Although he did not score, did not have an assist, and never even got a crack at goal with one of his beautiful freekicks, Kieran Trippier still dominated proceedings on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Newcastle trumped Spurs. For a player once deemed surplus to requirements at N17, the victory, which moved the Magpies into the top four, had to be sweet.
Trippier bossed Tottenham and the game from the back
On a day when Spurs had the majority of the possession 52 to 48 for Newcastle, not one player on the pitch had more touches or impact on the game than Trippier. The 100 touches Tripps had were nine more than Eric Dier, who led Spurs with 91 touches. His 66 passes and 55 completions were second only to Dier, who completed 57 balls on 77 attempts.
For most of the day, however, the pressure on Dier was far greater than the pressure on Trippier, who often had acres of space and what must have felt like hours of time to pick up a forward pass or one of his ten attempted crosses.
Trippier won 10 duels, three of four tackles, and completed his only take-on, as his aggression on both ends of the pitch helped set the tone for Newcastle.
Whether Trippier was picking up a cheap foul on Heung-min Son or helping Newcastle keep their nerve as the game got tight, Trippier was the leader Newcastle needed.
Trippier’s return was a long-time coming at N17
The last match Trippier played for Tottenham Hotspur was the Champions League final loss to Liverpool in June of 2019. While Trippier has gone on to star for Athletico Madrid and win back a spot in the England national team, Spurs have struggled to replace the man who was supposed to replace the man.
Deemed not good enough at the end of the Mauricio Pochettino era, Tripper is certainly the kind of player Spurs could use now. Instead, he was captaining the away team to a vital three points. Sometimes you do not know what you have until it is gone, and Trippier is a prime example.