The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Will Harry stay after England snub?

Harry left at the altar as Roy 'pips' him
 for the England job.
Oh please yourselves.

The JimmyG2 Column

Harry has been left at the altar in a modern version of Charles Dickens 'Great Expectations'. He might have a case to sue the FA for breach of promise a popular Victorian scenario when dastardly low-life’s found themselves in court for leading a lady on.

' Harry come down for your tea love, I know its the anniversary of Roy's appointment but you can't spend the rest of your life up in the attic with your interview suit on. Look you're all covered in cobwebs'.

Roy Hodgson, who only needs a moustache and a three piece suit for the role of Victorian villain has usurped our 'Arry at the last moment for the England job. Apparently he is the only one to be approached and the job is his for the asking. 

The people's choice has been overlooked and we can only guess at the behind the scenes machinations which have led to this personal disaster for Harry. Or it might just turn out to be all for the best for Harry at least if not for Spurs. His reaction suggests that he didn't turn it down before they offered it to Roy.

But the media, the pundits and the fans, do not select the England Manager and the FA have gone for the sound, reliable sensible candidate much to the disgust of the press who were anticipating a few more years of Harry's unique brand of fun, quips, quotes and assorted nonsense but on the national stage.

Hodgson ticks every box except 'interesting' but the FA might not be wrong. The honeymoon may well be a lot shorter too, barely a weekend if the early results go astray but at least Roy will be under control and not rolling about on the quarter deck fully loaded.harry is a Brian Clough for the modern age, another people's choice that didn't quite make it. But look what happened to the people's princess.

It is difficult to believe that Harry was not approached if only unofficially at least to confirm that he would accept the job if offered. Perhaps the stumbling block was Levy and the reported £10 million release fee for Harry's services. Hodgson will come cheaper as he is out of contract at WBA. But selecting a new England manager can't be about the money surely.

Perhaps it was our recent poor run of results which is ironic because the news broke on the very day that we pulled out of our tail spin and beat Blackburn. Well I say 'Blackburn' they seemed to have turned up with a signed letter of surrender and a set of cardboard cut-outs for the match at WHL.

Rumour has it that a cunningly placed set of cones gave the lads a more difficult game in training during the week than our visitors managed on Sunday. The cones apparently scored to level the session thanks to a deflection. Blackburn didn't manage a single shot on goal and Friedel has donated his match fee to an unemployment charity.

So Harry is set to stay which will dismay an increasing proportion of Tottenham fans who had just begun to get used to the idea that Harry was to be kicked upstairs. A lot of people from N17 were backing the 'Harry for England' groundswell as well as those from abroad.

So what was our season disrupted for? Absolutely nothing apparently. Those conspiracy theorists who saw a link between Harry's acquittal and Capello's resignation on the same day in February have to revise their mind-set. A clear case of coincidence pure and simple.

Perhaps we will have to revise our attitude to Harry if he pulls it round and we make fourth. If we do and even if Chelsea grab Champions' League by winning the final I expect Levy to do the Honourable thing and let Harry see out the final year of his contract.

If we don't make fourth then all bets are off and I wouldn't be surprised to see Harry sacked and the rebuilding begin. He might in this eventuality retire to spend more time with his bulldogs and Sandra of course haranguing taxi drivers until his dying day that he could have been a contender if the phone had only rung.

At least the lads turned up to wave Harry goodbye unaware of the drama about to unfold. Sandro cemented his position as heir apparent to Parker who was missing through injury. He made driving runs, was unlucky not to score and was energy and energy drinks all over the pitch. Lennon was sharp and set up the first goal which eventually found its way via Bale, the crossbar and Van Der Vaart into the net.

The second, a free kick which curled and dipped from 30yds, earned Young Player of The Year Walker the MOM from fellow right back Gary Neville. Van der Vaart only let him take it when Kyle bet him a tenner he could score from that far out..

But there were a few candidates, clearlywe are really good when the opposition doesn't bother to turn up. Gallas and Sandro hit the woodwork. Rose subbing for BAE out for the rest of the season was lively going forward. We never got to find out if he was any good defensively. Modric and Van prompted and probed and Bale wandered all over the place as usual but to little effect. So that's one down three to win.

Another coincidence to note is that they are interviewing Roy on the very day of the Match of the Season/ Century/Millennium in Manchester. Don't think it has slipped our attention.
Spurs Musings the blog that never sleeps.

Video Spot..
Harry on Roy. We never get to find out which player it was that was hooting Harry.
What a lovely man and I genuinely mean that.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Man Who Derailed Spurs Season.

Where did it all go wrong?
Plenty of theories to go at but Greg makes a plausible stab at identifying the man and the moment when our season took a nose dive. 'Never look a gift horse in the mouth' they say, but Spurs fans should know better. Always get a second opinion. But
there's still games to be played so there's always hope. It springs eternal, but it can be fatal.
The Greg Meyer Column
April Sunday 29 2012.
The Man Who Derailed Spurs Season.
The day it all went wrong can be precisely identified.
Not Sunday 22 January when the little right leg of Jermain Defoe missed that Gareth Bale cross by a now legendary 2 inches.The long legs of Emanuel Adebayour were missing that day because of legal requirements. A loan agreement with Manchester City ruled him ineligible to start.
Not Sunday 26 Febuary when Spurs collectively collapsed after leading 2-0 over arch enemy Arsenal.No legals there just an apocolyptic collapse.
Not Monday 9 April when they put on that shocker against Norwich at The Lane. Nor was it finally when we played on another Sunday. Chelsea 5-1 in the Cup. Whatever happened to big games on a Saturday. Another big one today. No prizes for guessing the day. The illegality of Chelsea's goal was there for all but Martin Atkinson to see.
No it was at 11:37 am on Wednesday 8 Febuary when the words "Not Guilty" rang around Southwark Crown Court that the Tottenham bandwagon began a headlong descent towards the Spurs of old. Of course it was not immediately obvious with that result at home on a Saturday overwhelming Newcastle 5-0.
In the world of law precedent plays a vital role. In football and especially at our pub it is the lore of hindsight that seems so stark and obvious now.If only that "Super Silk". one John Kelsey- Fry QC had not performed at his magnificent best then perhaps a certain football team might still be performing a damn sight better.
If Harry had lost the case then given his age, his health, the lesser sum involved plus a host of other mitigatory matters, a suspended gaol sentence in all probability. Gone however would have been the England job. Gone would have been the subsequent distraction for Harry and the entire team.
Seriously, well done Kelsey. No hard feelings. It's just that thereafter a lot of Spurs fans are having to come to terms with a manager who in his own words can do no wrong.
At the HMRC trial ...
                              "I'm a fantastic football manager not a hard headed businessman."
Perhaps we should have suspected the air of infallibilty was not all it seemed.
At the HMRC trial ...
                              " I don't write ..I write like a two year old.I couldn't even fill in a teamsheet. I'm the most disorganised person."
Out of the mouth of babes ... no wonder the optimism is a little forced this week ...
At A Kent Pub.
The good news. Seems rumours of Harry having lost a departing Dressing Room are wide of the mark. Perhaps " Kelsey" was called in about those speeding charges regards a fast vanishing Room. All charges dropped and all of Harry's football charges ready to go.
Well almost. Still our pub think Danny Rose for Benny is not a bad call at this stage.
With two big ones back in vital areas looks a lot stronger than last week. Younes at the back and Ade at the front gives us some real backbone. All of that and more will be needed against a Relegation battler.
Our pub think we can count on Bale but who knows about Luka. Chelsea have tied up Marin and as well have Mata. Is there room there anymore.
Look if 40 mill comes your way Daniel , bite their hand off.
Newcastle faltered and Arsenal stuttered at home.Maybe the football ghods have decided to look favourably on us. Paul Robinson in goal. See what I mean.
Cheers ... surely we can win today ... Greg Meyer.
Video Spot
Let's cheer ourselves up and look forward for a change. Tom Huddlestone will be back next year and I for one will welcome him like a new signing. He can chew gum, pass and shoot, all at the same time. Nearly. We need something to take our minds off the probable defection of Modders and Gareth.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Training ground fights denied: if only they were true.

I think you're out of time Harry
Perhaps we could put a bit more sand in Mr. Levy

The JimmyG2  Column

Dear Tottenham,

Many thanks for your recent performances. They will certainly assist my new resolution to cut down on alcohol intake as I find I consume less when I drink miserably all on my own at home. This is the only sure-fire method to avoid the hysterical chattering of Arsenal fans and the genuine delight of my sole Newcastle acquaintance at my local.

Drinking lately in lonely commiseration with the Man. City contingent recently emerged from the woodwork is not my idea of an evening well spent. Nor is enduring the smug 'we told you not to get carried away' looks by the Man.Utd supporters who have been spoiling my Pub visits for some years.

  For the moment Everton seem to have wiped the smile from their faces for and given renewed hope to the pale blue side of Manchester. Excuse me while I hide in the toilets as there's a fool in a Tevez shirt heading this way. You can never find a Liverpool fan to cheer yourself up with when you need one. But even they will probably use their 'Win the Cup and get out of jail free' card once again.

Even Hanson was almost fooled by our style and new found grit. This seems to have been spread all over N17 in an attempt to prevent a car crash. Is that the sound of Ambulances rushing to the scene?. You almost had me fooled for quite a while there. But many years ago I decided to adopt a 'coitus interruptus' approach to our relationship and rarely allow myself to be completely carried away for fear of the consequences.

I await with interest your submission of a fresh set of rebuilding plans for the team and management staff. By the time the first sod is turned on the new stadium we may be back on the Champions' league trail Unfortunately one or two other sods will have turned their backs on Spurs by then.

Not that I blame them. I'm thinking of suing you for false representation myself. The new Trade Descriptions Act must have something relevant. Are 'Posing as a Champions ' League contender' or
' Impersonating a proper football team' criminal offences? Or perhaps a 'loitering without any intent whatsoever' charge will do the trick.

But I am determined to be positive and I am sad rather than angry. I'm sure Harry, Luka, Gareth and all did not throw everything away on purpose. But to mislay one place in the Premiership rankings may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness; to relinquish three smacks of criminal negligence.

Thanks also for not delaying our collapse until the last minute. An early blip-fest saves a lot of heartache and pain. As a senior member I should know better but the 'this time it's different' feeling is very hard to resist. Going out in the semi final of the Cup is a lot less harrowing then losing the final to a dire Liverpool team as I'm sure you appreciate.

It hasn't stopped raining since the hosepipe ban was announced and we haven't strung three passes together since our manager and team was crowned by popular acclamation as the People's Champions. I must have blinked when we had that chance of winning the league.

It reminds me of the story of the centipede who was congratulated on being able to walk so well considering how many legs it had. It promptly tripped over and never walked again. I expected Harry to close the door quietly behind him as he left, not to bolt and lock it and turn all the lights off first.

The current rumours of fights on the training ground are just gossip and if true must obviously be demonstrations of desire and commitment. Or perhaps they are a prelude to showing a bit of fight on the actual field of play. If so the accounts are clearly exaggerated and unfortunately too late to influence our season.

A Cup Semi Final and fifth, or sixth in the league and the Europa Cup on Thursdays is beyond the wildest dreams of scores of clubs and we should count our lucky stars and be eternally grateful to Harry for what we have achieved, I'm told.

Anyway 'dear Tottenham' no hard feelings. I am always here for you when you want me, I just wish that it was true the other way round.

Yours (al)most sincerely


Video spot.
'Out of time' A Rolling Stones song that Chris Farlowe covered in 1966, the year we won the World Cup.
By common consent a rare cover version that was better than the original. 'Top of the Pops', The Sixties, it all seems such a long time ago but England's and Tottenham's time will come again. Trust me.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Spurs Dressing Room Booked For Speeding ... Has Harry Lost It.

'Abandon Ship! Harry and Modric first'.
 As if they'd abandon a sinking ship. That's for rats. The boys down in Kent are having a practic drill just in case. Luka and Harry are taking it more seriously. Classes available at your local Swimming pool. 

 The Greg Meyer Column
 April 22 2012 ... Some Very famous People At The Birthday Table.
 A Dressing Room Passes In The Night.
 Last week it was passing ships in the night. RMS Titanic at Wembley. What a football disaster that was. Spurs were hit and sunk by an Iceberg driven by Martin Atkinson, John Terry and various others.
Having just reassembled and restored some decorem to our little pub , imagine the horror of what came next.
Time : 20:00 hrs Saturday . You'll forgive our useage of the maritime clock. Still on Titanic time.
Place : South Africa Road, London.
There we were in our 4 door sports hardtop, the pub station wagon,concentrating on exiting another Spurs disaster. Alls well until the unmistakeable building crescendo of a fast oncoming vehicle threatens to drown out the post match radio talk back.
Whoosh . Looming alongside and then speeding past and onwards , lights all ablaze, sirens blaring, an unmistakeable sight. The Tottenham Hotspur Dressing Room. Shades of the RMS Titanic. No life boats visible . No one lining up to jump ship. The driver, a determined looking,lantern jawed Caucasion, probably most recogniseable for his Retro style haircut, is being urged to go faster by a well known group. We can make out a handsome Dutchman, a well haired Cameroonian, an older gentleman obviosly follicly challenged (still wearing a pair of goalkeeper gloves), a tall always smiling Togolesian, plus about 16 others.
Hang on that unmistakeable sound can be heard from behind us again. This time it's a Range Rover roaring past in hot pursuit of the rapidly receding Dressing Room.
The driver, another strong looking face, looks a lot like a Mr. Kevin Bond. In the back seat an older chap is hurling frantic missives towards the retreating dressing room., part English, part Italian.
Alongside the driver sits a beagle like gentleman with a phone glued to each ear. Appears to be conducting simultaneous press conferences with the FA and the tabloid press. Every now and then he breaks off and yells towards the fast vanishing Dressing Room ...
        "Come back. We Can still do it. Even if I'm off to England."
If you have ever been passed by a low flying dressing room then you can imagine our little band were just glad to head home for a few nerve settling pints ...
At A Kent Pub.
To be quite honest after Norwich we made sure we had booked a seat on the life raft. So the shipwreck at Wembley whilst horrible was survived by our merry band.
Loftus Road. Well the curse of the returning player or ex as in this case was no surprise. Pity none of our players turned up at Loftus.
Still if that Dressing Room does touch down safely at White Hart Lane next week who knows.
Harry certainly doesn't.
Before we go, those birthdays. A Kent old boy Peter Frampton is 62, Jack Nicholson 75, and someone who probably once but not now, could have saved us, Kaka, turns 30.
Cheers ... look out for low flying Dressing Rooms near you ... Greg Meyer.     coys.
Jimmy's Video spot. 
So now you have it: harsh decision; we're just not tall enough; Brad didn't have a shot to save. Well I counted at least one shot that needed to be saved. Just the four games we need to win then. Harry's confident, so what do I know.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Check the bath water before you throw it out.

 Another fine mess! But who's going to clear it up?

The JimmyG2 Column

The waking nightmare scenario takes a bold step forward with Chelsea's 1-0 victory over Barcelona. The first leg of the semi final at Stamford bridge was another milestone on the recovery of Chelsea's season and the credentials of Roberto Di Matteo as a candidate for manager. It was also another potential nail in our coffin after the widely reported premature death of ours. Mark Twain thou should be living at this hour.

The final irony of our season would be for Harry and the team to dig in and hold off the challenges of Chelsea and Newcastle, secure fourth, redeem our season with only minimal disappointment only for Chelsea to win the Champions' League and secure the fourth spot for next year at our expense.

Clearly there are all sorts of stumbling blocks to this scenario. We might not make fourth in any case and Chelsea have obstacles to overcome starting with the second leg of the Barcelona tie at the  Camp Nou (edit). This cruel twist to the story of our season couldn't actually happen could it? I wouldn't bet against it after the phantom goal last week. Why not kick a man when he's down?

The simple way out is for us to recover whatever we had for most of the season, beat QPR on Saturday, go two points behind Arsenal, ease into third, nightmare ended, welcome to the bright new dawn. The living dream continues. But there are no signs at the moment that this is likely to happen. Remember, 'For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong'.
(A.L. Mencken)

Sacking Harry our most successful manager for some decades whether you look at the points per match statistics or the level of football played over the past three years is quick easy and probably counter- productive. For every Chelsea scenario there is the Wolves outcome. The 'New manager bounce' is by no means a certainty.

Harry is leaving soon anyway for the England job and any new man will have little time to effect the changes of tactics, mentality, psychology even, that would produce the dramatic turn around required. It might have a negative effect on the players. It's not a likely eventuality in any case. Manager sacked by Spurs on Monday appointed England boss on Tuesday.

Sacking the manager also absolves the players of any responsibility and it is the players who are key to this. According to William Gallas the squad are at a low ebb. Thanks for letting everyone know Bill. No matter what happens on the bridge the work has to be done below decks. If the stokers stop stoking the ship goes nowhere. Well if it's coal-fired anyway.

It is difficult to solve a problem when there are so many unknowns and variables. We are in a slump, a blip, a bad patch. But we don't know why and therefore the simple solution of sacking the manager could be wrong. Is it Harry's fault; poor decisions by officials; injuries, tiredness and collective physical and mental exhaustion; uncertainty over his possible move, failure to invest..?

The truth is that we just don't know. Tick the box marked 'All or none of the above'. If they were true  some of these are partly, if not wholly, Harry's fault. Lack of motivation by the players is surely down to the manager. So is over-dependence on certain players, the lack of rotation which has been a regular criticism of Harry. Tactical naivety is another charge; over reliance on 442 and the failure to adapt to different circumstances.

So Harry is not perfect. How then were we so successful over an extended period at both Premiership and Champions' league level? The squad has been virtually the same over the past two seasons, which is another criticism of Harry but perhaps more of Levy, the failure to fix the roof when the sun was shining. But why such a sudden decline 20 minutes into the NLD?

Of course if you don't know why we did so well before you can't analyse why it all so suddenly went 'Conference' shaped. But the knives are out for Harry and not just from those who were always in the 'Harry out' brigade from the day before he was even appointed. My reaction on hearing the news was 'Oh shit' but I have on many occasions acknowledged his positive impact and being an advocate of stability and steady progress have no desire to see him made the premature scapegoat.

The Manager revels in the praise and wallows in the blame but it's a mysterious concoction that produces success, or results in failure. Harry inherited a talented squad and harnessed their abilities very well.  So how much is due to Harry, the squad, the faltering of other teams, luck, the weather, the Government or whatever, is difficult to work out.

Sack Harry and you might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. You should be recycling the bath-water these days in any case.

Video Spot:
 Just in case you've forgotten the Glory Days under Harry, with Bale, Crouch and Pavlyuchenko. FA Cup? FA Schmuck more like it.
 What do we want? Champions League. When do we want it? Next season preferably please.
Check that bath-water, Harry and the soap could still be in there.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Humpty Dumpty: Did he fall or was he pushed?

  You're too high up Humpty.
You'll get a nosebleed and fall off.

The JimmyG2 Column

A strange feeling of calm has overcome me since the fifth goal went in on Sunday. Even Mrs.JimmyG2 remarked how well I was taking it. But that's because I have given it up. The season that is not Spurs. THFC go on forever even after the current manager has beeen promoted or sacked, the current team has been dispersed to the four corners of the world, and the current ownership have built a new stadium and cashed in their chips

Champions' League will be a bonus now after one of the best and one of the worst seasons that I can remember. Of course we can lay it all at Martin Atkinson's door for the phantom goal and console ourselves that but for that we would have won it. It certainly robbed us of confidence and momentum at a crucial time.

But in our heart of hearts we know it isn't true. We got back to 2-1 and still conceded another three. Blame Harry or Cudocini or Gallas or the Ref, blame whoever was supposed to be marking Mata. But Humpty Dumpty was sitting comfortably on the wall but inexplicably fell off, pushed by an Arsenal fan no doubt and all the King's horses and all the King's men cannot put him back together again.

I'm quite looking forward to next season now. New manager, replacements for Modric, Adebayor, Gallas, King, probably Bale and possibly Walker. The Spurs are dead long live the Spurs. It was quite a shock to hear that Chelsea's team on average were younger than ours even with Drogba, Terry and Lampard in the starting eleven.

Rebuilding starts again with younger, less experienced but hungrier players. We blew it in style. I know fat ladies and all that and there's another five games to go against the proverbially 'beatable' teams in 'winnable' matches. But I fear it has gone and we all know it.

Whether the new manager is young and progressive or experienced he will need time. At least three seasons and possibly five whatever happens, and I include relegation, while we re-build and reinvest. Perhaps if we had done a little bit of both earlier it wouldn't have been necessary.

At least the debate over whether we would prefer Champions' League or a cup has been deferred for another season. Harry is tainted in terms of attracting the next generation of talented youngsters. Too old and tired looking, too old school and set in his ways. Arms round shoulders seems to have its limitations.

Don't get me wrong he has done a good job since the days of 2 points in 8 games. We've had some exciting times and played some good football but it's all been quick fix, short term stuff with poor tactics and substitutions at times and a failure to use the squad to its full capacity. England are welcome if you're foolish enough to take the job.

So I speak in sadness rather than in anger at the waste of such a golden opportunity to finally nail the 'psychological and mental strength issue and by once again failing at the last hurdle we re-inforced the myth. New manager, new squad, new attitude. I live in permanent hope.

Chelsea weren't that good and until the last 15 minutes we weren't that bad. We should have gone in 1-0 up but thanks to a goal of strength and beauty by Drogba we went in 1-0 down. Lennon, who was lively, set up a header forVan Der Vaart but it was saved on the line by Terry. I make that the third chance that Van has failed to nail from close range recently. If Lennon could shoot he'd be worth nearly as much as Bale.

The 'goal that never was' gave them a 2-0 advantage but we fought back well. Bale scored a tap in after Adebayor sent through by a rare incisive ball from Parker had been brought down by Cech.
The referee saved himself another difficult decision by allowing the advantage rather than give the penalty and a red card to the keeper.

The rest is just too awful to think about. It was both embarrassing and surprising and though I did not have high hopes before the game I didn't envisage such a collapse in the final quarter of an hour.
Mata seemed to have been given the freedom of the Borough of Brent and used it well, setting up first Ramires and then Malouda with clever passes. In between Lampard beat Cudocini with a free kick from a long, long way out.

It remains to be seen if Harry can get the boys heads up for the final run in but I doubt it. If we thrash QPR by four or five at the weekend I may have to have a rethink but even if we do then there's still another four games in which to dash all our hopes. And you know what they say about hope.

So never mind Humpty see if you can persuade Jill of 'up the hill' fame to give you some TLC and the vinegar and brown paper treatment  by pre-season you'll be as right as rain and I shall be over the Moon with the cow.

Video Spot:
Here it is 'the goal that never was' 
Nope they've pulled that one. Conspiracy or cock up? It wasn't replayed on the Wembley Big Screen either.

So here's a Japanese garden with calm, relaxing meditation music to get you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the season. 7 minutes so stick with it. Peace my fellow fans.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Sinking Of Chelsea .. A Titanic Spurs Win..

 You're going down Chelsea! 
Ice-cool Spurs remain unmoved.

 A fascinating history lesson from Greg who draws parallels from the famous disaster with the game that will revive Tottenham's fortunes. I'm pretty sure we auditioned for the 'Iceberg' and not the 'Titanic' role.
Greg refrains from linking Harry, rats deserting a sinking ship and the England job. But then he's a lot nicer than me. 'Lifeboat for the manager there'.
( Editor: Hang on Jimmy; I thought that we were the Iceberg )
The Greg Meyer Column
Sunday 15 April 2012 ... Maritime Memories Revisited.
 SS Chelsea Hits Iceberg .. SS Hotspur Wins Titanic Encounter.
 At 4.27 am on 15 April 1912 RMS Titanic broke in two and plunged 12,418 feet to the seabed. It was a Monday but the fatal collision with the iceberg occured the previous Sunday evening.
One hundred years later two London giants collide on a Sunday evening at Wembley. Whilst the stakes are very high in sporting terms at least the respective captains will not find it necessary to go down with their sinking team. A visit to meet Liverpool awaits the victor just by coincidence the home registered port of the Titanic.
The Titanic disaster was filled with sorrow, tragedy , tales of heroism,legend and folklore. So too the history between Spurs and Chelsea has its fair share of drama and controversey. Along the way of some pre-match musings we'll touch on some of those curious coincidences and similarities.
The Return Of Three Prodigal Sons.
William Gallas , a spring heeled chicken like 34 years, returns against the team he served with distinction between 2001 and 2006. After that it was off to another North London neighbour, Arsenal, before he met his epiphanal moment and joined Spurs in 2010. Our pub have a lot of respect for "Willie". His ability to play well in the big games and his sheer determination to win sit well alongside little Scotty Parker. Another returning prodigal son. Mind his years at Chelsea were of nowhere the impact of Gallas.Still the chicken reference also holds good given Scotty's early advertising career in the fast food industry. Both cockerels will be vital to a Spurs victory.
Our lawyer is not so sure about the remaining occupant of the Centre back berth. Captain King's career does not appear to have much more shelf life than Captain Edward John Smith . His last game was leading the Titanic team. Ryan Nelson vs Fernando Torres does not look like a Spurs match made in heaven either.
That third prodigal son "returning" to Chelsea. Yep our little Croatian chicken. A magical Modric game needed. Surely the stage to show those coveteous eyes of the Russian oligarchy why big cash should be splashed come the summer. Our banker is not sure either is likely. The big game from Luka nor the summer interest renewed with bucketloads of cash. The Modric mojo does seem to have drifted away of late.
Another feature of the RMS Titanic saga was the controversey of class. Women and children first was okay but it helped immensely if you were in first class and not second and particularly third. By far the greatest proportion of those not surviving were in third class. Controversey dogged the Shipping Line managing director Bruce Ismay forever after. He pulled rank and made sure he obtained a life boat berth and survived. Indeed many very very rich passengers did perish.  Certainly no football club owners among them fortunately.
The Clash Of Class.
Class is no problem in this football battle. It's evident on all decks.Luiz and Cole for Chelsea down back compare with Gallas and Assou-Ekotto for Spurs.
Midfield is where it really abounds. Mata brought in after the getting of Modric failed is top drawer. As well he has something Modric only produces spasmodically. Mata scores goals. As does Lampard. Spurs have Van der Vart and Bale of course. Gareth has been talking this semi up all week. Lets hope its not just Welsh bravado.
Further forward the class of Torres sits beside Adebayor. Torres is likely ahead of Drogba who may rest for Barcelona. John Terry may also sit it out. Someone our club have always deemed class is the danger man. Sturridge.
Whichever promenade you stroll class and professionalism are everywhere. As to the winner certainly widely discussed this week ...
At A Kent Pub.
After the sinking feeling generated by a generally shocking and a completely tired and lack lustre display against Norwich which ship puts to sea against Chelsea.
No need to take to the lifeboats just yet even if you can find one. Our pub hope Captain Harry goes with Parker and Sandro. Sandro is class if on song. The need to negate Mata and Lampard is obvious.
In a tight one we are due some luck. The curse of the returning prodigal to score.Go William Gallas.
Cheers ... a historic and titanic win for RMS Tottenham Hotspur ... Greg Meyer.    coys.

Video Spot.
Not to disappoint Celine Dion's many fans on Spurs Musings here is the song of the film. That Scott Parker is a shoo in for the Leonardo Di Caprio role, haircut and all. That's if we were playing the 'Titanic' part, which we are not. Definately. But in the event of an upset don't blame the messenger loves.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Tottenham threatened by micro bugs.

Could this be the cause of our recent collapse?

 The JimmyG2 Column

Recent medical investigations have revealed that the causes of Tottenham's sudden decline and recent failure may in fact be largely physical rather than purely mental. This is once again good news brought to you by Spurs Musings which hopefully will have a longer shelf life than previous 'Good news' announcements.

We are all familiar with our reputation over the past couple of decades of lacking 'mental strength'. The 'Spurs always let you down' syndrome. This has led to accusations that Spurs have 'bottled it' again this season a phrase we will see has ironic repercussions in this context.

Alan Hansen is taking legal advice and refused to respond to questions when it was pointed out to him that this might be the second time that one of his punditary pronouncements had been shown to be well wide the mark. His dictum that 'You'll never win anything with kids' being comprehensively trashed by Manchester United's young side in the 1995/6 season.

At Spurs the recent acquisitions of tough guys like Sandro and Scott Parker and the recruitment of experienced old pro's like Freidel, Gallas and Nelsen was thought to have finally laid to rest the 'soft centred' image of THFC.

But inexplicably the accusation has arisen once more as Spurs give up a ten point advantage to rivals Arsenal and slip from Premiership contenders to Champions' League hopefuls. How can such mental weakness persist in the light of our recent transfer policies?

If it can be shown that the causes are traceable to specific naturally occurring phenomena then an antidote and cure could be available quite soon. Perhaps not in time to save our Champions' League assault for this season or our game against Chelsea but well in time for 2012/2013.

This is not in any way a recent problem because as long ago as the early 1990's Ministry of Health Officials proposed that all Spurs Season Tickets and Membership cards should bear the warning:
.......'Supporting Spurs Can be Bad for your Health'

After strong representations from the club a successful appeal was made to the European Commission who ruled that any such message would be a direct contravention of EU. Labeling Laws and the provisions were finally dismissed on Health and Safety grounds since this assertion could not at that time be proven.

Now however new evidence has emerged which has led to the proposal being revived and the Club can do little to prevent  if current scientific analysis stands up to further rigorous investigation. But this setback would be a small price to pay if a longstanding myth can be laid to rest and our reputation salvaged.

Biologists at the European Centre for Investigation into Water Quality in Salford have discovered the existence of pathogenic micro-organisms specific to the Tottenham area. Provisionally labelled 'cyclospora N17' this has many symptoms including: nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, fever, and fatigue cramps which may have a direct bearing on  the match day performance our players.

At first it was suspected that this had been caused by ruptured sewage pipes caused by Luftwaffe bombing in WW2. But this was later discounted due to the outstanding success of Tottenham during the 1960's, the continuing form and presence of Dave Mackay, and the fact that no such bombs fell in the area defined.

But later, information emerged that disruption during the preliminary building work around the new stadium could be directly related to the recent failures at Spurs. The sudden worsening of Ledley's knee condition is a specific example and the leg muscle problems of Bill Gallas and Rafael van Der Vaart provide further evidence.
The muscle spasm that produced the sublime chip by Defoe to score against Norwich is another. The increasing inability of Tottenham players to pass the ball to a team-mate even over quite short distances could be evidence of both muscle fatigue and cramps.

Further clues lie in the increasing tendency of Gareth Bale to show signs of positional disorientation; Luka's recent lethargy; Adebayor's inconsistency, Assou Ekotto's hair and Kyle Walker's failure to find anybody with a cross are all consistent with just such an infection by a sewage related contamination of the water supply which builds up over time.

Tests are continuing and results are expected quite soon. Years of false attribution are close to an end. Jermaine Jenas may well be due an apology or may even have a legal case for defamation having been the poster boy for the 'Spurs lack mental strength' campaign throughout his Tottenham career.

Bottled water is being supplied by the Enfield Spa Company from its extraction plant on the River Lea for all water activities. This includes drinking, showering, for the medical team's wet sponge, money laundering and at Harry's insistence even for car cleaning until the position becomes clearer.
The message from David Levy is clear. 'Do not despair, Spur's fans. Help is at hand from the field of science. In the meantime the advice to the team is simple: 'Don't drink the water'. 'Bottle it; but in a good way'.

Video spot.
An exciting and dramatic short, I promise, film of micro-organisms in a fish tank for those of you that have become really interested in the topic now that it seems likely to be a factor in Spurs fortunes.
Don't switch the sound off as it is really boring without it. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Nobody got killed

It's not the End of the World.
We lost a football match. Nobody got killed

The Jimmy2 Column

I expect you're all looking forward to the Cup Semi-Final against Chelsea on Sunday. No? I can't imagine why not. It's what the game is all about: Silverware ,Wembley; Marching Bands; Community Singing., Jumpers for Goalposts, isn't it? And we are just a game away from glory.

The reason that you can't bear to even think about it is that you've just watched us lose to Norwich. Another dismal milestone on our way to the Europa Cup. Don't pencil in anything for Thursday nights next season lads. That's if we make it. As it happens I don't think that anyone can pip us for seventh. Unless Everton and Liverpool win all their remaining games and we lose all of ours and then we would be eighth. That obviously could never happen.

 Bill Nicholson said, ‘It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.' It doesn't quite seem like that at the moment Bill, but I get your drift. There was a brief moment when it looked as if we could win the league and the Cup again in the same season, and the Cup is still on.

 But the possibility is that we will achieve neither and that moment of opportunity seems very brief indeed.  A Cup Final and a Champions' League place are still on offer and Harry and Bill might accept that as a failure with an 'echo of glory'. If we make them then I will think again but I fear the worst.

Nobody seems to care anymore. Probably because most of the key characters won't be with us next year. Harry and the back-room boys for a start. Modric will be off to United; Bale to somewhere warm probably in Spain; Adebayor won't fancy the Europa and will be off back to City under their new manager probably Mourinho; Ledley will be doing Match Day PR. and the Merry Go Round will start all over again

I gasped when I heard the fatal words, 'It's a screamer, Friedel hasn't moved. Elliot Bennet scores his first goal for the club in nearly 30 games.' and realised that it was all my fault. I recently wrote that the nightmare had ended, that the curse of the 'first goal for the club' had been lifted but unfortunately not banished for ever. I can only apologise.

You could argue that we missed out on the Premiership title by the two inches by which Defoe missed Bale's cross against Man City. While you are at it you could say the that we missed out on Champions' League by the two inches that Bale failed to find the roof of the net against Nowich. (2'' that's just over 5cm. For our younger viewers ) But I think you would be struggling to find anyone to go along with you.

Since the City game we have played 11 times and picked up 13points out of 33. But it is the complete surrender to Arsenal that marks the real start of our decline. From this game our sequence reads LLLDDWDL. 6 points from 24. What are the chances of securing 5 wins to conclude the season? Hmm. I must check the odds on that one.

A poor first touch by Kaboul; a half-hearted tackle by Ledley; a wild clearance by Walker that hit Ledley and fell nicely for Pilkington set up the first. The whole defence backing off led to the second. After Livermore's lovely through ball for Defoe's delightful equaliser neither did anything noteworthy again in the match.

A key moment was Ekotto's failure to beat Ruddy f rom five yards and of course the Bale effort that came back off the underside of the bar. But we didn't deserve it and Norwich out-fought us and I'm afraid outplayed us for much of the game. Some of the passing was awful and we played like talented individuals in search of a team. Ledley made even Nelsen look good

But let's look on the bright side. It could soon be like old times at Spurs. I note that Jenas and Bentley are still with us, Huddlestone should be back after injury with Michael Dawson. Forget Hazard and Leandro think Carroll, Townsend Naughton and some youngsters and whatever assortment the new manager brings. If it's David Moyes, welcome the return of Piennar and probably Phil Neville.

It may not work out so badly after all. The good news is that Fulham helped us out with a late goal to draw with Chelsea: the bad news is that we play Martin Jol's team for our last game of the season.( Edit) The wistful ironies of the fixture list never cease to amaze me.

'Crises, what crises? says Ledley. But when you've travelled the odd 400.000km. to the Moon and the airlock jams just as you are about to descend to plant your flag then having to send the 'Houston, we have a problem' message certainly looks like a crises to me..

I don't go with all that 'We would have sold our Grandmothers at the start of the season to be where we are today' stuff. We were poised on the edge of real achievement 20 minutes in on the 26th of February at The Emirates,and we are poised on the edge of nowhere now. It's the promise, the hope and the expectation that kills you.

It's not a matter of life and death, it's much more important. Ah Mr. Shankley many a true word spoken in ironic mock heroic jest. Anyway I can get on with my life again. I can go shopping with Mrs JG2.a month earlier than usual. She will be so pleased.

Of course by Sunday my natural optimism may have returned, I mean it's only Wednesday there's plenty of time. We lost a football match. Nobody but hope got killed. It's not the End of the World.
 It just seems like it for a few days.

Video Spot
Harry's summing up of the match. A case of being wise after the event.


Monday, 9 April 2012

Modric and Bale to join Guardiola at QPR.

The busy newsroom at Spurs Musings
Jimmyand Greg are out following up tip-offs

The JimmyG2 Column

 Scene: The Editor's Office at Spurs Musings.

Right you two, I've had complaints. We’re not getting enough scoops on transfers and ITK stuff.
I mean, is Harry leaving or not? Who will be the next manager? Is Ade going back to Man.City?
And then of course the Modric saga, all guesswork and rumour just the same as everybody else.

Foxy over at WFRF has been to Barcelona to check out the Bale situation and almost bumped into Pep Guardiola outside the Neu Camp. He just caught a glimpse of him as he left in his Lamborghini. Now that's what I call reporting.

Spooky at Dear Mr. Levy has nearly completed his own Spurs Opus reworking 'War and Peace' and Winston Churchill’s speeches as the story of the current season. What have you two been up to? Greg's been down the pub and you Jimmy have been rummaging in what's left of your fading memory to evoke the spirit of the Second World War and the 60's Double season to encourage the boys.

Well I tell you it won't do. I want Pulitzer Prizes and 'Blog of the Year; citations in that cabinet gentleman or heads will roll. I want facts and proper details in those match reports. Spurs Odyssey gives team-sheets and timings for every substitution and goal. I sometimes wonder Jimmy if you even watched the games. Dumbing down Guardian match reports is not sufficient on what I'm paying you.

Alan over at 'Tottenham on my Mind' pours his heart and soul into his pieces and often I find myself crying at the pathos and sincerity of it all. I want pathos and sincerity on here as well. Give him a ring Greg see if he'll help us out. Cynicism and doubt are out from now on. 

 'Spurs Musings' this is supposed to be. 'Spurs Mumblings' more like. And your scoreline forecasts are never right. I want the inside line to the 'fix it' secretary.  Give Sir Alex a bell. Have a look at the detailed goal analysis on Windy's Blog. Expertise, accuracy and pictures. The blog world is moving on my friends. Stand still and you're road kill. Trust me.

All that publicity about phone hacking and private investigators and you two seem to just rely on your judgment, knowledge and your 100 years of following Spurs between you. Now Jimmy gives us an overview of what might happen this afternoon. At Sunderland and Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea with an offside goal in the last minute to beat Wigan. Spurs to take a point at Sunderland in a park the bus, 0-0 draw sort of game. Very good Jimmy but you're supposed to do your forcasts before the game, not after the final whistle. I don't like to remind you but your well over retirement age mate and I'm afraid it will be velvet drapes for you if you don't buck up.

There's plenty of thrusting young blogging hopefuls out there who are prepared to pay good money for inside info. And if they can't get the facts they make them up. That's what I call initiative. Young Rio at 'Isospurs' is running a marathon for Chris'ts sake. You two couldn't run across the road to get the Daily Mail.

Iv'e got an e-mail here from a top knotch ITK Jimmy, Piddle On The Lawn or some such that says he offered you 100 inside certainties with a guarantee that 50 would be almost correct. And you said , 'Which 50?' It's got to stop you two. I'll be packing you off back to Jim Duggan at Topspurs if it carries on.

Everyone but us had the Leandro story. They all tipped it,: it will definitely happen: we're just not sure when. Yeah Yeah Jimmy 'Hopefully in our lifetime'. Blue and Yellow pal, think on.

 And lay off Harry and tactics. Nobody understands tactics. They all get it off  'Zonal Marking'. Friedel in goal; four across the back and the other six to run about a bit; call it 442; 4321; 433; 4311, whatever. Once the whistle goes it's every man for himself.

Now let's see what you've got on the Sunderland game Jimmy. Right change 'one of the most dreary games I have had the misfortune to watch' to 'An exciting and tense encounter on a lush pitch, which Spurs totally dominated and but for the referee would have won with ease'. You’ve got to give the boys hope Jimmy. Do I have to do everything myself.

And this bit about 'Brazilians being over-hyped and unfortunately over here' won't do either. Gilberto, Gomes and Sandro, we've just been unlucky. 'Scott Parker is due for a rest and Livermore should start against Norwich' is not what the fans want to hear as you well know. Nope, I'm spiking all that .

Forecast for Norwich: Spurs 2-0. Make that 4-0 Jim and I'll let that through. And cut out the next bit. 'Spurs chances of getting third will disappear if we fail to beat Norwich. Too negative. Accentuate the positive Jimmy, All that Hippy 'Telling it like it is' crap is out of order.

Now here's a bit of ITK you can use. My car mechanic whose brother in law has the Bentley concession on the Tottenham High Road has tipped me off that Guardiola has bought a house in the White City area. He's ordered a Baby Bentley especially for the London traffic and is a shoo in for QPR if they get relegated and Hughsey gets the chop.

No-one else has got that yet. Headline ' Modric and Bale to join Guardiola at QPR next season'.

Video Spot.
And here is a brilliant compilation of the Pep Guardiola on the touchline. Modric and Bale can expect plenty of this at QPR, including the odd cuff round the ear. Unless it was 'White Hart Lane' and not 'White City'. There's a thought. Probably get spiked once it reaches the Editor's Office, but I'll leave it in and chance it.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Luke and Luka: Both Spurs Masters

Happy Easter:  Midfield for Norwich:
Lennon, Livermore,Modric, Bale

The Greg Meyer Column

Eggs Galore .. Easter Sunday 2012.
Luka and Luke ... Spurs Superstars Both.
 The first is usually a pass master. The other,a self confessed Spurs fan,usually plays like a master golfer. 
Both are on big stages this Easter. Modric away in Sunderland and home at the Lane. Donald away at the Masters at Augusta National. Both too seem to have lost the normal mastery of each's own calling.
Luke is tied at 52nd with no prospect of enhancing his current No 1 world ranking this weekend. Luka for many lately seems in similar freefall. Ahead of some solutions to the Modric saga offered by our Pub ,some quick reflections from the Stadium of Light.
Spurs Go Third.
A point gained or two dropped. Probably a little early to judge but the home team playing away at the Stadium of Light certainly suggested they were scared of Spurs. Martin O'Neil's conservative tactics meant for relatively comfortable viewing from our Pub armchairs. Very little offensive ambition from Sunderland meant no risks to our collective cardiovascular section. Unfortunately there was little action at the sharp end either.
Bale was doubleteamed. At least it meant little attacking threat from Larssen who was deputised with Bardsley to cover Bale. With Sunderland parking the bus then getting behind the said pantechnikon was also rather difficult. Lennon came on and tried but seemed to be quadruple teamed mostly.
While a rusty Sandro and our past master at passing back, back and back again, Scotty, did enough to cover most Sunderland forays, creativity was indeed an endangered species.
Benny was the most noticeable in that regard and did have his moments. The Van man also lacked drive. So what of our 40 million dollar man.
A Modric Solution.
Yes there was that great through ball to Bale last week. Yes some other quality this season but really since the January window closed ...  40 mill. You're having a larf !!
Have we had too much Easter tipple? Look our pub think it is becoming an easier look if he goes in the summer. His creativity has waned somewhat. His never really present goal scoring qualities are now non existent. I mean after that backheel in the second half said it all. No confidence or genuine goal threat. Chicken out.
Is this our pub just trying to let themselves down more easily for when the increasingly inevitable summer departure happens. Is it that our Croation dynamo is human and gets tired like other players. Be nice if the spark retuned against Norwich and beyond.
That solution might be Slaven Bilic to the Lane after Harry goes. More inevitable than Modric at least. Harry leaving that is.
 The Croation national manager quoted all about this week as to why he would take the Spurs job if offered. Given his close relationship with little Luka then food for thought for one Daniel Levy. Seems the Modric Appreciation Society still on the agenda here at ...
A Kent Pub.
Another hot topic here has been the coming (?) of Newcastle. Sitting just 3 points behind us are they a realistic threat. No if Spurs turn up for their last six. Our opponents are all so called lesser lights. Fortunately Newcastle have Chelsea, Man City and Everton in their six.
The time to start our run of straight six is against Norwich tommorow. Unlikely to bring their team bus onto the Lane which should mean a rampant Spurs. Bale starting on the left and Lennon on the right anyone.
 Cheers ... our Luka has another opportunity to shine while our Luke's opportunity at Augusta has gone for this year ... Greg Meyer.    fore!!

Video Spot.
And here's a Spurs fan who could do with taking some of his own advice at the moment. Ex-World No.1 Luke Donald from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. I wish Luka would make a similar soccer video but I can't find one.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Bye,bye Mr.Modric.

Whatever you do boys,don't look down!

The JimmyG2 Column

 I sometimes think of Spurs as one of those cartoon characters who, during a hot pursuit , run straight over the edge of the precipice and keep on running. They're fine as long as they don't look down. Then of course they suddenly realise how high up they are with nothing beneath them and though the legs keep whirring down they plunge.

Our plunge moment was the recent blip but we seem to have landed in a tree, as you do, just a few metres down and have now hauled ourselves back up level with Arsenal who have been climbing steadily for some time. At one point they clambered over us and stood on our heads to gain a foothold.

But all is fair in love, war and the Premiership. He who gloats last, gloats longest Mr Szczensy. You need to get them consonants sorted out too. We are back on course and all to play for and just the seven games to go. Is it just me or has it been an abnormally long season?

Every game from now on is the proverbial 'big one' and we began our final assault on the Champions' League with a fine performance against Swansea. In the previous Swansea game I noticed several of their players who might grace our ranks, particularly Joe Allen.

They didn't catch the eye on Sunday though as we over-came them with power football. Even when they canceled out Van Der Vaart's classy opener we maintained our momentum and ran out easy(ish) winners. Sigurdsson, a fine young player with a good shot scored a fortunate equaliser but in truth Swansea were closed down all over the pitch and were just not allowed to play.

We should try this speed dating approach more often as long drawn out courtships don't seem to suit our style. The over-exaggerated slow playing of the ball across the back four which Swansea do to excess in their attempt to probe an opening can at times allow the opposition to close down and maintain their shape. It has it's purposes but can sometimes be counter productive.

This was a game like Little Jack Horner's pie that was full of good things to savor. We scored another goal from a Van Der Vaart corner, two in quick succession, somewhat like the proverbial London buses. A back to form performance by Captain Scott who spearheaded the closing down but who seemed knackered on the hour and Livermore might have come on sooner.

Another fine performance from the Boy Bale who had the beating of his full back from the off and who stayed out on the left for most of the game to prove it. Adebayor scored two with headers, one from the Van corner and another in a cameo return by Lennon who stood one up for him on the far post. Everything going to plan again.

With the midfield cutting out most of the thrust from Swansea the defence coped easily with the lone forward and the wingers were well marshaled by Walker and Ekotto. Kaboul was particularly resolute and made a couple of good blocks in the closing minutes. A good game for the 'neutrals', whoever they are, and not a card in sight from the two most card-shy teams in the league.

It would seem that everyone's thoughts are turning to what might happen at the end of the season.
Harry, Mancini and Bilic all weighing in with thoughts on Modric. Finishing in the top four is obviously crucial and little can be resolved until the 'Harry for England' situation is sorted out.

Most people said a year ago that if Modric stayed for another season and helped us back into the Champion' League then his obligations to Spurs would be fulfilled and he could leave with honour on all sides. The Harry situation might be unsettling him but the position at City is no less unstable.
So Manchester United it is then.

He would be more assured of a starting role there with vacancies in an ageing midfield and, with Sir Alex apparently taking daily infusions of the Methuselah Elixir, continuity is more certain. But can they afford him and would his wages be significantly more than we are currently prepared to offer him?

I understand that in the modern game wages are the only evaluation of status that counts and that Modric is no different to anybody else. But why leave a club that will be in the Champions' League; based in London, that is a project which you have been a crucial part of; where you are first on the team-sheet, and loved by the fans?

We will have to wait a few more weeks to find out but if he goes for no reason other than money it will re-affirm my conviction that we live in a depressing and superficial world in which sport in general and football in particular is increasingly the touchstone.

So it looks like 'Bye Bye Mr. Modric'. And remember on 'Musings' we are not always wrong.

Video Spot.
What we had was a blip. If you want to see a disaster have a look at this. Skip the first four minutes if you have people to see and places to go.