The Blog that's not always wrong.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Bale saga ending in tears.

Surely it won't come to that.
The JimmyG2 Column
Poor old Gareth, who'd be a multi millionaire footballer? He's wasted the whole weekend wandering round Marbella looking for the Bernabeu. Meanwhile his baggage is in Madrid. With most airlines it's the other way round but that's  Budget Airlines for you.

All that time spent teaching little Alba the Spanish for ' My daddy is not a son of a whore' ' might yet turn out to be completely wasted as Paris St. Germaine have allegedly made a rival bid. So far the great unveiling has passed two deadlines, one last Friday and one this Tuesday. A complete waste of good scaffolding.

Lamala is said to be as close to arriving as Bale is to leaving. He failed to turn up for training for the second day running and is likely to be fined. He won't notice anything under a couple of million but it's the principle that matters. Turn out yer pockets before you go Baler.

The handling of this whole affair by several of the parties is what Civil Servants call 'sub optimal' and might descend from ridiculous to farcical before the end. Real might want to delay things until the very end of the transfer window to prevent Ronaldo throwing his satnav out of the Lamborghini.

 It could all end in tears yet, But all the way to the bank as far as Dan Levy is concerned.

Meanwhile in the real world Liverpool and Spurs are the only teams with maximum points after Monday night's exciting draw between Manchester Utd and Chelsea. My doctor is patenting the video as a  cure for insomnia.

We haven't conceded yet in three games and all our signings look to have taken to Tottenham like Premiership footballers to tattoo parlours. Ice Man Soldado scored the only goal of the game again with another penalty. Vorm did his homework and dived the wrong way.

The ref. got Townsend's first penalty shout wrong by awarding a free kick outside the area for an offence inside, but then having viewed it at half time, got the second one wrong too by awarding a penalty for a clear dive by Andros. Who says two wrongs don't make a right.

I wasn't comfortable but the boys were at 1-0. Dawson was outstanding apart from a silly back heel with one superb ball inside the back for Walker which was worthy of a creative midfielder of which alas there are no clear signs just yet.

The midfield is strong and looks composed but Siggy is unconvincing as the man to set the team alive. Soldado made literally countless runs but in a parallel universe as far as our midfield were concerned. It will come I'm sure.

Townsend capitalising on Lennon's absence not only got promotion to the Tottenham team but a call up to the England squad as well. With a five goal halftime lead for Thursday we should see a much changed squad ahead of the NLD. Carroll, Naughton, Friedel, Defoe and Sandro might all start.

After the first weekend we were licking our lips at the prospect of an early chance to keep Arsenal's heads under water but they seem to have come up for breath in the meantime. I would always take a draw away from home to one of our top four rivals as Chelsea did on Monday night.

Spurs fans sensing blood will assert that we can do better and will want AVB to go for a win. But AVB may follow his mentor Mourinho's lead and set out to avoid defeat. We will be conservative defensively and try to hit them on the counter.

A win could put us on top of the world and the Premiership as Liverpool play Man.Utd but this is getting a little ahead of ourselves. It would put down a good marker for the rest of the season and convince our possible signings that they are contemplating  the right move.

Whether Dembele can provide the supporting thrust for Soldado remains to be seen. He is a strong runner with the ball but doesn't have the quickness of thought or movement to create very much and at the moment is a bit of a black hole in the attacking sense.

A bit like Parker in some ways. Keeps the ball for too long and often ends up where he started.  If he could do the job for us it would save us £25/30 million but the arrival of Lamala  sounds imminent and Erikson might not be far behind. In which case problem solved.

Jimmy's Graphics Spot:
Better get this graphic by Alon Berg of Spurs Community in  before the Boy Bale leaves.

Thanks Gareth it was fun while it lasted. Let's all remember the good times and put the money to good use.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Let's call the whole thing off.

Mourinho has no difficulty persuading Willian to join Chelsea. 
The JimmyG2 Column.
I'm bewitched, bothered and bewildered. Fans of a certain vintage will remember this popular classic from the Rogers and Hart musical Pal Joey in the 1940's. It's about where I am currently with the new improved Tottenham.

Bewitched by the promise of what this quality squad could do and the manner in which they threaten to do it. Bothered because it's certainly a departure from the recent years of Tottenham's approach to squad building. Bewildered by so much change in so short a time.

Things are still in a state of flux but the assumption that this all hinges on the sale of Bale may prove to be correct quite soon. Even if Lamala and Coentrao are still to arrive taking into account receipts from the already departed and likely sales we have in fact spent hardly any more than we usually spend.

Are we just another Man.City or Chelsea buying the chance of success? Well this thought bothers me too. But this is spending from the sale of a player we have had and nurtured though good times and bad over several year not just helicoptered in.

The money on offer is ridiculous and is to some too good to refuse in both business and team building terms. It clearly offers us a once in a lifetime chance to accelerate our challenge to the top four. Doing the business now that AVB is settled and before the Fair Play regulations make an impact is good sense.

It's not the way I would choose to do it selling a key player once again and of course Gareth may still remain now that we've been stitched up over Willian by a very smug Mourinho complicit with the media in a press conference reminiscent of the worst aspects of Harry.

 If there is any justice in the world it will come back to haunt him this season. Ideally Willian will play against us and we will win. However the long arm of justice may not quite stretch that far. Willian may not be as good as they think but that is not the point. He changed his mind at the last moment, post medical, and Chelsea played dirty again. 

Mourinho wasted thirty odd million of Abramovich's money for a player they don't really need. I suppose we should be flattered.  But with a racist scumbag like John Terry as club captain why would you expect anything else.

So there are bothering undertones to recent events but bewitched and bewildered are the dominant feelings at the moment. We got it together in time to see off Crystal Palace and then against a poor Tbilisi side entered the world of bewitchment with an eye catching team performance.

Townsend was outstanding with a goal after an individual run from the half way line and he then supplied two head up assists for Paulinho and Soldado whose goals were his eventual reward for constant intelligent movement; Capoue is shaping up to be another Sandro.

Paulinho is virtually an established fan favourite after just two games and Chadli looks better by the minute. Kaboul got some more minutes under his belt though he might have been subbed earlier and given Carroll a longer stint.

If anything Dembele looks the weakest of the midfield trio and and once again Siggy stuck out on the wing struggled to make any meaningful contribution. Rose scored a beauty and both he and Naughton had good games. At 5-0 up and a home tie to come we are all but home and dry for the next stage.

Lloris was alert when required and Harry Kane was unlucky not to score from a header when he came on to replace Soldado. We started with four English players, three of them youngsters, and finished with six, five of them under 24.

 So despite the influx experienced foreigners we had a nice balance to the team and a distinct Tottenham feel to the squad which is important to me amidst all the excitement over glamorous signings.

 This possible lack of continuity is another source of bother. But with Walker, Defoe and Lennon to return, unless Aaron is usurped by Townsend the balance is likely to be retained.

The bewildering aspect is the rate of change at the club. Season after season we hear of the intended clearance of the piles of dead wood lying about the place but there isn't usually enough to light a small bonfire.

This year is different and so is the quality and quantity of the new arrivals and all before the start of the season with more to follow. Though as we know we can cross Willian off the list. His loss rather than ours in a lot of people's opinion.

But we would say that wouldn't we in the circumstances. He might have been the creative attacking midfielder we are looking for as Dembele doesn't seem happy so far forward. Fortunately we chose Lamala for our video so the Musings Curse does not apply. This is still on course, subject to agreement between the clubs........... after a medical of course.

In my view we should put a stop to the Bale sale. The current squad with him included is more than capable of making a top three challenge and is affordable without his sale.I would be less bothered and bewildered and even more bewitched if we did.

In short 'Lets call the whole thing off' another classic from the same era, as indeed I am myself. Well nearly.

Jimmy's Video Spot. Spurs v Tbilisi.
All the goals: that'll be five then; a masterclass from Townsend;  late runs into the box by Paulinho; quick counter attacking by all and sundry; Soldado's patience and persistence rewarded. The defence weren't bad either but apart from Dvali the opposition had little to offer up front..


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The New Bale.

Sorry Sir. This section is reserved for Tottenham's new signings. 

The Greg Meyer Column 

 July 20 2013  He's Still Here ... Just.
 Lamela In ... Bale Out .
 Down at the very bottom of our pub beer garden where the elves and fairies drink, in the world of make believe, reliable elfin itk suggests we have made three further signings. The one our pub really want will become the new Bale.
 Exhilarating pace, dazzling dribbling skills, possessed of great close control at speed, and an accurate at times lethal left foot. Six feet one inches tall (that's 1.86m) in the old language.

 Yes Gareth is all of the above.

 What gives the game away is Gareth is 24 years old whereas the new Bale is a mere 21 years young. Okay neither is homegrown English either. On that score both are full internationals but only one will play in Brazil.

Hardly Mastermind stuff. The man who has our pub buzzing with expectations never before witnessed on this scale is of course Argentinian Erik Manuel Lamela.
The rumours are not just confined to the fantasy world of the Daily Mail, the Star etc. No the Standard, the Guardian , the Independent and just about everyone else are suggesting Erik is coming. Perhaps the most credible undercurrent in all this is the mention of one name. Franco Baldini.
 Senor now Mr. Baldini has recently washed up on the shores of North London after his last posting being general manager at AS Roma.Yes thats where our Erik has been carrying all before him and how. He scored 15 times in 33 games last season.

 Catch up with Erik via You Tube with the best being just that. Catch me if you can. Unusually so for a football clip it shows Erik warts and all albeit mainly all exciting skills. All sensational our mob here reckon.

 Look if Gareth is gone then this Argentinian will help us quickly through the mandatory mourning period. Regrets a few but quickly gone if we sign Lamela. perchance it happens then drinks are on us ...

 At A Kent Pub.

 Before we forget we should mention those other 2 names in Andre's envelopes. Unlike the Brendan Rogers mail these envelopes are incoming.

 Seems as if another Brazilian Willian is close and Coentrao could be part of the Bale deal. We reserve our judgement on the Brazilian but certainly the Real Madrid left back is no slouch.

 What a time to be a Spurs fan. Our lawyer is finding it hard to realise this is the same Spurs who in past transfer windows signed Joe Average courtesy of last minute dot com.
 The entrepreneurial skill is alive and very very well. Daniel Levy is backing his manager and his football director. Amazing stuff.

Cheers ... surely no coincidence that one of the world's greatest entrepreneurs Don King turns 82 today... Greg Meyer.   coys.
Greg's Video Spot.
Gregs convinced so who am I to argue? All Erik Lamela's goals for Roma last season. Let's hope the curse of the Musings pre-signing video doesn't strike again.

 Personally I think Willian is more likely and a safer bet as support for Soldado but it's all about opinions. Both of them would be handy.  Musings present: the Argentinian Christiano Ronaldo

Monday, 19 August 2013

New signings impress but more to come.

Debut goal for Roberto. He might just be the man.
The JimmyG2 Column.
So that's got that one out of the way. Winning start away from home, clean sheet, and most importantly all our new signings played and impressed. Kaboul got to run about a bit and though Palace made a game of sorts of it we were easy winners despite the narrow scoreline.

We were expected to win against a team odds on to go down and we did. Things don't always go according to expectations or plan at Spurs but this was a banana skin filled bear trap that we avoided quite easily.

Lloris who was alert and decisive throughout was forced into a couple of saves at the end and Roberto (Mr.Cool ) Soldado won it with a penalty which the referee had no choice but to give but it was not as close as that makes it sound.

Defoe ran round and through half a dozen players to create and then miss a clear chance; Soldado set up Sigurdsson who should have scored and Chadli who gained confidence as the game went on failed to score with a header from a Lennon cross on half time when hitting the back of the net rather than the crowd was the easier option.

Nacer Chadli may take time to settle but could surprise us.
Not exactly an exciting performance, Lennon was the only player with dazzle in his CV, but Paulinho was strong and linked well with Dembele. Capoue might be the pick of the bunch in the end and will augment Sandro for the defensive role.

Workmanlike and professional are the key words that come to mind and we certainly won't get bullied this season in midfield. Sandro, Capoue, Dembele and Paulinho are a formidable quartet and Capoue can play at centre half too.

All our old boys performed pretty well. Lennon fizzed a little and earned the penalty. Rose and Walker gave us width and went forward with purpose but were not tested defensively. Both have a tendency to over-react in a crisis but are young and their faults can be coached out.

Dawson was kept busy doing the donkey work, no joke intended, for the recovering Verts. He got 3/6 of his long range passes on target and Paulinho did his best to get the ball from him before he could light the blue touch paper.

The amount of money spent so far, £58 million and AVB says there is more to come makes me suspect that the Bale deal has been done and that they are haggling over the fine print. Although with Benny still to be sold and Parker, Hud and Caulker already gone the net cost so far might not be far out of line with our usual spending,.

Sigurdsson looked the weak link despite The Guardian naming him as MOM  though things will improve as the team settle. We still look short of a top class 'creative' in the VDV mould to take advantage of out midfield strength and the canny movement of Soldado and though I like Siggy and Holtby they might not be quite good enough now.

There are stirrings even after the first game that we are strong but boring and AVB is getting the blame. But at Spurs you could win the Premiership at a stroll and then be criticised for not doing it with style. Just a little premature you might think but Soldado could be the man to put smiles on our faces quite soon.

It would seem to show that we all accept we are contenders now for something or other and as at Chelsea and Man. City the demand is for not just success but entertainment as well. Horses and carts in sequence mix-up report.

 Few Spurs fans would disagree deep down but until we get into the CL again most would be inclined to put the sexy football agenda on hold. Unless like me you think that good football leads to success and not the other way round.

Three points banked as the team get to know each other and can only improve; Arsenal in meltdown; a winnable game against Swansea at home before we take them on; a couple of Europa ties against Tbilisi in the meantime.

If we'd put all our chances away we'd be top of the league today, well level with Man.City anyway. In the previous two seasons we took only 3 points from our first three games. This is exactly the start we needed.

Marvellous what a bit of retail therapy and not in the bargain basement this time and an opening day win can do. I began the day cautiously pessimistic and ended it pessimistically cautious. I've seen this film before.

Man.City v Newcastle.
 Statistics that might mean something but then on the other hand....
There were only two English players on the pitch and one of them got sent off.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Go on then I'll risk a pre-signing video.
 Fabio Coentrao. Apparently deal done for Bale with this guy as the makeweight in a £93 million deal. An excellent signing at left back, a position causing us some headaches.

Will Rose stay and learn or be off back to Sunderland?

Graphics by another talented Spurs fan from Spurs Community ( blp 11)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Coming together nicely at Spurs.

Tottenham midfielders relax between training sessions
The JimmyG2 Column
' It's all coming together nicely' as my builder will insist on saying whilst standing on a pile of bricks next to a heap of scaffolding poles.
 But it's at least more recognisable as a construction project than it was last week when it resembled a badly designed hole in the ground. Whether it will look anything like it did on the back of AVB's envelope when he first arrived remains to be seen. But with a week to go things are certainly shaping up. 

For two periods at the beginning of each half we looked pretty damn good. Espanyol put a stop to all that with some spoiling tactics but the positives cannot be denied. With the arrival of Paulinho we've got more beasts roaming midfield than they have on the African Savannah.

Soldado is clearly class and scored coolly from a penalty. His movement and work rate are impressive and by Xmas if not Firework Night, he will be a Tottenham legend. Makes one wonder why we didn't splash some cash on a quality striker before now and be comfortably in the CL.

Chadli looked better on the left as we suggested but he might take longer to settle. Dawson held the fort valiantly whilst Vertonghen and Kaboul, who came on for the second half, fully recover. Sandro made a somewhat muted appearance after an hour and doesn't look ready to start just yet.

We could prove to be too strong in midfield for many teams in the Premiership especially if Dembele is on song too. The elephant in the room is of course the Welshman who isn't actually in the room and it will be interesting to see if he plays for Wales in midweek.

If he does I expect him to start on Sunday in our opening game. Unless of course he sustains another diplomatic injury in which case the deal with Real should be announced shortly. He wasn't even at the match yesterday which must tell us something but I'm not sure what.

Quality seems to be attracting quality with our recent signings and this may tempt Bale to stay but I fear that this boat has not only sailed but already hit the iceberg. Perhaps the publicity surrounding Bale has raised our profile even as he departs for the Bernabeu.

I've been a Spurs supporter for so long that when we sign a decent player I immediately worry why no-one else has bought him. How could they have missed Soldado? He's a Spanish International after all and looks better than Negredo who has just signed for City.

We are attracting quality players without either the lure of top wages or the glamour of the CL. Is it the promise of AVB? Or Baldini's little black contacts book? Or has Uncle Joe been rummaging down the back of the sofa? Are we being fattened up for sale? Or trying to lure Sponsors for the new stadium?

Probably none of the above or perhaps a smidgen of each. Whatever it is I like it. With the expected arrival of Etienne Capoue (see video) an accomplished defender who can conveniently also play at centre half we should do better than two points in the first eight games which has been the recent Tottenham touchstone of success.

The pre-match huddle should be retained as it will be a good opportunity for introducing the players to each other.
'And you are?'
'Er Michael Dawson. I'm the captain and I've been here for years'.
Continuity seems to have been jettisoned for quality and it might just work if they gel quickly as a squad.

Kaboul and Sandro don't look match fit yet but there are plenty of Non Premiership games to come to get into fighting condition. Rose and Fryers are not quite up to scratch for a serious Premiership assault but along with Tom Carroll, Townsend, Naughton, Falque, Kane and Caulker (oops, sorry) they should figure in the Cups and the early Wafer games to gain experience without being loaned out.

One Millionth hit.
The more eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that The Musings are approaching their millionth visitor and if Greg and I can work out a way to identify the lucky clicker we will be awarding them a prize of some sort. Don't hold your breaths.

Zonal Marking:
We conceded the equaliser from a corner again and Dawson's frantic organising indicated that we seemed to be dabbling in the black art of Zonal Marking. We have one word to say to this. 'Stop it'. That's actually two words so try 'desist'.

Opponents score goals. M.T Spaces has never scored in his life. Coaches love it, but it's just too hard for footballers to grasp. Even Nuclear Physicists United gave it the thumbs down. 

Jimmy's Video Spot. Etienne Capoue
He's definitely signed, its been on twitter. So here he is a cultured defensive midfielder who scores goals, tackles and passes the ball too. Looks good to me. Where are we finding them? And why hasn't someone else already bought them?

Monday, 5 August 2013

Another fine mess at Spurs

If you're gonna get thrashed
you might as well do it somewhere warm and pleasant.
(Sponsored by the Monaco Tourist Board)
The JimmyG2 Column

To lose one centre half who is well past his sell by date seems sensible:
to lose a second, to long term injury, seems like misfortune:
to lose a third, to pre-season injury seems untimely:
to lose a fourth similarly is heading towards calamitous:
to sell the fifth seems to be rank bad management and more than a little careless.

To start the game against Monaco who have just paid over £50 million for one of the most formidable strikers in the game, without a recognised centre half in sight is verging on the disrespectful to our hosts and embarrassing to this fan at least.

They looked like a team using pre-season to fine tune a Rolls Royce. We looked like a team that had lost the plans to assemble a kit-car spread out all over the garage floor. That we only lost 5-2 was a relief.

Up front it was no better. With Adebayor, out for 'personal reasons', still yanking our chain
( Edit. Apologies for this, his brother Peter died a couple of weeks ago and this was the reason for his absence. Thanks to Ist Anon poster.) ; Defoe off injured after 5 minutes; Soldado not signed in time to play; Dempsey on his way back to his homeland it was all left to the boy Kane to do the business and he did at least manage to score.

'Another fine mess' as Laurel and Hardy used to say. Now everyone assures me that Sandro, Vertonghen, Kaboul, Dawson, Holtby and Defoe, will all be fighting fit and raring to go in a fortnight's time.Yes folks it's just two weeks to Crystal Palace and the hope fest opener.

 Soldado, Paulinho and Chadli will all slot in nicely with people they haven't even met yet let alone spent pre- season integrating with to produce a force capable of challenging for top four. Chadli looked dire yesterday and should have started on the left and been subbed earlier.

 Lloris was well below para and never recovered from his first goal mistake; Lennon didn't look remotely interested; Parker is still perfecting his pirouttes, he goes in both directions now but the ball still ends up where it came from.

Dembele put in some effort but still doesn't release the ball quickly enough, possibly because there is no one ahead of him to release it to. Soldado hopefully will solve all that. The full backs Walker and Rose weren't bad, well not that bad but overall we looked disorganised and inept.

Huddleston should have started with Livermore ahead of the inexperienced Fryers; Siggy and Chadli should have swapped positions; Carroll and Townsend, who once again scored a fine goal, should have been on much earlier.

AVB looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights. When the fifth goal went in his whole life flashed before him especially the short period he spent at Chelsea. To add insult to injury Moutinho showed him exactly what we had missed out on.

Now you're going to tell me that this is exactly what pre-season is all about. But we are leaving it very late to assemble the squad and I haven't even mentioned Gareth Bale. Yet another summer spent knee deep in speculation and rumour and the fans are no wiser than we were over Modric.

If the injured recover, the new signings settle in quickly, Bale stays and we sort out who's staying and who's going we'll be fine. Of course we will. No need to panic. Yet. But this is Tottenham and we just don't do anything the easy way.

I liked AVB from the off and think that Levy stuck his neck out by appointing him. We had a good first transitional season but he seems to have been struck down by a fatal Tottenham curse which guarantees that things never go according to plan.

The 'what can go wrong, will go wrong at Spurs' syndrome. Only two strikers available: one will get injured. 5 centre halves at the end of the season: none at the beginning of the next. Some of this is bad luck and some of it is mismanagement.

Selling Caulker seems particularly ill advised  and the selling of Dempsey may turn out to be the same. Neither player is highly rated by the majority of Spurs fans but both would have been useful to say the least against Monaco.

Gareth Bale update 
Gareth is now 'desperate' to leave apparently, an upgrade on 'keen' from last week and interested' the week before. AVB is having a go at Ancelotti's tactics and making it clear that we are refusing to deal. Harry is sure that Bale would do well there.

 Joe Lewis has taken over the negotiations which we are not having;  Ronaldo is refusing to comment, and Musings hasn't got a clue quite where we are on this one. Pay your money and make your choice. 50/50 at best and most fans are past caring. '£100 million? Take it and move on' they say.

 Musings is still solid on the view that selling your best player(s) is no way to build a team and develop a club and we're not always wrong. Despite the rumours he has confirmed that he will report for training tomorrow.
Clearly no Berbatov he.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
At last I can safely present  Soldado. Signed sealed, medicalled and delivered. He's ours and here he is.
The thinking man's Jermain Defoe. Excellent movement, instinctive finishing, and hopefully we will be able to give him the same sort of service.