Tottenham 5-0 Newcastle: Sunday Mirror match report
Published 21:31 11/02/12 By Steve Stammers
A week of trauma and turmoil for Harry Redknapp ended in triumph in front of his adoring audience at White Hart Lane.
Wanted by England, loved by Tottenham fans and now free of the cloud hanging over him during his trial for tax evasion, he watched his team produce a scintillating performance that left Newcastle in tatters.
Whoever writes Redknapp’s scripts should be in line for a Pulitzer Prize.
This was football as Redknapp wants it played – quick and incisive and a combination of artistry and invention.
The gap between the two Manchester clubs may be too substantial to bridge but if the Redknapp revolution continues into next season, the Premier League title will be a legitimate target.
The reception was predictable and the greeting from the White Hart Lane crowd was expected.
As speculation about his future increases, Redknapp’s traumatic, topsy-turvy week ended with an array of flashbulbs as he took his seat on the bench, while the Spurs faithful gave him the warmest of welcomes. “One Harry Redknapp,” they sang, soon followed by “You’re Spurs and you know you are.”
Clearly the job of England manager is one that can be filled by someone else as far as they are concerned.
Redknapp’s team quickly demonstrated just how much they want him to stay with two goals in the first six minutes – with the enigmatic Emmanuel Adebayor the provider of both.
The Togo striker twice turned provider as he tortured the left side of Newcastle’s static defence.
First came a low cross that eluded everyone in the box and fell to Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who drove home from 18 yards. Delight turned to ecstasy two minutes later as Adebayor left Fabricio Coloccini impersonating a statue as he sent over a low cross to find Louis Saha, who found the net on his full debut for Tottenham.
This was Tottenham at their vibrant best. The Croatian axis of Niko Kranjcar and Luka Modric bossed the midfield and Adebayor was a constant menace.
This all meant the much-vaunted Senegalese strike force of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse were starved of any meaningful service.
And the nightmare for the Newcastle defence just got worse in the 20th minute when that man Adebayor set up Saha, who joyfully drove home his second goal. And come the 34th minute Alan Pardew’s day just got worse.
Adebayor – again – broke clear into the penalty area. His surging run brought a save from Tim Krul but the ball found Kranjcar, and in went the fourth goal.
Pardew acted at half-time by making one substitution. Off went Gabriel Obertan,
when in truth it could have been anyone. And much to Newcastle’s dismay, Tottenham showed the same drive and appetite after the break – with Adebayor again at the hub of their attacks.
The occasional sortie apart, Newcastle were so often on the back foot against Tottenham’s slick passing. Assou-Ekotto - without the ties of subduing Obertan – attacked with freedom and no little venom in support of Gareth Bale.
To be fair to the visitors, they improved a little, with the introduction of Shane Ferguson giving them more solidity, but Spurs’ sharp passing still had them struggling,
Modric, Scott Parker and Kranjcar were always in the ascendancy and all Newcastle could do was chase shadows.
This was certainly the case in the 64th minute when Tottenham added their fifth. Assou-Ekotto crossed from the left, Saha headed the ball back and Adebayor volleyed home a magnificent goal.
It seems inevitable that Adebayor will be signed on a full-time basis, and if ever a player deserved a goal at White Hart Lane yesterday, it was him.
Redknapp jumped in the air in delight. And he soon sent on Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe to give the visitors further grief right up until the full-time whistle.