The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Transfer Window Confusion.

They've put the wrong glass in this transfer window.
I can't see a thing.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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When we are bad we are merely tedious: when we are good we are brilliant. The 4th goal against Everton was everything you would want from a Spurs side and rounded off a good performance all round.

Carry on like this and we won't want to leave Wembley. Son's fifth successive home goal (Sorry Jermain) unbeaten in 12 at home. After Southampton tougher Premiership and Champions' League to come but not yet.

The Toffees are going through a sticky patch at the moment and the last team they wanted to face was an in form Spurs at Wembley. Sam had some early success at Everton but has stalled lately and he was hoping that Wembley would inspire his team.

No such luck. Everton failed to get a shot on target, not for the first time recently, and the players weighed down by thoughts of the 'anyone and everything but Sam' in the after match interviews visibly shrunk from the task.

Wayne Rooney's sad attempts to foul and hack when he couldn't perform sums up the level that he and Everton have sunk to. That they were so poor should not distract us from the positives for Spurs from this game.

We throttled them and Dembele gave us a glimpse of his past strengths and our future hopes. Harry Kane broke more records once again doing little but score another couple to reach 20 goals for the fourth season running.

He joins Shearer and Henri on this milestone and replaces Teddy Sherringham as Spurs Premier league top scorer on 98 goals but in far fewer matches. Jimmy Greaves is the next stop on 220  league goals over a nine year period 50 years ago.

Mauricio certainly backs him to do so and given a injury free run it's not out of the question. Hopefully they will all be at Spurs to make him a rare one club man these days at this level.

He also matched Steven Gerrard's six EA Sports awards, but he does not allow this kind of external froth to distract him. His focus is exceptional and his dedication to training proverbial.

However Son was MOM for an exciting non-stop display and eventually all four of our attacking wizards got in on the goals and assists act especially in Eriksen's firm finish following some one touch football by Son and Dele in a move initiated by Harry.

On the ex-Spurs front  Gylfi gave Aurier too much space and a free run on the right but it was good to see Aaron Lennon come on to a tremendous reception after his well publicised mental health problems.

3-0 up on the hour one has to wonder why Lamela was ignored until the last five minutes and KWP passed over completely. Wanyama came on for Dier and at least got a decent 20 minute run out.

Liverpool's win against Man.City gave them a boost at our expense. We were rather hoping that City would beat all our rivals and in the long run City are still nailed on for the Premiership title.

Below us with Arsenal and Burnley losing our 5th. position is enhanced. We are 3 points off Chelsea and Liverpool in 3rd/4th. position and 4 points ahead of Arsenal in 6th. Pity about the Liverpool result though.

We are unbeaten at home since the Chelsea game in August; the Wembley hoodoo has slunk away with its tail between its legs; Lamela and Wanyama are back, Toby, Winks and Rose are closer and next up Southampton.

Burnley, once challengers  are 10 points behind us and United. and Chelsea with 3 draws in the last five are faltering just a little. All together. ' Always look on the bright side....Somebody's not singing at the back there.

More important though is the step up in performance by Dele, Eriksen and Son. Dier was sound and Jan Vertonghen continues to make Toby's absence less of a problem than it might have been. Aurier and Sanchez played better.

Hot News. (Well luke-warm anyway)

Cameron Carter Vickers is back from loan at Sheffield and Marcus Edwards is going to Norwich for the rest of the season. Co-incidentally (?) we are interested in Norwich's talented young midfielder James Maddison, the new Dele apparently.

The boys are in Barcelona where Mauricio still has connections a house and family for a few days 'breathing space' and to freshen up the training schedule. Any excuse for a jolly though that is not Mauricio's style.

As long as they only sign fans' memorabilia and not Independence petitions by mistake they should all get back safely in time for the weekend.

Half way through the transfer window and nothing stirring.My money is on a couple of youngsters for Mauricio to mold and no big money buys. Musings doesn't do speculation but that would suit us fine.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Lovely stuff. One offside and a mis-hit but when things are going your way they go your way. Lovely drag back by Son in the approach for the second. It doesn't  unfortunately show the full build up to the fourth goal.


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Spurs keeping vital contact.

 Swansea and Wimbledon out for the count.
W.Ham still standing.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Busy, busy busy; three games in eight days. Us bloggers are feeling the strain so God knows how the boys are feeling.Verts. and Harry might well have been given a rest against Wimbledon but they scored the goals to take us through.

We started the week at Swansea in a tropical rainstorm which fortunately eased just as the officials were contemplating abandoning the game. We had managed to find enough dry patches to play on up until then.

 The predicted second half monsoon didn't happen and we ran out 2-0 winners. Dele played well and Kane's chipped assist for his goal was the pass of the game, if not the season, or even the decade though he did little else.

The officials also seemed to be in a parallel universe but we got the benefit of their errors when not issuing Sanchez with a second yellow and the crucial poor offside decision for Llorente's opener. How did the linesman not see that!

Wanyama got a vital run out and looked strong, Jan (Mr.Dependable) played well again. Eriksen and Dele our two 'creatives' ran on water and this was a good win given the conditions which could have been a great leveler.

And so on to W.Ham looking to be the only team to take 12 points over the Xmas, New Year period. This one we nearly lost to their only shot on target, a wonder strike by Obiang. Son's swerving 25 yarder was nearly as good and we shared the points.

I'm not sure whether W.Ham had read the script or just read it and ignored it but they are certainly a jinx on our ambitions this season. Negative and defensive in true Moye's style but they did the business partly due to Mauricio's own lack of positivity.
 
A defensive set up in midfield and with Sissoko starting didn't bode well. It boded less well when it was clear that W.Ham hadn't come to play but to spoil. Lamela for Sissoko at half time was the minimum requirement.

That this change didn't occur until the 70th. minute is a testament to Mauricio's frequently lacklustre in-game management. Still nobody's perfect. Injuries and lack of adequate back-up clearly limit his ability to make changes.

10 from the 12 available points maintains more than just contact with the top four and progressing in the Cup is not a bad return from the sometimes punishing Xmas schedule. We got out of that bar fight alive at least.

Now I have to admit I didn't see the Wimbledon game but that's never stopped an experienced blogger from writing a review. I watched this one on the wireless, or radio as you 'hep cat' trendies prefer to call it.

21st. century, 2018 no less and we're back to technology developed by Marconi the century before last. Clearly Spurs are not designed for the wireless and nor are the commentators. Less chatter speculation, banter and more commentary please.

I gathered that Lamela was the pick for his industry and effort; Harry did nothing except score two goals; Foyth and KWP  again  did themselves no harm; Llorente was poor and it was good to see Wanyama back and fighting fit.

The Harry remark reminds me of a Bill Nicholson quote, which is possibly apocryphal about Jimmy Greave's workrate. ''All he's done today is score four goals''. Free yearly subscription to anyone that can track it down.

'Apocryphal' is journalese for 'I made this up but it sounds true but my deadline means I haven't time to check it out'. I have been using the story for years but can't actually find it now.

We're going to have to sort out this pace thing against the Bus Parkers. It's not straight line pace over a 100 or so metres that is lacking; Andros Townsend has that but acceleration and change of pace in tight spots which Modric and Messi have.

Most importantly speed of thought which Eriksen has although he's no slouch as his runs on breakout show. Pace of pass too is lacking especially among out of defence. It's all about pace but not just about running.

I'm gazing through the Transfer Window but can't see anything clearly. Plenty of rumours but we don't do transfer rumours we only 'muse' on them after they have happened.

Kevin George is off on loan to Burnley where he probably won't get too much game time either. He's coming back at Levy's insistence so they say. I've no idea why.

Perhaps a surprise or two coming our way, anyone decent in would be a surprise. I'll take that back, bit knee-jerk. Aurier possibly, Sanchez probably, Foyth, in time, definitely among the non- dead beats.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 

No apologies. ''There really is no stopping Harry Kane at the moment'' what he said! One of our very own three season wonder. Worth 200 million apparently but I wouldn't sell him for double. 8 minutes of Harry and  Spurs magic.


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

No more Roller Coaster.

 Makes a change from the Roller Coaster.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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We used to describe supporting Spurs as a wild ride on a Roller Coaster: up and down and round and round and, before you know it, back where we started. Mind you most fairground rides are like that.

Now we are on the Big Swing: up to 4th and 'wheeee!' down to 7th. Hello Champions' League and then welcome back to the Europa. Currently after the loss to City we are back down in the trough.

All the good work and good fortune of other results last week wiped out this week. The top six all won and Burnley got a point to take them above us. Of the breakaway top seven we were the only team to lose.

It makes next week's pre-Xmas fixture against Sean Dyche's side the proverbial six pointer. Although even if we draw we are safe in 7th for at least a few days. If 'safe' is the appropriate term. Stuff that in your Xmas turkey.

City are currently one of the best teams in Europe and will win the Premiership at a canter and possibly the Champions League and the next World Cup too. So losing was no big shame. Oil money speaks louder than most.

But we have chosen or been forced by circumstances to take another route and I for one am happy with the path we have chosen despite the pasting we got yesterday. My dream is still a name change to Tottenham Academicals.

We made a sort of game of it for an hour having gifted them a goal early on. After De Brunye thrashed one past Lloris for the second it all went wobbly; Sterling scored a couple more; Jesus missed a penalty and Eriksen replied just before The Etihad (edit) emptied completely.

Verts was OK for the first half hour and Lamela enjoyed his 15 minutes. After them it was pretty much a patchy mess. Trippier was hopelessly exposed against Sane and the scoreline could could have been a lot worse.

At least we didn't lie down and die from the off. Taking the game to the opposition is my preferred method of losing but we were careless with the ball and hurried into errors. Most teams lie back and think of something else.

A midfield of a waning Dembele and an out of sorts and inexperienced Harry Winks didn't really hack it against the might of City. We had key players missing but so did they.

 Their reputation preceded them and clearly put the frighteners on us. Perhaps better to go three in the middle and set Serge on Sane from the start. Maybe Davies or Foyth at the back.

 I don't think it would have made a lot of difference. Even without David Silva they were a formidable force. Dele was invisible again and Eriksen quietly ineffective.

So the answer to ''If not Spurs, who?'' remains unanswered. As long as they continue to beat everybody including our rivals for top four there is no harm done especially if they slip up to one or two of the bottom half dozen.

We grabbed a decent share of the possession but couldn't exploit it. Harry Kane was isolated; Son, Hugo and Rose were good in parts, like the Curate's Egg, which is not actually a culinary recommendation.

Shout out for Sissoko who made a brave attempt to revive the Spirit of Stamford Bridge 2016. Had a fight and got booked. Not bad for a seven minute appearance.

Dier dropped a clanger which Lloris compounded for the 4th. but it was very much all over by then. So although I hoped for better I was not too surprised by the way it worked out.

Interesting that Everton with four wins and a draw in the last five games, who are having a 'disastrous' season, and who sacked their Manager are now just 6 points and two places behind us. We need a disaster like that.

Gossip spot.
 Man City are in for Zaha. Not because they need him but because they can and it stops other team getting him. Chelsea have 38 players on loan. FIFA must be able to legislate to fix this Shirley.We currently have four I think.

Merry Xmas to our reader.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Tobias Albertine Maurits Alderweireld  The nearest thing to Ledders. The lack of clean sheets most probably down to this man's hamstrings and he's not due back until February. Merry Xmas and a quick return to good health in 2018 Toby for all our sakes.


Thursday, 14 December 2017

If not now, when? If not Spurs, who?

Audere est Facere
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The JimmyG2 Column. 
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 'If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs'. Kipling's famous lines which Mauricio has insisted the whole squad learn by heart is our current mantra. Slowly does it and steady as she goes.

The inspirational qualities of Kipling's words are enshrined in the players entrance at Wimbledon

'' If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
 And treat those two impostors just the same''

and it seems to be working. Don't get carried away and concentrate on the job in hand. One game at a time.

Mauricio doesn't go overboard when we win nor get despondent when we lose and he has instilled this in the players. Perhaps the fans could do well to take this on board too.

Liverpool and Arsenal failed to win and by default we find ourselves back in 4th. after two wins this week against Stoke and Brighton who have had their PSV licences renewed. They will both probably retain their Premiership status.

This is not a flattering reflection on the current quality of the Premiership bottom half. In the end we thrashed Stoke, again, and edged out Brighton in a dour encounter which even the starting of Lamela at the expense of Dele did not greatly enliven.

The return of Lamela is a bonus for us and him after such a long lay-off and serious surgery. His 20 minutes against Stoke showed us some of the flair which have been missed.

Son played well in both games especially against Stoke who crumbled after the second goal. But Brighton were made of sterner stuff and it took a fluke goal by Aurier and a slightly fortunate one by Son late on to complete the win.

Brighton refused the invitation to come out and play even when they were losing, so our deliberately slow possession play might have been abandoned. Only Son and Lamela showed any real sparkle.

Even Harry Winks lost his positivity and was loudly groaned at when he opted to go back when in space and with open ground ahead. Brighton are vulnerable on corners: we had ten and made nothing of any of them.

We had over 70% possession in both games, unfortunately too much of it in our own half. Rose and Aurier are both a bit wild and I expect the 'steady' brothers,Davies and Trippier to rotate into view at the weekend.

But a win is a win and at the weekend we have bigger fish to fry. Harry Kane is looking a bit jaded but has Alan Shearer's 1995 36 goal record well within his sights.

He has scored more goals than Crystal Palace and W.Brom. and as many as Swansea and Burnley. Another three in the 3 remaining games in 2017 and he will catch Shearer up. A hat-trick at Man City would do for me even if we lose 4-3.

City are playing and beating everyone for fun so a loss would not materially affect our top four ambitions. A zero sum game I think they call it, though to be honest I'm not absolutely sure about that

Harry Kane has found the net 33 times in 32 league matches, part of 50 goals in 48 games in all competitions for club and country. No wonder the boy is showing signs of fatigue.

Lamela came on for Dele at Stoke and Dele for Lamela against Brighton. Who will start against City is anybody's guess and mine is Dele. Having been 'rested' he might be more than up for it.

So we are doing well without  doubt but not doing it in style. Remember Danny Blanchflower's  dictum: ''The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom''.

Nobody could accuse us of style or flourish at the moment but if we have any in store the next game is the time to release it. Wednesday's clean sheet was the first for a while so I don't think we can rely entirely on our defensive abilities.

So time to flourish and do things in style. Somebody's got to end their run, be nice if it was us. ''If not now, when? If not Spurs, who? to borrow and adapt a Jewish Rabbinical phrase.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Every player in the club has memorised this poem I'm reliably informed by a good mate down the pub and carries it with him into every game.How to succeed by really trying.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Dele on the Couch not the Bench.

 I said ''Hot wire it or just blow the bloody doors off''
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 Spurs application to be allowed just to play in the Champions' League next season has been turned down on a technicality. You have to finish in the top four in the Premiership or win the Europa to progress to the CL.

Mauricio has crossed the Premiership Title off his 'to do' list and even finishing in the top four isn't going to be easy. Perhaps winning the CL is our best hope. And that's before we reach the half way stage of the Premiership season.

We took all the positives going from the Watford encounter. A goal down early again from a corner and a man down for most of the second half we saw overcoming these self inflicted wounds as a bonus.

The draw took us back to 6th on goal difference, four points off the top four and 3 points below Arsenal but without a win in four. A win on Saturday against Stoke looks almost essential for points, momentum and confidence.

Against Watford nobody was outstanding. Son got the goal from a precision cross by Eriksen but was offside more than Defoe in his worst nightmares. Trippier did well and we rode our luck on chances and the late decision on Dier's  handball.

But credit where it is due. We pressed better and put in the effort necessary as a team to compensate for the sending off of Sanchez. A straight red was possibly harsh but a foolish straight arm challenge into the face of Charlison.

The Champions' League is another matter. We scored the highest number of points in this phase than any other team and from the Group of Death. All the English teams did well and 5, a record, proceed to the next stage.

We did so with key injuries and lack of form in key players. We beat Apoel last night convincingly without Kane, Dier, Vertonghen, Eriksen, Lloris and with Alderweireld and Wanyama injured. 8 changes from Saturday.

Apoel were poor agreed but they didn't get a sniff. Winks was little negative but ran things and gave us a firm base. Sissoko played the Elder Statesman before and during the game and gave his best performance so far.

I'm sure he was bought for this purpose to give strength and support in the midfield and going forward. No scout could have failed to see his technical weaknesses at this level.

Dele was more `prominent and was the only 'star' apart from Son to be given the chance to play his way out of a run of poor form. I believe self doubt is his problem. I'm with Mauricio on this as dropping him might backfire.

The amateur psychologist is 'in' couch to rent, easy terms. First up Dele Alli. Next week the case of the retiring Great Dane, Christian Eriksen.

I don't think Dele's head has been turned by the high wages and bright lights elsewhere. It's his own lack of form on the pitch which has got into his head and is causing him problems at a crucial stage in his hitherto 'Golden' career.

He hasn't the age and experience to cope with this and to realise that it happens to everybody. He is playing with a frown rather than a smile. But class is permanent and form is temporary and this boy is essentially class.

I felt sorry for Sterling who waited ten minutes on the touchline for a two minute cameo. KWP performed again with confidence and should get more playing time. Foyth looks a genuine prospect at 19 especially.

But what an entry on your CV. Played in the Champions' League at Wembley. Amos could have had the same and did KWP only get on so early because of the injury to Rose?

Mauricio opted to bring on Dembele for Son on the hour: perhaps at 2-0. Perhaps ten minutes later Luke Amos could have been bloodied as we were clearly on top and had already qualified in any case. 

Vorm didn't have to make a save and Aurier though a bit wild got into some good positions. There was confusion at times at the back but this is to be expected when playing youth and new partnerships.

George-Kevin N'Koudou joined Fernando in scoring his first goal and it was all wrapped up bar some tedious 'game management' by the last 15 minutes. Rose is our best left back but was Mr. Angry last night and needs to calm down.

 Another good CL performance at Wembley which doesn't help to explain our poor performances against average teams in the PL. It can't just be 'Bus Parkers of the World Unite' to beat Spurs surely.

The better teams in the Premiership and in the CL take the game to us more and leave spaces for us to attack and exploit. Is it that simple? Anyway Stoke on Saturday gives us another chance to hone our hot wiring skills.

We have been going through a rough patch and despite that are not far off. It could all be a lot worse.COYS

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Llorente's goal and lay off for Son. George Kevin scores at his 4th attempt. The ball from Winks to Aurier for the opening goal was superb.( Not seen on the video) Looks like one way traffic. Yep that sums it up.


Thursday, 30 November 2017

Spurs come to a standstill.

No not 'Going Down!'
Just going down.

And so now we're 7th., below Burnley and the usual suspects who are all finding form, momentum and not a little panache while we stand still.

In the last five games we have lost three times, all away. The 6 teams above us have only lost three times between them in that time.

 Last year we were 5th three points off top four and 7 behind leaders and eventual Champions Chelsea.

Table after 14 games 2016/7

 ............. ..P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts 

1. Chelsea   14 11  1  2  32-11  21   34 
2. Arsenal   14  9  4  1  33-14  19   31
3. Liverpool 14  9  3  2  35-18  17   30 
4. Man City  14  9  3  2  30-15  15   30 
=========================================
5. Spurs     14  7  6  1  24-10  14   27
========================================= 
6. Man Utd   14  5  6  3  19-16   3   21
 
We started slowly last year and had a similar dodgy spell about this time too and recovered to finish second. But this year the heat in the kitchen is hotter, the air conditioning has broken down and more teams are involved.

Premier League Table - 2017-18

                    P  W  D  L   F-A   GD   Pts
1. Man City  14 13  1  0  44-9   35   40
2. Man Utd  14 10  2  2  32-8   24   32
3. Chelsea   14  9  2  3  25-11  14   29
4. Arsenal   14  9  1  4  28-16  12   28
=========================================
5. Liverpool 14  7  5  2  28-18  10   26
========================================= 
6. Burnley   14  7  4  3  14-11   3   25
7. Spurs     .14  7  3  4  22-12  10 .24
8. Watford   14  6  3  5  24-25  -1   21


This year we are 7th. four points off the top four but 16 points behind runaway leaders Man.City for whom Sterling has scored two last minute winners in the last two games. I think the Champion's spot is spoken for.

The good news is that unless we lose to Watford at the weekend by five more we are safe in 7th. for at least another week. Such are the straws I clutch at currently.

After only just over a third of the season panic is not called for. Our Champions' League form is outstanding but our Premiership form is not. We've been here before and moved on.

And so it went at Leicester. Plenty of possession, shots and corners but little inspiration until the re-appearance of Erik Lamela,  double hipster and new dad. A heartening 15 minute cameo that should put others to shame.

Many doubted his return; asserted that he hadn't been missed; muttered dark rumours of drug addiction  and worse. Well he's back with an assist and more dancing invention than Diaghilev: on a football pitch anyway.

His return should spark up the team and make the competition for starting places more lively.

We made three clear cut chances, all missed and went down to two top class finishes by Mahrez and Vardy. Lloris was a spectator except for retrieving the ball from the net, twice.

Eriksen and, would you believe, Llorente missed the proverbial sitters late on and would you believe Sissoko missed one in the first half before they scored. Believe, believe

We created chances but didn't take them until Lamela came on the scene and within three minutes had set up Harry Kane. 79 minutes and game on. But apart from Erik getting the inevitable yellow and the missed chances that was it.

We need Hercule Poirot to investigate what  Kane does to his striker rivals beverages in the canteen before games. Soldado, Janssen and now Llorente all falling to the Curse of Harry's Back-up.

Mauricio Pochettino lambasted the players for slow starts, lack of effort and poor attitude but surely most of that is his responsibility. We went through a similar dip last year but our marvelous home form is not likely to be repeated.

The Project seems to have temporarily stalled with Mauricio's magic not quite working. Injuries and loss of form are disrupting our stride and we need to get back it quickly or a relatively benign set of fixtures will be wasted.

Perhaps the defection of Walker and the thoughts of Danny Rose have unsettled the squad. The dropping of Son and continuing selection of Sissoko is puzzling too. We need to thrash someone.

Meanwhile the Manchesters stride ahead and even top four is looking a stretch. At this point I'd settle for the Europa and you can all laugh at me at the end of the season if it turns out better.

The Happy Clapper in me says it's all under control: the long-time Spurs fan that never likes to waste a good chance to panic is getting a little worried. The competition is fiercer this year and we still have Wembley and the CL to cope with.

Jimmy's Video Spòt:
 Kyle Walker Peters (20) PL debut. The forgotten man's impressive start to his senior career. looks good to me but Mauricio must know better as 'Bad Boy' Serge and Kieran seems to have the right back sown up.
Could have saved ourselves 23 million if you ask me.


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Spurs cannot be serious .


Focus on the plan.
Now you see it: now you don't.
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The JIMMYG2 Column 
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If there were any animals involved in Spurs Premiership matches other than human ones our games would have been banned years ago. The cruelty involved in supporting Spurs is just too much.

The recent success in the Champions' League only makes things worse. How is it possible to draw with Real Madrid away, beat them at home, beat Borussia Dortmund twice to top our group with a game to go and fail to beat West Brom?

How is it possible among all these brilliant performances to capitulate to West Ham in the Caraboa Cup, and lose to Arsenal and Manchester United. The mind game Hunt Saboteurs are having a field day.

How can Christian Eriksen play like a genius for Denmark as recently as last week and turn in such a dire performance as he did against West Brom. And don't get me started on the highs and lows of Dele Alli.

How is a fan and blogger supposed to pick a path through the minefield that is Spurs form, results and performance levels. From despair, to elation and bemusement all in a single week. Roller Coaster comes to mind

How can Davison Sanchez be tipped for heroic stardom in one breath and then be cast as the villain in the next. From the best thing since sliced bread to toast in the twinkle of Mauricio's eye.

How is it that Lloris has made the same mistake three times in week to gift opponents goals by poor positioning or failure to advance from his line. The latter an uncharacteristic error; the former not so much.

From our hero and captain that for some years we worried that we might lose to the Big Boys to an error ridden figure that we might not care if we did and ironically one that nobody might want.

I was praying that the ball might stop before it entered the net but it was not our lucky day

I am Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered for those of you who remember the Ella Fitzgerald's classic from the late 40's.(Although I'm told that Lady Gaga has made a recent cover).

I suspect that Tony Alderweireld would have made a well timed intervention to dispossess Rondon on Saturday and therein might lie the root of many of our defensive problems One clean sheet in nine games recently.

But it doesn't explain the lifeless performance against Arsenal, the fighting display against Dortmund and the mind numbingly clueless one against West Brom. Almost everyone that played well in midweek disappeared on Saturday

Apart from Eriksen who went missing to an extent in both; Son who was lively all week and Harry Kane who did what it says on the tin, the others are a real conundrum. Dembele made a difference, Llorente did not.

Winks  and Jan went off presumably with knocks, the rotated full backs weren't as good as the pair from midweek  so was it just tiredness generally or has the Champions' League turned our heads?

Or have we even prioritised the CL?  If we have it's a pretty big long shot. Mauricio seems to have written off the title race so perhaps the focus really is on the big prize. As  John McEnroe once said 'You cannot be serious'.

Or is the simpler explanation that we don't play as well against Bus-Parkers  and Time-Wasters. Do they sap the energy, and ours with it, from the game. Do they confuse the game plan

We should be able to, we're getting enough practise but we lacked the ingenuity, pace and speed of thought and movement to make 70% possession pay. Especially when Dele and Eriksen are not on their game.

Ironically against W:Brom it was ex Spur Jake Livermore who put the screws on Dele for their opener after just 4 minutes. A slack error compounded by Sanchez and Lloris.

Once again though it was his assist that set up Harry as he did in midweek. One of two against Dortmund for the perplexing young man.

With a very late penalty win for Arsenal against Burnley, they go ahead of us into the top four; an own goal victory for Manchester Utd against Brighton, and a late winner for City, the weekend results weren't kind.

Only Liverpool's draw with Chelsea prevented a complete results disaster this weekend. Mind you we left it late ourselves.Next up Leicester on Tuesday and I am making no predictions for this one.Do you blame me?

We are suffering injuries and knocks to key players especially Toby and Victor Wanyama. Danny Rose wasn't even on the bench on Saturday, Lamela is well below the radar, Dembele is being handled with extreme care.

Thanks I feel much better now.  After 13 games we have the same points as last year and Arsenal are 1 point above us. They were 4 points ahead last year and Liverpool were 6.

Sanchez career won't end with one mistake; Lloris is still a top class keeper; Eriksen and Dele will thrill us all again soon; form is temporary class is permanent.COYS.

Breaking News. Barcelona target Eriksen not Coutinho.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Sorry couldn't find a shorter one so 6 minutes of frustration it is. Looks as if after Rondon's goal there was only one team in it. Well there was but chances went cap in hand.

They seem to have edited out Dele's mugging by Livermore that led to the goal. Must be a contract thing. Unfortunately a really clear picture.

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