PLAYER RATINGS: Tottenham 0-1 Newcastle United

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

We’ve seen it a few times at White Hart Lane. Spurs have a humongous number of chances yet the opposition keeper has a blinder and wins them the game. Ironically, this was a match where our passing actually started to look fluent and dangerous, rather than the lethargy that we have been forced to endure in previous weeks and months. Losing Lloris didn’t help although this match was all about who was in Newcastle’s net, not ours.

Brad Friedel – 6 – Arguably could and should have done better for the goal, but he did make a few good clearances from in-swinging corners.

Kyle Walker – 6 – Looked dangerous on the right flank and didn’t have too much to do defensively.

Michael Dawson – 6 – Let Remy go for the goal which is criminal; needs to either stay with him or play offside, but definitely not neither.

Vlad Chiriches – 6 – Impressive when pressing forward but not his best defensive game and was forced off by a facial injury at half time.

Jan Vertonghen – 6 – Nowhere near as impressive offensively or defensively as he has been in previous matches, to our detriment.

Paulinho – 6 – Overran the ball which directly contributed to the Newcastle goal and made only a few token efforts to seriously contribute to our attacking threat.

Mousa Dembele – 5 – A poor and uncomfortable performance from the Belgian and rightly subbed off at half time as we needed some stability in the centre of the pitch.

Andros Townsend – 5 – Saw plenty of the ball but failed to influence the game as much as he has done previously this season.

Christian Eriksen – 7 – Best Spurs player on the pitch, darting all over the place to try and find a killer pass, but he missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise in the second half.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – 4 – Anonymous. Lamela please.

Roberto Soldado – 5 – Crudely fouled by Yanga-Mbiwa on a couple of occasions when he threatened to turn him, but he was crowded out whenever he threatened to get a meaningful strike on goal. Unlucky not to score with a great near post header from an Eriksen free-kick.



Sandro – 7 – Solidified the midfield and made us tick slightly more, ensuring that we dominated the second half.

Younes Kaboul – 6 – Our defence certainly looked more solid with him in there although Newcastle did have less of the ball anyway in the second half.

Jermain Defoe – 4 – Came off the bench, did nothing. Remind you of any previous substitute appearances by him?

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  1. I usually have a couple edits, but I think you are spot on with these scores. I might have given Townsend a 4. Remember how we worried that defenses would figure out his predictable tricks? They have. Aaron Lennon to the byline crossing in please! Either that or send Walker down the line more with Sandro/Capoue sliding right to cover for him. Personally, I think Lennon is the better crosser. I think one holding midfielder is enough when that one is either Sandro or Capoue. Push Paulinho up next to Eriksen or play Siggy or Holtby or Dembele or Lamela there. Put either Townsend or Eriksen out to the left.

    A tough loss. They have lots of work to do, but I'm not going to panic yet. No one in the EPL is playing flawless football right now. Anyone see Man City get beat by Sunderland? The only team playing we'll is Southampton, but we all know that can't last, right?

    Lastly, Soldado got more service this game, but still not nearly enough. The timing of his runs is off, mostly because it is as yet impossible to predict what Townsend will do with the ball (when he passes). Defoe and Soldado should NEVER play together. Ade or Lamela should have come on (Ade obviously wasn't on the bench, of course). I'm not hysterical enough to suggest Kane, yet, but maybe if he continues to progress in Cup and Europa matches.


  2. Paulinho was awful – passing backwards and losing the ball.

    Sigurdsson was not involved in the game and is so inconsistent.

    Dembele was very poor and is so over rated.

    Townsend was too predictable.

  3. I can't wait to a a speedy attack giving opponents less time to get organised. Play Lennon on the right and Lamela or Townsend on the left and get past the full backs. We get loads of possession but never where it counts. Everything seems to take ages to get to the final third. By that time their bus is parked. We need to be a bit more forward thinking not backwards all the time.

  4. Totally agree, Paulinho has been awful for so long but somehow he's in the team without fail every week, and for a box2box midfielder he does no defending and is crap at everything going forward. I think we need to get Lamela in the team, and I think Holtby would have much more of a defensive and offensive presence than Paulinho.

    As for the left wing, either try Townsend on his left foot or Kane, he's been great as a left forward so far this season.

    I'd like to see

    Sandro Holtby
    Lamela Eriksen (Townsend/Kane)

    • This would work for me:

      Sandro Holtby
      Lamela Kane Eriksen

      I would also like to see Sandro and Tom Carroll as a midfield combination.

  5. The only disappointment is that although we played badly in the first half, we mullered them in the second half….we are on the verge of handing out a bad beating to someone, and if you look at the stats…14 saves OMG it should have been today.

    Sandro was great when he came on, Paulinho had the worst first half he has played for us, but, got into the game properly in the second half….Defoe was a wasted substitution, this game was crying for Lamela/Ade to stretch their defence, as they were so concentrated on trebling up on Townsend, they would not have been able to cope with Lamela as well !!!

    No need to panic, all in all we didn't actually play that badly in the 2nd half, the substitutions should have been made a little earlier, but, apart from Defoe, the right people came on.

  6. Great comments the sooner we get back to playing wingers on the sides they should play we might actually start supplying the forwards I thought paulino was lathagic how Sandro didn't start amazes me, we've got 30mill pound player who scored was man of the match Thursday don't even get on today . I also think holtby and eriksen could play together also I'd like to see ade get a chance bring something different to the board COYS!

  7. Defoe is so selfish and Townsend is following suit!! Somebody should be playing as a proper no 10 is support of Soldado — Kane Lamela Paulinho???

  8. I am sorry but AVB again got the line up wrong today. Dembele has been poor all season bar a game or two, He simply is not good enough defensively as a midfielder and does nothing going forward. With erikson and siggi the team was far too lightweight and anyone putting in their foot was going to cause us no end of trouble. No suprise first goal came from indecision from Dembele and Paulinho and they won every 50/50 ball. Why the hell does AVB not realise Sandro is the main man for the holding role? 2nd half we were much better, won more tackles, moved the ball quicker, but had no luck. I would have got lamela on for erikson. We desperately need a benteke type forward to mix it up a bit and again we simply cannot play to soldado's strengths. AVB needs to wake up and realise that some players are simply not performing and that in jan a striker like benteke is a priority

  9. consistency……what they all lack (exlloris). We all know they can play better and we have one of strongest squads we must play at speed …like early 2nd half. Why didn't we do it in 1st half.agree about sandro. Why didn't he switch Townsend,he was covered by 2/3players on right .mix it up a bit.having said all this friedel was unemployed for long periods and krul stopped everything.the way things are going title will end up on south coast.!!!!

  10. Again another disappointing game where to be honest dispite going 1 down early we should have beaten them! First of I believe avb is the right man for the spurs job!! let’s not forget the talent he can attract and is highly respected internationally… Evidently we need to bring in more talent!!!!! But the problem is he has bought like for like players which means competition is high and also I think that creates selfish players i.e Townsend !! Who would rather go for the glory and shoot rather then feed the team a create for saldado just trying to secure his spot rather then care about the team I couldn’t give a toss whether he plays for England this guy is not better then lamela who I think is technically better in the last third of the pitch and I just can’t understand why he doesn’t play!!! £30million !! In order for him to settle he has to play the games, just as he gave paulhino the games he should of done so for eriksen and lamela from the start as I believe when they gel this will be spurs great threat!! Siggy is not good enough!! People screaming for Defoe ! I don’t think so we need to strengthen in jan for sure !! The way this going we won’t get top four, coz our players are more concerned with getting in the team then playing as one! Take out Townsend and his selfish big head and play lamela and Lennon on the wings with eriksen in the middle behind saldado !!!

    • I like your comment 'our players are more concerned with getting in the team then playing as one'.

      I have been thinking that Spurs don't play as a team. It was the same last season when Bale won so many games individually. The problem this season is that Spurs don't have Bale and instead have Townsend and Paulinho who are taking shots that are mostly way off target.

  11. As a Newcastle fan i was really unimpressed with Spurs. Having stuck 2 goals past you today (one ruled offside), it's apparent you're lacking an attacking threat.

    I think more teams will set up to attack you like we did in the first half, and your defense will crumble. We then reverted to 4-5-1 and soaked everything up. Krul was excellent, but if you'd scored we would've just attacked again and got another.

    Chelsea scalp last week, Spurs this week. Decent couple of weeks for us.

  12. AVB is not tactical genious, sad but true.. :( Our attack game is AWFUL.. AVB don't change tactic or player enough.. We had good player allways on the benc, Sandro, Lamela, Defoe.. This sound same as when Jol was manager. Same tactic and same players all the time, that won't work.. I'm BIG Spurs fan but if something change we don't got place top four.. :(

  13. Dembele has no end product what so ever , never scores and does not get assists . Townsend poor and greedy . So over rated in my book it is unbelievable . Capoue or sandro must always start as they make us more solid and allow us more frreedom up front . Lamela has to start games now , has much more to his game than anyone else in our squad .avb was shit today . Picked wrong team to start and was rubbish with his use of the bench . Poor poor poor . Bad day

  14. Kane needs to be used more as I dont really see a difference between defoe and soldado , neither can make anything for themselves

  15. And why drop lloris after allowing him to play on last week ? was that media pressure ? bloody confused on that decision . Lloris would not have let that goal in I am sure

  16. From what I did see today Spurs can't play 4-2-3-1. . . not at our pitch at White Hart Lane. And why they should do anyway? Why do we need two defensive midfielders when at home and only one striker? I firmly believe that one in front of our back four is more than enough especially if that's Sandro. 4-4-2 with Sandro and in my opinion Holtby will be the perfect match. One can defend and one can attack and create chances. Eriksen had today had another shocking game, the same can be said about Dembele as well. Don't even mention Paulinho. The 17 million summer purchase has been nothing but disappointment lately and today was just as bad. I am sorry but until proven wrong Sandro and Holtby are our best central midfielders based on creativity and stability. 4-4-2 of course will require two wingers and I can't see Townsend being one of them. After a flash of skills and one goal for England he believes that he made it but how wrong he is and AVB for selecting him. Lennon on the right Chadli on the left covered by Andros and Guilfy is the obvious best configuration for Spurs right now. The two up front? Soldado and Lamela of course by all means. I have seen miracles over the years and the risings of stars when you don't expect. From what I've seen Lamela has what it takes to be our "just behind the striker player" simply because he can pass, dribble, find spaces and most importantly score goals. 15 goals for Roma last season only proved that and a partnership with Soldado can be something that even the Spaniard was dreaming of. The two of them can certainty play together and can produce magic, goals and joy to watch Spurs play the Tottenham way again. 4-4-2 was the formula that saved us last season or maybe is just the only can play

  17. When I saw that Defoe is going to replace Siggy I wanted to commit suicide. AVB decided to play with only one winger (and that winger was Townsend who was a Newcastle player today) and just threw Defoe into the box, because he may get lucky and the ball might find him. It was horrible! I begged to see Lamela on the pitch – he’s the only Spurs player who could actually do something in the crowded Newcastle box! And instead he put Defoe who had 2 touches in the whole game. Damn we need to change! Can’t wait to see a Spurs team with Sandro (my man of the match) in the middle, Lamela on the right and Chadli on the left.

  18. it is becoming more and more apparent as each week goes by how much Bale kept AVB in a job and why Chelsea became so frustrated with him. I'm afraid that after todays selection, it is very doubtful that he could successfully pick his nose let alone a winning side. Yet again we play with one striker when the opposition play with 2 up top. Yet again we play with one winger on the wrong side of the pitch with a central midfielder playing wide left while 2 wingers get splinters on the bench. And yet again, we cant score because it seems compulsory to make 25 passes prior to entering the opposition half. How is Lamela going to gain confidence after his strong performance in midweek by then being, in effect, dropped ? Am I the only one who wonders each week what the hell Freunds role is ?
    The first game I saw at Spurs was in 1962 v Benfica and I have seen all sorts of squads good and bad over the past 50 odd, very odd years. This on paper is one of the best, most talented squads we have ever had. But it will go to waste very quickly unless someone gets hold of it now and gives it a sense of direction and purpose. The aim of this game is to go through the opposition as quickly and economically as possible to score a goal. The sooner our coaching staff realise that, the sooner we will start winning games !!

    • Hi Kaybee
      I remember the Benfica matches in '62 and of course the season in general. What a team that was. I cried after the Benfica game. But what a night! Dodgy refereeing denied Greavesie. We could have won the European Cup that year. Real were in decline, but Benfica were a very good side.

  19. I think our strikers were poor erikson needs practice at taking corners and free kicks townsend just shoots all the time may be we should play 442 .in Jan we need a left back and target man like BA lukaku or even adebayor
    I would like to see. loris rose vertongan,dawson,walker lennon sandro,paulinho,lamela soldado, adebayor..
    I have not been impressd with soldado chadli or erikson. I think lamella should of started to give some confidence after having a good game on Thursday. We couldn't score in a brothel

  20. With townsend as impact sub and lennon and lamela switching a few times. If we need more of a physical presence put paulinho or dembele for holtby.(i thought it would be interesting to see 2play makers)

  21. Terrible starting lineup today. Townsend and Dembele are the two most overrated players in the league atm.
    For the man city game, the lineup should be:
    Walker…..Vlad….Vert…..Rose(if is fit enough to play)
    Lennon Sandro Erikson Chadli

  22. How could Dawson have let Remy go for the goal when he was marking Ameobi at the time, or should he be marking every opposition player?
    The writer of the article is incorrect or just chooses to see what he wants to see.
    Ask Cissoko if he fancies going past Dawson again.

  23. The 4-2-3-1 is less the problem than the players selected to fill those positions. The defence did fine, but was exposed by the holding middle being completely out of position for the goal. How Sandro is not the first player on the sheet, I'll never know. We are horribly susceptible to the quick counter without him. I would actually like to see either Holtby or Capoue matched up with him in the middle of the midfield, they work harder than either Paulinho or Dembele. Also think we would be helped creatively with Lamela, Eriksen and either Holtby or Lennon as the three in back of the striker. Agree wholeheartedly with an earlier post calling for a return to traditionally positioned wingers who might actually get to the byline and cut the ball back.
    And this finally has just got to be said:
    AVB doesn't seem to consistently pick his best options, but there may, I suppose, be some debate about this, however what is beyond debate is that he is completely clueless when it comes to making effective adjustments off the bench, during the game. It's a skill he just doesn't have.

  24. Drossmonger strikes again.

    If you have to play two holding players where were Sandro and Capoue ?

    Any one can see we carry no threat on the left so stop us going down the right and you got us.

    We havn't looked like scoring all season.


  25. I think our starting 11 next week should be Lloris; Walker, Kaboul, Chiriches, Vertonghen ; Sandro, Holtby ; Lamela, Eriksen, Lennon; Soldado. The reason is quite simple – we have a huge competition for places in the first team this season and if a player doesn’t play well and up to his standards, he should be benched and someone else should replace him. That is the idea of having so much depth. Therefore I just can’t understand why AVB keeps the likes of Townsend, Dembele, Paulinho and Sigurdsson in the first team when they keep on playing poor for a few weeks! Especially when people like Lamela, Lennon, Holtby, Kaboul, Sandro and Capoue, who are young, ambitious men buzzing for a chance to play, are sitting on the bench and most of them are even unused substitutes! We need a revolution in our starting 11 and although i really like AVB, I’m begining to doubt if he’s the person that can do that. Damn, we were thought to be title contenders and now what we’ve got? We have scored only 9 goals in 11 matches! While only a week ago Manchester City scored 7 goals in one match!

    Really AVB, get it together or we’ll find someone who will! COYS!

  26. quite right larry i dont want to sound anti avb but its about time he stepped up to the mark dosent know yet his right combinations dosent know how to work the bench on substitusions why oh why lamela sitting on the bench these are proffesional footballers should be capable of playing 2 games a week he has had enough bench time to play 2 games start to get it right avb we now have 2 really hard games ahead if we lose both games i cannot see much of a season ahead soory boys not trying to be pessamistic but we all know things are not right at the lane yes we have some good players but unless we get it right we are going to be struggling to get europa league next year

  27. Frustration amongst player who can't connect, tends to be individualist (eg. Townsend), lack of urgency and pressing mindset in addition to poor selection and complete bizarre tactics. Felt like an away game and "unfair result"…from AVB??? This guy has a serious communication distress managing talents and arrogant mind block of wanting to start with one striker with poorest goals records in the league! AVB find your own identity at your own expenses not thru mismanaging players playing wrong roles as compared to their best skill strength. You did that at Chelsea and good the boot! The array of all comments speaks about basic "common sense" and your (AVB) role to enhance not to make it ver "uncommon" week in and out .

  28. TOWNSEND: Send him out on loan until he learns to play wing football. I don't think I've ever seen a more inept, selfish example of wingplay than his. Flat refusal to cross. An almost nil result trying to beat his man for 90 + minutes.
    DEFOE: Goodbye in January, JD
    SANDRO: Unless he's hurt, pick the team around him.
    LAMELA: More minutes, and quickly, please AVB

  29. – Kaboul needs to start over Dawson

    – Rose needs to return

    – 1 defensive midfielder only in Sandro/Capoue

    – Play traditional wingers to open the field up

    – Lamela needs gametime!!!

    – Demebele/Paulinho both need time on the bench

    And guess what, AVB is doing the polar opposite. If we want to acore any goals this season then we might want to start feeding Soldado properly. Sure, he isn’t doing anything at the moment either, but he’s low on confidence because he’s starved of the service he became accustomed to at Valencia. Opening up the play by deploying traditional wingers IS the solution. It would grant Erikson more space to find gaps in the defenxe, and not crowd our centre midfield.

    It’s too early to write off players like Soldado Paulinho, Erikson; it’s just they’re playing in the wrong system. And FFS buy another lb Franco, why do we allways nwglect our fullbacks..

  30. ITS NOT THE PLAYERS FAULT…….The Tactics by AVB leave a lot to be desired.. So much possession and little running. Anyone can have 70% possession if all you do is pass it around the midfield or backs. Everyone seems too scared to make a run or chance a through pass. It's all about not being the one who gives the ball away. It's all too sterile.
    I don't blame the players. There is enough talent on the paddock to win the league but no-one is playing to how we know they can play. Blame AVB……FFS

  31. Took till half time to bring 2 of our best players on, the BEASTS, in midfield & defense AKA the best defensive midfielder in the league & 1 of the very best defenders in the league.
    Got to be Loris, vertonghen kaboul sandro as a spine.
    add walker, rose when fit, soldado (no more defoe please) lamela, townsend down the left & the rest by form, (not because there a Brazilian international) but on form players please. .
    oh yes in my opinion loaning BAE & keeping naughton was a HUGE mistake.

  32. Our problem is creativity and service to forwards. Townsend for all his running isn't a clever enough footballer to see Soldado's runs. Sight always needs to check back, Ericksen is too deep with little link play between him and Soldado.

    I would start playing a 5 man midfield with the two deeper midfielders beng Sandro (the destroyer) and either Capoue or Paulinho. In front a midfield trio of Holtby on left, Ericksen Middle and Lamela on right. It won't give much width but will allow Rose and Walker to get forward. What it means is more guile, link up play and those all important triangles that create chances. Our fullbacks can push to give width and one of the DMs can fill in as they push on. The three forward mids all have good passing ability, able to see runs and can all get in the box to score. Townsend is supposed to be a winger but like Bale did he comes inside too much so why jot play guys there who can play like Arsenal, City or Chelsea who are similar players and can play intelligent one touch passing round the box and feed Soldado.

    Personnel is wrong at the moment in my opinion.

  33. Lots of good comments here but none seem to point outthat this is the second match we have lost after playing our best team in the Useless cup. We need to prioritize a place in the top 4 to get Champions league football – so the Useless cup should be for the reserves – why won't AVB learn? We were appallingly slow and deliberate in the first half but I don't think Newcastle would have got their goal if Sandro had been on the pitch. We also seem to be too intent on keeping the ball, endless back passing and have lost our fast forward movement – hence no goals. Individuals:
    Townsend – vastly overrated and no tactical nous,and almost never any end product, how he has replaced Lennon is beyond me. He might be fast and have 2 feet but he needs to learn that there is more to football than running and shooting anywhere.
    Dembele – has always been a bit iffy in my book and yesterday decidedly so.He's been unfortunate in so far as he was the replacement for Modric but by now he should be imposing himself much more but does not seem able to rise to this.
    Eriksen – I really liked him at first but he is only occasionally brilliant and the rest of the time plays too many duff balls.
    Sigurdson – does seem to go missing but he did have a couple of good attempts on goal.
    Soldado – actually saw the ball and probably should have had a goal. However, as long as we play with just one striker, his chances will be limited. How about playing him with Adebayor who I think could have made the difference yesterday…
    As would of course Lamella. would also like to seem more of Capoue and Chadli. AVB needs to turn the team into a much faster attacking outfit.

  34. First name on teamsheet is Lloris (assuming fitness). Second is SANDRO. Much has been made of Spurs' solid defence, but this is dependent on strong defensive midfielder – Sandro or Capoue, or maybe both. Paulinho and Dembele are both fluffy defensively and rather ineffective going forward. Townsend is being double marked and would be more effective in a roving role as happened with Bale, or brought on late in game as an impact player against a tiring defence. Lamela should be started with and given games to assert himself. If Rose and Chadli still unfit, I would suggest against Man C :
    Walker Vlad Kaboul Vertonghen
    Sandro Capoue
    Lamela Eriksen Lennon

    Subs : Townsend Dawson Defoe Friedl Holtby Dembele Paulinho

  35. First name on teamsheet is Lloris (assuming fitness). Second is SANDRO. Much has been made of Spurs' solid defence, but this is dependent on strong defensive midfielder – Sandro or Capoue, or maybe both. Paulinho and Dembele are both fluffy defensively and rather ineffective going forward. Townsend is being double marked and would be more effective in a roving role as happened with Bale, or brought on late in game as an impact player against a tiring defence. Lamela should be started with and given games to assert himself. If Rose and Chadli still unfit, I would suggest against Man C :

  36. AVB doesn't know what his best team is. He spent over £100m, scored 9 goals, including 3 pens in 11 games.
    Versus Newcastle, he made wrong team selection. He should have started Sandro but decided to bring him on at half time, a defensive/ holding midfielder when you were losing at home to an average team.
    In addition, I also find some of his decisions "mind boggling" namely.
    1. Lamela, our record signing at £30 m and MoM V Sheriff has not started a prem. game.
    2. ADE hasn't been given a chance this season, he's only been in squad once this season, Europa League (although his personal tragedy must be taken into account). I believe ADE along with Soldado could be a partnership.
    3. Siggi plays most games but has been poor apart for a classic capital cup goal V Hull.
    4. Everyone is talking about Holtby, but I think he is average at best and is currently not good enough.
    5. AVB hasn't got the best out of Dembele, he was excellent at Fulham with Man U. strongly linked with him.
    6. He let Benni go to QPR on loan and and didn't have a recognised replacement to replace the injured Danny Rose.
    7. Although Vlad has done well, is he that much better than the departed Caulker, a local boy? I doubt it.

    Townsend, although a great prospect and has done really well is predictable as teams now double up on him but needs to get crosses in quicker.

    It is very evident from the season so far, that our build up is far too slow, we need to step on the gas big time. Bale literally single handily got us out of jail with his late goals last year.
    Why! oh Why! did we get rid of Harry, we played champagne football under him and he got the best out of all the players. Remember 2 years ago. Spurs 5 – Newcastle 0.
    We don't want it another hard luck year. COYS……………………

    My best Tottenham 11
    Walker, Vert(Vlad), Kaboul, Rose (Vert)
    Lamela, Sandro, Eriksen, Lennon (Townsend)
    ADE, Soldado

    Settled teams do well, look at our noisy neighbours and Liverpool, they rarely change their line-ups.

  37. Can’t believe how many people want Lennon back, I can’t agree with at all.


    Walker Kaboul. Chiriches. Jan V

    Paulinho. Sandro

    Chadli. Lamela. Townsend




  38. I have one or two simple questions and I would love someone to provide the answers if possible…..What formation are we actually playing. I don't mean the one posted on the screen before the game, I mean the one after 15 minutes of the game.
    If you can answer the first question you can probably answer the second….Who is playing behind the lone striker?????

  39. Personally I think our strongest starting line up is:
    Walker Vertongen Kaboul Rose
    Sandro Paulinho
    Lamela Ericksen Townsend
    Soldado (Adebayor)

  40. Dawson is a huge liability, with him gone we could play Chiriches with either Kaboul or Vert, and one defensive midfielder. This reminds of the year when Redknapp made Crouch our number one striker and kept playing him even though he only got a solitary goal all year-incredible. If Dawson is not dropped soon we are in trouble again. This is a great squad but Lloris etc could go next summer if Daw keeps playing


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