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No Need to Panic, Spurs Were Just Disgustingly Unlucky Against Newcastle

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03:  Andre Villas-Boas, manager of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on November 3, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterNovember 3, 2016

The fallout from Tottenham Hotspur's latest defeat in the Premier League has been astonishing.

The 1-0 loss to Newcastle United represents the second time the Lilywhites have disappointed the home crowd this season and the second time they've drawn a blank.

The team have scored just nine goals in 11 league showings, Roberto Soldado has netted just once from open play, Andros Townsend is receiving special attention and they've slipped to seventh place.

The frustration is understandable, but this isn't the time to panic, and Spurs fans should not be overly concerned in the aftermath of this weekend's result.

It's important to draw attention to one indisputable fact: Spurs were disgustingly unlucky in losing to the Magpies on Sunday.

They took 31 shots on goal, 14 were on target—and subsequently saved by the incredible Tim Krul—while seven were blocked. 

They've been somewhat flaccid in front of goal in previous games and clear-cut chances have been at a premium, but this occasion was entirely different.

The Newcastle shot-stopper was in inspired form—nothing was getting past him—but Spurs squandered chance after chance on the back of some superb buildup play.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10:  (L-R) Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur holds off the challenge of Davide Santon of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at White Hart Lane on Novembe
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Christian Eriksen delivered nine key passes, missed two superb chances and laid on plenty more. Soldado's tame header failed to punish Krul for fumbling a high cross. The Dutchman also somehow made a triple save in his own six-yard box following a deflected free-kick.

"It was one of those days" is a common expression attributed to matches such as these, and rarely has the phrase been truer. This was not a continuation of Spurs' uselessness in the final third, but more a day where it could have come together in an explosion of goals.

The ball was moved through midfield quicker, players gravitated to intelligent pockets of space and several players engineered multiple attempts on goal.

It wasn't that Spurs failed to break down Newcastle, it was that a combination of profligacy and Krul's magnificence denied them a big, big win.

Calls for Andre Villas-Boas to be sacked are absurd; the team haven't started as well as expected, but they are three points off second place in a topsy-turvy league.

Manchester City have lost four games, Chelsea have scraped a draw at home to West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal have lost to Aston Villa. It's been a crazy season so far, and that makes where you "should" be in the league extremely difficult to gauge.

Could Erik Lamela have unlocked the door? Maybe. Does Townsend need a Plan B (or a rest)? Absolutely. There are always improvements to be made, there are always elements to change, but only minor adjustments will be made on the training ground by AVB this week.

He knows, more than anyone else, just how unfortunate his side were on Sunday.

 

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