Match Review, Tottenham vs Newcastle.

Match: Wednesday 17th December 2014.

Competition: Capital One Cup Quarter Final.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 4-0 Newcastle.

Tottenham GoalScorers: Bentaleb 18′, Chadli 46′, Kane 65 & Soldado 70′.

What a win! An extraordinary result and fantastic performance that has left a beautiful taste in Tottenham fans’ mouths. We have progressed to the Capital One Cup Semi Finals, and will face Sheffield United over two legs for a place at Wembley, which is what dreams are made of! Throughout the game, we were composed on the ball, efficient in our passing and clinical in our finishing. Benjamin Stambouli has hailed it as the perfect performance, and it really was. We were just as good off the ball as we were on the ball, though, and we tackled well, kept compact and were set up magnificently to nullify the Newcastle threat – especially form Moussa Sissoko. It was a performance that shows we are learning from mistakes, growing as a side, and also showed even without all of our best players out on the field, if we are set up correctly, limit our mistakes and introduce the kind of energy & enthusiasm we had then we can be quite successful. The opportunity to win a trophy is massive, now, Sheffield United are a League 1 side, and with the team we have we should be picking them off, especially after two legs. We avoided Chelsea and Liverpool and it really is the perfect draw – a day out at Wembley is brilliant in itself, and would give the club and the fans a real boost which is what we need at this moment in time. It’s a massive opportunity!

Focusing back on the game; in the first half, we started brightly, passed the ball well, and created some decent chances which could have easily been our first goal in the first 15 minutes. Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen all looking very lively. In the end though, the deadlock was broken by one Nabil Bentaleb, who poached his first ever goal for Tottenham Hotspur, thanks to a Christian Eriksen corner which was fumbled by the Newcastle ‘keeper Jak Alnwick, and Bentaleb was alert to pounce on his mistake and set Tottenham on the path to victory. Newcastle weren’t bad in the first half, they went close themselves to breaking even, but their finishing wasn’t crisp enough. Bursting runs from Moussa Sissoko were the main threat, and he forced Michel Vorm into a good save from outside the box. The Geordies were threatening, and it was obvious that another goal for Tottenham had to come to have any sense of comfort. 1-0 at the break, and very content with the performance, but last time Newcastle visited the Lane, that was the case, and they ran away 2-1 victors, so the fans, Pochettino and the players knew that an equally as fast start in the second half was necessary or history had the possibility of repeating itself.

And as the second half kicked off, we got what we wanted. We kept the ball, drowned out Newcastle’s early threat and looked comfortable and most importantly, focussed! And then our second goal was procured; Christian Eriksen being forced wide, and looking like the chance was dead, before he brilliantly found a reverse pass into the path of Nacer Chadli who controlled it, moved into a better shooting position and then picked his spot expertly form outside the box to double Tottenham’s lead and make it a much more comfortable scoreline. We were cruising into the semi-finals, and Newcastle didn’t seem to have the spark, clinical edge or collective quality to influence the game in the way they wanted. As time moved on, we got more comfortable and comfortable, on the ball and off of it. We were creating chances, finding space, passing the ball crisply and switching play very easily with both full backs high and Christian Eriksen involved in almost everything in the middle of the park. It was lovely to watch. The third goal was thanks to good play on the left hand side from Mousa Dembele, who held off a challenge and released the ball to Andros Townsend who’s quick, one touch pass found Harry Kane who got the better of the defender before expertly sliding the ball into the far right hand corner to put the game beyond doubt. 3-0, 65 minutes in. That was Kane’s final contribution to a wonderful performance as he was replaced by Roberto Soldado – who then quickly made his mark, as Christian Eriksen drove at the Newcastle back four and got his shot away which was poorly parried by Jak Alnwick, and fell into the path of Roberto Soldado, who adjusted his feet and easily poked the ball into the back of the net, in true poachers fashion. After that goal on the 70 minute mark, the game’s pace fizzled out and we had most of the ball, and looked relaxed in our position, even to the point where showboating was being cheered by the fans as Andros Townsend produced his latest back heel. Full time – and a fantastic victory which keeps the dream of silverware very much alive.

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There were great performances all over the field in this game. It was not our strongest team – but it shows the quality of the squad we have when we can bring in the likes of Michel Vorm, Vlad Chiriches, Andros Townsend and Benjamin Stambouli and they can perform like they did in this game. While first 11 players such as Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane and Nabil Bentaleb producing their best and it was great to see a team performance, and not relying on individual quality to pull us through. For me, Christian Eriksen was our stand out performer, in the centre of midfield he pulled the strings, kept the ball expertly, and was extremely effective on the ball, being involved in 3 of the 4 goals and moving the ball quickly in midfield. Christian seems to have once again found his top form, after an admittedly slow start to the season, he has found not only his goalscoring form, but his creative side is starting to come through and that’s incredibly important to the team. He’s a player that can win you games single handedly and I can’t wait to see him develop even further, as Jan Vertonghen says, he has the potential to become a Tottenham great. In the centre of midfield, I was incredibly impressed with the performances of Nabil Bentaleb and Benjamin Stambouli; they were energetic, enthusiastic and composed; which was exactly what we needed to nullify the threat of Moussa Sissoko, who in all honesty couldn’t get any rhythm to his game due to always being surrounded by Stambouli and Bentaleb. This partnership has to be given an opportunity to flourish in the Premier League, in my opinion. It has balance, and both players have potential to become very important for the future. In defence, we were solid throughout. And the partnership between Fazio and Vertonghen is starting to grow and grow, and they are starting to understand each other’s games and I think it looks the makings of a good combination. There’s also a need to mention the performance of Danny Rose, who I thought had a really good game, and is definitely rising to the task of winning his Premier League place back from Ben Davies, who has been equally as good.

A massive result! In arguably our biggest game of the season so far, we came out on top in emphatic style and booked a place in the Capital One Cup Semi-Finals, where we will face Sheffield United, and a chance to go to Wembley is on the horizon! Our next game is against Burnley at White Hart Lane in the Premier League on Saturday, which is another big home game, which we need all three points! Join me on Twitter for it all, here: @AddictedToSpurs. Up the Spurs! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Newcastle at the Lane:
Vorm – 8.5
Chiriches – 7
Fazio – 7.5
Vertonghen – 8
Rose – 8
Stambouli – 8.5
Bentaleb – 8.5 (Capoue 81′ – 6)
Chadli – 8 (Dembele 61′ – 7)
Eriksen – 9 – Man of the Match.
Townsend – 7.5
Kane – 8.5. (Soldado 68′ – 7)

Mauricio Pochettino reacts to our 4-0 win over Newcastle:

Match highlights from our 4-0 win:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Newcastle.

Match date & time: Wednesday 17th December 2014. 7:45pm GMT KO.

Competition: Capital One Cup Quarter Final.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Not televised in the UK. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

After our 2-1 away win against Swansea in the Premier League on Sunday, our focus quickly turns to the Capital One Cup Quarter Final at the Lane. For me, it’s our biggest game of the season so far. To make it into the semi finals would be a big achievement – and being three games away from Wembley is tantalising. At White Hart Lane, we have to be hoping that we will make the Semi-Finals, but, against a decent Newcastle side who have already beaten us at the Lane this season, we cannot underestimate the threat that they possess. Our home form has been difficult this season to say the least, but in the cups, we are unbeaten, so hopefully we can continue that form and triumph into the semi-finals. Realistically, it will be a very hard competition to win, but in one off games, anything can happen if we take it seriously. This close to the Final, it’s necessary to put out a strong, competitive side, even with the amount of games thrown our way during the Christmas period. A trophy is something that would give the club a lift like nothing else can. People have banged on about the top four and the Champions League for a long time, but I think fans are starting to realise that whether or not we get in, it’s almost impossible to win. So what’s the point? A trophy is a memory that can last a life time, and goes down in the history books. It’s what football fans crave – a day at Wembley. A glory, glory night. There is a long way to go, though, and first, Newcastle stand in our way.

Newcastle are a decent side, with good quality players. They sit 8th in the Premier League, and in 10 games they have only lost twice. Including wins against Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea. They cannot be underestimated, as I say. In the last round of the Capital One Cup, Newcastle travelled to Manchester City as big underdogs, but came away from the game as 2-0 winners at the Etihad and secured a place in the Quarter Finals. This just highlights how difficult the game will be for us – but we’ll be hoping that they won’t recreate the form showed against Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, but instead recreate the result of when they last visited North London and faced our rivals – Arsenal – as they fell to a 4-1 defeat at the Emirates. If we can find our form, if we are direct and show the quality that we possess, we can triumph and get through – but, if we are too relaxed, slow and complacent, then Newcastle will come to the Lane and steal the dream of Wembley away from us before it’s even been comprehended. In our last two games against Newcastle at White Hart Lane, we have lost both by one goal – so we’ll be looking to buck the trend before this becomes a habit!

The team news for Newcastle is that goalkeepers Tim Krul (ankle) and Rob Elliott (hip) are both ruled out, while Ryan Taylor (knee), Gabriel Obertan (hip), Siem De Jong (thigh), Davide Santon (knee), Curtis Good (groin) and Rolando Aarons (hamstring) are all ruled out, while Mehdi Abeid (ankle) will undertake a late fitness test ahead of the game. Also, right back Daryl Janmaat (suspended) is out of the game. Newcastle have some good players, and none are better than driving midfielder Moussa Sissoko; he has power, pace and can effect games and change their momentum – and we saw the brute force of that the last time Newcastle made the journey to White Hart Lane, as he changed the game in Newcastle’s favour with his driving runs and quality on the ball. To deal with him, it’s important that we enforce our midfield upon them, and make sure that we are efficient on the ball and are energetic defensively to counter act Sissoko’s big threat. Another of Newcastle’s big threats, scored against us in our last fixture – Ayoze Perez has pace, technique and energy up front, as well as the ability to stretch a defence and run in behind – not forgetting his eye for goal, and he’s netted 4 goals in 8 games, including 3 against Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham.

IMG_3141.JPG The team news for Tottenham is that Emmanuel Adebayor (match fitness), is out of the game. And that’s it. Hurrah! Kyle Naughton has returned to the squad after injury and completes a full squad, excluding the absence of Emmanuel Adebayor. It really is important, coming into the Christmas period, that we have fully fit squad to choose from, and hopefully the players step up and play & train for their places in the first team. We’re very lucky to have a fully fit squad; and now we have to utilise that to our advantage and put a run of results together, building consistency.

It’s difficult to predict what sort of starting eleven Mauricio Pochettino will select in this game – as it is difficult timing in between extremely important Premier League fixtures, and we all know that Pochettino preaches his faith in the squad, and isn’t afraid to make changes and use his team – but, we also have to take into consideration that this is as big as a Premier League game, if not bigger – and the fans will want a performance as well as most importantly – a result. It’s a big game for our fringe players as well as our key players, as it is an opportunity for them to showcase their talents, as it is every time they step on the pitch. The players that I’m referring to are Mousa Dembele, Etienne Capoue, Aaron Lennon and Benjamin Stambouli, who all in my opinion have the quality to be in the Premier League first team, but have a fight on their hands with the performances of the likes of Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason, Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen – which is a tall order for the fringe players. The key player in this game, excluding Harry Kane, who is likely to be rested, is Nacer Chadli who if he finds his form again, can win us a game with his goals and ability on the ball. It’s likely that Nacer will play just behind Roberto Soldado, which if they can form an understanding, could be quite a profitable partnership.

It’s a big game! I hope White Hart Lane will find it’s voice for a Quarter Final of a major domestic trophy. The game isn’t televised. I will be attending the game, but I will attempt to update as much as possible from the stands. Hopefully I’ll be reporting a win! Follow me on Twitter for it all, here: @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Newcastle at the Lane:
4-2-3-1
Vorm
Naughton – Dier – Vertonghen – Rose
Capoue – Dembele
Lennon – Chadli – Townsend
Soldado.

Mauricio Pochettino’s pre Newcastle press conference:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Newcastle.

Match date & time: Sunday 26th October 2014. 1:30pm GMT.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Not televised in the UK. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

The Premier League returns to White Hart Lane this Sunday, with Newcastle the visitors. A big opportunity to get back to winning ways in the League and build on some good performances in recent times, most recently the 5-1 win over Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League. Our ability to be clinical and efficient in front of goal is something that has been under criticism so far this season, with our strikers getting just 1 goal so far in the Premier League, we have to finish chances if we want to be anywhere near the top four this season. This game is very important as to not fall too far behind the leading pack in the Premier League; we currently sit 10th in the League, 5 points off West Ham in 4th after they beat Manchester City on Saturday. It’s incredible what a win can do for you in this League, and if we do get the win we get the momentum, and also go very close to the top four. At home, against a Newcastle team that is very temperamental, it’s easy to expect a win, and I’m confident of one, but the players must put in a good performance and be professional as Newcastle have good players that can cause problems for us.

Newcastle sit 18th in the Premier League, in the relegation places. It’s been a very difficult season for the Toon, with Alan Pardew taking the brunt of the criticism from the Geordies. So far this season, in 8 games, they have won just 1, drawn 4 and lost 3. That win came last week against Leicester, a scrappy 1-0 win with Gabriel Obertan getting the winner. Draws coming to Swansea, Hull, Crystal Palace & Aston Villa and the 3 losses coming to Manchester City, Stoke & Southampton. It’s been poor from Newcastle’s point of view, but they have been slowly improving and should have gained confidence from their first Premier League win last time out against Leicester. Despite being in the relegation zone, it’s hard to see a club the size of Newcastle could ever be relegated and I expect them to regain form and have an average, mid table season. They have decent players but do lack grit, raw pace and goal-scorers. Last time we faced Newcastle, we beat them 4-0 at St James’ Park, Emmanuel Adebayor with 2, Paulinho & Nacer Chadli with the others, one of our best performances of last season, hopefully we can repeat that scoreline. But, we’ll be hoping to avoid a slip up that occurred last time the Toon travelled down to North London, with Loic Remy grabbing the goal that sunk Tottenham 1-0 at the Lane last year.

Injuries haven’t been kind to Newcastle so far this season; 11 players have been accredited with knocks or long term injuries, but a few players should return and make the squad for the game this Sunday. Confirmed as out of the game are Siem De Jong (thigh), Jonas Gutierrez (cancer), Roland Aarons (hamstring), Davide Santon (knee) and Chris Good (groin). There are late fitness tests for Papiss Cisse (knee), Chiek Tiote (calf) and Emmanuel Riviere (knock), three very important players for Newcastle. Back after injury are Ryan Taylor, Paul Dummett and Mike Williamson, though, which will be a boost defensively for United.

Newcastle have some very talented players, but it is upfront where Papiss Cisse holds the Goalscoring key for United, he had an incredibly poor season last term, but after returning from injury he has hit a little bit of form and looks to be the only Newcastle player capable of hitting the back of the net; he has 4 goals in 4 games so for this season, with a braces against Hull and Swansea. He has the ability to score goals, he’s shown that many times in the Premier League, especially in his first season when he was a revelation, but he lacks confidence at times and possibly the strength and pace to dominate defenders. Creatively, they lack quality, but Moussa Sissoko does have the pace and strength to cause problems from midfield, and Remy Cabella has shown glimpses of quality on the ball, but lacks that decisive edge and strength for the Premier League, and he’s without an assist or goal so far this season. I believe Newcastle lack quality throughout their team, and for a lack of quality they don’t make up for it in heart and character, which is a definite problem for Newcastle and their fans.

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The team news for Tottenham is that Federico Fazio (suspended), Kyle Walker (abdominal), Kyle Naughton (ankle) and Nabil Bentaleb (ankle) are all out of the game, while Younes Kaboul, Ryan Mason and Danny Rose will all return to the squad after being rested for the game against Asteras Tripolis in midweek.

Harry Kane grabbed a hat-trick in midweek in the Europa League, and has 10 goals in 14 appearances for club and country. That’s a brilliant tally for a 21 year old still learning his trade and growing into his role at the club. For me, Harry Kane has to start up top in this game, he has the confidence, and momentum to be a very important player for Tottenham, starting with this Sunday against Newcastle, I hope. He’s the only striker that deserved a starting berth in my opinion, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Roberto Soldado start up front again after being rested in midweek. Erik Lamela was sensational against Asteras Tripolis, with 2 fantastic goals, but his Premier League form has been quite inconsistent, and he needs to get his first Premier League goal sooner rather than later, and I think that would kickstart not only his season, but his Tottenham career. In midfield, Ryan Mason has been a revelation since he won his place in the team, he looks forward, passes well, makes very direct runs and works very hard with his tackles and interceptions. He fits Pochettino’s pressing system very well and he seems to have really made himself one of the first names on the team sheet alongside Hugo Lloris, Etienne Capoue & Christian Eriksen. Christian Eriksen has really grown into his new role in the team, alongside Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela; he is now starting to pop up, control games and contribute goals, now he can hopefully push on even further.

Match facts & stats provided by Opta:

– Tottenham have scored at least once in 18 of their last 19 Premier League games against Newcastle.

– None of the last 17 league meetings between these sides at White Hart Lane has ended as a draw.

– After winning four successive Premier League games in London between May 2013 and January 2014, Newcastle have lost their last three in a row, failing to score in each match.

– Christian Eriksen has scored in his last two Premier League appearances but it yet to assist a goal in the top-flight this season (last year he provided eight assists).

– Roberto Soldado has assisted as many Premier League goals as he has scored (6).

– Tottenham have conceded nine Premier League penalties in 2014, more than any other team.

– Papiss Demba Cisse has scored four goals and assisted one more in four Premier League appearances in 2014-15.

– Six of Tottenham’s 10 goals this season have come before half-time, while Newcastle have the highest proportion of second half goals in the division in 2014-15 (75%; 6 of 8).

– The average length of Newcastle’s goals this season has been 9.02 yards, the shortest distance of any of the 20 teams in the division.

– Newcastle have displayed the most effective offside trap in the Premier League this season (22 opponents snared).

Big game, with a big 3 points up for grabs. Crucial we stay with the pack at the top and also win to improve further our home form. On the 10th anniversary of Bill Nicholson’s passing, I hope the players are told about his values and what he means to this club and it’s fans. The atmosphere hopefully is a special one and we can get a result that reflects what Mr Tottenham would have wanted! Remember if you’re attending the game to wear white in tribute to Bill Nicholson. The game isn’t televised in the UK, but I’ll be giving match updates, photos, videos and more at my Twitter account; @AddictedToSpurs, follow me there for it all!

My predicted/preferred team to face Newcastle at the Lane:
Lloris
Dier – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Capoue – Mason
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli
Kane.

Mauricio Pochettino briefly previews the Newcastle game:

Match Review, Newcastle United vs Tottenham.

Match: Wednesday 12th February 2014.

Venue: St James’ Park.

Competition: Premier League.

Result: Newcastle 0-4 Tottenham.

Tottenham goals: Emmanuel Adebayor 19′, 82′, Paulinho 53′ and Nacer Chadli 88′.

What a stunning win, but it’s not just how many goals we scored, it’s how we scored them, and the way we performed all game with high pressure in midfield, that creative spark in the final third and resilience at the back. That performance had it all, very very impressive. After starting slowly against Everton last week, Tim Sherwood demanded a fast beginning and that’s exactly what we got, we made good chances very early on through Adebayor and Paulinho, but we got the breakthrough on 19 minutes, Nabil Bentaleb was strong down the left wing and brushed off Moussa Sissoko, got a dangerous cross into the box and Tim Krul palmed the ball straight into the path of Emmanuel Adebayor, who tucked home easily. We had to rely on our defensive solidity for the rest of the first half, Hugo Lloris making top saves and keeping us in the lead, as well as Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue working hard to make sure chances weren’t created. In the second half we started quickly once again, harrying and pressurising Newcastle into mistakes, and we had the majority of possession. On 53 minutes, great link up play between Paulinho and Adebayor ended up with Adebayor taking a shot, which Tim Krul parried straight into Paulinho’s feet and gave him an easy chance to make it 2-0, and he did, a good little finish and the crucial goal to give us a comfortable lead. I think we cruised the rest of the game, Newcastle were down beat, and so were their fans, apart from more Hugo Lloris saves they didn’t really look like scoring, we were dominant and as the game went on we made more and more chances and therefore, got more goals! In the last 10 minutes we were ruthless. At 82 minutes, Andros Townsend was put in on goal, but his shot was again parried by Tim Krul, but it wasn’t so easy for Adebayor this time, a volley in which he had to power it into the ground so to bounce it over Tim Krul, 3-0, brilliant, job done. Nacer Chadli has had a difficult first season, but he got his first Premier League goal, and it was an absolute stunner, I’m so pleased for him as I can imagine it’s been really difficult the criticism he has received, Nabil Bentaleb back-heeled it to him 30 yards out, and he curled a delightful shot into the top corner. 4-0. Incredible and well deserved.

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Lots and lots of great performances, all across the pitch. Difficult decision for man of the match, but for me I have to give it to Emmanuel Adebayor, I’m not sure I can give it to anyone else! 2 goals and an assist is man of the match worthy for me, as well as his brilliant hold up play, bringing the midfielders in to the game, a brilliant performance once again from the Togolese big man, pure class. Right up there with the man of the match candidates is Hugo Lloris, incredible, the best goalkeeper in the league by a mile for me, he was as important as Emmanuel Adebayor, making a numerous amount of saves, so he deserved his clean sheet and many more will come with performances like this one! All the midfielders played brilliantly, Mousa Dembele and Paulinho did really well offensively, given that license by a defensive midfielder, Etienne Capoue, who broke the play up well and allowed the team to attack more and create more chances. Nabil Bentaleb played the best I’ve seen him in a Spurs shirt, his passing was crisp, his tackling strong and offensively he was powerful and efficient. Really impressed, even though I admit I had my doubts about him before the game, he’s got me and everyone else eating humble pie! Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul, simply, make me feel safe, rocks in defence and against Newcastle they showed their class, especially Younes Kaboul after returning once again from another injury, I pray to God that he can keep fit and become the centre back he once was again. Captain Jan works a treat. Special mention to Kyle Naughton as well, played well, even though he receives a lot of critics, but he did his job very well.

What a win! It’s looking rather good for us right now, we’re still 3 points off Liverpool in 4th, but we’re only 7 points off Premier League leaders Chelsea, who knows what can happen. We can dream. Our next game is in the Europa League, out in Ukraine, we face Dnipro on Thursday 20th February, but our next game in the Premier League is against Norwich at Carrow Road on Sunday 23rd February. Let’s continue our big push for the top four! COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Newcastle at St James’ Park:
Lloris – 9
Walker – 7
Kaboul – 9
Vertonghen – 8.5
Naughton – 7
Capoue – 7.5
Bentaleb – 8.8
Paulinho – 8.5
Dembele – 8
Lennon – 7
Adebayor – 9 – Man of the Match.

Tim Sherwood’s post match reaction to our 4-0 win over Newcastle:

Match highlights from our 4-0 win over Newcastle:

Match Preview, Newcastle United vs Tottenham.

Match time & date: Wednesday 12th February 2014. Kick off 7:45pm.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: St James’ Park.

TV: Not on TV, stream will be provided if you need one.

Another big game, and an extremely tough one too. After a very important and hard fought victory at the Lane to Everton, it’s crucial we follow it up with another victory up at the Toon, putting a run together and gaining lots of confidence to put lots of pressure on Liverpool and the top four. Our recent form against Newcastle is quite poor, we lost at home earlier in the season 1-0 due to a Loic Remy goal, in which was an extremely disappointing performance, but we were unlucky as Tim Krul had a blinder, saving shots from every which way. Last time we faced the Geordies at St James’, we lost in AVB’s first game in charge, 2-1, again quite unlucky in that game. Now it’s Sherwood’s first trip up to Newcastle as Tottenham Head Coach, let’s hope for a different result this time out! We need to start quickly, put pressure on a possibly nervy Newcastle side who are in poor form, if we can quiet up the Newcastle faithful early on with an early goal it’d put us in a perfect position; that’s what we need. Huge and exciting game in prospect!

Newcastle are in a tough spot at the moment, with only 1 win in 8 games it couldn’t be going much worse for the Magpies, add that to the fact they lost their best player Yohah Cabaye to PSG and didn’t replace him in January, it’s becoming quite a farce for the Newcastle fans, and patience is wearing thin; let’s hope we can capitalise on that. Sitting in 9th it’s not all bad, only 10 points away from us in 5th, a change in fortunes and a spot in Europe could be up for the taking, but it would be really difficult for them. The Team news for Newcastle is quite substantial, Fabricio Coloccini (knee), Mathieu Debuchy (calf), Cheick Tiote (hamstring), Gabriel Obertan (knee) and Gael Bigirimana (ankle), Yoan Gouffran (muscle strain) and Papiss Cisse (back) all doubts, with Loic Remy, Newcastle’s top scorer suspended too.

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The team news for Spurs is that Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches have been ruled out for another 6 weeks with back problems so miss the game, plus Sandro (calf) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (strain) remain out but should be back soon. Andros Townsend, Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen are now fully fit and have had quite a bit of training and match time so hopefully they can get back to full form. Emmanuel Adebayor is in great form and crucial to our top four hopes, he did really well against Everton up on his own, so I’d keep him up on his own, but put Christian Eriksen in behind him as to help Adebayor get more in the game and get more service to him. On the left, I’d play Andros Townsend, with his pace and direct play he could be perfect for our away game plan of counter attacking and trying to pick Newcastle off on the break, that’s where we can win this game. In the middle of the park, there are two spots if we play with Townsend and Eriksen in behind Adebayor, so a decision has to be made as to whether we play Paulinho and Dembele or drop one to play either Bentaleb or Capoue, it’s a tough choice, but I’d go for Paulinho and Dembele, giving a rest to the young Bentaleb, but I think Sherwood will stick with Bentaleb, and maybe not even play Townsend. Some tough decisions for Tim.

Match stats and facts provided by FourFourTwo

– Newcastle United have lost their last three Barclays Premier League games at St James Park without scoring.

– Tottenham have won seven and lost just one of their last 10 Barclays Premier League away games.

– Newcastle have conceded first in their last four home matches.

– However, Spurs have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven on the road in the league.

– The Magpies have gone seven Premier League games without a clean sheet on home soil.

– Newcastle have had loss/loss results in their last three defeats.

– Newcastle have won five and lost none (D2) of their last seven Premier League home games against Spurs.

– Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has scored on his last two Premier League appearances at St James Park.

– Spurs have had both teams scoring in their last seven away matches against Newcastle.

– Spurs have scored on each of their last eight Premier League visits to St James Park.

– Tottenham have not scored in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League game since April 27th 2013 – nearly 10 months ago.

– Newcastle have had more goals in the second half in their last three home matches against Spurs.

– Newcastle have had fewer goalscorers in the Premier League this season than any other side (8).

– Following their 0-3 defeat to Chelsea at the weekend, Newcastle have now failed to score in six of their last seven Premier League matches – this after failing to score in just one of their previous 16 in the competition.

Looking forward to this one, I want a good performance and a good win and I don’t expect anything less! We need this! Remember that I will provide match updates, including photos, videos and vines all on my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs, give it a follow if you don’t already! Let’s get a win!! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Newcastle at St James’ Park:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Dembele
Lennon – Eriksen – Townsend
Adebayor

Tim Sherwood’s press conference pre the Newcastle fixture:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Newcastle United.

Match: Sunday 10th November 2013. Kick off 12:30pm.

Premier League

After securing our place in the Europa League knock-out stages, we get back into Premier League action with what is going to be a difficult game against the boys from up North, Newcastle. Our League form on paper has been brilliant, except that major slip up to West Ham at the Lane, we’ve got the points we wanted to pick up, sitting in the place we want to be, the top four level on points with second place Chelsea. Last time out we got a point at Goodison Park against Everton, a difficult fixture that anything but a loss was perceived a good result, it was a good performance, except up top, defensively we were sublime and I was happy with what I saw overall from the team. Every single one of our home fixtures I believe we can get a result, always have as a Spurs fan, hopefully I always will, against the Geordies I feel no different, three points is needed to stay at the top end of the table and continue to put pressure on the league leaders Arsenal, and that’s what I believe we will do. It’s not going to be a walk in the park by any means, but with our defensive displays I think we can nullify their threat of Loic Remy and Ben Arfa, and going forward we can cause some problems as they have been shaky at points this season at the back.

Newcastle haven’t had a bad start to the season, but they’ve been very inconsistent, one week they’re beating Chelsea, the next they’re losing to Sunderland, their season stinks of mid-table to me, and I’m sure they’d be content with that. They sit in 9th place coming into the game, with 14 pts, 6 points off Spurs in 4th and only 3 points off Manchester United in 8th, it’s very tight in the top half, small margins between the top 10. Their main threat is Loic Remy, after 8 apperances he has a very impressive 6 goals and 1 assist, he’s been Newcastle’s go-to-guy, not only is he scoring goals, he’s scoring important ones, winning goals and winning performances, no wonder why we were slightly interested in the summer, a great loan deal for the Toon. Newcastle have good players, possibly more individuals than team players, Yohan Cabaye and Ben Arfa have proved their quality in the Premier League for a few years now, and they are players who could easily play at the top. We have to stop them if we want to go on to win the game.

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Our attacking play has been the most disappointing part of our season, we haven’t clicked up top, even though we have players who are known for scoring and creating goals. We need to give it time, but it is frustrating, every game we just want the team to push that little extra in attack, maybe sacrificing our defensive stability. One player I’d love to see start is Erik Lamela, after his stunning performance in midweek it seems the right time to throw him into Premier League action, when a player like Lamela has found confidence, surely you don’t stick him on the bench; a switch to the left for Andros Townsend is something I’d like to see too, the two players switching in the wings could be the formula to success. Roberto Soldado needs more service, and that is majorly up to the number 10 and the wingers, he’s a striker that thrives on crosses and one-on-one opportunities, so we really need to model our game around what gets him goals; Eriksen or Holtby has been the debate for a while now, Eriksen losing his place to Holtby because of Eriksen’s ‘poor’ form and Holtby’s emergence in the Europa League, I expect Holtby to regain his place, but I do want him to be a little more attacking in his play. Eriksen needs more time to settle, just like Lamela, this is a new country and a new style for the Dane, I’m certain he’ll come good and be a key player for us this season. Danny Rose, Nacer Chadli, Zeki Fryers and Emmanuel Adebayor are out of the game through injury, while Hugo Lloris, Kyle Naughton and Etienne Capoue are all available for the game. Sandro is also a doubt with a hamstring injury he picked up against Everton.

A difficult game in prospect, but one we have to win to keep in touching distance of the top, no slip ups please Spurs. The game is being shown live on Sky Sports 1 from 11:30am, as an early kick off. You can be sure to find a stream from me on twitter, as well as match updates, pictures and videos. Follow me @AddictedtoSpurs! COYS!!

Stats ahead of the game provided by FourFourTwo

– Tottenham have only lost 1 of their last 7 league games against Newcastle, after losing each of their previous 6.

– Newcastle have won 6 Premier League games at White Hart Lane; they have only won more at Villa Park (8) and St James’ Park of course.

– Spurs have kept a clean sheet in each of their last 3 games; the only team to record 4 in a row this season at Southampton.

– Newcastle are the only team outside of the bottom three to have conceded more than 10 goals away from home this season (11).

– None of the 33 Premier League goals Newcastle have scored in 2013 has been through an Englishman.

– Tottenham have only scored 34 goals in 24 league home games under Andre Villas Boas.

– Spurs have won 6 of their last 8 home league games (D1 L1).

– Tottenham have won 7 of their last 9 home matches against middle-third teams.

– Spurs have lost just once to Newcastle since 2009, winning their last 4 home meetings.

– Including all competitions, Spurs have kept twice as many clean sheets as any other Premier League team.

– The Geordies have conceded second half goals in 16 of their 20 away games.

– Spurs have scored after the break in 13 of their last 20 at home.

My preferred team to face Newcastle at White Hart Lane:
4-2-3-1
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Vertonghen
Paulinho – Dembele
Lamela – Holtby – Townsend
Soldado

AVB ahead of the game against Newcastle:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Sunderland.

Tottenham 1-0 Sunderland
Bale 90′

Even though we won, we can’t help but feel disappointed, Arsenal also won, and with that it takes them to the Champions League, and we miss out. It’s a very hard to take, but as I’ve said previously, it’s a season to be proud of, no matter what happened on Sunday. The Europa League awaits for us next season, and personally I’m looking forward to it, we have unfinished business in this competition, and it would be absolutely magnificent if we could lift the trophy next season. The last game of the season, and we went out with a win, we couldn’t have asked for anymore. We didn’t perform particularly well, it doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you get the three points. We have now broken our points record for a Premier League season with 72, something to be very proud of.

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Gareth Bale once again providing the magic, his 21st goal of the season in the Premier League, and what a goal it was, he didn’t have a great day at the office, he wasn’t given the time and space to create openings, but when he is given the slight chance, he takes it wonderfully. Scott Parker was good I thought, made some crunching tackles, and looked back to somewhere near his best, good to see. Jan Vertonghen also had a very solid game in defence, his tackling is some of the best I’ve ever seen at White Hart Lane, perfectly timed, every time, wonderful player. Kyle Walker had one of his better days, defensively he was decent, and he pushed us forward a lot and gave us a lot of pace in wide areas, hope he can start to push on and have a great 2013/14 season. Not what we wanted from the day, but we did our job, and that is all we could do on the day. Proud to be Spurs. Pre Season starts now, a tour of Bahamas is later this month, looking forward to it. COYS!!

My player ratings for the game against Sunderland at the Lane:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 8
Dawson – 7
Vertonghen – 8 Man of the Match
Assou-Ekotto – 4
Lennon – 7
Parker – 8
Huddlestone – 4
Dempsey – 6
Bale – 7
Adebayor – 5

Subs:
Sigurdsson – 7
Defoe – 6
Dembélé – 7

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Sunderland.

The last day has finally come. It’s going to be a very exciting end to what has been a very good season. We have to win, and do our job to have a chance of finishing in the coveted top four position. Sunderland will prove to be a tricky opposition, they have good players, and can play without pressure now that they are safe from relegation. Newcastle face Arsenal, and if they can pull off a shock and grab a point or maybe even three points, what every Spurs fan is hoping for, we will get top four with a win. We’ve had a great season, whatever happens, and if we win we have broken our record points in a Premier League season, 72. Awesome.

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We’ll be hoping to be seeing more scenes of jubilation from André on Sunday, we have to hope, it’s possible, we can do it. Gareth Bale could produce more magic, he’s been named Barclays Player the year, his fourth award this season, unbelievable season from him, but his greatest achievement would surely be taking us into the Champions League. Emmanuel Adebayor has had a great end to the season, and hopefully he can continue this and bag another goal! Mousa Dembélé is fully fit now, and should start, this is great news as he brings a flow to our game that we don’t have when he doesn’t feature. I believe, and a slip up from Arsenal is definitely not out of the equation, whatever happens, I’m proud to be Spurs. The game is televised live on Sky Sports from 4pm. COYS, and for now, Come On Newcastle!

My preferred team to face Sunderland at the Lane on the last day:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Caulker – Vertonghen
Lennon – Huddlestone – Dembélé – Dempsey
Bale
Adebayor

Match Review, Tottenham vs Newcastle United

Tottenham 2-1 Newcastle

A massive win, and a good sign that we will not faultier in the second half of the season like last year. We didn’t play at all as well as we could have, but we still got all three points, this is a sign of a top team. Manchester United do it week in, week out, play at an average level and still get a good win, this is what we have to aspire to be like. We went ahead early through a wonderfully taken Bale free kick, and you could have thought that we were going to win by 5 or 6, but that didn’t happen and it turned into a battle, and the team with arguably the best player in the Premier League won. Newcastle were a good opposition, and Moussa Sissoko was brilliant, good player.

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Gareth Bale, simply brilliant, he has every attribute a player needs, he’s our gem and we have to hold onto him at all costs. He was superb, he scored early on with a stunning free kick, and then when we really needed a match winner, he was there, his trademark burst of acceleration and then the finish on the end of it, the perfect player. Lewis Holtby was given his first start and he looked good, he had about 3 or 4 opportunities to get his first goal on his home debut, but it wasn’t to be, a very comfortable performance. Hugo Lloris was top drawer, he made crucial saves at all the right points, and in the end he saved us with a brilliant save from a Shola Ameobi shot, best ‘keeper in the Premier League right now. A brilliant win, but our performance could improve, third place is now there for the taking! Our next game is in the Europa League against Lyon at the Lane on Thursday the match is live on Itv 4 at 8:00pm. Our next game in the Premier League is a London Derby, we face West Ham at Upton Park on the Monday 25th February, the game is live on Sky Sports at 8:00pm. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Newcastle at the Lane:
Lloris – 9
Walker – 7
Dawson – 8
Caulker – 8
Naughton – 7
Lennon – 8
Parker – 8
Dembele – 7
Bale – 10 Man of the Match
Holtby – 8
Dempsey – 7

Subs:
Adebayor – 7
Assou-Ekotto – 7
Livermore – 7

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Newcastle United

I feel like this could be an exciting game, both teams are very good in attacking positions, and both midfields are of the highest quality. I expect lots of chances, and an ‘end to end’ sort of match. Newcastle are coming into this match high in confidence after beating Chelsea 3-2 so they will try to get at us, and make it very difficult for our defence. Their main player at the moment is Moussa Sissoko, he’s been brilliant, a quality signing for the Toon. When Sissoko gets the ball he will be dangerous, Parker will have to be at his best to stop him. Yohan Cabaye is a player that will cause us problems, looks threatening every time he is on the attack, and he can help out defensively as well. Great player.

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Gareth Bale is in top form, world class form in fact, he’s been scoring goals for fun for Spurs and for his national side, Wales. He may be used as a striker for this game, and I think that’s a brilliant idea, he’s got pace, power, and at the moment he’s scoring goals! With Jermain Defoe out, and Adebayor likely to only be on the bench, Bale is, in my opinion, the best option. Lewis Holtby could get his first start on what would be his home debut, he’s been brilliant and the best thing is that he can only improve more! Clint Dempsey will probably start on the left, like he did against West Brom, this was effective, he knows the position very well. Hopefully we can get all three points, and move up to third, even if it is only for a couple of hours. The game is live on Sky Sports, with coverage starting at Midday, kick off at 12:45pm. COYS!!

My preferred line up to face Newcastle at the Lane:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Assou-Ekotto
Lennon – Parker – Dembele – Dempsey
Holtby
Bale