Author Topic: Wed 17th Dec - Tottenham Hotspur 4 Newcastle 0 (Capital One cup)  (Read 2783 times)

Offline Crico

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Wed 17th Dec - Tottenham Hotspur 4 Newcastle 0 (Capital One cup)
« on: December 23, 2014, 11:42:43 am »
I haven't been commenting here much of late. With my internet connection much slower than last year I have missed games that haven't been shown on Russian TV (that is about 80% of all NUFC games that make it to BT or Sky as some get swapped out for Russian or Spanish games) so I haven't had a lot of legitimacy to comment but I have missed the patter. I have noticed that T4T has gone a bit quiet and so I have missed out on one source of balanced NUFC analysis, which is a shame.

I was actually in London briefly on a rare trip to the UK last week so I caught the game at White Hart Lane and obviously we have been on the box a lot lately so I have had a bit of a better view of how the team is playing.

Ultimately it looks like we are in for another Pardew season of bursts of wins followed by runs of losses.

Now we are in the downturn of that cycle. When we upturn (or turn up) again is anyone's guess!

After a sloppy burger served by the Cokneyest cockney going and a lengthy turnstiles wait I found myself sitting at a height in the Spurs end around level with the halfway line. I don't like being on the halfway line. I don't like sitting at a height either, but you do get to see more of what goes on tactically than behind the goal or on TV.

Obviously we struggled with Spurs' width throughout the game. Erikson and co were good at getting the ball wide early and our full backs both had bad games. Haidara has not had much match practice and Pardew's policy of playing Gouffran as a defensive winger is just nuts. He does track the play but can't tackle the guy when he gets the opportunity and can't retain the ball if by some miracle he manages to intercept it so I don't even think there is a defensive argument for keeping him there. He only 'covers' the fullback in the most literal sense. Its just a baffler and its a continued stick that the anti-Pardew lot can justifiably beat the manager with.

Any arguments for Mike Williamson starting for us seem to be drying up rapidly. He had a good spell last season but Harry Kane, who I do not think is God's gift to football bullied and ran rings around him. Colloccini managed to look occasionally imperious despite being part of a back line that conceded 4 goals. I love the fact that when the opposition attack down the flank he goes charging out and gets far too tight but nearly always wins the ball. I don't know how wise it is to do that so often but he seems to have a knack for it.

Colback had a relatively ineffective game for us compared to recent outings (Chelsea being the one that springs to mind) but that was because he was essentially doing the job of three people, with Cabella and Sissoko drifting around aimlessly. With Cabella still adapting to English football, that brings me to Sissoko.

People will point to the fact that Moussa is dangerous in and around the box and that is true. He can rip a shot off or bomb in behind the defence which will help us get badly needed goals, and he did that a couple of times against Spurs. But he isn't actually very composed on the ball and in the Spurs game we ended up losing it several times, via Sissoko, on the edge of their box. That is certainly better than the edge of our box, which is why I wouldn't have him further back, but teams can still break and score from that position. He is our match winner, but a flawed one and we looked a lot more solid when he was eventually swapped for Anita, which says a lot.

The one bright spot in the game was Perez, who looks like he could be the real deal. On a bad day like this he still threatens the goal and tries to link things up. Getting him on the same pitch as Cisse should be a priority. But at the moment, Pardew doesn't seem to fancy it.

This game will be remembered of Alnwick's clanger that opened up the floodgates and it does get worse every time you watch it. There isn't much else we can do with two keepers out except support the guy. I am writing this after the derby and he didn't do too badly in that, despite Sunderland players noticeably picking on him at corners.

All in all the Spurs match was a pretty shit return to seeing Newcastle for me - my last game before it was Plymouth at home - and I didn't see much evidence Pardew can keep us in the top ten.

That said, I'm one of a minority that thinks he has done enough to earn a respite and, frankly, deserves to buy a player he can call his own in January. The need for the bruising striker hasn't changed but with Perez and Cisse both capable of goals, I think we should be looking at a winger and a centre back first.