Look, forget the match for a minute.  Only one thing matters; the Newcastle United fan in need of emergency treatment in the East Stand during the first-half. Thankfully, he is reportedly in a stable and responsive condition. His life, all life, relegates football to the footnotes.

Credit to those medical professionals who acted swiftly. And credit too to the players – Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon and Eric Dier in particular – who drew attention to a fellow human’s troubles and called for the defibrillator.

These actions will hopefully ensure that once again the supporter in question can occupy his rightful seat at St James’ Park. All else – the takeover and its controversies; the raucous early game atmosphere; the idiocy of a midfielder with ideas above his station; yet another surrender – are academic in comparison.

But here’s at attempt to unravel on-field matters. It appears the more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. Expectation, excitement, followed by excrement.

There were glimpses of what the future might hold. A noise reminiscent of old. A pre-game noise that will live long in memory, followed by an opening blaze of glory.

But none of that masks the fundamental issues that need addressing. Some will have to wait a dozen games. Others ailments, though, are more easily treatable. Steve Bruce is one of them. He must go.

Goals two minutes from the start and end added false gloss. They simply bookended an obvious gulf in quality. Callum Wilson’s stooping header two minutes in was a script-writer’s wet-dream. It brought scenes of jubilation. Hug-a-stranger type joy, shattered as quickly as it came. That Eric Dier somehow contrived to deflect past Hugo Lloris late on was baffling but never looked likely to lead to a comeback. It also meant Newcastle managed to score twice with one shot on target.

Tottenham Hotspur cruised to three points. They trailed for just 15 minutes, Tanguy Ndombele thumping an equaliser after a lesson in defensive social distancing. Five minutes later Harry Kane put them in front, before Son effectively sealed the deal before the break, Kane providing the square ball. Son was thought to be one of those ruled out with a post-international trip positive COVID-19 test, but a club statement confirmed the positives had been false.

As a club Spurs are in an odd place.  Ahead of the first international break, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side topped the table, having retained their talisman. That papered over a few cracks. They then lost three on the bounce, including a humiliating north London derby defeat. All is not well.

Plus, there is a sense of dis-ease around the place, a detachment between fans groups and the club. It’s bubbled away for a while, the attempted European Super League breakaway making it a crisis.  Nuno’s prickly nature hardly endears him to folk, and their supporters have not warmed to either man or style. If a manager under pressure could pick a Premier League fixture to restore some confidence though, Bruce’s Newcastle would be the unanimous choice. Tottenham arrived with six goals in seven games, and left with nine in eight.

Where to start. At least we had a proper striker. Wilson’s value to Newcastle United is immeasurable. The state of his hamstring will go a long way to defining where we sit in a dozen games’ time.

Defensively though it was a non-event. All bar one of the back five was present during the Championship winning season and it told. Javier Manquillo was the exception but the Spaniard – after his early assist – had a poor game. He was guilty of not stepping up for Kane’s goal. It was a deft finish but looked to have been ruled out when the flag went up. Var had a look and said it should stand. Others were guilty of ball watching. It was the striker’s first Premier League goal of the campaign, albeit his tenth for club and country.

Too often heavy touches surrendered possession cheaply and needlessly, Longstaff and Manquillo amongst the guilty parties. The former is an odd one; superb at Watford last month, he reverted to the lost-boy-in-midfield that’s seen him more out than in under Bruce.

The second half was a non-event. Well except that Jonjo Shelvey managed a 23-minute cameo before picking up a pair of petulant bookings and wandering off. What can you say? So very Newcastle.

The day’s highlight? Perhaps the return of Wor Flags, Jimmy Nail quotes an all. Please though no more grown adults misusing tea-towels and wrapped in Saudi flags. There are so many reasons why it is wrong. If that sort of thing entertains you, well, the mind boggles.

Firing Bruce – effectively a caretaker now – will not be a silver bullet. But it will remove one more unwelcome relic of the recent past. Then it’s just the discount sports store cladding that remains in temporary situ. Oh and Mr. Charnley but who knows what he does really.

This was Bruce’s 1,000thgame as a manager. Whatever your views of his failings, that’s some effort in longevity (particularly with his win rate). At least they had the sense not to try a pre-game presentation. Apparently, this is also his 43rdconsecutive season of involvement in English professional football, itself a record.

If this was to be his final act – fingers crossed – hopefully in time he will be able to watch again as a supporter. Beneath everything else, he is one of us. There will be talk in the coming days of unfair, unwarranted criticism. But for all the dignity rhetoric his time at the club requires the Dignitas treatment; for everybody’s sake.

SAM DALLING 

FULL TIME REACTIONS 

That was Steve Bruce in a nutshell. The players look uncoached, unfit and clueless. Players in the wrong positions, abysmal defending, nothing going forward and utterly baffling substitutions. Shelvey, completely unprofessional and disgraceful. All those days off, the cluelessness around tactics, the lack of attention to detail … all horribly on display. He just has to go.

But that wasn’t the most important thing about today … it is the news one of our own, a fellow supporter, is in a stable condition tonight in hospital. Nothing beyond that really matters.

Well done Wor Flags, an astonishing display that took an incredible amount of hard-work and did us proud as we welcomed people to our club who have a lot of hard work to do.

Michael Martin 

 

The game pales into insignificance when you see a fellow mag in distress. It was an utterly horrific few minutes where those of us nearby realised what was happening.  The game went on for a number of minutes. Stewards were incredibly slow to react. The defibrillator came at a snails pace.

 

The fan has apparently survived today. Anyone who knows the statistics on the timescales for successful CPR and defibrillator use will realise it’s almost a miracle that this person has survived.

 

Take this as a warning – learn CPR. Learn how crucial it is to use a defibrillator straight away. Learn how one minute can make the difference between whether a person survives or dies.

 

I don’t care about the football or the manager or the owners or the result.

 

Micky Carling 

A complete rollercoaster of a day at this mad football club. First game after the takeover and up from London where I now live to to see it all, was quite emotional, city buzzing and the flags back it all felt right again. Scoring early and the first 15 mins gave the new owners a glimpse of the potential of this club and what we can be, but the next 75 mins I suspect gave them a reality check of what they have actually bought and the man currently I charge. Poor and completely disorganised defensively against a Spurs side who weren’t anything special. I’m sure he’ll be gone in time for me being in the away end at Palace next weekend. However the best news of the whole day is, the lad in the East stand who suffered a suspected heard attack, probably 10 rows in front of me, is by all reports okay.

You don’t go to a football match thinking you‘ll see a fellow fan performing CPR on another but that is what ended up happening today, kind of made the whole game a bit meaningless but seeing the response of the people around, the players and our captain once they realised to help and support put everything into perspective.

Sean Orrick 

Premier League football returned to St James Park after the international break as Newcastle played hosts to Tottenham Hotspur. Newcastle United’s new owners were all in attendance for the first game of their reign and thesold-out crowd full of the Geordie Faithful made them very welcome with a rapturous ovation when their names were mentioned over the audio system. Local lads Ant and Dec were amongst the crowd with Newcastle legend David Ginola also in attendance.

Newcastle were boosted by the return of prolific striker Callum Wilson and young midfielder Joe Willock.

The home side couldn’t have wished for a better start as they took an early lead with not even two minutes on the clock thanks to a wonderful low driven cross by Manquillothat was tucked away by Callum Wilson.

However, Newcastle’s lead didn’t last long as poor defending combined with a good strike by Ndombele levelled things up for the visitors in the 17th minute. Then surprise surprise, Harry Kane of all people ended his drought and scored his first goal of the season with a well taken lob over Karl Darlow in the 22min after a VAR consultation for a possible offside.

Newcastle had a great chance to level things up on the half hour mark asASM dribbled from his own half well into the opposition territory before giving it to Wilson who then played a nice through ball for Saint-Maximin who just couldn’t get that touch to put it in the back of the net despite his best sliding efforts.

Play was halted at the 40th minute mark for a spectator taking unwell and we hope the spectator makes a speedy recovery. Well Done to the players of both teams in particular Sergio Reguilon, Eric Dierand match officials for noticing the situation in the crowd and getting prompt medical attention.

After a delay in play whilst the supporter received Medical Attention, both teams emerged from the tunnel for a short warm up before the match resumed and the crowd made their appreciation known to the players when they returned to the pitch. As the 7 minutes of added time was started, it was confirmed that the spectator was awake and responsive which is the best news that anyone could hear all day.

Tottenham extended their lead in the 48th minute as Son finished at close range from a lay off from Harry Kane.

The second half started and the home side just looked flat and dejected. Newcastle made their first substitution in the 59th minute when Jonjo Shelvey replaced Sean Longstaff in an attempt to shake things up and go to what looked to be a 4-4-2 formation with Saint-Maximin and Wilson up front. The crowd started to show signs of frustration with brief chants of “We Want Brucie Out” as Tottenham continued to boss the majority of the possession. Callum Wilson and Joe Willock were withdrawn from the game in the 76th minute as they returned from injury with Ryan Frazier and Jacob Murphy replaced them. Joe Willock didn’t seem to be in the game as much as he would have wanted to be and Callum Wilson was quite isolated for the majority of the game despite his early goal that gave Newcastle the lead. Some of the crowd had seen enough by the 80th minute and made their way out. Jonjo Shelvey added more misery to Newcastle fans as he was sent off for a silly tackle in the 83rd minute.

Newcastle got given a lifeline in the 89th minute after Eric Dier headed the ball into his own net after a Jacob Murphy free kick.

The full-time whistle came and so did the boos and “We Want Brucie Out” chants rang out around the crowd. Steve Bruce did not get the result he wanted on his 1000th league game. Will Bruce remain in charge for the next game? Honestly, I do not think he will but it is plain and clear that a lot of work lies ahead as Newcastle remain in 19th place with only 3 points on the table. Newcastle travel to Crystal Palace on Saturday for their next game and they know that their performances must improve if they want to stand a chance to stay in the league and keep their position in the squad.

Jack Sutton  

“10 minutes of euphoria tempered by a resort to type. Spurs players then given the freedom of SJP to more than easily put us to the sword.

What started as a day of celebration quickly turned to despair fir those in and around the gallowgate end of the east stand. A fan appearing to have a heart attack right in front of our eyes. Shocking scenes. Hope to god the fan survived, though it looked decidedly desperate for long periods of time.

A word to the “fan” who threatened to get my wife thrown out for calling fir the game to be stopped. If a continuation of the game is more important than life, as long as your daughter isn’t upset by the language my wife used, then so be it. Discuss it with me at the next home game. Hopefully this never happens to s member if your family.

Sorry about the lack of game coverage. Today has been very upsetting to say the least.

Steve Wallwork

‘A game of football that encapsulated Steve Bruce’s entire history as United’s manager. Chaotic, players out of position, disorganised, little in the way of chances created, ceding territory, making the opposition look like potential European champions, manager throwing his arms around communicating his ‘well what more can I do?’ frustration even though he’s the one playing a winger as a central midfielder, a winger as a CF, a wide midfielder as a left back and a left winger as a right midfielder.

It’s so preposterous writing this out that I started laughing and that in itself reminds me that this whole ‘era’ has been one spectacular tragi-comedy’

Norman Riley