A game against Newcastle used to be one Spurs fans would watch between their fingers. The Geordies won six league encounters in a row from 2006 to April 2009 when finally a single Darren Bent goal was enough to give us three points and break the hoodoo, stop the rot etc.

These days the fixture is a meeting of two of the most talked about themes on the back pages this season, Andy Carroll and the cavalier, have-a-go heroes from White Hart Lane. If you believe some of the gossip then the merging of the two isn’t far away. Much as it appears that Carroll could be a liability off the pitch, his size and strength (and goals) might fit in perfectly as a spearhead to our midfield of many talents. Mind you, I’ve never seen him play so what do I know?

Our victory at Villa seems on the face of it not to have come at the cost of any injuries so we could be unchanged. I presume the 7 day rule comes into effect for Defoe which means that he’ll be miss the game at Goodison on January 5th. In midfield Nolan, Barton, Tiote and Gutierrez supply the bullets for Carroll and stopping this supply will probably be key to our gaining and retaining control given the form of the big lad up front and our sieve like defence.

The visitors are slightly in turmoil following the appointment of Pardew in place of the saintly Chris Hughton. They were well beaten by Man City at the weekend. We, on the other hand, have a hit a bit of a groove with all of Modric, Palacios, Van der Vaart and Lennon finding form at the same time.

The referee is Anthony Taylor. He’s never taken us before, in fact he’s hardly every taken anyone before given that his Premier League game count is still in single figures. He has though issued seven red cards in sixteen games at all levels this season so elbows need to remain tucked in.

They shouldn’t be taken lightly, they’ve had some good results away from home however the game should be ours to win if we can seize the advantage early on. As usual starting with a good tempo and making the most of our chances are key. COYS.


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