It was a scrappy game

Newcastle United 1 - 2 Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - August 11th, 2018

and a win, that’s all.

The Premier League is back and yet again Spurs were on the road for the opening again, for the second year running to Newcastle for another opening day three points.

Toon fans can’t really complain, can they? I mean they brought in a number of players during the summer transfer window and they have Benitez, their new messiah, is the greatest manager since… well their last messiah.

And yet the Fat Spanish Waiter’s side lost to a Spurs side that bought no new players and fielded a team that mostly turned up on Monday, that also included Sissoko all while playing in that green kit.

No Rafa, you didn’t deserve anything, that Spurs were rusty, disjointed and had Sissoko and you couldn’t score more than one while conceding two, you got what you deserved.

The opener was the first time that officials had awarded Jan a goal instead of their usual denying him, as he nodded on Sanchez’s nod on from Eriksen’s corner. The ball crossed the line by 9mm apparently and fortunately in this day and age we have the watch on ref’s wrist. Otherwise, well, if they can’t give a goal when the ball is yards over the line what hope have we with a bullet’s width.

The lead didn’t last that long as the pair of them, Jan and Sanchez, along with a little help from Serge Aurier left Josleu all alone in the area to put in the equaliser.

I had hoped, and actually tweeted, that Aurier would be a new and improved player after a full season of Pochettino, it happened with all the other fullbacks. At the very moment I was replying to someone who reminded of my belief in his improvement, after he’d picked up another yellow card for sliding into a challenge, he put in a stunning cross to the back post where Deli had ghosted in to nod in what turned out to be the winner.

It was a Trippieresque ball but you want Trippier back, also you want Toby back. The Belgian was on the bench and his introduction for Sissoko would have strengthened both the defence and the midfield. The Frenchman was his usual inept self, running about, doing nothing but get in the way. Nothing, Chuckle Brothers passes – he gets the ball from a player a couple of yards away and passes it straight back, so the other player hasn’t any time to react or move, to me, to you. That’s when he’s not tripping over his own feet of wasting good chances in front of goal.

Getting rid of Sissoko this summer would have felt like a new signing. But yet again he stayed on the pitch while the likes of Dembele and Son languished on the bench, hell, he stayed on when they came on. Unfortunately he won’t be banned by the FA for a stamp on Newcastle’s Kennedy.

All the scoring done withing the first 20 minutes. They had a chances in the second half, hitting the post twice – one from an excellent block by Jan, which saw the ball bounce up onto the bar, over Hugo’s head, in slow motion. Hugo also made one excellent save.

But for the most part Spurs were disjointed. Scrappy as Pochettion put it. Harry looked… well, like it’s August. The midfield was never going to work with Sissoko. Dele looked sharp actually, sharper than he did for most of the World Cup. Moura was a bit of a disappointment, had a good preseason but just didn’t get into it here. Though again he was hampered by the presence of a certain other player.

But it was the first game, as said, most of the team only turned up on Monday for training after the World Cup, players we didn’t want to leave haven’t left… though this could change by the end of the month… and it’s a win, so could be a lot worse…

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