The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Parker missing in action.

He's still out there somewhere

The JimmyG2 Column

 We had plenty of things to blame but the best you can say is that we didn't lose. A horrible fixture, on a horrible pitch and frankly a horrible performance. With little creative input in midfield we struggled to hold onto the ball and to play football as we have come to understand it. It was football Jim, but not as we know it.

We started with 3 centre-backs firstly to thwart the Stevenage aerial attack but mainly because we could. We had another in reserve (King) and one in the recovery position(Gallas). We eyed the pitch as if it was a minefield, especially Dawson whose answer was to revert to type and play the ball long in the general direction of Saha and Defoe. The cares of captaincy seem to sap his confidence.

Kaboul at least had the ability to bring the ball out of defence but held on to it for too long as usual. He was more effective when Harry rejigged things after an hour and he could thrust his way down the right wing. Kranjcar brought some much needed creativity and Lennon did more in 10 minutes than most others did in 90.

The rest was pedestrian and they brought us down to their bargain basement level. They did the only thing they could in the absence of any real quality: worked hard, closed us down, roughed us up, and weren't too ambitious. Wilson and Freeman were the pick of the Stevenage players and all their the defenders were what is termed ' resolute'.

We didn't look like losing but winning would have been an injustice. Parker, further forward than his comfort zone usually allows or than he has ever been since he arrived was struck by friendly fire from a Saha shot on the line and the goal was correctly ruled offside. He patrolled the no-man's land  like a man after a gas attack The chance was set up by Rose our best attacking player on the day.

A Bale shot narrowly diverted by ex Spur Day in goal was our only other moment of genuine excitement. Walker just failed to convert another Rose cross but chances were few and far between.(See Highlights) Bale found Rose on a few occasions with good cross field balls but his pace and strength were ineffective amongst the crowd of bodies in the central areas.

In defence Nelsen looked a bit one -paced but solid otherwise and Cudicini spilled the only shot on target which had to be hacked clear. The midfield went missing, AWOL or lost in action. We were without  Van Der Vaart or Modric to pull the strings and neither Parker nor Livermore could locate any strings to pull. Consequently we had no agents operating behind the lines and few intelligence despatches to guide us.

 However a third clean sheet in four games preserved the draw, allows us to regroup and live to fight another day. We will no doubt win the replay easily on a level playing field on 7th March but no-one can begrudge Stevenage their day out.

 If we can win it we have a home tie against Bolton before the semi's on neutral ground. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger so they say and we had better hope it's true.

Meanwhile in another part of the battlefield.
Gallasand Huddlestone are long term injuries.
King, Modric, Van Der Vaart, Sandro, Adebayor, and Ekotto were unavailable for the Stevenage game and all or some could be doubtful for the NLD. But we sincerely hope not. Especially Adebayor and Modric.

Rumour Round-up (Known as ITK on some sites)

Boy wonder Hazard.
Lille's hot-shot super Taarabt is still said to be interested in signing for Spurs( or Arsenal or Chelsea or Man.Utd.) It looks like he's not staying at Lille anyway. And if you think that's what passes for ITK then  it's ITK.

Leandro: Remy:
Still being linked with us in all the usual ITK predictions for the summer. Bids made and rejected but both still on the wanted list. Two or three signings of this calibre could be Harry's price for staying. And that's common sense not ITK.

Doesn't want to go to Chelsea; it's Man.Utd now according to 'friends'. Makes much more sense if he's interested in playing in the Champions' League. Although he could just stay where he is. 'Modric to stay at Spurs' Mmmm good headline that.

Won't turn down the England job because he hasn't been offered it yet. Strong money on him accepting it at the end of the season and Stuart Pearce or A.N.Other to stay in place until then. Daniel Levy rumoured to be threatening Harry with 'muchas wonga' to stay on at Spurs.

Ron Henry:
The Stevenage right back's Grandad. Made 247 appearances for Spurs at left back and played in the 1960/61 Double team. Now 77. He has been involved with the Spurs under 18 side. Keeps homing pigeons.
The sort of information that might just come up in 'Trivial Pursuit'.

Free Ad. 
There is an excellent round up of ITK predictions in the last two windows on the  'We are Tottenham' fansite.
You win some : you lose some.

Video Spot.
4 minutes of Highlights from the game. Which means you don't have to sit through the other 86.

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