Newport County nearly secured a famous FA cup victory when they drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur on the 27th of January. A late Harry Kane leveller cancelled out Carlow man Padraig Amond's strike and means that the two sides will now lock horns again this Wednesday at Wembley.
One of the fallouts from the first game was a secret dossier prepared by the Newport County management team, which lays out the strengths and weaknesses of Mauricio Pochettino's men. Newport manager Micheal Flynn has since come out and apologised for dossier getting out, and insists that he is still on good terms with the Argentinian:
I've dealt with the leak of the so-called secret dossier manager-to-manager. Things have a habit of coming out and it happens in football. It's the way it is, nothing is private these days, but there was no malice in it. I apologised on our behalf to Mauricio for it getting out. It was helpful in preparing for the first game against Spurs because we needed all the help we could get. We exchanged numbers before the game. He shook my hand and gave me his details, which shows the class of him. We've exchanged a couple of messages back and forth since then. There is no issue here and he has bigger things to worry about.
Some of the weaknesses highlighted by the dossier include:
- A lack of understanding between Serge Aurier and Davison Sanchez.
- Aurier commits himself too early on challenges and can be easily rolled or turned.
- Sissoko doesn't protect Aurier.
- Michel Vorm won't come for corners.
- Dele Alli doesn't track back when he loses possession.
- Moussa Dembele gives away too many free kicks.
- Eric Dier is one-paced.
Here is the full breakdown below:
The preparation of such documents is surely commonplace up and down the English leagues, but it is interesting to observe a lower league sides' approach to one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League.