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Tottenham spoil Newcastle takeover party on emotional day – 5 talking points

It was an emotional day at St. James’s Park after Newcastle United’s takeover but it was a painful reality check for the hosts as they were downed at home by Tottenham in a chaotic clash

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Amanda Staveley speaks to the media after confirmed Newcastle takeover

Tottenham Hotspur spoiled the Newcastle United party at St. James’s Park with a 3-2 victory in the first game following the home side’s Saudi Arabian-backed takeover.

In what was Steve Bruce’s 1,000 th game in management – a figure he was not expected to reach at the Magpies under the new ownership – the hosts made a flying start amid a cacophony of noise as Callum Wilson opened the scoring in the second minute.

Despite the initial euphoria, the familiar feelings of dread and disappointment set-in for the hosts as Tanguy Ndombele equalised 15 minutes later before goals from Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son put Spurs in control before the break.

The atmosphere also changed when the first half was suspended after a fan in the home stand was taken ill and required urgent medical attention – his condition was later stabilised and rushed to hospital.

Jonjo Shelvey picked up two quickfire yellow cards for the hosts and while a late own goal from Eric Dier gave the hosts late hope, Spurs held on for the points.

Here are five talking points from an emotional afternoon at St. James’s Park.

Quick-thinking players deserve credit



Eric Dier alerted medical staff to the emergency in the stands
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Image:

Action Images via Reuters)




The quick-thinking actions of players including Tottenham duo Sergio Reguilon and Eric Dier ensuring the game was called to a halt amid an unfolding medical emergency was critical.

Just four months after the harrowing incident in Copenhagen which saw Christian Eriksen suddenly collapse and require CPR, the importance of acting speedily and correctly is more important than ever, with every second counting to potentially save a life.

Just as with Eriksen’s Denmark teammates Simon Kjaer and Kasper Schmeichel, along with that match’s referee Anthony Taylor and others, the quick reactions of Reguilon and Dier to alert the referee Andre Marriner to the incident and ensure medical equipment was brought to the stricken fan was vital.

The responses of Reguilon and Dier carried far greater importance than anything else on the pitch during this game.

Relegation fears real

From a purely sporting point of view, news of Newcastle ’s takeover has generated a great deal of excitement amongst its support base.

It has brought genuine expectation that the Magpies will inevitably now break into the so-called ‘Big Six’ of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham in the coming years.

Yet the reality is that the club remain without a win this season and are now second from bottom in the division, with this result seeing them slip behind Burnley on goal difference.

Newcastle have comfortably the worst defensive record in the division – with 19 goals against, three more than Norwich’s 16 – and amid fears that they will be cut off from safety.

Investment will come but January is still three months away and the winter transfer window is notoriously hard to recruit in.

Money will inevitably talk in football but Newcastle’s squad requires a total overhaul and relegation will undoubtedly have a definitive impact on the players they can attract to the club.

Avoiding relegation at all costs is now the priority this season but the painful truth is that the potential of it is very real.

This pitiful performance was an all-too-clear reminder.

Bruce authority gone



Steve Bruce’s 1000th game did not go to plan
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Image:

REUTERS)




The widespread reports that Steve Bruce would lose his job ahead of this game came directly from Newcastle, yet their failure to follow-up with a change in management has been counterproductive.

Bruce reached the admirable landmark of 1,000 games in management but his authority in the dressing room has now totally vanished with players aware that it is a matter of time until his departure.

This is not to absolve Bruce of responsibility for the club’s below-par results and performances this season, which give significant weight to any decision to relieve him of his duties.

Indecisiveness over his future helps nobody and the sooner the club make a change in the dugout, the soon they can rediscover a sense of unity and a sense they are pulling in the one direction.

When the sense of authority and power structure between a boss and players has gone, the only solution is to make a change in the dugout.

It is a shame for Bruce that such a fine achievement in longevity was overshadowed by this uncertainty, with the second half being played to the backdrop of home fans chanting: “We want Brucey out.”

Kane starting to find form



Harry Kane scored his first goal of the season with a well taken finish
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Image:

Action Images via Reuters)




Having failed to score in any of his first six Premier League appearances to date this season, it was vital that Harry Kane found the net in this game.

It was suggested that the England captain may need slightly fortuitous circumstances to end his drought and whilst his goal was certainly onside, the low-key nature of the finish suggested he may not have been fully confident that this was the case.

Ultimately, this was a fine run an finish by the striker which gave Spurs the lead for the first time in the game and gave them a platform to take the game away from the hosts.

Now he has that monkey off his back, he will be eyeing a run of goals.

Discipline hurts Newcastle

The late red card to Jonjo Shelvey summed up the Magpies afternoon; the midfielder was brought on as a substitute after an hour but picked up two yellow cards within 23 minutes.

They now have the worst disciplinary record in the league – only Brighton have picked up more than their 18 yellow cards, but the Seagulls have not yet had a player dismissed this campaign.

Sean Longstaff, Isaac Hayden and Ciaran Clark were all booked for rash fouls in this game in what was another poor day for the home side’s discipline.


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