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23 Oct 2007 11:03
Martin Jol’s Tottenham tenure looks almost certain to be coming to an end following his team’s 3-1 loss at Newcastle on Monday night.
Sam Allardyce’s side may have hammered the final nail in the Dutch manager’s coffin with a dominant display and deserved victory.
Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, and soon after the break Brazilian centre-back Claudio Cacapa doubled the hosts’ advantage.
Robbie Keane pulled a goal back for Spurs but Newcastle were not to be denied and James Milner completed an impressive victory.
Allardyce praised his side’s attacking flair.
“It’s the third game on the trot we’ve scored three,” he said. “Not only are we winning, but scoring three to boot; you can’t ask for any more than that.
Sometimes we have frailties, we lose possession, but we have to sacrifice that at home to break the opposition down.
“We are doing that terrifically well with the goal scoring.”
The Magpies stayed eighth despite the three points but they have a game in hand on most of the teams above them and remain in contention, not only for a European place, but also Champions League football next season.
Tottenham, though, are stuck in the relegation zone, having won only one of their opening 10 games and chairperson Daniel Levy’s patience with Jol must surely be wearing thin.
But Jol remained defiant despite the increasing pressure.
“I feel we have had a pretty good spell [three successive draws]—the only thing we needed was more wins.
“We lack a bit of leadership [in defence]. Someone has to stand and pull the strings at the back. Hopefully Ledley King will be fit in a couple of weeks. He was not there and wasn’t there for the last seven months, so we have to get results without him.”
“I’m already used to it [pressure], even before the season started. The only thing that counts is results. We’re still in a good position in the cups and hopefully, on Thursday [in the Uefa Cup], we can get a result.”
Martins broke the deadlock just before the break as he rifled home a pass from left-back Sanchez Jose Enrique.
Six minutes after the break and Cacapa scored his first goal for the club since his summer move from French champions Lyon, heading home a corner from Turkish midfielder Emre.
Spurs did not have to wait long to get back into the match as captain Keane mopped up a loose ball after England striker Darren Bent’s header crashed back off the bar on 57 minutes.
At that stage Spurs had reversed the trend of the first period and were dominating the ball. Jol also brought on Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov for French midfielder Steed Malbranque in a bid to snatch a share of the spoils.
But instead his team were punished when Newcastle substitute Milner drilled home a left-footed shot from the edge of the area.
“It was another good performance at home,” said Milner. “Tottenham are a tough team with a lot of good players and we hope to get into the winning habit now. It’s about riding out the poor performances and getting results.
“It’s nice for me to get off the mark. It was a bit of a shank, the first one, but it was nice to get it.”
Tottenham enjoyed a lot of the ball in the closing stages but ultimately paid the price for some poor defending.—AFP
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