The Blog that's not always wrong.

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.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

could this be the year. my brain says no but heart says yes. it will come down to injuries and a bit of luck. if kompany gets injured then i fancy our chances......if he doesnt then im scepticle. we need leandro asap in my opinion..and a replacement fir bassong. thats about it. if we can beat the top six away then i might start to cinvince my brain that we can do it

Anonymous said...

sceptical

Anonymous said...

Ade must be in contention for our player of the season, at this point, as well. Like the first comment, my heart says yes we can be champions too. The only way I see Man City faltering is with season-ending somethings to both Ya Ya Toure and Silva.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

The more distance from Tues game the better I think we did. They really came to spoil but we kept at it and did enough as against Sunderland.

Like Shakespeare, few say it better than ABBA, and we certainly show no sign of laying down and dying. Injuries are a worry, though this may force some rotation which might be good as there is a fair bit of wear and tear picked up over a gruelling Xmas.

Happy New Year indeed.

Huge game vs Everton next Weds, just HUGE I say. A win really puts some daylight between us and the chasers and puts us right on the heels of the leaders. Aim high you lilywhites who nows when anaother opportunity like this will come around..

JimmyG2 said...

First Anon Poster.
Go with your heart for once.
Too much brain gives you a headache.

2nd.Anon Poster.
Ditto.
The Toure's are away for a month now.

IKAG
Not in my lifetime unfortunately.
ABBA and Shakespeare:You can't go far wrong with those two for guidance.

Anonymous said...

We can all pick our fav player but the one player who has made us belive we can compete is not ours yet. Ady its like having love affair with someone else partner. We need to buy him whatever it takes get Hudds fit and we will have the full set Two Strikers Defoe Ady A great Passer a thunder shot a big presents Hudds A wizard Modric Three cheetahs Lennon Bale Walker two Terriers Parker Sandro and some exciting Kids our biggest Worrys are just two Friedel is nearly 41 and he hates crosses Van upsets our balance and if he do-sent score he generally has a poor game and gets Hooked this will spoil Defoe s great fitness and form . Half term report great work keep it up and aim for the top of the class.Davspurs

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