The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Can Andre fix it?

It just gets going and then it suddenly stops.
Can you fix it?
The JimmyG2 Column
 Here on 'The Musings' we always try to find the positives and when you win your second game in a week and go back to fifth above Everton and Arsenal to be just 3 points off the Champions' League places they are not that hard to find.
And yet anyone who is happy about the way we are playing is far too easily pleased. 'The Musings' have never subscribed to the 'a win is a win philosophy'. We were raised on the Danny Blanchflower attitude that, "The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish.''

Nobody could accuse Spurs of doing things with 'style and with a flourish' consistently this season. Except in very short bursts as we did against Liverpool, Arsenal, Man.Utd and several other games. The question remains, will we put in a full 90 minute effort anytime soon?
A motoring friend tells me that modern cars boast something known as 'Stop/Start' technology. In short this means that when you take your foot off the clutch at traffic lights the engine goes to sleep only to instantly burst into life when you put your foot back down again. I am not convinced that this is a good idea especially in rural communities where there are no traffic lights.But I digress.
I think that something similar has been installed at Tottenham. As in the Arsenal game we had a 20 minute burst, went two goals up and then reached the traffic lights. Against Arsenal it was more of a road block manned by the police but never mind. I'm sure it works really well in cars.
Against Liverpool we didn't even have the excuse of going down to ten men. The decision to take our foot of the pedal was either tactical or the result of playing a midfield consisting of Sandro who had been stretchered off on Sunday against West Ham and Dembele making his first start for eight games and not not being quite match fit.
 He was blowing hard well before the hour and should have been substituted earlier. But another legend continues: Dembele starts /Spurs win.There's just no arguing with the facts.
In any event the engine spluttered and nearly died. We defended deeper and deeper and hacked the ball out of defence more and more aimlessly. Dawson defended stoutly and led us to our second win running under his captaincy but he was as guilty as anyone of giving the ball back to the opposition.
Even when we were dominating the first 20 minutes, Liverpool had two good chances to score. Suarez shot too close to Lloris and Henderson should have punished Hugo when he made an ill judged sprint outside his box and the ball broke free after Walker's intervention.
Lennon scored the first on 7 minutes when he tiptoed quietly in behind full back Downing to the back post, knocked out his pipe and awaited the arrival of Bale's cross following another thrilling run. If it had been at Anfield the crowd would have been shouting 'He's behind you'. Well it is that time of year. 'Full back Downing', it makes you smile just to think about. it.
  So the Lennon scores /Tottenham win legend also continues. Bale scored the second himself on 17 minutes from a free kick just outside the area. The swerve or deflection fooled Reina as he moved to his left hand post. 2-0 up, home hoodoo well and truly broken.There was no change of direction as it passed the Liverpool wall  and it was swerving from the start. I'm in the swerve camp.
But once again we moved into the slow lane and Liverpool passed us to death but couldn't break down the back line.They had 65% of the possession away from home but hadonly one more shot than Spurs over the whole game. Four of Liverpool's players hit the 50 pass mark an achievement which not one of our players managed. 
 Defoe had less than a dozen touches of the ball and one of those was the kick off. Another was when he robbed Gerrard on the half way line, which is certainly a first, to set up Bale for a shot that passed across the goal. Bale also had a free kick on target that Reina struggled to save.
But we came away with the three points and only the purists will be at all concerned. But playing badly is not a recipe for long term success. Winning ugly is all very well now and then and I hope that our league position is not used as a smokescreen to avoid addressing some of our shortcomings.We are living very dangerously.
 A third win in a week away against  Fulham tomorrow looks on the cards.  This week's home wins have taken our home record surging past our previously superior away performance. Berbatov, Dembele and Dempsey are all reunited with their previous owners. Should be fun. Style and flourish required please.

Home: Played.8.Won 4/Drawn2/Lost 2. Scored 13/conceded10
Away:..Played.6.Won3/Drawn.0/Lost 3. Scored 12/conceded13.
Goal difference 2 (the worst in the top half apart from Stoke). Points 23.
Cheeky claim of the week (New Feature)
Lennon claims  an assist for the own goal to finish the game on a par with Bale.
Interesting statistic that might indicate something very important.
The 1-0 defeat to Wigan at the start of the month is now the only time we have failed to score at home in the last 32 Premier League games at White Hart Lane, a run which stretches back to March 2011.( Courtesy Bleacher Report)

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Gareth's the man at both ends of the pitch against Liverpool. Stand out Man Of The Match. Mr.Mourinho eat your heart out; for now anyway.


EastLondonYid said...

didnt we go 1-0 up against arsenal not 2-0??

JimmyG2 said...

Absolutely correct dammit. It was the previous 5-2 when we went two up
You just can't get the staff.

Anonymous said...

To be honest I don't think we have the personnel to play any differently and apart from the Liverpool game we have had the most possession in the majority of games anyway.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

I can see the reasoning behind the tactic of closing a game out when winning, letting the opposition have lots of the ball but keep them at arm's length from our goal and see the game peter out. Indeed, one of my criticisms of Harry's Spurs was that too often we could only play well at one pace.

But we are so bad at it & the others just swarm all over us and miss a fair few half to pretty damn good chances and we are saved by lots of last ditch defending (never a good sign), poor finishing or even more often poor decision making by the opposition forwards and benefit of the doubt refereeing (though Gerrard dived and Gallas got the ball so neither were pens imo).

Moreover, we have the players (Bale and Lennon esp, but also Defoe and Walker, and now Dembele again) to make many lightning and devastating breaks on the counter but don't really do so.

I'd have thought the rapid counterattack was intinsic to the "controlling the game when winning strategy". It was for catenaccio itself back in the day. Our forays out of our shell are too sporadic and often confused.

I don't get it really, not when we are laying waste to a side (Lpool, Saints, even Man Utd to an extent) and have a two goal cushion. Aside from the it's not really Spurs issue.

I like AVB, I really do, but I cannot believe what happened in the second halves vs Liverpool Saints & Man Utd is what is intended.

Unlike Anonymous above, I don't think we have the players to play this way and we look much better and, I might add, safer, when playing on the front foot, as I saw it described today.

I think we'll get a draw, at best, at Fulham, which would be a good result, of course.

Anonymous said...

The questions we have to ask is: Are our defeats, because or in spite of AVB? Are our wins, because or in spite of AVB?

JimmyG2 said...

We look so much better on the front foot but injuries and having to play, say sandro, too often at the moment leads to tiredness and lack of ability to press.
Confident of a win today. 3-1 same as last year.

Last Anon.
Ttoo deep for me I'm afraid.
If it doubt sacck the manager seems to be the rule in the Premiership. AVB out!

Cheshuntboy said...

First time ever! An article I can completely agree with. It's the blind faith that so many bloggers have shown in Levy/AVB that has prompted my tedious rants, when the facts of results and performances have left plenty of room for the doubts that I've still got about AVB. I genuinely want him to succeed, but there's a hell of a lot of room for improvement.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

Yes, fair comment Jimmy.

You almost got the score exactly right today. I didn't see the game, but I think that's a super result, I would have been very pleased with a draw.

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