The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Not Quite Done and Dusted

 Ok Mauricio that's the Pier, the Aquarium and the Royal Pavilion
any other 'must do's' while we're here?
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The JimmyG2 Column. 
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 I love Brighton. As a kid we went on day trips frequently from London. Southend is closer but Brighton was always classier and an easy drive down in those days. I like Chris Hughton too. Who doesn't?

A neat and tidy player for Spurs, who has created a neat and tidy team in his own image. Inevitably 'you cut your coat according to  your cloth'. and it looks likely that they will maintain their Premiership status..

For those unacquainted with the idioms of 'yor' ( A bygone age) this translates as 'to plan one's aims and activities in line with one's resources and circumstances. He has certainly done that and it is no mean achievement.

All three newly promoted teams this season, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Brighton look likely to survive. Although, in 25 years of the Premier League there have only been two seasons in which all three promoted clubs have stayed up.

(Fulham, Bolton and Blackburn survived in 2001-02 and, a decade later, QPR, Norwich and Swansea stayed up in 2011/2012.) A clear indication of the gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots'.

Spurs seem just as likely to join the Champions' League 'haves' once again although there are manifestations of what Sir Alec called 'squeaky bum' time over our recent performances against Stoke, Man City and Brighton.

Just as you were wondering when I would get to the point we are magically there. Away to Brighton and Hove Albion was not one our more glorious Tuesday nights. They parked the bus and once again we couldn't find the keys.

Dele gets some stick but when he's not there you don't half notice it. Where was the flair and movement? Where was the speed of thought and anticipation of things that might just happen?

The rule of thumb that when Eriksen has an off day then so do Spurs was again demonstrated. It was the worst game I have seen him play in a Spurs shirt. Even his control went to pieces. Nothing came off.

A possible positive was the re-appearance of Toby who was probable our best player but hardly the Man of the Match. Whether this was a stop gap to rest Sanchez for Saturday I know not. Possibly a good sign though.

Harry got his 26th. Premier ship goal following smart work from Son and was better when he dropped deeper. Neither was consistently good, although Son was denied just before half time by a smart stop by Ryan.

Free kicks and corners were wasted and Moura claiming his first start was uncharacteristically hesitant in possession. A midfield of Sissoko and Wanyama didn't and probably couldn't create enough to make a difference.

Lucas had a speculative shot well saved by Ryan. But neither he nor Son took their full back on effectively. It would be unfair to condemn him on his first start as few apart from Verts and Toby played well.

Aurier is usually an accident waiting to happen and it did conceding a clumsy penalty within 2 minutes of Harry's opener straight after half time. Lloris was edgy, he fumbled once but wasn't punished.

Overall a lukewarm, lackluster, limpid, lackadaisical, loose showing (That's an 'l' of an analysis Jim (editor)  at the moment when we need courage, energy and skill especially in the final third.

Brighton fulfilled their limited ambitions and carried out their game plan. We did not, and played as if we had our collective minds on other things.

With Chelsea beating Burnley tonight our lead over them is cut to five points with four games to play. It was not a given because Burnley are on a winning streak at the moment and looking to get into European football.

But we are in a strong position given the fixture list though it's not quite done and dusted. Three of our final four matches are at Wembley against Watford, Newcastle and Leicester – and the other one is a trip to West Brom. Don't panic just yet.

For the Semi Final, Manchester, not very, United will be a little less depressed after beating Bournemouth than they were after W.Brom but are extremely beatable, as we have shown. 

I hope Toby and Rose play, not sure about Harry but he almost certainly will, Vorm should play on principle as well as current form. With Wanyama not up to speed it looks like Dier and Dembele which is bit turgid.

Midfield three with Eriksen might work better. At least we've got that poor performance out of our system. Fast start, the press, early goal or three. OK Mauricio its all yours. COYS.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Four minutes of goals thrills and excitement. Two minutes would have done. Harry gets another  but he won't overtake Salah I'm afraid. We missed Dele but let's hope he runs riot against United. If he's not fouled off the park first.


 

Monday, 16 April 2018

Spurs hit the buffers

 That's us: Thomas the Tank Engine.
 They were more Gordon.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Losing to Man. City is no disgrace. But it is not the fact of losing but the manner in which we exposed ourselves to defeat that hurts. It wasn't Spursy, we didn't bottle it, but knee jerkers pile in here if you must

City are one of the most expensively assembled teams in England but they have at least something to show for their outlay. Both expensive and excellent they are breaking more Premiership records than an elephant in HMV.

But on the day we needed everyone keyed up and on their game we were half an hour late to the party. We saved the worst 30 minutes of our season for the opening phase of the game  against the Premiership winners elect.

Actually thanks to United's humdrum performance against bottom of the league and relegation elect West Brom they actually became Premiership winners  with over a month to spare.

But what were we doing and what was Mauricio thinking, or not thinking as the case may be. He is doubly culpable for his tactics and for his failure to get the team up for this prestige fixture.

Ceding the midfield and playing a high line against some of the sharpest midfield and forward  tools in the Premiership knife box doesn't really add up to a plan.

 We were undone by a simple punt upfield by Kompany in the 21st. minute. Jesus was quicker than Sanchez, collected and beat Lloris with ease. Four minutes later Lloris conceded a penalty and City were two up and coasting.

On replay the foul on Sterling was outside the penalty area but Lloris was a little lucky to only be awarded a yellow card. His run of poor form continues.

Soon after that we turned up and Eriksen collected Kane's through ball and with a little good fortune put us back in the game theoretically with his fourth goal in four games. After half time we put in more a show.

But as Mauricio admits they were the better team and deserved the win. And so they should you might say with the resources at their disposal.No sour grapes here, I don't like the business model and don't want to follow it.

Our 14 unbeaten run ends You have to go back 50 years for a better one in the top flight. We look forward and not back and go again as City themselves did after the setbacks of last week.

In the Penthouse: Jan Vertonghen sits in isolated splendour. He moved in eventually.

In the doghouse:. Everybody else, except,

In the shithouse:, Kane and Hugo.

Moura gave a sparkling cameo, such speed skill and control. I'd start him against Brighton but that's not Mauricio's style.

Bringing on Sissoko with 7 minutes to go when 3-1 down seems odd to me. Taking off  Lamela rather than Kane, Golden Boot or not, is difficult to fathom too in terms of how they were contributing at the time.

Perhaps that's the disappointment talking but the real problem was that City started like an Express train, Sane hitting the post in the first few minutes, and we started like a Goods Train stuck in the marshaling yards.

Vertonghen is said to be doubtful for Brighton on Tuesday having limped off so some re-jigging is inevitable. Dier into the back and Wanyama in the midfield is the simplest solution. Although Toby has been mentioned for this one..

We need to win this one but have to bear in mind the semi final against Man. Utd. on Saturday. One game at a time boys. We have a day extra recovery time as they play on Wednesday

Jimmy's Video Spot.
New kid on the block well fairly new. Lucas Moura. Plenty of skill and an eye for a pass. What's not to like? Hints too from the Manager that he might be in line for more game time, maybe even a start
tomorrow night. 'Give pace a chance' as the Beatles almost sang.

Monday, 9 April 2018

A Real Pantomime at Stoke. Oh yes It Was!

Chief Winder Upper: I can do that!
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The JimmyG2 Column. 
   
Football seems to be only of incidental interest to Stoke City fans. The Football 365 Stadium is not a venue to go to for the purist. They committed 19 fouls on Sunday which was more than Spurs and Chelsea managed combined last week at The Bridge.

But we won anyway. The smart ruse of introducing Danny Rose to take the heat off Dele Alli worked a treat. Danny was the Pantomime Villain from the start. 'Oh yes he was'. And Dele was at his Prince Charming best.

Hopefuls for the Three Ugly Sisters stretched right round the block before the game but perm any three from eleven and you won't be far out. Chief High Executioner Charlie Adams was injured or he would have been a shoo-in.

In the event I nominate Ryan Shawcross who is big enough, old enough and good enough to know better, but has for some years after leaving Man.Utd. been the leader of the pack around the Potteries.

Charlie has cruelly fouled some of the biggest names in football including our very own Gareth Bale. It is rumoured that Spurs legend Peter Crouch only joined Stoke to avoid being injured by him but he forgot about the training sessions.

This was a very 'untidy'game' which was my Mum's basic description of my bedroom. Not a complete shambolic mess; that was my brother's room. Just not consistent with the accepted standards which currently prevail.

We scored an elegantly worked goal through Dele's hold up play from a Dembele break out pass while he waited patiently for someone, anyone, to arrive in the box and he calmly played him in. Eriksen it was that showed first.

Then we conceded an untidy goal and scored another to win it. All the goals came in a 10 minute spell on the hour. Shaqiri's fine through ball finding Diouf and Lloris in a confrontation on the edge of the area which Lloris lost.

Cue much discussion whether Hugo is past it given that he is second in the league of fatal keeping errors which lead to goals with 5 such mistakes. Two in the last two games though neither has affected the result.

Last week he more than made up for his flap but this week hardly had much opportunity to demonstrate his value which is still in positive territory overall. But the future like the past is another country.

Xherdan Shaquiri  has some quality and combativeness but his journey from Bayern Munich via Milan to Stoke shows the general direction of his career. But he is one of the few Stoke players likely to be playing in the Premiership next year. 

But we survived the foul-fest intact; Danny was certainly worth his place as a distraction; Verts kept everything battened down at the back; Wanyama is clearly not up to speed and Dier's cameo in his place was worryingly unfocused or 'untidy' as my Mum would have it.

Harry too is not quite there yet and his claim for the second goal speculative at best. It was given to Eriksen anyway direct from the free- kick. Harry certainly helped by distracting Butland and is still hoping to be awarded the goal.

Son was erratic and missed a more than decent chance. Lamela was Lamela but didn't get a yellow card even though he was on for half an hour. Probably knows better than to poke a hornet's nest with a stick .

True to the occasion Danny Rose managed finally to achieve a booking in the 97th minute. We let them off lightly having beaten them recently by 4 goal margins including the last two away.

But Shaqiri hit the post with a free kick and Diouf had a couple of chances early on so perhaps not an unfair score-line overall. You still only get three points for winning whatever the score.

City up next and after this week and tomorrow night they will either be a dispirited mess or keen to re-establish their credentials. They could win the title by beating us at the weekend, incentive  if we actually needed one.

There is still that nagging scenario where if Arsenal win the EUFA Cup and Liverpool win the Champions League and both finish outside the top four and we finish 4th we would miss out on the CL next season because only five teams from the Premiership can qualify.

Ridiculous I know but I said that when Chelsea won the CL, beating Barcelona on the way with Messi missing a penalty and we failed to qualify. Only Spurs fans would worry about it. But then I'm a Spurs fan. I worry.

 And Chelsea are no longer ' Behind you' they are 11 points back ('Oh yes they are') with a game in hand and we are level on points with Liverpool with a game in hand. Not bad for a team playing all its games away from home.

It's not Pantomime Season in the rest of Britain but I suspect it's always a bit like Pantomime Season at Stoke. I just can't visualise Charlie Adams trying on the glass slipper though can you; skinning Dick Whittington's cat alive, certainly.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
While we're on the subject just in case he does go to Man.Utd as rumoured over many months here's a fitting tribute to one of our longest serving players and one of my favourites. 

Strong, swift and impetuous and as good as most of our full backs present and departed at crossing the ball.
Please give it up for Danny Lee Rose.


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Spurs play part in the Fall of Roman's Empire.

Brave Horatius at The Bridge.
One of the few they haven't signed
 but even he wouldn't have stopped the Mighty Spurs.
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 I´ve waited a long time to write this particular blog. Since before I even started writing one if you can see what I mean. 28 long years but you all know the stats so let´s not get distracted.

The wait was not quite as long as the Roman Empire; it just seemed like it.  However we may have made a major contribution to the fall of Roman's Empire as we used know it.

This was a timely revolt against Roman's stronghold but unlike Horatius they failed to hold The Bridge succumbing to an Eriksen strike just before the half time whistle and a double whammy from Dele Alli around the hour.

´Venimus,Vidimus, Vicimus' We came we saw we conquered. Hail Caesar, Mighty Head Praefecti Christian  throwing the lions to the spectators and Premiership Centurion Delius Allius  and the others of the Maurician Guard.

 Enough already with the Roman Empire stuff Jimmy. Just get on with it.( Editor).

 Oh OK. But some people come on here for the educational literary, historical stuff as well as the football and some instead of the football. But you're the boss. (JimmyG2)

This was the second game in a row that we have gone behind and recovered to win the game and we haven't lost since Man. City. in December. We are King of the London Derbies and top of the London teams.

Unfortunately there are no trophies for this but another landmark win is clocked up and our critics have only the trophyless whinge left and we have a good chance of putting that right by winning the FA Cup this season.

The strike by Eriksen his 16th. from outside the area which makes him the leader in this Premiership field, was a thing of power and beauty but most importantly it changed the game and not just the scoreline at a crucial moment.

Second half and game on. It was clear that they had been psychologically damaged by the strike so close to half time and had the break to muse on things. They came out deflated; we came out recharged and rejigged in attack.

They are soon to be in Manager turmoil again, they have had ten since Abramovich arrived with his looted rubles in 2003, and are a team without  heart. We are not and it showed. They have some talented players but like Hazard they were going through the motions.

We were too narrow in the first half and neither Davies nor Trippier could make the impact we needed. I expected to see Moura for the second half but Mauricio used the break to move Son out wide to pin Alonso.

Eriksen played deeper and Dele was given licence to move forward and across the line. Lamela who was lucky not to get at least one red continued his rampaging performance and clocked up some important strikes in his personal vendetta with Fabregas.

Unlike two years ago we let our football do the talking although we out-fouled them 3 to1. A measure of our commitment you might say and their half-heartedness. In fact apart from the goals it was not an overly dramatic encounter.

Possession and shots were pretty even but we were clinical when it mattered. Lloris made several top class saves and more than atoned for his flap that distracted Sanchez and gifted Morata his 7th. headed goal.

Dele made the perfect reply to his recent critics at every level with two moments of genuine class: calm in a crowded area keeping his head when all about him others were losing theirs mainly the Chelsea defence and Son.

 And movement and control and touch and everything good about football for his first, including effort and work-rate which when wedded to brilliance makes a world class package 

'A Thing of Beauty is a Joy for Ever'. Keats said that before football was invented and he'd never even seen Dele and Christian. Whatever did they do at the weekends when they weren't roaming the Lake District and writing poetry.

Let's pretend for a moment that Gareth was on a wind-up when he said that Dele was not a shoo-in for England. Well it worked, genuine or not, because he certainly is now. Dier's pass was worthy of a place too.

Good to see Eriksen taking responsibility too not just for the delightful pass that set up Son for the third but berating Son for his lack of awareness of the possibilities after his first shot was saved.

We can argue forever which goal was the best, but Dele's first gets my vote even if Christian made my MOM, for his timely goal, overall contribution and for taking ownership of the team rather than playing like an invited guest.

 Harry got on for a token run though I'm not sure why. Wanyama could have come on earlier but the defence was sound, the midfield strong if careless at times and the forwards floated like butterflies and stung like bees.

If you had said at the start of the season that this victory would be achieved without Kane, Rose Elderweireld or Wanyama in the starting line-up eyebrows would have been raised.

With 4th more or less assured we must continue to focus on finishing even higher. Champions' League at the New White Hart Lane is a dream come true. All this achieved playing all our games away from home.

Once again it was a team performance and we were more than the sum of our parts: Chelsea were not. I will always remember where I was when Spurs undid 28 years of frustration to beat Chelsea at the Bridge.

 Jimmy's Video Spot.

History in the making and a ten minute special to record the occasion.  We defended stoutly apart from the Morata goal when we were exposed by a wing back Moses with too much space after a surging run by Rudiger straight through the middle.


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Spotlight and pressure on Toby again.



Swansea?
 No sign of them here.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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We made the journey down to South Wales under tricky weather and road conditions only to find on arrival that Swansea hadn't bothered to turn up. They made only fleeting appearances for a few minutes at the start of each half.

Eriksen and Lamela quickly took stock of the situation and decided to finish it off early but FA rules insist that the whole 90 minutes must be completed even when only one team is playing.

With no Lloris, Dele, Wanyama, Dembele, Kane or Alderweireld, who was on the bench, in the starting eleven and everybody's favourite scapegoat Sissoko in full kit at kick off you might say we offered them a sporting chance.

But they have relegation fish to fry and declined the offer. Clamors for our strongest eleven to demonstrate our intention to 'win something' this year other than hearts and minds were ignored by Mauricio and the naysayers were offered a hostage to fortune.

In the event his tactical assessment was confirmed, Alderweireld was ignored and Sissoko played well enough to frustrate his critics. Some made him MOM but that was extending charity a step too far.

His strength was showcased and his technical limitations obscured. He saw plenty of the ball and took up some good positions. His best performance by some way for Spurs and Mauricio's continuing trust was duly repaid.

However Eriksen stole the show, running the game and scoring two fine goals aided and abetted by Lamela who fired home with his other foot from the edge of the area and also assisted Eriksen's opener.

Chelsea missed more than trick when they had Christian on trial in his teens and decided he was not for them. More like the contents of the Magic Circle store cupboard than a trick but we're not complaining.

 (As reported in The Guardian. Like us they are not always wrong)

Jan marshaled the back line with his customary solidity, and the rest of the defence were sound if uninspiring. In the event sound was all they had to be. Sanchez had a couple of iffy moments but a decent all round team performance.

Dier could have been on the score-sheet twice and Vorm made an excellent and important double save when the tie was still in the balance. Moura was lively but a little head down and he's probably better on the right.

So on to the semi's against Manchester United. We have been allocated the away dressing room as they came out of the hat first which clearly negates the home advantage protests. Whatever happened to the Wembley hoodoo.

In fact this is most unfair on the boys to be allocated the away dressing room on their own home ground on a technicality and should we lose this would be grounds for lodging an objection. But we won't so no harm done.

Our 'Musings' on the spot reporter informs us that the away dressing room does not have named, individually wrapped soap and the communal bath is only supplied with giant bottles of shampoo and conditioner to share.

This is certainly not enough to distract a fully focused, more balanced, deeper squad. Step away from the Jumbo Shower Gel Dispenser Dele, your gonna hurt someone with that.

Toby was on the bench but didn't play. Some took this as a good sign; others as a  bad one. He has the possibility of a couple of games for Belgium during the break so there was no need to to risk him.

Conspiracy theorists think that this was a form of humiliation by Mauricio and shows that he is leaving us in the Summer. Probably the same ones that concluded that Rose was off in January.

Seemed to me like a good sign of increasing fitness. The attractions of playing for Spurs may not include silly money but the prospects of playing for a club on the rise with a stable management cannot be over-emphasised.

United and Chelsea are both unsettled clubs at the moment and likely to lose key players and their managers at the end of the season. Stick with us Toby you know it makes sense or go abroad and we'll get the silly money to re-invest.

Jimmy's Video spot.
Toby Alderweireld:
'Lest we forget'. Several minutes of quality. Skill, vision, anticipation and staying on your feet.
'Ultimate' is a stretch but he is pretty damn good.

I hope he stays if only to assist the development of Sanchez, Foyth, and Cameron Carter-Vickers who could return to the squad for next season after a loan spell at Ipswich.

But he is 29 and we still have Jan. My preference is to keep him if possible.

Contract talks seem to have stalled but with all that extra Stadium and TV income there must be some flexibility in the system Shirley.


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Spurs plans go seriously wrong.


The Sea-food Platter won.

The JimmyG2 Column.
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Away for a long weekend in Galicia, Cornwall on turbo charge, everything was carefully planned to enable me to slip back to the hotel and watch the game after a late lunch in a seafood restaurant just up the coast.

At kick off time I was precisely 30 kilometers away only half way through the first course of hot Mussels and furtively following the game on the phone. A practice I've never had to resort to before and which I don't recommend.

The facts coldly relayed were that we seemed very lucky to be only a goal down after the first half-hour. Then Harry got injured, exact prognosis still unknown as I write and we recovered before half-time to be level at 1-1.

The restrained fist pump caught friends and relatives by surprise and I had to come clean. Friends were amused and understood: family certainly did not. I gave up plans to make a dash back to the hotel at half time.

The gastronomic mariscan delights of Galicia would have to suffice over the International servings of  Son and Dele Alli with a side dish of Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela.

By the time the two huge seafood platters arrived we were 2-1 up courtesy of the deadly duo Dele and Son. A goal for Son and a goal and an assist for Dele and some Langoustines and clams for me.

I'd given up hope of getting back in time to see anything live, the boys were going to have to do it all on their own. And they did. A late breakaway goal by Son and an even later header by Aurier with an assist by fellow full back Trippier via Bergovic.

Four goals from a goal down.  This eventful afternoon  raises a few questions. Firstly should I follow the remaining Spurs game by phone to ensure success, or can I watch as long as I do so with a plate of seafood in front of me?

Secondly how can such a quiet Southern seaside town full of retired folk inflict so many injuries on our boys; Danny Rose, Harry and Dele all went off injured. We are still waiting on updates.

As far as the game went the first course served up was definitely not to out liking and it took us half an hour to shake off the ill effects and regain our appetite. After that we swallowed them whole like oysters.

Our heads were dropping into the soup until Kane's injury forced us to look again at the menu. Bournemouth had the pick of the canapes and hors d'ouevres but the main course prepared by Christian was too much for them to digest.

In the after-match interview Eddie Howe thought they played well for 80 minutes, like us against Juventus in each of the two legs you might say, but 4-1 sounded pretty decisive, even on a phone.

The victory takes us up to third above Liverpool the only team in the top nine to lose. Son is on a roll with 7 goals in his last four games. Dele despite all the criticism he gets has more goals and assists than Eriksen overall.

Injury Update.
Rose (cramp) Available for Saturday.
Dele (groin)  Possibly available for Saturday.
Kane (ankle) Too swollen to scan at the moment. Weeks, months, season, anybodies guess at the moment. And there are plenty guessing.

JimmyG2 rule of thumb(ankle)
Normally twice as long as first serious estimate less two weeks in Harry's case for his determination and application.

For the Record: (Courtesy of the Official Site)

''Our last loss was at Manchester City on 16 December last year and since then, we've won nine and drawn three matches.

We came from behind on Sunday to make it four wins on the trot in the Premier League.
Our best unbeaten run in the Premier League era is 14 matches between 16 August and 13 December, 2015. (two to go)

In the top flight, our best unbeaten run is 20 matches in the old Division One between 21 January and 29 August, 1967''.

Time and games to spare boys; Chelsea and Man. City notwithstanding.

Jimmy's Video spot.

For your benefit and mine all the goals. They had chances  and 4-1 probably flatters us a little after a poor start. But the proof of the pudding is in the result. Bon appetit or 'approveche as they say in Spain.

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Thursday, 8 March 2018

Not Quite the Old, Old story.


 Depend on it.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well at least our unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of a top team in the top competition and not on a wet Tuesday night at Wigan as they say. Doesn't help the way I feel but makes it easier to find some positives.

We stormed our way out of the Group of Death and fell at the hands of Italian Royalty and European Elite in the shape of Juventus. The first 8 mins over there and 3 minutes on the hour over here sealed our fate.

Pochettino is getting stick for not responding quickly enough to Allegri's changes and Chiellini is digging up the old lack of mental strength line: twisting the knife somewhat unnecessarily.

If he means  that we don't do body-checking, fouling, trampling stamping and shirt pulling and that means mental strength then so be it. A little naivety in defense and sloppiness in attack are the real reasons.

They had 3 shots on goal and scored twice we had 6 shots on goal and scored once. Says most of it for me. We stood toe to toe, played well and went down tiring but fighting against one of the best teams in Europe.

Allegri is hugely experienced at this level, they are one of European elite now and historically. They have veterans used to this level of intensity and some gifted young players..

We are on a steep learning curve and will come again next year. We took them on and over two legs, but for some poor finishing could have won easily.

'Forza mentale, il mio culo'  which is 'mental strength, my arse' in Italian. The relief of Buffon and Chielline during the last 15 minute siege tells the real story. Harry's late header beat them both and Lamela too on the rebound off the post.

They have lost two recent Champions' League finals so the finger pointing at us is a deflection exercise from their own mental strength frailties and says more about them than it says about us.

Danny Blanchflower used to say we were going to equalise before they score. In a sense that's what Managers have to do. They needed two goals after Son scored the opener with a real mis-hit bobbler.

They had to come out and we were naive to maintain such a high line against their pace for so long. It was inevitable that under pressure individual mistakes would happen and I'm not inclined to point the finger at individuals in defence.

If Kane had scored a relatively easy chance when he rounded Buffon and hit the side netting, or if Son, Dele, Dier or Eriksen had connected cleanly with good opportunities we would have been away and clear.

We got lucky with the Vertonghen penalty decision and Son's goal was fortunate but they scored two quality goals in among some awful tactical fouling some of which was brutal rather than just technical and in the end there was not a lot in it.

Dele was targeted, Son was lucky to emerge in one piece and Harry danced intimately all night with Chiellini who was named MOM. His positioning honed over many seasons is good but he is not my idea of a gifted footballer.

I am immensely proud of our performances in the Champions' League and of our progress under Pochettino building a team the right way and playing in the right spirit

.'Forza mentale, il mio culo'.

It is hard following such a defeat to balance disappointment with positivity but this is the new Spurs, a bit like the old Spurs admittedly at times but not so much lately. The old story is being re-written.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
We're not playing until Sunday so there's plenty of time to play this six hrs of soothing music and restful pictures. Chill my fellow fans,chill. Six hours. I'm really spoiling you.