|OPPONENTS||Newcastle United at St. James Park|
|DATE||Saturday 11th August 2018 Kick off 12:30|
the start of a new season looks strangely familiar.
Once more we travel to the North-East to play Newcastle United. once more we have the same squad without having added to it during the shortened transfer window. Once more Newcastle's fans will be looking to protest against the lack of investment in their club. So a season of massive change for us - with the new stadium awaiting completion - begins with much of the same as we have seen before.
The lack of spending has caused some concern among pockets of the Tottenham support, but of more concern at the beginning of a new campaign is the start we are likely to make. Never the fastest of starters, we need to try and get some early points on the board and Harry Kane some balls in the net, but this could be difficult with a number of injuries already and the players who went a long way in the World Cup a little behind those other squad members who have had a full pre-season.
The benefit of no new players is that there will not be the transitional period where players settle in and hopefully, the side can slip into the same groove as last season and start well. Pochettino will have the team well drilled and ready to start at a decent lick to put the pressure on the home side. With fans already disgruntled, a quick start to the match could put them into a worse mood and produce an atmosphere that will not help the home team.
The Mags have signed a few players, but none that set the pulse racing. Kenedy is back for another loan season from Chelsea and he can be a tricky customer when on the ball, while relegated Swansea has been the source of two signings - midfielder Ki Sung-yueng and central defender Federico Fernandez. Swiss defender Fabian Schar featured at the World Cup and also in Russia for that competition was Japanese striker Yoshinori Muto. Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka's loan has been made permanent and another loan signing for the season is West Bromwich Albion's Salomon Rondon. Mike Ashley's biggest summer signing turned out to be House of Fraser !
The tactics will be to try and deny Spurs space, with Benitez the king of setting up defensively, but Spurs will need to be ready to move the Newcastle midfield around to find space and cause problems when through on the back four. Davies and Trippier (if he is ready to play) need to utilise the wide space and the midfield will need to get forward to back up the front man. Kane will want to play, but whether Pochettino starts him or Janssen is a question of how they have been performing in training. The defence need to be aware of the speed that Kenedy might hit them on the break, but with player sin our side who are quick on the ball with a run or a pass, it could be a game of attack and counter-attack.
The Newcastle team are
having problems off the pitch with some poor pre-season results and
a row over bonuses seeing them not fulfil media duties. If
this is affecting their on pitch performances, then Tottenham need
to take advantage of them, but I think they will be fired up and
will play for a draw and might well get it.
|PREDICTION||Newcastle United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1|
|Premier League||Saturday 11th August 2018|
|Newcastle United 1 (1)||
Tottenham Hotspur 2 (2)
Joselu 10m 23s
Vertonghen 7m 45s
Dele 17m 10s
|Crowd : 51,749||Weather : Sunny, warm|
|Referee : Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)||Assistant Referees : -; -|
|Fourth Official : Stuart Atwell|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Gallowgate end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + ? minutes.|
58 Joselu (foul on Dier)
94 Diame (foul on Kane)
42 Dier (foul on Kenedy)
68 Kane (foul on Kenedy)
|Newcastle United :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
Matt RITCHIE (30
Christian ATSU 69)
Eric DIER (40
Luke AMOS 88)
Lucas MOURA (19
Mousa DEMBELE 69)
10 Harry KANE
|Manager : Rafa Benitez||Manager : Mauricio Pochettino|
|Sponsor : -||Shirt sponsor : AIA|
|Kit Supplier : adidas||Kit Supplier : Nike|
An away opening day fixture (no surprise there Premier League) at Newcastle United saw an unchanged Tottenham squad after the inactivity in the transfer window take on a Magpies side who had signed some players, but Rafa Bentitez left them on the bench and at the end of the match, it was the Spurs fans who were happiest, celebrating a 2-1 win and a good start to what will be a long campaign.
Spurs kicked off and
attacked the Gallowgate end in the early afternoon sunshine,
sporting a rather fetching jade and mint green third kit. When
I say fetching, I don't mean attractive, I mean gut wrenching.
The money that is sloshing around in football at the moment is
nauseating, but when you consider that someone has been paid a large
sum of crisp plastic notes to create this absurdity, you wonder if
the world has gone mad. Anyway, the players inside the shirts
were familiar, but Trippier was missing and Aurier slotted in at
right back, while Lucas came in for Son. Otherwise, it was a
set-up that was something approximating to our strongest side.
When Eriksen decided to have
a shot from 25 yards out, it was going wide, but Dubravka dived to
touch it wide, giving Christian the chance to put a corner into the
heart of the Newcastle box. Sanchez won the ball and headed down for
Jan Vertonghen to get in at the far post and head at goal from close
range, beating Dummett to the ball. Jan’s effort hit the underside
of the bar and the keeper pushed it out, but Martin Atkinson’s watch
buzzed and it wasn’t a message from Roman Abramovich telling him to
send a Spurs player off, but to signal the ball had crossed the line
before Dubravka got to it.
However, Newcastle were soon level in the eleventh minute, when Ritchie cut back onto his left foot on the right wing to put in an in-swinging cross that Joselu ghosted in behind Sanchez to glance a header to Lloris’ right from five yards out and tie it up at 1-1. It came out of the blue, but it was a good cross and loose marking by Spurs to allow someone like Joselu that much space.
Tottenham kept the tempo and their passing going and when Kane tried to slip a pass through into the box, it was blocked, but fell to Serge Aurier, who crossed first time. His ball was perfect for Dele to make his run in behind a sleeping Andre Yedlin to put his header back across the keeper to find the net and restore Tottenham’s lead in the 18th minute.
The game settled down a bit and there were few chances, but Kane’s searching diagonal ball looking for Dele in the box saw the keeper come for it, but Dummett headed it out first. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t drop for Aurier, as it bounced up and he had to control it and come inside before he chose to shoot at goal, but his left foot effort went a long way wide.
Spurs allowed Newcastle to
enjoy some spells of possession, without creating much and it was
the green shirted side who looked more dangerous on the break as the
home team committed players forward. The home fans only got excited
when Sissoko went near the ball, Lloris kicked the ball out of play
or they thought they should have had a decision go their way.
The start of the second half and Newcastle are never a good mix for Spurs and within two minutes, Shelvey won a header to a bell that had gone a mile into the air and it dropped to Diame on the left of the penalty spot to crash a shot at goal. Hugo Lloris was beaten, but was pleased to see the ball bounce away off the post, such was the ferocity of the shot. A couple pf minutes later, Aurier put in a left foot cross from the right wing and Dele kneed the ball back across goal where it was cleared. He almost repeated the effort when Kane missed a ball across the box and Dele was in the clear, but could only loop the ball upwards and Dubravka grabbed it under his bar.
Newcastle should have been on level terms when Joselu on the right of the area picked out a pass across the area to put Kenedy in on goal totally in the clear. Lloris stood on his line, but timed his dash out after the Brazilian had taken a heavy touch and although he only blocked the ball, it was enough to force the winger to knock the ball across goal and Diame couldn’t bring it under control to make much of it.
With 55 minutes gone, Tottenham worked the ball well across the width of the pitch and when Kane nodded it on to Davies behind him on the left, his low driven cross was pulled back for Sissoko to turn it towards goal. Only a sharp save from Dubravka denied him and then another cross from the right from Eriksen saw Moussa robbed of an opening when Lascelles headed for a corner. From it, the ball was cleared, but when it came back in from Aurier, Sanchez got to it on beyond the far and his falling volley went over from a very difficult angle.
A corner at the Spurs end
brought a melee with the ball in the air and Lascelles going for it
with his hand before it dropped to Ayoze Perez and Lloris had to
make a good save as it came through Dele’s legs at the far post.
Kenedy fired a 20 yard shot way over the bar, as substitute Salomon
Rondon looked to unsettle the Spurs defence. Tottenham were finding
it hard to get the ball clear and when Lloris put the ball out for
Perez to get treatment, the Newcastle forward had got up and the
home team did not feel that they were required to return the ball.
It got to the stage of the game where lots of substitutions were made and Son came on to make his farewell (and 100th Premier League) appearance before going off to the Asian Games. As the game moved into the final 10 minutes, Lloris got a good punch to a Newcastle corner that reached the halfway line, but Newcastle could have profited from an Atkinson mistake, when Dier was pulled back by Perez on halfway before Atsu broke away but failed to find Rondon with his pass, with the Venezuelan running the wrong way. Rondon did come close to equalising when he hit the bar after Shelvey had played him in on the edge of the area. His shot was going to Lloris’ right, but Jan got a diving block on the ball that took it into the ground and up onto the bar and it was headed away by Sanchez.
Fernando Llorente had been warming up, but with Dier and Vertonghen going down with cramp, Luke Amos, who had an impressive pre-season, was readied and came on for the England midfielder. With three subs used and four minutes injury time on the fourth official’s watch, Yedlin went down near the Spurs dead ball line and had to limp off after landing badly and stretching his knee. Newcastle started to try and strong-arm things after going down to ten men, with Lascelles trying to intimidate Son and Diame booked for stamping in Kane’s foot, but Spurs saw out the game without Newcastle getting close to the Tottenham goal. “When The Spurs Go Marching In” rang out as the home ranks emptied quicker than a Mike Ashley bid for a failing business with three points in the bag and a place sitting proudly at the top of the Premier League.
It was a solid performance without being completely dominant, but early in the season, without the first choice eleven selected, three points was very welcome. It was never going to be easy, as Newcastle wanted to set their stall out in their first game, but like last season, they failed to stop all of our players all of the time. The two Spurs goals came from first choice players, but those filling in were good value and played their part in the victory. The three points will quell unrest of the lack of signings, but with a few games to come before we return to White Hart Lane, it was important to get this sequence of away games off to a good start.
Tottenham's 21st away opening fixture in the 27 years they have been in the Premier League.
Heung-Min Son’s 100th Premier League appearance
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Manchester United||2||Leicester City||1||Friday|
|Watford||2||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||Saturday|
|Liverpool||4||West Ham United London||0||Sunday|
|League Table 2018-19|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion||1||0||0||1||0||2||0||-2|
|20||West Ham United London||1||0||0||1||0||4||0||-4|
Position before match :
Position after match : 2nd
Position after the weekend : 8th
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