It’s mid-week, and while we may wish to continue to bask in what was a fine win against Chelsea, it is time to consign that one to the “well done” pile, and look forward to our next Premier League fixture – Tottenham away.
In years gone by, we looked at Spurs as a home banker, and a chance to nick a point away, but in recent years Spurs have propelled themselves towards the top 4, while Newcastle seem to have hit their glass ceiling in mid-table. While we cannot exactly complain about some of the talent that currently lines out for United – Krul, Debuchy, Cabaye et al, they really do pale in comparison to Spurs’ squad, not only in the quality of their first 11, but in the sheer depth in quality that runs throughout their squad.
Over the summer Tottenham sold Gareth Bale for a world record transfer fee reportedly over £85 million. Instead of pocketing the cash, or by spreading out investing that money over a few years or claim that some of the money was to be spent on agent’s fees, or contracts, Spurs actually went out and invested the vast proportion of that money. With it they signed the likes of Paulinho, Soldado, Lamela, Eriksen to name but a few, and few could argue that they have dramatically improved the depth and quality within their squad.
However, with all this attacking prowess in their squad, Tottenham’s success this season seems to be based on their defence, rather than offence. Scoring just 9 goals in 10 games, but conceding just 5 would seem to indicate that. Over the weekend I conducted a miniature scouting mission by watching Spurs take on Everton at Goodison Park, and while Dawson and Criches had Lukaku in their back pocket for the whole game, Soldado also cut a lonely figure up front as Tottenham’s no 9.
Personally, I think this Spurs team is just getting used to one another, and when they are all on the same wavelength, they will be a different animal entirely, but until then, can teams be capitalising on their inability to create clear-cut chances? More importantly, can Newcastle United capitalise?
In recent games Williamson and M’biwa have proven a solid, if unspectacular centre half pairing, and I would be comfortable in the thought that both these men could contain Soldado up front by himself. If we can get some form of a foothold in midfield, where Tottenham possess some serious fire-power, then we could be in with a chance of nicking a point, or maybe something more.
So long as we show the same passion, desire and commitment that we shown in our last match against Chelsea, we will be a match for anyone. It just depends what Newcastle United will show up on the day.
What do you think? Do we stand a chance against Spurs this weekend? Who would you select to start to combat certain threats?