Spurs 1 Newcastle 0 – Match report

Our impression of a man running up a down escalator, a salmon swimming upstream, an adventurer stuck in quicksand, choose your own simile, threatened long, hard and fiercely to make this a night to forget.

Throw in some previous and the Wembley Curse and what do you get? Chelsea bottling it, Hugo to the rescue, One of our Own and Kiss me Harry it’s all done and dusted.

We were predictably awful for long periods, it’s been the same since the win at Stamford Bridge. Pochettino’s decisions to ignore Alderweireld and Rose, to play 4-4-2 despite the absence of Dembélé, Dier and Winks, to start Sissoko, to play Kane even though he IS the man running through treacle, all of these were strange, bordering on perverse.

We don’t know what’s gone on behind the scenes of course.

Poch, without three (THREE!) members of the best defence in the league for the last two seasons, with key players out of form for long periods and without a fit Kane for the last quarter of the season has delivered the best we could’ve hoped for. To aim to get out of our Champions League group and finish in the top four whilst playing our ‘home’ games at this soulless, charmless brutalist monument to misguided capitalism was hugely ambitious but it has been achieved with a game to spare and everyone involved deserves massive credit.

Not so much kudos should be awarded on the back of this performance however. Newcastle did not deserve to leave pointless, but then again it is their own fault that they do not have a striker capable of taking any of the opportunities they created and that Shelvey did not even hit the target with his first half free-kick. That was very very poor.

They broke with pace against our sluggish midfield and put Vertonghen and Sanchez under much unwelcome pressure. Lloris saved well on a number of occasions, particularly from Lascelles header. At the other end we created very little as Dele, Son and Eriksen futilely attempted to work some space for Kane. Nothing was coming off however, Eriksen was playing as though the batteries in his boots had lost power so many of his passes fell short of target.

We were better after half time when Son moved over to the right to support a floundering Sissoko and it was after a combination with him that Harry scored the only goal of the night, curling in to the top right-hand corner from the edge of the area after the Korean had drawn a few defenders his way. It was a lovely finish but was pretty much the only time all evening that Kane struck the ball with any sureness. He’s clearly lacking in fitness, he played though like a man short of confidence too, a very surprising development.

The overwhelming feeling at the end was one of relief that combined with Chelski’s result we have achieved our target and do not have to treat Sunday’s game with Leicester as anything other than an end of season bun fight. Injuries, tiredness and drops in form have taken their toll, now it’s fantastic to be able to relax.


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