OPPONENTS Newcastle United 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Sunday 13th August 2017
VENUE St. James' Park
Newcastle United  SQUAD 1.  Rob ELLIOT
2.  Ciaran CLARK
3.  Paul DUMMETT
4.  Jack COLBACK
5.  Grant HANLEY
6.  Jamaal LASCELLES
7.  Jacob MURPHY
8.  Jonjo SHELVEY
9.  Dwight GAYLE
10.  Mohamed DIAME
11.  Matt RITCHIE
14.  Isaac HAYDEN
15.  Siem De JONG
16.  Rolando AARONS
17.  Ayoze PEREZ
18. Chancel MBEMBA
19.  Javier MANQUILLO
20.  Florian LEJEUNE
23.  Mikel MERINO
24.  Henri SAIVET
25.  Massaido HAIDARA
26.  Karl DARLOW
27.  Jesus GAMEZ
30.  Christian ATSU
41.  Freddie WOODMAN
42.  Jamie STERRY
45.  Aleksandar MITROVIC

PREVIEW Newly promoted Newcastle United will be hoping to pick up their Premier League tenure where they left off ... with a 5-1 win over Spurs at St. James Park. 

That looks  along time ago now, with circumstances much changed, as we had just been pipped to the title and Newcastle have nothing to lose.  This time the pressure is on the Toon, with a good start necessary for them to try to get some point son the board early on.  Added to that Tottenham's last two games of last season saw them rack up 13 goals, even after the title had been won by Chelsea.

The Spurs squad is not much changed, but United's is, with a younger group of players and having had the benefit of playing in a winning side for a season.  Still led by Dwight Gayle up front, the former Palace man did well in the Championship, but he has struggled in the top flight before and Perez and Mitrovic have hardly troubled the Premier League defenders too much in the former's case, while the latter has troubled the Premier League's referees.  Siem de Jong is still at the club, but has had an injury hit time there.  All of them know where the goal is, but will they get the chances to have a pop ?

Jonjo Shelvey claims he is the midfielder England need, but having had a chance to show what he can do, has his chance now gone ?  A driving midfielder, his temperament sometimes seems suspect, while some of his team-mates are hard-working, but might lack the spark to turn matches into wins.  Mo Diame is a strong presence, perhaps designed to be the Sissoko replacement, but his time at Hull was not a roaring success and they could be missing a former regular in Jack Colback, who is reported to have had a row with the manager in training and might be on his way out of the club.  They have a few wingers in the squad, with Chelsea's Atsu, Norwich City's Jacob Murphy and former Bournemouth man Matt Ritchie.  Atsu is pace, Murphy tricky and Ritchie dogged and good from dead ball situations.  A couple of players in their midfield have been bought with an eye to the future, but Isaac Hayden played a lot last season after joining from the Gooners and Rolando Aarons was at Bristol City before, but his career appears to have stalled a bit over since moving North. Loan signing from Borussia Dortmund Mikel Merino is a bit of a mystery, but he did win the Under-18 European Championship with Spain in 2015, so, at 21, has potential.  Henri Saivet, who the Magpies beat Spurs to signing last year, made only four appearances for the Toon before he was shipped out on loan to St. Etienne.  Another youngster, perhaps his time in France might have made him Premier ready.
The defence are vulnerable and proved that last season in the Championship, so it will need a step up if they are to be effective in the Premier League.  Dummett was in the Newcastle side that went down, as were Lascelles and goalkeeper Darlow, who might be pushed onto the bench by the more reliable Rob Elliot.  They have added Atletico Madrid fringe defender Jesus Gamez to the squad, along with supposed spurs target Florian Lejeune.  I don't know what either of them is like, but they might bring a bit more experience of top flight football to the squad, albeit in France and a few games in Spain.  Javier Manquillo will do the same, but his time on loan at Liverpool was not notable for the right reasons.  He failed to make a league appearance, lasting only four games instead of two seasons before returning to Atletico Madrid, where he had won La Liga.  Former Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark helped Newcastle regain their Premier League status, but with the Villains, he was hardly a stand out performer and Chancel Mbemba played the majority of the relegation season, but only 12 league matches last season.

While the paper version of this game shows a handsome win for Tottenham, the reality is that a passionate ground full of expectant Geordies (well, that is what it looks like in those tight stripey shirts) will want nothing more than three points and Spurs will need to be ready to meet the attitude of the home side.

Without Trippier, a little of the attacking intent on the right will be missing and without the speed of GK Nkoudou to throw in, the element of surprise is missing a little, so much will rely on the axis of Dele, Eriksen and Kane.  It looks like Moussa Sissoko might play and he will get a rough ride from the Newcastle fans, but he has looked sharper in pre-season (the benefit of a pre-season with Pochettino ?) and the energy in the Tottenham side will be vital to the outcome of the match.  We can't go there expecting to win easily, but with the proper application, that could be the outcome.  To close the gap on whoever might be above us at any time this season, it is necessary to make possession and chances count.

Spurs might benefit from catching Newcastle this early in the season, but it won't be a cake-walk.

PREDICTION Newcastle United    1        Tottenham Hotspur    2
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Newcastle United
Newcastle United TEAM NEWS :
Former Spurs right back DeAndre Yedlin will miss the game with a hamstring pull.  Midfielder Jack Colback may miss out after having a training ground row with manager Rafa Benitez, but striker Dwight Gayle should be fit.
Erik Lamela (hip), Danny Rose (knee), Kieran Trippier (ankle) and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (foot) are all missing injured.

Sky Sports 1 - (live coverage)
BT Sport - (live coverage)
Sky Sports 1 -  Game of the Day -  Saturday 20.00
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.20 - 23.50 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:40 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 10.30 (repeated at 21.00)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.25 (highlights)  Also available online.

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 15.00 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Newcastle United  0 (0)  

Premier League
Sunday 13th August 2017
St. James' Park
Tottenham Hotspur  2 (0)

Kick off 13:30
None Dele  60m 20s
Davies  69m 35s
Ritchie (foul on Dele) 51

Shelvey (stamp on Dele)  48 

Kane (foul on Lejeune)  31
Davies (foul on Manquillo)  86


Crowd :   52,077 Weather :  Sunny, warm
Referee :  Andre Marriner (West Midlands) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Beck; Mr. S. Ledger
Fourth Official :  Kevin Friend  
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Gallowgate end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Newcastle United : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Rob ELLIOT

19  Javier MANQUILLO
20  Florian JEJEUNE  (18  Chancel MBEMBA  34)
  2  Ciaran CLARK
  Paul DUMMETT (  6  Jamaal LASCELLES  7)

  8  Jonjo SHELVEY     
  Isaac HAYDEN

11  Matt RITCHIE     
17  Ayoze PEREZ
Christian ATSU

  9   Dwight GAYLE  (23  Mikel MERINO  76)

Unused subs: 
16  Rolando AARONS
  Jacob MURPHY
Aleksandar MITROVIC

    1  Hugo LLORIS (c)


33  Ben DAVIES      

19  Mousa DEMBELE  (29  Harry WINKS  82)
15  Eric DIER

17  Moussa SISSOKO  (  7  Heung-Min SON  58)
  DELE Alli  (12  Victor WANYAMA  82)
Christian ERIKSEN

10  Harry KANE     

Unused subs: 
Michel VORM
27   Kevin WIMMER

Manager :  Rafael Benitez Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Fun88 Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Puma Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

With what was nothing less than an uncontroversial sending off by the captain of Newcastle the game was more or less handed to Spurs, with a 2-0 saunter in the second half starting the new campaign with a win.

Tried to test out KWP early on, but held off Perez, who fouled him. The home team set up to pressure Spurs at start and we were not very good at holding onto possession in the first five minutes, with predictable booing for Sissoko having deserted the Toon, but KWP got some too when he didn't put the ball out as a Newcastle player was injured. Gayle sliced a good opening way over the top and then Spurs broke clear with Eriksen and Kane combining on the left, but he couldn't pick out Moussa Sissoko in the clear in the box, with the ball going out for a corner. While the ball was out Dummett fell to the floor and went off with just seven minutes gone, being replaced by Jamaal Lascelles.

Tottenham settled down and Mousa Dembele manoeuvred the ball to the edge of the box, before his shot was blocked. Another neat move saw Eriksen's chip forward squared across the box on the volley by Dele, but it went out for a corner. Nothing came from that, but the next one was played short and Eriksen's low near post cross was tricky for Elliot to take. When Newcastle went forward, a quick free kick found Gayle who went down under challenge in the box, but he was flagged offside. Perez nearly got in on the edge of the box, but Kyle Walker-Peters came across to snuff out the danger.

Ciaran Clark needlessly bundled over KWP on the right touchline and Eriksen's free-kick wasn't really read by Kane, who was hit by the ball and it dropped softly in front of Elliot. The home crowd had been quiet, apart from their booing, but got liveley when Lascelles won a tackle through Dele and then the players chest bumped, bringing Marriner to speak to them both.

A good cross by KWP went into the air and Elliot claimed it before throwing out quickly and Newcastle won a corner, but from it Tottenham broke with Lloris being the one to throw it out quickly and Eriksen tried to put Dembele in, but got a rebound and shot just wide across the goal. The Magpies had a few corners as they tried to get down the wings, but failed to make much of them.  Kane picked up a yellow card for a tackle on Lejeune, while other harsher challenges had gone without a free-kick. The French defender limped off and had to be replaced by Mbemba. The game went into a lull and it was Eriksen who woke things up with a shot from outside the box after playing a one-two with Sissoko, bringing a diving save from Elliot.

Both line-ups that trudged off at half-time returned for the re-start. That didn't last for long, as Dele conceded a foul, but as he lay on the floor, Shelvey decided to stamp on his ankle. He was surprised to see a red card and Benitez was up in arms, as he should be, but with his captain rather than the officials. Newcastle were looking to make up for their loss in numbers, as Atsu went down the left and the ball fell for Gayle, whose shot was pushed wide for a corner by Hugo at his near post. Tottenham broke and the ball broke for Kane, dropping to him in the box around the penalty spot, but he was denied at point blank range by Elliot. Ritchie was lucky not to see red, when he took Dele down as he ran away from him, but Marriner produced a yellow card.  The home fans showed their ignorance by booing Dele because he got stamped on and got fouled. Their
ire was further raised when Perez stayed down injured ... they hadn't even realised that he had been injured by his own team-mate !! 

Son made a surprise appearance, coming on for Sissoko, much to the delight of the petty Toon fans ... who even booed him when he guided Eriksen's delightful cross past Elliot on the volley. It had been coming, but when it did, it was a nice bit of creativity by |Christian to set up Dele for the volleyed finish.  Tottenham were looking to cash in and Eriksen got in on the left, but scuffed his shot. Eriksen was involved when he and Dele linked, with Christian getting a bounce off a defender and then running the ball in the box into Davies' path, for the left back to stroke the ball under Elliot to make it 2-0 with 70 minutes on the clock.

Everyone was enjoying the sun and wanting to get in on the action, with Dier trying a shot from outside the box, but it caught a Newcastle foot and spun just wide. While Tottenham held possession, when Newcastle got it, there was the embarrassing sight of Matt Ritchie throwing himself to the ground and pleading for a yellow card on every challenge. Atsu took a more footballing approach to trying to get Newcastle in the game and ran at the defence, before putting in a low shot from left to right, but Lloris was behind it all the way. He almost got on the end of a low cross in front of the face of the goal, but KWP got in a challenge and Atsu shot into the side netting from the left of the goal.

Newcastle finally got what they wanted from the game, with Davies getting cautioned for an innocuous leg across Manquillo, but from the free-kick it fell to Clark on the volley, but he put a weak effort straight at goal, but high and above Lloris's head, making it easy for him to catch. The game was played to a conclusion with the ball being knocked around at a reasonably leisurely pace and only when Son put
Harry through in the area, producing a shot that hit the post to Elliot's left did things quicken. Son almostgave Kane a goal, but it was ruled out for offside, which was cheered by the home crowd !! Weird !!

Spurs didn't really gel in the first half and it was only after the sending off, that they picked up the pace and showed some clinical finishing that brought them the points. Having the nucleus of the side from last season, it gave them an understanding that Newcastle seemed to lack. The home side were neat enough and looked reasonably compact, but they lack quality and strength, leaving the goalkeeper exposed.  There is a difference in Spurs not spending in the transfer window and Newcastle not doing the same.  They need squad depth to stay up and players who can add something to their squad, as they looked like they were struggling with numbers after two first half injuries.

Three points on opening day is a good start and with some work behind the scenes off the pitch and a continued level of performance on it next week, our position after the transfer widow closes could be a better one than the last few seasons.

Peter Jones




With a shout of "Haway The Lads" it was likely that Terry Ferrier and Bob Ferris were watching Newcastle in another mid-1960s defeat.  It was no laughing matter.


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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 4 Leicester City 3 Friday
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Manchester City 2 Saturday
Chelsea 2 Burnley 3 Saturday
Crystal Palace 0 Huddersfield Town 3 Saturday
Everton 1 Stoke City 0 Saturday
Southampton 0 Swansea City 0 Saturday
Watford 3 Liverpool 3 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 1 Bournemouth 0 Saturday
Manchester United 4 West Ham United London 0 Sunday



League Table  2017-18
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 1 1 0 0 4 0 0 +4
2 Huddersfield Town 1 1 0 0 3 0 3 +3
3 Manchester City 1 1 0 0 2 0 3 +2
4 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 1 0 0 2 0 3 +2
5 Arsenal 1 1 0 0 4 3 3 +1
6 Burnley 1 1 0 0 3 2 3 +1
7 Everton 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 +1
8 West Bromwich Albion 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 +1
9 Liverpool 1 0 1 0 3 3 1 0
10 Watford 1 0 1 0 3 3 1 0
11 Southampton 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
12 Swansea City 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
13 Leicester City 1 0 0 1 3 4 0 -1
14 Chelsea 1 0 0 1 2 3 0 -1
15 Bournemouth 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 -1
16 Stoke City 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 -1
17 Brighton & Hove Albion 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 -2
18 Newcastle United 1 0 0 1 0 2 0 -2
19 Crystal Palace 1 0 0 1 0 3 0 -3
20 West Ham United London 1 0 0 1 0 4 0 -4


Position before match :  13th
Position after match :  3rd
Position after the weekend :  4th

* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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