Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cool O'Hara Takes Heat off Ramos; off the Mark: Roman Pavlyuchenko (Left) Heads Home the Opener and Signals That It's His First Goal for Spurs (below Centre) before Jamie O'Hara (below Left) Guides the Ball Past Shay Given Watched by Newcastle's Lowest Crowd for 16 Years (below) Something to Shout About: Jamie O'Hara (Centre) Is Mobbed by His Team-Mates after Scoring Tottenham's Second Goal

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cool O'Hara Takes Heat off Ramos; off the Mark: Roman Pavlyuchenko (Left) Heads Home the Opener and Signals That It's His First Goal for Spurs (below Centre) before Jamie O'Hara (below Left) Guides the Ball Past Shay Given Watched by Newcastle's Lowest Crowd for 16 Years (below) Something to Shout About: Jamie O'Hara (Centre) Is Mobbed by His Team-Mates after Scoring Tottenham's Second Goal

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Rushworth

Newcastle 1 Tottenham 2

AFTER spending almost ?70million on players, it may have taken one of Spurs' own products to kickstart the season for Juande Ramos last night.

With David Bentley (?15m); Darren Bent (?16.5m); Luka Modric (?16.6m) and Giovani (?4.7m) all on the bench, Jamie O'Hara took the opportunity to put in a commanding display.

On the eve of his 22nd birthday, the energetic midfielder sealed the match with the second goal in the 2-1 win in the 66th minute. As Newcastle defender Steven Taylor dwelt on a square pass from Fabricio Coloccini, O'Hara stole possession before stroking the ball beyond Shay Given.

Following a summer of multi-million pound investment in international midfielders, it was no surprise that doubts were being cast over the young Englishman's White Hart Lane future.

How could a kid like O'Hara compete for firstteam football with Bentley, Modric and Giovani? Why would Ramos keep faith with a raw youngster when he had spent a fortune on proven flair? And why hand O'Hara his chance when the alternatives screamed crowd-pleasing goals aplenty? Last night's cup tie answered all those questions and Ramos should stay true to his determination to be swayed by current form, rather than past reputation.

Despite O'Hara's best efforts, the opening 45 minutes was everything expected of a League Cup clash between the top flight's bottom two.

The passing was atrocious, the invention nonexistent and the end product sadly lacking.

At least Tottenham, unlike their disinterested hosts, had their chances to bury this match as a contest long before the interval. But a failure to convert from set pieces, with Roman Pavluychenko and the otherwise outstanding Jonathan Woodgate the main culprits, could have cost Ramos dearly.

Pavluychenko looked isolated and his teammates too hesitant before Spurs pressed United's dithering back four far more after the break.

Two terrible defensive errors later and Tottenham were on their way to defending the Carling

Cup and easing the pressure on Ramos. Without this much-maligned competition the Spaniard could well be out of a job. …

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