Spurs 1 Newcastle 2 -Tottenham run out of steam

SpursNewcastle

Everything had been going so well.

In a topsy-turvy season where Chelsea hover one point from relegation and Leicester sit top of the Premier League, a result like this shouldn’t really be a surprise. But then this was supposed to be a team that had shrugged off the Spurs image of old.

For the second year running a comfortable Tottenham lead was turned on its head by a Newcastle team seemingly out of sorts.

Dembele had been ruled out before the game but that just gave Pochettino the chance to show faith in yet another youth prospect, as Tom Carroll finally got his chance in the league.

Tottenham started brightly, first to every ball, defending from the front as Newcastle were unable to keep hold of possession. The chances came and went, Lamela having the best of them. Brimming with confidence after his hat-trick in midweek, it took two good saves from Elliot to keep him out – first from a snap shot on the edge of the penalty box, then tipping over from much closer range as the Argentine latched onto a Kane flick.

It didn’t take much longer for Spurs to get the goal their pressure merited. Eriksen whipped in the resulting corner and Eric Dier flicked a near post header towards goal. This time the Newcastle keeper could only deflect the ball into the top corner.

As half time arrived Pochettino would have been quite content if a little frustrated that his side only led by a single goal. All signs pointed to a comfortable three points.

The second half was a completely different story. Newcastle were much improved and Spurs looked unfocused and sluggish. Could it have been another hangover from playing in Europe on Thursday night?

The Tottenham left was a particular concern as Newcastle got in on a couple of occasions only to waste their opportunities. Both goals were to come down this side.

First Rose used his hand to stop a Newcastle cross, giving the visitors a free kick in a very dangerous position. The execution was scrappy but Mitrovic managed to poke the ball home, having only come on minutes earlier for the ineffectual Cisse.

The game looked to be heading for yet another stalemate.

As time ran out, Newcastle again got in down the Spurs left. This time it was Perez – another second half substitute – who took his opportunity, sneaking the ball past an unusually culpable Lloris.

This game was a big disappointment, especially with others faltering. After a tough run of games and some great performances, here was a lesson in not counting the points before they are won.

Still we mustn’t be to down-hearted. The team has improved immeasurably of late and one result, however disappointing, doesn’t change that.

It’s been a great run and it had to come to an end eventually. 14 games unbeaten. A fantastic achievement despite the irritatingly high number of draws. As time ran out here I was shouting at the television, cursing another draw. Be careful what you wish for.

Where did it go wrong on Sunday? Can Spurs bounce back next weekend? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Discuss it with me on Twitter: @ABPSpurs

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8 thoughts on “Spurs 1 Newcastle 2 -Tottenham run out of steam

  1. Brian

    There has been a lot of praise for Lamela’s play in that game. I still think there was some flattering to deceive, but there is no doubting his improvement. Would have been good if had got one of the two shots in, but good save.

    The player key to success this season is Dembele. Not the same without him.

    Alli needs to watch his behaviour. Enthusiasm is great, but if we end up losing a player through cumulative cards or a straight red, that will be very unhelpful.

    I think the other week the 2,500 mile trip with a noon start on Sunday was a definite factor. this week, playing at home on Thursday and a 16.00 start on Sunday was different. No blaming the Thursday tie for this result. Newcastle were much better in the second half, no doubting that. My moan is that we did not get the goals when we dominated. Unfortunately that is not uncommon and accounts for many of the draws leading up to this game.

    Three points of 4th place with MU one place above and not playing well. Now comes the real test of character. The next four games are Southampton (A), Norwich (H), Watford (A), Everton (A). None of these will be easy games. Watford are one point off and would love to move ahead of us. Norwich are fighting to stay up and with so little in it down there (apart from Villa) twill be fighting hard to avoid the drop. Southampton and Everton are never easy games away.

    If we can finish those four games with at least two wins and two draws that may well be enough to not only gain 4th spot by be pressing hard for third. Anything less than that may see us struggling to retain 5th spot. MU have three out of four home games in the same period against Norwich Chelsea and Swansea They play Stoke away. It seems unlikely but I see a possible Chelsea revival in their game against MU and maybe a draw. I think Stoke may beat them.

    That would give us 8 points from the 4 games and MU, say 5, if luck is on our side. On GD we would then go 4th, but only if a nu,mber of teams below us do not gain 3 or 4 wins.

    Ideally of course, 4 wins would do the trick for us. Fingers crossed! I hope Dembele is back, that Lamela continues to improve (and finds the net a few times, and that we take advantage of the domination we will no doubt have in at least parts of these 4 games.

    Reply
  2. JOHN ADAM

    I rue the stupid and unnecessary free kick so close to our goal area through unnecessary deliberate handling of the ball by Danny Rose who does this sort of thing, even fouling unnecessarily, too often for my liking… Befoire the kick was taken, I sensed somehow it would result in a goal, which it did. In my opinion, that was the turning point of the match for Spurs. It took the wind out of our sail. We had been playing so well before. In the second half, we were completely flat out giving the ball away all the time and we were even lucky that we did not concede more goals. Too often so far this season, we have been unable to maintain our lead. An improvement is required in this area. Not surprising, we have too many draws..

    Reply
  3. Kevin

    I am glad that our unbeaten run is over – it lasted a long time and the team should be proud of it, but we really needed a well-deserved kick in the backside like Kane said. The game against Southampton was a perfect example of a reinvigorated young team playing to prove something as opposed to protecting a record.

    It seems that Carroll is becoming the first sub for the midfield. What do you think of it? In the beginning, i would have thought that Bentaleb would be the first choice but I can see Poch’s reasoning.

    Happy holidays!

    Reply
    1. Jon @ AnythingButPenalties Post author

      The defeat certainly brought us back to reality. We were drawing so many games anyway, it’s nice to get back to winning.

      I’m not sure about Carroll. He’s obviously talented but he doesn’t really do anything spectacular. I would have thought Bentaleb would surpass him in the long run but just at the moment he may need more time after his long injury break.

      Reply
  4. Pingback: A happy Christmas for Spurs fans | Anything But Penalties

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