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They came to celebrate. They came to see out a despised ownership with Mike Ashley finally gone, and welcome in a fabulously wealthy, if contentious, new one. They came in the belief that they have their club back and yet it all ended in a familiar, hollow performance as Newcastle slid to an ugly defeat against Tottenham. There were even boos at the end - which is quite something when there was supposed to be a carnival with the billionaires in town.
With 16 minutes to go there was a chant of “We want Brucey (Steve Bruce) out” and this could not be what was expected after the extraordinary scenes at the start when Newcastle surged ahead within seconds and belief was coursing.
The chant started in the Gallowgate End but it spread long before the game finished, reverberating angrily as substitute Jonjo Shelvey was sent off. Bruce puffed out his cheeks and then there were more chants, this time of “you’re getting sacked in the morning”.
It was just one game but it clearly may, also, be the last for Bruce. His 1,000th match as a manager was no cause for celebration on the pitch and if this was some kind of trial for him to keep his job then he evidently failed it. Also if there was any doubt as the scale of the task ahead for the Saudi-led consortium, to turn the Toon into a super-club, and there surely was not, then here it was laid bare and horribly exposed as the world watched on.
Amanda Staveley, who led the £305million, new chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and the other financial backer and director Jamie Reuben looked stony-faced in their seats, with their Newcastle scarves on, as it all unravelled before them.
It was just one game and it will not take away from the fact that Newcastle are now among the richest clubs in the world, that this is a new exciting era and that their fans will dream. But the season is well underway and they are in the bottom three and still without a win after eight fixtures. Relegation from the Premier League is not in the brochure when the ultimate aim is to compete with Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and so on. Action is urgently needed.
Newcastle were rudderless as Harry Kane, inevitably given his recent problems and the attention on this fixture, led a remarkable turnaround and also scored his first league goal of the season. It was an indictment that it was over by half-time, a half-time that was delayed by 25 minutes after a fan collapsed in the East Stand and the players led the calls for medical intervention with referee Andre Marriner leading them off.
And to think the stadium was raucous, bouncing, unbridled before kick-off. The fans had gathered for hours, the flags were back in the Gallowgate and there was a mix of excitement, relief, release as the teams took to the pitch. It continued to climb as the whistle blew and gloriously for the home side the surge swept Spurs aside. Inside two minutes there was lift-off as Newcastle scored.
They poured forward. Joe Willock spread the ball wide to Allan Saint-Maximin with Javier Manquillo overlapping outside him. The full-back crossed and there was Callum Wilson, in front of Cristian Romero, to guide his header across goal and into the net.
It was Wilson’s first appearance since August and it was a goal that was Alan Shearer-esque. The noise was memorable as was the reaction with the cameras cutting to the new owners led by a gleeful Al-Rumayyan who had flown in from Saudi Arabia.
But after an adrenaline rush there is often a comedown. Especially when a team is not good enough to capitalise on it. The emotion had been surfed but Newcastle blew up. Defensively they are an utter shambles and it showed as Spurs turned the score-line around in just five minutes.
For Newcastle, the energy dipped and they were cut apart. A simple ball infield by Sergio Reguilon picked out Tanguy Ndombele with no defender within five yards of him. And he was on the edge of the penalty area. Even then Jamaal Lascelles stood off so Ndombele curled a right-foot shot around the centre-half and high into the goal. Cut to the glum faces in the directors box who had been so euphoric when Wilson scored.
Newcastle were bereft and they were undone again when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg lofted the ball through, Kane latched onto it and superbly lifted it over goalkeeper Karl Darlow with the outside of his boot. The offside flag went up but the goal was given after a VAR check with Manquillo clearly playing Kane onside. Those glum faces of the new owners looked even glummer. Al-Rumayyan stared at his phone.
Spurs went close again when Lucas Moura – all 5ft 7in of him – rose unmarked to meet Son Heung-min’s corner with his header cannoning back off the cross-bar. Even the long delay after a fan needed urgent medical treatment did not deter Spurs and they soon scored again. Again Newcastle were cut apart as Moura easily beat Isaac Hayden and prodded the ball through to Kane inside the area and he crossed low with Son sending it first time past Darlow.
Would Newcastle respond? Could Newcastle respond? As they struggled a coach punched the roof of the dug-out and it summed up the enveloping frustration as Bruce looked on forlornly. All the threat continued to come from Spurs who were ridiculously comfortable.
Shelvey, already booked, was dismissed for tripping Reguilon and there was a late, bizarre sliver of hope as Eric Dier met a free-kick by another substitute Jacob Murphy but could only direct it past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Even after that the chants were for Bruce to go.
Newcastle vs Tottenham, as it happened:
Steve Bruce quotes
"We were beaten by the better team after a wonderful start. Defensive problems, there for a while now, there for all to see. Defending left a lot to be desired. We are not defending well enough as a team.
"Thankfully we are hearing that the man is okay and hopefully the actions that were taken in the ground will mean a good outcome.
"My situation? For other people to decide. If I was reading everything that was said last week I would not be here today. Being in the Premier League is about pressure/results, but I will carry on until I hear otherwise.
"Every football club needs clarity, and that comes from the top. The new owners have been respectful, I cannot say enough about them. Rome wasn't built in a day, so hopefully we can get better.
"I'd love to say it has been a lovely ride. I have been a target. All I have ever wanted is to make sure this great club of ours moves forward."
Kane and Reguilon
🗣 "We want to say best wishes to the guy in the stands."
Harry Kane dedicates the first part of his post-match interview to wishing the fan who collapsed in the stadium his best pic.twitter.com/fKFFq6Vrq2
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 17, 2021
FULL TIME: Newcastle 2 Spurs 3
Match report of a dramatic day to come; more than a few boos at the end.
Newcastle have three points from eight games, are winless, and are 19th.
Kieron Dyer at the end on Sky was saying that a fan in the stands gave CPR to the stricken person while they waited for the defibrillator.
90+ mins: Newcastle 2 Spurs 3
Newcastle try to break, Romero tidies up, Ritchie clips him late but no foul. That's the last action of the match, and Spurs are home and dry.
90+ mins: Newcastle 2 Spurs 3
Spurs keep the ball competently, Newcastle cannot get near it, Joelinton with a foul, and a yellow card.
90 mins: Newcastle 2 Spurs 3
There will be four minutes added on. Hojbjerg is down, Big Joe Linton is trying to haul him to his feet.
GOAL! Newcastle 2 Spurs 3 (Dier 89 OG)
Newcastle sling a freekick into the Spurs box, there aren't really any Newcastle players on the premises but Dier, running back, manages to crunch the ball past his own keeper!
Dier kindly but also unnecessarily injecting a bit of excitement here at the end. Nobody near him. Lovely crisp finish past a baffled H Lloris.
88 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
A midfield battle takes up one or two minutes of this, but it feels very much like Newcastle will be happy to hear the whistle now. Cannot see them getting back in this in a million years.
85 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Kane cannot do much with the freekick.
The Barclays Remains Undefeated pic.twitter.com/ONadhGaAeD
— William Kedjanyi (@KeejayOV3) October 17, 2021
82 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Son breaks, and gets his head up, sends the ball through to Reguilon. Good touch from Reg, Shelvey is struggling badly here. He trips him, that's a second yellow card. Two yellows in five minutes for Jonjo Shelvey - and that's the end of his brief afternoon's work.
80 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Newcastle have a corner, Murphy the man who eventually has the shot. Blocked.
79 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Hojbjerg’s cross, Matt Ritchie jumps and turns his body,t he ball hitting him on the arm. VAR check. Oooh you'd be nervous there.
That's twice this half that Ritchie has jumped up at a cross, turning his body, getting hit on the arm. The first one was out the box, this was inside. No penalty given by VAR.
77 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Shelvey hacks Ndombele to the ground and is booked.
This is getting a bit desperate for Newcastle. You could hear a pin drop in SJP.
76 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Newcastle clear that one pretty well.
Wilson, and Willock are coming off. Murphy is on. Fraser on.
His Excellency watching Their Utter Mediocrity. pic.twitter.com/ZY0sil9pcl
— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) October 17, 2021
75 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Son with a corner, and that's behind for another.
72 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Wilson looks lively, still, with a run but instead of going for a shot off his left foot he checks backs inside, regroups/dithers and the moment fizzles out when his tame chip into the danger area is gobbled up by Hugo Lloris.
70 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Kane slips it through to Ndombele, who is denied by Lascelles. Spurs have had 86% of the ball in the last ten minutes.
68 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Now it's Hayden who goes in the book for grabbing hold of the breaking Moura.
Bruce has gone 442 from 433, Saint M and Wilson duelling banjos up front.
65 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Corner doesn't come to much. Newcastle break, Emerson Royal dragged back Saint-Maximin and is booked for it.+
62 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Emerson Royale down the flank, deflected off Ritchie's arm - should have been a freekick but they get just a corner.
60 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Kane leads a break, gets his head up, and switches to Ndombele who is AGAIN in miles of space. Cuts inside, drops his shoulder, whacks his shot wide.
Shelvey is coming on for Longstaff.
59 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Spurs are bossing this. They've been playing it around between themselves, unimpeded, for a few minutes now.
55 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Great hold up play from Kane. drawing the foul from Clark, who is booked.
54 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Another dangerous move from Spurs, their front players interchanging positions in a fluid, dangerous way. NUFC look panicky and highly likely to ship another. Offside flag, v Son, saves them on this occasion.
50 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Spurs keep the pressure on with a couple of corners. Darlow makes a pig's ear of his punch clear.
48 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
Perhaps not surprisingly, a somewhat muted start to the second half.
Spurs attacking, looking quite lively. You'd love to play against this Newcastle defence I reckon. Very supine.
46 mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
We are back underway
Around 6 years ago we placed 2 defibrillators in St James Park. Incredible to see one safeguarding today ❤️⚽️ https://t.co/G5XvODllMw
— NE Defibs (@NEdefibs) October 17, 2021
The players are back out for the second half
Any way back for Newcastle?
It's #RestartAHeartDay today.
In a cardiac arrest, every second counts and without lifesaving intervention – which can be done by passers-by while medics are on their way – the chances of survival decrease by about 10% with every passing minute. Please watch and share this video pic.twitter.com/seQppHY7Lu
— London Ambulance Service (@Ldn_Ambulance) October 16, 2021
So still 45 minutes of football to come. Spurs don't look at their best to me, but with the likes of Kane and Son, they have only needed a few moments. Newcastle very generous hosts, notably to Ndombele, who has been given the freedom of St James' and scored the first, unmarked.
Half time: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
That brings a madcap, rollercoaster first half to a close. All the excitement beforehand, and Newcastle then took an early lead through Wilson. But Spurs got two back, and then the game was suspended because a fan was taken ill in the ground and they had to get a defibrillator over there. Spurs then added another before half time.
We understand the supporter has been taken to hospital, best wishes to that person and their loved ones.
45+ mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 3
This game has had a bit of everything so far - now the teams and fans are getting at each other because Newcastle play on when Emerson Royal goes down.
The defibrillator arrives
GOAL! Newcastle 1 Spurs 3 (Son 45+3)
Lucas Moura gets away from Hayden, feeds Kane. He plays it across to Son, who applies the finish.
45+ mins: Newcastle 1 Spurs 2
Seven minutes will be added on. Spurs have a corner, and Newcastle clear that okay.
Newcastle players and staff watch on
Jason Burt: " The supporter who was in need of urgent medical assistance has been stabilised and is on their way to hospital."
Sky are reporting that
the person is being moved.
More from David Ginola:
"Having a defibrillator helps massively. Having people in the stands being able to perform CPR helps massively, and the speed of CPR is so important.
At the end of the day we should all be able to perform CPR to help each other.
It's obviously a very strange experience. Encountering that today...we didn't come for that..hopefully he or she is going to be fine but it is an important moment to make the point.
It's a major issue in people's lives and there are hundreds of thousands of people dying from sudden deaths. We don't know the cause, we need to improve our knowledge to inform people.
You need to be informed of how to use a defibrillator because it's not that easy."
says that it is important for everyone to learn CPR. "You need to start doing CPR right away. Not the tongue. You need to do something."
Dyer: "You have to do it when you are training as a coach. You don't realise how hard it is."
Ginola: "And you need to go hard. You have to be really strong. When they did it for me, I had five broken bones. But that does not matter."
is in the Sky Sports studio for this. He's quite emotional about this - David himself had a heart attack while playing a friendly match in 2016.
The players are going off the pitch
Andre Marriner has finished conferring with the police, and he has ordered the players off.
We are still not
playing. That's 7 minutes or so. Anre Marriner goes over to that stand to get some info.
"An emergency in the East Stand" says the announcer.
Spurs players were very good there - a couple of them immediately called for the medic, the stretcher etc.
Eric Dier motioned for the defibrillator to be brought over. PA has just announced a "medical emergency" in the east stand.
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) October 17, 2021
The game is suspended
There is a medical emergency. A medical person is running across the pitch with a defibrilator. I don't think it is a player who is in distress.
41' Play has temporarily been stopped here due to concern for a supporter in the stands.#NUFC
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 17, 2021
Appears that someone collapsed in the crowd. Fans started signalling to the players and the ref to get medical attention. Eric Dier and Oliver Skipp eventually run across to get the doctor and the defibrillator across to the other side of the pitch.
— Rory Smith (@RorySmith) October 17, 2021
39 min: Newcastle 1 Spurs 2
Ndombele yet again getting space. Clark has to come and concedes a corner.
From the corner, Son from the left, Moura gets up for the header and hits the bar.
Lies, dammed lies etc
Kane: 0 goals in 6 PL games before today.
Also Kane: 9 goals in 14 in all comps this season (TH & 🏴)
You can make out a lot with stats in football. Turns out the second one was the pertinent one.
— Glenn Moore (@GlennMoore7) October 17, 2021
35 min: Newcastle 1 Spurs 2
Ndombele again left in acres in the NUFC final third. Cannot make it happen this time but frustrating that Newcastle seemingly unable to learn from their mistakes.
33 min: Newcastle 1 Spurs 2
Longstaff S is booked for a foul on Moura. Not his first hard tackle of the half and no complaints.
31 min: Newcastle 1 Spurs 2
Good moment for Newcastle. Wilson runs at Spurs, who really do look a horribly out of sorts outfit. Cute little pass through, and there's the mighty Allan Saint Maximin, but expertly marshalled by Regulion.
Chairman in the crowd there
He's not watching now! Staring glumly at his phone. You'd need a heart of stone not to laugh.
24 min: Newcastle 1 Spurs 2
Lovely finish, that was. Such a deft little flick.
Ndombele and Moura collide, the former coming off worse. Delay while he gets a bit of treatment.
GOAL! Newcastle 1 Spurs 2 (Kane 22)
Kane has the ball in the net as he breaks. Newcastle are playing a high line, Kane with a clever run across the back line, and a neat flick into the net. It is given offside, and you can see why - it looks off. But, on VAR check, Manquillo the right back's ankle is playing Kane on! Goal Spurs!
That was brilliant from Kane - looking straight down the line, knew exactly where he should be. Perfect run
— Tom Edwards (@tomedwards) October 17, 2021
20 min: Newcastle 1 Spurs 1
Newcastle's Ritchie with a curling corner, Lascelles heads over.
GOAL! Newcastle 1 Spurs 1 (Ndombele 17)
Spurs, who have been pretty limited, manage to get down the left and it is played into Ndombele. He is in ACRES of space at the edge of the NUFC box. Picks it up, has a little think, shifts it, and has all the time in the world to measure out a decent shot that give Darlow no chance.
Reguilon the man who picked out Tanguy Ndombele.
The main man
13 min: Newcastle 1 Spurs 0
Hojbjerg tries one from distance but the Newcastle keeper can throw his hat on that one.
The game has slowed, settled, flattened out in the last few minutes.
10 min: Newcastle 1 Spurs 0
Tottenham's first meaningful bit of play. Emerson Royal with the cross. Darlow gathers that okay.
8 min: Newcastle 1 Spurs 0
Hayden really went through Ndombele. Amazed that's not a booking.
5 min: Newcastle 1 Spurs 0
The Newcastle guys look really pumped. One or two over enthusiastic tackles flying in. Hayden is spoken to.
GOAL! Newcastle 1 Spurs 0 (Wilson 2)
Dreamland for Geordies!
Newcastle with a patient build up, Manquillo gets down the right and delivers a neat little cross. Wilson darts across the centre half, stoops, and nods it in. Fairytale start
1 mins: Newcastle 0 Spurs 0
Spurs playing it around. They'll be looking to silence the crowd.
Players take the knee
and we kick off. Spurs are in their "wild berry" third kit. Game's gone etc.
Certainly is a splendid atmosphere
Martin Tyler: "The Middle East arrives in the North East. Newcastle have won the ownership lottery."
Kieron Dyer on Sky
pays tribute to the "13th man" and then "er sorry 12th man." He says the atmos is as good as anything he has experienced.
Sky's Dave Jones
"Look at this place! Listen to this place! It has been transformed."
"1000 games - I started a bloody long time ago! I found it hard to start with, and I find it hard now. You have to be resilient. Management is a substitute for playing, but I have been lucky. You'd still rather be p;laying.
I am delighted for everybody that the takeover has gone through. Badly needed. No disrespect to the previous owners.
I hope that I have played a little part, by keeping the club in the PL.
There is a different atmosphere, a different vibe. We will have an unbelievable atmosphere. It has been difficult, but I hope the players really enjoy it and can grasp this."
Hug it out
Sports Direct still on the graphic. https://t.co/jg50S8RQdY
— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) October 17, 2021
Confirms that two players who had positive Covid tests are false positives.
Says that his players have to ignore the noise and focus on their jobs.
Lascelles and Wilson come into the NUFC side.
or not, the facts are that Newcastle are in the bottom three.
Good win for the HAmmers
Going to Goodison and coming away with the three points, thanks to a 1-0 on a set piece from Gabby Abonglahor.
Steve Bruce's 1000th game
Spurs are unchanged
Newcastle: Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden, Saint-Maximin, Willock, Longstaff, Joelinton, Wilson. Subs: Schar, Shelvey, Lewis, Hendrick, Fernandez, Fraser, Murphy, Gillespie, Gayle.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Emerson, Romero, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Lucas Moura, Ndombele, Son, Kane. Subs: Sanchez, Winks, Gil Salvatierra, Lo Celso, Alli, Gollini, Bergwijn, Tanganga, Davies.
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) October 17, 2021
We will get to the team news directly
Spurs, of course, have plenty to play for here as well. I guess they are exactly the sort of club who might be thinking - how are we going to finish top four if there's another bazillionaire backed rival in the mix?
and welcome to our live blog of Newcastle United vs Spurs, the kick off of which is at 4.30pm UK time, which I think I am right in saying is 6.3opm in Riyadh. Some Newcastle fans have dressed in Saudi-style head-dresses as a way to welcome their new owners, and no doubt we will check in with any news on that front in the build-up and throughout the match.
My colleagues on Telegraph Sport's news and football operation have been doing a typically thorough and insightful job around this huge news story, and I'll take this opportunity to point you in the direction of some of their work here.
Our North East football man Luke Edwards notes that Toon hopes that the new bosses would be buying Messi, Mbappe etc might not be on the mark just yet.
"Newcastle United are likely to spend only a fraction of the £190m they are allowed to invest in players in January with a planned budget of just £50m for the first window under their Saudi Arabian owners," Luke writes.
More on that one here.
Meanwhile, Sam Wallace asks: " why is Jurgen Klopp a lone voice over Saudi Arabia and Newcastle's takeover?"
It has been more than a week now and no word of a moral objection to the Saudi intervention from the other 19. Just a gloomy mood of most - perhaps all - having to shuffle backwards in the queue. All those clubs know they could, had they wanted, have legislated against a repressive regime taking control of one of them. They just chose not to do so and they alone know why.
You can read Sam's piece here.
I really enjoyed this from Jeremy Wilson, who talked to lots of football people who had been on the inside of a club getting taken over. It sounds like it is all quite a bit more complicated than someone just dropping off extra cash outside the dressing room door.