Last season’s runners-up Tottenham Hotspur and this season’s newbies Newcastle United began their campaigns on a glorious Sunday afternoon in Newcastle

Dele Alli and Ben Davis were on the scoresheet as Tottenham secured a 2-0 win at St.James’ Park on Sunday. Here are three crucial talking points from the game:

A man-of-the-match performance from the most unlikely candidate

Seven days prior to his team’s showdown with Newcastle United, Mauricio Pochettino was asked about his right-back conundrum and, whether he’s thinking about handing Kyle Walker-Peters his Premier League debut. “He’s too young,” was the Argentine’s reply.

But he had sold Kyle Walker to Manchester City and, with Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose both sidelined until September, it meant Spurs – the only Premier League club yet to invest in the transfer market – would have to make reinforcements.

But they didn’t, and 20-year old Walker-Peters made his debut at St. James’ Park. He seemed like he had taken Pochettino’s comment to heart and looked like a man (or perhaps a boy) on a mission to prove the gaffer wrong.

And he did. The Premier League and its unforgiving nature can be a tough place for the faint-hearted and, it was evident from the very first minute of the game that Rafael Benitez had spotted (at least he thought he did) a weakling in his opposition.

The Newcastle players targeted the 5 feet 9 inch frame of the youngster, but the Edmonton-born Spurs fan showed he had the stomach for the battle. Walker-Peters went about his business quietly; calm yet feisty in his challenges, utterly determined to make a mark.

This league has witnessed several such young players in recent years who have thoroughly impressed and showed tremendous promise on their debuts, but instead of taking small steps or giant leaps towards progress, they got stuck in a pool of stagnant water. Think Federico Macheda, Theo Walcott, Raheem Sterling, Adnan Januzaj.

As for Kyle Walker-Peters, Pochettino said after the game that his comment last week was a bluff, because he didn’t want to put pressure on the kid. That ‘kid’ must take confidence from the fact that his manager had faith in him since the time Tripper sustained an injury against Juventus a week ago, and that it wasn’t an impromptu decision. He is certainly in the right set up to display his youthful exuberance.

Newcastle might have to get used to life at the bottom

Benitez will have a tough time keeping Newcastle up EPA/TIM KEETON

Benitez will have a tough time keeping Newcastle up EPA/TIM KEETON

Newcastle United’s Premier League return was marked by a gleeful ovation by the St.James’ Park faithful. Playing top flight football again was the task assigned to Rafael Benitez last season, one that he achieved comfortably. But now the task gets tougher and, even though he’s well acclimatized to the pressures that come with managing a Premier League club, the space that he finds himself in is dangerously unfamiliar.

When the team sheets came out on Sunday, pundits were having a hard time recognizing most names in the Newcastle line-up. And the one recognizable, and even moderately established Premier league name was that of Jonjo Shelvey’s. The 25-year old Englishman – known to have a temper – showed a glimpse of his ugly side when he stamped on his England teammate Dele Alli. The referee immediately slid a hand in his pocket and rightly sent him off.

Newcastle weren’t bad on the day. But you don’t have to play too badly to suffer a loss in this league. A scary thought. With ten men for majority of the second half, Newcastle understandably didn’t look any better, but they didn’t look any worse either. They were eventually undone by a more experienced and efficient Tottenham team. But after the referee blew the final whistle, we were left to wonder if the Toons have enough to offer for survival this year.

Benitez is eyeing five reinforcements before the transfer window shuts, and he’d be hoping there’s a different look to this Newcastle team on 1st September. If not, they might have to get used to life at the bottom.

The brilliant trio pick up where they’d left off

The Prince returns to lay claim to his throne. (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

The Prince returns to lay claim to his throne. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Tottenham were far and away the best defensive side in the Premier League last season, conceding just 24 goals. However, the key to their success was the brilliance at the other end of the pitch.

Around the same time two years ago, Harry Kane began the 2015-16 campaign on the back of 21 goals the previous season. Many thought him to be a one-season wonder, but Kane would go on and score 25 goals that year and, if there was still any doubt about his ability, he bagged 29 goals last season, proving that he’s well on his way to becoming the country’s most bonafide striker.

While Kane has been excellent, he’s had all those goal-scoring chances made for him by an equally excellent Dele Alli. Alli is the Gerrard to Kane’s Torres; there is a telepathic understanding between the two. Alli scored 18 goals last season and had 7 assists to his name.

If the two Englishmen aren’t too hot to handle, throw in a Danish trump card in the form of Christian Eriksen. The 23-year old boasted 8 goals and 15 assists last season.

The trio mystified all of Premier League’s defenses and Spurs ended the season with a staggering 73 goals. This season, they’ve picked up where they left off. Alli and Eriksen were superb on the day against Newcaslte, and although Kane wasn’t on the scoresheet, it was a well-worked move between the three that broke the home side’s 10-man resistance.

Albeit being the only club to not have added to their repertoire so far, Mauricio Pochettino’s side look as fearful a force as any in the league. The Owners, ENIC International ltd, have done well to retain their three star players, and will be hoping it pays dividends this year as they have begun their surge for the elusive Premier League title.

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