The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Clock ticking for Spurs.

 It's only statistics Andre
We might not even have a problem
The JimmyG2 Column
Life and logic tells us that if there is a problem there must be a solution. We've all read the crushing statistic that if games were 80 minutes long we would be top. But what does it tell us about THFC; the players, the Head Coach, fitness, tactics, attitude or indeed anything at all?

I won't bore you with how many late goals we've conceded, and in consequence how many points we have lost and how many minutes after a substitution are made before we concede. The answers to these questions are lots, lots, and not many.

 But the starkness of these stats and the dire effect on our league position suggest that there must be an explanation, an underlying cause, an identifiable reason which leads to the idea that it can be fixed.

Of course we've been through all this before in the early years of the current Millennium. The infamous lack of mental strength, something deep within the DNA of Spurs which prevented us from achieving anything. But it didn't stop us in the 60's and DNA doesn't normally change over such a short time frame if at all. If I was Watson or Crick I wouldn't be writing this in the first place.

But recent success and the upgrading of the squad by recruiting experienced and more robust players seemed to have put this spurious theory to rest. It's easy to jump to conclusions. New manager: return of old problem; it must be AVB's fault.

But we were away to a team playing well, unbeaten at home, who we haven't beaten for several years at their place. They edged the game although possession was split and we were lucky to go ahead from a deflected shot by Dempsey.

 Andre made some logical changes, Dembele was struggling and needs to be protected. His replacement Sigurdsson almost clinched it with a shot that hit the bar which would have made it 2-0; result cut and dried. Falque came on for Defoe who had done little and neither of these changes indicated that we were going into bunker mode. Huddlestone replaced Lennon who was not doing much which was a logical shoring up procedure and he did nothing amiss.

1-0 with 15 minutes to go, team and Head Coach look like pulling off a coup. Whatever happens in the next 15 minutes cannot wipe out what went before in terms of overall strategy by the manager and performance by the team in this game or over the season. But Spurs by now must know that the clock is ticking once again.

They start to hit the ball long and we defend deeper, whether by tactical plan or the inevitable tendencies of the players we don't know. After all it's worked before. Cue Caulker who is promising but young to ignore Lloris for the second time with dire results. Piennar heads in powerfully from a cross probably intended for Fellaini. Lloris could or maybe even should have done better.

When were at 0-0 on 75 minutes I'm thinking: 'Ok decent point, all good'.
On 76 minutes Dempsey scores I'm thinking,' Thank you lord, I accept the three points if you insist but I'm not sure that we deserved it, but who cares'.

0n 90 minutes they equalise and I'm thinking, 'Expletive deleted. OK that seems about right'.
On 92 minutes they score from a series of mishaps and luck, I apologise to Mrs JimmyG2 for the language, she had removed the cat to safety when they equalised, and ponder on life and the meaning of everything.

The replay of the last goal shows that we don't even clear the six yard box let alone the penalty area. We don't pressure the throw in near the half way line. They get a fortunate assist from an overhead kick by Piennar and an instinctive finish by Jelavic which we were hoping was offside. But it wasn't.

2-1 to Everton, historical statistical predictions justified. We lost to a team that played better on the day; we were lucky to go ahead and unlucky to lose. The manner of the loss provokes all sorts of questions none of which can be positively attributed to anyone in particular or which demonstrate any particular failure of strategy.

As Jimmy Greaves remarked, 'It's a funny old game' It's also a very fluid fast moving game which usually proceeds on the basis of a whole string of accidental events and mistakes. The better the team the more likely you are to make fewer of them and reap the benefit from them.

I'm not saying there is nothing to be done or adopting a stoical acceptance of fate. We could train harder; use the available players more to prevent tiredness and injuries; sack the coach; buy better players; appoint a sports psychologist; pray; go on the offensive more in the last ten minutes of games, pick Gallas to replace Jenas as scapegoat and then drop him.

The answer could be none or all of the above. I'm not even certain that there is a specific problem let alone what the answer is. As every man and his four legged friend has a different analysis then whatever solution we decide upon and apply could make things worse.

Trying to contain a game of football, or worse a whole series of games of football, within a precise analysis is like trying to put a condom on a trifle. Trust me, I know. Don't ask. It doesn't improve the trifle or prevent conception. If you have a theory then I'd be glad to hear it, and so would AVB. Of course the answer could be 42.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Well here is the horse's mouth explaining yesterday's defeat. Make of it what you will. Hectic programme; welcome rest; improve organisation; attention to detail; luck; belief, whatever. He's got no more idea than me, or you, to be fair. 'Events dear boy, events'. Shit happens everywhere: ask Man. City or West  Ham. And that's only yesterday's games.


Anonymous said...

Lloris is going to have to start calling in English or Caulker needs to take French lessons!!

Maverick Ways said...

Anonymous said...

Gutted over the outcome,however once we have a fully fit squad watch us improve over the 2nd half of the season.COYS

steve said...

desperately miss Kaboul and Parker in these situations, I'm sure they would have helped prevent the implosion. Also a & e would allow verts to play in his best position.
Good post tho'.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

I thought the subs were fine and did what they said on the tin and the second half performance was good in particular.

Managers get too much of the praise for every little thing that goes right and too much of the blame for every little thing that goes wrong.

As you so eloquently say Jimmy, stuff happens sometimes.

Everton away is a tough gig for all the presumed big clubs and their results against them are good in recent seasons.

I'm strangely buoyed, though naturally disappointed, by Sunday.

A much needed week off coming up. For the players and fans (me at least) too, it's been a tough few weeks.

Cheshuntboy said...

We can probably lose against the likes of City and Chelsea, and it's not going to make a huge difference to our ultimate league position (below them usually), but throwing away points to Everton is criminal - this was a genuine 'six-pointer', we blew it, and I'm amazed how many Spurs supporters seem philosophical about it - if losing to Everton is okay, how can we possibly have Top Four pretentions? Low expectations are the curse of this club, and if supporters are as easily satisfied as many of them seem to be, it'll be a very long time indeed before we're troubling the Champions League again.

JimmyG2 said...

1st Anon.
I think they teach 'Franglais' at spurs with so many French speakers in the back five.
'Leave la ballon to Hugo'

Ssteve and Anon 21:49
We have yet to put our best team out so there is hope that we might tighten up after Xmas.

Decent 'winnable' bunch of games coming up.
You and Ssandro deserve a rest. Don't burn yourselves out before the run in.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

They all lose at Everton: Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea...

I'm amazed how quickly some Spurs fans lose perspective after a narrow defeat away to a strong side. Didn't Man Utd lose a 2-1 lead there in the closing stages a year or two ago?

We're well placed still, it's a long haul, no time to give up yet.

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