The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Save the last laugh for me

Football - Wigan Athletic v Tottenham Hotspur Barclays Premier League
Harry shows his delight at Pavlyuchenko's second goal.  I only said 'Go on and run around a bit. Where's that interpreter?'


I'm not one to gloat but Harry could have saved himself a lot of trouble by listening to his Uncle Jimmy. What's the Russian for 'I must not be so stubborn' ? Ask Roman when he finally comes down to Earth. If Harry fans want to claim that this just goes to show his managerial genius then I'm cool with that, he hasn't got a lot wrong since he rescued us last season.

Anyway I'm not one to gloat. He didn't start but he did get 20 minutes and scored twice, much to the evident delight of his team-mates. He oozed effort and class and did more than Crouch has done in six games. He has sat on the bench 15 times this season without getting his boots muddy and has made only 2 starts. But he now has the best goals per minute record of all our current strikers, here or abroad, (1/74) and looks a certainty to start against Bolton on Wednesday; fitness and training ground reports permitting.

This is beginning to approach the outer edges of gloating . We had some luck: Defoe's goal was clearly off-side but 'you win some, you lose some'; we coped well with the pitch which was awful, especially Modric who seems able to float on mud. I can only imagine what he's like on water.

Bale was less adventurous than usual perhaps due to the conditions but he still managed to run 50yds to overlap Kranjcar and supply the assist for Defoe. Fans are saying that Harry will have a problem when Ekotto is fit. It's a problem that's easily solved; 'the kid gets the part'. Defoe was taken off rather than Crouch because he had misread the instructions on his medicine and was in danger of seeing red.

Another clean sheet; back into the top four; whats not to like? I even felt a little sorry for Harry as he smiled his rueful smile when Pavlyuchenko scored his second. It was more 'Roy of the Rovers' than real life. To start two games and score 3 times fits better in a Hollywood bio-pic than on the Tottenham High Rd. He could have refused to come on, sulked, or put on a display of frenetic ineffectiveness.
'I feel gloaty. Oh so gloaty'. But it is Pavlyuchenko who clearly felt like running and dancing for joy.
We are poised precariously on top of the contenders for the Champions' League places and before Everton next week we have Bolton to dispose of in the Cup Replay.

It should be 'routine' at the Lane but that is one of those weasel words. A bit like 'quaint' , 'compact' and 'accessible' in Estate Agent speak which means a rat-hole on the main road in need of complete renovation. 'Routine' in Tottenham speak means decided by a last minute deflected goal for somebody, not necessarily us. Kranjcar is the designated penalty taker and Pavlyuchenko takes them for Russia, but let's hope that we have wrapped it up long before it comes to that.

I'm very much cheered up by the performance against Wigan. Bentley closed down like a man on a mission; the midfield was efficient and the back four largely untroubled. I t doesn't take much to cheer me up where Spurs are concerned: a Modric shimmy and I'm ecstatic. Ledley went off with a strain but hopefully that was just precautionary. You never know with Ledders.

The next two games could well define what sort of season we are going to look back on. Personally I would rather we beat Everton than Bolton but happily in this life we have the opportunity to do both. I forecast earlier in the season that Everton would be more likely to be facing relegation than the Europa placings but in my defence I will say that I was right about Pavlyuchenko.

Is he a lethargic trainer or even a lazy player? Unless some ITK can text us from his perch in the trees outside Spurs lodge we will probably never know the truth. We had all this with Berbatov: was he actually lazy or did he just look lazy? It's strange that these controversies should arise at the one club in the Premiership that has a proud history of cultivating flair under a manager that has a similar reputation.

I can see the problem from Harry's point of view. How do encourage them all to train hard as a squad if you select a poor trainer? Easy to me: you say to Crouchy; 'Look son I like you, you're hardworking, and nice guy but that idle Russian is a better player than you and he gets the gig. But keep trying you never know you might improve'.

I understand that we live in different times now, where you have to pass a fitness test before you can get on the stage and start pulling rabbits out of hats. But we can't all tear about like Tevez or Rooney. I like my players on the laid back side of hyperactive. Pavlyuchenko fits the bill nicely. As Bill Nicholson once said of Jimmy Greaves ' All he's done this afternoon is score four goals'.


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please please stop thinking we are in with a shout of a top 4 finish becasue it just aint going to happen. We will do well to finish 7th with our run in and look at Evertons fixtures they are by no means out of the race. So just think a wee bit when you say you would rather beat Everton than Bolton. We do still have a chance of getting to Wembley but not of finishing in the top 4.

who framed ruel fox? said...

I was just going to comment on the previous post about your remarkable clairvoyance. Pavlyuchenko was indeed the difference on Sunday, as well as Modric's brief but dazzling cameo. Obviously 'Arry didn't get the memo.

More tommorow, I reckon.

who framed ruel fox? said...

Anonymous.

Bloody hell. You're quite the optimist, aren't you?

Maybe we wont finish in 4th. But I reckon as supporters we probably shouldn't concede just yet when we're sitting exactly there at the end of February. It kind of takes the fun out of it.

Anonymous said...

Lots of people are saying Everton have a chance of catching us, but let's be real - the only way they can catch us is if we REALLY go downhill. In that case we would be out of the race for 4th anyway. Forget Everton...apart from this weekend of course! How can you say that we don't have a chance of 4th when we have been in 4th for most of the season?! I am not being stupidly optimistic here - it will be tough. But it has also been tough to get where we are now! FOURTH!

TMWNN said...

'The kid stays in the picture' is an actual Hollywood bio-pic about Bob Evans, but we could use it for Bale and Pav, although unfortunately not for Bentley if Lennon gets fit any time soon.

Bentley is playing OK, but what's with all the diving?

As for Pav, even though I haven't rated him in the past, he could be the player we needed in the transfer window if he continues with where he left off after the Leeds and Wigan cameos.

Here's hoping.

Anonymous said...

I must have been looking the other way at the time,but just when I thought we had been very quiet in the January transfer window,it infact turns out that we've signed an extra three quality players in Pav,Bale and Bentley.

Foggy.

JimmyG2 said...

First anon poster.
No harm in thinking or dreaming. I hope you're not one of these guys that think that bloggers actually affect the results.
We are still in with a chance of both.
I like to enjoy my support for Spurs.

Foxy
I'm with you on this.
I predict that me and the remarkable Claire Voyance will have a great future together.
Can Harry read?

2nd anon poster 15:44
We could do ourselves a big favour by not losing against them. Winning would be better.

TMWNN
Thanks, I couldn't remember the quote precisely and got as near to it as I could.
No good news on Lennon I'm afraid so Bentley stays for the moment.
I'm usually right about players as you know, well sometimes.

Spud said...

Harry did seem remarkably stoic following the second goal but I don't think there is anything malicious to be read into that. Defoe's reaction was more interesting, Pete must feel like a spurned lover. Trouble in paradise anyone?

Pav's stock seems to have risen this season amongst supporters not because of his quality but of frustrations around our current starting strikeforce

He has done well in his last couple of cameo's and hope he continues to show Harry up and scoring goals but I remember an awful lot of mediocrity from Pav last season so am not getting carried away...yet

JimmyG2 said...

Foggy
Nicely put. When Lennon comes back that's another.

Spud.
Good analysis about Pav. and the fans.
Will he start on Wednesday or come on as the impact sub?
As you indicate I don't think Harry will dare to start without him.Will he?

JJ said...

Jimmy, apologies for my lack of posting recently.

So glad Pav scored and played so well against Wigan. It would be criminal for Harry not to start him against Bolton.

And whilst we're talking about Harry- I laughed when he said "he's good when he works hard and applies himself" (or words to that effect). Couldn't have just said that he did well could he?

alwyn said...

I don't have the data, but did many other teams do well at Wigan this season?

What irks me is why we can win 3-0 last weekend (and 5-1 at Hull) but couldn't beat Wolves, Bolton, Everton, etc. If we add up the points we "should've" easily won (e.g. against Everton, Hull at home, Villa etc), heck we'd be past Man U by now!

Am glad that Bentley, Modric and Pav did real well - kinda sore that Krancjar isn't himself lately and hopes he discovers the form that hit two past Citeh last year.

Fourth? Heck, we're Spurs(!) and should be snapping at the Arses' heels!

JimmyG2 said...

JJ
Please don't use the word 'criminal' in the same sentence as 'Harry'.
It makes me nervous.

alwyn
Wigan's home record is W3/D5/L5
They beat CHELSEA 3-1!
Everton and Man.U. beat them
Man.City and Fulham drew.
'Patchy' is the word I think.

As for games we 'should' have won, we are Spurs we don't do 'should.

KayBee said...

A splendid read as ever, Jimmy!

You're right to gloat, you totally called it. I must confess I'd all but given up on Pav, on the rare occaision he got a chance he never looked interested; but we saw a different Pav at the weekend, up for it, and clearly with a big ol' point to prove.

Anyway, thanks for a great read as usual.

PS - "As for games we 'should' have won, we are Spurs we don't do 'should" - aint that the truth?

JimmyG2 said...

KayBee
Thanks but I am also a long term Jenas admirer, the only one left and even I'm wavering .

On my headstone it will read
'Here lies JimmyG2
He wasn't right all the time'

Anonymous said...

Or how about
"Here lies JimmyG2,
And lies, and lies, and lies

No offence ment.... it worked for Groucho Marx

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