The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Spurs Shock.

Aesop knew: It's not just about the first 8 minutes.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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What a game; what a week; what a month; what a team! To be beaten or outplayed by Spurs is rapidly becoming a privilege afforded to a growing number of top clubs. I know, I know we haven't won anything yet.

This was not so much a game of two halves more a game of the first 8 minutes and then the rest. Juventus began their victory celebrations a little early and dropped off, mentally too, never doubting their ability to defend a two goal lead.

And who can blame them with their pedigree and history. But Spurs are a team of grit and determination as well as skill and quality these days and were allowed to take over the game entirely.

Juventus are challenging for the Serie A title and have lost just a single game. They have only conceded a one goal in 16 matches and have had the best defensive record in each of the past six seasons.

Statistics have a fascination all of their own of course but nothing can overcome the pride and jubilation I felt as Harry and then Christian wiped out an imposing two goal lead. Juventus have kept eight clean sheets in their last eight home games.

Mauricio must take a lot of the credit for this Spurs performance. He has produced a team that lately doesn't know when they are beaten. Yes Juventus had some top players missing, but they had plenty left. We were missing 'only' Toby.

With Dembele for the second game running and Eriksen in command of the midfield and Lamela, in for Son, Dele and Kane causing problems all night up front Tottenham given the space to play in did just that. Juventus were well and truly shocked.

Eriksen and Dele combined to  set up Harry and he went round the onrushing Buffon and scored into an empty net. The first goal that Juventus have conceded this year and that Buffon has conceded since November, 694 minutes for club and country.

It was the 19th time that Dele has provided an assist for Harry for club and country. Harry equals Gerrard's 7 goals in a single Champions' League season. Nine goals in the competition after nine games is itself a new record.

They tried to get in our faces at the start of the second half but couldn't sustain the effort and the first half was a repeat of the first, except for the first ten minutes obviously.

Eriksen had come close with a free kick against Arsenal. Despite his dead-ball maestro reputation his goal to make it 2-2 was his first he has scored since Swansea in 2015/16. A good moment to find his range.

Davies and Aurier kept their cool after conceding penalties through lack of awareness or rashness and we kept our focus. The second penalty miss was of course crucial.

That Higuain was offside for the first goal has largely been ignored by the Press and it wasn't even marginal. But they have other stories about Spurs to peddle: trophies, selling our best players and Mauricio and the rest.

Now in the second leg at Wembley 0-0,1-1 or any win will see us through. Not beyond our current capabilities and Harry for one has unfinished statistical business.

We aren't going to win the Premiership, that boat has sailed up the Manchester Ship Canal, but our chances of going through to the last eight of the Champions' League are better now than they were before we played the first leg in Italy.

Jimmy's Video Spot
All goals and no highlights. Not sure what Buffon was playing at for either goal but thanks anyway. Dele made amends for losing Higuain for the first later.

    Monday, 12 February 2018

    New Blood but Little Spilled.

    Arsenal's new blood may need testing.
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    The JimmyG2 Column. 
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    No more Faint-Heart. Well not among the players anyway. The fans though only just survived the final 15 minutes of the 182nd. NLD although there are no reports of actual cardiac arrest so far. We should have been firmly out of sight by then.

    A full squad at last and Moura to come after a tough week on all fronts. The future is looking bright. 7 points from 9 against Liverpool, Man.Utd. and Arsenal and still fifth but closing after the weekend and through to the 5th round of the FA Cup.

    Assuming that Chelsea beat W.Brom. A draw would leave us in 4th. on goal difference.

    If chances were worth even a quarter of a goal we would have smashed Utd. and Arsenal. But they aren't so we only beat Man.Utd easily and Arsenal took a pounding but nearly snatched a point at the end. But they didn't. So breathe.

    Against Arsenal we shared possession but dominated the attacking play. This was a team performance and the whole was more than the sum of the parts. Which is how it should be  before another 83.000+ record crowd.

    Which raises the question: will the New White Hart Lane Stadium be anywhere near big enough. On a wet Tuesday at home to West Brom or Stoke probably.

    Dembele was outstanding, Dele was focused and effective; the defence was composed and organised and the attack spurned the chances to make it safe on several occasions. It was however a curiously bloodless affair.

     With a Harry Kane shaped cloud hanging over the Arsenal defence and a revived and rampant Moussa Dembele doing the work of two men to level up a possible deficit in midfield there was little fight or passion from the visitors.

    Ozil was clearly weighed down by the heavy responsibility of his new pay deal; Aubameyang looked bemused; Mkhitaryn is still settling into the Premiership after 2 years and Lacazette with both eyes on Abameyang rather than the ball twice.

    Only Wilshire showed any heart during the game and had enough left over to fall out with Erik Lamela at the end. We acknowledge but do not share your pain Jack.

    Harry scored with a downward header from a delightful Davies cross but missed two other chances. Lamela and Dele set up by Lamela joined the 'Let's not be too hard on Arsenal' which we almost came to regret at the end.

    So although Arsenal had some new blood on show it was not a heart pumping display. I would test that batch if I were them. With plenty of old blood available we did not require a transfusion.

    I am not yet totally convinced by Davison Sanchez; Cruyff turns when last man give me palpitations and Aurier too from time to time but perhaps it's just me.Probably both will settle.

    Call me old-fashioned but I still call the radio the wireless and like nothing better than an evening with Abba.

    Next up Juventus away with almost a full squad available on Tuesday. Toby hasn't traveled, cue rumours that he's off, apparently to Bayern Munich but that's just twitter. Very aptly named if I may say so.

    Probably not fully recovered yet and being saved for ...er...Rochdale. That's what Mauricio hints at anyway.

    A draw would be good in the 1st. leg. against Juventus.  Rochdale to Juventus in the same week. The Romance and Magic of the Cups or what.

    Jimmy's Video Spot.
    Moussa Dembele MOM against Arsenal and back to his best form. I take back most of what I've said about him in the past and wish him a good fully fit run in the team.

    The most recent showcase that I can find.


    Thursday, 8 February 2018

    Spurs Not Affected by Office Affairs.

    Mauricio files this one under 'Success without Stress'.
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    The JimmyG2 Column. 
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    Human Resources report the successful return of several staff who have been on extended sick leave recently.No further additions to this group were reported and a full complement is available for the upcoming challenges.

    Our new Brazilian recruit, Lucas, was reported fit and ready for work but Health and Safety declared his application invalid for the moment. His chance may come shortly.

    Erik Lamela who has been working part-time was a key member of the Welcoming Committee for the return of our Welsh visitors. We recently spent an exciting evening at their Newport Headquarters.

    Son was the life and soul of the occasion and ensured that that everything went with a swing. His friendly smile however is not always appreciated by visiting groups.

    Human Resources also announce that Fernando Llorente has joined  Moussa Sisssoko as Joint Head of the Complaints Department. Moussa has been Acting Head on his own for some time and will welcome help in this role.

    In the absence of Harry Kane the Dispatch Department which he heads functioned only fitfully and expected outcomes for the day were well below some of the more hopeful predictions. Our visitors did not appear unduly bothered.

    Trainee Juan Foyth supervised by returning head of Back Room Staff Toby Elderweireld put in another promising display but there was little pressure and and they easily met their production targets.

    On the production line Harry Winks and Victor Wanyama, both recently off sick,  joined from time to time by support staff from the Back Room, Aurier and Rose, maintained a modest schedule  but no new standards were set.

    Deputy Head of Security Michel Vorm logged only one incident involving his department which he  dealt with capably. Like  Head of Security Hugo he had issues with the Distribution Department but not to the same extent.

    Christian and Dele popped in towards the end of the visit to demonstrate some of their advanced techniques. The Newport party were amused when one of Dele's experiments went completely wrong.

    The visitors showed a great deal of initial enthusiasm but were eventually overwhelmed by the size and lavishness of their surroundings and the complexity of the Production Line. They went home impressed but exhausted.

    Due to the success of this venture we have been invited to take another party to Rochdale in the near future. Their facilities however may make it difficult for us to demonstrate our full product range. A return visit is  not on the current schedule.

    On Saturday lunchtime a once prestigious Library group visit our temporary Headquarters and a very warm welcome is anticipated. Their 'Unbridgeable Gap' project foundered last year and they come to us seeking inspiration.

    The original fax machine which caused us so much amusement when it failed to function at crucial moments in the past will be seen in the foyer of our new headquarters when it opens shortly.

    It will part of  the 'Modern Trends in Office Management' Exhibition and Daniel Levy will host the reception on the opening day and demonstrate his skill with this piece of office equipment now consigned to history..

    Spurs have experienced one or two bad days at the office in recent months but this one went as smoothly as we could have expected. Full staff availability should ensure that this continues.

    JimmyG2's Video spot.
    Highlights of the visit of Newport . Employee of the Day Erik Lamela celebrates his return after many months out.

    One of the works touring party contributed a generous gift on behalf of the visitors early in the tour. If only everyone did that.


    Wednesday, 7 February 2018

    Spurs Fan Smashes Television

    Don't blame the messenger son.
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     The Greg Meyer Column.
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     Spurs Fan Smashes Television.
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    In my many years of supporting Spurs I have never ( left ) before the final whistle. That proud record (?) was broken at Minute 91 when Mo Salah wove his magic in the Spurs box  and put Liverpool ahead 2-1.
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    That aforementioned record being played out in a nervous and tense armchair was not the only victim of what loomed as a major Spurs train smash.
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     Whilst play continued at Anfield unfortunately a fast moving collision between a coffee table and adjacent television screen resulted in  seemingly terminal damage to the television.
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    Further armchair participation in the match was suspended. Some hours later I summoned previously unknown reserves of nerve, courage and just plain resignation. Checking the computer revealed an amazing score line of 2-2. Spurs had recovered from a football death at the death of the game.
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    All those muttered under breath epithets regards Harry Kane doing the unthinkable, unmissable penalty, all those recurring visions of spursiness faded back into heavenly Spurs oblivion.
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     (Spursy : North London Thesaurus  …  an affliction associated with symptoms like threatening to deceive, false dawns, and grasping defeat from the jaws of glorious victory ) 
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     Come on you now ruthless, never say die Spurs.
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    Reaction From All Sides.
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    Klopp.
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    His provocative and outrageous charge down the touchline, fists pumping, following Salah’s second goal was arguably over the top … acted out obviously for the Kop.
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    Mind if you believe in Karma then surely it was an invitation to the football gods for what followed 3 minutes later courtesy of Virgil Van Dyke and a grateful Harry Kane.
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    Those Penalties.
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    Certainly surrounded by contention. Driven thereafter by Liverpool angst and indeed fan vitriol.
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    A straw poll of reaction from measured objectivity to former Liverpool greats was conclusive. James Carragher (Sky Sports) deemed both properly given in the circumstances. Dermott Gallagher a (respected former EPL referee) agreed.
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    New footage available on social media regards the Van Dyke/ Lamela incident is conclusive. Virgil kicks Erik. Poor defending albeit minimal contact but a certain foul ergo penalty.
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    Straw Poll among Spurs Fans.
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    After recovering from my 92nd minute frustration and disappointment I was prompted to seek therapy. A visit to a straw poll of sorts conducted on a well known Spurs Message Board was illuminating.
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    Reaction in one word … relief … drained … nervewracking … cardiac arrest narrowly avoided … exhausting … rollercoaster … a few more of these and I won’t make 50 …
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    Meanwhile At A Kent Pub.
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    Recovery sessions at our village pub have been well attended. Our publican ( a closet West Ham fan ) has provided welcome resuscitation. Right in the mix for the top 3 spots after Citeh. A big Champions' League clash looms. Still alive in the Cup as I write this.
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    What a time to be a Spurs fan. As our birthday boy would say … Great Expectations …Charles Dickens.
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    Cheers .. good news .. our television has recovered and available for the Newport game…Greg Meyer.     coys.
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    Jimmy's Video Spot.
    Just for balance here is an unbiased, cool, introspective, balanced view of the game.
    No TV screens were broken in the making of this video. Thanks Fan Voice. 

    Monday, 5 February 2018

    Tottenham Reveal New Attraction.


    Step, step up don't be shy. You sir, please have another try.
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    The JimmyG2 Column.
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    Welcome to the Touring Tottenham Fun Park. This weekend it was in Liverpool for one day only. Spurs have added many new attractions and they were all open and on show on Sunday.

    We started with 5 minutes in the House of Horrors, an old refurbished favourite from yesteryear featuring the Egyptian Magician Mohamed Salah, who gratefully accepted a generous gift to start his performance.

    He then did his own variation on the Indian Rope trick and disappeared completely only to suddenly reappear with five minutes to closing time when he bamboozled many of the visitors with some clever tricks.

    The Roller Coaster was particularly busy for most of the day but crowds formed towards the end for the Last 10 Minute Mystery Bungee Jump a leap of faith into the unknown featuring Harry and Erik.  

    Dele had earlier tried his luck on this attraction but was adjudged to have fallen foul of  the regulations and was warned off. Don't worry he will be back next time.

    It looked as if our Liverpudlian hosts were to carry off all the available prizes but Victor Wanyama who arrived late to the party had other ideas and was awarded the Exocet Trophy for the fastest projectile ever seen on Merseyside.

    Jan and Moussa Dembele seemed to enjoyed their day out but Eric and Davison were a little out of sorts after suffering some early upsets.A dodgy candy floss most likely

    In the meantime we took the chance to explore the scenic attractions and generally get our bearings . Later in the day we took total control of the whole venue and our hosts all but vanished from view.

    In the last few closing minutes of grace allowing the Park to clear, fireworks went off everywhere but mainly in the Hosts Security Zone. Known, funnily enough, to the locals as the 'Insecurity Zone' despite recent modifications including a moat or something like..

    Harry Kane featured prominently, failing to win a coconut at his first attempt but succeeding with his second. His hundredth prize at this his favourite stall.

    In all honesty apart from Salah the Fakir, I think I've got that right, the hosts provided very little in the way of entertainment and Spurs did all the hard graft to amuse the home crowd if not always their own.

    The Park's Security Patrol played an important part in enabling Spurs to share day's spoils and Mauricio paid tribute to their vigilance and probity in the face of vociferous local hostility. You can't please all the people.......

    Next up at Wembley. Some hopeful people from Wales have been invited to try their luck. The coconut stall and the Roller Coaster will be closed for repairs. However Plain Sailing is a new offer on the boating lake.

    All the other attractions will be open on Wednesday evening including: hopefully, the Cakewalk; Test your Strength with Vic and Moussa; the Dele skittle Alley and much much more.

    Jimmy's Video Spot.
    Biggest Roller Coaster drop in the World. Ha!
    Seems pretty tame to me but then I've followed Spurs for many, many years.


    Thursday, 1 February 2018

    Police investigating Spurs Fakes.


    These two men are suspected of promoting the illicit gigs.
    Both have previous form over dubious Spurs music.
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    The JimmyG2 column.
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    Police are investigating reports of a 'Not the Actual Real, Genuine, Pucka Tottenham' tribute band high-jacking two recent gigs in Southampton and Newport. Angry fans are threatening legal action to get their ticket money back.

    Police confirm that the Fake Tribute Band have completely disappeared and despite close surveillance no signs of them were seen at Wembley last night. Can you help?

    The 'Actual Real Tottenham' group were found and released from abandoned dressing rooms under the refurbished Wembley Stadium in time for the home Battle of the Bands with an outfit from Manchester on Wednesday night.

    Before an ecstatic record crowd of over 80.00 they demonstrated exactly what the fans had been missing.They performed several popular numbers as the 'oles' rang round the Arena.

    The gig had barely begun before the Tottenham fans favourite song 'Early goal arriving' was heard. Christian Eriksen allegedly returning from illness took the lead this time. Frontman Harry, the Machine, Kane was well supported by his backing group.

    Manager Mauricio said that it was  a tribute to the teams fitness that they had survived for so long on a packet of Walker's Crisps, left there by a former Spurs and England star, and by playing leapfrog to keep in peak condition.

    The concert featured several favourites from 'The Actual Real Spurs' back catalogue including: Dembele the Beast'; Here come the Press', 'Smooth Operator' (featuring Cristian Eriksen) and a favourite from last year 'What Gap?' 

    The boys were certainly back in town at what is fast becoming their favourite venue. They do not seem to have been harmed by their recent experiences. Mourinho Productions Management apologised for the desultory performance of the supporting Manchester group.

    He said that 'The Actual Real Tottenham' had played them off the stage in their own inimical style in a tight set that featured every member of the squad. Dele, Jan, Kieran and Ben all featured in solo spots..

    Pochettino and Levy Promotions promised that this was the first of several  planned top class performances in the next month which would appeal to fans. Currently at No.5 'The Actual Real Tottenham' can rise in the chart.

    Jimmy's Video Spot.
    Lucas Rodrigues Moura Da Silva as promised if he signed. A close mate of Neymar. You never know. Cross between Dele , Andros, Erik, and Kevin George, I'm joking, I'm joking.

    Lost his way recently, hence the move, this is from the season before.


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    Tuesday, 30 January 2018

    Spurs Ignoring the Lessons of History.


     Those who ignore the lessons of History
    are doomed to repeat them.
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    The JimmyG2 Column.
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    'Late Kane goal saves Spurs humiliation'. A brief headline but pithy and more or less precise. But it was only the Guardian so no need to stress too much. It didn't actually save us from humiliation: that had already occurred.
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    Mauricio offered the boys a human sacrifice to preserve the Seniors' dignity by removing the rookie Kyle Walker Peters, playing on his weaker side, at half time. It could have been Trippier or any of the midfield juggernauts.

    At least KWP understands the concept of jumping. Trippier can't be blamed for being short, that's pure heightism, but when you jump you have to leave the ground. This will do KWP no good at all. 

    We were turgid and inept and surprisingly surprised by the invention and application of Newport very much at home in front of their own supporters in their tiny stadium and on their own sub-standard pitch.

    Which bit of ''it's the FA Cup away to would-be Division 2 Giant killers'' did they not understand and anticipate? It's what the 'Magic' of the Cup is all about and the only Press story is when the 'Big Boys' get beaten.

    They were at us from the start like wasps at a picnic. Eventually we got stung and it took us until after half time to realise that flapping at them them was not going to work. It never does.

    Mauricio is obviously not a student of Military History. The First World War showed the difficulties of deploying heavy equipment in unsuitable ground conditions. Hannibal had similar problems crossing the Alps with elephants. Many of them died en route.

    Those that ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. It was not until the arrival of the Light Cavalry in the shape of Son and Dele as well as Newport's own fading stamina and belief  that we made much headway.

    The heavyweight midfield of Sissoko, Dier, Dembele and Wanyama were doomed from the start to get bogged down. Too many sledgehammers not enough scalpels in the starting tool kit.

    Illness and injury provide cover for Mauricio but the lack of intensity, interest and motivation do not. The team was badly balanced and without Lamela, Eriksen and Winks and Son and Dele left out we gave ourselves few initial options.

    Foyth another lightweight emerged in the second half after a dodgy first half and stepped forth in  style. Wanyama and Llorente were perhaps the two worst performers but there were other candidates.

    Harry secured the replay after an ingenious assist by Son and we live to fight another day.  They will clearly be overwhelmed by the sumptuous Wembley surroundings and we will thankfully escape being reduced to a Trivial Pursuits question for ever more.

    As well as the individually wrapped hair products, scented soap, shower gel and the pristine THFC towels we were going to recruit a couple of dozen 'hostesses' for the occasion.

    You know tall, pretty, slim with short black skirts and matching underwear and non disclosure agreements ready signed. Thought it might put the Welshmen off their game just a little. Away dressing room only obviously

    But that idea seems to have been overtaken by events elsewhere. A well deserved pay day for Newport and a timely lesson for us. Anyway we will win the replay easily if we can be bothered. Won't we?

    Ahead an exciting couple of weeks: Millwall or Rochdale away (if we beat Newport), Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal in the Prem and Juventus in the Champions' League. Saturday was not the ideal preparation and performance for that lot.

    Even Harry was getting worried about the result but he kept trying as he always does and was rewarded with a tap in to save at least a few of our blushes.

    Harry and Dele combined late on and we came within inches of winning which would have been more than just a mere  injustice it would have been as they say 'a travesty'.

    Incoming. Lucas Maura.
    The only firm rumour in sight. He's Brazilian and on the fringe at PSG and at a rumoured 25 million a possible bargain. Labelled a PSG 'star' by the tabloids but can't actually get in the teamregularly.

    My teenage grandsons, FIFA addicts to a man, were most impressed when I told them we might be signing him. Quick and clever they agreed.

    But we won't post the you tube video until we see Mauricio's cardboard cutout with its virtual arm round his shoulder. 'Many a slip twixt cup and lip' as they used to say.

    Priority should be an understudy/backup/ to Christian but never mind.

    Good News week
    Hugo, Toby, Erik, Christian and Danny in full training and all or some could be available for Midweek against Man.Utd. No sign of Harry Winks and Serge is still out.

    ITK
    Llorente to Chelsea: Rondon to Spurs. If only it were true.

    Llorente still in Mauricio's plans allegedly. To sell him I hope.
    I was once told that people risk their jobs to bring us this nonsense. More bloody fool them I say.

    In Other News.
    Spurs have applied to Harringey to increase the capacity of NWHL to 62.000+ up by 441+. Apparently we over-ordered on the seats and can't return them due to special paint specs.

    Disclaimer.
     Spurs Musings accept no responsibility for any development that has taken place between the creation of this column and its publication especially at the end of a hectic transfer window. Not at Spurs though obviously.

    Jimmy's Video Spot.
    Juan Marcos Foyth. 20 and Argentinian.
    Featuring this week one of the few to emerge from the Newport debacle (love that word) with any credit even after an erratic first half. Plenty of company there.

    Blurry stuff but it shows the boy's positive attitude. Space ahead; run into it. No Agrophobe he.
    Toby isn't getting any younger you know. Like the boy. Hype on overdrive: 'dribbles like Messi' (NOT!)