Newcastle United Vs Tottenham Hotspur Match Preview

Posted on August 17th, 2012 | 65 Comments |

Spurs match preview.
Fighting cocks? Or headless chickens?
Venue: St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Date: Saturday, October 18th, 2012.
Kick-off: 5:30pm.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.

After the euphoria of a 5th placed finish, a disappointing yet much improved England showing in the Euro’s, and an Olympics that actually was really rather good, the Premier League and Newcastle United are finally back for another season.

Pre-season has been pretty unspectacular, but slightly more steady than last years showing. There wasn’t any crowd trouble to kick things off, or a José Enrique and Joey Barton ‘Twitter’ blast at the club’s hierarchy. On the actual footballing side, a massacre of Hartlepool United (5-1) was Newcastle’s best result and performance. This was sadly followed by our worst though, a 4-1 reverse at Cardiff City.

Four new arrivals in the shape of Romain Amalfitano, Gael Bigirimana, Curtis Good and as of yesterday, Vurnon Anita, have been introduced into a squad that will be competing in four competitions this coming season. We have had to say our farewells too, most notably to Danny Guthrie and Leon Best. Peter Lovenkrands has also gone, a player who was very well liked and will always be remembered with fondness from most including myself. Sadly we lost Alan Smith too…

But I digress, on to Saturday and our opponents…

Andre-Villas-Boas or ‘AVB’ if you’re in a hurry, brings his Tottenham Hotspur’s up to St James Park for our first test of the 2012 / 2013 season. Spurs have had an interesting summer of sorts. After finishing 4th but missing out on the Champions League due to Chelsea’s triumph, they dispensed with Harry Redknapp, and replaced him with the ex-Chelsea supremo, Villas-Boas.

On the playing aspect, Spurs have lost the excellent but unfortunately unfit Ledley King, and as I type this it looks as if David Guetta lookalike, Luka Modric, has packed his bags and headed to Spain. Once alleged Toon target, Jan Vertonghen, has joined from Ajax, along with Gylfi Sigurdsson from Hoffenheim. First team members (of sorts) consisting of Vedran Corluka, Steven Pienaar and Niko Kranjcar have bode their goodbyes to North London, and sought new challenges and actual playing time somewhere else. Emmanuel Adebayor is still very much on the radar of Tottenham, but a deal has been difficult to strike due to wage demands apparently.

Mags Vs Spurs – History

Mid October of last season witnessed a very entertaining duel between the two sides at St James’ Park. A Rafeal Van Der Vaart penalty opened the scoring for Spurs, with Newcastle equalizing thanks to Demba Ba early in the second half. Jermain Defoe emerged from the bench to fire Tottenham back into the lead. But United had a ‘super-sub of their own in the form of Shola Ameobi, who unleashed an unstoppable rocket with his left foot into the far corner of Brad Friedel’s net. The score ended 2-2.

Since the season of 2000 – 2001, the Magpies have tasted only two defeats in the Premier League at home versus Tottenham, with Newcastle picking up eight victories and two draws. The 1996 – 1997 season still echoes in the mind, when two goals a piece from Alan Shearer, Rob Lee and Les Ferdinand added to Philippe Albert‘s lone strike, resulted in a 7-1 triumph for the Toon. Newcastle have scored more goals against Tottenham than any other Premier League team (58). In 36 meetings since 1992 / 1993, there have been 111 goals shared between the sides.


Newcastle United: To follow

Tottenham Hotspur: To follow

At the time of writing, it’s looking unlikelyCheick Tioté, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye will be available. Their seems to be a slight chance Cabaye may contribute some minutes during the match, but it’s very doubtful he will start. Scott Parker is definitely ruled out for Tottenham, and there is a slight injury worry regarding Gareth Bale (isn’t there always).

Pardew’s likely line-up:

Newcastle v Tottenham predicted formation.
My predicted Newcastle formation.
As wonderful as it would be, I highly doubt Pardew will play anything other than a 4-4-2 / 4-4-1-1. Picking the actual team line up is difficult due to current injury concerns, but if the three big hitters are out, then this is who I expect will be selected to fill their roles. I will stress that this what I think Pardew will go for, and not what or who I would like to see play. I certainly wouldn’t line up in this formation, and would include Marveaux at the expense of Obertan.

I expect a cautious approach from both teams, with Newcastle having a tricky tie in Greece the following Thursday, then an away fixture against Chelsea on the Saturday. Pardew will not want to risk losing this game, and I think Villas-Boas will have the exact same mentality. Obviously no manager wants to lose any game, but I would expect both parties would be more than happy to share the points.

Villas-Boas will likely play a 4-2-3-1, with Defoe leading the line. Defoe is always a threat, but if Bale shakes off his back injury, then expect many of Tottenham’s threats going through him in some capacity. Aaron Lennon, on his day, can also be a match winner. I am slightly concerned with a slight lack of creative spark from the Magpies, with both Cabaye and Ben Arfa likely to miss out. Obertan and Jonas will likely be tasked with swinging balls into the box, which can be a struggle with those two at times, but with Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse in the middle, anything is possible. Vurnon Anita will more than likely start the match in the centre of midfield. Whether he play the majority of his games there remains to be seen. Ideally Pardew will utilize the 4-3-3 / 4-3-2-1 we saw at the back end of last season, and the arrival of Anita will allow Cabaye more freedom to roam forward. But as I’ve written, through injuries, I doubt we will see this on Saturday.


Tricky one to call, mainly due to potential injuries. If we had a full squad to pick from, I would be supremely confident of picking up the three points. As it stands I expect a slightly cagey affair, maybe a few mistakes from both sides, and potentially a set piece deciding this one if there is to be a victor. I will however go for a score draw in this instance, and deep down, I think I’d be happy to start the season with a point.

First games can cause ripple effects throughout the season. Starting with defeat would be bad preparation for our Europa League tie, and I’m less than optimistic about facing Chelsea so soon after. I still don’t believe we have enough to compete in four competitions with the numbers we have, and I am still adamant we need a centre back and a striker. There is still time to remedy that, with the transfer window open for the next few weeks. Of course we can turn up in Europe and the other cup competitions, but I’d like to see us give it a really good go. I’m sure the players and Pardew want to as well. I just hope the ones above can recognize the excellent opportunity the team has of doing something really special this year. One or two shrewd investments in the coming weeks could define what we achieve. And, lets hope we can also keep hold of our stars before August comes to an end. I don’t see any reason why we can’t.

Howay the Lads!

NUFCBlog Author: Jimbob Backpacker extraordinaire and current resident of sunny Sheffield. Loves Marmite, hates peanut butter. Sleeps twice a day, wrestles Polar Bears because he can and regards himself as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce. Jimbob has written 40 articles on this blog.

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65 Responses

  1. i expect this to be our fully fit starting line up when everyone is back:


    debuchy/simpson colo saylor santon

    anita cabaye tiote

    ben arfa

    cisse ba

    for tomorrow i reckon:


    simmo colo saylor santon

    obertan gosling anita/perch jonas

    ba ameobi

    then having cisse, marv, cabs, vuckic,willo,GK & perch/anita on the bench.

    2-1 toon me thinks!

  2. Dont know, what to expect in the midfield,hopefully the A team. would be a good match for the neutrals. beinf a NUFC supporter i would sink everytime Spurs attack

  3. Excellent and a welcome return to a football article Jimbob.

    Your lineup looks very defensive in midfield. Is it because Benny, Tiote and Cabaye are all ruled out?

    I would prefer Marveaux to Obertan as I feel he is more inventive than Obertan which if Cabaye is absent we will need with two defensive players in Anita and Perch in midfield.

    I’d be surprised if Pardew doesn’t play Anita at some point even if it’s only a way of introducing him to the fans. I have my doubts about Vuckic as he hasn’t looked all that confident in many of the pre-season games. I would rate Gosling and Abeid higher than Vuckic. I wonder whether Pardew would consider Bigi and Amalfitano even though the former is very young and the later is new to the premiership. I suppose we will find out soon enough.

    We should beat Spurs.

  4. Kamar, I just think it is what Pardew will go for due to injuries. I too would include Marveaux and also would not play a 4-4-2. Probably ever! I think it is what he will set up the team as formation wise however. I am concerned about the lack of creativity but still think it will be a good game regardless.

  5. Jimbob,

    I wonder what state of mind the Spurs players will be in with the loss of their ‘much loved’ manager ‘Arry and many good players to injury, transfer and retirement, even though they are professionals and it shouldn’t matter but I think it could play on their minds.

  6. Agree with jimbob lineup crnt see pardew playing anything else. Unless all our top players are fit and he jus playing mind games.

    Wil be happy with a draw but going for 2-1 toon.

  7. Ian says:

    “Anyone watching in London? Are there any Newcastle friendly pubs around?”

    CF or WT should be able to help you out. Though it depends on which part of London you’re hailing from ?

    Kamar says:

    “I would prefer Marveaux to Obertan as I feel he is more inventive than Obertan”

    A tub of lard is more inventive than Obertan, Kamar :)

    As for working out who plays where tomorrow, its further complicated by injuries/lack of fitness to both Demba’s, Cheick, Yohan and HBA. In addition to injuries both Demba’s are nearing the end of their Ramadan experience (August 19th) so that could also be a factor in Pardwho’s eventual selection ?

  8. To be fair I thought of playing Obertan at RM mainly because Gareth “I’m not sure if I’ll play or not” Bale will be raiding down the left so Simmo’s gonna need some help and one thing Ober can do is run.

  9. AndyMac says:

    “CF or WT should be able to help you out. Though it depends on which part of London you’re hailing from ?”

    I’m in W9, but willing to travel to watch. Google search told me the Cock & Lion, do people still go there?

    Thinking about going to Chelsea away as well, prices are pretty steep though.

  10. Jimbob: I am not sure about your team selection. You have not included any players that we haven’t signed yet and you haven’t dropped Jonas :) (I have been reading Ed’s blog).

  11. Seems Pardew is reluctant to drop what is rumored to be one of his choices (Obertan) but so far he has not impressed (especialy as far as Andy Mac Is concerned)
    Now it’s rumored Johnson is available from Man.Citeh
    and is twice the player Obertan will ever be.
    Yeah i know he will not come cheap, but i believe a couple of sides (was one Swansea)showed interest in Obertan.
    My point is we could sell Obertan to help subsidise bringing in Johnson, perhaps now or during the winter window.
    Johnson born in Sunderland but always a NUFC fan, i belive, could jumpstart a career that due to lack of playing time has not blossomed as it should.
    He’s an England Winger and IMO as good or better than anyone we have and would greatly improve the side, not only, he being English would help with the upcoming home grown quotas.
    Hopefully our great leader has already though about this deal and is counting his pocket change to see if he’s got enough to make the deal.
    Think about it a local lad, who professed he’s a fan and wants to play for his home side, what better?

  12. ****************Krul**************

    Sammy= winger or striker
    Shola= same
    Gosling= DM
    Percherino= anywhere!

  13. Jimbob @2: Vuckic isn’t in the squad.

    Chuck: I will be shocked if either Marveaux or Ferguson start. Certainly not both.

  14. Also, I don’t think that Tiote, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Cisse, Ba are all injured/not match fit. I think it is a smokescreen with at least some of them.

    I have nothing to back it up, just a feeling.

  15. Chuck @20, has Ferguson ever started a game for Pardew? And I think he would put in Obertan ahead of Ferguson. And I think at least one of Tiote, Cabaye, Ben Arfa will be fit.

  16. GS
    I’m ony going on what info. is available, in regard to fitness.
    I base the side on that, not that which i would normally choose.
    I think the back four are the best we have at present, discounting Anita, who i think we need in front of the back four, alongside Jonas, they are good DM’s.
    Plus the excellent passing abilities of Anita are needed, because of Cabaye’s absence.
    Marveaux has shown he’s ready, and can play either wing, Ferguson had a terrific game for Norn Iron recently and i woud start him before Obertan , who has not visibly improved in the pre- season.
    Again Cabaye’s with Cabsence, i have inseted Cisse behind Ba, hey it coud work, if not bring on Shola who has shown he can play that role.
    On the bench Sammy for either wing, Gosling on for a DM, likewise Amalfitano, Percherino,for just about anywhere.
    Why not?

  17. Chuck: I would really like to see Ferguson get a chance. I just don’t see it happening in the first game of the season.

    Pardew is pretty conservative, which is why I don’t think he will start with Marveaux, even though he probably should.

  18. Debating whether to get my Newcastle top (tent) taken in. I am a man about town don’t you know.

    Andymac, when my ex-wife used to ask me if her jeans made her arse look big, I would tell her – no – your arse makes your arse look big.

    Not really, but I wish I had said it.

  19. OK GS enough banter, tell me the top five topics you’d like to discuss on this blog but are just too bone idle to write them ?

  20. and while you’re at it

    “Danny Simpson made more clearances off the line than any other player in the 2011-12 Premier League (6)”

    Name the teams he denied ?

  21. apart from the Mancs who everyone knows about !!!!

    Starter for ten – Barton blushes !

  22. I said I’d write some articles for WT and have sent him some of my suggestions but thought it wouldnt be a bad idea to ask some other, maladjusted fans what they feel are important topics so I immediately thought of you :)

    Meanwhile Simmo’s star performances…………..


    I’ll give WT the answers via email so he can put you out of your misery :)

    I’m off to meet some Cockney yid types and show them the Toon before tomorrow’s mayhem takes place.

  23. Top 5 topics Andymac, but not to be discussed because it would be really boring:

    1. How Supermac can play for the Toon and be such a miserable git about NUFC, all the farking time.

    2. How you can be so dismissive of a management that has given us a very good team that play good football. I have watched NUFC for 45 years and this lot are pretty good.

    3. What is the difference between the Proletariat and the Lumpen Proletariat?

    4. Why I should even care about who Danny Simpson made goal line clearances against? I’ll get my anorak.

    5. I have a really short attention span, so I have to stop at 4.

  24. Andymac, seriously:

    1. What is it about us that makes us not win a domestic trophy in over 50 years?

    2. Is this the second best NUFC team you have seen in your lifetime?

    3. Mackems, why bother?

    4. Should the Geoedie Dancer be retired/sent to the knackers yard?

    5. Can Cisse and Ba play together and both score goals?

  25. Clint is definitely in the huff.

    SJT, did you see my slightly belated comment yesterday? There isn’t going to be a prediction competition first half of this season but as you know, there’s two a season on this site, so I wouldn’t write off having the second one.

  26. Anita and tiote will hopefully start together as I see that being the long term plan they offered him….

  27. Krul
    Simmo – colo – sailor – santon
    ———Anita – tiote————

  28. Looking like Tiote will make it. So HBA and Cabaye will probably be our missing players.

    Nice solution Milner, can’t see Pardew using it tomorrow though unfortunately.

  29. It’s great that the new season is starting. I don’t think we’ll get off to as good a start as last time though. I don’t think I’m being pessimistic, just realistic.

  30. Kamar,

    I have no idea what to expect from Spurs tomorrow and I don’t think their fans do either! Be interesting to see how they perform defensively, since Villas-Boas wasn’t exactly a defensive master at Chelsea. I expect us to play a lot of balls over the top to catch their defense out. Shame HBA will likely miss out, bit like what Fulham did to us last season.

  31. Perch and Obertan
    Starting first match of season
    Inadequate squad

    What-you don’t like haiku?!

    Seriously, I think a cautious approach might not work here. I’m guessing AVB will have learned a lesson from last season’s slow start and will have his boys under orders to come out with guns blazing.

  32. GS-no worries about yesterday as I don’t have a thin skin. Like you said of yourself, sometimes I snap back at a comment without really thinking about it. Apparently I type more quickly than I think (not too hard really).

  33. tunyc says:
    August 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    “Seriously, I think a cautious approach might not work here. I’m guessing AVB will have learned a lesson from last season’s slow start and will have his boys under orders to come out with guns blazing.”

    That was one of his downfalls mate. He left Chelsea’s defense wide open with his attacking style it was easily exploited. Great to watch though at times.

  34. Fair enough, Jim-but I think he’ll land just as much on the hot seat if he opens the seasons with four draws.

  35. Part of that was chelsea’s age; their def was simply caught out and out paced quite a bit, right?

  36. AVB is doing the “high line” defense with spurs and they are not figuring it out quickly enough. it’s going to be a huge problem tomorrow. i was at the spurs/LA galaxy game last month and spurs high line defense was a joke, broken a dozen times by even the awful galaxy. Cisse is going to tear them up.

  37. Howey man CLINTON!, The thinking mans Batty.
    Get over it, i mean whatever caused you to stop contributing ?
    You are an essential part of the blog for chrisakes and though a bit of a pain in the ass at times, we can deal with it.
    C’mon bro. Theres no alterntive!

  38. chuck says:
    August 18, 2012 at 3:10 am

    “Howey man CLINTON!, The thinking mans Batty.”

    Yeah, great stuff Chuck. I’m sure he’ll be well pleased by that :lol:

    How on earth can you have a “thinking man’s batty”?

  39. mag says:
    August 18, 2012 at 2:20 am

    “AVB is doing the “high line” defense with spurs and they are not figuring it out quickly enough.”

    Aye mag, you may be right, you probably are right. Of course, it was a big factor with Chelsea too, but not just on it’s own. A lack of effectiveness at the front also amplified the problem with the high line at the back.

    However we were beaten by a German third division team and hammered by Cardiff in our pre season. That’s pre season for you though. We didn’t have a great one before last season either.

  40. and we got skinned 6-0 by Leyton Orient… christ… quite a while ago now. This is my 7th season following NUFC. Blimey, where’d the time go?

  41. I’ve been watching red hot Dutch DVDs all night, GS. :-)

    Newcastle united keep patting themselves on the back as if they are the only team who have ever bought any cheap footballers, but they aren’t.

    Swansea have signed the highest scoring midfielder in La Liga for £2 million this season, and Liverpool have just signed this 24 year old Moroccan winger, Oussama Assaidi, from Heerenveen for around £3 million. He is absolutely outstanding. He scored 20 goals from left wing last season, and was one of the reasons why Bas Dost scored 32 as well. Hughton’s signed the “new Gazza” for a compensation fee too.

    On Assaidi though, he can actually be the kind of winger Pardew wants, a “proper” winger who can hug the touchline and bang in good crosses for fun.

    Oussama Assaidi Welcome to Liverpool FC!

  42. We have a chance to push on because Spurs and Liverpool haven’t improved and have new managers and Arsenal are much worse.

    I don’t care what Wenger says, you cannot lose Van Persie, Fabregas, Nasri and Song and replace them with Podolski, Giroud, Arteta and Gervihno.

    C’mon former fatman, there will never be a better time to invest.

    Oh, and Phil Thompson is a gobshite (just watched him on Sky Sports).

  43. Not having a tv guess i’m gonna have to gan to the pub, what time and channel’s it on ?