The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Spurs Hanging On

Oh no not again!

I know exactly what you're going to say: 'How can we beat the Champions one week and then struggle to even draw with a team facing relegation the next?'  Well the easy answer is because it's the Tottenham way. If your new to the club, and you must be to ask that question, get used to it.

We just don't do things the easy way. We're still in it but only hanging on by our fingertips now. If we had beaten Wigan we would have been safely on a ledge just below the summit, snug in our sleeping bags sipping Ovaltine and breaking out the chocolate Hobnobs.

It's not as if we were unlucky or that Wigan were brilliant. We were gifted such a silly, early goal that we played as if we were waiting for another. Our game plan was clearly to bore the them to death and hope that they would all fall asleep and we could walk the ball into the Wigan net at will.

The exception was Huddlestone who at least looked as if he had got ''Positive Thinking' out of the library even if he hadn't read it from cover to cover. Until he ran out of steam on the hour he sprayed the ball about mostly in the direction of the Wigan goal. He was our MOM by default. Nobody else came close.

Energy and enthusiasm were conspicuously absent, except from Holtby but then he can't help himself. He had the chance to make the difference but showed that he is probably better as an impact substitute for now. There are one or two others in that category but, in the absence of Ade, Defoe had to start. We're still waiting.

At times it was more like a slow motion replay of the game rather than the game itself. We didn't even pick up the pace much when they went ahead. We had them by the throat within ten minutes but failed to squeeze hard enough.

In the end we got a point through an own goal in a hectic last ten minutes and we might have pinched it on 90 minutes in a goal mouth scramble that saw shots from Defoe and Huddlestone blocked. Not that we deserved it.

If we had shown half of the desire that Arsenal showed against Man. Utd. we might be having a tentative chilled white wine and a bowl of olives in anticipation of the glories to come. As it is we are finding it tricky locating the corkscrew let alone opening the bottle dangling as we are from a twisting rope in a snowstorm.

In each of our last five games we have been a goal behind at some stage and have on every occasion recovered to draw or win. So the old 'mental strength' argument is more complicated than it at first appears. We may yet recover our momentum but the euphoria after City didn't even carry us as far as Wigan.

AVB must take some of the blame. Not for the first time he has selected Naughton out of position ahead of Benny and wasted a substitution in replacing him. He rightly selected Tom Huddlestone but didn't have the nerve to bring on Carroll when some creativity was required.

His attacking change was made too late and if we had nicked it at the end it would have papered over the cracks which need addressing. Lennon came on for Parker with less than 10 minutes left and he hardly had a touch. Bale was absent for large portions of the game and the partnering of Defoe and Dempsey was a rehearsal for 'The Invisible Man meets the Missing Link'.

Our weaknesses from set plays was once again exposed, Vertonghen losing Boyce and the ball finding the corner of the net where a defender should  have been. But the main weakness which is down to the manager was our lack of desire and urgency. We started cautiously and became positively tentative.

We look to be running on empty for the third season running, which is careless to say the least. We were nailed on for 3rd last year but ran out of fuel, came 4th and paid the consequences.  Mend the roof when the sun is shining: buy a striker while the window's open. 

The great 'if' moment of the season is with us. If we beat Chelsea and if they lose to Man.Utd.  and if we get three points against.....Stop, stop it's doing my head in. We can't afford to rely on others to slip up though they probably will. Win our last four games and it's sorted.

Gareth Bale.
Many congratulations to our Gareth. He has won both PFA awards, only the third person ever to do so. (Ronaldo 2007; Andy Gray 1977) This is not exactly flying beneath the radar but he is making all the right noises about staying. 

Whether it finally depends on us finishing 4th is not clear but I assume so. Some people are already spending the Bale dowry in expectation of us not making the CL. Not on Musings we're not. Not yet anyway.

As most people running football clubs will have noticed him I suppose the publicity won't hurt. There's only half a dozen clubs in the world that could afford him and one of them has just been relegated to the Championship.

Not even on the bench and there is some confusion whether or not he was injured. The annual wrangle as to whether he would move for a lower wage has begun. He is adamant that he won't. AVB apparently wants to get rid but that is looking unlikely. He can't be as ineffective next year surely.

 If he goes we will have to sign two new strikers and given our struggle to find the cash for one this could be a problem. That's where the Bale money might come in useful, but let's not give Mr. Levy ideas. In a year or two Daniel  he'll be worth twice as much.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
A fitting tribute to Scott Parker when he used to do exactly what it said on the tin. Since returning from injury he has played as more of a box to box player. It ain't working Andre. We want our defensive midfielder back. let Dembele and Huddlestone do the thinking.


JB said...

I always enjoy your blog, JimmyG2 - thanks again for another fun update. Please keep them coming!

JimmyG2 said...

'fun update' indeed.We are never less than deadly serious.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

Good stuff Jimmy.

While, all things being equal, Benny is a better left back than Naughton imo, Benny's not been too hot since coming back from injury.

I also think, given the importance of full backs in the formation, I don't necessarily see subbing a full back for a full back as a waste. It worked vs Man Utd, for example.

I agree we should be seeing much more of Carroll, but there are a lot of players who can play in the centre of the park.

I think we are going to have to go for it a bit more, draws are all very well, but it's the road to 5th for us. Audere est facere boys.

I'm reading Julie Welch's biography of Spurs at present. It's a fabulous read and fine work, though I'm not sure it's helping. From last week's overconfidence I have a terrible sense of foreboding again.

A big opportunity missed by us on Saturday. It was ever thus ...

JimmyG2 said...

'The road to 5th.' Has an ominous ring to it.
Is Benny better than Rose? Dembele doesn't look fit and Parker is shot I'm afraid.Make or break for Carroll and Hud now.

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