The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

He's Thinking It Over.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.
Live with it.

The Jimmy G2 Column.
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The garage is now neat and tidy with a floor you could eat off and holidays are completed leaving the whole family knackered and sunburned. What's not to like?

So we arrive at that magical moment in between seasons when something actually happens after much useless ITK; aimless speculation; pointless wondering and vague hopefulness.

Not all good or unexpected news though: Kyle Walker has left the Stadium, to City for in excess of £50 million. The worst kept secret since Mummy was seen kissing Santa Claus.

I always liked the boy, moments of misjudgement and all and predicted on Musings that he would make us some money eventually though not all that much by today's values.

He was a longstanding member of the team, the life and soul of the party and his going might just give others pause for thought. He's just had two good seasons and however you look at it Kieran Trippier he's not as good taken all round.

He has a different skill set to Kyle but you can´t teach pace and speed of recovery, nor crossing accuracy in Kyle's case unfortunately but I think we are at a dangerous moment as far as squad retention goes.

Some would say that if anybody is going better Kyle than any other first team regular. In the end it depends on what we do with the approaching 70/80 million. that's accumulating.

Though money doesn't seem to burn holes in Daniel's pockets as it does with Mrs Jimmy G2. I'm a dead man in the unlikely event that she ever  reads this blog.

You can't keep a player that doesn't want to play for whatever reason and Mauricio will hold firm on that. Two or three promising youngster to blood would suit me and the integration of established old youngsters too.

I wouldn't protest too much if we spent some of it, but not most, on Barkley. He's young enough and has enough talent for Pochettino to hone. Sessingnon would be my preferred incomer, new contract at Fulham or not.

Barkley hasn't gone on Everton's pre-season tour and only has one year left on his contract but DL won't be interested at 50 million. So he's listening to his favourite song by Banks 'The Waiting Game' the key line of which is 'I'm Thinking it over'.

If he runs to form he will leave it to the last minute and run the risk of losing him but you can't teach an old dog new tricks so they say.

Once again we've been linked to roughly several hundred players young and old worldwide and one or two dead or retired which is why we at Musings don't bother with transfer rumours or alleged ITK.

We must keep the rest of the squad which is on an upward trend and will improve as they play together for another season under the best manager over the last two season in the Premiership. Keeping him  is crucial too.

The boys are returning to training in dribs and drabs including Lamela and one or two youngsters have been added to the US tour Party. N'jie and Fazio have gone to pastures new.

 Trippier signing a new 5yr. deal is the hottest actual news I can offer you. Pretty predictable after the transfer of Kyle.

Theresa is still in office but not in power as she quells daily Ministerial mutinies. No such problems at Spurs where all is under firm control. Mutiny? I dare ya.

I will post again when the USA trip starts with some real football news, good news hopefully. In the meantime get that garage cleaned up, and stock up on factor 30. Otherwise now' t much happening really.

Jimmy's Video Spot: Kyle Walker:

Welcome to City! The (only) One that Got Away (so far). Bold, strong, quick, 8 years a Spur, 183 appearances and 4 goals. Personally I wish him well anyway.

5 minutes of positivity but this video is not the whole story and I hope that City get some of the other side. But this is a tribute after all.

Posted by a Real Madrid supporter and what do they know.


Thursday, 15 June 2017

All Sorts Going On.

We just can't see it.
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The JimmyG2Column.
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Politics may be stuck in The Doldrums, an equatorial region of the Atlantic with calms, sudden storms, and light unpredictable winds but not football at Spurs.
 
Theresa set off in full sail and has ended up clinging to a rock for several days awaiting rescue by the DUP and survives because 'There is no alternative'. No such problem at White Hart Lane, New or Old.
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Josh Onomah has been reborn as the new Dembele rediscovered at the Under 20 World Cup and CCV too; Edwards is still lurking in the wings; KWP is out there somewhere and Winks and Lamela will be like new signings.

Erik says 'Hi' and 'thanks' and with Son breaking his arm we wish them both speedy recoveries. As well as we did whether we would have done even better with Erik as an option last season seems a no brainer to me.

Transfer Window? What transfer window? Apparently some fans are floating the 'we need an older, experienced, winner'  boat but we got very close to the beach without him and the wrong man could capsize the craft.

Actually Sissoko is a storm warning of what can go seriously wrong in pursuit of this mythical beast. New players must fit into the crew and be able to row in unison. No Billy Big Rowlocks need apply.(Sorry)

Daniel has been seen recently on a flight to China: flogging Sissoko? Drumming up Sponsorship? Selling the club? Or brushing up on his famed Chow Mein recipe at the horse's mouth. Your call.

In a recently published player values article which I hope D.L hasn't seen, selling just half the team could almost pay for the New Stadium entirely. But then how would we then fulfill next seasons fixtures? 

Dele tops the list at 155.000 million just ahead of HK. But Dier at 85 million and Gareth Bale at 59 million perhaps gives us pause for thought on the whole venture.

I wouldn't swap either of them for twice that but then that sort of decision is well above my pay grade especially as an unpaid blogger. The values are all according to some algorhithmic formula which doesn't surprise me at all.

The only player almost definitely possibly leaving is Kyle Walker maybe. But this rumour was started by Kierran so and may not be quite on the money. He would be a sad loss in many ways including football. City have offered loose change so far.

Harry Kane captained England and scored a last minute equaliser to save his side from the ultimate indignity: losing to Scotland. That boy is a phenomenal force of nature and worth every penny of the alleged 154 Million.

He put two past Hugo on Tuesday night in the France friendly too. I don't call that at all friendly but I expect they will laugh about it later. Varane was sent off for clipping our Dele and Kane put the penalty straight down the middle.

The fixtures are out and will need some studying in depth before I can conclude that the Computer has been nobbled again. At the moment the only observation I can safely make is that all teams play each other twice, home and away.

But as Eric Morecombe once said to Andre Previn: 'I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order' We have an early chance to expunge the memory of that 5-1 defeat at Newcastle
in the opening fixture.

And then we 'welcome' Chelsea to Wembley in our first Home, sort of, game. No Doldrums round here. Next up holidays and clearing out the garage in no particular order.

So that was the week that was, just as long in football as in politics just seems longer in the latter.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
If this isn't the new Dembele my name is Michael Caine. Blew my bloody doors right off in the Under 20 World Cup. Needs to take this level of effort, strength and confidence into the full squad next season.

A big step up but you can see why Mauricio has been nurturing him.

Will we see Harry Winks and Josh starting a Premiership game together this season?
That would be another 50 million saved Mr.L.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Spurs have problems.

Now that was just silly Hull.
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 The JimmyG2 Column.
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So anyway in this dream I had we won the league, Hugo got the Golden Gauntlets, Arsenal were relegated and we beat W. Ham easily. I woke up just before the Champions' League final finished but we were 3 up with minutes to go.

And you know what?  We have achieved almost everything else. Harry Kane 7 goals and two hat-tricks in the last two games won the Golden Boot.  Three players on 20 goals or more.

86 points which would have assured us of the title in 13 of the 20 years of the Premiership. Highest scoring  attack; meanest defence; team spirit; good football and lessons learned from last year.

And all achieved without stellar marquee signings and eye watering wages. Just some of our own, youth and experience bought in under the radar and for peanuts. Except Sissoko but he's the exception that tests the rule.

And without key players for parts of the season. Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Danny Rose for a couple of months; Erik Lamela for most of the season.

 But you know all this. However progress with the youngest squad in the Premiership deserves saluting. Third last year after an end of season meltdown; second this with ruthless determination, flair and skill. Next? Who knows.

The last two games showed how we have moved on under Mauricio's steely eye. Thirteen goals from all over the squad: Son and Dele, Toby, Victor, and Ben all getting in on the Kane act.

In the final game last year we lost 5-1 to a Newcastle already relegated. This year we cruelly knocked seven past newly relegated Hull when they had the temerity to score at 3-0 and rob Hugo of the Golden Gloves.

It's a shame in a way because I lived in Hull and the surrounding area for more than a decade and they have bought quite a few of our surplus players. They are my third favourite team after Spurs and Real Madrid. 

But poking a wasp's nests with a stick is not advised. Their goal followed slack play by Jan. Dele and Davies had already guilty of some dithering but we cleared our heads and came back fighting.

Our home form this season is better than the Double year, but it's the away form that has let us down. The last time we only lost four games in a season was over a hundred years ago.

Harry Kane, our talisman, and three season wonder, scored as many goals in the League as Sunderland and two more than Middlesbrough and that was with 2 months out. But you know all this.

What I'm trying to say is that we have had a fantastic season, playing generally the right Spurs way, you know passing and moving, and improving under Mauricio as he himself has improved.

He has been a credit to the club, a gentleman at all times, a class act in every way and performed with dignity both pre-match, post-match and during the match. Long may it last.

The Tottenham Dictionary has been revised. Out go 'Spursy' along with 'bottlers', 'soft centre' and 'lack of mental toughness'. In come a lot of words meaning very good to watch. Suggestions welcome

 Dele remains a delight; Harry a phenomenon; Eriksen pure poetry; Son a human pin ball; Wanyama a revelation and Sissoko currently a disappointment.

No I know we haven't won anything yet except for the respect of the footballing world which is a good solid basis on which to build. Not on Sky and in the papers naturally but that's only to be expected.

We have made WHL a fortress and must now turn to Wembley and make it work for us against visiting sides. It's not pitch size that will be the problem but unfamiliarity and atmosphere.

It's more a matter of perception and we have just the Manager to impose some clear thinking. Most of our team will embrace the extra yards available and Dele, Erikson,  Harry and Son will be even harder to pin down.

 I have a dream. Spurs have problems no doubt; keeping the team together; squaring the Wembley circle; Carefully exanding the squad; sorting out our priorities and probably more more. But we can do this.

 That rumbling sound is either WHL being torn down or me snoring.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Hat-trick for Harry, goals from all over the team. Lovely ball from Dier to Trippier. A fitting end to a superb season. Pity about their goal but let's not be greedy.


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Spurs master plan revealed to cope with Wembley move.

 Another way of getting an extra 25.000 into the Lane.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Wonderful day; wonderful game; wonderful result; wonderful crowd and I am full of wonder at what it means; where we are and what the future holds.

It couldn't have been scripted better apart from the rain and the old War Horse Rooney, an old man against men and boys scoring the last goal at The Lane.

But Harry Kane scored his 49th. home goal , his first against United. and what proved to be the crucial winner to secure second place. 3rd. last year; 2nd. this. 3-2-1 liftoff.

Wanyama's headed opener from a Davies cross was a collector's item but Harry's deft flick from an Erikson free kick for the second was straight out of the Tottenham play book.

De Gea's 'What the Hell am I supposed to do about that and where are you all' gesture after the first goal spoke volumes. They turned up only fleetingly.

Nothing 'Spursy' to see here; no slip-ups on this historic day; Dele at his good humoured will of the wisp best; Wanyama and Dier strong; the Belgium centre backs sound; everyone contributing; no weak links.

Unbeaten at home for the current season; second place signed sealed and delivered. Manchester United our first opponents 118 years ago and 'bete noir' over the recent years beaten. Who said the fixture computer has no soul.

We played well from the start and showed clear intent and determination. That we scored early in both halves is a tribute to Pochettino's motivational powers. We were up for this without a doubt.

Their pace nearly undid us on a couple of occasions but we dared to squeeze the play with a high line and reaped the rewards. 'Audere percipere fructum' as the Romans have it and Musings suggestion for a new motto.

'To dare is to do' has always seemed a bit cryptic, even gnomic. to me. But this team assembled at a fraction of the cost of their opponents and others and probably worth nearly as much currently understands what it means.

We seem to have stumbled on a winning formula after years of experimentation with Managers and bought in 'Stars'. Grow your own, buy in young potential, add a dash of experienced under the radar bargains, train 'em up and let 'em loose.

It certainly leaves financial space to pay for for a new Stadium and Training ground and shows vision for the future which as we all know is very bright.

So a great day that will live long in the memories of fans and former stars alike. We've always had great players but rarely a great team. This team far exceeds the sum of its parts and that's due to Mauricio.



 Who planned that?

The calls will begin even from Spurs fans even as they enjoy the benefits of the current parsimonious approach to splash some cash. Keeping our current squad by raising the wage levels would be the most effective way.

With Winks, Rose and Lamela yet to return from long term injuries and Edwards and others waiting in the wings we are not short of talented players if we can hold on to them all.

Mahrez, Zaha and Barkley are confidently rumoured to be on their way in but Musings prefers to wait until the cardboard cut-out of the Manager with his right arm on their shoulder appears.

Walker and Rose are the favourites to leave but why sell the two best full backs in Europe just at the point of success, especially to rivals. Anyway we'll see but perhaps not for a month or three.

The songs have barely faded away and the tears hardly dry before the old stadium is being cleared and the new one rising in it's stead.  In the meantime we have to make a Wembley of our own.

 This cardboard replica puzzle just needs scaling up.

'Musings' suggests we build a full size Wembley replica out of cardboard, or 3D print one at the training ground and play on it every day until August.

But allegedly prestigious Corporate fund raisers are already set in place to Hong Kong less than a week after the end of the season and America later. Nothing more than wage slaves our boys. But what a wage.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Nothing fancy: Just the Managers; the teams; the fans; White Hart Lane and the goals for the Archives.


Monday, 8 May 2017

Spurs cancel contract.

 
Mauricio sold our shares in that place months ago.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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And so we quickly return to the land of lack of mental strength, Spursy and putting things in glass receptacles after our visit to the London Stadium and the defeat by W.Ham. Don't mention the 'B' word

Well that didn't take long did it. We played poorly agreed but in the light of our recent form and progress over two years  it's clutching at straws as an explanation.

Captain Hugo does us a disservice after 9 straight wins and the usurping of Arsenal after 22 years
by pouring petrol on the old 'mental strength' diversion.

Spurs comfort blanket; the Management, Manager, player all purpose cop out over many decades to excuse failure to invest at the appropriate time and excuse poor performances.

Recently this has morphed into the feeble 'Spursy' joke. Somehow this fatal flaw seeps into the bloodstream all players signing at The Lane and gets into their DNA.

For once very few of our team played well. But our record stands any scrutiny over the last two seasons. We cut the Chelsea lead from 13 points in mid March and a win would have taken us to within one.

Not the sign of a team which lacks 'mentality'. We have kept Chelsea honest and if they lose on Monday as some predict it will be because the pressure we have exerted has relaxed with the W.Ham defeat.

Winning the league was never on after Xmas and 'Musings' said so some games ago. Not coming second is just as unlikely. We would have to lose our three remaining games and the chasing pack win all theirs.

With Arsenal beating Man.Utd and Liverpool drawing against Southampton only Man.City can overtake us so third is a given even if we lose our remaining three games.

At West Ham we got our tactics wrong, the Dier Wanyama midfield axis lacks creative dynamism Three at the back seems to free up our midfielders more and Mauricio got his substitutions wrong.

Dembele is not a sound choice at 1-0 down. N'koudou might have threatened more than Janssen. Swapping Trippier for Walker seemed like a waste at the time.

Vertoghen was one of the better players on the night and his substitution I assume was down to injury. This has been another crucial factor over the season for us coming up just short.

The build up was too slow. They cancelled out our attack with blanket defence and grabbed a goal.
Nothing to do with complacency and what's in our heads.

Blame the W.Ham curse, the big pitch, Friday night, the weather, the ref, tiredness or whatever and I am gutted that it was W:Ham that did for us on this one.

But we are going to come second to a moneybags team, doing it 'our way' and this was a blip. If it were 'mentality' then we wouldn't be where we are.

We have failed to build teams in the past and lacked any kind of vision which Pochettino has brought. We have chopped and changed Managers and when we have bought good players sold them carelessly.

The lack of 'mentality' if anywhere has been at the very top of the club not in the heads of the Manager and players. Now we have a settled 'project' with a  clear aims and affordable strategies and a young Manager still learning on the job.

At W.Ham we were sluggish, Erikson and Dele flickered from time to time and the full backs got forward but to no appreciable effect. Harry Kane and Son will have to read the match reports to see if they did anything.

Lloris kept it respectable after Toby, not quite at his best again, decided to go on a run starting from his own penalty spot.We were desperate for a point Toby but not that desperate.

Now we have to resolve important matters before next season. Wage structure; our attitude and approach to Europe; how to make Wembley and the New White Hart Lane a fortress or at the very least a lockable gun cabinet..

Not losing The Last Game At The  Lane next weekend will preserve our proud home record and secure second. But anything Arsenal can do we can do better. Let's go on our way to Wembley in style.

No longer available at the Spurs Shop.
The cosy comfort blanket bearing the 'Spursy' legend available in blue and white. Slow sales over the past season have rendered this item out of stock. The supply contract has been cancelled. Sorry.

To be replaced by
'Essence de Pochettino' parfum. The Spurs Shop could make a fortune selling bottles of that.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
You want bottling? Here is a fully automated water bottling plant in action. Not to be confused with a rare poor performance by Tottenham Hotspur.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

No Place Like Home Sweet Home.

Cheer up lads. It might never happen.
Oh it just did.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Spurs have at last aligned themselves with the Stars, Destiny and the March of Time. I'm not one for cliches but I feel the Hand of History on my shoulder today.

 Let it be recorded that on the last day of April 2017 Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal in the last NLD at the Old White Hart Lane to ensure that we will finish above them for the first time in over two decades.

We still have a desperate gamblers outside chance of catching Chelsea to win the Premiership but I'm not that desperate or a gambler and for the moment content with second. Progress is all. Next season is another country.

We played like a team built and developed over time by an inspirational Manager. They did not. If Dele and Eriksen had put away their chances we would have gone in at half-time 2-0 up.

If Cech hadn't been on top form it could have been 6-0 at the end. As it was Dele surrounded by red shirts who showed greater alertness and desire to score the opener after neat footwork by Cristian Eriksen.

Within minutes Harry Kane had won and scored a penalty to finish the job. The rest is truly history. St.Totteringham day cancelled for this and hopefully many more seasons. For ever? Never say For ever.

Our ninth consecutive win on a day that Arsenal, who are currently on their longest non-winning run against us (6), never came close or looked likely to halt. We were a team: they were a loose collection of individuals.

Wanyama and Verts were outstanding. Jan stepping up and out of Toby's considerable shadow once again. Eriksen went under the radar but his influence was telling.

All this excitement should have happened a year ago. But as we have reached the four games to go mark let's not dwell on it. We have learned, improved, got the t-shirt and moved on.

I am proud of the team, the squad,the manager, the club for their achievements and attitude. Inspired by the thought that they can only get better if they stay together. Every one of them with no exceptions.

Most of them could double their wages at another club next season but take one brick out of a wall and the whole thing might collapse. It's not the moment to even think about this.

Champions' League again; the New White Hart Lane to come after a year at Wembley should fulfill most of their ambitions. It's not always about the money.

Spurs rank first in the Premier League this season for:
shots per home game (19.94); shots on target per home game (7.78); chances created (15.0) and fewest goals conceded per home game.

Oh yes and best goal difference, highest goals scored and least conceded overall in the Premiership.
What's not to stay for ?

This proud record and achievement must be taken into our new temporary home. Whether the move to Wembley will prove a disaster or an inspiration remains to be seen. But attitude is everything.

I suspect the former but the truth will hopefully be somewhere in between. Pochettino needs to get into their heads on this one. No other team will have played at Wembley as often as us after all.

The game itself was a disappointment. Not exactly a fight to the death of rutting stags in season now was it. More like a formal changing of the guard. Arsenal seemed to know their place.

Apparently Ozil showed more passion in leaving his stud marks on a door in the changing rooms over a drug test than he did in the whole of the game. Sanchez body language seemed to suggest, ' Adios amigos'.

The sight of Giroud's tongue and embarrassed grin after another miscontrol or failed attempt said it all. Only Ramsey really seemed to want it and had their best attempt well saved by Hugo.

So the baton is passed. A win here may just have saved Arsene's bacon so we might unfortunately have done them a favour but their final position will tell all. Europa looks much more likely than the CL.

Arsenal's move to their new stadium hovered over them financially for a decade but we have found a new way after much experimentation over several decades. 

Youth and emerging talent under a Manager that will give it a chance; investment in the Academy and the training ground sets us up for Lilywhite future.

We have struck gold in Dele, both Harrys, Eriksen, Wanyama, Dier, Toby, Dembele, Rose, Walker and Jan. And made silk purses out of others.
 
We need to mine the same vein again. The balance and spirit of the current squad must not be threatened by careless transfers at ridiculous fees and disruptive wages. And I know Daniel agrees.

W.Ham on Friday will tell us more. Draw and CL qualification is assured; the dreaded four games to go banana  skin will have been side-stepped, Kyle Walker's situation will be clearer. If he plays he stays in my view.

All our players will come under pressure and some re-adjustment of our wage scales might be necessary but so far nearly all of them have signed new contracts. Keeping Mauricio is crucial.

Thanks for the Memories White Hart Lane. This one will stay in the mind for a long time.We are going away next week after Man.Utd but we'll be back quite soon and just next door, close to home sweet home.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Had to have it on the blog for the sake of the archives. Not that you'll mind. Dele and Harry scoring; great shots of  White Hart Lane as a backdrop to the start of The New Gap. Happy Days.


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Spurs to Kill Two Birds with One Stone.

Plenty of these at Spurs this year.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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It's simple: win on Sunday and they can't catch us even though they have 5 games to go, draw and it's theoretically touch and go; losing doesn't merit consideration.

Not that finishing above Arsenal is our main priority. If Chelsea slip up there would be only one point between us but there is nothing quite as satisfying as killing two birds with one stone.

Last night we ground out a win against form team Crystal Palace, apart from us that is, on their own ground. If it was Man.Utd or another of the Sky elite it would be a sign of a good team.

Doesn't apply to us though. The BBC report didn't even mention that we lost Dembele to injury at half time. Only that Palace  ' lost influential defender Mamadou Sakho' ten minutes later.

Am I getting paranoid you ask. Nope. Been paranoid for years, just getting worse as the pressure mounts. I think it goes with the Spurs territory in the new Premiership era.

8 wins in a row and on the last occasion we did that, over 50  years ago, we won the league. We have already bettered our best Premiership points total with 5 games to go. Nothing can go wrong now Shirley.

Yes we all know it can but if we don't believe then how can you expect the boys to do so. The bounce back at Palace albeit initially subdued after the Cup semi-final on Sunday was gratifying and possibly very significant.

To be fair Palace weren't up to much and Lloris was our unused keeper. They talked up Benteke and he won a few headers but nowhere near goal and nobody picked up the second ball.

Zaha and Townsend twinkled intermittently and if we bought Wilfred for anything close to the Sissoko fee I wouldn't complain too much. The rest were pretty ordinary despite their recent good results in our cause.

Zaha has caught the eye lately and Mauricio is allegedly a fan. He has improved his work rate, and defended well at times last night. If Lamela is going he might well find a role.

Sissoko came on for Dembele and was given a specific 'Help Kyle Walker' assignment and did exactly that. Kyle was having one of his nightmare flashback performances.

The other Moussa and Eriksen filed a claim for the corner flag territory for the last ten minutes and helped see the game out. Son on for Wanyama who was lucky not to be sent off livened things up as usual.

The first half performance was not encouraging but the arrival of Son and Sissoko and tactical changes at the back changed the situation. They retreated and we upped the pace but it was Eriksen who made the difference.

Both with his performance and his fine goal, once again from well outside the area. Verts won the Belgian best player contest against Benteke and even Toby but Christian took all the plaudits and ran the game in the second half.

Sam will blame the injury to Sakho and the ref's failure to send off Wanyama for a second yellow card foul on Townsend. But his team looked happy to take a draw and put little pressure on us.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Alan Smith like 'The Musings' is not always wrong. He calls this one spot on. 'Just when you want a bit of quality'.  

Christian in acres of space. Harry circling with the ball as if waiting for permission to land and then wham! the only goal of the game.