1. New look, but same old problems
Newcastle has been a different team since raiding France for much-needed reinforcements. And, while the overall performance on Saturday was still encouraging — United's passing fluency was particularly impressive when you consider it came on the road against one of the league's top sides — Newcastle was undone by some of the same old defensive mistakes that crippled it during the first half of the season.
James Perch's failure to jump while stationed in the wall on Gareth Bale's opening goal drew many angry tweets, but it was Fabricio Coloccini's clumsy foul on Clint Dempsey that set up the free kick.
Coloccini and Steven Taylor then teamed up to botch the long ball that led to Bale's game winner. Taylor played well overall, but you'd have to place more of the blame for the decisive goal on his shoulders.
Alan Pardew shouldn't overreact to one play, seeing as though Taylor has just returned from injury and is re-connecting with Coloccini. But the club also shelled out a significant fee for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa for a reason, and he would bring quickness to the center back position.
2. More than just a backup plan
When Newcastle signed Yoan Gouffran from Bordeaux, it was widely assumed that the club had moved for the speedy forward in desperation after losing out on Loic Remy.
In his first three games, Gouffran has shown himself to be much more than a mere consolation prize. The 26-year-old has been composed on the ball and diligent in tracking back from his left-sided forward position while adding speed to United's attack.
He got his reward with a deserved first-half goal on Saturday, only to be stretchered off the field early in the second half. His loss clearly impacted the rest of the team — Sylvain Marveaux replaced him on the left wing and didn't offer much of anything, further strengthening my belief that he's much more effective as a central attacker — although X-rays were negative.
Gouffran may never turn into a star striker at the Premier League level. But his performances so far have answered suggestions that he had "found his level" in Ligue 1.
3. Cissé must step forward
Whenever criticism was lobbed at Papiss Cissé in the first half of the season, there were always mitigating circumstances to note. Oftentimes, he was deployed as a wide forward - not at all a natural position for the Senegalese striker. And on the occasions that he was played through the middle, he found himself next to Demba Ba in a partnership that never looked cohesive.
Cissé is now where he belongs: at the top of Pardew's formation. It's time for him to start performing at a level closer to the form he displayed a year ago. True, the service into him wasn't great on Saturday. And, yes, his run on Gouffran's goal did create space for the equalizer.
But Cissé also put one premium headed chance wide, and struggled to hold up the ball for most of the game. He wasn't a physical threat whatsoever to Spurs' central pairing of Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker, and he didn't give them any problems with speed, either.
Cissé is most definitely a poacher, the sort of striker who you persevere with because he can impact a game at any moment. At a certain point, though, you wonder if all those non-impactful moments will be too much for Pardew to take. If Gouffran bounces back from his injury and continues to perform, might he be worth a look in the middle?