The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 6 May 2013

A Bridge too far.

Ten minutes to go Andre.
Time to wake Gareth up and get him on.

The JimmyG2 Column
 Fortunately in this funny old world you don't always get what you deserve. If you did we would have got exactly nothing from the game against Southampton. We got the three points thanks to 30 seconds of quality in the 86th minute by our triple award winning star.

The performance until then had been poor. Not quite dire but lacklustre in the extreme and but for a superb save by Lloris from a Lambert free kick we might have been dead and buried. His handling and alertness were once again exemplary. Apart from one wild miss-kick moment which he got away with and which I won't even mention. 

Lloris kept us in the game and Bale finished it off in the nick of time. If you were looking for quality football then as Michael Jagger says, you don't always get what you want. But if points at this stage of the season are your only priority then we certainly got what we need.

Dempsey and Defoe didn't amount to a can of beans between them and Adebayor did more in his 30  minutes than they did between them in an hour or more. Huddlestone went missing for much of the time; Lennon didn't even turn up at all; Dembele went off injured again and Benny was all over the place. I suspect he neither impressed AVB nor added to his transfer value.

The constant slow motion passing across the back four is beginning to do my head in. If it's designed to allow movement ahead of it clearly most of our players failed to attend the second part of the lecture entitled, ' Part 1: Passing. Part 2: Moving'.

The back four coped reasonably well in their various idiosyncratic ways but there was too much speculative punting upfield and Vertonghen could have made more of his ability to bring the ball out of defence. Holtby, on for the injured Dembele, buzzed but failed to sting though he did make a good run off Bale to create space for the goal.

By the end of the game our three first choice midfielders were all missing injured so you could argue that we did well to salvage three points from such unpromising material. If Southampton go down it will be a gross injustice. They were the better team on the day, but lost. Tell us about it.

Bale started in the middle, drifted to the left and then when Lennon went off took up station on the right to devastating effect eventually. Our very own Scarlet Pimpernel. 'They seek him here; they seek him there'.

Walker slipped him the ball as he did last week and stood back in admiration as  Gareth became our first 20 goal a season man since Klinsmann. That was our first shot on target that I can recall in the whole game although the stats say we had 7 shots on goal. I must have dropped off for the other 6.

Shaw in particular  ignored the instruction in the sealed envelope distributed by Pochettino at the start of the game which simply said,' Don't give Bale any room on his left foot'.

He should have reminded them at half time as it is statistically proven that the average footballer's attention span is about 45 minutes. Or was it seconds. I forget. If we play like that on Wednesday night we will get slaughtered but we probably neither will happen..

AVB once again got the starting line-up wrong (Dempsey with Defoe: Huddleston with an unfit Dembele) but switched it around and we won, so he must be doing something right. The season is beginning to take its toll on the players' minds and bodies and we need some fresh legs and thinking.

Adebayor vastly improves the side even when he doesn't score and should start against Chelsea. I would try and find some room for Holtby and Siggy.  If Parker, Lennon and Dembele are not 100% then it looks like Sandro needs to start even if he is still on crutches. 

At the hour mark on Saturday I started to plan for next year and think about my assessment for this season. But that's all been put back in the bureau drawer for now. Three more games. Are we just prolonging the agony or can we really do it. Don't look at me I've no more idea than you.

Chelsea have a better and deeper squad. How many of their squad on current form would get into the Spurs team? Five or six probably. (Ba, Torres, Oscar, Hazard, Mata and at least one full-back). How many of ours would make theirs? (Bale Bale Bale spam spam spam spam, Lloris spam spam....).

Arsenal have the easier run in and the dreaded 'momentum'. So is it damage limitation at Stamford Bridge or given the complex club and personal situation between us and Chelsea will we go for it.
A cagey draw will not do us any good but might just suit Chelsea.

They are not unbeatable and left it late in a humdrum match against Man.Utd. Not that we can complain about that. But they have more dangerous players than we do at the moment and may overrun our midfield if Dembele and Parker are not fully fit.

 We might have to put our ambitions on hold until next season as beating Chelsea on current form would appear to be a bridge too far. I hope we have a go. It would be a good time to extract 'The Revenge of AVB'.

Statistics that could mean something or nothing: (Like most statistics)
Walcott and Bale both scored the only goal of their respective games in their 200th league appearances for their teams to make it 20 Premiership goals for their season. Both of them. Weird or what?

Szczesny: Talks too much especially for a  man whose consonants outnumber his vowels by such a huge margin. Shut up or I'll send Nigel Farage round. You wouldn't want that believe me.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Lewis Holtby, one of our great hopes for the future. Hasn't quite lived up to expectations yet. Here at Musings we like him and think he will be a crucial part of our midfield next year. Seems like a nice boy too.


Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of what you've said but...

If five or six of their players would make it into our team doesn't that mean that five or six wouldn't? And, therefore, more than just Bale and Lloris would make it into their team?

Anonymous said...

Adebayour has been a complete waste of time and money!! To be honest, with this useless cuzt and his meagre goal return this year, Im amazed we are still in with a chance to get PL footie next year....although after Arseholes and Chavscum both took 3 points from their games as well last weekend Im not holding out much hope now unless we win our last 3 games. Im expecting us to choke again so it wont bother me too much if we get it or not! All Levys fault for not stumping up £25 mill in January and getting Damiao and at least another 12 goals since then!!!

Anonymous said... sorry.....that should say CL football and not PL.....#:)

Anonymous said...

Just can't see us winning, we haven't really shown anything in recent weeks to suggest we can. But, there's always that little chance.

We all know tho' that we'll lose by a late offside 'goal' that didn't cross the line and scored by John Terry. Arsenal meanwhile draw with Wigan while we're beating Stoke and Charlie Adam is kicking seven shades out of our Gareth.
On the last day Arsenal score an injury time winner against the hopelessly managed Newcastle and we play our best football of the season thrashing Sunderland albeit without the injured Bale.
We finish level on points with Arsenal but lose out on goal difference.
You can put your shirt on this you know you can. We are Spurs.

JimmyG2 said...

Ist Anon
Because only two of ours are good enough + possibly Vertonghen.

2nd Anon.
Ade is better for the team than Defoe but you're right we have desperately needed a genuine top class striker.

Anon 21:00
That's a proper Spurs analysis of what's likely to happen.

Christian said...

Ehm, I didn't quite understand your Bale and Walcott-statistic. At least not this part:

"Walcott and Bale both scored the only goal of their respective games in their 200th league appearances for their teams to make it 20 Premiership goals for their season."

Walcott's goal was his 13th.

Anonymous said...

One reqally does hope,thet we can come good for these last 3 games,but of late,we have not looked that good to be honest,and have struggled to find any decent form.The arse,have not really been that either,but just enough luck to carry them over the finish line.That said unless they also bring in some top class palyers,there present team,will not be good enough to make any real in pact in the Champions league.That said,the same can probably apply to ouselves.Not having a truly world class striker,in the squad,has come back to haunt us yet again.All though Levy in general has done a great job for the club,he has seriously been inept,in the purchase of a stricker.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

We are reminding me of England over decades. The players missing games, whether through injury, rotation, manager's choice etc are looking a better bet each game they miss. When they come back in as starters they tend to do little or no better than the players they've replaced.

It's a sign that we are struggling and that there is more askew than personnel. I'm not knocking AVB, who I think has done a super job overall to make us competitive to the bitter end this season after the summer upheaval and January stasis in the transfer market.

Of course Chelsea have better players than us they pay fortunes for them (let alone wages). As do Arsenal whatever they say. Yet they cannot shake us off, not yet anyhow. We are right in there and I'm hopeful. Though I sat through Saturday and wondered why.

If we don't make it it won't be because we've choked. That's lazy, weak analysis and insulting given how game this team is, one that knows it's never beaten ... if only because they know Gareth might do something.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

I know you havent said we are chokers Jimmy, but I'm coming across this nonsense in various places and it's annoying me.

I think AVB's trying every permutation he can, in terms of formation and personnel, but key players are plainly not close to 100% fit (Bale, Lennon, Dembele), others are pooped and a few seem to be better players in 20-30 min cameos than starting (Dempsey, Sigi, Holtby, BAE, Hudd).

European football again will be success for me, I hope its CL, but we won't have choked if we get EL, we will just have fallen marginally short, again.

JimmyG2 said...

Yes sorry, I confused myself. Against QPR it was his 20th goal of the season in all competition. Unlike Gareth who has 20 in the Premiership. Still weird though but not as weird as I first thought.

Anon. 00:42.
To be honest we haven't looked 'good' in footballing terms for most of the season. 20 minutes here a half there. We've been effective but very inconsistent.
New manager, new players, new systems, injuries, poor strikers
have contributed to a messy sort of season in which we have done amazingly well thanks lately to Bale.

I don't subscribe to the 'choke' theory, or the 'mental strength' one either. I agree it's lazy. We didn't fail last year in any way but got screwed by the system.
Beat Chelsea tomorrow and we are not just right behind them we are right on top of them, despite as you say their sugardaddy money.
AVB is the man but possibly not this season.

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