Newcastle v Tottenham: Premier League – live! | Football
“Ah, Laurent Robert,” says Matt Dony. “Defined a new position in football – hang around roughly 30 yards from goal, and shoot every single time you get the ball. I remember him explaining in an interview that he thought he was so rubbish at defending, he was actually being selfless and helping out the team by refusing to do any tracking back at all. What a man. Just so ineffably Newcastle. (Of course, hard to escape the nagging feeling that ‘ineffably Newcastle’ is going to start meaning something very different…)”
Here come the players. The noise at St James’ Park is spectacular. Imagine what it’ll be like when Javier Manquillo roofs one from 40 yards.
The pre-match thoughts of Steve Bruce (1,000 not out)
“The first game was a bloody long time ago! I found [management] very, very difficult to start with – I had four clubs in a couple of years – and I’m still finding it very, very difficult now!
“You have to develop a bit of resilience and enjoy the game of football. Management is a substitute for playing, and that has always been the case with me. How lucky am I to have been in football for 43 years as a player and manager?
“I’m delighted for everybody that the takeover has gone through. It was badly needed, and that’s no disrespect to the previous owners at all. I’d like to think I played a little part in keeping the club in the Premier League, which enabled the deal to go through. Let’s hope there are exciting times ahead.
“The players have trained well. There’s different atmosphere, a different vibe, but I’ve been quietly pleased with some of our performances this season. I think we’ve deserved better. Let’s hope we can get our first win today.”
“Afternoon Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “My opinion is far from expert (nothing new there), and qualified by the fact that I’ve not had to watch Newcastle in recent years, but it seems to me Steve Bruce is a decent guy who maybe didn’t get the credit that was due to him as a player, and has since, with fairly good grace, put up with levels of criticism during his managerial career that would have seen many others walk away a long time ago. You don’t manage 1,000 games without having something, right?”
Everton 0-1 West Ham was the final score in the early game. Angelo Ogbonna headed a deserved winner in the 74th minute.
“24p and a biro is a bold opening to a negotiation,” says Felix Wood. “I admire your chutzpah, but you should be aware that anchoring a negotiation only really works if it isn’t so far from an potential compromise position that everyone immediately assumes you’re not serious.”
Tell that to Seth Johnson.
Steve Bruce, in his 1,000th game as a manager, makes two changes: the influential pair of Jamaal Lascelles and Callum Wilson return from injury to replace Federico Fernandez and Miguel Almiron.
Spurs are unchanged, the end.
Newcastle United (4-3-2-1) Darlow; Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie; Willock, Hayden, S Longstaff; Saint-Maximin, Joelinton; Wilson.
Substitutes: Gillespie, Schar, Shelvey, Lewis, Hendrick, Fernandez, Fraser, Murphy, Gayle.
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1) Lloris; Royal, Dier, Romero, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Skipp; Lucas Moura, Ndombele, Son; Kane.
Substitutes: Gollini, Sanchez, Tanganga, Davies, Winks, Dele, Lo Celso, Bergwijn, Bryan.
Referee Andre Marriner.
Spurs have released a statement about reports of positive Covid tests within their squad.
Following a number of reports regarding the health of our players, the Club would like provide clarity to events of the past 48 hours.
After further analysis following Premier League protocol, two players – whose names will not be disclosed due to medical confidentiality – returned false positive tests for COVID-19 on Friday after returning from international duty.
Provide clarity, you say?
A journey of a thousand miles starts with a game at home to Spurs. This afternoon’s match at St James’ Park is a celebration: of freedom, of winning the lottery and of future success. For Newcastle, at least, the actual football isn’t that important. At some stage they need to start clambering out of the bottom three, but they’ve got plenty of time. If they get their first league win of the season today, great; if not, LOOK AT WOR WAD. Nobody remembers that Manchester City were stuffed in their first game after the Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008.
It’s hard to begrudge Newcastle’s fans some joy after all they’ve been through, even if those pesky human-rights issues won’t go away. But we can probably all agree that 17 October 2021 is a landmark day in the history of a great club – and a slightly strange one, given that most of those involved won’t be around to complete the journey.
Steve Bruce is waiting for a pay-off, his continued employment a reminder that dignity and self-esteem always have a price. (That’s not a criticism; I’d sell mine for 24p and a biro, never mind seven million facilitators.) And though there will be one or two exceptions – good afternoon, Allan – most of the current squad won’t see the 2023-24 season. As Newcastle players, I mean. They’ll still be playing somewhere. I’m not suggesting a football version of squid game to whittle the squad down, although in modern football anything’s possible.
Kick off 4.30pm.