The ‘Opposition Opinion’ is back and this week we’ve been getting some thoughts from a Spurs fan ahead of our big trip to Wembley tonight.
As ever, we are looking to bring you a view from the other side before this week’s game, interviewing an opposing fan to gain their opinions on NUFC, some insights into their own side and their thoughts on of our upcoming match.
This week we’ve been speaking to Tottenham fan (and season ticket holder) Jason, with him having the following to say ahead of the game tonight:
1) What sort of shape do you feel you’re in coming into tonight’s game?
“We’re not in the best of form, and this dip couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“We were fortunate to beat a poor Watford side in our last ‘home’ game and deserved what we got when West Brom scored late to beat us on Saturday.
“Chelsea are breathing down our necks in 5th, and I full expect them to beat Huddersfield tonight, so the pressure is really on us here.”
“Other than you pushing to secure a top 10 finish, I’m glad to see there’s not much riding on this one for you given what it means for us, however I do worry you’ll be out to cause a big upset to give your brilliant fans a memorable day out at Wembley!”
2) What do you make of Newcastle this season? Which players would identify as the threats and weaknesses in this NUFC side?
“Given the hand Rafa’s been dealt by your god-awful owner, I’ve been impressed by what you’ve achieved. I know the standard of teams between 10th and 20th hasn’t differed a great deal this season, but to see you in and around the top 10 is some achievement. I’ll be honest, you’d have gone down without Rafa.
“I really do hope he gets the backing your great club deserves this summer, although it’s going to take one mighty push to infiltrate the top 6. Surely it’s going to take new owners to get anywhere near that?”
“One thing I am relieved about is that you seem to have gone totally off the boil since your safety was guaranteed. It’s not a reason for us to relax tonight as I bet Benitez has you set up well, but I am hoping a few of your boys are on the beach.
“In terms of the threats, I’m wary of Kenedy. He’s been great for you and will no doubt be looking to do his Chelsea team-mates a big favour tonight!
“Perez is capable of causing problems and Shelvey could hurt us too if we give him too much time on the ball. I’ve also been hugely impressed by Mo Diame whenever I’ve watched you recently – he suddenly looks like Patrick Viera’s lovechild!
“As far as weaknesses go, I fancy Son to cause Yedlin problems. He’s not in the best of form, but Yedlin’s instincts as a defender still seem limited and Son can be quite persistent and explosive on his day.”
3) Likewise, who are the players to watch out for in your Tottenham side? Anyone in-form players for us to watch out for and anyone you’d be looking to ‘get at’ if you were Rafa Benitez?
“There’s a few usually dependable players who aren’t really performing at the minute.
“Kane doesn’t look quite right, although I still back him to score most weeks, but Son has been poor for a few weeks now and Lloris is always liable to make a costly error – even if he had a good game in our last home match vs Watford.
“Centre-back Davinson Sanchez is a big talent, but he likes to take risks with the ball and that worries me.
“Eriksen is a top player and always carries a threat. The key for you could be making sure he doesn’t get too much time and space to dictate the play.”
4) How do you see the match panning out? Score prediction?
“It may all depend on what Tottenham side turns up really.”
“With all due respect to Rafa’s Mags, I don’t feel like you’re that likely to outscore us if we were ‘at it’ tonight, even if Benitez will be looking for a response from his players.
“I’ll say 3-1 Spurs. I think you’ll score but, as I said, quality in the final third could be the difference.”
5) Moussa Sissoko – He’d been talking about a big money move away from NUFC for too long and we became tired of it, but I never saw a £30m move to Spurs happening. What are your thoughts on him?
“He’s actually been much better at times this season after an awful first year with us, however he’s still only started a handful of games in the league.
“He’s a big unit and impressive athlete, but technically he is far too limited to have any major role in our squad. Given the plethora of talent in their ranks, I’m often baffled to see him called up to the French national squad given his limitations.
“One worry is that he might actually play tonight! With Dembele and Dier ruled out, he may partner Wanyama – but I’m hoping we push Eriksen back into a slightly more deeper role and go for it.
“You’ll be hoping he starts no doubt, and I would be too if I was an NUFC fan. We don’t tend to play with the same sort of fluidity when he’s involved.”
A big thanks to Jason for taking some time this week to speak with us, with him giving us a good little insight into this Spurs side and tonight’s game here.
We’ll be back in a few days time with the thoughts of a Chelsea fan ahead of the final game of the season on Sunday!