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 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 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

Match Preview, Norwich City vs Tottenham

This is a very big game for a number of reasons, the main one being that we need to get our form back on track after our dismal performance and result against Leeds in the FA cup. Norwich will be a very difficult game, but we need to get the win, there are no excuses. In the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane it was a disappointing result at 1-1, Robert Snodgrass got a late equaliser which really hurt. We have grown a massive amount since then and matured against the smaller teams. We need to score early, it’s as simple as that, if we don’t it could turn into a struggle at Carrow Road.

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Lewis Holtby is available for this game, and could make his debut, but I wouldn’t expect him to start as he hasn’t had enough time with the squad. Jermain Defoe is rumoured to be injured, and then rumoured to be fit, we obviously hope that he is fine and can start for this match. Gareth Bale always seems to do well against Norwich, hopefully he can do well again this Wednesday, it would be nice to see him have a stormer once again this season. Hopefully we can see a good performance, and get the important three points. The game is not on television, unfortunately. COYS!!

My preferred team to face Norwich City at Carrow Road:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Assou-Ekotto
Lennon – Parker – Dembele – Bale
Dempsey
Defoe