|COMPETITION||League Cup Fifth Round|
|DATE||Wednesday 17th December 2014|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
With Newcastle United having already beaten Spurs at the Lane this
season, a quarter final in the League Cup is viewed by a number of
fans as an opportunity to gain revenge for that loss. The Toon
fans will fancy their chances as Spurs have been less than
convincing at home and may have to weather a storm whipped up by the
visitors, as this may be their best chance of a trophy since 1968.
But with a local derby with Sunderland coming up on Sunday, Alan
Pardew may protect some of his players by leaving them out or at
least on the bench as the North-East side go into this match.
The Magpies' problems start in goal, where Tim Krul and Rob Elliott are both out injured and the younger brother of our former keeper, Jak, has taken the gloves. However, they might opt for England Under-19 goalie Freddie Woodman to take over between the posts, which means that Spurs will need to make a sharp start and test the youngster, who would be making his first team debut.
The injury problems don't stop there, with defender Ryan Taylor out with a knee problem again after just getting back to action after two years out; midfielder Rolando Aarons has a hamstring injury; Gabriel Obertan has a hip problem; Siep De Jong a thigh muscle tear; Davide Santon a knee injury and Curtis Good picked up a groin injury that rules him out too. The only good news is that midfielder Mehdi Abeid might be available if he passes a fitness test.
Argentine defender Fabricio Collocini might be back in the middle of the back four, with Steven Taylor alongside him and Paul Dummett and Daryl Janmaat at full back. There is a youthful energy to Dummett's play, which sees him getting into the opposition box from open play and Spurs might need to work to either track back with him or strike in the hole left by his forward runs to break on Newcastle quickly. Janmaat is quick and a bit more defensively minded, while the two central defenders are not always as comfortable with the ball on the floor as they are with it in the air.
Midfield is an area where there are plenty of options for the Magpies, but their players are a little bit similar. The stand out player in this part of their team this season has been Moussa Sissoko, as his strength can take the midfield by the scruff of the neck and influence the game from there. Chieck Tiote had been the man to do that in the past, but after being out for a while, his influence hasn't been as noticeable, but his dogged tackling often leaves its mark on the way the opposition play. Remy Cabella is a skilful Frenchman, who is another who likes to join in with the attackers, with Jack Colback - the former Sunderland player - a worker who leaves the others to get ahead of him by protecting the back four. Vurnon Anita is a small, but energetic midfielder, who has been used sparingly this season by Pardew.
Persistent rumours of Andy Carroll's return to St. James' Park must be annoying for the existing forwards at Newcastle. With Papiss Cisse starting to find the goal-scoring form he showed last season, along with Ayoze Perez hitting the back of the net now, they have two strikers who need to be paid close attention. Both have good movement and while not the strongest built, they are hard to knock off the ball when they get close to goal. Yoan Gouffran has been used regularly this season and while not a heavy goal-scorer, his contribution makes space and chances for others, while the likes of Sammy Ameobi and Emmanuel Rivierie are available, but the only goal they have scored between them was Ameobi's at the Lane seconds after the start of the second half.
Hopefully, there has been sufficient recovery time for those players who were in the team that won at Swansea, with Pochettino bound to make changes to the side to ensure there will be enough fresh legs to take on Burnley on Saturday, with the Turf Moor club having had a week between matches.
This will not be a pretty match, as both sides will be changed and both will be keen to progress. Newcastle will use the psychological advantage of their earlier win here to take the game to Spurs at some stage, but Tottenham's recent approach has been to try and take an offensive start to the game and get on top. I must say that I prefer this than the sterile efforts to try to keep it tight until half-time. Both tactics have their drawbacks, with the former fine if we get an early goal, but the longer the game goes on without us breaking through, the more the opposition seem to sense that they have a better chance of winning, but the other way of playing is fine until half-time, but then the team are stuck in a rut which they find it hard to break out of.
Our best chance of winning is to go at Newcastle. Not gung-ho, but a measured, high tempo performance should keep them pinned back and our back four need to be alert to any breaks that United might make.
I don't think that there will
be much in it and a single goal in our favour might be the final
outcome ... hopefully in regulation time !!
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 1 Newcastle United 0|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Emmanuel Adebayor has returned from his trip to Africa to sort out some personal matters, but has not yet reached match fitness, but Kyle Naughton was back in line for a place in the team after coming back from his heel injury.
UNITED TEAM NEWS :
Injury problems persist in plaguing Alan Pardew as he approaches this League Cup quarter final. Keepers Tim Krul and Rob Elliott are both out, with defenders Curtis Good and Ryan Taylor side-lined, Rolando Aarons, Siep De Jong, Gabriel Obertan and Davide Santon all missing. Now Papiss Cisse has a heavy cold and Mike Williamson has a slight hamstring pull, as well as Chieck Tiote, who has a strain in his thigh. This could mean a start for young striker Adam Armstrong.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
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4 (1) Newcastle United
League Cup Fifth Round
Wednesday 17th December 2014 Kick off 19:45
White Hart Lane
Bentaleb 18m 38s
Chadli 46m 41s
Kane 63m 50s
Soldado 70m 39s
Haidara (foul on Townsend) 61
|Crowd : 34,677||Weather : Mild, some light rain|
|Referee : Andre Marriner (West Midlands)||Assistant Referees : Mr. S. Ledger; Mr. G. Beswick|
|Fourth Official : Stuart Atwell||-|
|Newcastle kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 3 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Newcastle United :||kit|
18 Harry KANE ( 9 Roberto SOLDADO 69 )
Emmanuel RIVIERE (32
Adam ARMSTRONG 60)
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Manager : Alan Pardew|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Wonga|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Puma|
There was a hint of revenge in Tottenham's 4-0 victory over Newcastle United that sees them through to the semi-finals of the League Cup, but then few of this Magpies side were out there when they beat Spurs in the Premier League. And neither were many of the Spurs side, but they gelled together well and despite a couple of scares, they eased their way through convincingly.
The spine of the Tottenham team seems to be taking shape, with Fazio/Vertonghen, Eriksen and Kane forming the regulars, with the players around them changing. Newcastle featured young keeper Jak Alnwick, whose brother Ben was a goalie with Spurs briefly (in terms of appearances, if not time) and had a bench full of names you would struggle to put a first name to.
As it was, Spurs started the game well, with the mild evening seeing a decent crowd turn out, including Newcastle having half of the Park Lane end. Their fans were noisy throughout, but matches and trophies are not won by noisy fans and the nasty turn of events in the second half that saw away fans dragged out were unnecessary. The frustration of not having won a trophy of note since 1968 was obviously telling on many of those not born then.
Danny Rose had to have early treatment, after Marriner decided to stop the game, but the left back returned to the pitch and he had a decent game, although he was a target for a number of late and harsh challenges from Newcastle players. A chance came for Spurs when Stambouli moved forward, hitting a shot that took a touch off a defender and dropped over the bar. The visitors had a couple of corners that were well dealt with by Spurs, who had an attack of their own, with Chadli finishing the move with a low shot that Alnwick saved. Kane almost got on the end of Rose's pacy cross at the far post, followed by Townsend hitting a drive from 25 yards out over the top. Michel Vorm was called into action, when he dived to his left to beat away a fierce shot from 25 yards out by Sissoko, who had taken the ball forward from just inside the Spurs half.
When Tottenham worked the ball down the left a couple of times, the second yielded a corner. It was flighted to the back of the six yard box and Alnwick stretched to try to take the ball, but dropped it and Nabil Bentaleb managed to swing a leg high to almost back-heel the ball in from a point above his body as he fell giving Spurs the lead in the 18th minute. The young midfielder did well to get any contact on it for his first Spurs goal.
Newcastle tried to get back into the game straight away, with Colback striker a shot straight at Vorm, but Spurs countered with Eriksen hitting a free-kick low at goal and it being deflected off for a corner, before he floated the corner in, but it was cleared away. Newcastle's passing had been loose and when a stray pass went straight to Kane inside the Newcastle half, he made use of the space created by Townsend's run and struck a low shot from right to left, but missed the goal by inches. After Harry had gone down in the box under close attention from Collocini and not been awarded a penalty, Newcastle had a good chance to go in at the turnaround level. Cabella made some space on the left wing and crossed for Gouffran at the far post, but the Frenchman could only sky his shot over the crossbar, when he should have got it on target at least.
With Newcastle shocking Spurs 20 seconds into the second half in the league game, the talk amongst the crowd was keeping it tight for a minute after the break and then we might have a chance !! We did that, along with getting a goal within 50 seconds of the start of the second half. Chadli had been put into the penalty are and he failed to shoot, taking the ball out to the left side, working a move with Eriksen, who played the ball to him. He turned, moved the ball towards the middle of the box from the left hand corner, then produced a low shot that took a deflection that saw it go past Alnwick as he didn't so much go down in stages as go down like Ben Alnwick !!
The second goal gave Spurs the confidence to play a more expansive game. But they had to face a little pressure from the Magpies, with Vorm fielding a straight-forward Cabella shot, then Spurs defended a Sissoko cross and a Colback corner well. They should have got back in the game in the 55th minute, with Perez's waist high cross not being converted by either Riviere or Cabella from positions a yard off the goal-line. It was a let off for Spurs and they took the hint, with Chiriches striding forward to hit a low shot that Alnwick saved and then Dummett sliced a corner over his own bar before Haidara was well place don the line to head Vertonghen's header away from under the bar.
Mousa Dembele came on for Nacer Chadli and within three minutes, Spurs were three ahead. Mousa played in Townsend on the edge of the area and he slipped a pass immediately to Kane, who drilled the ball in across Alnwick's dive to continue his good scoring run. At 3-0, this was virtually game over and when Soldado replaced Kane, it only took him 63 seconds to hit the net. Christian Eriksen was feeling up for it and tried a shot from way out. The Newcastle keeper could only knock it straight out in front of him in the middle of the goal, six yards out. Soldado controlled the ball as it popped up and with nobody around him, he stroked home the ball to make the score 4-0. It is the sort of goal we bought Roberto for and it was good to see him taking these chances - however simple.
Tottenham were playing the football we associate with them, but they were taking a bit of a chance by putting in a lot of flicks and tricks, with the Newcastle players visibly getting annoyed by that. As it was Townsend hit a shot straight at Alnwick, Soldado turned to hit s shot at goal from just in front of the penalty spot, but the keeper was on him quickly to block the effort. .
Newcastle sub Armstrong hit a low shot across Vorm, but missed the far post by a small distance, while their other sub Vuckic also forced Vorm to save with a shot from the angle.
Having had the majority of the possession (61%) and 12 of our 15 shots on target, it is nice to reflect that we had something to show for that. It looks as though Poch is getting the team to perform the way he wants and now the task is to get that to happen regularly.
The draw for the semi-final saw Sheffield United pulled out after our name, with Chelsea already being drawn to face Liverpool. So, was that the best draw we could hope for ? Probably better than Chelsea, who seem to have a strong team out for every competition this season, but United will be hungry to pull off a shock, while Liverpool are only just beginning their recovery with a 3-1 win over Bournemouth !!
They will be tough legs against the Blades, but performances like this are there to build on. Starting with a Burnley side who need points on Saturday.
Patrick from Ware
The original Newcastle
United side were named after their ever muddy kit and they adopted
the unofficial name as the "Newcastle Broons".
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* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
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