HANDS OFF BALLS: Newcastle United

Hands Off Balls is my attempt to liveblog Spurs games from the perspective of an uninformed American soccer fan. That should be easy, because I AM an uninformed American soccer fan. Enjoy, and COYS.

SPURS ON VACATION! Well, no, actually I’m on vacation with my in-laws. Not even mad. Not even a little bit. But I’m up at 7 a.m. EST to watch Spurs take on Newcastle, of whom I am quite fond given their performance against Chelsea last week.

No DVR box for this tie, so I’m probably gonna miss a fair bit of action thanks to kids who think it’s important that the eat and wear clean underwear and stuff. COYS!

PREGAME: I missed most of it, but I am a big Ian Darke fan, as is anyone with ears that work. For some reason I thought this game was at St. James Park, but clearly it’s not.

I didn’t know Newcastle’s road kit was cranberry. Those are ugly, but they’re still better than the black and grey jester getup Spurs have.

2’ Excellent chance on a cross from Gareth Bale to Clint Dempsey that he just misses. Spurs on the attack early.

4’ GOOOOOOLLLLLLLLNONONONONONONONOOOO@!!!! BALE pounds in a fantastic free kick that touches nothing but the ONION BAG (thanks, David Pleat)

12’ Now that I’ve had time to collect myself, it seems a bit odd that Dempsey got the start given how much time he’s logged in the air this week. That said, he looks good early. Where’s Emanuel Adebayor? I heard he hadn’t made it back from the ACON yet, which I suppose is a fairly common occurrence in Africa.

I’m a bit worried that my child herding duties are gonna keep me from offering the doddering insight that only a n00b American soccer fan can. I’m sure some NUGGETS will come up soon enough [h/t Peter King] [/throws said hat into the alligator infested canal behind my inlaws’ house in Florida because Peter King is the WORST].

16’ This is the best I’ve ever seen Tottenham in possession. They’re tackling really well, and are taking a bunch of threatening shots on goal.

19’ As soon as I wrote that last blurb, Cisse damn near scored for Newcastle.

Lewis Holtby is totally gonna score a goal in this game.

22’ Aside from PSG, I think Newcastle may be the best team in Ligue Un!

/French joke

//Because Newcastle has a lot of Frenchmen

///lights self on fire

23’ Lloris didn’t miss his jump, that ball went off Dawson. Goal to the Pies. They haven’t looked too bad the past few minutes, though that may have been avoidable. Balls.

35’ This game has had its butt-clenching moments, but it sure hasn’t lacked for entertainment. I do think Spurs have played with more energy than I’ve seen in a while, but it’s easy to tell Newcastle is a never-say-die kind of side. I’m totes jelly of Sissoko, too. Some strong runs down the left side by Bale but he hasn’t had anyone to cross it to. I guess that may be on Dempsey, but I don’t generally know what I’m talking about.

38’ Dempsey was totally not offside, you assholes.

Nice replay of a Kyle Walker slapfight! Those are the best. Hope the Newcastle dude is a spitter.

44’ Steffen Freund looks confused.

One minute of added time.

HT That was a fun half of soccer. Both teams playing balls out, chances everywhere. If Spurs had a striker I think they would have one more goal. 1-1 is a fair result for this game so far.

I’m in pretty good shape, but I’m 100% certain Jillian Michaels could kick my ass.

SWEDISH CHEF FTW. No way does Linda Cohn eat cheeseburgers.

55’ Gouffran off on a stretcher? That’s no good.

60’ This half is a little more subdued than the first so far. Nice save by Lloris early on; Spurs have been a little careless with the ball in Newcastle’s half.

62’ Ade sighting! I have been in a car for 15 hours so I have no clue what his deal was. He could be a game changer?!?

64’ Dempsey may not be scoring but he’s worked his ass off in the final third this game. Meanwhile, corner corner corner corner corner.

Another goal would be nice, Spurs. Draws are not helpful.

66’ Bale down. This is bad. That fall looked bad. Maybe it’s just a quad pull. Please just be a quad pull.

He looks okay. Thank goodness.

I really want to watch the ACON final; too bad it’s on ESPN3. I can justify sitting in front of a TV while I’m on vacation, but not a computer waitI’monacomputerrightnowwhatthefuckamItalkingabout

68’ Holtby out, Ade in? Wouldn’t have picked that for a sub, but I’m an idiot.

77’ BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLEEE! If he’s one on one, he’s gonna score, that’s just how it is. Huge, huge goal. Now gotta guard against Newcastle’s counterattack, because they do that.

Some Welsh chicks are gonna be getting’ preggo tonight.

80’ If that ball goes off Caulker’s head instead of his shoulder, it’s in the net. At least I think that was Caulker.

86’ Hell of a save by Krul, Bale had that shot counted on a great run.

88’ I bet Newcastle/Stoke games closely resemble NASCAR; people running into each other all over the place.

89’ Oh man that looked bad. I don’t think Cabaye meant for that to happen, but man. Moussa Dembele is pretty awesome, I hope he’s not badly hurt. Prob could use a sub.

90’ Man, seven minutes? That’s a lot. I know Gouffran had to be carried off, but that seems like a lot of time.

Dembele already back in the middle of things. And then he’s off. This will be my first Jake Livermore experience.

Dempsey’s header goes wide. He’s been very engaged in this game.

OOOOf. Pies should have scored there, what a breakdown by Spurs in the back. Lucky lucky lucky.


Bale is teleporting all over the place to get the chances he’s getting. That should’ve been three.

ANOTHER big shot from Bale. HE’S EN FUEGO.

HOW IS THIS GAME NOT OVER YET? Corners everywhere.

FULL TIME: This was a big three points. Most entertaining game I’ve seen yet – chances everywhere, high energy. What a fun match.

This was a pretty poor effort on the liveblogging front, I must admit. We’ll do better next time. COYS!

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