Newcastle United (Away)
Premier League

Saturday 22nd January 2011

With the return match against Newcastle United coming soon after the 2-0 win for Spurs at the Lane, the opponents will be familiar, but the teams may look different on paper for one reason or another.  Magpies striker Andy Carroll has not played since the game against Tottenham,  former Leeds United striker turned midfielder Alan Smith could be out for the rest of the season and Cheik Tiote got sent off against Stevenage as Newcastle crashed out of the FA Cup, so there will have to be changes to the Toon team, while we have Steven Pienaar in our ranks (if he has received his work permit by now) and several players have regained fitness and could be available for selection.

The changes should not make a great deal of difference, as it will be the approach of Newcastle manager Alan Pardew to the game, as his tactics in the first match were to stop Tottenham playing and try to hit on the break.  With pacy wide men like Jonas Guttierez and Wayne Routledge available, the style of play can have benefits, with someone like Carroll on the end of their balls into the box, but Carroll will not be there.  His injury in the Spurs game, plus falling off a bar stool a few days afterwards has kept him side-lined, although it has allowed Leon Best and Shola Ameobi have come in and played well together in some games.  Best notched a hat-trick against West Ham United, while Ameobi scored the only goal of the game at Wigan Athletic.  Both are keen on running at players with the ball, but perhaps lack Carroll's physical presence in the aoir.

The lack of confidence in Tim Krul has led to Steve Harper regaining the gloves in goal and the fan attack on him last week at Sunderland was shameful, but he appeared to be none the worse for it and he will no doubt continue in goal.  Short for a top class keeper, he is a sound enough goalie and can be inspired, but sometimes is caught out on his angles, so some early shots will perhaps catch him out of position.

The defence in front of him will need to be on their toes, as they have been solid as a unit, but on occasion have been stretched out, allowing the other side to find ways past them.  Mike Williamson has come up through the lower leagues and is a tough central defender, where as Fabricio Collocini likes to be more of a ball-playing centre half, with the consequence of sometimes being in areas where he shouldn't be, leaving gaps behind him.  With the speedy Danny Simpson on one flank and Jose Enrique on the other, they have two steady full backs, who both like to overlap, but if they have Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon to cope with, this might alter their game plan.  By keeping them tied up, it allows our midfield to be a bit more adventurous.

Goal-scoring midfielder Kevin Nolan will be back after he was suspended for the first meeting and his performances as captain have lead the team on.  A tough opponent in midfield, he gets up to support the front men, but is adept at being in the right place when free-kicks drop loose in the box, so someone will need to be detailed to mark him from dead ball situations.  However, the midfield area is anchored by Joey Barton, who likes to wind up fans and opponents alike, but it was noted in the first match that he has lost a great deal of pace over the years.  When he gets forward, as he seems to have been given a roaming role (perhaps Pardew didn't want to argue with him), he cannot get back and gets stranded up-field.  This could be good for Tottenham, as it means another of the midfield has to sit back to cover or will be doing two players' work.

The goal that Spurs scored near the end of the game at WHL with only ten men showed how Newcastle can be undone and the work wide of the pitch will be important.  I am sure Newcastle will try and double up on Bale, but that leaves space for others and with Jermain Defoe looking sharp on his return to the first team, his pace and strength of shot could well leave the Magpies struggling.

Having said that, this is never one of Tottenham's favourite hunting grounds, being in the North-East doesn't help our away-day record in that part of the world, but this Spurs team is made of sterner stuff and hopefully, they will be able to bring back some of the spoils if not the coal ...

PREDICTION : -    Newcastle United    1      Tottenham Hotspur    2

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


NEWCASTLE UNITED :  -  Andy Carroll (out - thigh); Alan Smith (out - ankle); Ryan Taylor (out - ankle); Hatem Ben Arfa (out - broken leg); Chiek Tiote (out - suspended); Steven Taylor (out - hamstring); Sol Campbell (out - leg); Dan Gosling (out - knee); - (-); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (out - groin); Tom Huddlestone (out - ankle); William Gallas (hopeful - hamstring); Jamie O'Hara (out - match fitness); Jonathan Woodgate (out - match fitness); Wilson Palacios (hopeful - knee); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (doubtful - knee); - (-); 


Sky Sports 1 -  Football First  -  Saturday 20.25
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:35 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 11.00
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.00 (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)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 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 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore 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.

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please click here and see if there are any such facilities who have contacted MEHSTG in the area near to the ground.

Also, just visit, fill in form and receive 5x10% vouchers for selected places to stay on your travels to away matches.


Newcastle United   1    Tottenham Hotspur   1      (Half-time score : 1-1)

Premier League
Venue :  -  St. James Park
Saturday 22nd January 2011
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   51,010
Referee :  Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Gallowgate end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Wet, chilly
Teams : - 
Newcastle United :

  1  Harper

12  Simpson
  2  Coloccini 
  6  Williamson
  3  Enrique

  8  Guthrie (  8  Perch 74)
  7  Barton
  4  Nolan (c)
18  Guttierez

20  Best (11  Lovenkrands 65)
23  Ameobi (30  Ranger 88)

Unused subs: 
26  Krul

  5  Campbell
31  S. Ferguson
19  Xisco

Tottenham Hotspur :

23  Cudicini

  2  Hutton
20  Dawson (c)
13  Gallas
  3  Bale (19  Bassong 11)

  7  Lennon   
14  Modric
  8  Jenas (15  Crouch 71)
Pienaar (21  Kranjcar 83)

11  van der Vaart

18  Defoe

Unused subs: 
37  Pletikosa
22  Corluka
  4  Kaboul

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Newcastle United

  Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Newcastle United

Colocinni 54

Tottenham Hotspur

Lennon 90+1

Cards : -  
Newcastle United



Tottenham Hotspur  



Match Report : -  
In what was a fairly physical game at times, no yellow cards were shown during this 1-1 draw between Newcastle United and Spurs, with both sides showing a deal more attacking intent than any defensive reliance.  Mark Halsey, back on Premiership duty after battling cancer, kept his cards firmly in his pocket despite a number of robust challenges from Barton and Nolan and the beseeching of the bÍte noir Barton to produce a caution when one free-kick went Newcastle's way.  Unlike last week when Rio Ferdinand was there to reprimand Rafael for waving an imaginary card, nobody in black and white stripes was brave enough to do the same to Barton.

But such petty behaviour should not detract from what was an exciting game and one which, if Barton was half as good at passing as he was at kicking players, would have been settled in the Magpies favour just before Tottenham nicked a late equaliser.

Spurs dominated the first half and the only thing missing from the display was a goal, as we sometimes over-elaborated once we got near the Newcastle penalty area.  With Defoe playing up front on his own, he sometimes got out-numbered by Newcastle defenders and it was hard for him to make himself available to receive the out ball from the defence.  But Luka Modric's running with the ball and Rafael van der Vaart's movement gave the home back four a few problems.  Gareth Bale had been pushed back to left back in Assou-Ekotto's absence and Steven Pienaar made his debut in front of him in midfield, where he had a solid game.

Tottenham kicked off the first half and were comfortable in possession, with Newcastle often dropping off deep, leaving little space to play in and around their box and this became even more crowded once they had scored in the second half and decided to try and eek out a 1-0 win.

Within three minutes, Spurs had put together a move that went from one end to the other with Carlo Cudicini (standing in for shoulder injury victim Heurelho Gomes) rolling the ball out to Aaron Lennon and the little winger raced through the middle of the pitch to play the ball up to Jermain Defoe.  The striker took a touch that took him past Coliccini, but took him a little wide right and he got his shot off early, but across Harper and wide of the keeper's right hand post. 

Ten minutes into the game, things looked bad for Spurs as Gareth Bale started to limp after a heavy tackle and it wasn't long before he had to be replaced buy Sebastien Bassong at left back.  Not a natural position for Seb, but he put in a good performance there.

Sours were working some openings, with Defoe having a shot well saved by Harper after being put in by Modric and a move from side to side of the pitch, ending with van der Vaart shooting from outside the box, but his effort had all the sting taken out of it by Williamson's block.  Newcastle had a spell of chances, as I wouldn't really call it pressure, but three opportunities came their way in fifteen minutes in the middle of the half.  Luckily for Spurs, two of them fell to the dreadful Shola Ameobi.  He seems to think that you have to take the leather off the ball when you shoot and the first on 16 minutes saw him win an initial header on to Best and get the ball back form his strike partner, only to smash it over the top when he should really have got an effort on target.  While Spurs were having to deal with crosses from Guttierez, who was giving Alan Hutton a torrid time, it was the long ball that was giving the defence more problems.  One was headed straight up in the air by Michael Dawson and Ameobi was there to hit another shot hard, but too high.

The closest United came to scoring in the first half was when a Guttierez cross was mis-judged by Cudicini and he got underneath it, just getting a slight touch before it went to Best at the far post.  The forward was stretching for the ball as he challenged for it with Bassong, but managed to get a foot to it and the ball bounced back down from the crossbar, much to Tottenham's relief.

In the 37th minute, Pienaar had a good chance to open his scoring account for the club, when a passage of passing with Lennon and Modric involved, drew players to Luka and made space for the new signing.  Unfortunately, from just inside the left hand corner of the penalty area, he curled his shot too far wide and if it had been on target, Harper would not have reached it.  van der Vaart went close with a similar effort soon after and the best opportunity Spurs had was in added time at the end of the first half, when Pienaar linked with Rafael, who neatly touched the ball into the path of Defoe running beyond him and as he shaped to shoot, Harper had raced out to shut him down and blocked the attempt.

so, no score at the interval, but the home fans had been subdued by the way Spurs were dictating most of the play, with even little effort put into their booing of former Newcastle players Jenas and Bassong.  They got a bit excited three minutes in when Best got on the end of Guttierez's near post cross, but he couldn't wrap his head around it enough and it went wide.  A weak Ameobi header caused Cudicini no problems and at the other end, a lot of passes created a shooting opportunity for Jenas, who drilled his shot low, but a yard or so wide to the left of the goal, then Jenas returned the favour for van der Vaart to go close with a shot.

Then, out of nothing really, Newcastle scored in the 59th minute.  A cross penalty area ball picked out Coloccini on the left side of the box, with Hutton slightly standing off him.  The Newcastle defender took the ball down and struck his shot across Cudicini into the bottom corner of the goal to give the home aside the lead.  It was a little against the run of play, but the sitting off players had cost Spurs and they needed to get something from this match.

Spurs almost hit back within five minutes, as Lennon and Pienaar worked a good opening and the little winger fizzed a low shot on goal that Harper got down to and tipped wide.  Within a couple of minutes, it was Cudicini who was in action when he rushed out to block Lovenkrands as he ran through onto Barton's pass through the middle of the Spurs defence.  In the 72nd minute, he was making an even better stop.  He was probably surprised that Ameobi got one on target, as he swung at the ball and it looked like it would get past him, but the Italian keeper dived up to his right, getting a good hand on the ball to take it wide of the goal.

That was in the 69th minute and in the 74th the same striker should have done better when he got on the end of a Barton corner, but he could only get a touch with his head that took the ball wide.

Spurs were getting to the last quarter of an hour and decided that they had to go for it.  And it nearly paid off, when a shot from Luka Modric from the edge of the box, after he was played in by Lennon, shuddered the crossbar with Harper beaten.  Pienaar made way for Kranjcar after suffering a bout of cramp and the Croat produced some problems for the Newcastle defence as he ran at them, but Spurs were leaving space at the back.  Lovenkrands' pace was introduced to make chances at the right end for Newcastle and he played in Barton, but his lack of accuracy saw him put his shot wide and then Ranger came on for the disappointingly useless Ameobi and almost unlocked the Spurs defence with his first touches.  Taking the ball wide on the left, he squirmed past Dawson and from a tight angle shot across Cudicini, with the ball missing the goal at the far post by inches.

But, then Tottenham's attacking tactics paid off.  With the game ticking into four minutes of added time, Crouch won a long ball with his head and it dropped to Defoe, who knocked it to his left, where Aaron Lennon was waiting.  The winger took the ball and ran at Danny Simpson, cutting inside to beat two defenders and the keeper with his low shot into the bottom right hand corner of Harper's goal for an equaliser.  It was a well-taken goal and Aaron's move to the left wing paid off even though the full back might have done better to stop him coming inside.

And it was Tottenham who were pressing for a winner towards the end of the four minutes, with Lennon getting past Simpson on the outside and crossing just a bit too deep for Crouch, with the ball being picked up by Hutton and his cross was caught be Harper.

It was an intriguing game and one which Tottenham found it hard to break through in, with the massed ranks of black and white striped shorts between them and the goal.  But they kept plugging away and salvaged a point from a losing position once more, although the need to turn possession into goals is something the team will need to realise if they are to make any further progress up the table.

But not many teams find it easy here.  Newcastle play a different way at home against us than they would do against the likes of Blackpool, who won here convincingly.

And that is part of the price we have to pay for relative success.

Isaac Gregory


Fan Reaction : -



Loved the comment from Paul Walsh on the Premier League commentary.

After fluffing up the last attack for Newcastle, Walshy said, " I bet Joey Barton will be kicking himself."

Makes a change from kicking other players !!

Benny the Ball

This was a bit worrying in terms of how much possession Spurs had and the number of clear cut chances they created.  When Gareth Bale went off, it seemed to throw the team, as they didn't initially seem to know what to do without him there.  

It was a bit like watching Arsenal at times, with the intricate play around the edge of the box needing a foot through the ball to finish it off.

Hopefully, it was just because the Barcodes stuck so many shirts between Spurs and the goal that they got confused with the Autonomy advert.

Ted Maul








Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 3 Wigan Athletic 0 Saturday
Aston Villa 1 Manchester City 0 Saturday
Blackpool 0 Sunderland 2 Saturday
Everton 2 West Ham United 2 Saturday
Fulham 2 Stoke City 0 Saturday
Manchester United 5 Birmingham City 0 Saturday
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Liverpool 3 Saturday
Blackburn Rovers 2 West Bromwich Albion 0 Sunday
Bolton Wanderers 0 Chelsea 4 Monday
Other scores this weekend :
Blackpool 2 Manchester United 3 Tuesday
Wigan Athletic 1 Aston Villa 2 Tuesday
Liverpool 1 Fulham 0 Tuesday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 23 14 9 0 53 23 51 +30
2 Arsenal 23 14 4 5 48 22 46 +26
3 Manchester City 24 13 6 5 37 20 45 +17
4 Chelsea 23 12 5 6 42 19 41 +23
5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 23 10 8 5 33 27 38 +6
6 Sunderland 23 8 10 5 26 23 34 +3
7 Liverpool 24 9 5 11 31 31 32 0
8 Blackburn Rovers 24 9 4 11 31 37 31 -6
9 Newcastle United 23 8 6 9 36 33 30 +3
10 Stoke City 23 9 3 11 28 28 30 0
11 Bolton Wanderers 24 7 9 8 34 35 30 -1
12 Blackpool 22 8 4 10 34 40 28 -6
13 Aston Villa 24 7 7 10 27 40 28 -13
14 Everton 23 5 12 6 27 29 27 -2
15 Fulham 24 5 11 8 25 26 26 -1
16 West Bromwich Albion 23 7 4 12 29 43 25 -14
17 Birmingham City 22 4 11 7 21 31 23 -10
18 Wigan Athletic 24 4 11 9 20 39 22 -19
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 6 3 14 24 41 21 -17
20 West Ham United 24 4 9 11 24 43 21 -19


Position before the match :  5th
Position after the match :  5th
Position after the weekend :  5th


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