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Newcastle vs Tottenham a few quick thoughts

  • After the events of the last few days, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino would have loved nothing more than to come away from St James Park unscathed
  • The build up to the game was dominated by Danny Rose’s comments on Thursday and questions were asked as to what effect this would have on Tottenham going into their season opener
  • Those questions were answered with some confidence as last season’s Premier League runners up eventually brushed off the challenge of Newcastle
  • Kyle Walker-Peters was given his top flight debut and if that is the level of performances that he’ll be turning in, then there is little to worry about in the right back department
  • He dealt with everything that was thrown at him with measured composure especially early on when Newcastle looked to test the youngster
  • It is fair to say that Newcastle started the brighter as they were buoyed on by the home fans but they suffered two defensive injuries early on which would have hampered Rafa Benitez’s plans to make any tactical changes late on
  • Both Paul Dummett and Florian Lejuene came off injured as Newcastle had to make do with a much changed back four
  • Lejuene’s injury came after a Harry Kane scissor tackle which saw the forward booked
  • There was no real malice in the tackle but when coming in from behind there is always a danger of attracting the referee’s attention
  • Kane was on a disciplinary tightrope and it was discipline which would be the turning point of the game soon after the break
  • Newcastle had contained Tottenham in the first 45 minutes and at the break would have had every right to think that they could get something out of this game
  • Only for Jonjo Shelvey’s moment of idiocy to hamper those chances
  • Soon after the restart a foul on Dele Alli resulted in Tottenham being awarded a free kick by Andre Marriner
  • Nothing too wrong about that, but in the moment to follow Newcastle’s hopes went up in smoke
  • As Shelvey walked away he planted his foot right on Alli’s ankle and more importantly right in front of Marriner
  • There was no choice but to issue a red card
  • Stupidity from Shelvey, time for Tottenham to turn the screw
  • Harry Kane had a chance soon after but that would be well saved by Rob Elliot
  • A glimmer of what was to come from Spurs as they started to put the man advantage to good use
  • That numerical supremacy would finally show on just after the hour
  • Christian Eriksen’s perfectly lofted ball to the back post saw Alli ghost in and break the deadlock
  • Newcastle now were up against it as Tottenham had found their groove
  • And the advantage would be doubled soon after when Eriksen was once again involved in the build up
  • This time though it was Ben Davies whose charging run into the box was rewarded with a goal as Spurs were two cleat with 20 minutes remaining
  • A job as good as done and although Newcastle did have a late flurry after Mikel Merino was bought on they could break down what was an assured defence that stood in their way
  • A win for Tottenham and a perfect start
  • Questions will be asked as to if they would have broken down Newcastle had they still had Shelvey in front of them
  • But at the end of the day you can only beat what is in front of you
  • Walker-Peters rightfully got man of the match and in the process has saved the club £20m or so
  • Money that now can be reinvested in other areas of the pitch
  • Tottenham did lack a bit of zip in the first half but hopefully that is just early season ring rust
  • Newcastle started well and in all fairness this was always going to be something of a free hit
  • Their defeat will undoubtedly be clouded by Shelvey’s sending off
  • Tottenham now move onto Wembley next week where they face Chelsea
  • A win there will rid this millstone of transition that everyone is talking about
  • With the Premier League champions being so depleted then this will be the perfect time to rid the hoodoo that the national stadium has bought of late

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