FabricioColoccini36Saturday 9 February
Tottenham 2 Newcastle United 1 (Gouffran 24)

It is a hard call but when Newcastle went a goal down after a few minutes, would I have then settled fr a final scoreline of 2-1 to the home side? Possibly.

To me the performance mattered just as much as the result today and we again had evidence that some of the play we have seen against Villa and Chelsea isn’t going to be short-lived.

The way the players picked themselves up after that early blow was very reassuring. Some of the interplay between the likes of Sissoko, Cabaye, Gouffran and Cisse was excellent, while the way the full-backs added to the attacking play hinted at exciting times ahead.

With that collection of creative/intelligent players Jonas was then in his element helping to block Bale down the wing and also getting around the rest of the pitch to pressurise the opposition and break up play.

As for Perch, he did alright but I think the experiment of keeping him in the team at the expense of Tiote will be a short-lived one.

Newcastle’s defending contributed to the killer second goal but overall they contained a dangerous Tottenham side well. I suppose though the question is whetehr Mapou would help take it onto another level. On Thursday we should see our first proper look at him against FC Metalist in the Europa League match.

This was always going to be a tough match against fourth placed Spurs and when Bale put a Ronaldo-esque free-kick over the wall from twenty five yards plus, United could have easily gone to pieces.

Coloccini sold himself to give away the free-kick and Perch could have jumped like Jonas did in the wall but you have to accept that a free-kick like that deserves a goal.

A few weeks ago I reckon we would have headed for the break at least two or three down but the recent transformation has been astonishing. Though when you have half a team of quality players added to your starting eleven; Taylor, Cabaye, Debuchy, Sissoko, Gouffran, maybe it gives you a bit of a clue.

There was no panic, the players picked themselves up and got on with the match.

There reward was weathering the storm, playing themselves back into the game and equalising!

A flowing move ended with Sissoko pulling the ball back for Gouffran who smashed it into the net via a deflection, game on after twenty four minutes.

The rest of the half saw United continue their form and just edge the half. Jonas and Gouffran massive factors in ensuring Bale and Lennon had little joy.

Layout 1Second half saw little change as the two sides cancelled each other out but possibly the crucial blow was a bad looking injury to Gouffran after an hour. Given oxygen on the pitch replays showed it may have been accidental but nevertheless crushing for Newcastle.

A great shame as Gouffran was having his best game so far and on top of his goal he was showing some really clever play as United kept possession well, whilst at the same time pressurised the home team when not having possession.

Tottenham made changes to try and grab the win and in a roundabout way it paid off, changes meant Bale went through the middle and a long clearance saw both Perch and Coloccini hesitate which invited Bale to nip in and accelerate away with the ball. Game over.

Tiote came on but our shortage of attacking options to change matches was highlighted once again, with both Marveaux and Shola anonymous, although a deflection in injury time put in Shola but Lloris was quick off his line and blocked well.

As much as a defeat can be uplifting this was it, last week we edged out a very good team and this week Newcastle were the ones edged out. If we keep playing like this we’ll be OK.

The points return may be the same but there is a world of difference between today and the tame surrender we’ve seen at places like Southampton and home to Reading.

Onwards and upwards.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton (Assou-Ekotto 75), Parker, Dembele (Livermore 90), Lennon, Holtby (Adebayor 69), Bale, Dempsey

Newcastle United: Krul, Debuchy, Taylor, Coloccini, Santon, Cabaye, Perch (Tiote 82), Gutierrez (Shola 86), Sissoko, Gouffran (Marveaux 59), Cisse

Unused Subs: Harper, Mapou, Anita, Obertan

Ref: Phil Dowd

Crowd: 36,244

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Bearsize 5pts

Ashley will simply add another 50 million onto the debt and get us promoted. yawn. Mike u have destroyed this club. When will it end?

Big Al 1967
Big Al 1967 5pts

Last time we had a core of players with ability who wanted to stay and put right a wrong. That will just not happen with this lot

magpiefifer 5pts

Relegation wouldn't be good for the fans or NUFC,but it would be just desserts for Ashley to lose out on the mega TV money.We wouldn't bounce back either - barring a miracle.The squad would be decimated - in some ways deservedly,but we'd lose any quality players we have.

Who'd want to be a Toon supporter!? Of course we are used to the rollercoaster - but still get hammered by media pundits for being unrealistic and deluded!!!!

toon tony
toon tony 5pts

If the FCB didn't learn anything the last time we went down, he surely wouldn't this time round.

Stephen Walton
Stephen Walton 5pts

Relegation would be a disaster we wouldn't come straight back this time.

killyted 5pts

some good postings on here of late.How is it that we can see what is wrong at the club but the so-called management// pros at the club cant.IMHO going down to the championship would not be a goog idea,its harder to get out of that league than lastime plus no Chis Hughton,Nolan, Barton to add back bone to the team,in fact bring Nolan and barton back.

Grrrbby 5pts

And certainly McClaren needs more time. He is trying to undo 5 years of absolute shambles. Most of the players are drained of confidence and are so used to losing. I have seen enough in some of the games to suggest he will turn us around.

Grrrbby 5pts

What a stupid article. Relegation is never a good thing and certainly not something to wish for. I think there will be a different strategy in terms of recruitment from January. I am expecting some British players to be brought in and some of the deadwood moved on (Sissoko, Gouffran, Obertan, Cisse)

geordieladdo 5pts

@Grrrbby are you? based on what?

I've seen absolutely no evidence of a shift to buying british players or anyone even saying that from the club.

You'd think we'd have done that preseason if they thought we needed to add backbone to the team of french fancies.

They are blinded by getting 'the right deal' at 'the right price' and that is it!

Big Al 1967
Big Al 1967 5pts

@geordieladdo @Grrrbby The rumour mill says that McClaren wants a proven Premier League core however the football board will not budge on cheap foreign imports. 

Brownale69 5pts

and who would you have as a manager? the whole setup is rotten, need to start at the top and GET out of our club msg to Cashley needs to be heard.

GToon 5pts

Brendan Rodgers. Get us playing like Swansea. Keep the ball. No reliance on star players, just a system that seems to work well.

LeazesEnder 5pts

How many times have we read that very same headline 'relegation would be good'.... that's what is wrong.... the only way to shake stupid selfish owners is the kick up the backside relegation brings!

In theory the club gets the TV money not the owner.... but ashley seems to be squirreling huge amounts away invisibly via free advertising(not taxable) not to mention that mysterious sum of £29 million on the books which simply said increased overheads.  The club denied its own income streams.

Relegation has always been the way out for successive regimes during my lifetime, the yo-yo club aiming for second division silverware.  Unfortunately we will be relegated as the winter decline sets in again we will be totally stranded come the new year.... I'm not normally one for daft predictions, but the problems are still there, . I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air...

geordieladdo 5pts

As predictable as saying you'll always find a professional drinker in a weatherspoon's at 9am on a weekday...

Was waiting for the 'Relegation might be a good thing' comment....

It won't be a good thing. Last time we had a decent bunch of british battlers to help us get back out of the Championship - can you see Sissoko / Gouffran / Anita / Thauvin / Colo (now)  fighting their way out of that one?

You could pretty much guarantee to lose likes of Mitrovic / Wjinaldum / Mbemba / Janmaat / Krul / Perez and likely others too...

then what? For every one of Carr's 'gems' there are 2/3 awful signings. Blokes living off the signing of Cabaye and not much more...

We cannot buy players fit to 'battle' in the premiership, we sure as hell wont find any strong enough to get us back up!

Let's just pray that we can somehow manage to scrape staying up and then hope for the best, as quite frankly - it's all we've got HOPE!

ncncnc 5pts

id prefer to lose the players who dont want to be here, add to what we did in the summer and press on.

relegation is never something to look forward to. we were lucky the last time that everything fell into place - it may not again.

you werent here to remember year after year of pogo between the leagues in the 70s and 80s - its not what we need or want.

we may go down and just bring in even worse players from the continent with less pride but who are cheaper. then what?