Shooting for Goldfish
Monday 22nd October
Scudding Spurs at St James` always remains a source of immense satisfaction, giving one in the eye to the majority of southern based hacks and hopefully putting to bed some of the Ashley stories that have been circulating from Fleet Street in recent weeks.
Watching Tottenham on Monday had all the hallmarks of two Newcastle performances from the recent past. The first was the 4-2 capitulation at Villa that saw Sir Bobby given the axe by Fred whilst the second was the 3-0 smashing at Man Citeh that saw Souness shipped out. They looked a team totally oblivious to the fact Jol is sitting there with Damocles` Sword hovering over his head, as they plodded through the game.
In terms of team news, the Duke had again failed his fitness test, signalling Bernie Slaven crowing on the Legends about him suffering 'Winteritus`. Both Rozenhal and Taylor were omitted from the starting line up, with the latter not even in the squad. Milner also gave way for the Turkish Tubster Emre to slot it whilst the bench looked alarmingly strong with Barton back in situ.
Spurs kept a fairly solid line up, Cerny in for the hapless Robinson with Zokora and Jenas in the middle, but dropped a massive rick when they left Berbatov and Lennon on the bench. Whether this was for fitness reasons or because of the impending Getafe game I`m not sure but Darren Bent looked totally ill at ease with his price tag and position.
The first half was probably all ours. Faye nearly shattered the frame of the goal from a cracking set piece delivery whilst Owen had a shot brilliantly turned round the post by Cerny. However once Enrique pumped a long ball down field at Dawson and the Northallerton born noddy managed to cock it up for Martins to slam home.
The second half saw Spurs not even come out the blocks as we again took advantage of shoddy set piece marking by Dawson, allowing 'The Chap` Cacapa to bullet home a header. This seem to rile Spurs enough to allow them to temporarily shake off their lethargy, as Bent`s header against the post was followed up by Keane and they got back in it. However despite the arrival of the cavalry in the shape of Berbatov and Lennon it was us who broke away for Milner to have two bites of the cherry and finish a delicate finish into the corner.
Overall then - a seriously satisfying result against a team who had been considered far superior to us and a genuine contender for the top four slots in the league. They were rank awful however and we shouldn`t start getting onboard the mutual backslapping bus ahead of a tricky visit to Reading at the weekend.