BBC Sport pundit left concerned by Newcastle United as Tottenham Hotspur "tore them to shreds"

BBC Sport's Garth Crooks has criticised Newcastle United following their ‘concerning' performance against Tottenham Hotspur.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:36 pm
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 12:47 pm
Newcastle players form a group huddle on the pitch ahead of the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on October 17, 2021. - R(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Garth Crooks selected Tottenham Hotspur’s Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane in his Premier League Team of the Week as the duo both scored in their 3-2 victory over Newcastle United on Sunday.

St. James’ Park was full to the brim of excited Newcastle fans hoping for their first win since the takeover was complete and Mike Ashley departed the club, however were left disappointed and Crooks admitted he was concerned by the performance.

“The victory against Newcastle was worryingly easy for Tottenham and provides a clear insight into the task facing the new owners at St James' Park,” Crooks said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Fans of Newcastle show their support in front of the flags in the Gallowgate end of which reads the lyrics from the song 'Big River' 'Cause this is a mighty town, built upon solid ground, and everything they've tried so hard to kill, we will rebuild!' during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on October 17, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“The scoreline is irrelevant - it was Newcastle's performance I found so concerning.

“The atmosphere in the stadium was amazing and the Magpies couldn't have had a better start. However, the longer the game went on the more Spurs took control and the more Newcastle were found wanting.

“Tanguy Ndombele scored a superb equaliser and stood out in midfield but that was because no-one offered any real resistance. Newcastle were torn to shreds by a Tottenham side who for once were in the mood.”

Callum Wilson sent the St. James’ Park crowd wild only two minutes into the match as he netted the first goal since the takeover and handed the Magpies a lead over Spurs.

Steve Bruce’s side couldn’t have asked for a better start and it was looking likely that they may get that huge win they were hoping for, however Newcastle soon crumbled once Ndombele bagged the equaliser 15 minutes later.

Harry Kane and Son Heung-min made it 3-1 before half-time and the deafening atmosphere that had engulfed St. James’ Park prior to kick-off soon died down.

The defeat was Bruce’s 1000th match as a manager, however his appearance on the touchline received some criticism as the Magpies’ new owners allowed him to remain in charge for the fixture.

Crooks has admitted he disagrees with the new owners handling of Bruce’s situation. He said: “The sooner the club stops this awful pretence by providing the slightest hint he is anything other than a 'caretaker manager' the better for all concerned.

"Come clean and put him out of his misery. It's the least he deserves and the best for all concerned.”

It is still unclear how much longer the former Aston Villa boss will remain on Tyneside, with Newcastle set to travel to Selhurst Park next Saturday as they take on Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.

According to Sky Bet, Frank Lampard (4/1) is currently favourite to replace Bruce if he is to leave the club, with Paulo Fonseca (6/1) Lucien Favre (8/1) and Steven Gerrard (8/1) also favourites.