Winger who played for both clubs recalls 'awful' experience of losing 7-1 with the north London side on his first trip back to the North-East after moving south from Tyneside
By Rob Stewart
Former Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United winger Ruel Fox is mystified by the London club’s habit of being a soft touch when they head to Tyneside.
As Spurs manager Harry Redknapp prepares to pit his wits against Magpies counterpart Alan Pardew, Fox admitted that Newcastle have become a bogey side to their White Hart Lane peers.
“I don’t know what it is but there is something about St James’ Park that Tottenham don’t seem to like,” Fox told Goal.com.
“Newcastle seem to be Tottenham’s bogey side because they never seem to do well up there and haven’t won there in ages for some reason.
“It might be the weather, it might be the noise the Toon fans make when they get behind their team at St James’ Park or it might be just coincidental, but Spurs are lucky if they get anything to take home with them.
“It will be some achievement if they beat them this time around but Harry has put together a fantastic team and managed to keep hold of Luka Modric so they will fancy their chances.”
The statistics show that Newcastle fans must relish Tottenham visits because their side have scored more goals against the north Londoners than against any other Premier League side, netting 56 times in 34 games between the two teams.
“Spurs have been on the end of some real pastings up there over the years and I’ve got painful memories of my own,” said the former winger who is currently chairman of Suffolk-based non-league side Whitton United and runs his own fitness business, Ipswich Bootcamps.
“It was my first visit back to Newcastle after I joined Spurs and we ended up getting hammered 7-1 just before Kevin Keegan quit.
“It was awful but I still think St James’ Park is a great place to play football because they have got brilliant fans who must have great memories of those days under Kevin Keegan because they saw some amazing attacking stuff."
Unbeaten Newcastle are currently sitting fourth in the Premier League table following their best start to a season since Fox was on the St James’ Park payroll during the 1995-96 season when they were pipped to the title by Manchester United.
Neither Newcastle nor Spurs are expected to challenge United for title glory this term but the 43-year-old Fox is certain that there will be no shortage of entertainment when his two old clubs meet on Sunday on Tyneside, where the visitors have not won since August 2004.
“There is a real tradition at both clubs for good, entertaining football because that’s what the fans demand,” Fox added. “They play football the right way and that is why these fixtures are always so entertaining.”