Spurs playing with a smile

Newcastle United 0 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - August 13th, 2017

on their faces.

So the circus of the Premier League is back in action and Spurs got off to a dull but satisfactory start, in defeating Newcastle.

The recently departed, but not much lamented – in these parts anyway – Kyle Walker stated that it was good to play with a smile on his face again, after his debut for his new club.

Well, I doubt he had a smile on his face for the game, nor will he for most of his City career. No, he’ll have that permanently befuddled look that he had for most of his time at Spurs.

A look that will shortly be mirrored by City fans wondering why they paid £50m for a defender who can’t defend, a footballer who doesn’t want to touch the ball with his foot. A great attacking threat that stops attacks dead. A pace merchant that slows everything down. When they see all their speedy creative players bomb forward only for Walker to stop, have to take a few steps back to line up a cross, which he balloons over everyone’s head, the City players will get that look as well.

Meanwhile Kyle Walker-Peters had a smile on his face.

The replacement for the replacement, with Trippier’s untimely injury, had a solid league debut, it wasn’t spectacular and it wasn’t man of the match worthy – though he got the award, which should have gone to Eriksen.

He did well, didn’t have much defending to do, especially after Newcastle went down to 10 men but he put in one good challenge in the Spurs box. Going forward, he was in acres of space quite a lot of the time but didn’t receive the ball when he should. And he didn’t look forward as much as he should when he got the ball. Turning back and laying it off, deferring to his elders it looked a number of times, when he could have got to the byline.

Hopefully he’ll learn, unlike his part name sake.

Hopefully as well he won’t have the hindrance of Sissoko in front of him for many games.

Of all the Spursy things that have been negated over the last couple of seasons there’s still some around. “The law of the ex”. How many times have Spurs been on the end of this, yet the one time Spurs actually have the ex in their ranks and this is what they get. Sissoko.

Booed at every turn, I don’t know why, I mean they got £30m for someone they wanted rid of. Yet even this didn’t inspire him to put in the kind of performance that made Levy forked out that ridiculous amount.

He pretty much summed up a desperately dull first half that seemed to drag on far longer than the 45 minutes plus a few for injury time. Two Newcastle players having to go off in the half. The second after a tackle from Harry Kane that got the Fat Spanish Waiter fuming. Stupid tackle by Kane, needless and with the cards that have been shown so far this season could have been a red, you just never know with refs these days.

It wasn’t, that came shortly into the second half. Good old Jonjo Shelvey, still a bit dim, nicely wound up by Dele. Dele initially penalised for a hand ball, he was then fouled and dumped onto the ground, there he shows his displeasure at the decision going against him while holding the ball. Shelvey knocks it out of his arms and as the Newcastle captain is about to pick it up Dele neatly taps it away from him for which Shelvey stamps on Dele’s ankle. It’s a straight red. You can have no arguments. Pugwash tried to deflect but he knew.

He and Alan Shearer also know that Ritchie should have seen red for his challenge on Dele. A lunge off the floor, no where near the ball, right onto Dele’s Achilles.

That and the introduction of Son for Sissoko a few minutes later helped things along. Though the Spurs fan in me immediately thought that it was less likely for Spurs to win after the sending off. Well from the resulting free-kick, for Dele’s handball, Hugo had to make a save.

The moment of magic came from Eriksen and then Dele. Some patient build up play, which was all condensed centrally, led to Eriksen lifting a glorious ball over the defence onto the running Dele for him to score. That just added to the appreciation the natives had for Dele.

This ball from Eriksen, a shot in the first half, somewhat reminiscent of a cracker of a goal he scored preseason, a glorious flick over his head and his assist for the second goal just under 10 minutes later, should have seen the Dane get the MoM award. He controlled the game.

The second assist did have the touch of fortune, nice build up play again, some lovely one touch stuff, the ball bounced to Davies for him to score for the second league game on the trot.

What with Spurs having 80% of the ball after the sending off, Newcastle barely getting out of their own half. That was game over. The only thing now was to get Kane off the August schneid.

Before the opener he had a glorious chance, late coming out of the box he played onside all on his lonesome with just the keeper to beat. Then later hitting the woodwork, with a chance he’d usually bury. Still, it didn’t matter and next week at Wembley against Chelsea would be a good time to get the August goal.

And after all, this being newly promoted Newcastle that’s all it was a warm up for the main event… still it brought a smile to the face…

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