The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 26 October 2012

If Andres is happy he's too easily pleased

Maribor? Never heard of it.
 You have now.

The JimmyG2 Column

Venimus; vidimus; nos vacillavit. We came; we saw; we dithered. Any Latin scholars out there can just butt out. Not that we were actually invading  Europe as part of Julius Caesar's  attempt to take over the Western world. A task that eluded Hitler but was eventually accomplished by the European community.

We were certainly advancing on virgin territory for Spurs in Eastern Europe but the damsel survived more or less intact. We were superior in every way, including the sense of playing as if this was beneath us. We didn't appear to take the fixture seriously enough and this showed a lack of respect.

This lay entirely in the performance, not in AVB's stated attitude and in his team selection. We sleep walked into our third draw in three games and the fact that we are still in it at this stage relied almost entirely on Lazio being surprisingly held to a draw by Panathinaikos. I've always been in favour of a Greek bailout.

However when going to Slovenia, nearly a thousand miles from home on a cold Thursday night at a tight ground with fanatical supporters you have to assert your superiority not just wallow in it.

Maribor relished the occasion when alleged football royalty from the Premiership passed among them. They greeted going ahead as if water of the River Drava had be turned into wine and greeted the final whistle as if they had won the Inter Galactic Star Wars Trophy rather than getting a draw in the initial round of the Europa Cup.

Not that we didn't control the game but we could do little with our possession because we had too little guile up front and too little creativity from midfield. Huddlestone had plenty of the ball and was competent but he was too far back and I don't recall a single succesful incisive forward pass all game. His attempted tackle when they scored would have been laughable except for the consequecies.

Similarly up front, their keeper was virtually untested, our shooting was beyond poor. We scored by scambling the ball over the line when the keeper pushed the ball out to Defoe who failed to sink a chance that Sandra would have had for breakfast. Fortunately the ball arrived at the knee or shin of Sigurdsson who although he did everything to avoid scoring, failed.

Townsend who some people including me have promoted as the natural understudy for both Lennon and Bale was given his chance and frankly blew it. He is as head down as Defoe and lost possession on the half way line which eventually led to the goal.

The early half time change of Falque was positive and succesful, but I'm not joining the Falque bandwagon just yet.

Positives.

OK lets's see if we can find some.:

We are still in it thanks to Panathinaikos. The group is still open to any team that can put a couple of results together. Not us on this showing but still.

Caulker joins Vertonghen as a success story so far. He looks sounder and sounder.

Naughton looks better than Walker at the moment. I think that's a positive. He did OK. at left back.

AVB's early change was positive. Falque set up the chance for the equaliser and looked bright.

We came from behind away from home to salvage a point. It says something about something but I'm not sure exactly what.

Now I'm struggling. Another sad chapter in the AVB project but with so many players missing it's hard to lay the blame on the man unless you never liked him in the first place. Dawson succumbed to migraine before the game, I seemed to get mine after the final whistle.

AVB is on record as being 'happy' with the come-back, the fact that we have two home games to come, and the performance of Falque. Now whilst all this is true true I think he might just be clutching at straws and that behind the scenes electrical devices for removing water from follicles are being launched in all directions. I certainly hope so. If he's happy he's too easily pleased.

Adebayor was ruled out by back trouble and the conspiracy stories of a rift between him and Andres gather pace. Bale is still on paternity leave and since we thought we didn't need him anyway it was as good a time as any to allow him more time with his family.

I am not one of those that assert that if Bale wasn't ready to play then he should have sent Emma and the baby instead. I'm with Health and Safety on this one.

These are in addition to the long term wounded: Kaboul, Parker and Benny. So excuses there are many: positives there are few. The Project is misfiring at the moment although we are fifth in the Premiership. Hard to fathom really. Perhaps it's just the usual Tottenham fans over expection.
What do we want? Success. When do we want it? Now. Or sooner if possible.

Interesting facts: (Old feature revived)
Before 1920 the site of the Maribor ground had been a burial ground for many centuries and nearly was again last night.

Maribor. Second City of  Slovenia (edit) 2012 European City of Culture. 2013 European City of Youth and venue for the World Youth Chess tournament and possibly qualifiers for the knockout stage in the Europa Cup at somebody or other's expense.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Low lights of last night's game where the crowd was more interesting than the match. Sigurdsson starts and just about finishes the move for the equaliser. Don't watch their goal it will give you sleepless nights.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Err second city of Slovenia dearie.
And it wasn't that we were bad but that we were and continue to be: not good.

Just because we did a Dunkirk at OT has carried everyone away although you would think that the 'slicing and dicing" by the Chelsea Triumvirate (actually this chelsea team is AVB's as he planned to buy Oscar and Hazard before the sack amd the team is basically his team) would have told us something.
Now Moutinho wants the big bucks while oil magnates pop up and prop up former loser clubs who now pay well over the top and what do we hear from UEFa and Platini? hello!!!??? Nihil

JimmyG2 said...

Thanks, slip of the keyboard, duly amended.
I think we slipped into 'bad' last night.

Ed Moloney said...

ummm, jimmy, health & safety regulations were drawn up for the benefit of ordinary, averagely-paid members of the working community. not for people whose effective working day lasts barely 120 minutes, for which they get paid a king's ransom and who have the wherewithal to rent a battalion of baby sitters, nurses and assorted flunkies, and who could hire a fleet of helicopters to fly them from hobbit-land to slovenia and back again!

Anonymous said...

It's called PR

daddywoodland said...

I'm really struggling with the negativity at the moment. Aside from the fact I'd like to see Harry deal with the injuries we have and the limitations after selling Modric and VdV, the lack of consideration for the difficulties performing in the back end of nowhere is troubling.

Something that stands us apart from the typical 'footballing' teams is our ability to beat players one on one. We were stunted again but the poor conditions that our opponents were used to.

We're lucky because Lazio drew. Well that's all we managed on a pitch where you couldn't string two passes together.

£100m+ of Chelsea's class overcame us and without the defensive mistakes we were their equals.

I continue to be optimistic because we've had a second team out all season and we're in a good place in the league and still in the Europa.

Judging by the improvement in Lennon and Defoe as well as the exposure our young players have received I can only see positives. This article is a comparison with a Spurs side boasting Modric, VdV and Bale. Disappointing to say the least.

If you disagree with me, fair enough but please share a moment in supporting Kyle Walker. Last night he played with a freedom and confidence he's lacked all season and I believe he had his best game of the year. We need to back him and playing so well away from Spurs fans is a worry. He should know we believe in him and produce his best performances as a consequence.

ben 14 said...

david beckham would cross a ball halfway inside the opponents half to great effect, because lack of pace prevented anything else. and we have so called speed merchants that when they get to that point think they have to stop and pass a two yard ball even playing for england against a poor side for me just shows a lack of ambition and confidence anyone watching last nights game must have seen how sluggish we are compared to lest season and disjointed do the players no the plan.i have been to six home games this season and only villa did they look in command and even then only poor finnishing fromthem let us off the hook. i write this not out of frustration(it goes with being a spurs fan)of results just the manner of the football we are now playing. coys

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

Spurs were complacent. I was despondent. Three games in the group to go. Can the players or I take the excitement? And I speak as a fully paid up fan of Europe's second competition and one who would be fine missing out of next season's CL if we could even reach the final in Amsterdam in May.

But some fingers need to be pulled out.As Man City, Man Utd, Juventus and Liverpool have found out, you cannot reach the later stages of this competition if you don't have some urgency and purpose no matter how modest the opposition is presumed to be.

I would hope and suspect that AVB is a little annoyed at the stodginess of the players' performances on Thursday night.

JimmyG2 said...

Ed Moloney.
There must be something more important in your universe than THFC. No?

daddywoodland.
I take my hat off to you sir.
'If you can keep your optimism when all about you are losing theirs' Sorry Rudyard.
As for K.Walker, he will come again no doubt
and his loss of form gives me no pleasure.

ben 14.
All our wounds are self inflicted. We didn't have to sell VDV but we did need to sign another quality striker and we've known that for 2yrs.
We are still trying to play oour football but only manage it for 15 minutes now and again.

IKnowAlanGilzean
Energy and Purpose would be nice. Disagree about CL though.
It's where the money, prestige status and whatever are.
But it's not an either/or in any case.

Ed Moloney said...

the jimmy pot is no place to address any kettle! for many years i was a keen trout fly-fisherman. one of the joys of fly-fishing is to land a fly on the water in just the right way to persuade the fish to rise, or bite. hooking it was a bonus but getting it to rise was always a triumph. nothing quite like it.

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