Pat Nevin with interesting comments on Newcastle United

Pat Nevin has been reflecting on his latest visit to St James’ Park.

The former Everton and Chelsea winger was on Tyneside for the Tottenham match.

A game which saw eighth in the table face fourth, though by the final whistle the two teams were sixth and fifth in the Premier League respectively.

There may still be a ten points gap between the two clubs but nobody would have guessed who held that now ten points advantage, judging by what they witnessed at St James’ Park.

Interesting to read these Pat Nevin reflections on the 90+ minutes.

Pat Nevin talking to BBC Sport about Eddie Howe and Newcastle United in light of the 4-0 hammering of Tottenham – 17 April 2024:

‘It is rarely dull at St James’ Park so as I tottered along on Saturday I confidently expected fireworks.

The home side did not disappoint and the quality of Alexander Isak, Anthony Gordon and Harvey Barnes should not be glossed over.

They were unstoppable, but what about Spurs!

It must have been shocking for Ange Postecoglou and all Tottenham fans to witness such an uncharacteristically insipid performance. But why did it happen?

Eddie Howe played a tactical blinder, exploiting the naively high defensive line. Will Ange ever change that? The answer is an emphatic no. There is also the fact that the high intensity ‘Ange-ball’ style wears players out over the course of a season. Postecoglou will fix that over the summer by increasing the squad size if he is given the funds.

The most obvious problem on the day however was that the normally brilliant Micky van de Ven had a shocker. I honestly thought he must have been wearing the wrong boots as he slid like Bambi on ice every time anyone threw him a dummy.

Maybe he was carrying an injury or was not getting enough cover, or we were just discovering that he does not have quick enough feet at close quarters for this level. We will find out soon enough.

On the positive side, others have had high profile disasters this season and recovered. Kieran Trippier had a toe-curling few weeks and Raheem Sterling had such a horror show for Chelsea against Leicester in the FA Cup that his own fans booed him off.

Best just ignore social media, blank the highlights on TV, then hope and believe it was just a bad day at the office.’

I think far too much of the post-match chatter has been about how and why Tottenham lost, rather than how and why Newcastle United won.

To be fair to Pat Nevin, he covers both sides of this, though I think still errs too much on the side of looking at why Tottenham were so seriously second best.

Despite all the missing players, I think the simple fact is that the Newcastle United midfield and attacking players were and are so much better than Tottenham’s. This wasn’t a fluke. Sean Longstaff out in an incredible shift to provide a great platform for those who have more to offer on the ball, with Isak, Gordon, Barnes, Bruno and Anderson superb.

Whilst Murphy, Krafth, Schar and Burn were also very good and instrumental in Tottenham offering pretty much no threat after a couple of early half chances for Werner.

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