Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tottenham 5 Newcastle United 0

A perfect end to the week for Harry Redknapp as Spurs, inspired by a re-energised Emmanuel Adebayor, scored five goals against Newcastle at White Hart Lane as the fans continually showed their support for the manager.
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What an End to Redknapp's Perfect Week
Tottenham Hotspur 5 Newcastle United 0
Scorers: Assou-Ekotto, Saha (2), Kranjcar, Adebayor

Team: Friedel; Walker, Dawson, King (Nelsen), Assou-Ekotto; Kranjcar, Parker, Modric, Bale (Lennon); Saha (Defoe), Adebayor  Subs (unused): Cudicini, Khumalo, Rose, Livermore

White Hart Lane was buzzing with the Spurs supporters constantly singing and chanting the name of Harry Redknapp as they showed their support for the manager.  The fans were up for the game and so were the players as Newcastle discovered very early on as Tottenham scored twice in the opening six minutes with Emmanuel Adebayor the creator and inspiration for the team.
Louis Saha made his home debut in place of Jake Livermore, with Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe fit enough to return to the substitutes bench.  With Newcastle in search of a top four finish a difficult game was expected but they were restricted due to injuries in midfield.  Spurs started very brightly and Adeboyor had created the first goal within four minutes.  Looking lively and more energetic than in  previous matches, he took a ball from Gareth Bale and made a forceful run and cross to where Benoit Assou-Ekotto was waiting, unmarked at the the corner of the six yard box and he gleefully hammered the ball into the net.  It was a perfect start for Spurs and answered the question as to whether the media speculation about Harry Redknapp and the England manager's position had been a distraction at the club.  The answer was clearly in the negative and after another two minutes it became a resounding, "No!"

Adebayor, again, made another strong run on the right and crossed for Louis Saha to score on his home debut against the team with whom he started his career in English football.  Two minutes later, Saha turned provider and set up Adebayor but the shot went out for a goal kick.  Two minutes on and Bale turned creator and set up Adebayor but he was unable to control the through ball and it ran on to the goalkeeper.

From a Newcastle corner, Adebayor, in trying to put in a tackle, slipped and the ball ran over his arm but the referee turned down any penalty appeals.  A Bale run and cross came out to Kranjcar but he blasted over on fifteen minutes.  it was all Spurs and they struck again when a Modric cross was laid back by Adebayor for Saha to score through the defenders legs.

The ease with which Spurs were playing encouraged the supporters and there was a constant tide of support for Harry Redknapp.  Bale continued to be dangerous and he crossed to Saha who passed to Adebayor but the shot went wide.

Brad Friedel made a finger tip save from a free-kick when Scott Parker was booked for a foul on the edge of the area.

After thirty four minutes Spurs scored their fourth as Saha broke from halfway and put in Adebayor with a lovely cross/pass - Adebayor's shot was saved but it came back to him and as he tried to regain control it fell to Kranjcar who scored - his first goal in a year.

Spurs continued to play free flowing football with Newcastle chasing shadows although Ba had a shot straight at Friedel.  The visitors defenders were finding Adebayor unplayable and he put in another cross to Kranjcar who shot over.  Then in the final minute of the half, Spurs were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box which Adebayor touched to Assou-Ekotto but with a clesar sight on goal, he blasted it over.

After half-time Spurs were content to maintain possession for long periods with Newcastle unable to take the ball from them and when they did get it, they just gave it straight back to Spurs.  After sixty four minutes, Bale played in Adebayor but he just failed to control the ball.  Spurs appeared to be satisfied with four goals but then a good ball went from Bale out to Assou-Ekotto on the left and his centre was headed back by Saha to Adebayor who hooked it into the net for a deserved goal and his tenth of the season.  Adebayor and Saha were showing an excellent understanding in their first game together.

Bale shot over from twenty five yards.  Lennon and Defoe replaced Bale and Saha as Spurs continued to play at will with little threat from Newcastle.  Ryan Nelsen made his debut as a replacement for Ledley King.  Kyle Walker had an excellent run on the right but his cross was just too high for Adebayor.  Then Newcastle created their first danger of the evening when Ba got a header on target from close range but Friedel reacted instinctively to save and the rebound was hit over.

Spurs produced a quick passing movement from Defoe to Adebayor to Kranjcar and back to Adebayor but the final shot passed wide.  Luka Modric had a shot saved and Adebayor again shot over after Parker and Defoe had created the chance for him.

Newcastle have now lost on their last three visits to White Hart Lane and this match was the perfect end to a hectic week for Harry Redknapp.  He was cleared of all charges in his court case, he is top candidate for the England manager's post, the fans showed their desire for him to stay and the players responded by producing one of their best displays of the season.  The only thing which could have improved Redknapp's week would have been Bale scoring with the late chance on Monday evening at Anfield.

Emmanuel Adebayor was revitalised throughout, involved in every goal, with four assists and a goal.  He linked well with Saha who scored two goals in twenty minutes for Spurs, having only managed that number in twenty games this season with Everton.

Spurs are now ten points ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea, five behind Manchester United who beat Liverpool to go a point ahead of City who play Aston Villa later today.  Spurs did all they could today to persuade Harry Redknapp to stay at White Hart Lane and bide his time before accepting his ultimate job, the England manager's role.

Just as the fans chanted, "We want you to stay Harry Redknapp, we want you to stay," so I reiterate their words of yesterday but in all likelihood such sentiments won't be enough to keep Harry at White Hart Lane.


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