The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Spurs and and England wait in hope.

It worked for Harry but I think that's pushing it Roy.
We only made the quarter finals.

 The JimmyG2 Column

And so gentle readers we bid farewell to England for a while in serious competition. We followed them with little expectations and overall were not disappointed. In Roy Hodge son they have a manager supremely qualified to make not too much of his limited options.

Unfortunately we did well enough for Roy to claim some success and to convince the FA that they had made a shrewd decision in appointing him ahead of Harry which is probably true in the first place. But it will be argued in the light of this that we are on the right track and have the basis of a decent team.

It is a cruel twist of face that the uncertainty over Harry's appointment to the England post that was one of the causes of Tottenham's slump, whatever Harry says, which gave the FA the pretext for appointing Roy ahead of him. If they ever intended Harry to have the job in the first place.

But we set ourselves back 30 yrs by winning the 1966 World Cup and remained stagnant whilst countries throughout the World were upgrading and re-thinking the game. So it is with our current situation. 442 and lump it up to a proper English striker and hope for the best. Roy has just about given himself a decent head start before the Media Hounds are let loose.

Against Italy we were ruthlessly exposed especially by Pirlo. I'm not a great one for statistics, I rely on my eyes to tell me the truth about most of what is going on before me. But I am not surprised to read that the 34 yr old Pirlo completed more passes than the whole of our midfield put together.

He did it with style, grace and with time to spare and finished his master-class with an impudent penalty that revealed the contempt in which he rightly held us. We failed to keep the ball when we won it and passed it back to them once we'd got it.

They loved the ball, we were frightened of it; they caressed the ball; we treated it with frosty unconcern bordering on indifference; they nurtured the ball, we sent it out to beg on the streets in a snowstorm. But we made the quarter finals and were unbeaten in open play throughout the tournament. So what can possibly be wrong.

Apart from the players, the tactics and the way we play that is. It is hard for Spurs supporters to love England because basically they don't play our preferred style of football and have some very poor players without grace or style. Milner and Carroll to name but two. They may be crudely effective but that is not in the THFC vocabulary and should not be in the England one either. It’s football Jim but not as we know it.

If Spain and Barcelona are now dubbed 'boring' I would like to know what Danny Blanchflower would have thought. Something along the lines of,' It's not the teams that pass a lot that are the problem; it's the teams that don't pass a lot. I certainly wish that England bored me a little more.

Let's aspire to something better, something watchable, something pleasurable, something to be proud of. Not under Roy Hodgeson I'm afraid who is capable only of making a sow's ear out of a silk purse. Apart from Rooney, Gerrard, and Hart we have no-one capable of getting into any other leading International squad and two of that trio didn't do much for their reputations

Parker and Rooney were unfit and Scott is to receive treatment for a troublesome Achilles which may well rule him out for the first month of the season. He should never have gone to the tournament as he has clearly been struggling with injury and fitnerss for some time. It will work to our advantage if it means that Sandro can establish himself in the meantime ahead of him.

Which nicely brings us back to Spurs. If we are to believe the rumour mill, Bale has signed a new contract which delights and surprises me. At last a little piece of good news and some loyalty and good sense. He will remain with the club that nursed him through injury and put him on the big stage. He will certainly earn less but may avoid over exposure before he has quite settled in his own head what he is about.

Andreas Villas Boas is shortly to be announced as our new manager which I welcome if for no other reason than it means we can settle into pre-season and get on with signing some decent players. The Vertonghen saga which has been on the very point of completion for some time has now stalled. My feeling is that this will be resolved to our advantage quite shortly.

But on the brighter side Gylfi Sigurdsson who looked as if he was hand made for a Spurs shirt last season may well have been stolen from under the noses of Liverpool. But hanging over everything is the departure of Luka Modric. Well as the Bard once remarked in the Scottish play "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well / It were done quickly'' and the £35 million odd shrewdly re-invested. A striker comes to mind.

Speaking of which, the World has gone silent on the retention of Adebayor which in the world of rumour and counter rumour could be a good thing. But then again...In the meantime me and Spurs and England wait in hope for better things and there is all to wait and hope for. Exciting innit?

Video Spot
The boy Gylfi Sigurdsson looks the part and will fit the shirt nicely. Modric he is not, but at 22 and 6ft.1''  a nice smile and a good goal scoring record (7/19 last season at Swansea) what's not to wait in hope for?

Saturday, 23 June 2012

When Ledley met Terry.

Roy re-captures the spirit of 1966. 
Is that Scotty without his teeth?

The JimmyG2 Column

Editorial Meeting at the Daily Rag

'So put the Hodgeson stuff on hold until we lose to Italy. If we beat them and get into the semis then switch over to plan B. You know shrewd decision by the FA to pick a seriously qualified International coach who speaks good English. Don't mention Harry directly for the moment.

' Don't forget Harry is one of us, Roy is one of them until Monday. Remember it's 'Awise Sir Woy' if we win the bloody thing. Ive got a senior writer on composing a 'Queen to confer honour during the Olympic opening ceremony' piece. In the mean time concentrate on working Villas Boas over.

'Can we tap his phone Chief? Otherwise it's all pure guesswork'.

'What after the Levenson stuff. Bloody Guardian.Anyone taps anyone's phone in the Sport's Department they'll be back on gofer duties..Make it up and refuse to reveal your sources. Take the moral high ground. Dustbins are still fair game though. It worked well for 150 yrs before mobile phones came on the scene.

'I've got a good piece under the headline 'Ledley King in secret meeting with John Terry'. Villas Boas won't permit anyone to miss training not even with a doctor's note'.

For Christ's sake. When I say 'make it up' I don't just mean any old shit. It's got to be plausible to the average Spurs fan. And don't bring Ledley King into it. The man's a legend in his own half time.
Use Piennar, Gomes, Bentley or Dos Santos. People with a grudge against Harry. Blimey there's plenty of them.

'Can't we have a little go at Hodgeson Chief? It's a British tradition even if he has got through to the quarters unbeaten. The football has been dire after all'.

It's not about the football . It's about results. We didn't win two World Wars and the 1966 World Cup playing pretty. Think Nobby styles without his teeth and Norman ( bite yer leg) Hunter. It's about grit, determination, standing together, fighting them on the beaches. It's about Scott Parker, whose career incidentally was relaunched by Harry. Work that in somehow.

'Did you like my stuff about AVB threatening to walk away from the Spurs job Chief?

Well the story line is completely implausible of course, he wouldn't walk away from a stale cheese sandwich at the moment.But I like the details, ten other candidates and talking to 'associates'. Classy I like that. Makes AVB look like a tosser and suggests that Levy is a two timing bastard whose word can't be trusted. But we all knew that already'.

'Keep plugging the Modric and Bale to leave, Real Madrid and Barcelona I think it is this week and that AVB wants at least £50 million of their transfer fees. We're on pretty safe ground there. Mind you Spurs Musings had all this stuff weeks ago'.

'I'll give Jimmy and Greg a bell, they're obviously plugged straight into the Tottenham network.. Jimmy'll do anything for a signed photograph of Jimmy Greaves a pint of mild and some pork scratchings'.

'So are we all on the same page gents? Lay off Roy until after the Italy game; Don't mention Harry directly until we see how this plays out; hammer Villas Boas, he's Portugeuse and fair game, and play up the Modric and Bale departures.

With any luck Tottenham will be two from eight again and Harry might just get a chance to turn Spurs down when they come crawling back.. The England job might even be back on the agenda if we work this right. Tell Harry to stall on the Qatar job. Tell him to demand a thousand camels or something as part of the deal.'

'I think its stretch Mercs out there Chief these days'

'Well a thousand stretch Mercs then. Do I have to write the bloody stuff for you?'

Video spot.
 The 1966 final. 45 yrs since goal-line technology was demanded and we're still waiting.
This was in the era  before defences were invented. Made the game much more exciting. Germany await if we beat Italy.

Friday, 15 June 2012

The Word on the Street

Have a go on the New  Manager Roulette Wheel
I've narrowed it down to a White European Male

 The JimmyG2 Column

 Every time I get on a plane lately the sky falls in. Fortunately not on my plane but just over WHL. A month ago I arrived at Luton from Madrid to be informed that Chelsea had won the Champions' League and that West Ham had been promoted.

Yesterday doing the trip in reverse I was travelling all day and didn't bother checking on the Interweb. Safely in Madrid I decided to watch the Holland Germany game and retired without bothering to look. After all how much can happen in 24 hrs.

This morning I discovered that Harry had been sacked. Greg was also in transit and so the Spurs Musings complex was left completely unattended which is clearly asking for trouble in our location. Neither of us was available to return the calls of any of the Spurs hierarchy seeking guidance.

 I am shocked but not surprised if you follow my drift. It's been a long time coming apparently. Our failure to make the CL even if in the last resort it wasn't Harry's fault was the final straw. Harry and Daniel had been attending Relate session for some time over problems of incompatibility and breakdowns in communications, but whilst domestic matters were successful the pair had agreed to give it another go on many occasions

Once the dishes had been left in the sink and the supper burned once too often the writing was on the wall. It said 'Take a one year rolling deal or leave it' And Harry's Agent deemed it 'disrespectful and Harry replied 'I think I'll leave it' and the hessian bag was the result. I'm guessing of course but the Musings as you know are not always wrong.

Now begins the new project under a new manager that Levy has had in mind for some months. The new training ground is open, the new stadium poised to begin and as we say 'the future's bright'. There's a long list of potential managers from Guardiola, Villas Boas, and Capello to Martinez and Moyes.

Those who wished Harry gone and those who didn't are all cast adrift on the same storm tossed sea of worry and indecision. Four years is an age in the history of Spurs managers, we had twelve before Martin Jol whist Wenger was the single occupant at Arsenal.

Stability has paid dividends since then and may well do again if we get the right man. My first reaction to Harry being appointed was 'oh no'. My first reaction to his going was the same. Like the stock market us fans hate uncertainty. I have eaten my words on Harry and by and large he has done well for the club in terms of playing style and results. 

Off the pitch he has often been an embarrassment. Ultimately failure to produce in a results business signed his sack warrant. So we face a summer of upheaval: new manager; new players; his favourites coming; perhaps our favourites going; new backroom staff; new tactics which may be a good thing. The uncertainty over Modric,Bale and Van der Vaart, who may all feel that with Harry going now's the time to move on will increase. Perhaps the Vertonghen deal will never be completed.

The initial word on the back streets was that David Moyes was the front runner. A man I could support for his honesty loyalty and decency. He is tactically aware and makes the most of his available talents. He also has a good record with young players. Press conferences would be different for sure which would be no bad thing.

The latest word on the High Road however is that Villas Boas was lined up some time ago and that an announcement would be made within days. How many days is not made clear. This would be a more ambitious appointment and a more glamorous scenario which perhaps suits our image and pedigree better.

Whoever it is needs to be supported and backed for the long term by Levy and the fans. Four years should become the minimum not the maximum length of stay for our managers. The first season could be rocky and support and loyalty, easy when you're winning is even more difficult but even more essential in times of stress.

Video Spot.
Another excellent video courtesy of Scutch on Spurs Community. A couple of likely lads here from the Magazine 'the Players Lounge' setting up a meeting with Van Der Vaart. Some skilful editing but you can hardly see the joins. Top Man Rafael.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Today could be the day.

Kranjcar's gone but if we could just shift Jenas
 this whole thing will clear.

The JimmyG2 Column

Just an opportunity for me to cast a jaundiced eye on the exciting things which are not happening here at home and abroad.

Much ado on the webwaves concerning Harry and his new deal. Senior Spurs bloggers seem to have lost patience as the implications of coming fourth but not making the Champions' League weigh heavily on our prospects for the immediate future and for our capacity to retain our key players.

It is rumoured that today could be the day for the arm wrestling to begin. Harry is being widely advised to take the long walk of a short thick piece of wood from the not quite sinking ship but in view of the imminence of the European Championship a becalmed vessel in search of a new direction.

The options for Harry vary from: 'Go straight to Hell, do not pass Daniel's Office, do not collect your finishing fourth bonus; through a one year rolling contract; to another three or four year stint as we've never had it so good. Well not recently anyway.

Now the middle of the road is a dangerous place to picnic but I think that's where I find myself at the moment. Recent comprehensive research suggests that there is often a new manager bounce in the short term but that usually it makes little difference to long term prospects.

So clearly the time to change manager is at the beginning of an extended blip. I'm sure you don't need me to point out the difficulties of putting that theory into practise.

There are exceptions both ways : think Pardew and Di Matteo; but ponder Keane and Ramos whilst you do so. Harry who can hold two contradictory opinions simultaneously thinks uncertainty over his managership will weigh heavily on the players although he maintained earlier that when he was up for the England job it made no difference to them.

Meanwhile the Vertonghen saga is hopefully inching closer to conclusion. I hope they're not arguing over the finer details like where his peg will be in the dressing room and ignoring the bigger picture. As if they would, especially with Ledley's future still in the balance. Another announcement which was expected before now.

But the 'dead wood' log jam seems to be moving at last.. Kranjcar has definitely been sold apparently for more than we gave for him which is the first criteria on Daniel's check list. I wonder if we have ever managed to make a profit on someone we got for free?

Speaking of which Nelsen is probably almost definitely on his way to America and Bassong back to France. Remy is waiting to see if Harry is staying, though whether he will sign if Harry goes or not sign if he stays is not quite clear.

Van Der Vaart picks a different club from the map of Europe every time he speaks. If it's June it must be Italy. May's favourite was to go back to Holland. I'll eat my notebook and pencil if he isn't at Spurs next season whether Harry stays or goes.

The Modric and Bale transfers seem to be on the back burner at the moment but we need to keep an eye on them just in case they boil over. I read that Manchester Utd have offered £23 million as an opener but Daniel won't even open an eye for that amount let alone get out of bed. He is 2-1 to be a Man. Utd player for next season

Real Madrid are apparently keen on Luka and that would suit us better as they will pay more and he won't get to play against us. Well not this season anyway. With my Spanish connections I might get to see him play at the Bernabeu. It will be interesting to see where he plays for Croatia. Bilic is no fool and tends to play him deeper than we usually do.

The British political hierarchy have come up with an excuse not to go to Ukraine for the opening rounds. Some trumped up story about human rights. They all went to China for the last Olympics didn't they? They are clearly hoping that we get knocked out early and then they won't have to go at all. They seem to have found some emulsion to observe while the moisture evaporates.

From Krakow the England team are to visit Auschwitz before their opening game so that anything that happens after that will seem like a holiday camp. They will not be worried this time by the 'burden of expectation' which some are hoping  may work to our advantage. Come on Scotty. I doubt that Defoe will get much of a look in when he returns after the death of his father. A small run on part at most.

Fears of racism amongst the local fans have been discounted although with Rio excluded for 'footballing' reasons we might look closer to home. The racism charge for captain Terry for allegedly abusing Rio's brother obviously has nothing to do with it at all.  Not in any way, shape or form, clearly. Did anyone ask Rio if it was a problem?

Video Spot.
No apologies for focusing on our best player especially as we could well lose him amongst all the uncertainties and delays. Just in case anyone has forgotton his quality here are 10 minutes of pure joy. Part 2 next time if he's still with us.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Vertonghen versus Vermaelen

With the inclusion of Titus Bramble's lawyer  you've got 
three top class defenders there.
The Greg Meyer Column
 Sunday June 3 2012 .. Rafael's Birthday.
 Vertonghen versus Vermaelen versus Titus Bramble.
 The name on every Spurs fan's lips.Not Luka Modric but Jan Vertonghen and you can bet every England fan of a North London persuasion was watching his every move at a certain Wembley International on Saturday.
Lets just suppose that for once we don't stuff up what appears a nailed on Premier third place, oops that is meant to read, a fantastic replacement for our retiring Rolls Royce in a transfer window which officially starts on July 1. Given all the deals already done, Hazard, Podolski etc you'd be forgiven for thinking that date is an aim for golf green only.
Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen share a lot besides both being Belgian footballers. So our pub had a happy session debating the respective merits of the "Vers". Beats a round table discussion on the Diamond Jubilee surely. Mind if it was the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot and a certain Black Caviar we might differ.
So who is he and why would we want him?
A Certain Arsenal Centre Back vs a Hoped For Spurs Centre Back.
For starters both were born in Belgian but Thomas V is 17 months older than Jan V. He's also shorter being 6 feet compared to Jan's almost 6 feet 3 inches.
Vermaelen joined Arsenal in 2009 for around 9 million pounds. Ajax reputedly want 12 million for Vertonghen who has 1 year of his contract left. Arsene certainly has some wheeler dealer skills. Hopefully Daniel gets his man albeit seems prices have gone up. Is that reflected in the respective quality of the "Vers".
The Similarities.
* Both are graduates of the Ajax Football Academy and both joined from the Belgian club Germinal Beerschot.
* Both played together at Ajax and both have captained the famous Dutch side. They each played centre back or left back with Vertonghen featuring as a defensive midfielder as well. Vermaelen succeeded Huntelaar whilst Vertonghen took over from "The Cannibal of Ajax." He, the hungry one, went to Liverpool and moved on from biting players to regaling them with terms of Uruguayan endearment. Just ask Patrice Evra.
Actually Martin Stekeelenburg had a short stint after Luis. He left for Roma . Nothing to do with his culinary habits.
* Both like going forward and scoring goals. Vermaelen scored 10 for Ajax and netted 6 times for Arsenal last seson. Vertonghen has scored 28 for Ajax thus far. Ten goals last season. Hmm.
* Both are accomplished left footers. Anyone recall that 25 yard bullet from Vermaelen against Blackburn Roversin 2009. Vertonghen too looks assured and comfortable moving from defence to attack.
* Both present as role models neither courting controversey. Both still single and going strong.
So Whats Different.
Seemingly not a lot, age and height apart.
Perhaps the biggest question mark lies over their Premier league capabilities. Vermaelen arrived nigh on 3 years ago and achilles apart has proved a class act particularly going forward.
Vertonghen arrives at a similar age in his career and from an objective Kent pub perspective has all the credentials to be a big success for Spurs.
Don't just take our word for it. here's two quotes from Frank de Boer now manager of Ajax  ...
                          May 3, 2012        " He's the perfect fit for Barcelona." Of course he would say that given Frank is an ex Barcelona great.    Daily Mail.
                         April 3, 2012         " Vertonghen is better than Vermaelen."  Lots of Papers.And from a different point of view.
                         June 3, 2012         " His lack of a Wheelchair driving licence is not fatal to his prospects for success."    Ledley King Esquire.
Only kidding but you gather our drift I'm sure. Ledley of Rolls and Royce is a legend here ...
At A Kent Pub.
Collective fingers crossed the transfer happens sooner. Our lawyer reckons it will be a real morale boost given the touted interest of our North London neighbours.
Speaking of Arsenal ,
 "Mum's the word.' Well according to reports Mum van Persie, Jose, has told  wife Bouchra, who has told daughter Dina, that respective son, husband and father should stay at Arsenal and stay away from that nasty Manchester City place. The female factor. Will it be enough. Maybe. Why would you want to live in Manchester. Sorry Mancunians only joking.
Speaking of Jokes and World Class Defenders..
As regular readers will know our pub have a real soft spot for one Titus Bramble. So just before we down a final pint and grab our hats , three lighthearted comments on his acquittal of criminal matters on Teeside ...
" Arsenal have identified TItus Bramble's lawyer as a top prioritory signing this window. What a class defender."
" Titus Bramble cleared of charges. It used to be only the talented footballers who got away with that stuff."       and finally ..
"Titus Bramble cleared of all charges. It could be worse. You could have John Terry in your team."
Cheers  ... as you can see no hard feelings towards Chelsea grabbing our spot... Greg Meyer.              PS Rafa Nadal is 26 years today.    coys.

Video Spot.
It's a tense time of year for everyone after a brilliantly disappointing season in the true Spurs tradition. So here's Tottenham fan and top man  Michael McIntyre to give us a different slant on things Tottenham. Chillax people.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Has Harry got the hump?

Give it a rest Sandra.
The contract just says '  People Carrier supplied '

The JimmyG2 Column

Imagine if you will Harry speeding across the desert from Doha airport, not on a camel obviously but in the back of an air-conditioned stretch Mercedes.That's what Harry's agent would have us believe as he attempts to hustle big Danny into agreeing a new 3yr contract with more money before Qatar snaps him up.

I can't see it myself. Never hustle a hustler as they say. I don't think that Danny boy will either extend his current contract which has another year to run or conversely sack him as he has in many ways more than achieved his brief. So calm down, calm down, he's with us for another year unless Levy calls his bluff.

The fact that we were robbed of Champions' League by Chelsea or that we should have finished third in any case will not affect the situation. Two 4th place finishes and a 5th in three years will ensure that he will be allowed to see out his current contract.

Talks are ongoing as we speak wherever Harry is. Probably putting up the bunting and firing up the barbecue for the festivities back home in Sandbank.
'Sandra, where you put all them flags from the silver whatsit?'
'I chucked em all away love and bought some fresh when I thought you'd got the England job.'

We'd all got used to the idea that Harry was leaving us for England and like Sandra got a bit ahead of ourselves with planning the new era. Now half the fans think he should be sacked for not getting third and the other half that he should be credited with our best run for years even though not many of them feel that they really want Harry for another 3 or 4 years.

Half the fans seem to hate him and the other half just don't like him very much. Some of our shortfall can be laid at Harry's door but some was out of his control: heart surgery and Capello resigning at awkward moments during our season for a start. The timing of the court case was inconvenient too from both Harry's and Tottenham's point of view.

And so the Harry saga continues and is likely to do so for a little while longer. Levy doesn't do decisive and speedy when contract negotiations are involoved. Anybody would think he was spending his own money. 

For the moment Harry is sulking in his tent like that heel Achilles, in Qatar or even Sandbanks declining even to go to the European championship as a pundit. asserts for what it's worth that Friday is decision day when Harry and Daniel are booked for talks. Nothing doing this week then.

Meanwhile we once again have England to distract us. The main interest last night against Belgium was to check on the progress of Scotty, evaluate Vertonghen and confirm whether Hazard was worth £35 million. Hazard looked a decent player and if he settles quickly might get somewhere close to the same value as Modric. We will see.

Vertonghen was competent and calm and offered constant support down the left. If he can offer left back in addition to his centre half capacity that would be a bonus. If he ever signs of course. I think we've overshot the runway on this one and he's obscured by low cloud as he comes in for a second attempt.

I couldn't decide whether I wanted him to play brilliantly and confirm our good sense in buying him or hoping he was crap so that Chelsea, or Arsenal or somebody would cross him off their list and leave us a clear field. He's 25 and at £10 million he looks a sound investment if the Control Tower ever clears him for landing.

Our Scotty played a very limited role contenting himself with a bit of ground clearance, hacking down a few trees including our Belgium sapling just to show what a fair fellow he is. He got through the game without any evident discomfort from his Achilles injury. (It's that man again.) He didn't attempt much other than laying off the ball quickly, sideways and backwards a tactic for which Jenas has been crucified unmercifully for years. But if your face fits.

Anyway the FA are quietly congratulating themselves for ignoring Harry and going for Roy with his 100% record and two clean sheets. I'm sure that Harry will stop sticking pins into the Hodgeson voodoo doll soon and rely on the likelihood that we won't even make it through the group stage to restore his reputation.

Germany are 3-1 to win the tournament, hmm. Nope I sticking with Spain to make it three in a row at 5-2. Not many will be tempted by England at 10-1 on current performances. Workmanlike but without any evident spark. Rooney will be sorely missed in the opening games. 

We have survived the last two outings with two well taken goals and the inability of the opposition to make their superiority on the ball count.Incidently I want some of whatever Defoe is on. The boy's on fire.

Video Spot.
With thanks to YidV2Dan via Scutch on Spurs Community another season round-up. Lets hope this one stays up longer than the last. The Early Bird and all that.