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HomeNewsNewcastle 6-1 Tottenham: It's too late to save Spurs' season - Jermaine...

Newcastle 6-1 Tottenham: It’s too late to save Spurs’ season – Jermaine Jenas analysis


MOTD2 analysis

Everyone at Tottenham will talk about fighting and pulling together after Sunday’s embarrassing defeat at Newcastle, but I feel like it’s too far down the road for that now.

The team’s momentum has completely gone, and the players clearly have no belief.

They played without any kind of a plan at St James’ Park, but that was hardly a surprise after what we’ve already seen from them this season.

They are in a complete mess, but for me that stems from what is happening at the club off the pitch, and the total lack of direction that comes from the very top.

Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris was interviewed after the Newcastle game and, when he was asked a question about the powers that be, he kind of batted it off.

Instead he said the players have a responsibility to perform, whatever is going on behind the scenes.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris
Lloris was beaten five times in the first 21 minutes at St James’ Park, as Tottenham slumped to a 6-1 defeat

There was a part of me that liked that, because as a player you are always 100% responsible for maintaining your own standards for yourself, the team and the club, regardless of what is happening. Lloris knew they had to do much, much better.

But it is not a coincidence that Tottenham are playing this badly at the same time that everything else at the club, from the top down, is a complete and utter shambles.

‘It feels like Spurs have given up on their season’

This kind of mess is nothing new at Spurs – you can take it back as far as you like.

I can’t think of another club that would sack their manager the week before a cup final, like they did with Jose Mourinho ahead of the Carabao Cup final in 2021, but Tottenham did.

This time, they got rid of Antonio Conte with 10 Premier League games to go. Conte played his own part in that decision with his behaviour, of course, but how can you make a change at that stage of the season without having a new manager to come in?

At least bring in someone who will give you fresh ideas, a new look, some energy – anything that might provide a bounce to secure a Champions League spot, at a time when the club were actually in the top four.

Instead, Spurs appointed Cristian Stellini, Conte’s number two.

By doing that, it felt like they had given up on the season, and that way of thinking has fed through to the team as well.

‘Spurs looked shellshocked at St James’ Park’

Graphic showing Tottenham's starting XI v Newcastle: Lloris, Porro, Romero, Dier, Perisic, Sarr, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Kulusevski, Kane, Heung-min
The Tottenham team that started against Newcastle, and found themselves 5-0 down inside the first 21 minutes

Half of me feels sorry for the Spurs players right now, because of everything else that is going on.

But the other half can’t believe quite how poor they’ve been when I’ve watched them in the past few weeks.

The least they could have done is got on the ball to see the game out against Southampton in Conte’s final game, or dominated possession when Everton were down to 10 men for half an hour in Stellini’s first game in charge.

They couldn’t do either, and after riding their luck to beat Brighton, they were outplayed at home by a Bournemouth side battling relegation.

Then, on Sunday, they turned up at St James’ Park looking almost shellshocked, totally unprepared for what would happen.

Every player knows what to expect when you play at that stadium – even during the years when Newcastle were nearer the bottom of the league, it was always like a cauldron and you would still get a tough game.

So, with the Magpies absolutely flying and about to have their best finish since I was there 20 years ago, Spurs should have known what they were about to walk into.

You could tell by their faces that they weren’t ready at all, and that was one of the reasons they completely fell apart the way they did.

Spurs set to start from scratch again in the summer

Snapshot of 3rd to 8th in the Premier League: 3rd Newcastle, 4th Man Utd, 5th Tottenham, 6th Aston Villa, 7th Liverpool & 8th Brighton

The Spurs players will be going through hell right now, because what is happening to them is embarrassing. Not only are they suffering, they will be dreading every game.

They are at home on Thursday against Manchester United and there will be 64,000 Spurs fans in their stadium, all baying for blood after watching their team capitulate and their season collapse.

Those supporters are going to make their feelings clear to the powers that be, and probably to some of the players as well.

That spilled over last week with the treatment Davinson Sanchez got when he came on against Bournemouth, and was booed every time he touched the ball, and again when he was taken off.

I don’t agree with that whatsoever, but Spurs fans are a frustrated bunch at the moment and I think anyone could be the target on Thursday.

I really can’t see things getting any better for them this season, either. You can forget about them moving up the table for starters – they are more likely to be heading in the opposite direction.

Aston Villa, Liverpool and Brighton are all playing better football, and I think all three of them will finish above Spurs – so things are pretty bleak.

All they can do now is get to the end of the season and have a reset, but it is going to have to be a quick one.

Conte’s exit was a great opportunity to get a new manager in for the final few weeks of the season, to have a look at what needs to be done in the summer. Instead, Spurs will be starting from scratch, yet again.

Jermaine Jenas was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

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