The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Look to the Future

Look to the future now
Its only just begun (Slade)

But first a quick look at the past.
A fourth consecutive clean sheet for the first time since 2001; 10 points out of 12 over Xmas, our best Yuletide performance for,for, well ages. This could be the crucial launch pad for the third phase of the season.

Away to Fulham, who were fresh from beating Man.Utd 3-0, Harry was clearly wary and so were they. We traveled intending not to lose and turned in a determined performance by all concerned, particularly Dawson as captain and a match saving one by Gomes. But then that's what goalkeepers are for. A year ago here he dropped a Simon Davies' shot into the net and entered Goalkeeper Hell. He became the butt of tabloid and not a few Spurs 'supporters' jokes but proved over the past year that 'class is permanent'.

Against a poorly performing W.Ham side with both injury and financial problems we scored early but didn't manage to secure the game until Defoe's powerful strike in the 80th minute. But even at 1-0 there was no real danger as we out possessed them; out passed them; out cornered them and out shot them, on and off target. For the first time in years I wasn't even edgy with just a one goal lead. Ledley completed 90 minutes and Modric returned and scored. We played some sparkling football, Lennon was magical and nobody had a bad game.

Resolutions:

1)To carry on enjoying it whatever happens.
2)To continue arguing for as little change to the squad as possible in January.
3)To continue to believe that whatever I say, or hope, or believe does not affect the results. I may make a fool of myself but it doesn't actually damage Spurs prospects.
4)To believe with Sir Bill that, 'It is better to fail aiming high than succeed aiming low'

Heroes so far:

Dawson who has stepped into the centre half breach and staked a claim for the captaincy.
Gomes for his triumph over adversity and return to top form.
Kranjcar who almost made us forget that Modric was injured.
Lennon our fleet footed flier who can now cross, chew gum, and run all at the same time.

Villains so far:

David Bentley. Never has so much been spent on somebody for so little return.
Robbie Keane. More of a disappointment than a villain to be fair.

Predictions:

This squad can certainly break into the Top Four. It has the necessary quality and depth and is getting belief and consistency of performance.
Our next 13 games in the run up to the Arsenal game are crucial as we play 3 of the usual suspects in the last five games and need to be ahead of the game by then. At least our fate will be in our own hands.
But in this next batch of matches only Liverpool away and Man.City away are difficult (on paper). The other 11 are all winnable. I know, I know 'famous last words' and matches aren't played 'on paper'.
A Liverpool late run in the home straight cannot be discounted. Man.City with a new jockey aboard are perhaps more of a threat and have won their last two outings. Aston Villa don't have the pedigree to sustain their challenge. Birmingham's early show will soon peter out. Sunderland and Fulham are unsuited to this quality of race. Everton were non-starters this time out and are rumoured to be going out to stud.

My prediction is that Spurs will challenge with Man.City for fourth behind Chelsea, Man.Utd, and Arsenal. Aston Villa and Liverpool will compete for sixth.

Would I be disappointed if we lose out in the battle for 4th place? Of course, but that would still represent real progress. We are playing attractive, attacking football with more determination in the midfield and tightness in defence. The squad is young and can make further progress next season under Harry even if we fade in the run in this year.
Modric, Kranjcar, and the return of Woodgate might just tip the odds in our favour and good luck with injuries might just allow us to claim the 4th spot.

Its a pleasant change to note that with just one more win we are safe from relegation well before the end of January. I'm not sure whether to blog this or write it on rice paper and swallow it, just in case. Nope. See resolution 3)

Preview; Peterborough (F.A. Cup )

This kind of fixture over the years has produced more banana skins than a Chimpanzee's tea party but I'm not sure that even Tottenham can mess this one up.
Peterborough are bottom of the Championship and have won only three matches in 24 games, none of then away.
I would protect as many first choice regulars as possible so hopefully young Bale will play himself in for the Liverpool match, Dawson and Bassong and perhaps Hutton or Naughton will complete the back line. Jenas and Keane will probably start and whoever plays we should keep another clean sheet and score 3or 4 as we did against them pre-season.
You can get good odds on either Pavlyuchenko or Gio starting or even appearing, but I live in hope.

Happy New Year from JimmyG2.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

You should have got Noddy Holder to write the rest of it....

Anonymous said...

Like yourself I am feeling extremely positive about the remainder of this season,and those yet to come,I just hope for this season anyway those games against Stoke,Wolves and Everton don't come back to bite us.

But like you've written we are definitely moving in the correct direction,and with some canny buying and selling in the next few transfer windows we should grow even stronger.

Anonymous said...

My predictions where Lennon would start to deliver on the field and in his final ball.Big tom would be a Spurs hit and also for England my fingers are crossed for England.And lastly but the one everything is crossed to finish not fourth but higher and how high is locked in my 47 years of supporting my spurs.My English team that would make me proud if it ever got on the field,BUTTON NAUGHTON CAULKER BUTCHER WALKER LENNON HUDDLESTONE BOSTOCK TOWNSEND MASON DEFOE SUBS PARRETT SMITH ALNWICK KANE OBIKA HENVILLE.This could have been the team to play POSH ALNWICK NAUGHTON DAWSON KING WALKER lENNON HUDDLESTONE BOSTOCK KRANJCAR DEFOE OBIKA.HAPPY NEW YEAR JIMMY .G2 From davrumourmannwcockerel

PUSHNRUN said...

Enjoyed the post and share the sentiment that this will proove to be a break through season, whether we are 4th or take 6th, which realistically is the worst we can do. As much as we've had our own upsets, argueably we've got more than we deserved against Brum, Hammers first time out and the black cats, so 4th is about right..... This team will get stronger through experience and additions in defensive mid and up front. Don't expect Pav/Bentley/Hutton to be with us for the 2010/11 campaign but wish them luck.....on the other hand Bale/Bostock/Gio/Mason will have an opportunity to proove themselves.

I expect our main opposistion for 4th to be 'pool and City, but am determined to enjoy the shenanigins and twists in a seasons that has a lot more surprises left in it. Fulham,Everton and Brum have all got shocks in them. Can't wait for Anfield. We are now competative. Who would be surprised if we won? Not me! Let Liverpool worry about us..... Gomes,Bale,Daws's,King,Charlie,Luka,Thudd,Wison,Kranki,Defoe,Crouch. That team can beat anyone.COYS!

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

"David Bentley. Never has so much been spent on somebody for so little return."

On a scaled comparison, I'm going to have to say Man U's Berbatov investment has had the worst rate of return ever. Am I wrong? Well, Bentley is nothing to be proud of either.

Great post JimmyG2. I too share a lot of your beliefs. It's still a long season and anything can happen, but in comparison to where we were last season at this same time and day, this is pure bliss!

Happy New Year to everyone! COYS!

TMWNN said...

I hope there are changes to the squad this month.

The Sandro deal looks like it will happen, hopfully that will spell the end for Jenas.

Get rid of Pav and Bentley and bring in a real goal scorer. Keane and Crouch are squad players, not genuine 'top 4' starters.

Do this and we'll have a chance. If not, City or maybe the scousers will pip us to 4th.

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 13:45

I AM Noddy Holder

Anon 14:25

As long as we don't get into the situation that occured the other night when Portsmouth played Arsenal and there was not a single English player in either starting line up.

Pushrun

I think you are right, over 38 games things will even themselves out particularly this season when everyboidy is dropping points.

JimmyG2 said...

elwehbi

At least Berbatov is good to watch.
Sir Alex favours graft and endeavour as well as skill and the Man.Utd supporters have been schooled to look for this. Tevez, Rooney,Giggs make Barbatov look even more idle than he actually is.

TMWNN

What am I going to do with you?
'Spell the end for Jenas'
Sandro will not be in a position to replace anyone straight away. He's young and new to the country,the Premiership, the club, the squad and the team.
Jenas is not going anywhere while we are close to the top four and will be a valuable squad member (at the very least)
I am hopeful about top four but its a long season and a lot can happen particularly over injuries.

TMWNN said...

JimmyG2

You've not been paying attention. Jenas has already been relegated to the bench with Redknapp in favour of Huddlestone and Palacios.

If this Sandro fellow is any good, Jenas will be pushed further down the pecking order. His self delusion that he's a good player (something you too are guilty of where Jenas is concerned) and deserves to start will see him want away if Sandro arrives or not. He won't be going to the World Cup (rightly so) and if Huddlestone and Palacios stay fit, he won't be in the first 11 (rightly so part 2).

The only reason he could stay being what club has a need for a player that can't defend or attack very well?

Oh yeah, I forgot, Inter Milan :)

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You can't look at the future.

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It has the necessary quality and depth and is getting belief and consistency of performance.

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