Spurs 0 Newcastle 1: Simply not good Enough
It hadn’t been the most convincing start to the new season so, in a sense, Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Newcastle United was an accident waiting to happen. Spurs dominated possession but ultimately that counted for nothing and a poor VAR decision aside, this made for grim viewing.
The headlines after the game summed up a subdued afternoon for Tottenham fans who were left wishing they’d stayed at home and watched the third test from Headingley. Newcastle’s new signing Joelinton had done little to impress since arriving in the North East from Hoffenheim but his debut strike for the Magpies was enough to separate the two sides.
After the match, the headlines said it all with the word ‘lacklustre’ frequently cropping up but it was left to manager Mauricio Pochettino to give the most damning assessment.
We didn’t play well and I’m very disappointed about our performance,
Pochettino said in his post-match press conference.
We conceded a very cheap goal and then it was difficult. We created some chances but not enough. We should have played better with more desire, more capacity, more aggression with the ball. To have 80% of possession is too much when you only have a few shots on target.
Pochettino also refused to be drawn on the future of Christian Eriksen who was only used as a second half substitute in the game. Without a playmaker, Harry Kane was forced to drop deep too often and what attacking threat was there was negated.
The manager did, however, suggest that there was some uncertainty in the camp.
The problem is during the week, not when the competition arrives,
This type of situation happens in the Premier League. That is why you need to create a very good dynamic and strong team bonding and at the moment, that situation in our group is still far, far away. The group is still unsettled and we need to find solutions.
Four points from two opening games that included an away trip to Manchester City was a decent return but neither performance was convincing. As with the Villa game, we conceded first but this time there was no coming back. Yes, it was clearly a penalty but even a 1-1 draw would have been a poor return against a struggling side.
The concern is that Spurs are simply replicating their form from the end of last season which included defeats to the likes of Burnley and Bournemouth. It simply isn’t good enough and not a strong early indicator for a side whose minimum aim is to finish inside the top four.
Next up is the North London Derby at the Emirates and Spurs seem badly prepared for one of the most important games of the campaign. The absence of Tanguy Ndombele was felt but his injury cannot be seen as an excuse for such a poor performance.
Something isn’t quite right and, with Arsenal looming this Sunday in the late afternoon kick off, it needs to be rectified pretty damned quick.