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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Newcastle, 09.08.1999

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This preview was written by Brian Judson

Full Record of Spurs -v- Newcastle United

Premier       Pl   W   D   L   For-Ag  Pts
Home           6   3   1   2    11-7   10
Away           6   1   3   2     7-13   6
Total (Prem)  12   4   4   4    18-20  16
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)  43  24   7  12    87-48  59
Away (Div 1)  43  15  14  14    70-76  45
Total (Div 1) 86  39  21  26   157-124 104
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)   6   1   3   2     6-7    5
Away (Div 2)   6   3   0   3     6-4    6
Total (Div 2) 12   4   3   5    12-11   11
Total (Prem)  12   4   4   4    18-20   16
Total (Div 1) 86  39  21  26   157-124 104
Total (Div 2) 12   4   3   5    12-11   11
Grand Total  110  47  28  35   187-155 131

Our first home game of the season provides us with the opportunity to gain revenge over Newcastle United for dismissing us from the FA Cup at the Semi-Final stage last season. All of us will remember how shattering that defeat was particularly as Newcastle did not play well.

We go into the match with the knowledge that both sides lost their opening game of the season. Tottenham had some excuse for losing at West Ham as the home team had already played a number of competitive matches in the Inter-Toto Cup and were far sharper than Tottenham clearly appear to have been. Tottenham's cause was not helped by losing Sol Campbell and Justin Edinburgh to injury as the game unfolded and Steffan Iversen was rarely allowed to escape from Rio Ferdinand's shadow.

Newcastle's match at St James' Park was clearly an explosive affair. No one seems to understand why Alan Shearer was dismissed. The foul for which he was dismissed for was not clear. An earlier incident was far worse than the one he was dismissed for but Southgate had laughed the incident off. Both bookings by Shearer involved Calderwood and we all know how clumsy and ungainly Calderwood can be!

Apart from the injuries picked up by Campbell and Edinburgh, there is some concern for Tottenham as Steffan Freund and Tim Sherwood both picked up bookings. As Tottenham still do not have an in-depth squad, there has to be some concern that we are already picking up bookings.

Newcastle, of course, do not have such worries. If anything they have so many employees that some rotation for selection will have to be made. With Shearer expected to miss at least two games as he was dismissed for violent conduct, Newcastle will have striking problems. Duncan Ferguson is still not fit enough to be available for selection. Ketsbaia seemed to be below par from what I saw of the MOTD highlights. At least Newcastle can afford not to worry about the number of bookings they picked up yesterday - Barton, Goma and Speed were others to see their names jotted down by Mr Rennie.

Last season was one of intense disappointment for Newcastle. They scarcely made any impression anywhere and Kenny Dalglish was an unexpected early casualty of the Newcastle crisis. The management duo of Gullit and Clarke have a lot of work to do as they have spent a small fortune trying to restore the fortunes of the Magpies. There have been so many changes to their squad they will need time for the players to become fully acquainted with each other before they can settle down for the season ahead.

Tottenham's fans have put up with supporting a mediocre side for so long that the signing of two players during the summer (Perry and Korsten) and the further signing of Leonhardsen a few hours before the kick-off scarcely registered with them. What they had been hoping for was someone who could score goals. Spurs missed acquiring Bridges from Sunderland because he did not want to move south. Sutton moved to Chelsea but only scored 4 goals last season and missed at least four yesterday afternoon as he made his debut for the Blues. The only other strikers on the move during the summer went to Spain. Spurs fans would have purred at the prospect of seeing Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at the Lane but I don't think anyone would have welcomed the spoilt brat from the other end of the Seven Sisters Road ....

Spurs _must_ get off to a good start at home if we are to finish in the top half of the table. With Newcastle still bedding down, Spurs _must_ take the opportunity of snatching the points. Much will depend on whether Iversen can wriggle away from the Newcastle back four .....

If Newcastle score first, I think the match will end in a draw but if Tottenham can get their nose in front, I think Spurs are capable of winning 2-1. But they will have to concentrate for the entire ninety minutes .....

Cheers, Brian

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