective. Within six seconds of the half resuming, Newcastle were level. The scorer, Sammy Ameobi, one of the substitutes.
Walker and Naughton are still long term injury victims and the equaliser demonstrated how much we miss a specialist at right back. A long ball straight form the restart found Dier out of position and stumbling to get back. Ameobi used his pace to stay ahead of the Spurs man and kept his head to register his first Premier League goal.
Newcastle were now in the match and you just got the feeling that they were going to steal the three points. The winner came as Sissoko skipped past some tired, lacklustre tackles. Cabella whipped in a cross and new boy Ayoze Pérez, finding himself marked by the diminutive Danny Rose, lept to score – it was his first Premier League goal too.
Tottenham still created chances. Eriksen missed a good one, Kane – a substitute – drilled the ball across the box but there was nobody there to finish.
Looking at the first half and the statistics – Spurs out-shot Newcastle by 17 to 8 and had 63% of possession – there was certainly a touch of misfortune in the defeat. If we could have pressed home our advantage in the first half and scored more goals, if we could have just kept our concentration in defence, luck wouldn’t have been a factor.
Pochettino looked angry and frustrated in the post match interviews. “Frustrating” sums up this disappointing step back.
Were Spurs unlucky? Where do the problems lie? Let me know in the comments below.
Football stuff at Amazon
|Spurs greatest manager||PES 2015||New FIFA 15|