Toon Fans Protest

Last updated : 15 August 2018 By Footy Mad - Editor

Image result for NEWCASTLE  Sports Direct protestIf it was a case of same old Spurs, Newcastle also reverted to type after an acrimonious summer in which the club was forced to defend its recruitment strategy and had been embroiled in a dispute with its players over bonuses.

Having outlaid just over £20m on players, Newcastle supporters have questioned the perceived ambition of the club.

And a large group of fans protested against Mike Ashley's ownership outside the city centre Sports Direct store before kick-off.

Rafael Benitez deployed an XI that featured nine of the players who dispatched Chelsea 3-0 on the final day of the 2017-18 campaign.

However, with four of his five new permanent signings named as substitutes, Newcastle were unable to capitalise as Tottenham tired late on.

Rondon, who inherited the club's iconic number nine shirt, was introduced with 30 minutes remaining but touched the ball just 11 times.

Image result for NEWCASTLE  Sports Direct protestThe Venezuelan, who registered 15 league goals over the previous two seasons, will have his work cut out to emulate the feats of former favourites Jackie Milburn, Malcolm Macdonald, Andy Cole and Alan Shearer.

Despite declarations of contentment by manager Mauricio Pochettino, it is difficult to imagine that the Argentine's job will not be made more difficult this term by Spurs' inactivity in the transfer market.

Clubs at the top end of the Premier League all strengthened while Spurs became the first Premier League club to not make a summer signing since the current transfer window system was adopted in 2003.

In a summer when nine first-choice players had a virtually non-existent pre-season - after reaching the later stages of the World Cup - Pochettino was forced to field six of them against Newcastle.

France's World Cup-winning goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris, Belgium's Vertonghen and England's Alli, Kane and Eric Dier all started while Mousa Dembele was introduced midway through the second period.

With the familiarity of those players clear to see, Tottenham dominated possession with 60% of the ball.

And Pochettino is now going to be reliant on those players to secure a top-three finish for the fourth year running.

Worryingly for Tottenham, Kane's August Premier League goal drought continued into a 14th match that spans 988 minutes of action.

In a largely anonymous display, the England captain managed just four touches in the Newcastle penalty area but Pochettino said it was of no concern.

"He is in his best form whether he scores or doesn't score," he said. "He worked a lot for the team and I'm sure that he's going to score. But he can't score three goals in every game."