Newcastle suffered their second successive defeat of the Christmas period as ten-man Tottenham comfortably completed a two-nil win.
Spurs wing wizard proved too good for the Toon as a Gareth Bale wonder goal compounded Aaron Lennon's earlier strike to see of the Geordies. Tottenham were shown their second straight red card in two games when Younes Kaboul inexcusably headbutted Cheick Tiote in the second half.
Even against ten men the Toon looked toothless in attack, missing the influence of suspended captain Kevin Nolan, and the crosses of Joey Barton, who had moved into the middle from the right flank to play the Nolan role.
Alan Pardew has suffered something of a reality check after an impressive 3-1 win over Liverpool in his first game in charge with defeats against Manchester City and now Spurs but there really isn't any need to panic.
We must remember we are a newly promoted side and that survival is the main aim. Despite two straight defeats we still sit four points above the dreaded drop-zone and have upcoming fixtures against relegation fodder Wigan and West Ham.
These are the games we need to concentrate on, and if we can play like we did against Man City (minus the first five minutes) we will get points out of these games. Against the citizens we were unlucky not to come away with a point, even with a shocking first five minutes. We ran all day and produced chances to score, let's just hope the players are rightly motivated.
Therefore I am reserving judgement on our position and our manager until the 16th January, by which time we will have beaten Wigan and West Ham, advanced past a plucky Stevenage in the FA Cup and completed a magnificent double over the great unwashed.
On the other hand, what if that doesn't happen...?
Magpies statements retracted
1 hour ago