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Secret dossier helped Newport against Tottenham

  • Exhaustively detailed tactical dossier helped Newport hold Tottenham to a draw
  • League Two club studied Tottenham's 1-1 league draw at Southampton last week
  • They identified a series of weaknesses and based their game plan around it
  • Report suggested Michel Vorm would be reluctant to come and collect crosses
  • So it proved when Padraig Amond headed home Newport's first-half goal
  • The dossier also suggested Eric Dier was 'one-paced' and should be pressured  

By Adam Shergold for MailOnline

Published: 04:01 EST, 29 January 2018 | Updated: 04:02 EST, 29 January 2018

Newport County's extensive research into Tottenham's tactics and strategy paid dividends as the League Two team took their illustrious Premier League opponents to an FA Cup replay.

Manager Michael Flynn was handed a dossier outlining Tottenham's strengths and weaknesses in exhaustive detail ahead of the fourth round tie on Saturday night.

And his players carried out their game plan to the letter in a 1-1 draw, coming within eight minutes of a famous Cup upset until Harry Kane spared Tottenham's blushes with an equaliser.

Newport's players were told to put pressure on the 'one-paced' Eric Dier during their FA Cup fourth round tie with Tottenham on Saturday night in an exhaustive tactical briefing
Newport's players were told to put pressure on the 'one-paced' Eric Dier during their FA Cup fourth round tie with Tottenham on Saturday night in an exhaustive tactical briefing

Newport's players were told to put pressure on the 'one-paced' Eric Dier during their FA Cup fourth round tie with Tottenham on Saturday night in an exhaustive tactical briefing

England international Dier was put under pressure at all times during the 1-1 draw on Saturday
England international Dier was put under pressure at all times during the 1-1 draw on Saturday

England international Dier was put under pressure at all times during the 1-1 draw on Saturday

The tactical dossier also suggested Spurs keeper Michel Vorm would struggle with crosses
The tactical dossier also suggested Spurs keeper Michel Vorm would struggle with crosses

The tactical dossier also suggested Spurs keeper Michel Vorm would struggle with crosses

The report, seen by The Sun, outlined that second-choice goalkeeper Michel Vorm would be reluctant to come out to collect crosses because of his small stature.

And this proved correct as the Dutch stopper failed to come out to collect Robbie Willmott's deep cross, allowing Padraig Amond to head home Newport's goal in the 38th minute.

Newport's spies, who studied Tottenham's 1-1 Premier League draw at Southampton the previous weekend, also suggested that Eric Dier was 'one-paced' and could concede possession if pressurised quickly.

This proved the case in the first-half at Rodney Parade, when Joss Labadie robbed Dier of the ball and crossed to Frank Nouble, who fired over the crossbar when well placed.

Padraig Amond celebrates after heading Newport into the lead during the first-half
Padraig Amond celebrates after heading Newport into the lead during the first-half

Padraig Amond celebrates after heading Newport into the lead during the first-half

Vorm was rooted to his line as Amond rose at the back post to head home Newport's goal
Vorm was rooted to his line as Amond rose at the back post to head home Newport's goal

Vorm was rooted to his line as Amond rose at the back post to head home Newport's goal

Frank Nouble reacts after missing a gilt-edged chance for the home side in the first-half
Frank Nouble reacts after missing a gilt-edged chance for the home side in the first-half

Frank Nouble reacts after missing a gilt-edged chance for the home side in the first-half

The dossier also highlighted that it was imperative not to leave Kane unmarked at corners, but unfortunately this is precisely what Newport did late on.

Son Heung-min flicked on a corner and there was Kane - unmarked - to tap home from just a few yards out and set up the Wembley replay.

It also criticised the relationship between right-back Serge Aurier and centre-half on that side Davinson Sanchez, though neither player started on Saturday.

Sanchez was accused of not covering the space left when Aurier pushes forward, as he likes to do at every opportunity.

Harry Kane was left in space at a corner to equalise late on for Tottenham and earn a replay
Harry Kane was left in space at a corner to equalise late on for Tottenham and earn a replay

Harry Kane was left in space at a corner to equalise late on for Tottenham and earn a replay

Tottenham were indebted to Kane for sparing their blushes against the League Two team
Tottenham were indebted to Kane for sparing their blushes against the League Two team

Tottenham were indebted to Kane for sparing their blushes against the League Two team

Mauricio Pochettino was pleased to come away with a replay in the end after a tough Cup tie
Mauricio Pochettino was pleased to come away with a replay in the end after a tough Cup tie

Mauricio Pochettino was pleased to come away with a replay in the end after a tough Cup tie

Based on the match at Southampton, the report also warned of the top quality crosses and set-piece deliveries of left-back Ben Davies.

This had been the case at St Mary's, when he delivered the corner from which Kane scored Tottenham's goal and also created further chances with his balls into the box.

Despite claiming a famous result on Saturday, Newport will have to play out of their skin to get anything from next week's replay at Wembley.

Still, you can rest assured they will be well briefed on their opponents.

 

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