Tottenham 5 Newcastle 0: Lessons from a one-sided affair
What lessons did we learn from Tottenham Hotspur's demolition of Newcastle United at White Hart Lane in Saturday's late game?
Why did Everton let Saha go?
Louis Saha’s White Hart Lane debut was impressive, and it begged the question of why David Moyes allowed the French striker to leave Goodison Park? The Toffees’ problems in front of goal have been well documented, and their purchase of Rangers hit-man Nikica Jelavić triggered the departure of Saha. Whether or not Moyes was unable to accommodate the Croatian striker and Saha on the Everton wage bill, the former Fulham and Manchester United man is one of the league’s classiest finishers, and his departure will weaken Everton. Once again, it appears Harry Redknapp has pulled of a coup in the transfer market following Saha’s brace against Newcastle.
“Harry Redknapp, we want you to stay”
The Tottenham supporters let Redknapp, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and the Football Association know their view on the speculation linking the 63-year-old manager to the vacant England position. The Spurs boss is yet to air his views on the possibility of succeeding Fabio Capello in the toughest job in world football, except that he won’t manage both club and country. Redknapp is in the process of creating something special at White Hart Lane – Spurs have replaced their north London rivals Arsenal as the most exciting team in the top flight. The England job is a poisoned chalice and Redknapp would do well to avoid taking it.
Defoe falls further into the shadows
Spurs latest fledgling strike partnership looks the most lethal combination that Redknapp has at his disposal. Newcastle, and particularly Fabricio Coloccini, were unable to cope with Tottenham pair Emmanuel Adebayor and Saha on Saturday. The dynamic duo showed an instant understanding, with the Togo striker setting up Saha for his first goal as Adebayor also netted. Jermain Defoe, linked with a move to Liverpool during the January transfer window, cut a frustated figure on the bench, and the England forward must be concerned about his future at Spurs, not to mention his prospects of being selected for Euro 2012.
The Champions League pretenders
Newcastle have exceeded expectations this season. But Tottenham reminded Alan Pardew’s side that to become a mainstay towards the top of the table, consistency is required and the Magpies have lacked it this season. Pardew has assembled the spine of a strong side: Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse pose an attacking threat, while Yohan Cabaye is a valuable asset in midfield, and Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul have marshalled the Toon defence expertly for large parts of the campaign. Instead of feeling demoralised by the comprehensive defeat, Pardew can take inspiration from Spurs’ remarkable transformation, after all, it was only four seasons ago the London side were struggling in the relegation zone.
Crucial games for Spurs
Tottenham have reached the defining period of their season. Redknapp’s side have shown tremendous character to bounce back from a disappointing 3-2 defeat by Manchester City, which appeared to end their title hopes, and all on top of their manager’s high-profile court case. The White Hart Lane outfit have responded in emphatic fashion, collecting a precious point at Anfield last Monday, followed by Saturday’s stunning win. Next up for Spurs is their FA Cup fifth-round tie against Stevenage, and then a cluster of difficult league games including the north London derby, a clash with Manchester United, and a tricky tie at Goodison Park.