"They can't win a tackle, Newcastle ... You would think this was a preseason friendly with the way some of the lads are challenging."
-- Color commentator Danny Murphy late in the first half after NUFC went behind 1-0 on Adebayor's goal at White Hart Lane
Newcastle United were a few days removed from their first Barclay's Premier League victory of the season when the Magpies traveled South to London to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane in late October. The temperature under NUFC manager Alan Pardew was already reaching a boiling point thanks to a starting run of seven league matches without a win, but finally the lads in black and white had ended the drought and taken all three points by defeating newly promoted Leicester City.
It was not a win over Manchester United, but Newcastle fans did not care, It was nice to just celebrate a victory finally in the 2014-15 season. But now was a test against Spurs at WHL. The Spurs and new manager Mauricio Pochettino was feeling his own heat as Tottenham had won just 1 of 6 league matches entering this clash.
Many a Newcastle fan was cautiously optimistic, buoyed by the Leicester win, but also realistic that two wins on the trot was probably too much to ask this team that had just experienced its first taste of success.
And it showed in the first half. In what can only be described as a listless Newcastle United team allowed Tottenham to go in front on a rising headed goal from Emmanuel Adebayor after Newcastle was unable to clear its lines and allowed Ryan Mason an opportunity to pick out the Spurs forward with a perfectly weighted crossing ball that he headed back across goal and left Tim Krul with no chance.
So the lads were down 1-0 and things seemed to spiral downward from that point as Tottenham completely bossed the rest of the half, which caused color commentator Danny Murphy to question Newcastle in the quote above this piece.
But ... oh how things were about to change -- and change immediately.
Pardew had gained a bad reputation with the Newcastle faithful for either not making good adjustments at halftime, or worse doing something with his team talk that seemed to prompt the lads to play awful in the second half and lose leads late.
But Pardew had decided to make substitutions at halftime, which was a real rarity. No one could blame him for subbing out Gabriel Obertan for Sammy Ameobi and Vurnon Anita for Remy Cabella.
What happened in the next 15 seconds though, defied all football logic and was glorious.
The second half began with Newcastle kicking off. The ball was played back to Jack Colback who then seemed to launch an aimless ball forward into space.
But Sammy Ameobi had taken off like a flyer and beat Tottenham's shocked defense. The winger wasted no time once he got possession, settling and delivering a firecracker past Hugo Lloris into the far right corner.
The entire move had taken maybe 15 seconds!
Newcastle were level and Tottenham was absolutely gobsmacked and so were the Spurs fans. It was glorious.
Now it was Newcastle dictating pace and going at Spurs, which understandably were trying to find their footing after Ameobi's goal.
Things were about to go from good to great for the Newcastle United supporters who made the trip.
Ayoze Perez had been forced into the lineup for his first BPL start because of a late scratch of forward Papiss Cisse. In the first half Perez could've bought a ticket for the impact he made as he was starved of service and offered little to nothing of an attacking threat.
But after Ameobi's goal, things changed and Perez started to get more involved. Ameobi made a steal near midfield and passed it to Moussa Sissoko, who began driving down the wing, eluding Tottenham tacklers before playing a pass back to Daryl Janmaat and he delivered a perfect cross near the back post that was headed in by Perez for his first-ever Newcastle goal.
It was euphoria. The lads hung on after that and secured three much-needed points to get out of the drop zone.
This Saturday presents another opportunity for Newcastle to pull itself out of the fire and delight its fans with a result. Pardew is no longer here, but maybe an inspired substitution from John Carver could lead to another second half wonder goal and performance.
Regardless, no one can take that Sunday afternoon in late October away from Newcastle supporters. Ameobi truly provided a moment of brilliance that was needed at the time and may end up being the Magpies saving grace at the end of this campaign.