3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Tottenham 5 Newcastle 1
Sunday afternoon ended Tottenham 5 Newcastle 1.
A professional job in the first half and Newcastle United in a good position at the break, then we had this second half…
Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers / contributors to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game, this time it is Jane Clark.
By the time Bruno Guimaraes got onto the pitch, Newcastle United were already 3-1 down and the game lost, before he had a chance to barely have a kick the midfielder saw NUFC concede a poor fourth.
Bruno couldn’t save the game but at least in the remaining half hour or so he helped impose some semblance of order and discipline, at least where his own game was concerned. You can only do so much to influence and improve those around you.
The downside of having internationals from South American countries is that long plane journeys mean difficult decisions on whether to include on their return. If this had been a must win / not lose match then I think Bruno Guimaraes would have started at Tottenham but Eddie Howe no doubt having in mind four matches that quickly follow, all looking more winnable than Sunday and the first three of them at home.
For what it is worth, Bruno easily Newcastle’s man of the match despite only 30 or so minutes on the pitch. The signing from Lyon sets the standard now when it comes to recruitment in the summer.
It is easy for many to lose track of how different stages of the match went, when you end up losing 5-1.
However, it is simply daft to ignore the fact that Newcastle and Eddie Howe got it all pretty much right in the first half.
Not the greatest entertainment but away from home against a far better team who have some outstanding attacking players, to restrict them to only one effort on target in the entire first half until the second produced the equaliser, was a decent effort. Newcastle unlucky to see Joe Willock not give United the lead due to a great Spurs defensive block, before Fabian Schar looked to have sent NUFC in ahead at the break.
A free hit
I think as well that to a large degree, most people connected with Newcastle United saw this game as a free hit.
It was always going to be a tough match to get anything out of, Spurs playing well, winning games and scoring for fun (now 21 scored in their last six PL games).
With three games at home now against mid-table teams, followed by an away game at bottom club Norwich, these are matches where Newcastle can be expected to be competitive and pick up the points needed to ensure safety.
The last time Newcastle lost by four goals it was against Man City in December, which then was followed by nine PL matches unbeaten. I’m not expecting that but certainly it isn’t impossible to think of going unbeaten in this next quartet of games and ending up safe from relegation before playing Liverpool at the end of April.
The Newcastle United defence and indeed those in front of them, have acted like a real cohesive unit in recent months.
However, as things fell apart after the break, they looked like strangers.
Impossible to really pick out any individuals as this was a real team effort. However, unlike when the 11 players were all pulling together to go on that nine match unbeaten run, this time all 11 to collectively blame for a 45 minutes they will all want to forget.
Tortoise and the Hare(s)
Along with pretty much every other player, Jonjo Shelvey has looked better under Eddie Howe than he did under that bloke who used to be here.
However, whilst some such as Joelinton have really stepped up to a whole different level, for Shelvey it has only been a small relative improvement in recent months.
The sight of Shelvey a number of times toiling behind a Spurs player running away from him whilst also dribbling the ball, was a stand out. Never quick to start with, Shelvey is now in his thirties and I don’t see him starting in our midfield next season, not if we want to progress anyway. It was real tortoise and the hare stuff and sadly this particular tortoise on Sunday was never catching up with any of the Tottenham hares.
Despite having what looked a much weakened side, last month Newcastle were the better and more dangerous team when away at Chelsea and deserved a point if not better. That display was built on a high press and a lot of energy in midfield, with Bruno and Sean Longstaff doing a lot of work. Something which I just don’t see Jonjo Shelvey capable of getting anywhere near.
Confidence / Momentum
What I think Eddie Howe will be keen to emphasise to his players this week, is that they haven’t suddenly become a bad team with these three defeats in a row, just as they didn’t suddenly become a good team with that nine match unbeaten run.
Confidence and momentum are fragile things and I think it is important to note that in the last three matches, Newcastle have done at least ok, apart from in the second half at Everton when it was a bit of a nothing 45 minutes, plus then this really poor second half at Spurs when they temporarily lost the plot against some top class attacking players.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Tottenham 5 Newcastle 1 – Sunday 3 April 4.30pm
Davies 43, Doherty 48, Son 54, Emerson 63, Bergwijn 83
Half-time stats in brackets.
Possession was Tottenham 62% (65%) Newcastle 38% (35%)
Total shots were Tottenham 19 (8) Newcastle 8 (4)
Shots on target were Tottenham 6 (2) Newcastle 1 (1)
Corners were Tottenham 2 (2) Newcastle 3 (1)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Dubravka, Manquillo (Guimaraes 59), Schar, Burn, Targett, Shelvey, Willock, , Joelinton (Murphy 59), Fraser, Saint-Maximin, Wood (Lascelles 70)
Darlow, Dummett, Gayle, Longstaff, Ritchie, Krafth
(Newcastle United sail into perfect storm – Read HERE)
(Eddie Howe wonders how Newcastle go from 6 goals conceded in 900 minutes to 3 in 11 – Read HERE)
(Antonio Conte sees brilliance as he reflects on Tottenham 5 Newcastle 1 – Read HERE)
(This is embarrassing over the top reaction to Tottenham 5 Newcastle 1 – Read HERE)
(Tottenham 5 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan / writer reaction to Sunday’s hammering – Read HERE)
(Tottenham 5 Newcastle 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)
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