I make no secret of the fact that (along with West Ham), Newcastle is a club that I despise. Much has to do with the manner in which they have (like West Ham) conducted themselves in transfer dealings in the last couple of seasons. The other factor is probably down to the fact that Newcastle has been a bogey team for Spurs, especially at St James’ Park, with our last victory there coming seven years ago, courtesy of a Timothy Atouba (remember him?) goal.
This time round, even though Spurs did not play as well as they are able to (due to Harry’s selection? Gareth Bale on the right and Luka Modric on the left to accommodate Rafael Van der Vaart?), it looked odds on that Spurs might finally win at St James’ Park but it was not to be. In the end, the single point looked well earned as Newcastle piled on the pressure. However, there were plenty of good points to take away from the game.
One, Jermain Defoe’s third goal of the season, demonstrated that the little man is back to his best and has put last season’s dismal poor form firmly behind him. Two, Spurs are the first team to put two goals past Newcastle this season, which indicates at least that our attacking prowess is back on track (Manu Adebayor and Van der Vaart always looked dangerous). And finally, the point gained maintained our momentum of the last five games, as we sit comfortably outside the top four but poised to make our attack.
Sadly, a big negative was the injury to Ledley King. Certainly a question mark must hover over King’s continued presence in the Spurs squad as his fitness problems haunt the skipper yet again. With Michael Dawson on the long term injury list – our central defence looks rather shaky and with William Gallas still injured, much will now depend on whether Sebastian Bassong and Younes Kaboul can rise up to the task. Definitely a worrying prospect.