Former Spurs and Newcastle star gives his verdict on tomorrow’s opener on Tyneside

11:56 17 August 2012

Chris Waddle

Chris Waddle

EMPICS Sport

EXCLUSIVE: Former Spurs and Newcastle star Chris Waddle believes the Magpies will struggle to emulate last season’s fifth-placed finish, but is backing the home side to hold Tottenham to a draw tomorrow.

Alan Pardew’s Newcastle were the surprise package in the Premier League last season, only missing out on Champions League qualification on the final day of the season.

Waddle feels that the Magpies’ rivals will be more alive to their threat in the forthcoming campaign – but he says Pardew’s boys are fully capable of taking points off the Lilywhites this weekend.

“I think it will be very tight,” said Waddle. “Newcastle have come on leaps and bounds. I think the manager needs two or three to stop the complacency creeping in amongst the ones who are already playing, and they’ve obviously got a lot of options up front.

“With that home crowd, it’s a hard place to go to. They had a lot of confidence last year and they surprised everybody – even Newcastle fans were surprised how well they did.

“I think for them to follow that up is going to be difficult. Teams obviously know a lot more about them now, and what to expect from them.

“Tottenham are very dangerous with their pace and Newcastle will show them a lot of respect so it will be a very close game.

“I’ll probably sit on the fence and say it’s going to be a draw up there – but with the way Tottenham play and with the players they’ve got it wouldn’t be a shock if either team won it on the day, because they are probably two quite open teams.”

Newcastle will be particularly wary of Gareth Bale’s pace, and Waddle believes the Welshman should play to his strengths and stay wide on the flanks, shunning the temptation to drift into central areas.

However, the ESPN analyst feels that Bale is correct to switch wings and try his luck on the right-hand side if he is struggling to influence the game.

“If you’re doing well in a certain position then, for me, you stay in that position,” said Waddle. “I think what happened last season is they were blocking his service off and doubling up on him.

“You rely on service all the time and if you’re not getting it then as a manager you think ‘I need this guy on the ball because he can make things happen – he can cross, he can shoot and he can score’.

“But I definitely think he’s a wide player, whether it’s at full-back, left wing or on the right wing – if he’s not getting any joy on the left then I think he should go on the right.

“I don’t think he should play down the middle. I know people are talking about him having a bit more license to go and do a bit more and go where he wants, but sometimes that disrupts the structure of the team.

“I definitely think he’s a left midfielder, and if he’s not getting any joy why not say ‘look, go over to the right and come inside on that left foot’? His right foot’s not bad.

“He can go inside, he’s got such pace and really Gareth should be working really hard on his right foot, and then he can play on either wing.”

ESPN will broadcast live coverage of Spurs’ Premier League opener at Newcastle tomorrow.

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

Live Blog Deadline Day Live

 

Latest Stories

25 minutes ago
A lifeboat crew from Tower station rushed to save the boy's life [Image from RNLI]

A teenage boy was saved from drowning on Sunday as a YouTube dare went horribly wrong.

Read more
The potentially lethal pills were sold as impotence, slimming and anti-smoking aids [Photograph by Met Police]

A 62-year-old man from Hackney and a 34-year-old man from Barnet have been arrested on suspicion of money laundering as police try to smash a gang that sells deadly pills across the world.

Read more
Messages being spread on social media about a terror threat on the Tube are a hoax, say police (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Messages claiming a ‘terror threat’ was about to hit London Underground and urging people not to get the Tube this morning are a hoax, say police.

Read more

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

Match reports

TOP STORIES

Spurs Transfer News