The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Is it safe to come out yet?

 Emile Heskey has become available.
Be afraid, be very afraid.

The JimmyG2 Column
 Hallo my fellow Spurs fans. Is it safe to come out during the day yet? My initial optimism as I looked into the future immediately after the Champions' League débâcle has been slowly ebbing away and I find myself drowning in a curious lethargy with regard to THFC and the new season.

I have made a few visits to my favourite fan sites and left increasingly negative and cynical messages wrapped up in my customary double edged humour so that readers are unsure whether I mean it or not. I mean it I assure you. Uncle Grumpy has returned with a vengeance.

I usually get this way as the ITK brigade escape from their coffins at the midnight hour with tales of wondrous signings, not yet quite completed: Remy, Vertonghen, Adebayor, Hazard, Kone, Hoilett, Silvestre ( no not that one) Diarra (yep that one), Leandro ( I know, I know) Paban, Asamoah, Dembele, Rode and dozens of others too numerous to mention.

Most irritating is the current trend for cryptic clues which makes their nonsense even more opaque. Perhaps I will feel a little better when the fates of Modric and Bale are settled and we make our first signing unless it's Emile Heskey who has become available and fits the profile of a recent Harry recruit: well over 30 and very cheap.

Apparently Emile has made more England appearances than Robbie Fowler, Matt Le Tissier and Stan Colleymore combined. (Barney Ronay in the Guardian). Let's hope that England's reliance on a big fella up front will end when Rooney returns. At least we have been spared this form of crudity at Spurs lately. I don't count Crouch who couldn't hustle his way out of a wet paper bag.

My temper is not improved by the news that Platini will consider changes to the cruel system that promotes the Champions' League winner over the fourth placed Premiership team: but not for a minimum of three years. Similarly goal line technology is coming too late to aright the wrongs of seasons gone by.

On a brighter note Daniel Levy has been co-opted by the Coalition Government and the European Community to advise on their 'Growth through Austerity' plans. We've been employing this philosophy for several years and DL is an acknowledged expert. Read his pamphlet, 'Twenty seven ways to get blood out of a stone' for further insight.

Of course we have yet another new era of England football to sustain us through the dog days of summer. But if the Norway game is anything to go by it's going to be pretty thin fare. Ashley Young the pick of England's players scored the only goal and the dummy he sold to Hangeland looked as if it had been paid for by money in a brown envelope.

You couldn't tell whether the fans were calling out 'Engerland' or 'Hangeland' as a thankyou. We were dull and pedestrian particularly in midfield and even Our Man On the Spot, Scotty could not raise the interest level. Carroll, who was widely praised for his performance must be one of the the worst players ever to represent England. If you don't agree your suggestions are welcome. If he behaved like that on the High Street he'd be arrested for foul language and assault.

He was boisterous and clumsy and might struggle to get a game on Hackney Marshes, although I haven't been over there for some years and the standards might have deteriorated since I last played there, in the 50's. Downing is ineligible as a suggestion for the worst player by the way as that makes the competition too easy. My Cocker Spaniel is no less enthusiastic but just a little bit more skillful than Stuart.

So to cut a long story short nothing much is happening, apart from the European Championship, the Jubilee, and the Olympics of course. Incidentally wasn't it nice to watch England without any Chelsea players in the team. Terry was still recovering from the Champions' League final even though he had been banned from playing in it.

 I sometimes wonder about the people who run football in this country. And not just the football either.

 Video spot.
3 minutes 48 seconds of the highlights of the Norway game. If only the match had been that long. Good cross from Downing for the early miss by Carroll. Clumsy assist by Carroll and terrible defending by Hangeland.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Not enough support for Harry

One man band seeks group therapy

The JimmyG2 Column

 10.30pm; Saturday night;  Luton Airport.
 Definately not the best place to be told by the shuttle-bus driver from the main terminus to the car park that Chelsea had won the Champions League. Noticing my face in reaction to his answer to the question 'Who won the Final ?' he smiled and asked' You Tottenham?. He added 'West Ham got promoted too' and smiled again.

But I can take it. Other teams fans are avoidable and ignorable and we can console ourselves until pre-season with what might have been and the best bits of what actually was. It's the football I love. All the rest is mere decoration. We were eyeball to eyeball with success but we blinked.

We have only ourselves to blame, so looking for scapegoats outside N17 is self defeating. We are in the Europa Cup next season so let's get out there and win it. .If Athletico can do it so can we.

We are not in the Champions' league: get over it. Congratulations to Chelsea and West Ham too, back at the first attempt. We have had some bad luck to contend with and some poor managership at every level from the failure to sign players to a failure of nerve at Aston Villa. But what doesn't kill makes you stronger.

. Harry shouldn't be sacked because Chelsea won the Champions' league and stole our place. There will still be games every weekend and European football on Thursday nights. I for one am looking forward to it and going to do my best to enjoy it.

With the possible loss of Modric and perhaps Bale some rebuilding is necessary and there are enough rumours and ITK insights to keep the most fickle supporter fully engaged until pre-season.. Adebayor will almost certainly move on without the lure of CL and the loss in income which that involves.

So be it. These players are good but not so good that we have to parade up the High Road with 'We are all doomed' signs round our necks. We have enough top class players and budding young talent to mount a challenge on all fronts and money from sales to invest. If we can contrive to play some entertaining football too I will be more than happy.

Blaming Harry,and the FA or Levy or Marton Fulop, or referees is negative and ultimately soul destroying. Shit happens. Do we as a club including the supporters have the backbone to do what Chelsea have done? They went from meltdown under Villas Boas to total triumph at the highest level in a couple of months at the same time as we were going in the opposite direction.

Their triumph was not achieved the Tottenham way and had the backing of the Abramovich billions, the playing field is certainly bumpy and has an incline and a bit of a tilt but all the more stimulus to get out there and get playing. The capitulation to both Arsenal and Chelsea this season should be a spur for the next. Let's not get angry; let's get even.

We had both hands on the flask of glory but still contrived to drop it. But as the stockbrokers say ' past performance is no indication of future success'. But that works both ways. Past failures do not prevent success in the future.

The pundits would have us believe that there is something in the Tottenham DNA that leads us to fail. Collapses in the past two seasons tend to support this theory. But our DNA is the same as it was in the 60's and though the going gets tougher with more teams capable of challenging for the top honours we still have the capacity to compete. Look at Newcastle no billions there but shrewder and cleverer management of resources.

Let's keep it simple. Next season we need to: press higher; pass and move more quickly; play the key players in their best positions; use the squad more flexibly; blood the youngsters wherever possible; score early and often; make Van Der Vaart the captain next and get started on the new stadium as a symbol of our faith for the future.

We need more money for new players. We have under-invested lately. There has been too much emphasis on 'older' cut-price signings. Let’s invest the money from Modric and Bale to get in the next generation of hungry talent if we can't afford the present superstars. Then wind them up and see them go.

Crucially though we need to give Harry more back-up. He underwent severe legal and medical trauma at a crucial stage of the season. And the distraction of the England management was piled on top adding more stress. Levy needs to appoint a DOF as soon as possible. If Harry doesn't like it then he has a decision on his own future to make.

Allowing Bondy to take the odd press conference is insufficient managerial support and I think that this virtual abandonment of Harry at this time contributed to the extended blip which virtually did for our hopes this season. Perhaps he would accept the role himself though I doubt it.

Our current season has been blighted by Chelsea's success. We should have made third our own before the dismal draw at Aston Villa which will be the abiding negative memory of the season for me. Credit our opponents though, both Arsenal and Chelsea showed spirit and determination even as ours went missing.

Saha, Nelsen and Gallas would seem ripe for retirement from Premiership level. King and Friedel should be re-cycled within the club; Dos Santos, JJ, Bentley, Bassong and Piennar, should be moved on. Caulker, Smith, Kane, Naughton, Townsend and perhaps one or two others should be in the squad. No sofas should be unexplored for cash.

For pre-season Huddlestone who could be an effective Modric replacement in a different role and Dawson will be back from injury. With two or three signings up the spine of the team, in goal, at centre half and especially up front, we should be a formidable force next season. Signing Vertonghen and  keeping Adebayor would be a decisive start.

I can't wait.

Video spot. 
Jan Vertonghen, Ajax captain. Seems to know what he is doing at both ends of the pitch. Goal scoring central defender. Mmm whats not to like?

I can't wait.

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Game that was seen around the world

 For you Herr Terry the war is over
 A game that needs no introduction so I'm not going to give it one. I'm with Greg and the boys at A Kent Pub on this one and if you think he's joking about Mine Host in lederhosen you just don't know how far these boys down in Kent are prepared to go. Our most important game of the season and we aren't even playing.
The Greg Meyer Column
 Friday 18 May 2012 .. Happy Birthday Tina Fey.
The Game That Was Seen Around The World ... Spurs and Bayern Munich vs Chelsea.
 Guten Tag Meine Damen und Herren,
 Deep in Kent's leafy glades lies a converted Bier Keller bedecked in nothing but red. At least its German red and nothing to do with some close North London neighbours of our beloved Spurs.
Mine Host looks rather fetching in his borrowed lederhosen Just don't tell him that face to face. At least his Spurs roots eternal are shining through. Yep not a speck of blue to be seen. Fine german ale is available in spades with the English stuff reserved for a hopeful celebration immediately at games end . English pints raised in relief that Spurs are really in the Champs League next season.
Ahead of those anticipatory celebrations how did Die Bayern triumph.
Who's In and Who's Out.
The inspirational leader, John not Adolf(only kidding) is suspended as is his very able deputy Ivanovic. After Terry's abject display against Liverpool that may prove a blessing. As well the Brazilian Barcelonian hero Ramires is a biggish miss. Raul Meireles is also suspended. A handy trio plus one.
Bayern are weakened being without regulars David Alaba,Luiz Gustavo,and the exceptional Holger Badstuber. No that is his real name We are not making it up and yes he does play exceptional football.
On balance our pub reckon the loss of he of great football character and allegedly lacking elsewhere is a big loss.Ramires will be missed for his biting creativity as well.
Still with names like Mata,Schweinsteiger ( don't you just love it), Lampard,and Muller orchestrating the moves in midfield then it seems evenly poised. But hang on just before we get to the big clash perhaps the reason why our pub are edgily optimistic.
Ribery and Robben Versus ...
Spurs reckon they are flying with Bale and Lennon. Yes if Bale plays wing and Aaron is prepared to take on his man then it adds a whole dimension to fantastic forward play.
So if Arjen,he of Flying Dutchman fame ( Rafa's best mate) and Frank perform up to expectations then Ashley Cole and Jose Boswinga are in for a fierce old time. Surely says our lawyer it may open up Chelsea.
Barcelona's "weakness" was no speed on the wings. Pass upon pass was meant to give birth to intricate triangulations within the Chelsea penalty area. Ergo a resultant gap followed by a goal scoring opportunity. In short push, pull, down and through the middle. Unfortunately for Spurs and Barcelona it never happened often enough. No plan B either.
Not the only peg our pub are hanging their hat of hope on though. No the big battle is just a little further ahead and in a bit.
Didier Drogba vs Mario Gomez ... An Ivorian vs a Mexican.
Nope despite the name Mario was born, bred and raised in Deutschland.Still it remains the pivotal battle in the whole Cup final.
Drogba damaged Spurs in the FA semi. Did it to Liverpool in the final. So a big game player but one who does have off days and spectacularly so. Sent off in his last Champs League final. We can only hope.
Mario Gomes at 27 years a veritable goal scoring machine much admired by many renowned judges including a certain manager hugely skilled in the dark art of water bottle demolition. Bet Arsene is watching and hoping on Saturday night. Can David Luiz move from the Play Station to the real world. Lets hope not.Apparently practising on the said game this week. What was that Gary Neville joke.
Gomes has a happy knack of connecting with crosses fired in by speedy wingers. Perhaps our religious Jermaine might pick up some tips. He'll be watching as well. Congrats Jermaine on the 17 goals this season and good luck in the Euros.
Back to the matters at hand ... what do you reckon. Certainly our sentiments and prediction is clear here ...
At A Kent Pub.
We don't mind a nervous nail biter, nor a penalty shoot out so long as its the red of Germany that has the last laugh.
Prost ... look they were first to finish in the little matter of WW2 ... surely Die Bayern can do likewise here ... Auf Wiedersehen ..  Greg Meyer.   coybm.
Video spot;
Courtesy of 'boxbat' over on Spurs Community.
 All the goals from the 2011/2012 season:

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

If it's all so good why do I feel so bad?

Better tell Marketing  to put the DVD on hold
until after the weekend

 The JimmyG2 Column

So did we have a good season or not? And if it was all so good why, do I feel so bad? I've been browsing through the stats and apparently as Harry declares we have had a 'fantastic season'; best points per game since they stopped using pigs' bladders; top four for the second time in three years; seven points more than last year; Our 2nd highest points total in the Premiership and 4th of all time.

We've also had the best goal difference since 1980/81, and in most of the years since then our goal difference has been negative; we are third in the clean sheets league and third top of goals scored, and so it goes on. Now stats. can prove a lot of things and are essential for Premiership Trivial Pursuits but they can't make you feel better.

It's not my job to prove things either way or to convince you that the feelings you have are wrong. But I simply state that this season has left a sour taste where the sweet taste of success should be. Now I am not denying that it could just be me, the miserable old sod's miserable old sod. But I certainly feel let down whatever Harry says.

Let's trace it back through the season starting with the manner of Arsenal's victory over West Brom and the cruel twist of fate that decreed that it was to be ex-Spur Marton Fulop that gifted them two goals in his first appearance of the season. And for the benefit of Arsenal of all clubs.

Then the goal that never was against Chelsea in the Semi Final which helped blight our season. We had a similar decision against Gomes in a Chelsea match last year. And that little knot of injustice is, like chronic indigestion, hard to shift. And for Chelsea to have the opportunity to snatch our just deserts away from us compounds that sense of hurt.

Then there was the total cock up by the FA of the England appointment that proved such a distraction for Harry at a crucial time. A temporary appointment should have been made immediately until after the European Championship rather then leave possible candidates of whom Harry was the popular favourite in limbo.

Tax charges and heart surgery were also visited upon Harry and it is to his credit that apparent disruption was kept to the minimum. But there can be no doubt that they all played their part. These were the 'events dear boy' that you cannot legislate against but just because you become paranoid doesn't mean that they are not out to get you.

I'm not in general a conspiracy man. Life is far too random and most people are barely in control of their own lives let alone organised enough to affect other people's deliberately. The world is largely a series cock ups and Spurs like all other teams get their share.

You can throw in various decisions against us, Adebayor's three offside goals that were clearly valid. Recent analysis reported in The Telegraph of refereeing decisions reveals that we should have finished third by a margin. All challenging teams have 'blipped' this season and perhaps we missed the opportunity to take full advantage due to our concentration being distracted by some of the events above.

Harry's interpretation of all this is that “To finish fourth in a Champions League place, we can’t ask for more than that'. But at 2-0 up against Arsenal and a ten point lead in third we certainly could have asked for more automatic qualification for the Champions' League for a start.

The give away phrase in Harry's remarks is 'to finish in the top four is great for us'. In other words we should be grateful for what Harry has given us and we have no right to expect anything more. There I part company with him. We have a right to aspire to the CL every year and a serious challenge on the Premiership title too.

Perhaps that is what is nagging away in my brain. We had in it within our grasp and at best let it slip and at worst chucked it away. He goes on,“Tottenham have only finished in the top four twice since the Premier League started and I’ve been lucky enough to be manager both times. I’m very proud of that.”

Good for you Harry, but not good enough for the expectations of many Spurs fans especially those that can still remember the 'Glory, glory days'. Admittedly a diminishing band like the survivors of the Battle of the Somme but the spirit is still there within the club and this season it was ours to lose and wouldn't you know, we lost it.

Seven years of progress and consolidation under Harry and Martin Jol, has led to the assembly of an experienced team that certainly don't lack the mentality to succeed: Van Der Vaart, Gallas, Parker, Sandro, Kaboul, Friedel, Adebayor amongst others, poised on the edge of success.

Belief, mental strength, bad luck, lack of ambition, conspiracy, lack of a 60.000 stadium, no sugar daddy, pick your own explanation. If you're happy to come fourth occasionally then good luck to you but this feeling I have tells me that I am not, despite all the odds. We should aim at to be top and feel aggrieved if we don't make it. Failure having 'traces of glory' and all that.

This is in no way anti Harry even if he does seem to lack ambition on our behalf. He has done more than enough to continue as manager but with a little more belief from the top who knows what we might achieve. The players don't need anyone to provide them with excuses  to under- perform.

Friday, 11 May 2012

May the Fourth Be With You

On Sunday Great Opportunities
 You Are Having
 Not long now people. 36 hours and counting. It's like the old days with simultaneous kick offs at 3pm on a Saturday. Except that it's Sunday. Well that's progress. A good season, no matter how it turns out, though not quite as fulfilling as the mid season promise. Unless, unless , but let's not go there.
The Greg Meyer Column
 May Eleventh in Sunny Kent.
 May The Fourth Be With You ... Skywalking On A Sunday At The Lane.
 It's 5 o'clock Sunday (apologies Jimmy Buffet) at the most famous venue in N17. Thirty five thousand five hundred fans are going delirious.Hugging unknown strangers next to them. Jumping and jumping. No Spurs have not turned over Arsenal in a home derby. It's better than that  ... almost or maybe yes it is . Even the five hundred away fans look happy. Their manager wears a bemused dutch grin.He's been here before on the last game in May.
The cause of the celebration and unleashed waves of joy is obvious. Look right or left to those world famous Jombotrons at each end of White Hart Lane.
                            Spurs : 2  Fulham : 1.
                            Ps : Champions League Awaits.
How did we arrive at this happy football station.
Our pub think it might be properly and allowably self indulgent enough to ponder on the why's, wherefores, and especially the who's behind this season. What better time than as they take on the traditional lap of honour at season's end to reflect on those who jog, amble and in Ledley's case limp past us seated ticketholders.
A Lap Of Honour ... Who Deserves It.
There's the boy Bale. Remember Norwich away. Tore them apart. Look apart from a bung right hand front tyre that causes him to veer right towards the centre of the park, a great year. Not sure Pep Guardiola would put up with this inside, all over nonsense. Hard to think its Gareth's idea. Roman of Pavlova was told to go out and just run about a bit. Still Harry seems to have kept one of the jewels in the crown happy. Just wish he'd keep to the left like they do in Wales.
Rafa , Sylvie and little Damian are next. What an attractive trio.Well at least Sylvie. An attractive and prosperous season by our best attacking midfielder. What our pub really like is he is always quick to appreciate us fans and as well seems as though he loves it at the Lane. Wants to stay forever. Passed unanimously.
A smiling Togolese Emmanuel is walking past with little Kendra. First time on the Lane for her. Unfortunately might be the last for dad too. A great season by our first figurehead striker since a certain Bulgarian . He of the movie star looks. Yep our pub still miss Berba. Tottenham style personified.
Aaron Lennon is in happy company with our Luka. Who will forget that warm moment between the two after the Bolton win.They certainly seem to get on. Missing today is little Luka, Ivan actually. Mum Vanja is with him in the stands. No way a portent for departure. Luka is staying for reasons too numerous to mention. In short worth 40 million to Spurs but based on some patchy periods this year not 40 million to potential suitors.
Next up another happy little group. Hairdos though are across the spectrum. Kyle Walker and Benny of Cameroon, both good years but very different barbers are staying. Like his hair Brad Friedel is heading West. America anyone. A good shift nevertheless. So too our Gallic captain. Willie Gallas has brought a competitive steel to the team. Shame the legs are not built of similar stuff. Au revoir William and thank you.
Our section in North Stand Lower have just started to go mad. Enter Ledley. Enter Younes. But really enter Carlos. We know him better as Sandro. Yes after getting through lots of another season our Rolls Royce deserves plaudits galore.He is Tottenham after all. Hope the visit to the mechanics in the summer is a success.
Kaboul seems to be the heir apparent or even just plainly taken over as our best Centre back . Certainly a very good season but sorry our pub have just gone mad about our Brazilian. A little further back little Scotty is coming towards us. Great season. Vital until he tired and then after injury and a slower start who is coming on like a steam train.
Sandro should not, will not , over our dead body , will not be sold. A Brazilian experiment that has worked gloriously. And it is only just starting Congrats to Daniel Levy who steered him to the Lane . Remember that 6 month wait. Danny and co spotted him early and got their man. Our pub reckon he is a superstar  just shortly to happen.
Last not least a group of three old wise men. Kevin , the driver, Joe, in charge of histrionics and pitchside battles, and of course Sir Harry of Redknap. Job well done be it third to fifth. At time of writing surely fourth and that is what we are drinking to ...
At A Kent Pub.
Sunday at the Lane is not as easy as it looks. Never is with Spurs nor those that travel with her. Our pub are hoping to heck but preparing a fall back position.
Head, talent , class, desire, motivation, all say Spurs to win on Sunday. Heart and stomach not in complete agreement.We have tripped up before.
Nope we will win and I'll be celebrating with you Sunday, into Monday, into..
Before we go a quick look at the where are they now department. John Gregory( he of Aston Villa once) turns 58 today. Just finished("sacked") a stint managing in Kazakhstan. Not all a bed of roses since Villa. Still could be selling used cars or practising law.
Cheers ..  no lasagna on the menu at our pub ... may the force be with you and our Spurs ..  Greg Meyer. coys.
No Video Spot:
Thereis not enough bandwith on daughter's set up here in Spain. I will be watching on other daughters computer, just up the road but a better connection, on liveonlinefooty on Sunday. Glitches permitting.
Liveonlinefooty best thing since sliced wholemeal bread.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Tottenham fans look away now.

Arsenal lose and Newcastle win, but we only draw.
 Or we come 4th and Chelsea beat Bayern.....

 The JimmyG2 Column

  Tottenham my Tottenham how much do I love thee; let me count the ways. The beautiful girl friend confident in her allure and that she will never want for admirers and attention. You love her desperately whatever she does but know you will never be quite certain of her.

She will toy with your affections not out of spite but because that's the way she is. She always lets you down and you remain constant because it is part of her hold over you. In some sense she never lets you down because you know you can't rely on her. As reliably reliable as Jermaine Jenas himself.

She may be from N17 but there's blue blood in them there veins. We show her too much respect and she repays us with indifference bordering on contempt and we love her all the more. Most love objects at least acknowledge their admirers, they welcome and salute their devotees. Our beloved does not, so sure is she of our continued support.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning expressed her love for a mere mortal man so it is not too overblown to apply it to out love for our team. Excerpts below from sonnet 43 in a cycle of 44. Some act opf devotion even Spurs fans must agree.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach...........
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
…...........I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Passion, old griefs, childhood faith, smiles, tears, and the hopeful promise that even after death we may love Tottenham more.  I know, I know it's only a football team, it's not life and death and all that. Some might even hope that the grave will bring respite and relief.
'Leave it Jimmy she's not worth it' my non Tottenham  friends advise. If only I could.

So we come to the final games with everything to play for and quite a lot to lose. The possible outcomes of the final five matches of the top five could produce for us anything from fifth to third with the possibility that even if we make 4th Chelsea could claim our place in next years Champions' League by beating Bayern Munich in this year's final.

In another universe, 20 points above us it seems that there is a Manchester battle for top place.
Lower down, some 30 points away there are teams apparently struggling to survive. Meanwhile we battle to be the best of the rest unconcerned with these mightier and lesser concerns.

It's out of our hands now, we are no longer masters of our own destiny as once we were.
If all the challenging club including ourselves win all their games we will make fourth. If we lose our home game against Fulham then it could be fifth. If Arsenal  slip up it could be third. My guess is that we will make fourth and Chelsea will lose to Bayern. Don't put too much on it though as there are no refunds.

Our hearts are pledged but the outcome uncertain. It's like waiting outside the cinema unsure whether she will turn up. A humiliating situation and by the time you realise she's not coming it's too late to go in. But that's another story.

Liverpool did us us a favour by thrashing  Chelsea tonight which puts us beyond Chelsea's reach in the League. A timely revenge for the Cup Final result. Roberto's gang were hardly likely to slip up at home to Blackburn in their final game. So that's one piece of the jigsaw nicely in place. It's back into our hands for Sunday. The essential must win game at long last.

Against Villa we let it slip somewhat carelessly but once again for all our dominance Given was only called upon twice. We had 18 corners and failed to get on the end of one. Lennon saw plenty of the ball but was indecisive and wasteful. Adebayor was cool for the penalty but lacked control for most of the game.

However we got out of jail when a lunge by Dunne brought down Sandro and the ten men rallied to draw level. In any other context quite creditable but not at this stage of the season

Van Der Vaart was creative until he tired and Defoe should have been on more quickly, or Parker, or even Livermore. At the end Harry and Gallas seemed content to let our stake roll on to the final turn of the wheel. Sandro gave another forceful performance.

Rose contrived to get himself sent off for a frightening clash with his 'friend' Alan Hutton. May the Lord protect the Scot if he ever gets on the wrong side of our Danny.. With friends like that... as they say. He certainly got the ball first and a nudge from N'Zogbia didn’t help but it was undeniably reckless.

Bale went to left back where he will possibly start on Sunday unless we can re-shape the back four. Villa scored from almost their only shot in the game from 35yds which hit Gallas and left Friedel stranded. I’ve read this script before somewhere. It's not that we lack mental strength or bottle. We're just too damn polite to take advantage.

Arsenal opened the door with a draw against Norwich.. So we insist on slamming it shut against Villa. I mean it's hardly fair to hit a man when he's down is it? it? After you Claude. We were far superior to Villa so put one hand behind our backs to even things up. It's going to have to stop Tottenham or I'll be asking for that diamond solitaire with clusters back.

A for the summer signings the rumours start to pile up. This always reminds me of when, in a previous existence I ran a fruit and flower market stall. The customers sniffed around checking the price and the quality, prodding the fruit despite the notices. They often ended with the words, ' OK, thanks, I'll just do me shopping first'.

This roughly translates as 'Hmm I think I'll have a look round and see if there's anything better on offer elsewhere' and you never saw them again. Simultaneously encouraging and deflating. A bit like our lovely girl friend.

Come on Spurs surprise me. The footballing gods might just be having a nap on Sunday afternoon and may not notice as we sneak into third. If you don't want to know the scores, look away now and check them out on Monday.You might save yourself a lot of heartache.

Video Spot.
We loved Martin Jol but, well you know, he had his limitations, tactics and substitutions and the like. We solved all that with Juande Ramos and then Harry. Anyway Uncle Martin is back at the Lane with Fulham for the final showdown on Sunday.
Let's hope another love affair doesn't go sour on us. Sing along while you're still in the mood

Friday, 4 May 2012

Harry might not be staying long.

If you can't be with the one you love
Love the one you're with.

The JimmyG2 Column

So it's official: we are going to do it the Spurs way after all. It would have been mucheasier to have maintained our third place in the Premiership in style as we threatened to do. We could have joined the ranks of the mentally strong vying with Manchester United on equal terms for the run-in. We could have watched the Champions' League final in comfort smiling with detached amusement as Arsenal sweated on the result.

But we so obviously didn't. Capello resigns, Harry is crowned England manager unfortunately not by the FA and our season threatens to crumble to dust. But wait, Roy Hodgson gets the England job, Harry congratulates him and we win two consecutive games for the first time since January and it's all back on again.

Modric returns to form and scores a goal; Bale and Lennon stick to their respective wings and set up goals for others; Van Der Vaart scores a couple; Adebayor likewise; We score direct from a free kick and from a well worked corner; Sandro comes in for the injured Parker yet the world seems to have kept on spinning regardless. What a difference a couple of games make.

1 win in 9 before Blackburn becomes 3 wins in 11 after Bolton and a return to the champagne football we had almost forgotten. We win for the first time for years at the Reebok; Kevin Davies doesn't score and we go back to fourth a point off Arsenal. Sandra is running up some new curtains for Harry’s office and just as Spurs fans got used to the idea that Harry is leaving the taxi has been cancelled.

This is the Tottenham way and why we thought it would be any different I'm not at all sure. The uncertainty surrounding Harry must be part of the cause. Perhaps he was so pre-occupied with Team England that he didn't notice that Parker was totally shagged or that Ledley was having trouble standing up let alone running, or that Bale, kept wandering off the left wing to the detriment of our performances. Gareth is Welsh anyway so why would Harry be bothered.

But Harry's back and so are we. The games against lower half teams are not easy ones but at this end of the season teams 'battling for their lives' have to come out and play in the fresh air. They can't skulk in the back of the bus on their Play -Stations, WII's and PSP's. (Technical info. supplied by grandchildren ). However contrary to what my Mum used to say the fresh air and wide open spaces did their health no good at all.

This suits our high speed counter attacking style. There's more space for Modric and Van Der Vaart to exploit; more space for Bale and Lennon to run into; bigger gaps for Adebayor and we love it, love it. Suddenly the attack has tracked down where the opposition had hidden the goals.

The more open the game the more we have the players to exploit it. Sandro gives us a greater attacking edge than Parker as his runs are more positive and he can shoot as well as tackle. Lennon gives us more balance and spreads the focus of our attack.

If the squad can stay fit for another couple of weeks it could be a whole new chapter in the 'Harry Redknapp, Spurs manager' story for at least another year. Plans for the appointment of a DOF when Harry left have been put on hold. If Levy were to appoint one Harry might put up with it or resign, which might suit Levy either way. But if Harry is not top of your list of favourites remember the old 1970's Stephen Stills hit. 'Love the one you're with'

Where are we in the Redknapp saga?

Of course there's always been at least three camps on the Harry question. The first lot never liked him from the start. They regard him as a lucky, mouthy chancer who inherited a good squad and didn't quite manage to do anything substantial with it. We scraped into the Champions' League last year and imploded when it really mattered and ran out of steam and ideas when the going got tough in the Premiership this season.

The second group in which I place myself understood where the first group were coming from but suspended judgement, crossed our fingers, held our noses, enjoyed the surprisingly successful ride, gave credit where it was due and ended up more disillusioned than the first lot who never liked him in the first place and knew it would end in tears.

The third group carefully compile their statistics and charts that showed that Harry is our most successful manager since Sir Bill. They put the extended blip down bad luck, poor decisions by officials, injuries, the drought or whatever and still secretly think we might still make it to third. Some of them probably still believe we might win the cup.

Many fans though increasingly agreed that Harry thoroughly deserved the England job or the sack if he didn't get it and were looking forward to next season with the enthusiasm of vampires anticipating younger, fresher blood. They could see past a pre-season of rumour, gossip, ITK and frustration to the smell of cut grass and fresh paint. Mmmm.

The more enthusiastic you were about Harry the more betrayed you began to feel. So I was never that shattered. His strengths and weaknesses were evident from the start. His ability as a man manager and his commitment to entertaining football suited the club, the supporters and me.

His ease amongst the media which led to his popular acclamation as the next 'English' Manager of the England team, gained increasing strength as Spurs prospered. But the media, the fans, the pundits don't appoint the England manager. Once the wheels started to fall off and the plates went spinning out of control the FA got cold feet and looked for a safer pair of hands.

So the show is back on the road with nothing to distract us. Walker has signed a new 5yr. contract;
goal flood warnings are in force for the Birmingham area on Sunday; Tom Huddlestone will be back next season; the new training ground is almost complete; the new stadium capacity is being upped to 63.000, the world in short is on the verge of being our lobster once again.

So welcome back Harry, all is forgiven, as long as we make it to fourth. Failing that, Harry could be sacked, or retire but financial considerations might see him with us at least until the end of his current contract at the end of next season. Success next season will see it extended.

Aston Villa 0: Tottenham Hotspur 3  and on to Fulham where we might need to make it four in a row.
But don't be surprised if we don't. It's the Tottenham way.

Video Spot.
Plenty of versions of this,  the upbeat Isley Brothers version is good but  here is Crosby, Stills and Nash, live. Authentic 70's sounds and 'Woodstock' sentiments which we can apply to Harry who is sometimes difficult to love but he's the one we're with at the moment.