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Preview Spurs v Newcastle, 30.01.02

Newcastle's last six league games:-


Leeds Utd  3 4	Newcastle 
Newcastle  3 0	Middlesbrough
Newcastle  1 2	Chelsea
Man Utd    3 1	Newcastle
Newcastle  3 1	Leeds 
Leicester  0 0	Newcastle 

Pos          P  W  D  L  F A  GD  Pts
3  N'castle 23 13  4  6 42 29 13  43
8  Spurs    23  9  5  9 34 30  4  32

Newcastle have won 3, lost 2 and drawn 1 of their last 6 Premiership fixtures. This includes two dramatic wins over Leeds, whose title challenge has weakened partly as a result of Bobby Robson's boys performances. The Toon have topped the table(currently are third), and improved dramatically since we beat them 2-0 in October. They have won their way through to the FA Cup Fifth round with victories at home against Crystal Palace and away to Peterborough. Hopefully they will be tired after a hard game on a muddy London Road surface.

The Magpies famously ended their inability to win in London, when they beat Arsenal just before Christmas. Last year, Ricky Villa was an honoured guest when we beat Newcastle 4-2 on January 2nd. Entertainment is usually guaranteed, and I'll settle for another 4-2 this week! To us, of course!

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game:-


Full Record of Spurs -v- Newcastle United

Prem         Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home          8   5   1   2    18 -10  16
Away          9   2   3   4    10 -17   9
==========================================
Total(Prem)  17   7   4   6    28 -27  25
==========================================
Lge Div 1
Home         43  24   7  12    87 -48  59
Away         43  15  14  14    70 -76  45
==========================================
Total(Div 1) 86  39  21  26   157 -124 109
==========================================
Lge Div 2
Home          6   1   3   2     6 - 7   5
Away          6   3   0   3     6 - 4   6
==========================================
Total(Div 2) 12   4   3   5    12 -11  11
==========================================
Total(Prem)  17   7   4   6    28 -27  25
Total(Div 1) 86  39  21  26   157 -124 109
Total(Div 2) 12   4   3   5    12 -11  11
==========================================
Grand Total 115  50  28  37   197 -162 145
==========================================

If Spurs are to beat Newcastle in furtherance of any ambitions to qualify for the Champions League or qualification for European football by League position, they will have to work out how to subdue Alan Shearer. His retirement from international football has revitalised his career. Sometimes, in the past he has looked jaded, careworn, tired and out of form. This season, he has been back to his best, so much so that he had been asked whether he could play for England again. Shearer quickly and diplomatically dismissed this as a realistic option, pointing out that there were younger players who needed to be tried.

But not so long ago, Newcastle were a joke, even amongst their own supporters, as they were going nowhere fast. They looked more likely to be playing Darlington and Hartlepool in the near future before Kevin Keegan was hauled out of retirement with the brief to revitalise the Magpies. But even as he threatened to do so, Keegan resigned and was replaced by Kenny Dalglish but Dalglish came under fire and was soon gone, replaced by Ruud Gullit, who had been sacked by Chelsea. Whatever Gullit achieved at Chelsea, he completely failed to do so at St James Park and soon paid the penalty. Bobby Robson was then appointed, a last desperate throw of the dice by a board under siege from it supporters and shareholders. Somehow, Robson managed to retrieve the situation and Newcastle have led the Championship at various times this season without looking convincing. It is, however, clear the good times are on the way back.

Newcastle's fans DEMAND the best and to BE the BEST. There are very few people who can remember their last Championship success in season 1926-27 and there are not many left who travelled to Wembley three times in a decade in the 1950s to see them lift the FA Cup.

They have had great days but they are not allowed to forget the occasion when Hereford United dumped them out in the 1972 FA Cup competition. Malcolm MacDonald scored with nine minutes left to play to put them ahead. I can still see him, muddy, "I've done it fook it!" and grinning toothlessly. But then Radford, with a 45 yard lob, and George, from close in, scored the goals that dumped Newcastle out of the Cup.

Their best side since WW2, to my mind, was the side managed by Joe Harvey and skippered by Bobby Moncur that won the UEFA Cup in 1968-69. St James Park was still largely undeveloped then and large tracts of the ground were uncovered. Moncur was a cultured defender who preferred to play his way out of trouble. But Moncur rarely had an answer to the genius supplied by Greaves .......Read Brian's article on Jimmy Greaves here

Probably Jimmy's greatest goal that was caught by the TV cameras (there was one that was even better that was never filmed) was one of the goals scored against Newcastle in October 1969. I remember Newcastle won a corner but Mullery cleared the ball to Greaves, who set off upfield with everyone chasing him. As McFaul came off his line to deal with Greaves, Jimmy deliberately slowed down and allowed everyone to catch him up .... and STILL scored!

If I had to name the greatest Newcastle striker, I'd have to name Jackie Milburn. I only saw him on TV in the 1955 Final but it was clear he was a great striker. He was called Wor Jackie and everyone worshipped the ground he walked on.

But my grandfather told me the side that played for the Toon between 1905 and 1911 was the greatest side the Toon have ever had. And one of that team became one of Spurs greatest ever managers .... Peter McWilliam. I could never understand what my grandfather was saying and it is one of my regrets I never found out much about that side. He could talk about them all day .......

And on Wednesday? Spurs are capable of beating Newcastle on the day. They will have benefited from their enforced rest yesterday .... I think Spurs might win 1-0 but I'll be happy with a draw ....

COME ON YOU SPURS!

Cheers, Brian

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