The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing.



I'll huff and I'll puff and make a tasty lamb stew
 for you all.

 The JimmyG2 Column

Where to begin with the latest NLD encounter? Perhaps, first off, a little humility needs to be shown. We, the fans, the players and the bloggers were more than a little arrogant about Arsenal before the game. Musings predicted a close game but was dismissive in tone. We sure had that rammed back down our throats.

The Cock crowed just a little too early and too loudly and was silenced by a withering blast from the Gunners. All credit to them and if this game revitalizes their Assault on Precinct Third Place we have only ourselves to blame.

Lennon was inexplicably left on the bench and was probably glad that he was; Bale was encouraged to play wherever he fancied and did so to no good effect; Parker made one late lunge too many and apologized before he trooped off; Van Der Vaart was clearly not match fit; Sandro was eager but undisciplined; Ekotto was playing a starring role in a game conducted entirely in his own head; Kranjcar surprisingly started and was less surprisingly substituted at half time; Ledley looked to be on his last leg.

All this and more makes this a difficult piece to write and a penance rather than a pleasure. Is this the beginning of the end of our hopes or was that last week at Stevenage? Will we look back and pinpoint Sagna's goal as the moment when we capitulated to the old enemy as our season turned to dust? Hopefully, and probably, not.

But the old Spurs still lurks amongst the hype. As the old Farmers' Almanac says of March, 'We came in like a lion and went out like a lamb'. Remember the pundits who even as they praised us warned that 'In the end Spurs will always let you down'. 

Ironically Parker our new steel core was sent off having spent the whole afternoon not quite getting there. He's going down the Palacios road. Brilliant start but eventually his limitations are becoming clearer.

Are we in fact a sheep in wolf's clothing? Despite the praise and adulation of the assembled pundits are we mere fools' gold that glitters to deceive. The latest NLD gives us pause for thought before we casually dismiss it and ignore whatever lessons can be learned.

We were two up away from home within thirty minutes. We assembled the well known ingredients for success: score early, get the second and bank the points.But the recipe came out half baked. Our goals both had an element of good fortune but even during this period Arsenal were playing well, and we allowed them play and paid the price. They might have been forgiven for letting their heads drop but they declined to do so.

A dire weekend all round. All our challengers for fourth won, except Liverpool who had a day off and picked up some silverware. No one will remember how lucky they were. History will merely record that their name is on the trophy. But everyone will remember this NLD scoreline and not just the Arsenal fans.

Even if we make third this game will linger a long time in the memory. Only Walker and Friedel emerge with any real credit. This is the he second time this season that our keeper has conceded five goals and been adjudged blameless.
The next three games against Man.Utd., Chelsea, and Everton are crucial and if we don't take points off Utd. and the Pensioners and beat Everton we could be looking at a very tight run in. Until now we were odds on favourites to make it but we are only an each way bet this morning. This was the sort of performance that might make Modric and Bale reconsider their options, although Gareth was as guilty as anyone else.

Can a single game make such a difference? We were inept, badly organised and lacking in effort in a fixture which means so much. We were two goals up and surrendered our advantage. If this game gives Arsenal hope by the same token it might plunge us into despair. They wanted this game more than us and they might want third more than we do too.

Perhaps our highly paid professionals will simply shrug and clear it from their minds. Bad day at the office, just a blip and all that. Not something the fans can easily do. David Bernstein was at the Stevenage game, let's hope he was at Wembley for the Carling Cup Final and not browsing for England Managers in the Library.

So, not quite the end to the weekend I had planned but I think we will still make third as after Chelsea the going gets easier.We will almost certainly go into the last eight games with a much narrower margin than is good for my health. Perhaps this will act as a wake up call. Coming third in a two horse race is just not good enough.

The Cockerel is dead: long live the Cockerel. If ever we needed a win against Man.Utd it will be at White Hart Lane on Sunday. We need to have a better attitude if anything good is to come of it.

Video Spot.
A reminder of happier days with the boy Gareth when he used terrorise right backs and stay on his feet even when clipped in the box. That was before he became a Jack of All Trades and the Master of None. Get them all sorted Harry before you go.


22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bale is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Yet again Harry has shown he is inept as far as tactics are concerned. Not to play Lenon was a massive mistake & allowing Bale to roam all over the pitch was crazy against the scum. Bale was not tracking back enough to help Ekotto, who probably shouldn't have been playing due to surgery less than a week before.Friedel was to blame for one goal, he waited for the ball to come to him rather than diving for it. Playing with no width against the scum was playing right into their hands. Well done Harry.

Anonymous said...

Great article - honestly reflective. I'm going to say it how it is:
First goal - total fluke.
Second goal - Bale dived (not for the first time). We cheated our way to 2nd goal.
Rest of the match - Our best team in years totally outclassed by the worst Arsenal team in years.
Harry will not take us over the line and we have been up our own arses all season.

Anonymous said...

is it me, or does Bale look like one of the cartoon geezers from Gorillaz?

Anonymous said...

How much influence has Harry had in unsettling his team telling the world he is likely to go soon? Of course it has unsettled his men!!!!. Get you head out of your orifice Harry and let's see these man management skills that you are supposed to be so good at. You've clearly misjudged this situation with how it has affected your men. There is time to repair the damage. You had a good thing going here at Spurs. Your in great danger of screwing this for yourself and the club, and the history, for good.

Anonymous said...

Look, the main problem for Spurs is their unhealthy pre-occupation with everything Arsenal.

It's jealousy to the point of obssession, and it's as shameful as it is embarrassing.

I've always stated Spurs would become a slightly better team if they focused on themselves as much as they do on their spiteful mindedness towards Arsenal !

The Gunners are a fantastic team, with a wealth of achievement behind them ( ok, they've had a drought over the last 5/6 of them ). And they've possibly being responsible for the best football played by any team in this country over the last 15 years.
Credit must be given where it is due, even by the 'bitchiest' of types ( and Spurs are falling heavily into this category ).
I think what annoyed me the most, is the amount of smugg gloating that was taking place with Spurs before the game ... and Arsenal loss was a forgone conclusion and all you had to do was turn up, eh ?! Well, you had that rammed back down your throat in the most deserving of ways and in some style by Arsenal, it must be said !
In all truth, Arsenal could have had at least another five balls in the back of the net during the game, so where Van der Vart got the idea that you were on top for the majority of the first half is beyond any rational review of the game ? And I think therein exists the problem : rational review goes out of the window in the Spurs mindset when up against Arsenal and is replaced by a nasty delusional perspective that only lends itself to utter warped recall and vindictiveness.

Arsenal on form, are just plain better than Spurs and this hasn't changed over the last number of years, despite the loss of certain quality players at Arsenal recently. Spurs have done well, and this is in no part to their Arsenal supporting manager, Mr Redknapp ( how ironic , but to entertain delusions of graduer at this stage of your developement is stupidity cemented).

It is time for Spurs fans to grow up, grow a decent pair and lose some of thier idiotic and misplaced fury.

Gunner 4 Life.

Anonymous said...

This is a very good article. Laying my cards on the table I am an Arsenal supporter but I promise that it will not cloud my judgment . You have come a long way very quickly , so quickly that you got to the last eight of the ECL in your first year , something we did not do. You will lose Redknapp because of the travelling not because it is England, driving from Hampshire every day at his age is mad . Do not sign Adebayoor as he wants mad money and he is 28, as soon as he signs six months later his form will drop, sell Modric and spend that money again, on a cople of very good players from abroad. We made the mistake of holding on to Cesc a year to long, he went back to his boyhood club but Nasri saw us as stepping stone to Madrid or Barca,just like Modric. Sell move on to the next big thing, hope you come fourth as i dislike the mad club which is Chelski .

stew.thfc said...

Arsenal were hungry, we were arrogant. Well deserved win and as i was slating spurs in the first half although two up i knew we would lose. Its a shame we didnt get our kicks to the ankles attitude into force like arsenal did. No desire. Your stoke-like attitude was spot on. Just wish we started with the same ethos. Spurs didnt deserve 2. 5-0 fair result. Onwards and upwards spurs. COYS

Anonymous said...

Being called Gunner 4 Life does question the objectivity of these comments, but there is the possibility of remission for good behaviour from a life sentence.

The game itself was an abberation, Spurs properly losing for the first time since August (the narrow losses to Stoke and Man C in between being down to bad refereeing). A typical derby where form went out of the window. After 40 minutes, Arsenal were collectively 8 nil down from their last 3 matches. This finally embarrased them sufficiently to play above themselves and comeback strongly. All credit to them. No credit to a Spurs team who thought, after their trouncing of Newcastle, they had already won.

The logic that this one game makes Arsenal a better team than Spurs is of course nonsense, however. It would be equally nonsense to say that because Spurs came back from 2 - 0 down and won the same game last year that they were a better team than Arsenal then. The fact remains that of the current Arsenal team, only RVP would be guaranteed a place in the Spurs team. Only the most deluded of Arsenal fans really think their team is better, despite Sunday's result.

Anonymous said...

i'm an arsenal fan but i have to agree with ther last posting. I would happily ship out 6 or 7 of the first team line-up. Walcott's performance in the first half confirmed my view that he had to go and will never live up to his early promise. Obviously, I've changed my mind now (and that's how fickle we fans are)! but Sunday, for Arsenal, was about dignity.

Terrible performances throughout a lot of our season, our virtually-guaranteed exit from CL shortly and a fight for 4th (perhaps 3rd but I won't hold my breath) made Sunday a game from the heart. Spurs turned up without that. The Arsenal were playing for their dignity, their boss, the fans - they just weren't prepared to lose. End of. We're quite capable of never reproducing that again but one thing Sunday showed up for you boys, is that Arry is not the long-term bet everyone thought he was. He's a short-term fixer, but that's it. Very ungracious of him to say "it was just one of them days!" No it wasn't Harry, your team got battered and you were humiliated. It was embarrassing for you, your team and your club. If that's all you can say, then we can truly look forward to more batterings to come.

Anonymous said...

To the gentleman who at 11:31 posted that only RVP would get into the Spurs team - we're not biting my friend!

I understand you are feeling a little frustrated just now but you will learn to cope with this better with time. As many of your older and wiser supporters will tell you this is just the way it has to be.

PS. I thought the 2 flattered you a little though as one was the result of a slip followed by a deflection and the other an embarrassing belly flop.

Anonymous said...

AND THIS IS WHAT YOU WROTE THE DAY BEFORE THE MATCH (What a joke you are):

Saturday, 25 February 2012
Modric Magic and Van der Vartistry : The North London Derby.

The Beautiful Lady without Pity
That's 'La Belle Dame sans Merci' to you Arsene.


You didn't think that we were going to leave you with your card unmarked for the NLD did you?

Greg and I are agreed on a win by a single goal, I'm leaning towards 2-1 Spurs. Are we up for it? We are so far up we've banged our heads on the ceiling. Our hour and a half plus injury time has come; our season has arrived; our decade is just about to dawn.

It could all come to a head tomorrow. An almost full squad against an ailing hound that is begging to be put down. Not with cruelty but quickly despatched, a necessary mercy killing. 13 points clear of our once hated rivals. Do we still need to hate this pale shadow 'alone and palely loitering'?

A win almost puts us clear in third even if Chelsea beat Bolton, which is not a forgone concusion. With Spurs starring as the beautiful lady and Arsene 'so haggard and so woe-begone' as the bewitched Knight. This script was written way back in 1820. Come on you Spurs, please do it for me, Greg and Johnny Keates.

Anonymous said...

Ha! 1820 - was the last time you won (anything)?

stew.thfc said...

Ha. 2008 coys. When was the last time you woolwich gypsies won anything. 7 YEARS ago. Oh to be a somalian arsenal fan.

stew.thfc said...

Ha! 2008 coys. When was the last time you woolwich travellers won anything? 7 YEARS ago. Oh dear. You'll be green with envy when we lift the oldest most prestigious trophy in may.

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 14.16
I know what Iwrote and I have eaten humble pie for it thanks.

Generally. It's good to have an honest and non abusive discussion,on the whole, unlike some places where there is only venom,bile,abuse and offensiveness.

Anyway you are very wellcome to drop in any time. The kettles always on and some 'tinnies' in the fridge.

Leave it stew.thfc they deserve their day in the sunshine.

Anon 13.50
Don't disagree with you.

Gunner for life.
We have as many idiot fans, and as many realistic fans as you. Boith sets of supporters can be way over the top before a game and I have acknowledged that I was.

More later

Anonymous said...

Arsenal fan who posted Anon at 13.21 you are right, Spurs did not turn up with any heart, and when they went two up, they thought they didn't need any. Arsenal were 8 nil down after nearly two and a half games and it hurt, but spurred them on (no pun intended). Spurs hurt needs to be vanquished in the same way in their next game.

Aresnal fan who posted Anon at 13.50, not sure what biting is all about, but looking at the Prem results between the teams since Harry became Spurs manager (that's 7 games now), it's 3 wins to Spurs, 2 to Arsenal and 2 draws. So if matches between the two are the barometer for who is the better team, then currently it's Spurs and yes, onlly RVP from Arsenal would improve the current Spurs team, sorry but that's how it is.

Anonymous said...

To the gentleman who at 11:31 posted ...


'Arsenal played above themselves' ... Come on, do you really expect that we'd accept this sort of idiotic comment ? Yes, I was goading a bit about us being a better team all around than Spur's ( but it's little more than your recent arrogance deserves ). However, to suggest that by beating you we were playing above ourselves is downright rude ! Also, this regular nonsense I keep hearing about only RvP getting into the current Spur's squad is another blatant crock !!
Verm, Kos and Sagnoa would all easily repalce three of your back four, with Kos and Ver, already ackowledged as two of the best in the Premier. And you are trying to tell me that Arteta, Oxlaide, Diaby ( when he's bloody finally fit ), Gervinho wouldn;t be good enough too ?? Get real! Hell, if Walcott is that bad, why is ol Arry trying to scout him ?? More useless drivvel from Spur's - talk some half decent sense for once in your lives over there !!
I stand by what I wrote in my original post, and still wager that when it comes right down to the wire, Arsenal will still show the better quality when it counts.
Somehow, I just can't see this Spur's side ever beating Barcelona 2-1 ??
Real talk ... Enjoy keeping thrid spot warm for us until we take it away from you rightly in the next few weeks.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

Good write up Jimmy. Harry always gets it wrong against them, starting with having us outnumbered in central midfield, and we often have to either chase the game from goals down or score against the run of play.

Usually he is too cautious early on at Arsenal, but showed real intent with Saha and Ade starting, which didn't displease me overly as we needed to have a go from the off. Indeed we might have gone 3-0 up in the first half (I acknowledge they had a chance or two and 2-0 was not a fair reflection of play).

In the last 60 mins we were indeed terrible and a mess in general but they were excellent too, in fairness. I was grateful it wasn't more in the end.

No panic from me, still a healthy lead, I remain convinced we are better than them and Chelsea and Man utd will bring out the best in us. Up the Spurs!

Anonymous said...

Dear All, I feel most chaste, truly. The reality is, that both teams ar prone to putting out dreadful displays and then magicals ones. That 2 N london teams are 3rd and 4th should be nothing but pride for us both. Did you read the back inside cover of the programme when the chap interviewed talked about having season tickets for both clubs in the old days. I don't like this tribalism, even if Arsenal is the superior team (end of love in)

stew.thfc said...

JimmyG2. Nice one sir, keep the dream alive.

JimmyG2 said...

Anon 17.38
Admirable sentiments Sir.
I used to go to both in the old days as a kid.
My mother's family were all Arsenal and my new step dad's all Spurs.
I'm happy with my choice at 8yr's old.

IknowAlanGilzean.
Confident of third though not quite as confident as I was before the NLD.

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