The Blog that's not always wrong.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Spurs eyeing third place come Monday.

 Well that was their original plan.
The JimmyG2 Column
 Conceding late goals used to be the clear indicator of our alleged lack of mental strength at Tottenham. But since Everton in early December we haven't repeated that particular party trick. In fact the foot's in the other boot. Even without our walking virility symbol the Boy from Brazil we seem to have shaped up pretty well lately.

Dempsey sneaked in the equaliser in Fergy time against Man. Utd. Bale has three late goals to his name recently: a couple of winners at W. Brom and Newcastle and the equaliser against Norwich. Against Lyon he left it very late in the first leg to put us ahead in the tie.

And now cometh the hour and a half cometh that man Dembele picking a good moment to get his second goal since joining us and taking us through when most of us had just about given up hope. Not me of course because I don't start out with any hope in the first place.

At home in no doubt canny, tactical, Euro mode they played like the away team to defend their narrow lead. 1-0 would have taken them through and they had got the early goal. 1-1 would do the same for us and we set about it methodically and very eventually found a shot that did the business.

'He who laughs last' as they say. We were not brilliant and nor was Dembele for much of the game but we kept at it and once again recovered from an early goal and justly reaped the rewards. In this case a tie against Inter Milan in the last 16. Lyon got a mouthful of feathers and stuffed cockerel was well and truly off the menu.

In the meantime if things work out this weekend we could be third, three points behind Man. City. If we beat W.Ham, which we should, and Chelsea and Man City draw, which is a distinct possibility, then everything is back on. Well not quite everything. Man Utd are just a speck on the horizon now.

We don't often do predictions but are on a roll at the moment after the Lyon result ( Spurs 3-2, Musings said) So as the mists clear from my Auntie Marjory's crystal ball and the Tarot cards start to fall favourably I see third place on Monday night.

And why don't sane Spurs fans, there's a contradiction in terms if you like, make predictions? Because, until lately, Spurs were not that predictable, lacking mental strength and all. But increasingly under Andres they are becoming more so.

The football is not as exciting as it sometimes was under Harry, but the team seem to know what they are doing; they appear to be playing to a plan, making the most of the available talents and by and large delivering the goods. We are currently a team that is more than the sum of its parts and that is down to good managership.

Some of the parts on Thursday night were definitely not fully manufacturer approved. Parker made everybody giddy by his ever decreasing circles; Lennon doesn't seem to be on speaking terms with his team-mates: Benny, like Scotty, saw plenty of the ball and both took up good positions but they were very wasteful.

Friedel got away with a bungled clearance and saved the only shot on target which was straight at him. The near post header opener for Lyon which resulted from a silly foul by Walker seemed to be Bale's responsibility. But at least Gareth had a go, made some good runs and got a couple of swervers on target.

His direct running put more pressure on the Lyon defence than the crablike approach of much of our play. Under the scrutiny of Zinedine Zidane who has  a coaching role at Real Madrid he was, fortunately for us, not that outstanding on the night. Scouting for Real or just having a night at with his mates at Lyon: who knows?

We gradually put some passes together but faced with a two deep lying ranks of four we were fine until the final third where we lacked ingenuity until the very end when Dembele dropped a shoulder as he does and hit a clean shot into the corner.

He should shoot more often and Dempsey less. The enigmatic Adebayor still recovering from his recent mental and physical exertions ran about quite a bit, but to no conclusive purpose. We need him to find his form quickly in the coming weeks. Gallas played well once again alongside Vertonghen and possibly has one eye on the NLD.

Friedel had very little to do such was the lack of ambition of Lyon. Any Frenchmen who went hoping to see the Cockerel fed to the Lyons were sadly disappointed. Hugo will certainly be re-assured that he made the right choice in coming to Spurs.

Holtby was disappointing as many, like us, have placed a lot of hope in the boy. But it's early days and the keeper was fortunate to push one of his shots onto the post  to safety. He's honest and lively but comparisons to Van Der Vaart seem as premature now as they were when he first arrived.

What we are lacking is pace and creativity in midfield as both Dembele and Parker are slow thinking on the ball. A couple of full backs that could cross a ball would help especially when Bale goes tactical walkabout leaving plenty of space down the left. Walker doesn't seem to have the decisiveness or ability to capitalise on any space vacated by Aaron.

Did I mention that we could have done with another striker? Clearly Andres is not too bothered as both Kane and Obika have been allowed to go out on loan again which I find strange as Defoe is not even back in training and could be a month away from match fitness.

So it's 'In  AVB we trust' and as he seems to be doing a good job, best to leave him to it and in all honesty what other option do we have?

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Both goals. Better late than never. A stitch in time. And other wise words. There is a brilliant video of a penalty competition amongst the Spurs players on Spurs Community from Spurs TV which unfortunately I can't download. Spurs v Germany. Good fun. Well worth a look.

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