The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Who stole the bus?


Missing West Brom. bus found abandoned
Tottenham man sought in connection.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well that went surprisingly well against a team that we have recently struggled to put in their place. 1-1 draw was the bookies' best bet based on past results.

We are now on the best current winning run in the Premiership, six games, seven games in all competitions, and ahead on all measures compared to last year.
 
The weekend results went well for us too with Liverpool and Utd. drawing and Everton humiliating City. We are second and deservedly so and more importantly playing well with fluency and confidence

Next week's game against City could be significant though not decisive. But make no mistake it's a good time to play them, demoralised as they are and ripe for the taking. Anything Everton can do..........

Eriksen was buzzing and when he plays well Spurs play well. Dele was focused and alert and his assist for Harry''s third 'exquisite', not a term I often use in a football context.

Harry Kane's hat trick was the stuffing in the W.Brom turkey. McAuley's own goal should be awarded to Eriksen as his original shot was on target before the two deflections.

Mauricio solved the conundrum of how to squeeze Dier, Wanyama and Dembele into the same team and the power and strength approach worked well. The parked bus, jumped started by an HK goal within ten minutes, was found dumped by the side of the road.

Victor continues to impress and Dembele once again resembled the player we thought we had bought all those years ago. The full backs rampaged and Toby and Jan were imperious as usual.

Hugo is donating his match fee to Medecin Sans Frontieres once again as he feels embarrassed taking Dan's money when he has so little to do.  The proposed job share with his cousin in the Foreign Legion should be fine.

One black spot was an ankle injury to Jan Vertonghen  not for the first time and it seems to be his Achilles heel if you will. Eight weeks minimum is the projected lay off at the moment.

The Musings rule of thumb is to double the first estimates so Easter is our best guess.

However as I wrote last time we it's the one position where we have ample cover  in Wimmer, Dier, Davies and Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Oh and Chelsea continuing to beat all comers, except the Mighty Spurs of course. I'm not confident we can catch them but winning our games is our best and only option.

And the hope of course that others can inflict some damage on them but we all know what hope does.
Their spat with Diago might just Costa them dearly (Sorry)

However I might just be starting to think about beginning to consider contemplating an examination of the possibility of dreaming. I might just...

There is certainly greater discipline lately and a blow-out like last season is unlikely. Wanyama, Dele and Dier all seem to be under control. Dier's response to Diego Costa's attempt to wind him up was indicative.

I might just.....

Jimmy's Video Spot.
My Goal of the Season (So far) Teamwork, cheek, flair and class. A move that began on the training grounds of Tottenham. The Dele and Harry show. 21 seconds of magic. I love the way Dele patiently waits for Harry to get into position and mesmorised nobody closes him down.


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Spurs timing just right.

Harry and Mauricio get their timing just right.
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The Jimmy G2 Column
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Harry times the birth of his firstborn on a Cup weekend to Championship opposition. 'He shoots, he scores'. Though not quite the t-shirt for this particular occasion Harry.

Mauricio took his chance too putting out the backup squad, just the nine changes from Chelsea, and introducing them to the mysteries of 3/5/1/1.

Why else would we play such a system at home to poor Championship opposition?

A calm controlled performance as would be expected. Cameron Carter-Vickers, barely turned 19, started and gave us yet another centre half option along with Wimmer.

I make that five options with Dier and our two Belgian regulars. Six if you include Mauricio himself. Too old? I bet he's fit enough in an emergency.

Harry Winks did his Party Trick, his Christian Eriksen impression which at 20 yrs old was a bit of a show stopper and he was a clear MOM.

He's the other Harry and, just like him, one of our own. He has another four years to get up to speed.

Mauricio had to bring on Dele to change the game and he showed his class, finding space and laying the ball off quickly. Kevin N'Koudou. gave another effective cameo and must be close to a proper start.

He and Sissoko provided the assists from wide for Davies first Spurs goal, a clever glancing header and Son's 8th. of the season following good team play. We left it late but there was no panic.

Wycombe up next at home which should see roughly the same team take the field and a similar result.
Cameron Carter-Vickers and Wimmer took their chance but Vincent Janssen did not.

CCV is another of our own having joined the Academy at 11. He remains eligible for both US and England. He is stocky, strong and good in the air.

Vorm kept the keeping gloves warm but had as little to do as Hugo himself often does. He's better with his feet however and did very little but with the same authority.

Both teams achieved their aims: us to give game time to the irregulars and go through to the next round: Villa to avoid getting completely swamped. Both missions accomplished.

On the transfer front Schneiderlin seems to have gone to Everton for 22 million. At that price I can only assume we didn't want him despite the Southampton, Pochettino connection.

But as the Beatty in the British Telecom ads used to say: not good enough for Manchester Utd: not good enough for us.

The Rolling Stones got it spot on:
'You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes,
 well you might find
You get what you need'

Obviously keeping our savings dry for the next couple of weeks. Apart from transforming Vincent Janssen or replacing him what exactly do we need?

Jimmy's Video spot.
Beatty or the Rolling Stones? No contest! A classic from the 1980's. I love The Stones but couldn't resist this.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Who's a Flat Track Bully now!


Get Noah on the blower:
 Chelsea have run into one helluva storm.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 O Happy Day. The Chelsea Parade was a washout and we rained on it so heavily that Noah launched the Ark for only the second time in recorded history.

Mrs JimmyG2 observing my love affair with football sometimes asks exactly what I see in the game. After some games I have to admit I am stumped for an answer. But not on Sunday night.

We did ourselves so much good by winning this one and incidentally gave everyone else a boost too. Let's hope they return the favour. This time we kept our cool and maintained concentration, focus and discipline.

We certainly showed that we had learned our lesson. It's the football stupid. Dier's sad shake of the head when confronted by Diego Costa summed it up. And no hint of petulance or a whiff of a nutmeg from my MOM Dele.

I gave it to him ahead of Wanyama who was at his beastliest and supplied the grit and 'the worlds my oyster' Eriksen who brought forth the pearls because goals win games and it is such a rare kind of talent to possess.

I won't go as far as one football writer who said: 'Dele Alli underlined his growing reputation by single-handedly ending Chelsea's 13-match winning run on Wednesday'.

It doesn't exactly throw the Premiership wide open  but it exposes the limitations of the league leaders for all the chasing pack to see and establishes our credentials once again.

Eriksen and Spurs threw off the 'flat track bully' mantle and draped it  firmly on Chelsea's shoulders. They had a wonderful run but against mainly moderate opposition. We've now won five and might get a jog on ourselves.

Martin Keown gave a warning to Chelsea. He believes that the end of Chelsea’s 13 match winning streak could spark a complete collapse just like it did to the Gunners.  Nice thought Martin. 

Mauricio rubbed salt into the wounds by bringing on another of our 20yr.olds, Harry Winks, with another 20 minutes still left. Way to go Mauricio.

We controlled the midfield with Dembele and particularly Wanyama who saw off Kante and Matic. Costa, Pedro and Hazard barely had a sniff against our three man backline.

We didn't quite run riot but Eriksen found space for two precise crosses and Dele bold and decisive did the rest. Seven goals in four games. Reminds me of Bill Nicholson's comment on Jimmy Greaves work-rate.

'All he's done today is score four goals'

A famous victory but we must not allow this be the climax  of our season but use it as a springboard to greater things which we failed to do after defeating Man.City.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Dele's goals, Eriksen's assists but it's a team game remember. Athleticism and grace, power and accuracy. Foreign commentary because they don't get taken down so quickly.
You're welcome.
 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Third place within grasp for Spurs.


Relax it's only Man Utd. buzzing around.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Half way through the season and the pressure builds. Man.Utd are on a six game winning run buzzing round us like a fly up a cow's backside and our four game run flicking them away with disdain.

On Wednesday we have the chance to make everybody's day by putting paid to Chelsea's impressive record breaking attempt. A draw wouldn't be a disaster but we are playing well and at home and a win is not inconceivable.

'Unbeaten' became a millstone for us and in sight of a record their winning run might prove to be a step too far for them.

Ever since we failed to swat and squash the Man Utd. challenge completely  we have been in increasingly good form, both team and players. A kind fixture list has given us the opportunity to settle and play.

Watford were woeful but we made the most of it with Dele and Harry finding their goal touch, Eriksen fine tuning his engine and Wimmer and Trippier slotting in nicely. Toby might never have been away.

Wanyama continues to impress and only Son was wasteful though energetic and keen to make his mark. Harry Winks might have started or come on earlier but I always say that.

Harry's first goal was as good a goal as I have seen for some time. Good team build up, Trippier's precise passing and Harry's movement and touch were wonderful.

The top six are pulling away from the rest and it looks as if we will have Europa football next season as a fail safe option. Liverpool, Arsenal and City are not as consistent and are well within our sights. Beat Chelsea and the world is our lobster.

On Sunday Trippier was oustanding though none of the defence were under much pressure. Even Lloris remained calm and gave our defenders some breathing space with his distribution.

If our four consecutive wins and two consecutive away four goal hauls (the first time since the double winning season over 50 yrs ago) can inspire some confidence we have nothing to fear tomorrow 'but fear itself'.

As long as we concentrate on the football and not on settling old imaginary scores. Otherwise we have plenty of candidates for the first red card and the end of the game as a fair contest.

We have nothing to prove in the tough guy stakes. Focus and concentrate.

Spurs 2-1 but bet responsibly.

Hold the front page!
Bournemouth 2 Arsenal 0 as I type. Sorry 3-0. Oops! 3-1. Oh! 3-2. Three minutes to go.One minute to go. Six minutes extra time. 3-3 Giroud. And breathe.

Beat Chelsea and we go third

Jimmy's Video Spot.
The Dele and Harry show with a walk on cameo from Kieran  Trippier. Thought I might edit out their shambolic goal but I'll leave it in as a warning.

Dele's first 50 games bears comparison to the best and Harry equals Thierry Henri's tally for his first 100 games.You know what they say about the future.


Saturday, 31 December 2016

Referees, Game Changers and Comebacks

 
Must be easier not to go away in the first place.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well that all turned out very nicely. Lull them into a false sense of security with the early goal; allow them to bask in their impressive home record and rejoice in our poor recent away results. Then let Dele loose on them. 

 Mauricio's cunning plan worked a treat and I just hope not too many Spurs fans and 'Musings' faithful slit their wrists prematurely.

Like Liverpool we went 1-0 down early, equalised before half time and then we both knocked 'em for six. Well four anyway. Just as well too.

With all our rivals winning even a draw here would have cast a depressive pall over our New Year. At this stage of the season no game is a 'must win' but some games just feel like it.

So Spurs are alive and kicking still. We made an important statement here after the first 15 minutes: scored four; contrived to miss a penalty and hit the bar with an Eriksen special. Only Lloris did his best to keep their hopes up.

The penalty was contentious and can be argued in various ways. The original foul was outside the box and could have been given as a free kick.

 Redmond might have got a red card for it anyway under the strict application of the current rules.

Harry missed the penalty anyway as Van Dijk had repeated his trick of interfering with the penalty spot as he had done at Arsenal and Harry slipped and skied the shot. Surely some retrospective punishment is due.

But the sending off changed the game. Yiddo Mike Dean came up trumps again. In the last seven games that he has reffed us we have won six and drawn one. And he's given us three penalties. Can you referee us every week.

Actually this is all a bit simplistic as we go back a lot further than that, 56 games or so, and have suffered many adverse decisions. I'm sure that it all evens itself out over time. I think I'm sure anyway

Dele changed the game too with his headed equaliser and Cristian Eriksen and Moussa Sissoko continue to make major contributions. I am deleting all my negative comments about Moussa Mk. 2

Dele is our wild card and destined for greatness with us I hope. His unpredictability is a worry for opponents and occasionally frustrating for his fans. His equaliser was all about anticipation.

The icing on the Xmas cake was the coolly taken final goals by Son and Dele again. Almost carbon copies of each other. Harry's bullet header from an Eriksen corner, I kid you not, had put us ahead.

Negatives: the petulant and unnecessary booking by Vertonghen in the last minute at 4-1up who now misses the Watford game. Whatever was he thinking ? Quite.

And Walker misses the Watford game after accumulating five yellows. Let's just hope that Toby has fully recovered from his bug otherwise its Dier and Wimmer in the centre of defence and Trippier at right back.

Not that it should prevent us from beating Watford. There I said it. But both Wimmer and Trippier have served us well in the past and I am confident they will again when necessary.

So the 'Comeback Kids' triumph again ( Spurs have the most points gained in the Premiership from losing positions: 13) There's plenty of fight when the chips are down, as when all our rivals win.

Curiously though in the last couple of seasons we somehow falter when we have the chance to go top or top four. Our fatal flaw perhaps. We can't be arsed unless the chips are really down and not even then at times.

But,but, but whatever happens tomorrow will see us ahead on almost all measures and should send us all into the New Year in a positive frame of mind.

Happy 2017 to you all.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Virgil out-leaps everybody. Dele out-leaps Virgil. Harry makes up a lot of ground. Three fine headers and two cool finishes.


Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Comes Early at The Lane.

 Merry Xmas and a Successful New Year.
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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Christmas Night at a Kent Pub 2016.
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Christmas Comes Early at The Lane.
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Christmas came early at White Hart Lane on Sunday last, at 5:32pm to be precise. The ecstatic moment, Danny Rose scoring the second against Burnley to put Tottenham effectively out of sight of a restricted Turf Moor mob.
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Deep in the Spurs back line , immediately adjacent to Block 25 East Side actually, Harry Kane took possession, a deft swivel inside a Clarets opponent and then a lofted pass up the left aiming just beyond the half way line at Christian Eriksen.
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The said pass turned into a beautiful wall pass via an attempted Burnley mid air intercept. It fell kindly to Moussa Sissoko who barged past another Burnley shirt. He does not do 'glide' as does the other Moussa.
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From there a majestic run by Sissoko through the Burnley heartland led to a sublimely weighted pass to our Danny Rose. He obliged with an unstoppable Exocet rocket past the until then excellent Tom Heaton. The Lane went ballistic.
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Block 25 were dancing ,hugging complete unknowns, behind, next door,all around. Curiously the acclaim was a mixture of French  (here to see Hugo surely),German, American, Singapore, Australian and yes some token English regulars.
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Wholehearted rejoicing across the globe pitch-side. Perhaps an indicator of how global the Spurs brand is these days.
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Christmas came tout suite in another guise this year. The world's best keeper signed a new contract for Spurs till 2022. After a promising early career as a tennis player young Hugo Lloris swapped his racquet for keeper's gloves and has never looked back.
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Revered as a ghod at The Lane his new contract was every Spurs fans wish list priority. Of course the yuletide cheer was compounded when Michel Vorm took time out from his modelling career with wife Daisy and also signed on till 2018.
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I still remember that horrible goal against Leicester in the FA Cup that burrowed under his flailing arm. Nevertheless an excellent security blanket. Perhaps it speaks volumes for the spirit and camaraderie engendered by Team Pochettino.
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Vorm is unlikely to achieve much ahead of Lloris but is prepared to stay with the Spurs "family". Warms the cockles of a Christmas heart.
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Christmas came coincidentally early this year for a manager looked upon by most Spurs fans as a competent manager but allegedly dubious on certain personal fronts. Various reported Super Injunctions relating to him suggest confirmation of a multitude of outings on the internet.
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Alan Pardew told Newcastle of his defection around Christmas 2015. So the timing was somewhat ironic not to say coincidental when the P45 from Palace arrived in Thursday's post. Mind, as always with this time of year, Santa helped out with a 4 million pound payout.
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Drinks are on Alan and especially so if he fronts ...
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At A Kent Pub. 
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Spirits and beer are flowing in equal measure here. We have a new publican who despite lukewarm initial expressions of support for West Ham promises to change his ways.
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We are still alive on 3 big fronts and our lawyer and others are convinced a title tilt is still realistic.
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An early New Years Eve present would be 3 points at Southampton.
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Cheers ... thanks for your support ... keep the cards and letters coming in ... Greg Meyer.            coys.
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Jimmy's Video Spot.
Burnley at the Lane. Full backs rampant. Walker makes amends. Thanks Santa.

 

Monday, 19 December 2016

Spurs toolbox gets some overdue refinement.

Got anything a little more delicate?
It's a parked bus not the Great Wall of China.
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The JimmyG2 Column
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A very hearty Xmas welcome to both our readers. Your not expecting original jokes for the sort of money you're paying, Shirley? A fun-packed festive edition to lift the spirits......(Editor: Get on with it Jimmy. Time's money to these busy people.)

Well anyway a good week by any measure. Eriksen back from his recent sleepwalk-about; Dele a little more focused; six points caught up on Arsenal; Sissoko beginning to look the part; excellent performances from our dynamic full back duo.

Against Burnley they once again  provided both goals and assists and are essential to Mauricio's new flexible game plan with three at the back and flying wing backs . Danny Rose outstandingly the MOM  and not for the first time lately.

A special mention for Jan Vertonghen who in the absence of Toby with a temporary back problem stepped up once again. Temporary back problems can be tricky though and we need him back soonest or Jan will have no-one to pass to.

Xmas Greetings to the fixture computer who gave us a couple of 'friendly' games designed to make the turkey and mince pies taste even more delicious than normal. Hull and Burnley both dispatched at the Lane.

Hull are probably the poorest team we have played  but it was nice to see the Old Boys re-union and they all got a good welcome. It gave Eriksen the chance to shine again. We can only hope he has settled back into his groove.

We are up on last year on most measures and somehow still in contention for something or other despite not playing consistently scintillating football. We need to bear in mind that other teams have improved in terms of recruitment.

Not that changing Managers or buying new players is always a positive as we have found to our cost over the years though it seems to be working for some of the top six this year.

But all this without Lamela, Kane and Toby for significant periods and Dele, Eriksen, Kane and Dier performing below their levels of last year. But a settled team under a settled Manager can be just as effective.

The feeling that we are somehow much poorer than last year is a question partly of perspective, of where we are coming from. Last year we were in contention for Champions, this year we are certainly not.

Out of the Champions' League in disappointing style and back in the Europa, it just feels a lot worse than it probably is.  Above us only Chelsea are consistently good and we may have a chance to ruin their record.

If they win their next two games but we get a point at WHL at the start of January we not only stop their winning run but prevent them achieving the longest Premiership consecutive winning run. (14 games by Arsenal 15 years ago.)

If we are to progress in the Europa and not jeopardize our  Premiership chances Mauricio needs to be a lot cleverer with his handling of the squad. Some actually believe that winning the Europa was his cunning plan all along.

Seems a bit it a long shot to me. Cup football is beset with all kinds of hazards: form, injuries, the weather, the draw, refereeing decisions and probably many more.
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On the bright side the other Harry has emerged at last into a starting role and performed well up to expectations.We seem to have a lot of sledgehammers in our midfield toolbox and an additional scalpel might help to balance it out.

Next week the prestigious and coveted Musings End of Year Awards. It's free to regular subscribers so Don't Miss It.

Breaking Good News.
Lloris signs his new contract until 2022. That doesn't mean he won't leave us but, like the others it makes him much more expensive.

And in a two for one goalkeeper deal deal Michel Vorm has signed a two year extension on his.

That's seven players tied down. The Pochettino gift that keeps on giving. Come on Toby and Erik: you know you want to.

Morgan Schneiderlin.
Just popped upon E-Bay, Manchester seller and first bidder is a Midlands buyer at 13 or possibly 18 million.
Do we want him? Do we need him? Would they sell him to us? Would he block Winks and Onomah? Not good enough for Man.Utd not good enough for us as the old British Telecom adverts used to say.

Sorry must fly, presents to wrap, turkey to stuff, chimney to sweep and last minute shopping to do.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Before you forget. Here's the boy we didn't think we would miss but we certainly have. As much for his pressing and ball recovery as his skill. Bit repetitious but he's not played that much.