It was another game to forget for Jose Mourinho and his Tottenham side as they let a 2-1 lead slip late on away at Newcastle United.
On course for three points and a place in the top four after Harry Kane’s double, Spurs conceded with five minutes remaining as Joe Willock fired high into the net after the ball fell kindly to him in the box.
Matt Ritchie’s cross from the left was knocked back across the face of the goal by Joelinton, with Davinson Sanchez crashing into Joe Rodon, who had blocked Miguel Almiron’s header, to give the Arsenal loanee a golden opportunity to rescue a point in their battle to stay up.
Asked in his post-match press conference about his side’s failure to kill off the game, Mourinho opened up on the “instability” they created with mistakes at the back that allowed Steve Bruce’s team to come away with a point.
“We had chances to kill the game but we create instability to ourselves with the mistakes that we made defensively,” he replied.
“You don’t need me to analyse with you the goals that we conceded, you don’t need me to go through the two goals that we conceded.
“You know. You have lots of experience in football. If you want you have the capacity to analyse it.
“If you want me to help I can say for the first and second goal you split the goals in three different periods.
“In the second goal for example there were three periods, the moment of the cross, the ball in the second post and the second ball in the face of the goal. You go from moment to moment and you can analyse easily the goal.
“You go to the first goal and if you want to go, speak in periods. In the moment we had the ball, the moment we lost the ball and the positional play when the ball reaches the goalscorer Joelinton.
“So try to split the action in let’s say three different phases so you can look at it.”
As bad as Newcastle’s late equaliser was from a Spurs perspective, the first goal of the afternoon was also totally avoidable as Joelinton was presented with a simple finish after the visitors tried to play out from the back.
Japhet Tanganga had failed to find his intended target with a poor pass before Sanchez’s clearance cannoned off Ritchie, who easily got beyond Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg after such a poor tackle from the Dane, thus allowing Sean Longstaff to pick out his unmarked teammate to find the bottom corner.
It was such a basic goal to concede and Rodon quickly made his point to his teammates seconds after going to ground in hope of stopping the Brazilian’s attempt from going in.
While Hugo Lloris looked on in dismay and Tanguy Ndombele looked upwards, the Welshman quickly turned around in the direction of Hojbjerg and Sanchez, threw up his hands and clearly shouted something about what exactly they were doing.
Rodon may only be 23 years of age and a newcomer at the club having signed from Swansea City in October but he clearly is not scared of getting his point across and appears to be a potential leader.
Tipped as a future Wales captain, the summer signing has already had the honour of leading his country after Gareth Bale handed him the armband following his substitution in their win over Finland in November.
What made the gesture even more impressive was that it was only the defender’s tenth game for his country.
One thing that was noticeable in terms of Spurs’ inexperienced backline at St James’ Park was that Rodon looked like he was the leader at the back despite only having eight Premier League appearances to his name prior to the trip north.
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While those around him struggled to repeat the form they showed at Aston Villa last time out, Rodon let his football do the talking with some excellent blocks and tackles as he made yet another case to his boss that he should be a regular starter.
It was a very composed performance from the youngster and the good thing for Spurs is that he is going from strength to strength and getting even better.
On a day all Tottenham fans will want to forget about after missing a glorious chance to jump into the top four, one big positive was the performance of Rodon at the back.
Now looking like the defender in the driving seat for a spot in the team, if the Welshman keeps on repeating his recent performances then there is simply no way Mourinho can take him out of his best Tottenham XI.