Andre Villas-Boas [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

Tottenham Lose To Newcastle – Who’s To Blame This Time?

Another Tottenham defeat immediately prior to an international break, the third time it has happened this season. Who’s to blame for this loss to a team which Spurs were expected to beat and a team which in its last away game lost to their near neighbours, Sunderland who at that point of time had only one point from 8 games?

The Blame Game

If you read the thoughts of Tottenham fans on social media or on message-boards you’ll be given a multitude of reasons why Spurs lost to Newcastle and a host of people to blame for the defeat. Among those who are are having the finger pointed at them are:

The Manager:

Andre Villas-Boas selected the wrong team, played the wrong formation, used the wrong tactics and wasted his substitutions against Newcastle.

Team Selection – the introduction of Christian Eriksen was unexpected as he hadn’t impressed many supporters on Thursday evening against FC Sheriff. Sandro should have started instead of Mousa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson offered nothing on the left. According to many Erik Lamela was the player to unlock the Geordies’ defence.

Formation – playing with one striker is the cause of our inability to score goals. There is a view that a change of formation is required to provide support for Roberto Soldado and to provide a greater threat in the penalty area when crosses are played into the area. The inverted wingers should be scrapped with Andros Townsend moving to the left and Aaron Lennon on the right to put in crosses for the strikers.

Tactics – the Spurs play is too slow and too narrow which makes it easy for teams to defend against. The lack of width means that Spurs are constantly trying to pick their way through a packed defence.

Substitutions – the arrival of Jermain Defoe for the last 20 minutes to play alongside Soldado was no more successful than it had been when it was tried in the defeat by West Ham. Supporters were looking for Erik Lamela to be given the opportunity to carry on from where he left off in the Europa League game.

The Players:

Brad Friedel started his first PL game of season [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

Brad Friedel started his first PL game of season [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

Few of the players are absolved from blame. The reaction of one supporter who never wants to see Brad Friedel, Michael Dawson, Andros Townsend, Christian Eriksen or Jermain Defoe in a Spurs shirt again is rather extreme.

Two players who have avoided being cited are the substitutes Sandro and Kaboul who helped to increase the tempo after the interval. The team as a whole receive criticism for the slow tempo of their play in the first half which allowed Newcastle to take a grip of the game and give them self-belief.

Brad Friedel was included in the team as Hugo Lloris was given additional time to recover from last weekend’s knock. The goal was well taken by Remy but some felt that Lloris would have been off his line much more quickly and been on top of the striker as soon as he got the ball to make it more difficult for him. Lloris has been an important part of Spurs defensive play this season, especially his speed at coming out to clear through balls but on this occasion he was not there to do what he has managed so successfully this year.

Paulinho and Mousa Dembele were caught in possession on a number of occasions during the game and in the build up to the goal Spurs gave the ball away too easily and carelessly.

Andros Townsend was one of the more dangerous players in the Spurs team, requiring the attention of three Newcastle players every time he received the ball. He caused irritation to fans by constantly cutting inside to shoot without troubling Krul in the Newcastle goal.

Christian Eriksen had another disappointing performance. As on Thursday there many misplaced passes and he was very much on the periphery of the game without having any great influence. He was entrusted with the corners and set-pieces but these mostly failed to meet their target.

Gylfi Sigurdsson had little impact on the game although his free-kick could have so easily led to an equalising goal but the visitors’ defence survived.

Roberto Soldado had few opportunities to score and his passing and link up play was disappointing. He is struggling in the role of lone striker and needs greater support if he is to rediscover his goalscoring form.

Jermain Defoe made little impression when he came on.

The Fans

There was little atmosphere inside White Hart Lane according to some supporters which didn’t help the team or the tempo of the game.

It’s My Fault Too!

I, too, must accept some of the blame. I was out this morning so didn’t see the first 30 minutes of the match and when I came in I didn’t put on my Spurs shirt before watching the game as I would usually do. I should have taken those few seconds to pull on the white Tottenham shirt and it all might have ended so much better!

The only consolation from he disappointing result is that the other results over the weekend went in our favour with Arsenal and Manchester City losing as well while Chelsea and Everton both dropped points in matches they would have expected to win. The weekend’s results have just made it that bit closer but unfortunately Spurs weren’t able to take advantage of other teams slip-ups.


Tags: Andre Villas Boas Blame Game Newcastle Soccer Tottenham Hotspur

  • salarieddrake

    I am surprised you don’t write more about Paulinho. In my oppinion he is the SOLE reason for losing the game. He constantly plays the ball backwards, shows little interest in build up play and hides himself from teammates. THAT is not what a cental midfielder should do. Second half was better, but we should have killed the game in the first and never conseded a goal. And this is not the first time he’s played like this. He can get the ball from one of our defenders (the we are past the first line of defence), and what does he do? Heplays the ball right back to them, even though he’s completely alone. This happends further up the pitch aswell. We’re past 3-4 players, he’s got room, but doesn’t know it or don’t want to advance forward, and passes the ball back and we have to start over again… (there are of course exceptions). And that’s one of Tottenhams problem this year. The second problem, and probably connected, is the lack of players in the box. When Vertonghen or Townsend dances up the left / right flank and plays the ball inside the box, we only got Soldado there… Where are the rest of the team? Paulinho is probably resting in the mid circle if I know him right… We need players in the box to score goals! It’s as simple as that.

    And yes, I know we had our chances agains Newcastle, but the fact is we didn’t score. And the same fact was true against Everton, West Ham and Arsenal. And the fact that 4 out of 9 goals came from the spot… say no more…

    • Logan Holmes

      I take your point about Paulinho’s lack of forward passing but for me he would tend to be the one midfield player who does get into the box for crosses from the wings. Dembele is another one – he can take the ball forward but when he gets to the edge of the box he slows down and stops or passes sideways, never forward and he never gets into the penalty area.

      It’s a total waste of time for Vertonghen, Townsend, Walker to put crosses into the box with only Soldado there, the defender always gets to it first – it’s too easy.

      The team needs a player like Lamela if he can reproduce the style he showed against Sheriff in EL. He runs and defenders and forces them to make a challenge. For me he should have come on at half-time yesterday.

  • ronny

    Had enough of AVB, ithought we finally had a good manager, but now know how wrong i was! Tactically inept, constantly plays the same way, the world and his brother now know how to set up against us. High line and inverted wingers equals no room in the final third. Players have obviously been told to wait for enough support to break on the counter, so we don’t break on the counter! We’ve gone from one extreme of attack,attack, attack with Redknapp to over cautious “lets not get beat ” predictable dull crap with this idiot, for god sake why can’t we find some middle ground! £100 million spent and still can’t score goals! If he doesn’t change his idea’s quickly he’s got to go!!!!!!!

    • Logan Holmes

      AVB needs to have a rethink on formation and tactics over the next couple of weeks before it’s too late. Big games coming up in League after the international break and can’t afford any more slip-ups.