The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Never do things by halves


           Varied fare at the Lane. 


We played our best half of football this season champagne and caviare stuff, but the second half was more warm beer and a ploughman's. Everton inevitably came back at us from 2-0 down after half time. We just about had the strength to survive although in the end we were a little fortunate that they didn't take their chances.

We saw the best and worse of Gomes, sloppy handling and match saving efforts in an amusing little soufflé. Thankfully this is only an occasional 'special' on the bar menu rather then a daily choice.
We stuffed Everton like marrows in the first half and they nearly made gooseberry fools of us for afters. In the end the sticky toffee pudding was 'off' so we had the Victorious Sponge instead. We enjoyed the first course but the second gave us a touch of indigestion.

One talking point seems to be whether Defoe passed the ball for Pavlyuchenko's opener after 10 minutes or whether it was a mishit shot. Since Defoe has never in his life passed when in a shooting position the smart money is on the latter. Actually with Roman hidden behind two defenders as he ran in on goal it would have taken an incredibly accurate ball to set him up. Judging by Defoe's body shape and the speed of the ball it doesn't look like a pass. Not that it matters.

No dispute about the goal of the game and possibly the season. The ball disappeared for several minutes into the Croatian triangle. It re-appeared at the feet of Modric who contrived what Andy Murray would recognise as a whipped top-spin forehand shot from just inside the area. The ball ended up in the net off the underside of the bar. Almost game set and match to Spurs.

So its back up to fourth although with all our other rivals for top four winning it was a vital result. Huddlestone is possibly out for a month with an ankle injury and Kaboul came on in his place. He did OK and once he settles in could be a useful, versatile asset for the run in. He needs a tighter positional brief from Harry to curb his wanderlust. Let's not write him off prematurely, again.

Bale is so reliably good these days that he barely merits a mention. He was good defensively as well on Sunday. If I were him I would contact his Union rep. about getting an attacking supplement. With Bentley out with a groin strain the experiment of playing all three Croatians worked this time because Kranjcar made a skilful, pacy appearance and Modric a masterful return to his elusive best. Shouts of 'popustanje mene lopta' rang around the ground. That's 'Give me the ball' in Croatian for those that didn't keep up with their Croatian studies which you will remember I launched when we only had a pair of Croatians.

All four of our strikers were on the pitch at some time but not all at once obviously. Crouch fulfilled his real purpose by providing the long ball alternative as time ticked away but we won the game mainly on the floor. I'm with Cloughy on that one, there is no grass up in the sky. Eidur was a little aimless, unless he was trying to frighten the lives out of us, which he did with a cheeky, mazy little dribble on the edge of his own penalty box.

Injuries are piling up: Woodgate, King, Lennon, Jenas, Bentley and Huddlestone currently and we may well need a diving suit to survey our famed strength in depth. I said from the beginning that O'Hara should be retained and I think he should be recalled. Who knows we might get 'The Prince' back in a fire-sale at Portsmouth. If we could just re-sign Chimbonda from Sunderland 'Spurs Re-united' would be nearly complete.

It would nice to be able to say that we don't do things by halves but unfortunately we do. At least we turned it on for the first half which is better for my nerves. The once fashionable metatarsal injury has been replaced by problems of the groin which seems appropriate in the light of the recent scandals at Chelsea.

It's been an excellent week: three wins; 9 goals scored and only 1 conceded and still in the Champions' League places. Fulham in the heightened atmosphere of the cup is definitely on for us next weekend. We played out a 0-0 with them on Boxing day and a replay at the Lane is a possibility of course. Assuming that we can raise a squad for the game, with confidence high from the past week's performances we should be able to put this one away first time though again the margin is not likely to be great.

Pavlyuchenko and Defoe should start, with the Croatians; King could be back in for Bassong. In the absences of Huddlestone and Bentley then Ekotto might come in at full back and Bale play left mid field. However I wouldn't be surprised to see Kaboul join Palacios in the centre with Modric on the left and Kranjcar on the right. I might have to update this in the light of injuries, recoveries and availabilities later in the week.

7 comments:

Spud Gun said...

Cheers Jimmy you've made me hungry...

Joshtottenham said...

great article, think you're right about O'hara, but also right on the midfield we will actually see. Not sure about either both croatians on the wings or kaboul in CM but Harry is paid to make those choices not me!

Anonymous said...

Nice piece, although Kaboul is cup-tied. Particularly like "The ball disappeared for several minutes into the Croatian triangle".

elwehbi@ibleedhotspur said...

It's great to return from holiday and find a couple of JimmyG2 posts waiting to be read :)

I have been preaching the same thing about O'Hara, and now more than ever is the right time to bring him back. This could be his chance to prove himself and he just might take it by storm.

Great article JimmyG2! Spud Gun, let's grab a bite!

COYS!!!

Anonymous said...

Again - another great article
I did enjoy it - keep'em coming please.
Agee with all that was said but our "arry" does have some difficulties when the opposition make changes - he does nor react well or at all when we are under increased pressure
sjg

JimmyG2 said...

Thanks folks. Update,

Kaboul is cup-tied(Cheers Anon 01:45)
O'Hara is on a season loan and can't be recalled.
Livermore has been recalled from Peterborough.

Now I'm hungry.I'll see Spud Gun and elwehbi down the virtual cafe later.

sjg
Harry was given the job because of his inspirational qualities rather than his tactical nous.
You can't say it hasn't worked though it doesn't stop us criticising when we think he's got it wrong

Olly Frank said...

Hi,

I came across your blog and enjoyed reading it. I'm sorry that this isn't in the right place but I couldn't find a contact form or email address to get in touch with you.

I'm emailing because I'm working on a new game called Football3s. Football3s is a real-time game that you play whilst watching a live game on the television and the action on the pitch directly relates to the action in the game. You can take a look at http://football3s.com if you'd like.

We're covering the England game tonight so if it sounds like you're sort of thing you'll be able to play along. If you do play we'd love to know what you think.

Also, as the game relies on live data, we get a lot of match stats that I thought you might be able to use in match reports especially as we're covering every game at the World Cup and for future Spurs matches, as they feature quite regularly on the game. During the match every single action is recorded, including interceptions, failed passes, and tackles and I thought these might help you analyse the game a little deeper or let you write about the performance of Spurs players at the World Cup.

Here is an example of the match stats from the FA Cup replay at Leeds: http://football3s.com/matches/2862/match-stats (these show the Football3s points scored by the player but the number of each action can be worked out using the scoring summary: http://football3s.com/scoring).

If the game sounds interesting or you'd like the stats just send me an email to olly@football3s.com and I'll answer any questions you might have and would be more than happy to help.

Regards,

Olly

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