The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Bye, bye Blackburn

Does Harry not like that?


Well, that all went according to plan. Sometimes we seem to get the plans the wrong way up but not on Saturday. There were the odd alarms of course: a decent penalty shout turned down early for them; a disallowed goal that would have made it 3-2 with minutes to go; two penalty appeals turned down for us against Bale. Their replacement keeper made a couple of good saves and as the first half played itself out without any clear chances, except for the ones that Pavlyuchenko missed you began to get that 'here we go again' feeling.

Defoe however with lightening reflexes picked up a Corluka glanced header from a corner just on half time and slammed it home. Half time talk amended, crowd happy, terrible tea never tasted so good and all is right with the world. Pavlyuchenko missed a few more but contrived to grab a couple and only defensive acrobatics prevented his hat-trick. Return ticket to Russia put on hold once again. From outcast to Harry's best mate in half a dozen games.

Palacios still hovering on the edge of a two match suspension maintained his balance and once again played with effectiveness and control. He can't get through the rest of the season can he? Bale roasted Salgado several times and picked up another assist for Pavlyuchenko's second. Salgado an experienced ex Real Madrid star paid full tribute to a fellow member of the attacking full backs club despite accusing him of diving twice. Well he would say that wouldn't he. I'm not sure how a La Liga notable ends up in the twilight of his career at Blackburn. I assume that there must have been a mix up with his travel documents.

Blackburn scored from yet another set play, where over 50% of their goals have come from. Samba was clearly holding Dawson down which was another Webb error but over the whole game his incompetence was fairly evenly distributed and didn't ultimately affect the result. We should have won it; we did win it. We are getting just a little predictable and I could get to like it.

Results are still going our way, Aston Villa drew at Stoke but at the time of writing Liverpool have just scored three in 6 mins. against Portsmouth but whatever happens there we are still 4th with nine games to go. It's still Man.City that have a possible points advantage over us in terms of games in hand but they do not look like putting a sustained run together at the moment. They blew a couple more of their points advantage in their draw at the weekend. Our goal difference is superior to all our challengers and might prove crucial in the final analysis. I have said that before but the prospect of the whole 38 game season going right down to the wire is clearly preying on my mind.

Whether I will have any thing resembling a mind by the 9th of May is debatable. We could do with a couple of our wounded warriors returning to the front line rapidisimo. Huddlestone for preference but even Bentley and Jenas lurking on the touchline would be reassuring just in case Palacios has a rush of blood before the end of the season. Lennon, King and Woodgate have been sent back behind the lines from the front line field hospital and would appear to be on very extended leave, possibly for the duration.

The seemingly endless current debate about whether we would prefer to win the cup or come 4th, is a no-brainer to me. The FA cup is a shiny domestic bauble which adds just another line to our proud history. The Champions' League offers us prestige and status in the wider world. We could look the Sky four squarely in the eye. One of them will have been discarded and the world will never be the same again. It's more than a headline its a new chapter in the History of FFootball. It means that our key players , particularly Modric will be more than happy to stay and those that dream of exotic foreign imports may get some of their Xmas wishes. The money will be nice too. Champions' League nights at the new stadium. Mmm!

Mind you there is no reason why we shouldn't do both. Now that's what you might call just being plain greedy, but its wonderful to be in this position after so many years of waiting and hoping.

Pack up all my care and woe' indeed.

On current form we should be able to handle Stoke. Another team that relies heavily on set plays. Any team whose secret weapon is a long throw deserves to be soundly thrashed and I think that we will win it, even with a depleted squad given the form we are in.

The home game was a complete mess. We conceded late to a very good goal by sub. Whelan having gone down to ten men with Woodgate and Lennon injured. Simonsen made some good saves and we missed some decent chances. It can't all go wrong again. We coped with the long throws of Delap but I assume that we will concede one but should score a couple with Defoe and Pavlyuchenko on such good form.

Official JimmyG2 forecast 2-1 and another week in the top four. Do we all not like that!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our chances of scoring at the Britannia should also improve due to the absence of James Beattie and his acrobatic rubber legged goal line clearances.

Foggy.

Anonymous said...

It is not just Stoke's set plays that worry me, it is that they play tough. Can Modders handle that in the centre? Can Palacios survive such a physical battle without getting that yellow card - or will he be stifled as a result? Wilson has to survive long enough so that we get one of Jenas and Huddlestone back. The worry is that Wilson's suspension will coincide with 2 of the games against the top 3 - or the one against citeh... Unlike you, I do not expect to beat Stoke. I'll be content with a point.

Anonymous said...

I imagine he will play Crouch from the start to deal wiith the delap threat, he pretty much nolified it at the lane.

TMWNN said...

It's in our hands JimmyG2. One of City's games in hand is against us, remember?

Let's hope those hands are like Gomes' post Fulham last year, rather than pre Fulham.

Anonymous said...

It is not just Stoke's set plays that worry me, it is that they play tough. Can Modders handle that in the centre? Can Palacios survive such a physical battle without getting that yellow card - or will he be stifled as a result? Wilson has to survive long enough so that we get one of Jenas and Huddlestone back. The worry is that Wilson's suspension will coincide with 2 of the games against the top 3 - or the one against citeh... Unlike you, I do not expect to beat Stoke. I'll be content with a point.

Anonymous said...

It is not just Stoke's set plays that worry me, it is that they play tough. Can Modders handle that in the centre? Can Palacios survive such a physical battle without getting that yellow card - or will he be stifled as a result? Wilson has to survive long enough so that we get one of Jenas and Huddlestone back. The worry is that Wilson's suspension will coincide with 2 of the games against the top 3 - or the one against citeh... Unlike you, I do not expect to beat Stoke. I'll be content with a point.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if he partners Palacios with Kaboul for this one, as we'll have to grind out a result that may not be pretty on the eye.

Anonymous said...

So good, I had to say it 3 times! Stoke's home record is not that good - 6 wins, 5 draws, 4 losses. They scored 20 and conceded 17, so as long as we have our shooting boots on, we could be ok. COYS

JimmyG2 said...

Yes I was reminded of that when Pavlyuchenko's hat trick effort was similarly saved.

Anon 15:58/16:17/16:53
If we keep it on the ground we can outplay them and Modric will be central to that

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 16:05
I sincerely hope not. Crouch as impact sub for me.

TMWNN
Good point nicely made.

Anon 16:59
I don't think Harry will change it unless he has to.

DEAN said...

MODRIC IS THE KEY!

Jamie said...

Hi,

I'm trying to get in touch with Jimmy. Can somebody pass my e-mail onto him or can you get in touch with me Jimmy? my email is youngguns.wordpress@googlemail.com

Thanks

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

I worry about the midfield being a bit weak as they will try to expose Modric's size and Palacios' "yellow-card threat".

But then again, Modric can cause a lot of problems for a midfield if they aren't able to keep up with his pace. If he sneaks past them, his bite will match his bark.

COYS!

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

Fear and depression have struck once again JimmyG2! The news on Defoe is not going to help me sleep tonight :(

JimmyG2 said...

El,
We didnt think that we could survive without Modric, but we did.
We didnt think that we could survive without Lennon, but we did.
We have three fit strikers and players shortly returning from injury, Lennon Huddlestone, Jenas,
We have Kaboul to replace Wilson if he gets suspended.Livermore in reserve,
Whatever happens this is shaping up to be our best season for years.
All is not lost, at least we have got our excuses ready in good time

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

You are totally right in that sense. My only fear is that the Pav and Crouch partnership hasn't had time to settle. We need to score early tomorrow, otherwise they will take their chance and possibly punish us. But as you said, this is shaping up to be our best season in years. I am extremely confident of the boys, but it's just a bit unsettling when you lose your best striker to an injury at such a crucial time. Hoping the 3 other lads will shine.

COYS!

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