The ridiculous handball rule sparked yet more controversy!
Tottenham Hotspur were held to a last-gasp stalemate by Newcastle United after Callum Wilson dispatched a controversial penalty.
The Magpies, who hadn’t managed a single shot on target until then, were awarded a penalty in the seventh minute of the stoppage time after Eric Dier was misjudged to have handled the ball inside the area though it was clearly unintentional.
Wilson stepped up to take the spot-kick and lashed it into the bottom corner to cancel Lucas Moura’s opener and secure an undeserved point for Newcastle, who were thoroughly outplayed in the match.
With that and much more, we look at the major questions emerging from the tie:
Will the FA amend the handball rule?
Premier League’s newly adopted interpretation of the defensive handball has already stirred up a hornet’s nest barely two weeks into the new season.
Robin Koch, Victor Lindelof, Matt Doherty, Neal Maupay, and Joel Ward have all fallen victim to the ridiculous ruling so far, and the latest to have been misjudged is Eric Dier.
Andy Carroll’s header appeared to take a nick off the midfielder’s outstretched arm, and even though it wasn’t intentional from the Spurs player as he also had his back against the Toons striker, Dier was found guilty of a handball which culminated in a penalty for the visitors.
The decision naturally drew plenty of flak instantly, with Jose Mourinho even storming down the tunnel in frustration after Callum Wilson converted from the spot, as there’s nothing that the 26-year old could’ve done about it.
Premier League’s new handball rule states that officials should penalize any contact between the ball and the hand even if it’s accidental, something which has sparked numerous controversial decisions already this season. Another change of the handball rule beckons, then?
Is fatigue creeping into Tottenham’s game?
Spurs were on a rampage against Southampton last weekend, netting five times at the St.Mary’s in an exhibition of fluid, free-flowing football, compared to which yesterday’s outing was relatively fatigued and lacking in cutting edge, even though the hosts mustered 12 shots on target.
Part of the reason could be the congested fixture list, as the Lillywhites have now played five games in a span of just 14 days since the start of the 2020/21 campaign, which also includes a pair of trips to eastern Europe to negotiate ties in Bulgaria and Macedonia for Europa League qualifiers.
To compound matters further, Tottenham is looking ahead to another unforgiving week, with Chelsea in the Carabao Cup followed by Maccabi Haifa in the Europa play-offs to come before next weekend’s daunting clash against Manchester United – that’s another three games in the next seven days!
The going is getting really, really tough for Mourinho and co. It’d be interesting to see how they cope with it.
Will Kane continue his creative run?
Harry Kane has established himself as one of the best strikers in Premier League history, but lately, we’ve got to witness a more creative side of him. The Tottenham ace has gleefully been on an assist-making spree: after four against Southampton last weekend, he laid another one against Newcastle, bringing his tally to five for the season already, just two shy of his best assist record in a single season!
Given his prolific scoring rate over the years, Kane may score another glut of goals this season if he remains fit, but the last few games have seen him drift to the wings more often to create space for others to run into and lay off crosses for the likes of Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura. This has brought an extra layer to his game and would be interesting to see if Kane can keep his creative juices flowing throughout the campaign.