The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Come in. The water's lovely

A whole week to relax in the warm bath of good feelings that are washing over me as a result of our good start to the season. A whole week to enjoy the soothing lotions, the fragrant scents, the gentle talcum powders of contentment that I found in Mrs JimmyG2's side of the bathroom cabinet.

A whole week to ponder how far we could go: to calculate whether we would prefer to meet Barcelona or Man.Utd. in next year's Champions' League final; to google the employment regulations to see if football managers are affected by the compulsory retirement legislation. And nothing to interrupt the dream.

By the time we play again Dawson, King and Gomes might be fully recovered with the advantage of having nothing between us and Bolton at the Reebok to disrupt our training. Just Harry and the lads buoyed up by their latest five goal haul practicing their celebration routines.

This is a luxury we have not had in the last few seasons and might convince those who are missing their European nights that not quite making the Europa is working to our advantage and may pay bigger dividends in the long run. Everyone is taking us seriously including ourselves. We know that they are all waiting for us to blow it but we can ignore them for another few days at least.

The games against Chelsea and Man. Utd were a clear indication of our place in the scheme of things and perhaps we were fortunate to catch Liverpool cold but if the Top Four can take points off each other our season will be decided at places like the Reebok not at The Emirates. A two points per game average will take us perilously close to Champions' League and we've got a whole week to snuggle down under the duvet of happiness.( I'm out of the bath now ). Even a draw next weekend will maintain that average.

How long will it last? Are we heading for a fall? Who killed Cock Robin? Nobody knows but there are no signs of it yet. Of course it was 'only Burnley' and if their equalizer had been allowed it might have all been different. But it wasn't and it didn't and all football matches are like that.

Suppose Defoe had taken the early chance against Chelsea or the penalty had been given against Carvalho what might have happened? We don't know, but we are where we are and they say the table doesn't lie and it says we are in fourth place, equal on points with Liverpool and Man. City.

We've had serious injury problems and three of the top four in our opening six matches. We have shot the rapids successfully and are paddling serenely in the relative calm of the backwaters of the Premiership towards our next white water experience at Arsenal. ( I'm out from under the duvet now).

I still have a very good feeling about the team dating from last March when I first spotted the green shoots of recovery and we started our rise under Harry. There was an element of whistling in the dark at that time when relegation was higher on the agenda than Europe but now I'm singing in the sunshine and the hills are alive with the sound of hat-tricks and five goal victories.

Of course I know its only September, that your only as good as your next game, that Pride Cometh before a Fall, but I'm still enjoying it and quite right too. Come in the water's lovely.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

In Harry we trust

It was a close run thing but I just got off the fence in time over Harry. Otherwise I would have had to berate him for dropping three goal Crouch and sticking with Keane. But now I don't have to do that, I can bask in the glow of the Harry magic and join in the adulation for a manager who drops a three goal hero and comes up with a four goal super-star. That's three of our strikers with hat-tricks this season and we've only played nine games.

We are back in the top four, sorry Top Four, everything that Harry touches turns to gold, 'He's the man with the Midas touch'. Thank you Shirley not now, we'll let you know. We are still without three of our regular centre halves although Dawson came on for the last five minutes; our best goalkeeper is on the bench with a strain; our best player is sidelined for another month; we put five past a team that came close to embarrassing us last year, and kept our first clean sheet of the season.

But I can rejoice with a clear conscience becomes I've joined the 'In Harry we Trust' Trust. (see last blog for details). What could I have been thinking of ? Harry not capable of taking us to the next level? If we were a spaceship we'd be in outer space passing the first rock from the Sun, and most supporters have just crash landed on Venus without the need for any rocket assistance whatsoever. Put the Fatted Calf on the barbecue JimmyG2 has returned to the fold.

We should have been clear by half-time but careless finishing by Defoe and Keane and stubborn goalkeeping by Jenson kept Burnley hopeful. We had that typical warm afternoon Spurs lazy look about us at first but, once Defoe had been brought down and Keane had scored the penalty and a Jenas half- volley benefited from a deflection for the second, the game was sealed. At 1-0 They had a good goal ruled offside and apart from a Cudocini fumble that almost let Blake in we were home and dry.

Burnley played some good passing football for the first part of the second half but lacked any thrust up front. Harry's dismissal of the threat of 'two goal' Nugent proved accurate and he was subbed on the hour for Eagles who did add some spark. We looked dangerous almost every time we broke and the movement of Lennon, Defoe and Keane pulled the Burnley defence apart.

But Keane who scored his first four goal haul in his career was the centre of attention well supported by Kranjcar and Jenas from midfield and Huddlestone who made some good breaks from the back. Palacios was a threatening presence and was booked for one of his trademark scything lunges (or is that lunging scythes?) He is a marked man in some referees's books and so are some of our opponents. He did however clear some space for Jenas and Huddlestone to play in. Even Bale came on to share the victory but it doesn't break the hoodoo because he didn't start the match. But he's getting closer.

Harry says that Keane is not guaranteed a place in the starting line-up just because he scored four but as he's a stone wall certainty even when he plays poorly I think this is one of Harry's little jokes.

Next week away to Bolton, brings us to the landmark eighth game and with any luck Bale, Dawson, and Gomes will give Harry further selection teasers and it could be 18 points from eight games.(Edited from 15) Its not as catchy as last year's slogan but it shows the progress we have made. With this kind of start last season we would have been close to 70 points, breathing down Arsenal's neck and on the edge of the Champions' League.

It also brings us to the first anniversary of Harry's appointment. Plans are in hand at 'The Trust' to invite Harry to a cheese and nibbles do and I have offered to make the welcoming speech. The committee have politely turned down this request as you have to have been a member for 'more than five minutes'.

But next year it might be very different. Hatched, they're, count, you're, before, chickens, don't. If you catch my drift.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

A sinner repents

OK. I give up. You win Harry. I have expressed doubts as to your abilities. I was wrong. You are the King of White Hart Lane. The President of Tottenham High Rd. The Czar of everything visible from the flagpole on the roof of the stands. Your bones will be buried in the Football Managers' Corner in St. Paul's Churchyard, and if there isn't one there should be, though not yet obviously. I urge you all to join me in giving thanks for the arrival of Saint Harry. Of which more later.

Against Preston I petitioned for Giovani and Pavlyuchenko, consistently ignored by Harry, to be given a game and the former is injured in the first ten minutes and the latter doesn't even make the bench through injury. I have doubted the selection of Crouch because it encourages us to lump the ball forward and he scores a fine hat-trick without so much a nod of his head. We barely hit a ball above knee height all match and pass our way to victory in one of those tricky ties that cast a gloom, if you lose, over everything that has gone before. We score five for the third time away in five games. We didn't even do that in the much publicised Double season of 60/61. What's not to idolise?

We are bereft of centre halves and suddenly Dawson appears like the genie from the bottle and plays as if he's never been away. Likewise Heuralho 'the cat' Gomez and Gareth 'Hoodoo' Bale. We take almost all of our chances and Preston, with Gomes' help, barely any of theirs. We win comfortably and in style and the confidence barometer hovers at 'heat-wave' for the weekend. Harry is both clever and lucky, a deadly combination.

And so let there be the joy in ranks of bloggers and posters over this sinner that has repented more than over all those in that happy 'In Harry we Trust' brigade who never doubted him from the moment he arrived and have been proved completely right. Everything he touches turns to points and what do points mean? Exactly.

The Inauguration Services for the 'In Harry We Trust' Trust will be held at the weekend at The St Francis de Sales RC church opposite the ground and, for those that can be bothered, a schlep down to Seven Sisters brings you to the South Tottenham District Synagogue where a parallel service will be held. You can wear either your ' We told you so' or your 'Watch it Jenas; you're next' badges to gain entry to either event.

Humbled, bloody and a beaten man I pause briefly to wonder what I will do now that Harry is off limits: 'N' guage Model railways; 1960's bus tickets; butterflies in Lincolnshire. None of these is as close to my heart as Tottenham so 'Spurs Musings' it has to be.. Well, I can turn on JJ, probably another of my lost causes. Huddlestone who I have championed seems to have made it to safety but I see no hope now for Pavlyuchenko or Giovani. David Bentley, who I said couldn't be as bad as last season, was selected for this match and proved not only that he could be as bad but worse.

A lot of players have written to me and asked not to be praised or recommended in my 'Musings' and in all fairness I have to admit they have a point. But you are only as good as your next match and if we lose to Burnley..... Beat it Beelzebub: I am a newly converted Redknapp disciple and in Harry I trust.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Disappointed but not depressed, again

Those inclined to write the team and the manager off after this abrupt end to our fantastic start should back off, calm down and pace yourselves. Get some perspective: its a cross Channel swim and we are just paddling on Dover beach at the moment; its Hannibal Crossing the Alps and the elephants have barely packed their trunks. Forgive me but I think you get the idea.

I'm disappointed but not depressed. No, that was last week. I can't use that again. Its your blog Jimmy, you can do what you like. Good point. Alright then I'm disappointed but not depressed, again.

The scoreline flatters them and we should have been a goal up and it could have been two or three before they had a clear chance. The non- penalty decision on Keane was the turning point though I think that he went down late when he realised he couldn't reach the ball. The injuries to King and Bassong completely disrupted us defensively. The excuses note from my mum mentions all these details.

We played some good football again and have four winnable games before we face Arsenal. We have played three of the top four and are averaging two points per game which would have gained us fourth place last year. Our results against Burnley and Stoke at home and Portsmouth and Bolton away are far more relevant to our season than the last two games against two top class teams who will probably battle it out for all the major prizes this year.

This doesn't mean that I don't want us to be challenging them for the top honours but the Spurs project is on the move and as long as we make progress this year and play some good football I will be content. Most people would have taken 12 points from six games if offered at the start of the season. If the last two games prove anything it is that are not yet ready to win the league but only the most blinkered fans ever thought we were, and they are the only ones depressed today.

For this game I asked Harry to take them on and we did. I would have played Pavlyuchenko instead of Keane but in fact he played better today and he and Defoe were well found by Huddlestone and Jenas in space on several occasions. Defoe should have scored early in the first half from a glorious ball by Palacios and both Jenas and Huddlestone went close.

The midfield with Palacios, Huddlestone and Jenas worked well enough and could have sown up the game before Chelsea got going. It gave a good balance of destructiveness and creativity though Palacios seemed a little distracted and some of his passing was awful. Lennon was floating which didn't quite come off and again experienced defenders forced him across the line and into congested areas. Kranjcar might have given us better balance on the left but for the first half hour we more than matched them as we did against Man. Utd.

The Match of the Day highlights which start from the result made it look one way traffic: they didn't even show the Jenas effort: Jenas haters in the BBC cutting room scandal, and you would not have guessed that we in fact had a greater share of possession. Injury worries are now mounting up and Huddlestone and Corluka may have to continue at centre half for the coming week and give Dawson and Bassong time to recover. Ledley is a more long term casualty I fear.

Harry's apparent determination to play Keane and Crouch at the expense of Giovani or Kranjcar and Pavlyuchenko is worrying though all three should appear against Preston along with Bentley and Naughton.. Gomes will feel that he has a claim to start as although Cudocini has made some good saves six goals in two games is not a glowing testimonial, even against the two best teams in the country.

Our alledgedly 'strong' bench may well be tested this month, hopefully not to destruction.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Its only Chelsea away.

Trying to see things through Harry's eyes is difficult especially after last week where he baffled most fans, but unless he is a very stubborn man, which he well might be, we won't see Keane starting on the left for a while. Not now we've got Kranjcar to fill in while Modric recovers anyway. However since Keane is undroppable then it looks like him and Defoe up front.

Midfield is more interesting: Lennon and Palacios obviously; Jenas for Huddlestone probably but I thought that they played quite well together last week and would like to see them both start, with Kranjcar to come on if we need more width and if Huddlestone fades. There was no sign of Dos Santos but I expect to see him on the bench and he and Pavlyuchenko might just get a run out.

It might well be a close game and in all honesty we are probably only playing for a point against a strong and effective Chelsea side with home advantage. If we lose it then we have still made an excellent start. Averaging 2 points per game is top six form at least and we have a run of 4 winnable games to follow before we play Arsenal.

What I am edging towards advocating is for Harry to have a go and try something bold and attacking instead of 'parking the bus' and going down perhaps to a late goal. Lennon on the left, Dos Santos or Bentley on the right interchanging positions and playing the ball on the floor.

The stumbling block is Keane whose presence prevents us starting with Pavlyuchenko and Defoe or experimenting with Dos Santos. I certainly wouldn't criticise Harry if he tries something imaginative and he has enough credit in the bank with Spur's fans to give it a go. Not that he cares much what we think anyway if he's got any sense. Pavlyuchenko is a mobile player with a strong shot who has shown signs on his few appearances of having some rapport with Defoe.

For morale reasons Harry won't want to lose two in a row but going at them with flair and skill will confirm our credentials as contenders, even if we lose, and might give us a lift anyway. Playing Kranjcar who has a reputation as a skilful play maker might be enough to provide some creativity and then it could well be Huddlestone who loses out. Packing the midfield and trying to nick it might be the sensible way to play but its not a strategy that's certain to work and attack might be a better form of defence.

At the back I expect to see Gomes return, Cudocini made some good saves last week but Gomes just might have done better with the goals. If King is fit then the back four picks itself; if not then Corluka will partner Bassong and Hutton will come in. I think it would be fatal to play too high a line with the pace and power of Anelka and Drogba.

So an intriguing fixture at a moment when our good start has taken some of the pressure off and this is one where we can shrug off a loss. Its the games against the bottom half teams that are crucial. Chelsea away is not one of our 'must win' games. Do I think we could win it? Yes. Do I want us to win it? Yes. I just think that we are more likely to win if we go for the win. We'll see if Harry agrees on Sunday and I for one won't be on his back if we lose it trying to win.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

And then I woke up

You know that moment when you wake up and for a split second you have forgotten that you are a Tottenham supporter and that you have just lost to Man.Utd. at home, after scoring in the first minute with the referee sending Scholes off for the last half hour? You are very briefly content, not quite awake, still top of the league, not just unbeaten but with a 100% record. Well the split second is over and I am now fully awake.

Now such a performance as that cannot be portrayed as good and yet I am disappointed rather than depressed and searching for positives rather than looking for scapegoats, and there are one or two.
That accident of history, geography and family background that shaped my Spurs destiny cannot be denied and whatever happened on Saturday has to be taken in the round and on the chin.

Firstly they are and were the better team: perhaps not individually but collectively they played well and Ferguson responded more effectively to the changing fortunes of the game and got his tactics right. Berbatov was at his Berbatovian best and Rooney ran all the afternoon, mostly from offside positions fortunately, and got his just reward on the counter attack. Some of this is hindsight and after 1 minute you might have been gasping at the managerial genius of Harry, but over the next 89 minutes the plot unravelled and we were found wanting.

But positives first. I would rather lose to Man.Utd. than Portsmouth, Hull, Wolves or whoever. Man.City and Aston Villa are the teams to beat this year, and at the moment, Sunderland but they are virtually a Spurs eleven so their joy is our joy. Those people, including me, who were dreaming of going through the season unbeaten can now relax and settle down for the long haul. The team that played yesterday and the way that they played will beat most sides in the Premiership and that will ensure progress even if we don't do as well this year against the Top Four, although we have already beaten Liverpool.

Individual performances were good: only Keane struggled, playing out of position, Defoe after the first minute was virtually invisible, swallowed up by the United back four. Crouch did very well, doing what he does, against the most 'uncompromising' centre half in the Premiership and the fact that it was, in the end, tactically inept was not his fault. Huddlestone was good again especially for the first twenty minutes, although he and Palacios didn't get close enough to Scholes and Giggs to stop them playing.

The big plus was for me was Jenas who returned confidently, ran the midfield for the first part of the second half with intelligent movement and some good passing and was unlucky not to score. Kranjcar briefly showed that he might be more of a replacement for Modric than Keane which makes me wonder why he didn't start there in the first place.

And so to my favourite scapegoat, our saviour Harry. If things are not perfect they can be improved. Good enough is not good enough. If loyalty can be a fault then he has it in spades. Keane was out of sorts and out of position. He should have been moved or removed. Against ten men every coaching manual will emphasise keeping the ball, making the opposition work and making the extra man count. 50/50 long balls towards Crouch does not work in this situation and Pavlyuchenko might have been used to good effect with either Crouch or Defoe. We threw away what advantage we had.

And yet we're five matches in, still in the top four, all the positives from the previous four matches apply and we lost a game to a team that will probably win the league. Harry needs to break his fixation with Keane and Crouch; give Pavlyuchenko and perhaps Dos Santos a chance; we've got Bale, Woodgate,Dawson, Gomes and Modric to return; and we're playing good football.

I'll just have another snooze and when I wake up I might just get that brief second of bliss again.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Still dreaming

I know I´m trying to jump on the bandwagon just as it disappears round the corner, well actually two bandwagons, like a crazed charioteer out of Ben Hur, but first: what is the point of Emile ´the bulldozer´ Heskey? And second didn´t our boys do well? So that's me nicely caught up to date and its only Manchester Utd. tomorrow that floats into view.

How nonchalant is that: 'floats into view'? Well we are top of the league. Actually, second but what's goal difference between fans at this stage of the season. But we do have issues to resolve here after the collapse against them last time out. A point would maintain our progress but we are at home and the team, if King and Bassong are fit, could just get a result. Get your excuses in early Jimmy. I´m thinking of getting a note from my mum just in case.

But to return to Emile: nice lad, always gives of his best but he´s just not very good is he? I don't go a lot on statistics though I have been known to make use of them when it suits me, but I rate his contribution against Croatia close to 'nil point': two good chances missed; five times offside; four times fell over before the ball got to him; a couple of headers on, one of which Rooney got to, and a couple of lay offs. And that's with our two boys straining at the leash, trying not to look too happy as Emile cocked it up, or too annoyed as we kept banging them in. They were sitting there wondering if all this adulation of Fabio wasn´t perhaps a bit overdone.

Well I don't blame them at all. I know, I know, its like criticising Harry after all he's done for us. When he or Fabio make a mistake you're not allowed to point it out in case they walk off in a huff and leave us in the lurch again. Makes a nonsense of blogging, fansites, free speech and probably the Geneva Convention.

Now the story is that it is through his immense contribution in creating space, for Rooney in particular, that has enabled us to qualify and now he can make even more room for Defoe and Crouch by returning to the bench. No, I don't buy this line either. Rooney has scored as many without Heskey as with him and Defoe's and Crouchy's scoring records are vastly superior in far fewer games. I´m with Hoddle on this one and the choice of Heskey over Defoe is an example of our ' mistrust of technically gifted players' as Platini puts it. The preference for strength and effort over flair and skill. Rooney himself expends far too much energy charging about and as a consequence loses his undoubtedly skilful edge.

Meanwhile, back at The Lane, Lennon is quietly polishing his 'Man of the Match' award for his first half display and hopefully Defoe is quietly nurturing his seething discontent and will take it out on Manchester on Saturday by scoring a hat-trick. The game was virtually over by the time he got on and the defence were practising their 'ole' routines.

For regular readers I have to say I nearly missed a good performance when I saw the team sheet but I did not nip out and buy the paint as promised. Mrs JimmyG2 was not concerned and remarked that she wouldn't trust me with a paintbrush, not inside the house anyway. Incompetence: husband ploy number one, I recommend it.

Now is the time to dream though, before the Manchester game. What the line up might be on Saturday is anybody`s guess. The permutations between Krancjar, Keane, Crouch and Defoe make this difficult to call even without the possibilty of Jenas and Dos Santos making their League debuts. Pavlyuchenko keeps knocking them in for Russia just to try to catch Harry's eye but he will probably play safe and keep more or less the same team with just Krancjar to play in place of Modric . He will probably feel that Man. Utd. are not a team to take too many liberties with.

Pondering on this though makes me realise what a quality squad we have and that even with Ferdinand returning for Man. Utd. they might be as apprehensive about this one as we usually are. Or me anyway. If we can grind out a 1-1 draw or pinch a win then my next blog might just be edging towards over-excited.

I have to admit to beginning to feel anxious about this season. Last season was easy: disastrous start and Harry to the rescue; no expectations; almost snatching a Europa place but it didn't really matter; survival was all and we made it; every game could take us higher, and it did; when you're bottom the only way is up. Now every match could be the edge of a precipice; every game could be a disappointment; hopes dashed; there's only one way to go and when you're on top its not up.

Did I get like this because I am a Spurs supporter of too many years? Or was I inevitably drawn to them by some cosmic force because I am like this by nature? Heavy stuff friends. Dont get me wrong I'm still enjoying it but what if we are top with say 8 games to go? We have quite a tricky run in and we could......Give over Jimmy if we're top with 8 games to go you'll be on life support anyway and Mrs JimmyG2 will be scanning the insurance policies to see if death by ecstatic seizure is covered.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Meanwhile

There's no football.Time to take stock and indulge the missis, make of that whatever you like but it usually involves Morrison's these days. I was going to follow the cricket or the tennis but it seems we are being thrashed by the Australians in the first and there is not one English player in the top 100 in the second so perhaps I won't bother.

Of course there's the International matches but I think Morrison's has the edge there, especially when its a friendly. Glen Hoddle interviewed in the Daily Mail made some interesting points on why England are unlikely to win the World Cup. Basically because we don't play the game well enough technically and are outpassed and out-thought. In it Platini refers to an 'instinctive mistrust of technically gifted players' and comments that Hoddle would have doubled his International caps if he had been French.Our performance against Slovakia spoke eloquently to his theme.

You could throw Platini's accusation at both Tottenham fans in particular and England fans in general. Take our attitude to, say, Modric before he proved that not only was he up to the rigours of the Premiership but was a footballing genius as well although this was pretty apparent even before he arrived. So too with the adulation of Palacios, who undoubtedly filled a need that we have had for some time but needs to moderate his aggressiveness and improve his positive role and in my view has been vastly overpraised. Its been pointed out to me that he has not yet picked up a yellow card so perhaps Harry has had a word. Last season he picked up 12 and the resulting three reds.

The doubts about Huddlestone, another player capable of greatness, the failure to appreciate the contribution of Jenas especially now we have Palacios to measure him by and the idea that Crouch is the answer to all our striking problems gives support to Hoddle's misgivings about British football.

The idea that Lennon, Defoe, Keane, and Modric lack the power and strength necessary to form an attacking force is ridiculous to anyone who has seen them play. What they lack in physical stature they make up for in skill, pace and determination. Dos Santos suffers perhaps from the same misgivings though there are dark mutterings about off the field attitude and conduct. It doesn't stop him running riot for Mexico though and hopefully with Modric out for a couple of months he might at least get the chance.

Picking Heskey before Defoe might strike closer to home and encapsulates the whole argument. What a dire game until Lennon Defoe and Milner came on. A team and a game of mind numbing ordinariness with barely a spark of life. Even Rooney bored himself into incompetence and missed two sitters ,one from a Lennon cutback. A flash of genius from Defoe was needed to win it, again from a one, two with little Aaron.

Hoddle raises crucial questions about coaching and attitudes which in a sense can never be resolved even if they fill the void for the moment.Winning the World Cup in '66 probably set us back 50yrs in terms of facing up to the challenge of new skills, new Nations, and new techniques and tactics.

We are still suffering the consequences of becoming World champions employing our traditional values of strength and effort. Martin Peters was described as 20 yrs ahead of his time. Make that 40. The World moved on but we did not.The arrival of foreign players has undoubtedly raised our vision of the game amongst both players and supporters though in my view it has been overdone.

It seems strange that at a club with a tradition of playing good football,quick interpassing, ball mainly on the ground, not just winning but winning well and all that, we should decry our quick and clever players and demand 'midfield destroyers', more players like Palacios rather than more like Huddlestone and Jenas who are criticised because they are not him.

Meanwhile thankyou Glen for helping us to bridge the gap and lets hope that both Defoe and Lennon start on Wednesday, but I'm not holding my breath. If Heskey starts I might just offer to nip down to Morrison's for Mrs JimmyG2 to get some paint and we can watch it dry together. And they say romance is dead.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

What transfer window?

I was so chilled out, laid back and put into a euphoric calm by the inactivity during the transfer window that I mowed the dog and took the lawn for a walk . Even Mrs JimmyG2 noticed and asked if they had cancelled that 'Swappy thingy with the players that you get so excited about'. Not buying, swapping or selling was the new buying, swapping and selling. As minimalist a window as you could hope to see through; more of a hole in the wall than a window.

I've campaigned for months for a settled squad and manager and blow me down if it isn't Harry ' Oy mush, wanna sell me a player' Rednapp who delivers the goods and even looks as if he will survive into a second year himself. Now that I realise that he is reading this blog I will have to be nicer about him. If you have anything you want passed on then just drop me a line. Heck I could even become an ITK. An 'Intergalactic Total Knobhead for those who are wondering.

No key or even widely disparaged players were sold, except Chimbonda, who never really came back, not even Jenas or Bentley; lots of youngsters were successfully loaned out and are doing well; two essential signings were made to fill key gaps at centre half and left midfield; Crouch was brought in as a sort of upgrade for Bent; a couple of young Kyles were bought for the future and nothing much else happened. No last minute panic buys were made; not even James or Anton Ferdinand. Anton Ferdinand I ask you.

The signing of Kranjcar for Modric is as near a like for like replacement as you can get, a talented classy 'Tottenham type' player who has lost his way at times but I'm sure Harry can get the best out of him. Keep reading H. there's more of this adulation to come. Kranjcar insists that he is not a just a back up while Modric is injured. Well he would say that wouldn't he, but he does have a point and we could be building some quality midfield here. Bassong looks sound, dare I say it, in the Ledley mould but with knees, and has coped pretty well with the constant changes along the back four.

The loan of O'Hara looks a bit premature after Modric went down but seems to have been all part of the Kranjcar, Boateng deal .We still haven't got direct backup for Palacios and there is a danger that Crouch tempts us to play too directly instead of playing the ball to the flanks and using his height from crosses to better effect. Bentley could be useful here, but that might just be a tad over optimistic. However I'm sure Harry knows best. See I told you Mr.Redknapp. I hope to see more of Pavlyuchenko but we may well have to wait for injuries for this to happen.

If we can get two points from the next two games against top four opposition this will maintain our progress and by then hopefully some or all of Woodgate, Bale, King, Jenas, Dawson, or Gomes will have returned. Things as they say, can only get better but we may have to mark time for a week or two while we regroup. The International break is a great bonus here, and if we have to overuse Crouch temporarily to take the pressure off then so be it, but as a long term strategy it is likely to be ineffective as we become predictable and easily countered. I hope you're taking all this in Sir Harry.

So the JimmyG2 household is content, except for the dog. Tottenham are settled and virtually top of the league where they belong and we have survived another window without major trauma. Sky Sports have made themselves look even more ridiculous than usual, apparently, though I never watch it and am out of the country anyway on my holiday computer that doesn't do English chellspecking ( a borrowed joke) so I blog this with apologies in advance.

What can possibly go wrong? Feel free to comment if you like your Harryship.