The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Hoodoo. What Hoodoo?

Safe from relegation before the end of January. When did that last happen? And the hoodoo has been jinxed and the jinx has been hoodood. We finally won a Premiership game with Gareth Bale starting. Luka Modric was back to his best and the stand out player on the pitch. He combined with our flying full back to put Fulham to the sword. We competently put a moderate Fulham side away and apart from a brave save by Gomes early on without any alarms of excitement until the final minutes when Dawson in his zeal to protect Gomes who was injured nearly cocked it up again. His heart's in the right place.

They had little bite in midfield and no edge up front. It allowed Palacios and Huddlestone the time to play well. So the choice seems to be between excitement and thrills ending with a loss or a draw or a routine, competent, possibly boring win. I think I know which most Spur's fans would go for, at the moment anyway.

Following the surprise appearance of Pavlyuchenko we had the even more surprising appearance of Bentley who knuckled down and curbed his more flamboyant side and was all the better for it. Modric reacted with style to Schwartzer's flap to set up Crouch and Bentley got a deflection off the wall to wrong foot the keeper again for the second. A little bit of luck going our way at last. Thankfully we didn't overdo the long ball.

Only Defoe struggled to influence the game and could perhaps do with a rest. He made little of his partnership with Crouch and the same when paired with Keane. Only he and Pavlyuchenko have shown any signs of an understanding. Ledley looked sound and mentored both Dawson and Bale. He kept his eye on the shop when Gareth popped out for one of his little trips.

If we are going to reap the benefits of having one the best young attacking fullbacks in the country then we need to provide cover for him and allow him to do his thing. We don't need to keep complaining that he makes the odd defensive error or hasn't mastered the black arts of defensive positional play. He's 20 for God's sake. Hoodoo sorted now let's relax and give the boy room to play.

Against Birmingham away we will have to step up. This is important in the same way that the Liverpool game was important. Anyone remember what happened there? We can promote our own cause and deal a potential rival a severe blow. Once again results are going our way, Wolves drawing with Liverpool; Aston Villa dropping points at home to Arsenal, Birmingham's unbeaten run ending at Chelsea. The great result fixer in the sky is certainly trying to give us a hand.. Now its up to us to help ourselves.

Birmingham have scored a measly 9 goals in their 11 home games and with our tight defensive record it looks like a low scoring game. With Chelsea putting paid to their 12 match unbeaten run in midweek it might be a good time to play them. They have a good record at home this season and against us. King won't be available after his appearance against Fulham. Doubts over the fitness of Gomes are a worry. If Kranjcar is still ill we might see the same midfield with Bentley preferred to Rose and Modric on the left. Up front probably Defoe and Crouch unless Pavlyuchenko has recovered

We seem to have players back or running into form, Modric, Palacios, Huddlestone and Bale so the result will depend on our ability to take our chances. I don't think they will score so a 2-0 win is my forecast.

An interesting sidelight against Fulham was that we played the game with 11 British players in the squad of 17 and had 6 English players on the pitch for most of the game. (Defoe,Couch, Dawson, Huddlestone, King and Bentley) and under an English manager. Is this a recent record? Does it signify anything? Does it matter? I don't know but in curious way I am pleased but not sure why.

With a Lithuanian grandfather; a mother who was half Irish; a stepfather from an Italian family; daughters who live and work abroad and grandchildren who are bi-lingual I don't think it is for racial or nationalistic reasons.

It is probably a futile nostalgia for the old days of one club players and a mutual loyalty between fans and players; not having to worry whether a richer or more successful club will seduce your best players; of bringing up your players in the traditions of the club; of having to succeed by recruiting, coaching and nurturing home grown talent and not just buying them from the ' Mercenary Force Catalogue of Overseas Players' who just want trophies and money and who will desert you if a better offer comes along.

Oh dear Jimmy you are really showing your age now. 'Time to go to bed now Jim. I said,  TIME TO GO TO BED NOW JIM'. Goodness knows what he'd have been like if his team had lost to Fulham. Bless him.


Anonymous said...

Great comments JG2 I live in the north west but my love for Spurs is has strong now has it was when my heart leaped with excitement when Bobby smith scored his goals in EUROPE in 1963 aged 10 could have bean my name that attracted me Smith or the proud cockerel anyway its worked all bar ten of my 57 years and if anything i am Hooked even more but some weeks like the stoke and wolves Leeds games i wish i wasent love our English players more than any and Hope these go to the world cup HUDDELSTONE LENNON DEFOE CROUCH my heart will gush with pride what price all four playing in a winning final.coys DAVSPURS

Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis Jim. Spot on, lets hope we allow Bale to play.

We now have cover everywhere, except for Palacios and Gomes, surely they are the priorities. Gudjohnsen is a stop gap, albeit a bloody good one, to getting a longer term prospect in this summer. It will also allow us to flog Pav and possibly Keane and get in £20m odd.

As for your nostalgia, it goes both ways. We want players to show loyalty to the club, but think nothing of it to insist them are dropped / sacked/ shot out the back / if it suits us. Loyalty to players from the fans has gone too. We want instant success not honest contribution.

alwyn said...

Good post, Jimmy. I've had my eye on Bale ever since he started for Jol (and since that bullet free-kick against Arsenal at WHL 2 years back).

11 British players on the pitch? Heck, I wouldn't mind there being 11 Malaysians (and 4 Indonesian subs) as long as we got the 3 points :)

JimmyG2 said...

I think you are a little biased here( 11 Malaysians)I might allow you one if they are as loyal as you.

I think all Spurs fans wish they weren't from time to time. But as you often point out addictions are hard to beat.

First Anon poster.
Agree loyalty has got to be a three way street,if you can get your head round that concept, between Club, player and fans and in this era it just can't happen.Doesn't mean I can't pine for it.
I would keep Pav. Keane meh.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure whether you were able to see it Jimmy,but when the players were preparing for kick off Bentley walked over to his position, and as the camera had him in caption you could see the determination on his face as he saluted the fans,

it was at that moment that I just knew he was going to have a great game,let's just hope Harry gives him another go at Birmingham as I think we could be about to see a definite change in his mental state,

Come on David we all want you to succeed.


JimmyG2 said...

No I didnt see it but he was adequate which is a vast improvementt on his previous form.
He can certainly do a job for us in Lennon's absence.
What's good for Bentley is good for Tottenham.

who framed ruel fox? said...

Difficult one to call, this. They've done awfully well.

You'd hope the defeat against Chelsea would signal the beginning of a downward spiral for Birmingham. Who can tell? But all this over-achieving has got to catch up with you at some point. Ask Hull.

I predict a riot.


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