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Opinion

I’m going to Tottenham for two reasons

4 weeks ago
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I’m off to Tottenham on Sunday.

I like my trips to London.

Tottenham is probably middle ranking when it come to favoured visits in the capital.

On a sliding scale I have the likes of Fulham, Arsenal, West Ham (old ground) and QPR at the top end, whilst Chelsea, West Ham (new ground) and Millwall are at the very bottom.

The middle ground occupied by the likes of Charlton, Crystal Palace and Tottenham.

This time there is the added attraction of the new stadium, that has finally been completed and is open for business.

Like the rest of the sold out 3,000 away section, I’m guessing the ‘new ground’ to tick off is a major pulling point.

For myself, I can only put forward having a drink and a good laugh with friends as the other real attraction of going on Sunday.

I will of course at least go through the motions of supporting the team for the 90 minutes of course AND I do really hope I can be pleasantly/massively surprised.

However, I see nothing more better than a tortuous game that will feel like a lot longer than the 90 minutes.

I don’t want to feel so negative but along with the rest of the poor unfortunates that were there at Norwich on Saturday, you would to be on some seriously good (legal or illegal) drugs to be looking forward to the football side of things.

I have a strong feeling that Saturday will prove to have been the very highest point of the season for Norwich and their fans.

No other club is going to make them look like Brazil. Standing around like statues half the time as the Canaries passed the ball around them. The 19 other clubs will be in their faces and matching them for every ball, then repeatedly looking capable of breaching a very very poor defence, which Newcastle’s all but non-existent attacking threat made look so comfortable.

I’m not saying Norwich won’t get any more points/wins but I’m 100% sure they will still prove to be strong relegation contenders and will not have an easier win all season.

The answers as to how Newcastle United can bounce back are the same old, at least in the longer-term.

New owner, a credible manager, proper investment in the academy, training facilities, St James Park, the first team squad…you know, all the things that we don’t have with Mike Ashley.

As for the short-term, we are stuck with this group of players and seemingly, Steve Bruce.

Ashley has been keen to get rid of any credible people as soon as he feasibly could, people who were proving to be obstacles in the way of how he insists on running the club: Kevin Keegan, Chris Hughton, Alan Shearer and Rafa Benitez…

However, in the past he has grimly held on as long as possible to those who were happy to accept their role as a stooge/patsy, with JFK, Pardew, Carver and McClaren at the forefront. So whatever happens with results, Steve Bruce will be here for a good while, unless he (Bruce) himself throws in the towel.

So in terms of this season, we are still having to hope/rely on the same players that we were relying on before a ball was kicked. For 22 year olds ASM and Joelinton to prove to be serial goalscorers that they haven’t been so far in their careers, for Almiron to belatedly add a high number of goals to some admirable running with the ball and work hard, as well as Dwight Gayle and Andy Carroll to get fit sometime this summer AND score goals.

It is difficult to imagine now that in the Premier League years before Mike Ashley arrived, Newcastle United overall were overwhelmingly a far better team and more ambitious club than Tottenham. Newcastle playing in the Champions League and competing at the top of the Premier League.

There is no better comparison now than this state of the art 60,000+ new stadium that has been added to the impressive Spurs set-up, which of course includes a top notch training facility.

In comparison, Mike Ashley has refused any investment on St James Park, indeed instead ensuring personal profit for  himself as he has bought and sold land that once belonged to the football club, in order to facilitate a development on land opposite the Gallowgate that will end any hope of expanding SJP even after he has gone (one day). Plus of course instead of the promised new top level training complex promised in 2013, the old not fit for purpose existing facility has had a coat of paint and things such as a swimming pool/hydrotherapy are seen as some kind of surreal unachievable dream.

Ahead of my trip to Tottenham, I was also interested to read their guide to the new stadium, which includes:

‘The Club is proud to deliver the world’s first fully cashless stadium as we aim to provide the best possible fan experience at our home.

No cash will be accepted for any purchase made within the stadium and its surrounding campus, including the Tottenham Experience and The M.

The result will be:

• Increased speed of service and shorter queue times.

• More payment options – bank cards, mobile, gift card.

• Improved hygiene – catering staff won’t be handling cash.’

Tottenham now not accepting cash as Mike Ashley still refuses to spend it.

Two clubs heading in very different directions.

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