The Spurs midfield allowed old but efficient opponents in the shape of Butt and Emre to take a hold of that area of the pitch and there was nobody there to put a foot in on them. That is what happened to Gareth Bale, when Geremi cleverly put all his weight on the top of Bale's right foot. It is the one which is only good for standing on, but such was the damage that he couldn't even do that and left the field after 20 minutes. That caused all sorts of problems, with Tainio coming on in his place, with others not knowing where to go.
We had already seen the defence not knowing who to mark, as Kaboul left Faye for a free header at the near post to a corner. Our only bit of luck was that it hit the post and came out. Bale had been booked for arguing the ball HAD gone out for a throw-in ... surely a first, then attracted the ire of the home crowd when wanting treatment for his injury, but Keane received a quick free-kick from Jenas in the box and his dink towards goal did not carry sufficient threat and Cacapa cleared. It was the 28th minute before we had another chance and it was Robbie again, but the ball would not drop kindly for him and his low shot was saved by Given.
The closest Newcastle came in this spell of the game was a deflected free-kick that went a couple of feet wide off Jenas, but the ref, who had a poor game, gave a goal kick. But just seconds before half-time, a simple Bolton style long ball through the middle of the pitch was missed by Dawson as he tried to get it on the turn and it fell for Martins. Cerny was quickly out, but the shot went through him and high into the net.
I think that probably signalled that the points were lost, as the side came out for the second half reeling, after having had a fair proportion of the possession in the first period. Then, four minutes in, Dawson looked slow off the mark and Cacapa won a near post header to a corner (sound familiar ?) to net the Toon's second.
The only thing that Spurs had been winning was the vocal battle, as they made themselves heard among the massed ranks in Newcastle Library. It was only after the goals and when they looked secure in their win that they came to life. They went quiet again shortly after their second goal, as Spurs cut the lead within six minutes. The ball was worked back to Didier Zokora, who put in a pacy cross that Darren Bent had been waiting weeks for. He twisted his neck muscles to get some power in it and it beat Given, but not the post. Our luck looked to have deserted us again, but Robbie Keane popped up to volley in the ball as it bounced up and make it 1-2.
For a while, Tottenham pressed forward and after Berbatov had a strop and came on, we looked like the team of the last few weeks (when in the ascendancy, not going 1-4 down to Villa). Keane was put through by Lee, but instead of setting it up for Bent in the centre of the goal or pulling it back for Berbatov, he tried to chip it into the far top corner from an acute angle. Milner and Bent hit shots wide at either end, before Milner's second bite at the cherry of his second attempt flew into put the game out of Tottenham's reach.
All that was left was for Chimbonda's mis-placed header when left free at a free-kick that drifted across the face of goal, when he might well have got it on target.
Another defeat and only seven points with ten games - more than a quarter of the season gone. Not a time to panic, but one to wonder how we are going to get 40 points for safety as a first priority.
Ironically, a UEFA Cup game comes up after this match and it is perhaps the distraction of Europe that is taking our eye off the league ball. Someone needs to focus on that soon and knowing our board, who that someone will be is anyone's guess.