The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Spurs Update.

Arm round shoulder time for another young fledgling.
The JimmyG2 Column.
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Mark that down in your diaries; put it on the calendar: another very good week for Spurs. Six points and through to the next round of the EFL Cup with some ease.
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We are the top London team; up to second place and Man.City and ourselves are the only undefeated Premiership sides. Next week first play second after the long Midweek March to the Russian Front.Our best start in the League for over half a century so I'm told.

 Saturday's win over Middlesbrough was without several  hitherto considered essential cogs. (Kane, Dembele, Dier, Rose. Now joined by Sissoko but better news on Harry though no time frame yet)

If City win the league, and they are widely tipped, they will have bought a trophy. If we win it we will have earned it and done it in a way to make our fans justifiably proud

Of course we kept the fans on edge at Middlesbrough by letting them back in the game and missing several opportunities to put the game to bed. But I wasn't worried for a minute; it was more like half an hour.

Son was outstanding, not for the first time lately, and scored both goals. Lloris was untroubled, Vertonghen is coming out of his shell and Eriksen orchestrated most of what was good for the first hour.

After the midweek EFL game my cup,bucket,bath and swimming pool were overflowing. Six Academy boys finished the game against Gillingham with Harry, Danny, and others in the wings. I know, I know: it was only Gillingham.

My dream of an all Academy team, some say delusion or even nightmare, is officially back on track. Several Kids against Grown and somewhat ugly Men and the Kids won hands down. Not ugly in the appearance sense but in the footballing one.

Edwards lived up to the hype; Josh Onamah scored; Winks and Carroll were positive as well as tidy; CCV helped by Wimmer was relaxed and unfazed. Two or three of these could certainly be fed in to the match-day squad.

The Seniors turned up and Lamela with a goal and three assists and Eriksen with two goals showed the way. Janssen worked hard and got his reward with a penalty which has eerie echoes of the beginning of the Bobby Soldado saga.

Kevin-George got his start and fitted in well with the general scheme of things. Quick and willing is enough for the moment. Importantly he gives us another option.

This was a nice balance of experienced internationals and some of our own. Mauricio didn't just throw the youngsters to the Gillingham lions. These fixtures can easily go wrong. In the event they didn't get a look in from the start.

I don't think you can underestimate the value on the pitch as well as off it of the camaraderie of several players who have come through the ranks in the Academy. The goal celebration with his classmates on the touchline for Onomah's goal demonstrated this.

Not one player in the squad is in his thirties and with an average age of under 25 like last year we have a young but solid base from which to move forward. Dembele and Vertonghen are the Senior citizens at 29 along with captain Hugo Lloris.

(Correction:Michel Vorm is 32 but as he's back up to Hugo my general point remains. Anyway he's a goalkeeper)

There were some nice moments as the youngsters waited to play their part. Arm round shoulder time for Pochettino and words of encouragement for Edwards, even a joke as Walkes waited.

Of the youngsters only Winks saw minutes against Middlesbrough and could have been on earlier. He might get his next chance in Moscow. Sissoko was the only question mark and even for a Spurs fan it's too early to tell.

So far he's making Lamela look like an all time bargain. But Eric got a couple of seasons to settle  and so will the alternative Moussa.

 Next week will be tougher but take it one game at a time and if we can repeat this week as the jumping cow once said 'I'll be over the moon' .

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Well let's enjoy it while we can. Sorry to rub it in Gillingham.. We might need this sort of composure in Russia and at the weekend. I'd settle for two draws but hope for much more. Performance is all.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Spurs pencil in Harry as Long John Silver.

Plenty of engine power but not much spark.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 So where are you on this one. Tottenham fans seem split between 'another lacklustre performance against Bus-Parkers who we should be beating with ease' and 'totally dominant and on another day we could have had a hatful'.

Mauricio wielded the axe, or rather gave some players a rest, as we forecast and changed things around to make us more forceful though less creative in the absence of Lamela and Eriksen.

Sunderland didn't offer to take us on so all that power went to waste and it was the spark in the final third that was missing. Fortunately Son was was on song and ran their defence ragged.

Dier reverted to centre half and Vertonghen played at left back as he does for Belgium. Dembele started with Wanyama in midfield. Sossoko started his first game on the right and showed plenty of strength.

Harry Kane still started though and scored from a Deli assist. Not at all sure about the logic of all this at home to a side in the bottom three. Mauricio will point out that we won and are now in the top three.

Not bad for a team still misfiring on all cylinders. Harry went off on a stretcher with possible ligament damage and will probably get several weeks well earned rest. Janssen on in his place failed to impress.

The Daily Mail are reporting six to eight weeks. So he could be back for the weekend or make his first appearance as Father Xmas at the Tottenham Xmas party. All guesswork at this stage. We might run a sweepstake.

Good of Harry though to wait until we got a belated back-up in Janssen before getting the injury we have feared for more than a year. One man's misfortune however is another man's opportunity.

Still no sign of Winks, Carroll,  Onomah, Harrison or Cameron Carter Vickers. Winks or Carroll alongside Dembele and CCV at left back or....oh you get my drift. I expect they'll all start against Gillingham on Wednesday.

I'm joking of course. Mauricio seems to have abandoned his blooding of young players for the moment but at least 20yr old Deli has earned himself a new contract. What a snip at 5million. We might even double our money by the time he's Pogba's age.

Apart from Son, Toby was boringly reliable, another bargain, and Kyle Walker had another good game. Deli was alternately irritating and precociously good and got the vital assist. Allowances made for youth.

For a centre half Dier makes a good central midfielder and Jan for a centre half is a good full back. He has more time and space to be positive especially as Bus-Parkers tend to leave their wingers at home.

So still unbeaten in the Prem; up to where we finished last year; keeping our heads while some about us others are losing theirs, but not playing that well. You get the same points though for a scratchy win as you do for giving someone a thrashing.

As for Wednesday's cup game I hope that N'Koudou and several others get some time and Janssen gets some goals and that Mauricio is a little more adventurous with his substitutions when the game is won. Or should that be 'if'.

Pochettino is hinting at changes again but keeping well schtum about Harry's prospects for recovery. Wise man. It's usually twice as long as first forecast..

Update: Spurs have changed their Xmas party play to Treasure Island and penciled in Harry as Long John Silver. You read it on Musings first.


Jimmy's Video Spot.
The Son Heung-Min show. Great performance and he has been effective this season. The spark we need perhaps. Might save him for Middlesborough and give Georges-Kevin a start. It's what Cup ties against lower league opposition are for.





     

Friday, 16 September 2016

Pochettino to Roll the Dice and Spin the Wheel.

 Ditch Wembley and play in Dublin
there's no snakes there.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Up the Stoke Ladder and down the Monaco Snake. Well it makes a pleasant change from the Roller Coaster. A hugely disappointing performance and result after all the pre-match hype, expectation and hope against Monaco.

The fans' reaction and Mauricios'  reflects this as Monaco were far better than we supposed although they are top of the French League and recently beat Paris St. Germain.We should have guessed as much.

They have some strong players and some quick players and some strong, quick players. They had done their homework and had a plan. They got lucky with our help admittedly and capitalised on the two chances that they had.

Even then if we had been as deadly with our own opportunities a draw would have been the least of our expectations. Deli almost scored twice, Son missed an early chance and Kane a late one.

Lamela assisted at both ends but several others share the blame. In fact this was a lacklustre performance all over the pitch as the Manager admits; from Eriksen and Kane to Dier, Davies and Vertonghen.

Deli was the pick of our bunch when he was moved forward in the second half after Dembele replaced Son. Toby (Gibraltar) Alderweireld and Walker played well too.

Deli is raw and a bit impetuous but he offers some creativity and effort sadly lacking when Eriksen is not on song. With 20/ 20 hindsight perhaps Moussa should have started.

Sissoko made a decent if brief appearance and might be penciled in against Sunderland on Sunday. Janssen might give Harry a rest, surely one of the reasons we bought him.

Monaco played their cards better than us and Mauricio says he would have folded his hand for a new one if he could. I think that's a bit extreme but I know what he means. Actions though speak louder than words.

Sunderland on Sunday gives us the chance to go again quickly and changes could be made. Harry, Eriksen, Dier and perhaps Vertonghen might find themselves holding a watching brief at the start.

Have another look in our Compendium of Games Mauricio and give the Ludo dice a roll and the Roulette Wheel another spin and see what else you can come up with. Some players are wrong if they think that they are unrestable.

They can't still be feeling the after effects of last seasons collapse surely. I'm sure that Wimmer, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Winks, Onomah, Harrison and Carroll are raring to go if they are.

Youth and our own helped get us where we are today and Champions' League or not deserve to help keep us there. They have the necessary energy, enthusiasm and loyalty if the Seniors can't muster any.

With Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA drawing 2-2 there is still everything to play for in the group and disappointment should not give way to despondency, just yet.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
We look better in the highlights than we did overall. But you can't say we had fewer chances than them. Welcome to the Champions' League Tottenham Hotspurs! Where do they find 'em


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Spurs Benefit from Doctor's Oders

Tonic to be taken as often as possible 
before, during and after matches.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Just the tonic we needed to get us and Harry Kane up and running; Eriksen back in the groove after signing a new contract; Son seizing his opportunity and taking his chances; Deli buzzing and scoring in the second half and Hugo giving his hamstrings a gentle run out.

A clean sheet and four goals. Eight points from four; new boys bloodied, and glimpses of slicker football ahead of our first Champions' League fixture in midweek against Monaco at Wembley in what threatens to be a record attendance of 80.000.

 Just what the Doctor ordered. Couldn't read your handwriting but the powerful medicine worked wonders. A more thorough examination awaits against Monaco but the preliminary diagnoses is promising.

OK that's the positive prognosis but there are some negative side effects. Stoke  are not a good side and the sight of Charlie Adams chopping down Deli Alli tells you much of what you need to know about them.

At 4-0 up Winks should been given a stroll round the grounds rather than Sissoko and the dream of a team of our own is fading rapidly. Too much pressure to succeed in the CL and qualify again. Is Mauricio abandoning our own?

We almost fell asleep in the waiting room again but our appointment was only delayed by some 15 minutes.We breathed more easily when the negativity of the Dier, Wanyama axis was surgically incised.

Harry Kane should be rejuvenated by scoring and as they say a goal is as good as a rest. Eriksen's assists for Son were the craftsman and his scalpel at their best and Lamela pepped us up when he came on.

Several players jostled for MOM. Son obviously: Kyle Walker and Toby were outstanding in defence and Eriksen supplied the pacemaker for any negative murmurs.

The patient has been recuperating after the exertions and disappointments of last season but appears to have shaken off any psychological or physical after effects and has been passed A1 to return to work.

Let's hope for even more positive thinking on Wednesday and that Monaco can swallow the bitter pill and and take their medicine like men.

Jimmy's Video Spot
Kevin N'Koudou. Obviously can do. Harry Kane will just love this boy. If he's half as good as this you tube outing he might just be the answer to all sorts of problems. Pace, crosses and the left wing vacancy and I'm not talking about a replacement for Jeremy Corbyn.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Who's Sorry now?

 Well what can else I say?
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The JimmyG2 Column.
Spurs Musings obviously. Apologies to all of you that took me at my word and went down the pub and missed the exciting last moments of the Transfer Window. 'Nothing's going to happen' indeed.

But this is after all the blog that's not always wrong so we reserve the right to be a little off beam occasionally. And in our defence I would like to point out that we were wrong by mere seconds, well minutes anyway.

With 3 minutes to go we agreed a deal with Newcastle that gave both sides a couple of hours to sort out the details of the transfer of Moussa Sissoko who had stalled on an offer from Everton.

After all you can never have too many Moussas in the side. Pity we didn't get the other Moussa Dembele from Fulham to really confuse David Pleat.

Add Everton's to the growing list of Chairman who don't pick up the phone when Daniel's name pops up. But the Master of Blinkmanship stared them down and this time the fax machine operated smoothly.

Transfer Window:
 In:
Janssen and Wanyama signed early to fill long standing gaps in our back-up.
Lopez , NKoudu, Sissoko signed late.
Necessary back-up, pace and strengthening of the squad though none of them at first glance immediate first picks.

Potentially the best of these is Sissoko if Mauricio can release the inner French International and the one that played against us last season. Otherwise he is a bit moody (He plays when he wants to)
Oduwah, another winger, is back from Rangers on expiry of his loan.

Sissoko comes highly recommended by Hugo and N'Koudou is another Frenchman. Remember when we used to mock Monsieur Wenger for being stuck in his native land.

Out:
Essentially nobody crucial though sad to see Mason go. He and Bentaleb, on loan at Schalke, were the kingpins only two years ago. Injuries sustained in the line of duty put paid to Ryan's chances

 N'jie (loan) never really proved himself for good or ill. Nkoudou for Chadli might be an upgrade especially for pace.

Pritchard  was a surprise and Ball and Sonupe (winger) have left us too.
More surprisingly Carroll remains and Son too though both strongly rumoured to be going.
 
So, the Window? How was it for you and Spurs? Of course the old favourites  'settle' and 'gel'  (Pharmacists to Royalty) come to the fore and these are always the known unknowns in any transfer.

Importantly no key players or first choices have left and this leaves us with a more settled squad unlike some of our rivals.

The squad has certainly been improved with plenty of upside on several players. Decks have been cleared of clutter but rivals have paid more and bought established talent.

The heat is off Daniel for the time being for a change but he is becoming almost a parody of himself. This time it worked. No net spend zero  this time.(edit).

Moussa Sissoko.
Strong, quick, gets forward well. Bit head down. Welcome to Tottenham. Two Moussas, Dier and Wanyama in midfield. That's seriously strong stuff. Still no higher creative talent in there to change the game.

Eriksen, Lamela, Harry and Deli now have to  up their game or 0-0 will become our most common score.


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Relax. Nothing is going to happen.



Good advice to Spurs fans
 on the last day of the Window.
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The JimmyG2 Column.



One, two, three and breathe! This time the International break comes at a convenient time for us and hopefully halts the momentum of the teams that have started well.

Our points tally is better than last year at this stage, though that's nothing to get excited about, but we are unbeaten so far and showing some resilience under pressure at times.

We are not playing fluently though and were lucky not to be further behind in the first half against Liverpool. Coutinho missed a sitter and Vorm was our clear MOM.

We left it late against Palace and are relying on unlikely scorers, Wanyama and Rose, to get the points  as Kane, Deli and Eriksen have yet to find any sort of  form.

The break may allow us to regroup and refocus, allow Hugo to recover, though Vorm has in no way let us down so far, and take stock after the end of the Transfer Window.

Now that the wild rumours about Isco and even Sissoko have been scotched this will undoubtedly be a disappointment on various levels. At the moment its about 2/3 in including a new Deli from Brentford and 7/8 out including Mason to Hull.

So much for Pochettino's dream, and mine, of an all Academy team  in the style of Barcelona. Go back to sleep Mauricio, get comfortable and finish the dream. You woke too early.

Stop selling the Academy boys, give Winks and Onomah some more game time or the dream will become a distant fading memory with just a hint of nightmare.

The two early signings have filled some gaps at last but the first team squad has barely been improved and real quality to augment Eriksen and Lamela is still missing

Only two of the magnificent seven remain with us, none of whom had any Premiership experience. The purchase and likely sale of Son and N'Jie shows that perhaps that particular lesson was not fully learned.

An obvious danger when you have a pocket full of Bale Money and go down the Summer Sales.

I'm on holiday and haven't been able to see live much of the actual football. Yes there are still parts of the known world where wi-fi hasn't yet penetrated so detailed reports are suspended for the time being.

The new England Manager, Mr. Samuel Allardyce has kept faith with the Spurs boys, clearly sticking with class over form and lets hope that all five reward him.

Have a nice evening.You do know nothing is going to happen don't you.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Ryan Mason in his peak season for Spurs when he and Bentaleb were two of our key players. Liked the boy and of course one of our own.

 Good luck at Hull where he will find several friends and who knows we might buy him back for twice what we got for him (12 million) next season if he can stay injury free. That should keep the Academy running for a few more years.



Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Up and Limping

 Temporary set-back. Of course it's not terminal!
(I know it's a chicken. No cockerels available)
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The JimmyG2 Column

Normally you would take a draw away from home to a team with a new and respected Manager that we have struggled to beat recently. But expectations can make fools of us all.

This was our first eleven bar Dembele and they were without Lukaku and others. We only turned up for the latter stages when Everton ran out of steam and Janssen, on for Dier, made an impact

Only Lamela looked his usual self and scored the equaliser on the hour from a rare decent cross from Kyle Walker. He should try it more often and then teach Danny Rose how it's done.

Wanyama on his debut did exactly what it said on the tin, strong but limited and he gave away the free kick from which they rather luckily scored after 5 minutes.

There were few signs of quick interplay or moving the ball forward swiftly. Vertonghen was clearly not fully fit, Harry seemed stuck in his Euro rut  and both Deli and Eriksen looked half asleep.

Both full backs got forward well but neither can cross reliably. Toby was his usual composed self, and on half-time,  Vorm saved our bacon after a woeful back pass from Rose and Janssen might have pinched it at the end.

I know you want me to reassure you: early days, not quite up to speed, options up front, new players still to come in, new Manager bounce will soon fade; promising youngsters and great expectations. Whats not to like?.

But the youngsters on the bench didn't get a minute between them and the established stars looked jaded before we even began. But even then we might have won it.

 Perhaps with Winks or Mason on from the start to add a little dynamism to the mid-field we might have done so. Dier with Wayana didn't seem to work but credit  Mauricio for changing it round early and salvaging a point.

 So a disappointing beginning to the season, though we got what we deserved in the end.

Another one of those games where we clearly got the kick off time wrong and the early error and subsequent goal made the job even more difficult. But we got there, more or less, eventually. One point gained certainly.

So don't panic Mr. Manwaring, at home to Crystal Palace next week and only three more games until Moussa returns. I don't expect to see Victor partnering  Eric at the start next time and can't believe that Deli and Eriksen will be so uninspiring.

Mind you supporting Spurs I like to get my panic in early. Let's hear it for the the New Spurs; a bit like the Old Spurs.  All last years flops  under new Managers won so playing catch-up  is going to be a risky business.

But that's five league games without a win. Just because we started slowly last season and still made third it's not a game plan I recommend. Thumping Palace will settle the nerves. Well mine anyway.

Things could be worse:we could be W.Ham or Arsenal supporters.But lets not gloat at the misfortunes of others. Well not just yet anyway.

Bad news:
Hugo. 
Hamstring could be out for 4 weeks give or take. Mauricio attributes our poor 1st.half  performance partly to his injury. Hmm. Like Spurs he's up and limping

At least he's not citing the end of season disappointment at not winning the League, or even coming second, for it.

Good News.
Michel Vorm
Did OK as substitute. One game-saver otherwise untroubled.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
No new signings to showcase  so here's one we might lose. No I don't think so either. He's not worth what he's allegedly asking but as he says himself 'Don't believe everything you read on the Internet'.(Except on The Musings obviously)

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