Tottenham

So How Did AVB’s Boys Do? The Player Ratings

Brad Friedel: The ageing American had little to do in this game apart from pick the ball out his net twice. One moment of worry left him scrambling across his goal as the ball took an age to trickle out of play after a deflection from Cisse. A few wayward bits of distribution aside, Friedel had a decent game. 6/10

Kyle Walker: The England right back position has been up for grabs since Gary Neville retired and at the moment it’s Walker’s to lose. He was his rampaging self and often made difficult work for Newcastle’s defence by getting forward as well as disrupting the home teams attacking momentum in the first half. Perhaps could have done better with Ba’s goals but that’s being a bit harsh. 7/10

Younes Kaboul: Slightly surprised new signing Jan Vertonghen wasn’t starting but Kaboul showed why Redknapp and now Villas-Boas have so much faith in him. He was good when called upon and did well in helping stop the aerial threat of Ba and Cisse. Will perhaps be used against a teams with quality in the air as Vertonghen’s technical ability looks to be far superior. Decent game but nothing special. 6/10

William Gallas: Captain for this match with Ledley King now retired, he played with experience. Worked well with Kaboul and again helped on reducing the Newcastle front line to scraps. Unfortunate that Ba decided to end his scoring duck but showed that he could be a regular fixture under AVB for the coming season with a solid display. 6/10

Benoit Assou-Ekotto: One of the most regular fixtures in Redknapp’s first team seems to still have one of the full back positions under his thumb. He was solid at the back and began the move that saw Sigurdsson’s effort wrongly chalked off for offside. Often got forward when needed to and will no doubt be as regular under AVB as he was under the old guard. 7/10

Jake Livermore: A big ask for the newly capped England midfielder as Newcastle boast a lot of creative quality in midfield. Apart from a slightly harsh yellow he did well and lasted the whole game, which will help his confidence. Did his best to protect the back line but was largely unnoticed. 6/10

Sandro: Looked a bit tired after the Olympics and was caught out with a cynical foul in the first half that earned him a yellow. A few misplaced passes here and there showed his rustiness. Was subbed off at 85 mins for Harry Kane. 5/10

Gylfi Sigurdsson: The new signing looked sharp on his competitive debut. A good free kick was well saved in the first half and should have scored when one on one with Krul but was wrongly given offside. Faded in the second half and was subbed at 67 for Rafael Van der Vaart. 6/10

Aaron Lennon: Always involved in a Spurs attack and set up Bales header that came off the bar. Used his pace to exploit the wings brilliantly in the first half and helped set up the winner with a delightfully chipped ball in. Starting to improve on decision making and although at fault for the penalty had a good game overall. 7/10

Gareth Bale: Sporting number 11 this season, he was noted by Newcastle’s defence as the main threat which allowed Lennon more freedom. A great chance in the first half to go ahead headed onto the bar was his best moment of the game. Largely ineffectual but this is down to some excellent Newcastle defending rather than a poor performance. 6/10

Jermain Defoe: Coped with the role of lone striker very well. With Lennon and Bale playing on the wings either side he worked well with the counter attacking philosophy AVB looks to be implementing. Hit the post with a lovely move in the first half and pulled a sharp save out of Krul in the second before getting a real poachers goal. Life is certainly left in Defoe and if he carries on like this he could be back to his best. 8/10

Subs; Rafael Van der Vaart; Came on for Sigurdsson at 67 mins and did very little but float a few balls in and concede the penalty. May not like playing second fiddle to the Icelandic man. 5/10

Harry Kane: Came on with 5 mins to go and wasn’t given enough time to make his mark on the game.

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