The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Adebayor and Agent in misunderstanding.

Hertfordshire Fire Service Museum
Adabeyor was disappointed to find we were going to play
a football match and not to visit this must see Watford feature.

The JimmyG2 Column

I know the Watford Civic and Preservation Society will disagree but Watford was more than just horrible and disgraceful, it was horribly disgraceful.. Picking a Spurs Man of the Match shouldn't take too long as there is a very short short list.

My vote would go to Van Der Vaart for at least trying to make use of his inate ability to impose some superior footballing quality on the proceedings. Just turning up gets him half way there in comparison with other senior players: Adabeyor and Modric to name but two. (Rumours are that Modders was ill. In which case the question arises; why was he playing?)

Some will single out Livermore for his sheer spirit and effort. Others might nominate Cudocini for a fingertip save but it was Watford's lack of composure in front of goal which in the end defeated their superior ability to create chances. Lennon, on for Modric at half time added some width and pace up front.

Defoe was what might be termed, an unused participant such was the lack of service he received. His strike partner clearly had better things to do on a Friday night. His agent had wrongly informed him that he was guest of honour at Hertfordshire's Fire Museum Open Evening and by the end of the game most of us wished he had been.

Harry, fresh from Southwark, picked a strong squad and risked mostly seniors to establish our credentials as FA cup contenders and the fact is that we won. So what's the problem? A win is a win and nobody will remember the details of the fourth round when Dawson, or Modric, or King, or Parker, or Kaboul or AN. Other holds the cup aloft at Wembley.

Well I may be a the aforesaid 'nobody' but I will certainly remember it. If this is winning ugly, a quality, if you can call poor football and lack of effort a quality, that we have lacked for several years then I can do without it. How many times do you have to win ugly before you cease to be Tottenham Hotspur at all.

I am in the 'I'd rather play well and lose' camp, not because I lack ambition for Spurs but because it is my firm belief that over a season playing well leads to success. It's in the Tottenham DNA to play good football and it's an aberation when we don't whether we win or lose.

'Winning ugly' is not something to celebrate. I accept that in some way it balances those times when we play well and lose. But increasingly fans are focused more on results than performance. Clean sheet, away from home, difficult fixture, game we might have lost once upon a recent time. This is a celebration of ends rather than means. I don't agree that the ends justify the means in whatever context.

We are third in the league and it is generally agreed that we got there by playing some of the best football seen in the Premiership for some time. The 'means' here are the 'end' and that's how it should be.You can't defend Democracy by undemocratic means. 'The plays's the thing' as Hamlet once observed long before Sir Bill.

If you play like Stoke, or Wolves or W.Brom eventually you become Stoke and Wolves and W.Brom. This is not the first time that our first teamers have performed below par in cup games, although I accept that Rose wins the accolade for 'most wasteful passer' although he had a number of team-mates vying for the prize.

I can't imagine that the inclusion of say Kranjcar, Piennar, Pavlyuchenko or Bassong would have materially affected the result. They couldn't have played much worse or shown less interest than their alleged betters.

Remember: "It's no use just winning, we've got to win well."

And Mr. Nicholson is undoubtedly right. He laid down the standards, the template by which Tottenham are to be judged. And his judgement on the Watford game would have been just this. We won but we didn't win well. It doesn't pay for Tottenham fans to step too far out of line with William Edward Nicholson.

Now Watford know how we feel when we play better than the opposition but come off the pitch without the victory that should have been ours. In the Cup that's the end of the road and the effect is more dramatic than in the league. There's always 'next year' rather than there's always 'next week' to make amends.

It was a terrible performance lacking in effort, co-ordination, and skill. Take it and move on because there is no delete option available. I might 'forgive' eventually but I am not inclined to 'forget'.

This is not what Spurs are about and even if the players lose their way one of the functions of fans is to hold their feet to the flame of quality because we will be here long after Harry and the current crop of players have departed. Starting to accept too much 'A win is a win' mentality is a rapid descent to nowheresville.

Next up Wigan a better team than Watford on paper but more likely to allow us to play if we are in the mood.
Should be a return to routine.
Spurs 2-0

Video Spot.
Once again I'll spare you the actual game. But just for Ade here's some footage of the appliances arriving at the new Watford Fire Station to compensate him for his disappointment on Friday night.
And ours.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Man Who Will Save Spurs Season

My name is 'Arry; I'm a cockney, but I'm still 'Not Guilty'

The Greg Meyer Column
Greg's at home this week with legal matters, laying the Law down and highlighting 'Special Ones' from legal eagles to football managers  from here to Madrid. Jose will be as furious after last night's 'El Classico' as were were on Sunday. But as Greg suggests time to move on. You make more progress looking forward than looking back.  All eyes on Harry then battling it out in court, and one eye on Watford, and the other on Wigan for a quick return to winning ways for all parties concerned. Especially the party of the first part, Harry Redknap.
Thursday 26 January 2011 ... A Special Birthday.


Spurs Season Saviour.

 Steven Gerrard, Craig Bellamy, Wayne Rooney would all be welcome to join the mighty Spurs to rescue a recent rocky week. A controversial loss to Manchester City and a Manager under siege need more than the best efforts of Assistant Manager Kevin Bond. James Bond is not available but the legal equivalent is.

The eminent Queens Counsel who rescued Steven Gerrard in that famous assault case, and who was involved in the other matters listed, amongst many other famous cases is currently battling the vast resources of HMRC on behalf of our own Henry Charles Redknapp.

Introducing a legal player described as a "Super Silk" ...

                  one John Kelsey-Fry QC ..


                                                                                     described as a court room wizard his legendary skills sit easily with the bevy of super stars both on and off the field that he has represented.

Apparently his week's work in having Steven Gerrard acquitted was worth 250,000 pounds. Carlos Tevez eat your heart out. Perhaps if Mr. Fry had been on the case for Carlos then the alleged 9.6 million pounds wages and bonuses he has lost recently might still be sitting in his Argentinian HSBC account. It probably not too late Carlos. Mind the queue for our man's services is somewhat akin to that line up for Spurs Seasons Tickets.

Whilst on the subject of renumeration our pub cannot but chuckle at the inherent irony in Harry's case. Allegedly its about non payment of tax amounting on various reports to approximately 30,000 pounds. Place that alongside our QC's bill and perhaps the protestations of the defendant start to gather some credibility. Still not even reached half time at the Southwark County Court and many a twist and turn yet.

For now our pub reckon the man who got Kieron Fallon off, the man who represents the Sharons, Stone and Osbourne, and as well a certain Roman Polanski comes well credentialled.

Among the plethora of recommendations on his Cloth Fair Chambers website perhaps the most telling is the following ...

                           " hard to get, but once you do, you have a huge head start."

Our pub verdict is, not the sort of baggage you need in your 64th year when you are enjoying your first tilt at the top table, but seems as though Harry has the best and so have Spurs. Good Luck Henry Charles from all ...


At A Kent Pub.


Even John Kelsey-Fry's skills would not have accounted for the curse of Howard Webb last sunday. Little Scotty's head has recovered, Super Mario ( Super ..... ) has been belatedly dealt with, so what. A great performance by the lilywhites should have meant at least a draw and a bigger foothold in the title race.

Results elsewhere in London went our way. Our lawyer reckons a morale boosting extension of our Cup run followed by a sound victory over Wigan on Tuesday restores collective spirits all round.

Just suppose our legal Saviour cannot save our football Saviour (two points from and all that) then who moves into the dugout next.

Without stirring a hornet's nest, that's on friday night at Watford, guess who has a special birthday today. A man continually suggesting he wants to return to the Premier.

Yep, Jose Mourinho, self proclaimed Special One turns 49 today.

Cheers ....remember the name ... John Kelsey-Fry ... superstar ...   Greg Meyer       coys.
Video spot. 
I'll spare you highlights of the City game, they are probably etched in your minds forever. 
So here's a famous lawyer and client scene from Dickens 'Tale of Two Cities',  not London and Manchester in this case. Don't get obsessive. 
Darney is no Cockney  and Carlton the lawyer played by Ronald Coleman is hopefully not John Kelsey-Fry. 
Good luck H.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Can we fix it?

Yes we can!

 The JimmyG2 Column

A fantasy or a nightmare, I can't decide. 

Dear Daniel,
Just an informal thank-you on behalf of the 'Scheduling Committee' for your co-operation in the 'five goal thriller' as the tabloids would have it, on Sunday.

We extend our thanks to Mr.Bale and Mr.Defoe for contriving to miss the late goal in such a convincing manner which had it been scored would have left little time for Manchester to win as agreed in the contract drawn up in the 'Game Schedule'

As a successful businessman yourself you will appreciate the Committee's efforts to extend a warm financial welcome to the multi billionaire Sheikh Mansour and his partners and to keep them 'onside' as it were while we get things sorted out.

You will note that the Committee kept to the terms of the agreement to protect your third place position for another week by the scheduled results of the other games in the Premiership which might have a bearing on your position.

We cannot at this stage promise your final finishing position in 3rd and automatic Champions' League qualification but your co-operation in the match of the 22nd. January will weigh heavily in the Committee's deliberations.

The Mr. Balotelli incident with Mr. Parker is being dealt with as promised and he will receive a 4 game ban or more if he appeals. We trust that this meets with Mr. Redknapp’s approval. We may have underestimated the effect which such an incident may have had on a man recently recovering from heart surgery.

However we note that the senior referee, Howard Webb, assigned to the game dealt authoritatively with the situation by opting for the Arsene Wenger strategy. ( 'I didn't see it', as the popular parlance has it ) This prevented Mr. Balotteli from being sent off and the risk of the penalty being missed by a less experienced candidate.

We also applaud your designation of Mr King as the penalty culprit, though we had thought that a more wayward character, Mr Ekotto or a younger member, Mr Walker, might be assigned to this task.

We note that Mr.Ekotto had kept the ball in play and gifted the ball back to City for their final assault so perhaps it was appropriate that he should be excused from committing the final foul.

The use of Mr. King, your Club Captain and hitherto Talisman, was useful in dispelling any idea that this match might have been subject to manipulation. But that is strictly between ourselves and I advise you to destroy this letter after receipt in the normal way.

By the way when was the last time that Mr. King gave away a penalty? Our records do not pre-date the Premiership era as little of note happened before then we understand.

May I point out that the distribution of the goals was not according to the agreed plan. The scoreless first half followed by Tottenham going 2-0 down and recovering to 2-2 all in the space of 9 minutes was perhaps stretching the fans credulity to the limit and we will have to work on this area in the future.

Leaving the penalty until the last minute of injury time was perhaps a touch over-dramatic too but these kinds of details can be given greater attention as the season progresses.

We are still coming to terms with the collapse of the old order, the Sky Four as it was, and need to pay more attention to co-ordinating the changeover to the new regime with two London clubs and two Manchester clubs comprising the Newly Anointed.

Our designated clubs at the moment are Chelsea and yourselves for the Southern group and your continuing co-operation will make the work of 'Football Fixture Scheduling' (FFS) much easier.

Please note that the original title for this group the 'Fixing Committee' has now been judged inappropriate  and all correspondence should refer to the FFS group.

We are planning to take an equally geographically measured approach to relegation and QPR will join Wigan and Blackburn as our designated teams despite a forceful intervention by Mr.Hughes on behalf of the owners.

I am sure you realise the urgency of initiating the NDP as a means of raising your financial profile and your assurances to myself have been noted. You may have to raise your current wage and renumeration levels in order to impress the FFS group but we have no wish or current plans to interfere in your internal processes.

Chairman to the FFS group.

Video spot. Here it is: the stamp ( issued by the FFS group). You be the judge. The referee didn't see it but everybody can now.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

We could have danced all night

('Dances with Wolves' dances with Wolves)
We could have danced all night
and still not scored the winner against Wolves

 The JimmyG2 Column

In this Bumper Edition a legend resurfaces; Wolves recaptured; Man City fail to impress; transfer window ignored  and all, like the National Health Service, free at the point of delivery and we're still six points clear in third. You lucky people.

Oh come on! You didn't really think we were going to win all our remaining 18 matches and coast to the Premiership title did you? Nor did you really believe that we were going to do it the easy way and give you restful nights and cure that nasty nail biting habit. No, I thought not.

This was clearly a set up. Just win this game and for a brief period we would go top. Promises, promises. At home to a team that we beat twice last season and once away already this season, what could possibly go wrong. Although only the season before last they did the double over us.

What could possibly go wrong is quite a long list as I indicated last time. Add another to it under the heading, 'poor finishing'. Hennessey played well but we didn't test him as often as we should have. Bale and Modric were the main culprits although Luka did at least get the equaliser and was frequently in good positions.

The other factor, and this one was on the list was, 'bad decisions'. The corner that never was which led to their first, though Freidel and Dawson were culpable here; and the third wrongly disallowed goal for Adebayor in three consecutive matches sealed our fate.

I mustn't say that it all evens itself out over the course season because some people get very irate at this assertion. But what the hell. It all evens itself out over the course of a season. Anger Management classes available half price for Totternham fans at your nearest JimmyG2 clinic. See Yellow pages.

Usual stuff otherwise. We dominated everything: possession,; shots on target; shots off target; corners; blah blah blah, but couldn't penetrate the packed defence of a team 'scrapping for their lives' as Harry so elegantly puts it. But we didn't lose and all we have to do is beat City away next Sunday and no harm done.

The Tottenham way in other words and I wouldn't put it past us to do exactly that though I've done with predictions for the moment. Except to say that we should have won 3-1 as I forecast and that I got it half right. Explain it all to your bookmaker when you go to collect your winnings. Mention my name if you think it will help.

I would settle for a point right now against City as I argued before the Chelsea game but the thought of Aguerro against Dawson and Kaboul is more than slightly worrying. And David Silva who is the only player who comes close to Luka Modric needs a Parker in better form than against Wolves to close him out of the game.

Kaboul will have to sit tight and his forward runs which I have praised were overdone and ultimately the football equivalent of a car with a dodgy GPS stuck up a country lane that eventually peters out in a field full of sheep. He and Parker suffer the same fault; arriving at their destination and then forgetting why they set off in the first place.

Dawson too, now that he has got some confidence, has re-started his personal missile project instead of laying it off to Modric or someone that can pass or carry the ball. One accurate pass to Bale did not offset the other three or four inaccurate ones which had Air Force fighter plans scrambling all along the South Coast.

However we have been doing it the traditional Manchester Utd. way up till now by beating the beatable teams. Eleven games in third place; unbeaten in seven; beaten only once in nineteen; still six points ahead of Chelsea who look like being our rivals for automatic Champions' League qualification.

But there I go ignoring my own wise advice from last time concerning premature chick estimation from incubating eggs. There are several 6 pointers ahead starting on Sunday and as long as we don't lose too many of them we are in with more than a chance of third.

So remember: crash helmets buckled; safety belts fastened: don't stand up or  lean out of the car. It's going to be a long and winding road and a bumpy ride. But we wouldn't want it any other way, would we?

Many people's favourite player dispels some of the myths which have sprung up over the past 40 yrs. My stepfather, now 91, converted me to Spurs when I was just 8yrs.old from..... well another London team, and still maintains that Gilzean could 'head a ball as well as most people could kick it'. The Berbatov of his day in grace and style and ability to control the ball.
This is a very good read indeed.

Transfer window.
Plenty of rumours: Remy; Samba; Hoilett; Defoe to Liverpool; Luka swap for Torres; Dos Santos to Bolton; £60 million war chest for Harry, possibly dependent on us qualifying and/or Harry staying; all denied in various ways.
Some  are more laughable than others of course. But nothing definite to report except that the window cleaner has been and at least we can see that nothings happening a lot more clearly. Not that I ever comment anyway. 

City have been beating bottom of the table Wigan as I write in a manner which certainly gives me hope for Sunday. They may be top of the table and have backers with money to burn but they are certainly not the most exciting team to watch. But they ground this one out. Uninspiring stuff.

Video Spot. (Not quite a 'video' but don't write in, we don't do refunds.)
And now to complete your enjoyment Julie Andrews sings 'I could have danced all night' from 'My Fair Lady' in a voice that could cut through the tightest packed defence. You saw that coming? Predictable, moi? Give the people what they want, I say.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Modric cautious over chickens

 Luka says that's one for definite Harry.

We like a theme over here at The Musings as you may have noticed. And while most of you are still surfing on cloud nine after Wednesday let me lay on you something which has stood the test of time: 'Don't count your chickens before they hatch'. Or to put it another way: don't cackle if you haven't laid.

Like you I'm euphoric after winning our catch-up game, with the old Everton 1985 hoodoo laid to rest too. It's better to have the three points in the hand rather than a game in hand in the bush. We are level with Manchester Utd in second place and with just the 18 games to go what can possibly go wrong? 

'Events, dear boy, events': injuries; loss of form; bad decisions; Harry in Cell Block H; stress during the run in; riots, a giant tsunami; who knows?

I'm lovin' it of course and will continue to do so with one eye focused on the 'Glory Glory' agenda but the other firmly fixed on not ending up with egg on my face, again. We are not quite Cock of the Walk yet. I'm as happy as a rooster in a hen house after the first 20 games.

But the next 10 games include Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man.City and Manchester United. Four of the five away from home. So I will be treading on eggshells until this phase has passed. If we are still third after 30 games and the gap between us and our rivals is now 8 points and counting then everything including top spot is possible.

The final flight path to the comfort and safety of the Champions' League nesting box looks entirely fox free. Eight games against the kind of beatable opponents we have actually been beating lately. Since our early setbacks at the hands of the Manchester Mafia we have ruffled quite a a few feathers ourselves.

There is no sign that we will chicken out at this stage and it appears that the pecking order of the Sky Four could be amended in some style and for some time. Harry has prioritised the Champions' League thus putting all our eggs in one basket, to the annoyance of many fans.

But the Champions' league is where the big money is and is the bait to attract the next level of player though we seem to be doing quite well without them. Fine feathers do not necessarily mean you can fly. Ask any ostrich.

Against Everton we were once again composed and controlled the game. We played in a more assured continental style, retaining the ball and playing through the midfield, waiting patiently for movement and then breaking quickly.

Dawson made an impressive return and Livermore one of very own fledglings, hand reared, and corn fed on the free range pastures of N.17. proved himself no mere understudy to the injured Parker and Sandro, providing some essential grit to the surprise of some and the delight of all.

Friedel has apparently put in a transfer request because at his age he needs to be getting more exercise. Standing about on cold winter evenings, scratching for a living, is playing havoc with his rheumatism.

Benny's assist for Lennon's opener and his blue boot screamer from 30yds were the eye catching features which made him MOM for many fans. But Van Der Vaart, who ran further then anyone else and made more passes, shaded it for me. It looks as if after a full year since arriving from Real Madrid, for chicken feed*, he has regained full match fitness.

Adebayor remains an enigma. His work rate and general contribution are excellent but both Pavlyuchenko and Defoe would have scored or at least hit the target from the Bale counter attack. If Modric could shoot, Messi would have serious rivalry for the Ballon d'Or but his contribution is quietly effective. Sorry Lionel, just a little bit of bias showing there.

Luka may not like the chicken badge and although too sensible to start counting his chickens he's glad that Mr.Levy stopped him going to Chelsea. Weather permitting the Cock sits proudly atop the White Hart Lane stands.

Kaboul was lucky not to concede a penalty in the tumble with Drenthe but continues to impress with his ability to bring the ball purposefully out of defence. And there were no signs of the Dawson 50 yd. heat seeking missiles because we now prioritise keeping the ball and Van. Modric and Livermore were available to pick up the ball from defence.

I look back with embarrassment at the long ball days of Paul Robinson, and the sort of play encouraged by the presence of Peter Crouch. So a change in style and a change in fortune. But let's not rush about like headless chickens until all the eggs are hatched. You may consider me just a little hard boiled but I have only your best interests at heart.

So although I can't shed light on the age old problem of which came first the chicken or the egg, omelettes are definately off the menu until the summer.

* Those who know their chicken rearing understand that chicken feed is quite expensive nowadays.

Foxes around the hen house were once an occasion for fear but even Wolves these days shouldn't present too much of a problem. I called it right at 2-0 last time but this time I think we will score more and concede just the one.

3-1 Spurs it is.
Remember Spurs Musings is not always wrong but that share values can go down as well as up.

Video spot:
Highlights here of the Everton game. Watch them before they get removed. if they do I'll find something appropriate for the chicken theme. And that's a promise.

Friday, 13 January 2012

The Title Race and the Elephant

Greg has been to the zoo and is mightily impressed with the larger beasts. You might say we are one ourselves these days. Court cases loom but Wolves are up first. 

Either change the wallpaper or the elephant has to go

The Greg Meyer Column

Friday 13th January 2012 ... Lucky For Some.

The Elephant In The Title Race.
Spurs won their opening day Premier game in some style against Everton. The result meant equal top billing on 13 August 2011 when it was due to be played. Postponement until 11 January 2012 meant the three points banked still placed them very near top billing. Who would have thought that the doppleganger effect might play out when the riots forced the delay. 
More thoughts on the Everton win shortly after we visit that elephant lurking in the Spurs title race aspirations.
An Elephant At White Hart Lane.
Nothing to do with those unecessary gibes concerning the day to day occupation of our premier striker's father. Surely tabloidal gossip that dad is an elephant keeper. Many a worse job to be had anyway says our pub's driving instructor.
Nothing to do with those everyday title race discussions. You know the ones like "all depends on injuries", "United's mental toughness will be a big factor", and " two big transfer window signings will make all the difference".
No the big game kicks off on Monday 23rd January at the Southwark Crown Court. An away fixture involving Henry James Redknapp, Milan Mandaric and HM Revenue and Customs. The court case centres around payments made into a Monaco bank account. The indictment alleges sums totalling $290,000 are involved. Expected to run for 2 weeks. 
Reknapp and Mandaric were apparently first arrested in November 2007. Given its now over 4 years later perhaps the polite thing HMR&C could do is put it off till seasons end. The elephant could be quietly returned to his stable or wherever it is that elephants live thereby settling many a Spurs fan's nerves, temporarily at least.
Speaking of wolves wearing suits ( only joking  .. to all hardworking tax collectors everywhere ) they turn up in earnest tommorrow at the Lane.
Toffees Consumed Comfortably  ... Wolves Hopefully A Dance In The Park.
Everton Shorts ...
                         Benny ... we all knew another was coming right after that first against Liverpool. Worth the 2 years plus wait.
                         Lennon ... just has to keep remembering, must not pass back, must try and take him on. Worked a treat against Leighton Baines.
                         Van der Vart ... what hamstrings, what sort of funny way I run. Sort of a dutch waddle with no reference to a certain Spurs legend,Chris. The new and energetic van man.
                         Modric ... he may not have the shot of an elephant on him but our lawyer was again mesmerised by the skill of his passing. Vive la finesse.
                         Everyone else ... a team playing with title belief.
Wolves Visit and What To Expect.
                         A packed midfield with physical harrassment of the highest order. Henry and Frimpong in particular.
                         No James O'Hara. Still out injured. At least that takes the ex player scores goal out of the equation.
                         Surely a pumped up Adebayour given he has next week off against City.
                         No Webb, Foy or Clattenberg. Mike Jones is officiating. Anything than the aforementioned trio is a plus.
                         A vocal contingent attending the Lane from some of the regulars ...
At A Kent Pub.
Come Saturday evening the headlines will hopefully read,
                         "Spurs Go Joint Top."
Our pub was bemused this week to hear Arsenal and Chelsea fans voicing serious concern at the gap to Spurs. Our surveyor merely points to other news of a 34 year old Arsenal Legend being asked to return from America to save a season. Speaks for itself. Desperate times indeed.
Cheers ... music to our ears at the pub even if he did score against Leeds ... Greg Meyer.   coys.
Our Disney theme song for Saturday. The three little pigs singing 'Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf'

Monday, 9 January 2012

Top Banana

Not quite but we're getting there.

The JimmyG2 Column

 Apparently I was the only one that saw the huge Fyffes banana blimp that had been  moored over WHL since the third round draw was made. But it was safely towed away and deflated without too much difficulty. I can't believe that I was the only one that saw the 100ft. curved yellow monster. Must be something I ate.

Cheltenham came and gave it a go but we scored three without reply. Players needing games got games and nobody got injured. 'Result' as they say. We sailed serenely into a 4th round tie with Watford which cuts down on the traveling and should give a similar squad another day out.

Our renowned flat track bullies all got goals: Gio actually got a goal and a half courtesy of Jermaine (if it's not nailed down, it's mine ) Defoe. Pavlyuchenko true to form did not do a lot but finished off a lovely move to make it 2-0 just before half time. Gio had a hand in all three goals but it won't convince those that wrote him off three seasons ago for 'off-field' misdemeanors. I won't labour the point as it looks as if he's on his way back to warmer climes.

Bassong unduly impressed the Radio Gloucester commentators and they would have been rendered speechless if Kaboul had turned out. By the end of the game Basso was 18 stone and 7ft. 2”. but at least the two awestruck Gloucester men didn't overindulge in the inane, tedious, boys' banter that ruins Radio London's coverage of the Spurs games.

Well it did until I discovered 'livefootyonline', live link on the right hand side, and in two seasons I haven't missed more than a couple of games. If they don't get the Nobel prize for something or other it's obviously more fixed than the Eurovision Song Contest.

The transfer window is wide open and the curtains thrown back to reveal a barren unpopulated landscape. Our only 'really need' is some backup for Adebayor despite a story in the Mail that Ledley is out for a couple of months with a hamstring tear. I note that Leandro is still being touted for the third window running.

Ledders and Gallas only make up one player between them so its only half a loss if true. Bassong and Dawson have made a decent pairing in the past if Kaboul is unavailable and Livermore is shaping up as a very useful utility player: midfield, right back and centre half, so far.

With Caulker available next season and Cahill demanding £120K I would give all this a miss and stick with what we've got. However Harry likes the look of Samba or possibly Collins from Aston Villa, so we might find that my advice is ignored once again. In any case, as you know, I never comment on transfer rumours

The next genuine 'big one' is on Wednesday night against Everton and we should have a pretty damned fine squad available. Only Sandro, Ledley and Tom are officially out of action, Parker should return. If we lend them Piennar for the night it might help; us not them.

We might have to get used to a team that picks its way delicately round the man-traps, bear pits and banana skins and gets on with the job of winning when it matters. You can trade in your 'fickle fan' badges at the Spurs shop in exchange for 'Oh no not Champions' League again' stickers from today.

We don't even need Jenas as a scapegoat any more. But I expect someone will step up to the plate when things go a little wonky, as they inevitably will at some point. Not against Everton though I suspect.

2-0 Spurs.

Video spot. 
You remember all those banana skins we used to slip up on? Well now we can look back and laugh and admire the story of the banana as it comes to our shores. The famous 'Banana Boat Song' by Harry Belafonte.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Have we been good?

Have we been Good? We've been bloody brilliant!

The JimmyG2 Column
 Just another routine game at White Hart Lane. 'Beatable' opponents with no more ambition than not to get beaten themselves failed in their mission and we duly scooped the 3 points. We kept a clean sheet and dominated possession, shots and corners.

We came under little pressure except when self inflicted injuries took us temporarily down to nine men. 
West Brom. sniffing a goal in the wind around WHL abandoned the safety of the parked bus and took a tentative turn round the pitch. They got in their only shot on target of the game which was well saved by Friedel who had almost forgotten why he he got changed.

Yellow cards tell part of the story of the game. We didn't get any which might reflect our laid back approach although we are top of the Fair Play league. W.Brom received five; four of them for fouls on Bale who was clearly a marked man in every sense of the words. This reflects poorly on both Roy Hodgson's approach. and his teams desperation. If you can't beat 'em, kick'em.

That's all in hindsight of course and the game had unhappy memories of other games, in previous seasons admittedly, in which we dominated but either failed to score or conceded late to draw or even lose. But this isthe New Sparkling Spurs with Added Attitude.

Van Der Vaart talks a tough game but yesterday played a tough one too and even without Parker and then Sandro we still didn't buckle under the strain. Kaboul and Gallas, until he went off with a calf strain again, stood tall, and Younes is increasingly bold and effective bringing the ball out from defence. A sort of Ledley with knees.

It was only the disruption due to injuries during the game that sparked the West Brom revival and Krancjar's 15 minutes at this point is being unfairly criticised in my view. He came on when we were down to nine men into a situation of complete turmoil and required to play a role that did not play to his strengths.

We certainly played better than against Swansea though they are a better and more positive team than West Brom. It was spectator anxiety that cast a shadow over what was a very positive and dominant performance with 70% possession We overcame some disruption through injury and coped with some pretty rugged defending.

It is clear that injuries are going to play an increasingly vital role as the season progresses. Can Kaboul and Bassong hold the fort until the return of Dawson with occasional help from King? If Corluka goes do we have cover for Walker? Can Livermore step up while Parker recovers? How disruptive will the longer term injuries to Sandro and Gallas prove? How soon will Lennon be fully fit?

Such problems are not restricted to Spurs. Man.Utd have already been severely disrupted and the 8 game ban on Suarez may hit Liverpool hard. Clearly there are more questions than answers here. The Africa Cup will make inroads into some of our rivals but happily not for us.

A decent second string will take on Cheltenham on Saturday giving us a week's recuperation before we play our postponed game in hand in midweek against Everton. Pavlyuchenko,Cudocini, Gio, Corluka if he is still with us, Rose, Livermore, Kranjcar, Bassong, Falque, Carroll, Piennar, perhaps a run out for part of the game for Defoe, Dawson and Lennon should see us through.

This would give the usual suspects, less only Sandro, Gallas and Huddlestone, who won't be back until next month in any case, some useful R&R. The squad against Cheltenham have plenty to prove and could give a very good account of themselves especially at The Lane.

Taking stock at the half way stage: we have just completed our first double; we have been in third for 9 consecutive matches; we are on course for 84 points which should ensure us top three; we are unbeaten in 8 at home; and have conceded only four goals in our last eight games. We have shown both flair and grit and injuries are possibly the only factor which could blight our season.

Update on the Xmas/New Year games. Taking the last four games into account:

Points gained :
Man City.....7 Points.
Man.Utd.....6 Points
Spurs......... 8 Points.
Chelsea.......5 Points.
Arsenal........7 points.
Liverpool.....5 Points
Newcastle.... 6 Points

We were the only team not to get beaten in this Seasonal mini-league and we made ground on all our rivals. We have the harder second half of the season to come in the sense that we play all the top six apart from Man.Utd. away and then there is the much fabled stress and pressure of the run in as contenders.

The gap between us and Chelsea in 4th is now 5 points and we still have the Everton game at home in hand and a 2 goal difference advantage. I just love statistics when they cheer me up, otherwise I generally regard them as slippery customers and avoid them.

Player of the season.(So far)
Looks like a landslide for Scotty although Van Der Vaart and Kaboul have made  late runs. Some will vote for Ledley whatever and I always tick the Modric box because he's our best player overall although he's been a bit subdued just lately. I hope he's not got Chelsea on his mind.

Video spot.
And now for all fans of a certain age, about mine actually, it's Abba to wish you a Happy New Year.
It's a bit slow to start, like Spurs sometimes, but stick with it.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Drink up and have another.

JimmyG2?  Blimey even 'is own muvver wouldn't recognise him.
The JimmyG2 column

 Now as you regular readers know I am usually a glass half empty kind of guy in the wonderful dreamscape that is Hotspurland though not generally outside in actual real life. Over the years I have learn't to find reasons to be cheerful but have been quick to wake up in the cold light of the day after the latest Spurs setback. I've tried, I really have, to believe, to trust, to hope and keep the faith.

And it's getting easier I have to admit. But Swansea was the kind of setback that quickly drains the glass if you're in the 'Down at The Dumps' saloon. So what kind of mood am I in in after Swansea? Half empty or half full?

Normally I'd be staring dejectedly at my dwindling glass: if only we'd hung on to our one goal lead we would have kept well ahead of the chasing pack and gained two points on both of our Manchester rivals in another weekend of thrills and spills, of hairpin bends, handbreak turns and outdoor snakes and ladders.

But the fact that we played poorly in the main, that half the team looked jaded, that we were fortunate to go ahead and lucky to hang on until it was too late to get beaten doesn't depress me at all as I contemplate the rest of my exciting cocktail, a Tottenham Whizzbang of pure pleasure.

We got a fortunate deflection from which Van der Vaart swivelled and scored. Another deflection swerved the ball dangerously into our six yard box where Kaboul, who played well overall, hesitated and Brad made his first error of the season to provide Sinclair, sans Walker, with a tap in. We came away with a positive point to add to our three from Norwich at a ground where only Man.Utd have won, and few have even scored.

We were generally outplayed and Joe Allen ran the game. Why we didn't set one of our attack dogs, Parker or Sandro on him to deny him space, as they did to crowd out Modric I have no idea. Vorm, Allen,and Sinclair would all be useful additions to our squad and there are not many mid-table teams or their players that I am usually so positive about.

We looked a little jaded, especially Parker, who was carrying an injury and needn't have played with the availability of Sandro. Bale too looked in need of a rest and at home I would like to see Kranjcar given some time. Townsend might have given a useful addition of pace but he's gone on loan to Leeds.

Adebayor seemed knackered by the end and perhaps Defoe should start the next game. Gallas too seemed hesitant on the ball and was caught in possession a couple of times. Benny deserves credit for the dazzling run for the assist but this was not Tottenham at their best. But away from home against a good team we didn't play well but didn't get beaten unlike some of our rivals.

Four points from two away games at a hectic time of year is normally a satisfying haul whether your're chasing top three or desperately avoiding a relegation scrap. If you look at the last three results of the top seven it becomes even more positive.

Man City:.. 1home/2away....points.4
Man.Utd.....2home/1away... points.6
Liverpool....2 home/1away...points.5
Newcastle...1 home/2away...points.3

We lost ground on only Arsenal and Man.Utd but still have a game in hand over both and a three point lead over Arsenal and a better goal difference which to say the least is unusual. We now have a run of four games at home, one against Cheltenham in the cup, all against 'beatable' teams ( W.Brom, Everton and Wolves)

Yeah, yeah , 'no easy games' and 'scrapping down at the bottom' aside, the future looks decidedly 'Lillywhite Bright' to me and 9 points and clear in third look by no means impossible, and I am the 'fickle ' fans 'fickle' fan by my own admission.

So drink up everybody and help yourself to another, on me, if you can track me down.
'Barman, does my bar tab need topping up? Oh and have one yourself'.

JimmyG2 is available for motivational seminars and barmitzvahs at very reasonable cost. Negotiable.

Video spot.
A very generous appraisal by Harry as usual. He could have written this column himself.
A bit of team juggling needed against W.Brom. tomorrow Mr.Redknapp. Rotation even. Pour yourself a small glass of wine and ponder the squad.

Happy New Year  to everyone.