The positives & negatives to take from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Spurs – Five good, four bad

With the opening weekend of Premier League action now over and the dust having settled following our 2-1 defeat to Spurs, here’s a look at some of the positives and negatives we can take from our first game of the season.

Positives

  • Kenedy – It may be frustrating that he’s only here on loan, but aren’t you glad we’ve got him back?! He’s strong, skilful and the one player in our team capable of making something happen from nothing. He looks in great shape ahead of the new season. Spurs couldn’t cope with him
  • A BIG confidence boost for Joselu – He may not be in the team for long, with Rondon and Muto breathing down his neck, but he put in a much better all round performance, took his goal and very nearly laid on a superb assist for Kenedy. It’s about time we praised him for doing things well considering how quick so many are to criticise!

  • We competed and created chances against a strong Spurs side – This time last year I barely remember us creating a chance against Spurs, with us being camped in our own half for most of the 0-2 home defeat last season. This time we went toe to toe with them and deserved a point. With Kenedy’s chance, Diame smashing the post and Rondon’s effort off the bar in mind, we could’ve easily come away with a draw – which is what we deserved. That bodes well.
  • Ritchie looked back to his best – His assist for Joselu was one of the best crosses you’ll see all season. His energy was infectious and he was a menace all afternoon. No wonder we struggled as soon as he came off. It looks like it was the right decision to keep a hold of him this summer!
  • Rondon and Muto showed glimpses – They didn’t make a big impact on the game, but you could see the physical presence Rondon can bring (even if he was clearly short on match fitness), whilst Muto’s movement was very impressive.

Negatives

  • Yedlin’s injury – Losing him would be a huge blow. He may have switched off a few times, but his pace, energy and understanding with Ritchie would be sorely missed – especially when Manquillo may be the only man left to replace him.
  • The defence was missing Florian Lejeune – His calmness and composure was missed at the back. Clark did a decent job, but he is not as dominant in the air of as composed in possession as the Frenchman. We have Schar and Fernandez to come in, but we did look unusually unsettled at the back at times. To be expected, but something we must sort of quickly.
  • Diame looked a little rusty – He was by no means back to his form of 2017, with him still making several important interceptions, but he was a tad off the pace and sloppier on the ball than we’ve seen him recently. Hopefully he can get back to his best – something which is key when it comes to getting the most out of Jonjo Shelvey.
  • Atsu VERY poor when he came on – Considering he promised to be a different player this season after recovering from a long-term knee problem, he looked very poor and quite uninterested. I’m quite sure he’s a good lad and far from a prima donna, but he needs to wake up and show a bit more urgency – especially when he was brought on for Ritchie (one of our best performers on Saturday) in a bid to inject some pace, energy and spark into the final stages of the game.

  (Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)



About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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