The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Big decisions loom at Spurs.

I think you'll find that was at White Hart Lane
45th and 93rd minutes.
The JimmyG2 Column.
 You could say that our 'work in progress' Gareth Bale is er...well, progressing after another match winning appearance against Lyon in the Europa Cup on Thursday. Two stunning free kicks and six goals in four matches.

The first was a ridiculously long way out and as I said to my brother:  He'll never score from there'. The rest is history as they say. But the dipping swerve shot, which he and Christiano have been working on, deceived the keeper by its late swerve and went in.

The second repeated the trajectory of the first and despite the centre half's advice to his keeper to 'Just bloody save it' and Walker's advice to his team mate to 'Leave this one to me', did almost exactly the same. As I said to my brother; 'He'll never do it again'.

Lightning certainly struck Lyon twice in the same place.  But two good strikes and even two fine goals do not a performance make. Nor does his recent run of form and crucial goals, a legend make. The answer to the question 'Where in the Pantheon of Spurs All time Greats does Gareth sit?' is, ' Waiting in the lobby  at the moment'.

He did not even have a particularly good game overall. But he was in good company there. He missed an easy chance, only took on and beat his marker once and supplied at best two telling crosses. He has scored our last six goals, the last three from free kicks and is clearly having a purple patch and a more than decent season.

He is now our leading scorer and currently the key problem for our opponents. And while they are double and triple marking Gareth and trying to tie his boot laces together they are taking their eye off our other players who can enjoy the extra space afforded them and make hay while the sun shines out of the Boy Bale.

Lennon and Walker  took advantage in the first half; Holtby showed his usual appetite; Brad and Willy showed the good effects of rest and recreation but the others were low key and moderate at best. For the second game  running Bale was the difference. Adebayor was invited to step up and tripped over the step.

But for Legend status we need to see a lot more in terms of performance over a sustained period.
It is not the current fashion for rising stars to do a Giggs, Scholes, Callaghan or Gerrard and stay loyal to a club for a decade or more.

 There is too much money around in football these days to turn a boy's head even one as apparently well grounded as Gareth.

Unfortunately for clubs that don't or won't pay top whack and are not yet perennial Champion's League contenders it is not the current method to build teams over a sustained period. But even now there has to be an element of longevity and loyalty before you become a true legend.

Let's see if he stays at Spurs beyond the current season and puts in another good shift before we start elevating him alongside Mackay, Blanchflower, Gazza, Greaves........... (write in your own 'legend' in the space provided.) If for some reason we don't make CL this year then that will be a truer test of loyalty than if we do. But don't hold your breath.

Talented rising star, he certainly is. Key figure in our season so far; agreed. But not quite a legend, in fairness to the Legends of Yesteryear. If he leaves for pots of gold elsewhere at the end of the season then he will surely go down as the 'Legend In The Making That Got Away'.

But just how good is he? Is he the equivalent of Barcelona's Messi or Real Madrids's Ronaldo. Is he World Class? All well over the top at the moment for me. Messi has already scored 37 goals this season in La Liga and Ronaldo 24. Gareth has 13 and counting but has some way to go.

 He is clearly our key player but for the same reason that he is not accorded 'Legend' status he cannot yet deemed be 'World Class' although he has on occasions given several top class performances.

All these accolades have been shrugged off by him as befits his restrained nature. You cannot open the sport's pages these days without some journo talking up his prospects, usually at the expense of Spurs chances of retaining him beyond the current season.

The Club have done well by the boy, rescuing his career after injury and handling him sensitively as he slowly became the player he is. Just how close Harry came to selling him during the dark 'hoodoo' days we may never know but whatever we did has been rewarded ten-fold in both football and financial terms.

AVB has continued the development process and we seem to have moved on from: 'Bale: he plays on the left'. To : 'Bale he plays where he likes within the tactical parameters of AVB's game plan'. It should not be outside the wit of man in the light of his new contract to coax, bribe or threaten him to stay another year.

We need to make the Champion's League but he is young, has a new close family, his idol growing up was Ryan Giggs whose career might provide a useful template at least for the medium term. Big decisions are looming for him.

At the moment he is aroma of the day, flavour of the month, and bouquet of the season. Whether he remains and becomes the fragrance of the decade is open to question if you believe what journalists gladly predict and fans suspect and fear.

Europa Cup

We are still on course for our Europa league prediction (3-2 Spurs). We forecast a victory at WHL and a 1-1 draw at Lyon next Thursday will send us off to Ladbrokes to collect our holiday money. 1-0 to Lyon puts us out; 0-0 sends us through as would any draw. Team selection could be crucial in the second leg.

Assuming of course that you were bold enough to put your money where Musings mouth was. We certainly weren't. We didn't get where we are today by betting on Spurs to win anything. But you know as the great sage Bob Dylan once wrote and sang, 'The Times they are a-changing'. Retaining Bale would help.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Enough already about Gareth Bale. Let's spend a couple of minutes with our next great hope, Lewis Holtby, who seems to be settling in and enjoying himself already.


Anonymous said...

Thought Parker has lost an edge so Sandro being absent is a big miss. Putting long balls through for Ade to run onto is a waste of space. His best role is as hold up man so as to play the ball to others. There is othing to lose by letting one of the young strikers have a game. Holtby is a real addition and will do well for the club.

The next few weeks will see the growing media blitz about Bale leaving. They have already fixed the price and the club!!---take no notice, he will be here for at least another year. Eventually he will go but Levy will certainly not sell him to Man U or Chelsea, after their behaviour towards the club in recent years. If he is to stay in England sell him to Man City. Fergie would have apoplexy!!!

Anonymous said...

Our last few games have left me perplexed and not confident of finishing top four. This is why we have started winning again but if your right and Bales been tapped it could end badly if he thinks by us finishing 5th this will get him a move quicker. This was what Modric did is performances when Harry was going to England slumped and Newcastle Chelsea helped with there slump and Chelsea went for broke. We all no D Levey is a hard man to crack so why did Gareth sign a new contract has he got a release clause or did he want is child to be born in Wales and will he want her to get a bit older before risking a move abroad. My gut in stinks say he will only leave Spurs to play for Utd and if they want to buy him Welbeck and Nanni will be part of the deal. What baffles me is no one is taking the fair play rules serious Ufa have warned City and Chelsea about fair play and that apply's to other country's teams. So there will be no more 50 mill transfers without swaps. Now about Spurs we have gone backwards in attack and at the moment we need two goals to win games so far Gareth has rescued us we are now in the same place has Liverpool without Sturridge a one man team on the edge. This has happened since Sandro got injured and more so with Defoe and finally our best passer of a football since Hoddle Huddlestone going lame again. We have Holtby who has got to get used to new grounds and the pace of the badly policed Premiership for extra work rate. This extra work rate is hard to beat and only for Bales free kicks and great goals this would been our scores last few games West Brom 0-0 Newcastle 1-0 Leon 1-0 . This is why the man Bale is having to rescue us our midfield is Lennon Parker Dembelle Dempsey Bale Ady the claring thing missing is a passer somone who has the pass in his head before he gets the ball a somone who can beat this energy boosting closing condensing space stifling the space to attack mostly second half. Last season we lost Hudds so then we had Sandro Modric now it Parker Dembele Dempsey pulling the strings and it keeps snapping. we start with Lloris his kicks either go into touch or the other team Our defence gets the ball and pass it acrros the feild till they nearly lose it and then Dawson or Caulker lamp it up field and lose it the midfield Dembele gets the ball runs at pace leaving midfield behind him Lennon Ady Bale waiting for killer pass he stops turns a full circle and when he faces goal its packed the moments gone and is shooting worse a great player in bad form. All the midfield caught him up Parker is not the Parker with Modric alongside he gets the ball runs then passes ball to the other team then has to win it back. Then theres Ady starved of chances when he gets them he fluffs is lines sharpness blunted Lennon great runs but no fox in the box injured Defoe who was injured before he got injured hence no goals. Lastly our hero Bale sold with every goal wondering where is team mates have gone and at the moment not missing them but if we play the same way against desperate Chewing Sam and gaunt on loan Carrol we could come unstuck. We need our quarter back Huddlestone fully fit not lame why did he fail a medical if his ankles fixed where is he since our cup exit if we don't have is passing and thunders shots we will struggle against this extra energy. This is why Wada has said footballers needs better testing and Fifa are advocating drug passports because just likr i have been saying there are to many second half shocks. This is why we must get Hudds Kaboul Defoe and out of form Dembele fit mentally and injury free

JimmyG2 said...

Ist Anon.
I think you are right about Bale but we must get 4th.

2nd Anon.
Thanks for your views.
Some of this is a bit too conspiracy theory for me.
I think Huddlestone's time has gone and he has never fully recovered from injury. Nor has Parker.
How long for Kaboul to be fully recovered? Not until next season. But I do think that absence makes the heart grow fonder with him.

Holtby is my new great hope for the future.
And so far Dembele is a bit of a disappointment.As you say he doesn't have a pass in mind like Modric and like Parker runs hopefully waiting for something to turn up.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how many Bale would have scored if he took penalties? He's certainly 'unplayable' [as they say] at the moment, which is world class. Can he sustain it? I have no doubts, whatsoever.
Admittedly he still has to do it before being recognized, but it's a no-brainer. Always has been. How many of us 'knew' we had a massive player even at 17 when he first played for us? I certainly did and raved about him even then, telling my Welsh friend we will have the best leftback since Roberto Carlos. That this guy will eclipse even Giggs. Laughed at, I was. Now he won't admit it, of course, claiming all along he knew Bale would be massive, lolol. He can't fail. He's too bloody good. Maybe 3rd best. Maybe 6th best. They're all too bloody good, that lot.
Jurgen The Jerk

JimmyG2 said...

Jurgen The Jerk
Can you predict the career path of Holtby?
He could be massive for us.

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