Author Topic: Tottenham 1 Newcastle 4 - Sunday 30th March  (Read 2136 times)

Offline trophy4toon

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Tottenham 1 Newcastle 4 - Sunday 30th March
« on: March 30, 2008, 08:19:17 pm »
King Kevin is back, a classic Keegan performance, Newcastle 17 shots on goal 9 on target, Tottenham 18 shots on goal 10 on target. Reminds me of a Newcastle match I saw in the previous Keegan era against West Ham where we were only 1-0 up at half time but we'd had 23 efforts on goal in 45 minutes play.

Also great to see Viduka being so effective, nicely rolled the wall for Geremi's free kick and nice flick for Owen's goal.

In fact the Michael Owen goal was a great combination of all 3 strikers as Martins battled down the right, crossed for Viduka to flick onto Owen who put it in first time.

The worry being of course, what do we do if Viduka gets injured again, Alan Smith again looked off the pace when he came on.

As someone said, "who was that playing in Nicky Butt's shirt, he looked quite good". In fact many made Butt man of the match. He finally got one of his speculative shots on target and in it went, but he has been trying that all season.

The defence still looked suspect though, too many headers won in the box, Taylor and Beye not dominating enough, admittedly against a lively Tottenham attack.

Also one has to say this Tottenham team are pretty inconsistent having beaten Chelsea and Portsmouth and losing to Birmingham this was a pretty unconvincing display from them today, wide open in midfield allowing Butt, Barton and Geremi plenty of space to stroll through.   

Individual performances:
Harper - 8 - couple of excellent saves and looked very solid
Beye - 7 - hit the bar, gave Malbranque too much space to cross for their goal
Faye - 7 - beaten a few times in the air
Taylor - 7 - still getting himself out of position and missing key tackles
Enrique - 7 - solid game but needs to improve on his distribution
Geremi - 8 - fabulous long throw in's and great free kick. Seems to be benefiting from regular starts
Butt - 8 - one of his better games
Barton - 7 - couple of good efforts on goal
Martins - 9 - a constant threat with his speed and looked really up for it today
Viduka - 8 - makes up for his lack of movement with clever knock ons and solid holding play
Owen - 8 - took his goal well, working hard in his deeper role   
« Last Edit: March 30, 2008, 11:58:38 pm by trophy4toon »

Offline CraigDoyle

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Re: Tottenham 1 Newcastle 4 - Sunday 30th March
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2008, 09:01:24 am »
A shorter match report this week as I was stuck watching the match at the computer with what turned out to be a rather 'choppy' and poor feed.

Keegan seems to be sticking by his 4-3-3 formation and retaining the same starting eleven each week. While some may suggest he is going for consistency, I think he knows that he is very limited in terms of options if he intends to get any success out of what we have available. I feel that 4-3-3 will be a short term option that should see us out of our current predicament but I wouldn't bet on seeing it deployed so frequently after the summer. Today was one of those days where the system worked spectacuarly. Mostly because Spurs set out to play the exact same way but without the players to be able to match Newcastle across the park.

For the first time this season, our midfield really got a hold of the game. Perhaps not so difficult when you consider that our preference is to stick to three battlers against a rather underwhelming Spurs selection of Huddlestone, Zokora and Malbranque. On paper the only real threat was the suggestion that Berbatov might drop off the frontline and try to get involved in front of the midfield. That never really translated into anything on the pitch and it gave our midfield so much space that they were able to take it turns going forward without the need for much invention.

Our equaliser arrived in exactly the manner described above. Two thirds of the Spurs midfield got sucked into chasing the ball while the other man was busy ball watching half way up the park. Nicky Butt found himself in acres of space and made a rare foray forward finding himself in the unlikely situation of scoring a goal. The build up play was impressive with good utilisation of the width available and is the sort of thing that we would love to see more of. Credit should also be extended in the direction of Geremi who suddenly seems to be influencing games again.

Match of the Day are adamant that Geremi's freekick was the product of some brilliant training ground thinking. While I acknowledge the fact that Viduka is standing in the wall to block Paul Robinson's view of the ball I don't see how the goal can be considered anything other than a goal keeping error. Why doesn't Robinson just step to the right, get himself a good look at the ball and then ask Geremi to perform the much harder task of lifting the ball over the wall into the near corner of the goal? A question most of us would bet that Geremi would have no answer for.

I'm enjoying watching Michael Owen take on his new striking role from a deeper position. I think it gives him a little extra flexibility to utilise his major skill, which is arriving at the right time to meet the ball. While he had a couple of chances to score his goal was well taken and sums up everything that you get from Owen. While his contribution seems to be limited to set plays and link ups from stationary positions, the deft flick from Viduka was an example of the quality required to bring Owen into the game. This leading to the little man bundling/lifting (take your pick, I thought it was a masterful finish myself) the ball by an advancing Robinson into the near corner of the net. While that may only be his 7th league goal this season I still feel that Owen is one of the most deadly strikers in the Premiership when he is given the service he requires. The recent confidence boost and uplift in the general performance of the team has elevated him to a goal a game the last three matches.

The icing on the cake was Martins finally finding the back of the net. I think in the last couple of games he has been very unlucky not to find himself on the scoresheet with Owen reaping the benefits of his work at Birmingham and Kelley denying him what would have been a superb solo goal last weekend. Fittingly the goal had a little bit of everything you'd associate with Martins attached; individuality, a touch of flair, a fantastic bit of skill, a powerful finish and a typical celebration. While Martins doesn't seem to possess the sense of timing that Owen does, he has his own traits that make him a worthwhile inclusion in the first team. Hopefully this goal will be the first of many between now and the end of the season.

A quick word on Spurs to finish. They don't look anywhere near as good as the media would have everyone believe. For me Berbatov is not a top quality striker. He is a carbon copy of Mark Viduka but showing signs of being lazy far too early in his career. The guy has very similar qualities to our own Mark Viduka. Fantastic strength, great feet and the ability to hold up the play. However he stops himself from being a top tier player by drifting in and out of games too often. Don't get me wrong, he's a wonderfully gifted player but I feel he just doesn't use all that he has to the maximum potential. Looking around the Spurs team I don't see anyone I'd fancy coming to Newcastle over the summer. Perhaps Lennon, but like Milner he is untapped potential and I'm not so sure that there is as much to be gained from him as others would like to think. The back line looks dreadful and the thought of Dawson arriving makes me cringe. Woodgate is another that I'm rather pleased we missed out on. Never the same player he was before he left us a few years back and still looks as though he is struggling away against those recurring injuries.

It was amusing to hear Keegan claim that he hadn't heard of some of the players in his squad when he arrived and that his early investigation technique was to look them up on the internet! With the early exclusion of Jose Enrique it may be wise to point out that signings suggested by internet supporters and players of football manager are much less credible than signings suggested by knowledgable football fans who actually watch players perform on a regular basis.

With relegation looking like less of a reality now, perhaps Keegan was justified in his decision not to add new faces to the team in January? In the process maybe we avoiding our typical panic buys and saved ourselves from another Boumsong, Babayaro, Faye or Luque.

Not much shorter after all then...