Time to regroup and regain momentum

NUFC 1-0 Scum

From the first minute until the final whistle, Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham side dominated proceedings at White Hart Lane in a match that I consider to be our biggest humbling of the season.

It was humiliating. A shocking performance in which we showed very little energy and no fight whatsoever. The lads looked drained and, in all fairness, the 5-0 scoreline didn’t flatter Spurs in the slightest. A break in fixtures looked urgently required, and thankfully that is just what we’ve now got.

Many fans, including myself, will of seen our departure from the FA Cup as a kick in the teeth. Another opportunity to win a trophy wasted, if you like. However, I now believe that our exit from this competition may prove crucial if we are to ever realise our ambitions of European football. After all, but for our failings against Brighton and Hove Albion we would have today played away at Anfield against Liverpool. A match that would have surely required a full strength starting XI and proved excruciating on the legs of our already exhausted stars. Thankfully, though, that isn’t the case.

What we must now do then, is use our exclusion from the FA Cup wisely by getting some well deserved rest. Which is why I was delighted to hear that Alan Pardew has given the lads this weekend off in order to recuperate in whatever way they believe best. Hopefully then, this will prove to be just what the doctor ordered and the players will return to training on Monday morning reinvigorated and hungry to right those wrongs that were so clearly on show against Spurs.

Add to that the return of recent absentees such as Yohan Cabaye (suspension), Cheick Tiote (ACON) and Ryan Taylor (injury), who have all been very big players for us this season, and we once again have a first team capable of competing with the best. This should also provide the rest of the players with a well needed lift and may even help to galvanize our squad back into the well drilled unit that we were so accustomed to watching during the early stages of our Premier League campaign. Should that happen, who knows where we could finish this season?

Our next two fixtures, in my opinion, are both very winnable games. First up, we meet a currently managerless Wolves at home on Saturday, which is then followed by another home outing against local rivals Sunderland on March 4. Should we use our disappointing performance against Tottenham as motivation to improve in these outings, then we may find ourselves generating some very important momentum that could help us surge towards a top six finish and that all important place in Europe.

With Arsenal and Chelsea stumbling at every given opportunity, even a top four spot may not be out of the question, but for now, we must rest. 

159 thoughts on “Time to regroup and regain momentum

  1. Formations and tactics are scrutinised when we dont win but its down to individuals not doing their jobs, watching Stevenage players working their knackers off to close down Spurs was an example of what we should have been doing, their full backs in particular were outstanding.
    I dont go along with exhausted stars, they had a break in Tenerife and came back to lose at Brighton, its time certain players are held to account for their poor form and are replaced.


  2. @Brisvegas

    You’re correct we don’t have a conventional number 10.

    But to feed your strikers the onus should be on Cabaye and the two wingers.

    They simply don’t do enough.


  3. @Robert

    To be fair to the Toon, Spuds were playing away on a bad pitch which evens up the competition.

    I’m not defending the Toons performance as its indefensible but there’s no doubt, Spuds clicked that day and we fell apart. It happens.


  4. Well he contributes more that Tiote in that regard. That is the comparison as that is the role Cabaye has been playing for nigh in half the season…


  5. Troy…maybe, but as Toonsy says a few games he’s played as a DM, who’s to say he hasn’t played some cracking balls which have been fluffed by our average ability strikers(when Ba’s been out) also it took a few games for Ba to get into his stride. Also bear in mind it’s still his first season so he’ll get better hopefully. I don’t know what sort of midfielder people think he is but he isn’t a goal scoring machine that provides dozens of assists, he’s had on e cracking “scoring” season at Lille where he got 13 goals but over 5 seasons he’s averaged 6 goals a year and 5 assists in a “weaker” league, indeed he had 2 goals 9 assists in a championship winning team playing in a team he grew up with.


  6. TROY – Does Paul Scholes contribute enough in terms of goals and assists?

    When younger Scholes could score goals for fun. However, as the years have passed he has somewhat remoulded himself into a player capable of setting the tempo to a game without really chipping in with goals and assists.

    For me, this is the role Cabaye plays for us. Although he’ll never be able to dictate a game like Scholes can.

    It really is narrow minded to look at only goals and assists. There’s so much more to football.


  7. For example, how many times have we seen Scholes spray magnificent 40 and 50 yard passes out to wide men for them to then put the ball in the box and be given the assist?

    I remember reading about Cabaye when he first signed for us and I believe in his last season for Lille he touched the ball more than any other player. For me, that tells you a lot more about the type of player he is.


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