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Football preview Newcastle v Spurs.

Posted on February 12, 2014 by Tony

Tonight Tottenham visit Newcastle, not the happiest of hunting grounds in recent times though we normally travel there in the opening games of the season. Last year another late goal did for us and Younes Kaboul picked up the injury that has so devastated his career since as it ended his last season and he has rarely featured this. Newcastle also managed to somehow find a win at White Hart Lane this season despite being battered for the best part of an hour or more, on that occasion Tim Krul was a keeper possessed but reports suggest he might be an injury doubt for this evening.

Though Newcastle have a number of player problems stemming from injuries and suspension the outcome of tonight’s fixture should really be reliant on the performance and team selection of Tottenham. Despite a criticism from some quarters over the style of play and apparent lack of cohesion in the Tottenham ranks their points record during Sherwood’s time in charge is second only to Manchester City and Chelsea and even their tally could be equaled tonight. The three points against Everton at the weekend was fortunate as was the case against Palace, in fact the only comfortable victories came against Stoke and Swansea.

More and more the accusation being levelled at Tim Sherwood is that he is a lucky coach and that Tottenham are winning ugly and fortunately, not the ideal scenario and not the Tottenham way but thinking back to Sherwoods playing style hardly surprising. You might think that I am being critical of this but surprisingly though every one of us supporters would prefer that we were exciting and scoring goals regularly and from every quarter I really am quite happy to carry on if it brings the success that we crave. I am not happy with Tim’s selections at times, I was not happy seeing the team locked into a 4 4 2 ┬ásystem and have been encouraged that the system has changed to suit the occasion and the squad capabilities.

What can we expect tonight? Probably more of the same, Newcastle will be aching to get back into the race for Europe as their recent form has been nothing short of disastrous, a thumping in front of their own supporters from nearest neighbours Sunderland needs to be put behind them and that can only be done by giving their fans a win and a performance. For Tottenham it is vital that they maintain the pressure on Liverpool and stay well ahead of Everton and United, Townsend could well return be it in place of an ineffective Lennon in recent games or wide left, possibly this is the right time and fixture for the experience of Capoue to come into his own, if so at who’s expense? Against Everton Paulinho was asked to concentrate more on the defensive side of the game so as to release Dembele into a more attacking role, it didn’t work and I cannot recall either of them getting into the box to threaten Everton, Paulinho is our equivalent of Lampard and to restrict his attacking threat renders his usefulness to the team almost redundant.

Pardew has learned his trade and will set his team up to make things difficult for Tottenham, he is short of numbers and he has the inferior squad but will get the best from what he has, gone is the day when he goes gung ho against us as was the case almost 2 years ago when Saha filled his boots and Adebayor had a hand in every goal.

Shrewd Pardew v Lucky Tim has all the makings of another hard fought one goal game for one of them, hopefully the lucky tag will come through again.

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