Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko, left, is off to a fast start with his new club and is hoping to add his goal count when the Tynesiders visit Tottenham on Saturday. David Davies / PA Images
Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko, left, is off to a fast start with his new club and is hoping to add his goal count when the Tynesiders visit Tottenham on Saturday. David Davies / PA Images

Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko providing an early spark

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has been impressed with Moussa Sissoko and the other Newcastle United signings

Andre Villas-Boas, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, believes his Newcastle United counterpart Alan Pardew may have landed one of the signings of the season in the midfielder Moussa Sissoko.

Newcastle snapped up Sissoko for a nominal fee last month from Toulouse. The 23-year-old Frenchman already has scored twice for his new employers.

Villas-Boas is a big fan of Sissoko, and Newcastle's other January signings, like Mathieu Debuchy and Yoan Gouffran, so he knows his team will have to be on their guard when the Tynesiders arrive at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

"Most of their signings have gone straight in and have had the right impact," Villas-Boas said.

"Sissoko was a great grab. A couple of years ago he was being linked with the top clubs in the world and to get him at such a low price was a massive coup for them."

Pardew acquired five new players, but Villas-Boas was significantly less active in the transfer window.

Lewis Holtby was the only senior signing the Portuguese made as efforts to bring in the Internacional striker Leandro Damiao failed.

The Spurs manager is content with his squad, however, and is extremely pleased with how Holtby has settled in following his move from Schalke.

The German international midfielder has impressed off the bench in two appearances so far, and he could start if Villas-Boas decides to go through with his plan to play Gareth Bale behind either Emmanuel Adebayor or Clint Dempsey.

"He's made an immediate impact in the team in both games," Villas-Boas said. "Lewis offers further options playing from the channels coming in. We haven't seen him in this position yet."

Although Tottenham are unbeaten in two months, their tendency to draw matches meant they have not been able to make an assault on second and third position.

Villas-Boas hopes his team can build on last weekend's victory at West Bromwich Albion that could move them clear in the fight for fourth place if other results go their way with Everton and Arsenal, their nearest rivals, at Manchester United and Sunderland, respectively.

"We want to build a gap over the teams that are chasing us and bridge the gap to those at the top," Villas-Boas said.

Preview information for other EPL matches on Saturday:

Norwich City v Fulham: Revenge is the order of the day at Carrow Road according to Mark Bunn, the Norwich City goalkeeper, when his side take on Fulham. Norwich were beaten 5-0 by their opponents on the opening day of the season, in August.

Bunn said it was a result they are keen to put right. “It’s not nice to get beaten by five so I think the boys will want to put it right with a good result,“ he said. “Hopefully, we can get a win. I think the lads will be trying to erase that memory.”

Stoke City v Reading: Adam Le Fondre is keen to lose his tag of “super sub” for Reading by earning a starting place in the team. The forward was named the league’s player of the month for January earlier this week after scoring five goals, all of which came in games where he started as a substitute.

Ahead of today’s game with Stoke City he said: “I don’t want to be stuck with that tag for the rest of my career. I don’t want to play 20 minutes in games, I want to play for 90 minutes.”

Sunderland v Arsenal: An injury picked up on international duty has made James McClean a major doubt for Sunderland’s game with Arsenal today. The midfielder picked up an ankle injury playing for the Republic of Ireland against Poland on Wednesday.

Martin O’Neill, the Sunderland manager, said: “He hurt himself in the first half, but continued in the second half and came off after, I think, 80 minutes in the match and arrived here, where his ankle is particularly swollen.”

Swansea City v Queen Park Rangers: Ashley Williams believes the number of new faces in the Queens Park Rangers team has made it difficult for Swansea City to prepare for today’s game against the London side.

Harry Redknapp, the QPR manager, signed six players in the January transfer window for the bottom-placed side, and Williams, the Swansea defender, said: “With a new manager and a team made up of a lot of new players, you don’t really know what’s going to happen. That’s a fact.”


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Seiichi Shimomura, centre, is part of a Japan squad that is the gold standard for sides such as the UAE, here in a Asian Five Nations rugby match at Dubai on May 10, 2013 and Singapore aspire to reach. Marwan Naamani / AFP

UAE and Singapore are rugby teams with a similar tale to tell

The UAE versus Singapore in rugby: a battle to see whether our expatriates are better than their expatriates, surely? Well, maybe not for much longer.

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 Sharjah Cricket Stadium's colorful past was never like this – the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils was loud, raucous and commerical. Pawan Singh / The National

No need for rose-coloured glasses when Sharjah Cricket Stadium host IPL

Sharjah still plays well as India's home away from home when it comes to big-time cricket, but the commercial overtones were in overdrive.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

 Mickael Barzalona riding Sudden Wonder, left, to victory in the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket racecourse on April 17, 2014 in Newmarket, England. Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images

Godolphin boosted by performances of two fresh horses at Newmarket

Be Ready underwhelms in Craven Stakes during otherwise successful day for stables


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National