The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Seen and The Unseen at Tottenham

Don't look away just yet.
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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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As the old song says; 'What a difference a day makes', or even in our case, an hour and a half plus stoppage time, to the mood and prospects in the dressing room, on the pitch, the terraces and to Spurs fans everywhere.

We can still mathematically come top even now though it has been a forlorn chase fueled by hope and expectation for a while. But the draw at W.Brom seemed to me to be the end of the campaign to win the league.

The gusher of enthusiasm is temporarily at least capped. As I gave up on first some time ago the draw with W.Brom affected me a lot more than it should at my age.

Now with Deli Alli banned for an off match-camera punch at Yacob  (I'm with Arsene, 'I didn't see it!') and Eric Dier possibly out for the next match or more we need to refocus and strain every sinew to come, at worst, third.

The ball is firmly now in Pochettino's court on Deli Alli. So far he has indulged the boy, in public anyway, with a fatherly chuckle about his mean streak. 'A bit like me' he says but it won't do for his own sake and the teams.

He needs to be taught how to cope with provocation. He's young, he'll learn. He is often close to stepping over the line and will now miss the rest of the season as a result.

Having a mean streak and standing up for yourself are clearly fine. But punching an opponent no matter how provoked in broad daylight is just plain daft.

He needs a dab on the brakes not a complete hand brake turn or he will be increasingly targeted by wily opponents and managers who can't win by any other means.

As for the match we could have been 2 or 3 up in half an hour and had a beautifully crafted early team goal gone in we would probably have gone on to win. As it was, nerves and a sense of foreboding and doom set in.  

It started from Lloris  with ill-judged passes out and a feeble effort to clear the corner from which Dawson scored their equaliser. The feeling that it was not our day seemed to grow

I think Mauricio was found wanting in his failure to do a Pulis and change the game around. It's not just about substitutions but the deployment and motivation of the players on the pitch.

Another fine move later on ended with a Lamela shot striking the post but in the end we were relieved not to lose. Rondon was powerful presence up front and perhaps should have scored with a header.

They bossed the second half by out-pressing us which always seems to throw us off our game and in the end despite our early dominance, and their crude tactics, Alli was fouled three times in the first ten minutes, a draw seems about right.

We should have known what to expect and have been prepared for it. Our goal from a lovely Eriksen free kick on the half hour diverted in by Dawson under pressure from Vertonghen was no more than we deserved  at that stage.

But we have seen this movie before. No second goal and under increasing pressure their equaliser seemed inevitable. Shades of the  Spurs I have supported all these years.

The hero rides off into the sunset with the girl and they are both buried in an a rock fall just as the credits fade. But this team is different and can shrug this one off, even without Deli Alli.

Harold Wilson once said that a week was a long time in politics. At this stage of the season with so much at stake a week is an absolute eternity.

I prefer it when the games come thick and fast. Not so much time to analyse and regret. There are so many reasons for wanting to beat Chelsea next Monday, final finishing position included.

Their players' unprofessional comments about us and Leicester when they have to play both in the run in will probably escape censure but should bare some scrutiny.

Are they preparing to give their all against us and switch off the engine and coast downhill for their final game against Leicester?

Clearly a mean-minded legacy of the Mourinho years. He may have gone, but his narrow perspective on the game still courses through their veins.

Jimmy's Video Spot: Hugo Lloris:

The man's a positive ball and babe magnet. Taken some criticism on occasions but at his best our captain is very good indeed and better still he's staying at Spurs. And that is directment des bouche de cheveaux. No sense in wasting an 'O' level is there.


Friday, 22 April 2016

Lamela goes foxhunting

Thursday 21 April 2016 … Famous Mother's Birthday … Son a Famous Fox Hunter.


Lamela Goes Fox Hunting.

Another Successful Kill.
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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 Foxhunting is not high up there in the popularity stakes of downtown Carapachay, our hero's birth place. It’s not that they don’t exist. The local species known as the grey zorro abounds in Argentina. Seems football is streets ahead as the favoured sport.
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And so too in the leafy glades of an upmarket London suburb football is the much discussed subject. However as his partner Sofia cooks breakfast prior to Erik’s departure for another session at Hotspur Way, the subject of foxhunting is uppermost on our young Argentinian’s mind.
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In particular closing down that 5 point gap  to a certain football species of Fox.
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Hunting foxes with dogs was banned 10 years ago. Hunting foxes with lions well that's a different matter altogether. Especially when the leader of the pack ( should that be pride) is one Harry Kane.
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Harry posted an Instagram picture just after West Ham and Leicester drew 4 all. Featured a pride of Lions on the hunt. Just “ a bit of fun really” said Harry later in explanation.
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Looked rather more than just a “bit of” after Spurs clinical demolition of Stoke City narrowing the gap between the chasing hounds and the proverbial fox to 5 points.
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Two stumbles by the fox as in a minor trip up ( a draw ) followed by a plunge down a looming cliff
( major loss of footing ) means a successful hunt for all except the Fox.
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Of course all that is predicated on the chasing pack of Cockerels performing faultlessly in what’s left of the hunt, namely 4 wins out of four.
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So Who Is Pulling for Tottenham?
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Most notable of the fox hunting supporters is HRH the Prince of Wales. Hmm. Swansea next up for Leicester. Surely the Welsh team can do us a favour.
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Indeed far from dying out in 2005 when Tony Blair banned fox hunting it has prospered. On Boxing day for example the scheduled meets exceed 250,000. If we played Leicester in Northern Ireland then traditional fox hunting is still completely above board.
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Above all Tottenham have massive support from the world’s bookies who stand to be liable for a massive payout if the Foxes survive the hunt.
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Those Against.
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Apart from most of the media wishing for a fairy tale Leicester  ending there are a host of anti fox hunters. Everyone from Paul McCartney. Tony Robinson to Ricky Gervais. Of course the most high profile of the lot. Claudio Raniere.
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Here in the leafy glades of Kent foxes abound but so do some passionate Spurs supporters …
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 At A Kent Pub Near Westerham.
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Euphoric ecstasy summed up our epic display against Stoke. The oft trotted out lines variously “ a difficult place to play” were made to look redundant. Another time. Another way of summing up this Spurs side. Fearless.
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The title race is live and coming to a television near you. Surely the old banana skin routine against West Brom and Southampton is part of the old Spurs. A bygone anachronism.
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Our pub is located in the heart of Winston Churchill territory. Great confidant of our birthday girl , The Queen.  No time better than to quote the great man …
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“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity: an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
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Cheers  … never been more optimistic … Greg Meyer.    coys.
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 Jimmy's Video Spot.
Not sure Erik knows or would even understand this traditional fox hunting song but I can see the boys round the piano belting out this one. Be very afraid Foxes, we've picked up the scent and are on your trail.
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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Spurs Ace, Joker and Wild card played to good effect.


Fresh, young, hand picked, own grown. You know it makes sense.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Were we good? Or were we good? We were good.We didn't just put Stoke to the sword, we chopped them up  and fed them through the mincer. Another must win, won. I'm not used to this level of competence.

But I'm adapting and could get to like it. Probably because of the pressure our most pleasing performance of the season and it transfers the anxiety back to Leicester.

They might well be without Vardy for more than just a single game following a referral for his foul mouthed abuse of the referee after his dismissal for two yellow cards after a blatant dive in their draw against W.Ham

4-0 away from home in an allegedly tricky fixture and it should have been six. Eriksen running on to a clever Alli back heel would normally score but hit the bar. A pity because he was the inspiration for much of our dominance.

And Deli Alli himself hit the post having beaten the defence and the keeper and with the goal wide open. A miss that Eric Dier will not let him forget for some time, for the rest of his life probably. Again a shame because it would have given him a hat-rick.

Two well taken goals had to be enough. A nerveless chip for his first and a controlled volley from a clever cross both assisted by that man Christian. Good performances all over the pitch and Stoke who matched us only for possession were exposed as the ordinary team they truly are.

Kane's fine early opener settled the nerves, well mine anyway, from a rare Dembele assist he curled it home from the corner of the box. But we had to wait nearly an hour for Alli's clincher.

Our third and Harry's second just three minutes later was a tap in. That's the way to do it Mr.Alli! Set up selflessly by Lamela who clearly has a lot of money staked on Harry for league top scorer.

Only Imbula for Stoke, a tall, thin young Belgian in midfield impressed. Charlie Adams, fatter and uglier than I remember him took just three minutes from coming on to remind us how  awful he can be with a wild rugby tackle on Lamela.

Hughes who has worked wonders turning his lot into almost a football team paid tribute to Spurs after the game but to be fair he had little choice after such a performance.

Mauricio was proud and similarly impressed although when Alli missed his open goal was reduced to kneeling on the ground thumping the turf. He apologised later and said he was embarrassed. You can't but love the man. 

The referee, Neil Swarbrick in his attempt to avoid controversy almost became controversial by his steadfast refusal to book blatant fouls especially when Shawcross wrestled Toby to the ground in the area at a corner.

No penalties, no red cards it sounds almost dull but it wasn't. Stoke stirred themselves from time to time but had only two shots on target the whole game.

Alli combines the skill and the toughness symptomatic of the team. Against Stoke he displayed both and the waywardness of youth though he left his teens more than a day ago. He's our wild card, our Joker and our Ace all in one.

Eriksen and Dembele display both sides of the new Spurs. Dembele has strength but limited vision: Eriksen has vision to spare but lacks strength. The combination within the team is essential to our success.

We had some fine passages of play the best of which was the one that led up to the Alli miss. Rose, Kane, Alli, Lamela and Walker ran themselves ragged and once again Hugo had little to do behind a strong defence and midfield.

It's a very good time to be a Spurs fan especially with the promise of much more to come. As my  builder often says: ' It's all coming together nicely' usually as he hands me the bill for the next phase payment and hopefully it's just the start.

Mauricio is the foundation stone backed by Levy who loves growing his own and avoiding those Supermarket prices. And it's fresher and packed with energy and much better for the health of your bank balance.

Four to go, Leicester and Vardy have blinked first and Spurs show no signs of bottling it, quite the opposite in fact.

Interesting fact probably of some significance.
Fouls conceded this season:
Toby Alderweireld: 9: 
Wes Morgan: 27 Robert Huth: 31
Jimmy's Video Spot
I could watch this all day. Eriksen, Lamela, Alli and Kane running riot. They miss out Deli Alli's miss but I expect Eric Dier has it handy for future use. Lovely, proper Tottenham stuff. We may not win the league but we deserve to.


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Sorry Spurs.


 OK. Just don't let it happen again.
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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 Sunday 17 April 2016 … Mr. Football’s Wife turns 42


Thierry Henri Apologizes.
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A season where Spurs and Leicester lie in the top two as the finale approaches has seen a plethora of apologies, climb downs and many a “We wuz wrong” from a variety of sources.
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Non more so gleefully accepted by Spurs fans than the Thierry Henri's rueful march towards apology and admission of error. Most recently he has been quoted in the London Evening Standard believing Spurs have an “amazing chance” to win the title.
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Moreover he has conceded he never thought Spurs would mount a title challenge in his lifetime. In his  recent Sun column he states Spurs winning the title is his “ultimate nightmare”.
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At least he is not as challenged as well known gooner Idris Elba. On the BBC Idris has told us he will be physically ill, literally throwing up if Spurs win the title. Not the only gooner  mind.
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So with all that glut of regret our pub got together and fashioned a roll call of apologies starting with:
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Robbie Savage.
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Quoted variously in the Leicester Mercury , noted on Twitter and from his own mouth on BBC 606. From season commencement it was Leicester definitely could not win the League. All that changed after the Man City win by Leicester 1-3.
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Famously he tweeted in February ” Leicester. We are going to win the League.” That brought a flood of derision and protest . Still he has probably but belatedly jumped on the right bandwagon.
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The Bookies.
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As confirmed by the Wall Street Journal , February 9, it was that week  the bookies changed their minds. “ First placed Leicester City became betting favourites to win the Title.” No wonder they have paid out early to many punters.
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The Media.
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Eleven of the twelve Guardian football writers pre-season  predicted relegation for Leicester. Phil McNulty, chief football writer for the BBC tipped Leicester for 19th place. Our own used car salesman Harry Redknapp admitted getting it wrong in the Telegraph , 6 March 2016.
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Everyone else.
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A football fairy tale looks like coming true. Mind our pub have not given up. Leicester lose one and draw two. Spurs win all … its Spurs !!
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Apology from a lot of Spurs fans.
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This column has been an Erik Lamela fan ever since viewing that ubiquitous You Tube highlights package started doing the rounds.
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Mind the ride has not been an easy one. Injuries, managerial roundabouts, and time to settle have all been factors. However surely his best game yet  emerged against United. Lamela had a part in all 3 Spurs goals with ever increasing involvement.
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It was his tackle to feed Kane which led to Eriksen executing that sublime pass to allow our new wonderkid to score. Next it was his precise kick to Toby’s head. Finally a demonstration of his class that superb goal.
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 Class that many had doubted but there is many an apologist who is now a Lamela believer. Whilst Lamela has always been in our long term thoughts not so another …
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At Our Kent Pub.
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Doubts about his defensive capability  and doubts as to whether he  would  fulfil early promise have well and truly been thrown out the window. Daniel Lee Rose, still just 25 years, is another one of our own. His performances this year have proved he is a starting left back for Spurs.
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His pace allows for overlapping attacking, a vital part of the Pochettino system. As well his defensive frailties have disappeared. So Danny from our pub, apologies and keep it going.
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Our pub  are starting to think the Media may have another apology coming . The press are almost sycophantic in the gushing coverage of the  Leicester “fairy tale. Mind if they win it we won’t be doing an Elba.
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The fat lady barman at our place is still optimistic. No singing yet. The Man United result was euphoric yet symptomatic of the Pochettino Spurs
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As regards Stoke on Monday we agree with Peter Crouch and his support for our mob. We will keep the dream alive.
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No apologies for guessing the birthday girl. Yes Victoria Beckham blows out 42 candles today.
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Cheers … the first and possibly only time we support West Ham today … Greg Meyer.
               coys.
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 Jimmy's Video Spot:

 Stands re-watching. Best 6 minutes of the season (so far) with that man Lamela to the fore. All the goals and they were certainly the highlights. 


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

It's a knockout at White Hart Lane.

 Look out, there's another couple of them to come.
First blow for Muhammed? No Deli.

We shadow boxed them for an hour and then three quick head shots put them out of their misery. They hardly landed a blow and the referee should have stopped it before the end.

Well it's been a long time coming and it's hard not to celebrate or even gloat just a little. And beating them when it matters makes it even more enjoyable. At last a 'must win' game that we actually won.

It goes some way to heal the years of pain. 3-0 up and lose it 5-3. The goal disallowed when it was so far over the line you could see it from the top of the Chinese Wall. Even the own goal loss at the start the season.

A once glamour tie that was never going to live up to its billing. It turned out to be a miss-match which is currently just how we like it but we were up for the fight anyway despite a slow start.

OK. let's admit it; they won the first couple of rounds but once we had adjusted our gum shields and had a good spit in the bucket we relentlessly followed them round the ring as they back-peddled and penned them in the corner.

Six minutes of mayhem started on 69 minutes with Deli Alli seizing on Eriksen's first time pass following good work in midfield by Lamela and Kane; Toby headed in from a Lamela corner, and Lamela himself finished confidently from a Danny Rose cross.

Eriksen, Lamela, Rose and Alderweireld were all prominent but Deli Alli stole the headlines in most press reports as the main man. Once again we know better but he took the turning point goal well.

Crazy Louis gamely claimed after the defeat that he was glad he had gone to the bigger club and turned down Spurs. Well Mr. Van Gaal so are we, so are we.

His team changes and substitutions seemed more designed to get him the sack than win the game but surely Man.Utd can't sack another manager so soon.That's our old schtick.

They may be bigger, but better? Not just at the moment. As Jimmy Cliff sang in one of my favourite films of the same name: 'The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall, One and All'.

On the same sound-track is the song, ' You can get it if you really want it' which is my theme song for Spurs until the end of this wonderful season. In this case 'it' is second place.

Leicester KO'd Sunderland but we stand toe to toe with them and will slug it out for the final five rounds. They will deservedly steal the spotlight and the fanfares but we have longer term hopes and plans under Mauricio.

That's if they survive the current financial scandal in which they are involved.
Corner mens' water bottles laced with vodka apparently or some such.

Hopefully next season we will have moved from the European Lightweights, where Man.Utd will languish,  into the European Heavyweight Division and our youngsters will begin another chapter in their steep learning curve.

A note of praise for Kevin Wimmer who has been doing sterling work as a sparring partner for Toby. But Jan Vertonghen slipped under the ropes and into the ring as if he has never been away. But thanks Kevin your application remains on file.

So while we're punching well above our weight and Chelsea Liverpool and Man.Utd seem ring rusty and not a little punch-drunk let's make sure we deliver the knock-out blow to Arsenal too this season.

Happy thoughts and time to for me throw in the towel. Don't worry about it Utd. it was only Tottenham

Jimmy's Video Spot.
 Bring 'em on.One and all.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Plans Emerge for Spurs Takeover.


Not really much chance of it blowing up.
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The JIMMYG2 Column.
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Well that's another week or slightly more closer to wherever. Eight days a Week!. If they keep packing the England team with Spurs players I might even get to like International friendlies let alone full blown  International matches.

My dream/vision/ delusion of an all Academy own grown Spurs now extends to a complete takeover of the England set-up after the Queen makes Mauricio an honorary Englishman and England manager.

It's a long time since we had five players in the squad and/ or four starting. (Answers on a postcard please). Spurs-lite beat world cup winners Germany, in Germany, with another fine goal involving a Cryff turn by the Masked Man.

A smart, even cheeky, finish by Jamie Vardy for his first England goal made it level and the scene was set  for a late headed winner by Eric Dier goal at the near post from a corner. Not for the first time either.

We let Holland beat Spurs Ultra Lite in deference to Johan Cryff, and once again all the  Spurs players acquitted themselves well and all five, Kane Alli, Rose, Walker and Dier, should travel to France for the Euros.

Interesting that the penalty conceded by Danny Rose was almost identical to the one not given yesterday for Southampton against Leicester. Just saying.

Credit Roy for his homage to Mauricio in his selection and in his high press approach but he cut a sad figure on the bench even as the youngsters bailed out his creaking defence.

I loved watching our boys turning out for England but would have been happy to see slightly less of them to be honest. Still if we don't win the league we can blame Roy.

In the real football at the weekend Premiership games we took a decent point off Liverpool at Anfield. We needed more but it was a good game and a draw was a fair result. Both teams had chances and both keepers earned their keep.

Jurgen Clopp had billed this as their Cup Final and they certainly played to their potential and we were a little under par especially Deli Alli and Son who has still yet to settle after injury.

Harry Kane cancelled out Coutinho's neat opener with a fine strike after Eriksen had retrieved the irretrievable. We had more control of the game but they had the better chances.

However with the rest of the top five winning our positioned weakened a little. I said that it was Leicester's title to lose a few games ago and there is no sign that they will do so.

Mainly because they are not a sophisticated piece of machinery. Simple but effective and waiting for them to blow up was a false prospect.

Bikes don't spontaneously explode and frankly there is not much  to go wrong with their game plan. Good luck to them.

 It's just a pity that their fairy-tale story is being published at the same time as our reprint of the epic 'Glory Glory' tale.

I would have settled for less at the start of the season and I'm enjoying it immensely.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

No apologies for featuring Harry Kane again. As sure footed as a two footed mountain goat. Watch the boy's movement and confidence on the ball. Is he a tad greedy?. He's a striker that's what it says on the tin.

Was my hero Jimmy Greaves  greedy? I never saw him look up once, well maybe once. 5 minutes of magic. Thanks Harry.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Spurs must stand firm on approach.

The future starts now.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well that's the Europa done with for now. For ever I hope although 'forever' is a long time. Hopefully when we next meet Borussia Dortmund it will be at the next level.

The clamour has started and will build for new and better players in order to cope with our impending elevation. Are we about to start the journey back to the old failed attitudes and procedures that have served us so badly for more than a couple of decades.

Lists of the deadwood are being compiled as we speak . A long-standing Spurs pastime. Well we've just managed to clear up the last lot so it's time to start again I suppose.

Let's not start that player and manager merry go round again, just as we seem to have kicked the habit. I'm proud of where we are and how we got here:  

Academy; State of the Art Training Ground; Manager that believes in youth and building a team; New Stadium; Premiership Title; Champions' League.

Actually we look as if we are ahead of ourselves on this one as few thought that we would be competing for the Premiership, which we are, before the new stadium was up and running.

We came up against an excellent Dortmund side with a squad less than our best for various understandable reasons and for which Mauricio has sort of apologised and lost it in the first leg.

The return leg was more even but they could have stepped up a gear and missed two excellent chances. Son missed one but Borussia charitably gifted him a goal and  it could have been a lot worse than 2-1.

A pretty comprehensive 5-1 overall but not the signal for another major clear out. We are on a slow build which has reaped the promise of greater things to come. Let's not abandon everything now just as it looks as if it is paying off.

Borussia are one of the top teams in Europe and have been several years in the making first under Jurgen Klopp and now under Thomas Turchel. They are where we aim to be in a season or two.

We are not quite' ready to win the Champions League, or even the Premiership for that matter. We should continue the steady development under Mauricio Pochettino and not panic´at the first set-back.

Cover for Dier and Kane which should have been sorted before now are the first essentials for continued development. Mason, Bentaleb and Carroll of the established squad and Onomah, Winks and Pritchard and one or two others all have part to play.

This squad is young and will develop together if we let it. Where are they now that asserted that Harry Kane would not make it at the top level. Or that Lamela was a waste of money and that Rose and Walker were liabilities.

These are the players, especially Mason and Bentaleb last season, that have got us where we are today. So now it's 'thanks lads, but no thanks' is it?

We have got off the Money-Go-Round and are building an alternative attraction, something special with some of our own.

Can they take us to the next level? Next level, next level is what we have heard for years especially over Managers. Could Jol do it? Could Harry, AVB, Sherwood and now Mauricio?  In most case we never got to find out.

Let's keep faith with players, the Head Coach and  Plan A. Don't let's throw the baby out with the sponge, the soap, the little yellow duck and the bathwater.

If we do we will lose the essence of what we have built: an evident team spirit and the pride of both players and supporters.

I sent Mauricio a game plan for Bournemouth, on rice paper in invisible ink with instructions to read and destroy immediately. He followed it to the letter.

Score early; get a second; play with intensity from the off and don't relax. Play Bournemouth, who had won their last three off the park from the whistle. Actually that's my Plan A and I don't have a plan B either.

He overdid the 'score early' bit but if a first minute goal is good enough for them it's good enough for us. Two up in 15 minutes and a possibly tricky tie was done. We left them standing and in truth I have no idea how good they are. We didn't get to see.

Harry ( Roy of the Rovers) Kane. aka the One Season Wonder was superb throughout. Two goals, defensive tackles and headers and now the League's top scorer. He joins illustrious company in the 20 goal consecutive season stakes.

He is only the fifth English player in that particular  club: Cole, Ferdinand, Fowler and Shearer  are the others and Shearer is one of the main cheerleaders for our Harry.

Eriksen is finding form just at the right time and anticipating the possibility of another Boruc spill followed up when all about him others were standing still and scored a deserved goal.

The first half was some of the best football served up this season and another fine team performance. Even Hugo's distribution is improving and his ball out to Walker set up the first goal.

So the wobble was firmly fixed with two of the 'easier' games and 6 points in the bag. But Leicester haven't blinked yet and the gap remains 5 points with seven games to go.

All the chasing pack have a game in hand but the nearest, Arsenal, have 6 points to make up and our impressive goal difference might just come in handy in the end. Man.City in 4th. are 10 points behind. No need to look down boys.

Good luck to all the boys in the Internationals. Play well if called upon. Safe journey and return.

Are we nearly there yet? The Next Level starts here. Enjoy.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Just a reminder: Deli Alli, who else, in his first game for England emulates Harry Kane by scoring. Koscielny, who better, is slow to close him down and he beats Lloris from distance.