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Tottenham asked this journalist for expert Newcastle United opinion – Hilarious

3 months ago
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Newcastle United take on Tottenham on Sunday.

Very different driving forces for the two teams, indeed the two clubs and their hierarchies.

A win for Tottenham could see them top four in the Premier League after this weekend.

A defeat for Newcastle United could see them bottom three in the Premier League after this weekend.

Ahead of the match, the official Tottenham site searched out a journalist who regularly covers Newcastle United, to get an expert view on the opposition.

What the people at Spurs didn’t realise, was that they were getting the Chairman of the Steve Bruce appreciation society and the NUFC Head Coach’s most enthusiastic cheerleader.

It is like listening to Steve Bruce himself at one of his press conferences…

From the official Tottenham site:

‘After the international break, we return to action with a Premier League clash against Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday (2.05pm). To preview the 52nd meeting between the teams in the competition, we tapped into the Toon knowledge of Luke Edwards, Northern football writer at the Daily and Sunday Telegraph.’

Newcastle United Form:

Luke Edwards:

“Two wins in 20 in all competitions probably tells most of the story.

“Back in November, if fans remember, Newcastle were the first club to suffer an outbreak of COVID, they were 10th at the time, they won their first game after that against West Brom (12 December) and were nine points clear of relegation. I don’t think anyone saw this run coming then, but their form has nose-dived, including defeats against Brentford in the League Cup and Sheffield United’s first win in January.

“They picked up after that, and current form is three defeats in the last seven, with three draws (Wolves, West Brom, Villa) and one win (3-2 against Southampton), but then they were terrible at Brighton (3-0 loss last time out).

“It’s been a tough season, and there is no sugar-coating that, but they have been playing better recently – apart from Brighton – and there is a good chance they will have Miguel Almiron and Callum Wilson back, perhaps with Allan Saint-Maximin on the bench, and when those three are available, Newcastle are a completely different proposition, offering a potent counter-attacking threat.

“They have to get out of trouble, and from a Tottenham perspective, that makes them dangerous opponents coming off an international break. They have a point to prove and it will be interesting to see what the reaction is like.”

Newcastle United Playing Style:

Luke Edwards:

“Recently, they’ve looked to play a diamond in midfield, without a centre forward, and the front three interchanging.

“Certainly, with Wilson, Saint-Maximin and Almiron all available and all out there, Newcastle are a completely different team. They will threaten, and if Spurs leave themselves open to a counter, they will get punished.

“I don’t think Newcastle will necessarily sit in and try to grind out a result, but they will try to play on the counter.

“You’d say Tottenham should win it, really, but it will be interesting to see how Newcastle react after Brighton with those three players back in and around the first team again.”

Honestly, this ongoing myth that long-term injuries for Callum Wilson, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin have supposedly ruined Newcastle’s season, is absolutely laughable.

Almiron has only been unavailable for two of the 29 PL games, Wilson hasn’t been available for only seven of the 29, whilst for Allan Saint-Maximin he has been unavailable for thirteen of the NUFC PL matches.

In the 16 games ASM has played in, Newcastle United have only scored 16 goals, in the other 13 games when ASM hasn’t featured, NUFC have scored 12 goals.

Yes when he is good he can be great but even before the Covid outbreak came along, Steve Bruce was going to drop ASM anyway for the Palace away game, so poor / average was his form with rare exceptions this season.

As for Miguel Almiron, Steve Bruce is so clueless, he largely hasn’t had a clue what to do with him, most games when playing him, using the Paraguayan as simply an extra defender. In eight of the first seventeen Premier League games this season, Steve Bruce named Almiron on the bench (including that woeful defeat at Sheffield United) and not the first team, playing the likes of Jeff Hendrick ahead of him!

I love the man from The Telegraph’s use of statistics, deciding recent form is the last seven games and declaring just the three defeats in those seven. Claiming things have been much improved in recent times etc etc.

Another way of presenting recent form is that these last six games, Newcastle haven’t won a single match, the only one of the 20 PL clubs to do so, indeed NUFC joint bottom of the form table with Sheffield United with three points from a possible 18.

This season hasn’t been bad luck, or hit by covid any more than a number of clubs, neither has it been brief runs of bad form, nor down to injuries to key attacking players.

It has been a long and woeful process under Steve Bruce, with very few decent deserved results or decent to watch football.

In 21 of the 29 PL matches, Newcastle have scored 0 (11 times) or 1 (10 times) goals.

In 22 of the 29 PL matches, Newcastle have failed to score in the first half.

In 18 of the last 20 matches (all competitions) in the last four months, Newcastle have failed to win.

Luke Edwards can stick up for his mate all he wants but Spurs fans will already know the truth.

That game at Tottenham in September was one of the very worst under Steve Bruce, in terms of him refusing to let his team cross the halfway line. Newcastle didn’t have a single shot on target in the entire 90 minutes and were woeful.

Newcastle’s goal leading a charmed life with 23 Spurs shots and 12 on target, plus 10 corners.

However, just the one goal for Tottenham and then an outrageous smash and grab in the 97th minute when VAR awarded Newcastle a ludicrous but very welcome penalty, Callum Wilson at last getting a NUFC effort on target.

That is what Newcastle fans have been watching all season, with very rare exceptions. Absolutely terrible at Brighton in the last game, no matter how much ‘sugar-coating’ Luke Edwards is willing to do for his mate, Steve Bruce has presided over a shocking season and it is down to him.

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