Newcastle Utd v Spurs: Special Guest Post Previewing “Biggest Game Of The Season”
It’s the big one. No, it really is. The biggest game of the season. Forget Arsenal. Forget Chelsea or West Ham. Sunday represents the biggest game of the season, Newcastle United away. Many will immediately dismiss that statement but, having spent all 29 years and 11 months of my life thus far in the North East of England, it is most certainly true .. For me.
For those unaware of the reasons for my allegiance to Spurs, it has nothing to do with Gazza and Waddle and everything to do with a decision I made when about 7 or 8 ( who knew you couldn’t change your club whenever you wanted?). It has stuck with me ever since. A born and bred Geordie. A Spurs fan. It doesn’t make sense. But here we are. So when the fixtures come out and everyone looks for Arsenal, I look for Newcastle .. And to a smaller degree Sunderland. I can actually see St James’ from my desk in the office and many of my family are Newcastle fans. So for me, this Sunday, it is personal.
Traditionally, Newcastle hasn’t been a favourite hunting ground for the Spurs. Sometimes, it has been so bad, my brain has, as it does with pain, blocked out the memory to save me from the hardship I have endured. So when I preview Newcastle v Spurs, I do it through rose tinted glasses and remember the good times! My memory of the games certainly doesn’t marry with the history books. I also refuse to look at the statistics, in the Premier League, the win, draw, loss ratio ain’t great.
One game that does sit in my memory and that of the history books is the first ever game in the Premier League for the Magpies. It was the start of the 1993 season and newly promoted Newcastle hosted Tottenham. It was my first ever game. I remember three key things about that game. The result, we won one nil, the strip, lovely light blue with “SPURS” across the front, and the goal, Samways .. To Sheringham .. Gooooaaaalllll. If only it was always that good. Gus Poyet grabbed a headed goal in a 2-0 win in a lovely light blue Adidas Spurs shirt. This was bought by my girlfriend at the time, now wife. I still have it, I still love it. The shirt that is. You see, all about the strip! Finally on this rose tinted looked through history, Atooooooooouuuuuubaaaa. Anyone remember T Atouba? He was Cameroon Left Back V1 … Did zero .. But scored a stupendous goal in a one zero victory at fortress SJP. For that reason, I will always love him. Yellow Adidas with blue sleeves. White collar. I have that also.
This weekends game could be a Champions League six pointer (!?!). Newcastle have started very well and exceed all expectations. The natives, however, are restless. Those at the ground on Sunday will be greeted by new, and even more, Sports Direct signage. It is only a matter of time before the players run round with their original market value and then a 60% off, lime green, sticker! Spurs fan, and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, is likely to be absent from the ground. He will undoubtedly want his team to win though.
On the field, Adebayor is a doubt. Ade is in a good place at WHL. His mother is no longer doing questionable activities on an evening (the fans dont sing it so she must have stopped) and with that pressure lifted, he is getting his football back on track. On the subject of sex and chants, how disappointing that Gomes no longer gets his game. My wife is ever so disappointed. He could swap notes with Newcastle captain Fabricio Colocinni who gets his way with 52,000 wives of Geordies each week in the same vein.
Ledley King’s miraculous ability to play week in, week out, has coincided with his contract running out. Funny that. He will be up against a top strike force .. You know, Best Ba none … ! Though I would like to think he will come out on top. Sandro is also rated as doubtful and, not since Daniel Day Lewis, have I so wanted to see a Mohican. Sandro and Parker would most certainly stifle Newcastle should they try and play. With the worlds greatest, Super Luka (do you love him again yet?) and possibly Azza, we have enough to win, don’t we?
So I head to SJP full of hope but ultimately, expecting to be let down. I have also stitched myself up by heading out for drinks with many, many Newcastle fans after said game. Spurs take form into the game. Newcastle look solid. However, it is impossible for me to make a rational prediction on the outcome. Let’s hope the best team wins!*
Over and out …