The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 29 March 2013

What Luka said to Gareth.

Easter egg and three points
for Mr. Boas.
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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 Easter Friday 2013.

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 What Luka Said To Gareth ... Andre Villas-Boas' Cup Credentials.
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 Wales met Croatia this week. Bale met Modric. A current Spurs superstar met a previous son of the White Hart Lane family.The father of one met the soon to be a dad again.
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Yes Mrs Luka, Vanja, is expecting another son .Three year old Ivan Modric has already graced the Real Madrid turf on the day dad was introduced to the Madrid faithful. Since then Ivan could be argued to be still ahead of father impactwise. Although since that Spanish fans poll around Christmas of Luka's flop signing status he has started to come good.

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So what was discussed post match by the two young fathers. When are you coming to Madrid? Why not join me. You'd fit in rather well and make lots more money. Did Gareth let on about his own big news. Not impending fatherhood additions surely. Unlikely.

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The big news seems to have emerged later in the week regards his signing with BT . News that hints at Gareth of Spurs remaining an item for some time to come, three years at least. Our pub think that would certainly be predicated upon Spurs progress. Yes Champions League qualification a large piece of the retention puzzle.

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Our best guess is nothing of great moment was said. Did they even meet post match. Unlikely with Luka wanting to be home in Spain with a very expectant Vanja. Spur's big opponents on Saturday had not even played in the Premier when Luka was at Spurs. Swansea  looming large at Cardiff and ...

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At A Kent Pub.

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The first of eight cup finals according to the lore of Lloris. Don't disagree there. Talking to the Mail he also went on about "mentality" being needed. Where have we heard that before. Martin Jol anyone.

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Seems even Adebayor has made it back from international duty. Perhaps he never went. Greatest news of the lot is the man with the smallest and fastest legs in English football is fit to start. Go Aaron.
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 Even Younes Kaboul and running around were mentioned by Andre Boas this week. Blimey what next. Ade to score Probably taking credibility and expectation too far. Still the next run of cup finals will have a major role in defining the credentials and future expectation of all things Andre Villas Boas.

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Enough to turn our pub to order another round ... after all ...

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                  " You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on."

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Joe E. Lewis, American comedian, not to be confused with Daniel Levy's boss.

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Mine host here has been the subject of much mirth. Not only has he admitted a grudging respect for Santa Claus but he reckons the Easter Bunny will deliver three points to Tottenham. Conspiracy theory or more likely wishful thinking setting in . Then again it is the new Spurs.

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Cheers  ... love cup finals so long as we win ...  Greg Meyer.     coys.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
 AVB on Modric's advice to Bale, Dembele and much much more. 
 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Not just Tottenham then.


Temperatures rising? That's a relief.
 We thought it was just at Tottenham.
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The JimmyG2 Column
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 Deep breaths people. Whatever you do, don't look down: or back. Concentrate on the road ahead and our first target, a win against Swansea. Hold onto the thought that most of us would have taken 5th or 6th this year as a staging post to World domination under AVB.

Although some will regard not getting into the top four as a failure from where we are now, we are only in this position by over achieving throughout the season. We haven't even played that well most of the time and Gareth Bale's form is the main reason why we have maintained our momentum.

But it's still all to play for. We are still being tipped as the likely winners of the Europa Cup though I'm not quite sure why. We've staggered our way through this competition with last gasp wins on at least two occasions. By wins I include not losing over two legs at Inter.

In the Premiership a win in our next game, especially if Arsenal don't achieve the same could see the atmosphere soar around WHL and though our run in is harder than theirs stranger things have happened. Life at Spurs is never simple and if there is a way to stumble at the last fence we will probably find it.

The possibility of an eerie repeat of last year is preying on peoples' minds. It seems as if it's written in the stars that we are doomed to throw away whatever advantages we have. But if you recall we did make 4th last year and were only denied our rightful place in the Champions' League by the quirks of the qualification system.

We are not favourites against Swansea but Arsenal ground out a win and we need to do the same. A win in style would be better but let's not be greedy at this stage. All the pundits, Lawro that is, predict a draw but we need to do better if we are to keep ahead of the race.

Arsenal and Chelsea have very winnable games and now is not the time to lose three in a row for the second time this season. It looks as if we have survived the International break without any mishaps although Bale played twice while either ill or with injuries.

Tottenham League positions 2012/13.

 Courtesy  of Statto from Football Filter.
 We've been in the top four for the last 12 games.

Generally speaking the break was kind to our players in terms of performances and results and they should have been given a lift by recent events. Apart from Adebayor of course and if anyone happens to come across him please return to White Hart Lane soonest.

Relax there is a picture of him at the training ground today in his kit, running. None apparently of Lennon or Bale but hey there's 48 hours to go at the time of writing. If Defoe has discovered his scoring mojo perhaps he should start with Gylfi in the hole against his former team.

It worked for Berbatov and I'm quite happy to run with the theory of the returning prodigal son. Carroll too, alongside Parker and Dembele, merits a start but the rest I'm happy to leave to AVB. No game is a must win but this one rates as a 'wouldn't it be just fine and dandy if we could manage one.' Just to settle the nerves as it were.

The game against Chelsea could prove to be the turning point in the season and hopefully by that stage a draw would not be an absolute disaster. A win against Swansea would set things up nicely for the first leg against Basel and the game against Everton which are both at home.

Then we have Basel again and Chelsea both away before we face Man. City. Exciting stuff with all sorts of opportunities for failure and glory. After that it gets easier but by then our fate may well have been decided. No time for faint hearts.

If you can't stand the heat go out into the snow, close your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears. Remember you can see more with your heads up. Personally I'm looking forward to it all, whatever happens, and it just might.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
This is the boy we thought we'd bought and he's getting closer every game. Time to start him in the hole against Swansea and let him take all, well most of, the set pieces. Sorry Gareth, you can take the penalties.
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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Bale legless

 It's a stomach bug in your ankle Gareth.
Rest it for a week is my advice!
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The Greg Meyer Column
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March 23 , 2013 .. Birthday Knights.

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 Bale Legless.
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 Our Gareth Frank Bale is not known for exploits alcoholic that lead to that universal state of leglesness. Yes Wales emerged triumphant over a Scotland side that played as though they were largely legless. No confirmed reports that Bale took to Glasgow's bars in celebration. After all he's been in bed all week with a virus or was it an
ankle problem.

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The pre game coverage was most notable for the urgings of John Brown, Dundee United manager, to cancel out Bale. The Brown solution ...

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                    " He can't run without legs."

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Translated from the Scottish brogue ... hack him down at every opportunity. True enough it was tried but largely without success. Grant Hanley however did effect a cynical clatter on the Welsh wonder just before half time. Bale did not reappear for the second half.

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Led our pub to ponder on what Sir Alex Ferguson ( a Scot) or Monsieur Wenger ( a Frog) might have done. Surely Bale would not have got near Hampden Park nor had a chance to discuss Real Madrid life with little Luka when Wales play Croatia next. Obviously there are other factors, call them balls in the air, that Andre Boas has to juggle.

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Bale has a fierce determination to play for country. Upsetting that apple cart might rebound when summer discussions about his future inevitably crop up. Uncle Andre will certainly have credit in the bank not having stood in Bale's way regards Wales.

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Still given his value to Spurs, given goals are needed on the run in, perhaps rest might have been preferrred. Bale himself has tweeted the ankle is fine. It's but a stomach virus. Well he would say that.

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On the upside seems at least two Spurs strikers have been among the goals internationally. Jermain Defoe and Clint Dempsey plus midfielder Gylfi have hit the net.

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Perhaps our pub can refrain from taking the legless route . Certainly was a preferred option after that dreadful Fulham game. Fingers crossed we have our internationals back injury free.

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Cold With Light Snow At A Kent Pub.

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Clint Dempsey had more snow against Costa Rica than us here. Great to see Clint fit and scoring.

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Still we are confined to base here raising a glass or two to some great birthdays. Sirs Redgrave and Hoy are birthday boys. The man who invented the phrase ...

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                 " It Isn't Rocket Science."

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also was born today. Wernher Von Braun.

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Cheers ... Black Caviar on the menu here ... 24 in a row on Friday .... Greg Meyer        coys.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Just for Greg. If he could he'd sign him for Spurs. Faster even than Gareth Bale. Black Caviar wins his 24th consecutive race. But where would we play him? In the Centaur obviously. Sorry.
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Monday, 18 March 2013

Here we go, here we go, again.

Relax. It probably won't happen.
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The JimmyG2 Column
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 There's been quite a run on emotional investment in the Bank of Tottenham after a week of turmoil on the Premier and Foreign markets. I have been making increasingly large deposits over the season as AVB shares rose steadily after a modest start.

After Sunday I have shortened my forward position, and retreated back behind the sofa for the rest of the season with my assets securely tied up in a Tesco carrier bag. Let's see how it pans out after the International break while I review my investments.

We were dreadful and did little with the ball despite having the bulk of the possession. Bale caused the only excitement in the first half by heading a corner vaguely in the direction of the goal. Lloris was untroubled and the quality of the play was dire and the atmosphere funereal which turned out to be about right.

There is a horrifying similarity to last season but with less excuses this time round. Last season we had Harry's problems in the courts and in the hospital and in the delusional realms of his ambition about the England job. On the plus side we had VDV and Modric.

It all ended against Arsenal just over a year ago(edit). We were 2-0 up, and at that point a potential 13 points ahead. 'Dust to dust; ashes to ashes'.. Our collapse can be very precisely timed and dated. It was all downhill from that point.

Will we be able to make a similarly accurate assessment of our fall from grace this year from the moment that Kyle Walker attempted his suicidal back pass against Liverpool when we were ahead and the likeliest team to win? Let's hope not but I wouldn't bet against the threat of a collapse for the third season running.

It's looking that way after a disastrous week. Harold Wilson once said that 'a week is a long time in politics'. I can tell you that it seems even longer following Spurs. It's never too early to panic at Tottenham. Better to be proved wrong than caught by surprise.

My doctor advised supporting a different team when I asked for medical advice about a heart condition. Now you and I know that it's not that easy. In my next life I will probably make the same mistake again because supporting a team is not just about the football. What exactly it is about I'm not quite sure.

 Tottenham are a particularly difficult team to follow. We got hammered in midweek against Inter but went through on the away goal. It was a good job that Adebayor had opted for long studs. You can't blame the manager for Liverpool but a lot of the blame for Inter can be laid at his door.

And the team formation was dubious against Fulham. Benny at left half; Siggy on the right; Ade virtually a left winger and Bale all over the place.The claim that we were tired after the extra time at the San Siro doesn't bear too much close examination either.

AVB says that tiredness was not a problem and he takes the blame for 'organisational 'problems.We just played as if we were tired. Perhaps in the head rather than the legs.

Most of the side that started on Sunday didn't play the full match in any case. Lloris, Caulker, Bale, Dempsey, Defoe and Ekotto all played less than 90 minutes or not at all. Holtby who has at least shown some enthusiasm was left on the bench.

No real energy was shown until Tom Carroll came on like a breath of fresh air for a 20 minute cameo. Perhaps he should start next time. His passing was positive and he made both his seniors look cumbersome. Benny should be at left back or left out. I am coming to the conclusion that the latter is preferable. Square pegs in round holes seems to be the latest AVB tactical wheeze.

We now have an International break to lick our wounds, regroup, get the injured restored and get our heads right for the sharp end of the season. But I'm not holding my breath as Chelsea once again overtake us and Arsenal have only manager-less Reading to beat to be breathing down our necks.

Inevitably Berbatov scored against us after a breakaway by scuffing a shot past Lloris. He outpaced Caulker to get on the end of the cross which tells you something. Defoe had two clean strikes on goal from close in at the end but both found Schwarzer with unerring accuracy.

One of them could have salvaged a point which we probably didn't deserve. Fulham came for a point and got all three, their first win at WHL for a decade. Dembele and Dempsey could be wondering whether they made the right career choices.

Hopefully I will be proved wrong in my downbeat summary. We still have another 8 games to go and Arsenal and Chelsea will no doubt slip up. But the way we played on Sunday in one our 'easier' games makes it likely that anything they can do, we can do better. But not in a good way. 

But as the optimists argue Lennon could be back for Swansea; Bale and Dawson might not be as badly hurt as we first feared and we are still a point ahead of Arsenal even if they do win their game in hand.

 We have been punching above our weight this season and we looked out on our feet against Fulham. Don't throw in the towel just yet boys.

Jimmy's video Spot
Here's some hope for the future. Andros Townsend, currently on loan but hopefully 'he'll be back'. I'd have kept him for the run in as a late substitute and cover for Lennon and Bale. But then my training manual is titled Hindsight'. Fast and furious but effective whenever he has come on for us and for QPR.


Saturday, 16 March 2013

AVB gets it all wrong.

 Not this week anyway

The JimmyG2 Column

Wrong game plan; wrong formation; wrong attitude; wrong team selection. I think we can safely say that AVB  got this one wrong. We wrongly assumed that Inter would be as dire as they were last week. We wrongly concluded that the tie was as good as won.

We wrongly set up in an attacking 442 formation away from home despite being 3-0 up . We wrongly played a high line despite having Friedel in goal and Gallas in the back four. We wrongly parked Dembele on the right hand side and order was not restored until he was moved into the middle.

You can see where Andre was coming from and it was a romantic kind of Tottenhamesque vision of attacking our way through to the next round. An early away goal would probably have put the tie beyond Inter. Plausible approach if you are one goal up but totally unnecessary at 3-0. But I must admit I like the man's style if not his judgement on this one.

In the end it was the away goal that did indeed send us through but before that Inter, transformed from last week and playing with skill and enterprise, had levelled the tie and beat us 4-1 on the night. They took advantage of our failure to press in midfield and the wide open spaces in front of Brad.

That's seven goals shipped in our last two matches and our second consecutive loss at the San Siro conceding four goals on both occasions. Definitely a cause for concern and given our collapses over the past two seasons enough to put a nagging doubt in the minds of most Spurs supporters.

The current form of Adebayor and Defoe and their inability to play together did made the early goal plan a gamble unlikely to show a profit especially in the absence of the speed and directness of Bale and Lennon. Eventually in extra time Adebayor did get the away goal following up and getting his studs on a loose ball after a threatening run and shot by Dembele which Handanovitch failed to push clear.

Dembele to the rescue in Europe once again. So the squeakiest of close squeaks from which everyone but mainly Andre will draw the proper lessons. I don't expect he will conclude that Friedel and Gallas have reached the end of the line, but he should.

However we have a decent draw in the next round against FC Basel avoiding the big beasts still roaming in the Europa jungle so we can look towards further progress. The whole vista can be brightened on Sunday with a home game against Fulham. By Monday these nagging concerns can be breezily put behind us.

My hope is founded on statistics which can sometimes be a treacherous ally. In the last 8 games against us Fulham have mustered 2 goals and we have won the last six derbies. With a nod to the curse of the returning favourite son, Dimitar Berbatov, who most fans would welcome back with open arms, I make that 3-1 Spurs and a return to Happy Mondays.

Lose to Fulham and the blip will be turning from a drama into a crisis at least in all true Spurs supporters minds. Arsenal went out of the Champions' League in a style which will revive their flagging hopes of a \top Four finish. Chelsea moved into the last eight of the Europa in a gritty fashion. Crikey even Torres and Dog Terry scored.

We sneaked through in a somewhat shamefaced, apologetic manner. But a win is a win and the future is still bright though the lights are flickering and some of the bulbs need checking. The sooner Higuan comes to Tottenham from Real Madrid the better. Oh yes he might be.

As long as Gareth doesn't go in the opposite direction as part of the 'Special Relationship' we have with them everything will be fine.

One Man Team.
No single match is conclusive of course. Against Inter at home with Bale we won 3-0. Against Inter away without Bale we lost 4-1. See what I mean about statistics.

Jermaine Jenas.
Has just scored his second goal in as many games at QPR. Have we made a mistake in letting this fine box to box attacking midfielder go? Answers on a postcard to THFC. Not to me thank you. Our postman's got a bad back.


Jimmy's Video spot.
Nothing on the goal against Inter available but here's Moussa's winner against Lyon that took us through. A virtual carbon copy: the pause; the shift; the shot across the keeper. This one goes in  unlike the one on Thursday which the keeper pushed out towards Adebayor.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Bale needs more than top four from Spurs.


You can say that again!
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The JimmyG2 Column
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 I'm not sure what the appropriate football phrase is for our defeat on Sunday. Clearly we would have won had the opposition not scored more goals than we did but that's not a problem peculiar to Spurs. 

A 'catalogue of errors' sounds more like a series of mistakes in the dispatch department at Argos. 'A Comedy of Errors' may raise belly laughs on Merseyside but at White Hart Lane Spurs fans will be forgiven for taking a deep breath, shuddering and experiencing that 'Oh no not again' feeling.

We went 1-0 down early on to a slick goal by Suarez, a slippery character, both morally and physically. We fought back to 2-1 courtesy of two Bale assisted Vertonghen goals and from there we should have won it.

Everything was under control and the cabin crew were preparing the aircraft for landing when a double dip disaster struck. Both full backs had starring roles in this but plenty of others had walk on parts. 

First Kyle Walker tried an ambitious,ill advised, unnecessary and ill executed back pass. What on earth was he thinking? The truth is that he wasn't. Lloris came out to confront Downing and only succeeded in getting an assist and Vertonghen who had adjusted his feet nicely for his second goal totally failed to do so for his attempted clearance.

Shades of my Granny taking up Irish dancing. The pity was that Walker had been playing well and improving lately. But clearly a tendency to stray off message is deep within his DNA. He's young and might well improve but in the meantime he's a regular in the team and needs to concentrate..

 Ekotto is a wag off the pitch and an accident waiting to happen on it. He probably sees his failure to join in the pre-match huddle as a sign of his individuality or a personal protest about something or other but to me it's a show of disrespect.

 Defoe who had done nothing all game decided to help out defensively. His attempted clearance set up Suarez and Benny relishing the opportunity to demonstrate his hard man tendencies, and not for the first  time, bundled him over and this time didn't get away with it. Gerrard scored from the resulting penalty. 3-2 Liverpool.

Not that Gerrard should have even been on the pitch at that stage. The referee had twice been distracted by off the ball incidents and forgotten to book him. I've seen players get a straight red for his assault on Bale just before half time.

To lose one goal to to a moment of madness may be regarded as misfortune: to lose two might be thought of as carelessness, as a Mr. O.Wilde a one time season ticket holder in Reading might have said.

However apart from about thirty seconds of insanity we played well once again. The last time we threw a game away at Everton in early December we went on our best unbeaten run for twenty five years. It might well happen again. 

Old football and hockey injuries prevent knee jerk reactions at The Musings these days but these are not new problems. AVB who thinks deeply about stuff, especially football stuff, will have been contemplating these weaknesses for some time. Would benching the three main culprits be 'knee jerk'? Or give them time to reflect?

With Kane at Leicester on loan, Obika at Charlton similarly, and Adebayor injured, options up front are worryingly anorexic. Except that Coulthirst was on the bench for some reason on Sunday and could see some pitch time on Thursday. The usual full back improvisations could also apply.

Or we could whistle a happy tune and pretend that everything is fine. Just a blip, bad day at the office and so on. After all we have been playing with ten men most of the season when you look at the recent strike rate of our front men. 2 goals between them in 26 appearances. In fact if Defoe hadn't been playing yesterday it would have been a draw.

It's a Bale shaped miracle that we are third. We should have won it at a canter. Bale set up four good chances two of which Jan the Man accepted; one which Siggy should have buried and another that he might have squared to Defoe for him to miss. Siggy took it on himself after a vintage lung buster by Gareth trailing most of the Liverpool team in his wake.

He was unfortunate to hit Johnson and the ball spun onto the post. Improved performances from the Icelander but dodgy decision making. He passes when he should shoot and shoots when he should pass despite the confidence boost of two goals recently.

If we are to keep Bale for next season we need to do more than finish in the top four. We need to sign a couple of players that are proof of our intent. A striker or two would suffice  to convert the chances he makes. He can't do it all on his own. Although I admit all  teams in history have been two players short of a world domination, except Barcelona of course.

 But despite our current good form we are not yet in a position to challenge for top honours.
'If it ain't broke don't fix it' I hear you cry. But I say 'If it's not running smoothly then fine tune it'.

A good performance spoiled only by the fact that we lost the game. Says it all really.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
To be fair to the boy here is a compilation showing him at his best. But you can't dine out on the Arsenal winner for ever Kyle. You are only as good as your last few games. It's the eyes that worry me.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

The Battle of the Divers.

Watch and learn Gareth. T shirts awarded to graduates
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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 Happy Birthday Spurs Striker 9 March 2013.
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Battle Of The Divers ... Tom Daley Anyone?... Bananas Anyone?.
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Jacques-Yves Cousteau never played for France. Bloody good diver though. Hugo Lloris does play for France . Bloody good diver besides.
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As for the big two protagonists in the crucial League encounter tomorrow, Luis Alberto Suarez and Gareth Frank Bale, opinions are divided on their respective credentials as to the platform event.
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One, an admitted specialist. Louis, admitted all regards his diving efforts against Stoke in a match last October. Gareth on the other hand continues to deny outright intent. Instead he protests innocence. He asserts that at the speed he travels it is a combination of contact and self preservation.
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Our pub still support our Welsh Young father of the year. Mind he does have to manage the potential theatrics a little more carefully. Perhaps his hero Christiano Ronaldo provides further hope. Not just inspiration as regards those top spin free kicks. Ronaldo did seem to have a developing reputation for springboard skills.
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 That all seems a long time ago. Now he just relies on pace, trickery, skill and sheer consistent artistry to wow all. He did score in both games versus Manchester United. Seems common ground he was below his best as well. No mention of scuba skills any more.
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Luis Suarez does seem to be attempting a makeover in his image all round lately. Lots of sorry and handshaking after fouls etc. Yes he has a lot of baggage but suitcases aside he is an enormous goal threat at Anfield tomorrow. Twenty one League goals to date. A man in red hot form. 
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Here at our cosy pub most talk is if we stop him then a long way close to winning. Sturridge is back and also potent lately. The AVB defence system will be sorely tested. Vertonghen, Dawson with Benny and Walker not going walkabout will be essential. Little Scotty to play a blinder also.
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Look if we keep them quiet up front then we will score enough to win. Probably a harder game than Arsenal. Given a chance to extend over Chelsea then the ante just went up another several notches. Still that's what its all about this time of the year.
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A collective prayer, a collective round of fine English ale, glasses raised ...
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             " Gentleman and Ladies,
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                                                In Andre Villas Boas and all who sail with him we Trust. "
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A Kent Pub Looks To Spring.
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And then summer. Before that exciting times for us Spurs followers. Third looms ... Europe looms ... Above Arsenal looms. We would take the latter. Not greedy are we.
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Clint Dempsey may be fit tomorrow. Turns 29 today.
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Despite the misguided carpenter from Arsenal our pub reckon banana and their skins are somewhat passe. The game against the bin dippers more a tough encounter between two in form sides.
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Must be the first time a banana has been thrown at a non black  footballer.
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Cheers ... think we can do it at Anfield ... Greg Meyer.              coys.
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Jimmy's Video Spot.
Classic dive time. Luis and Gareth don't even come close to getting a medal amongst this lot. Our man has got four cards for 'simulation' and Luis has only got one. Shurely shome mishtake
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 ot

Friday, 8 March 2013

Serious times at Spurs

Breakfast anyone?
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The JimmyG2 Column
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I could get used to that sort of show and the signs are that I might have to. We are starting to enjoy the kind of confidence in performance that Man.Utd fans have enjoyed for years. I am beginning to watch without the usual level of tension to which I have become accustomed.

The years of 'lack of mental strength'; the 'soft Spurs' decades; the 'easy touch; the 'going nowhere' club as Rodney Marsh alleges this week could be over if my sensitive nerve endings are anything to go by.

Last night's devouring of Inter was not completely unexpected. In fact we began as favourites not only to win but to go through to the last eight. This reflects partly the hard times on which a once great team has fallen even since we played them in the Champions League not so long ago.

But they still had to be beaten and we went about it with some gusto. We harried them from the start and played with a swagger only occasionally seen this season under AVB. Several players stepped up and turned in much more effective performances than of late.

Parker, Sigurdsson, Lennon and Vertonghen in particular. Scotty was much more direct and Siggy at last is rewarding Andre's growing faith in his ability and not just with goals. He showed persistence and quality for Bale's headed opener and awareness for his own follow up to Defoe's parried shot.

Less than 20 minutes in, two goals up and we were playing with some style. Lennon was fizzing in attack and tackling back as fiercely as a fully grown man. Dembele was quietly authoritative alongside Parker. Even Gallas was put under so little pressure that he had had time to forage forward.

Vertonghen was back to his impressive best and scored an unchallenged header from a Bale corner and might have had another. The team raised the crowd and the crowd raised the team. What Andre  calls a positive spiral.

Even the Hugo shaped hole in goal caused little problem. Friedel was in the right place a couple of times and kept a vital clean sheet. An away goal in Milan would put the tie well beyond Inter's reach if it isn't already.

This was the Spurs we dream about. A European night taken seriously by the manager and consequently the team, coasting to victory against one of the European greats. Well they used to be.
This was a lasagna with more than a trace of horse in the prime beef filling.

I am increasingly looking forward to games and enjoying them. Last weekend was different because local derbies are one-offs. People can get carried away or off and anything can happen. But it didn't. Sunday offers another opportunity let the air out of the balloon of another challenger's hopes.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
All the goals. Strength by Siggy for the first cornered by two defenders. Excellent movement by Lennon, well found by Dembele for the second. Damn poor marking by the Italians for the third.
Did they even want to win?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Spurs Roller Coaster due for Demolition











Tenders invited for demolition of the Spurs Roller Coaster
 for conversion to a 'Stairway to Heaven'.
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The JimmyG2 Column
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 The old Spurs Roller Coaster seems to have broken down at last. Somebody who doesn't know their history is dismantling the track and is planning to rebuild it as the 'Stairway to Heaven'. Not sure how that's going to work but I've paid my fare and I am looking forward to climbing aboard with excitement mixed with more than a little trepidation.

At the moment we are on a long continuous climb up into the upper reaches of the Premiership, even unto the Champions' League. Unlike the old Roller Coaster this ride actually seems to be heading somewhere and not just going up and down and round and round and ending up exactly where we started.

Other parts of the Tottenham Fun Fair and Circus are also undergoing re-refurbishment. So Roll up, Roll up Spurs fans and enjoy the excitement of this journey into the unknown. Some of you older members will have stirrings of faint memories of similar adventures long long ago.

Against Arsenal a game widely described as a 'must win' we pushed aside the Ghost Train cobwebs of past heartbreaks; steered doggedly through the bumpy Dodgem Ride of another NLD; threw down the neatly stacked cans of false hope and expectation and seized the cuddly toy of reward; sent the coconuts of mental strength spinning and rang the bell on the 'must win' Test Your Strength Machine.

We admired the tactics of the Bearded Head Coach; marvelled at another winner by the  Premiership's Smallest Man; admired the Worlds Strongest Central Defenders and revelled in the performance of the Mighty Bale known outside N17 as The One Man Band but we know better.

We upturned the table in the Mystic Lawro Fortune Teller tent, and are now carefully inching our way along the the Tightrope of Hope. We are careful to avoid the FIFA Regulations Wall of Death where we came a cropper last year.

 Instead we choose the Tunnel of Team Love and avoid the Black Hole of Midtable Mediocrity which seems to have fallen into disuse over the last decade and is hopefully about to be dismantled.

All the fun of the fair. We are on our best unbeaten sequence since 1984/5 when, would you believe it, we finished third. And this little adventure might not be finished yet. Just a little run out in the Europa against Inter and then off to Liverpool.

In a gripping game, which I am enjoying more on reflection than I did at the time, we laid some old ghosts to rest. We kept the pressure up on Chelsea and Man. City and maintained our distance from Everton and Liverpool.

We have to play all of them in our final ten games and every one of them won at the weekend. No time to lose focus now as Hugo says today. But we are looking up towards the heavens and not over our shoulders at the rapidly dwindling band of challengers for top four.

City kept  the 5 point lead by beating Villa 1-0 last night, but by no means with ease considering the gap in talent and the points difference between them. Benteke did his valuation no harm and I would seriously consider a sensible bid for him especially if Villa go down. Not that we will be the only ones. Our Belgian contingent might just swing a deal.

Honourable mentions:
Central Defence: Vertonghen back on form again and Dawson playing at the top of his game.
Bale:...A little more subdued but got the vital first goal.
Lennon: Another match winning goal and his run was superb.
Parker: Getting there and the pass of the day for Lennon's goal.
Sigurdsson: Brave selection rewarded by his excellent assist. Pity he bottled his chance for glory.
AVB: He's got them organised, calm and playing with confidence. All of us now believe.

Jimmy's Video Spot (1)
All the goals.(Actually just the Lennon goal. The FA took the other one down) Pathetic defending and poor goalkeeping from Arsenal. Poor marking by Adebayor and a slight hesitation by Lloris. Have a look at the shot of the Spurs supporters after Arsenal score. Obviously got the old Roller Coaster 'Oh no here we go again' script. We've moved on people.
Of course it could all go wrong even now but let's enjoy the moment.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Bale signals his intent.

The secrets of the signs
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The Greg Meyer Column
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Derby Eve 2013.
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Gareth Bale's Goal Celebration Explained ... Sitting Next To An Arsenal Fan For 3402 Miles ...  That Match.
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Will the famous heart shape Gareth Frank Bale goal celebration feature tomorrow at White Hart Lane. Thirty five thousand five hundred fans certainly hope so. The other five hundred Arsenal away visitors desperately hope otherwise.
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 Mind Monsieur Wenger tends to suggest his hot streak has finished. As quoted at his Press Conference "We don't plan for anybody. There is nobody special ...".
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Given that brave Gallic approach the most dangerous and threatened object on the pitch at around 6 o'clock on Sunday may well be a pitchside Arsenal water bottle. Still back to that celebration.
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Bale has enacted the love heart some 15 times in the Premier since the birth of his daughter on 21 October 2012. Indeed he has demonstrated his love for Emma Rhys-Jones some 23 times in all this season. Yes of course it is an acknowledgment of his love for partner Emma.
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 However just as he has refined his abilities at shotmaking, particularly from set pieces,so has he refined that goal celebration.
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Since the 21st October there has been the crucial addition of the gesture of an A shape with index and middle finger crossed by his other index finger. So whats with the A?
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Exhaustive research carried out by our pub suggests the most plausible theory relates to the recent addition to family Bale. Our best guess is his daughter bears the very Welsh name of Alba Violet Bale. Hmm AVB.
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At the risk of conspiracy theorisation  why does it not further sit well. Ergo the ecstatic and pointed celebration with his manager after that second goal against West Ham. The bond between manager and player is plain. 
.Bale has certainly stressed his appreciation regards Villas Boas and his assistance and encouragement developing his game this year.
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A joyous celebration of family. His immediate loved ones and his football family. Love to see it tomorrow. Have a look for the A sign too.
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A 3402 Mile Spurs-Arsenal Discussion.
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Settled into my Cattle class comfy chair on a recent flight London to Dubai. Plane full. Oh well its only 5 hours and I have the latest Jack Reacher novel on hand. Polite hello to the fellow settling in beside me. He's off for a short break in the sun.
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 All is revealed shortly thereafter. The topic of football casually engaged reveals he is fleeing yet another disaster. Another desultory display by his football team. Of course I am all sympathetic and well remember those days of yore regards Spurs. Well hopefully banished says I with fingers and all else crossed.
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Who do you support. Arsenal comes the reply. You. Tottenham Hotspur. Ah the one man team. Yep he's a genuine Arsenal fan. My response. Jack Wilshere anyone. And so the banter goes.
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Indeed over the next 5 hours both of us find the other to be normal everyday human beings. A grudging respect by him for the threat that Spurs do realistically pose this year emerges. As does a disappointment that the Arsenal way and mode of flowing football is fast going down the plughole.
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And so to a North London derby that looms larger than normal regards psychological consequences in particular. Spurs can increase the gap to seven. With no heart problems. no taxation case and no England job looming then surely the New Spurs can edge past a determined enemy.
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Our pub settle into seats pre match and the first man we look at is Hugo Lloris. What a calming effect. Up there as Premier goalkeeper of the year. A shot stopper (West Ham late, Matt Taylor foiled ... Newcastle late, Amoebi snuffed out), a sweeper, hence the new found team confidence to play the favoured higher Villas line.
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 Indeed our back four seem a better quartet than Arsenal. What Arsenal do have in potential is more goals than Spurs. Without Bale then can Adebayour, Lennon, Siggy and co, match Willshire, Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud.
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As we started our descent into Dubai even my new found Arsenal close personal friend thought the derby was there for the taking by Spurs.
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Back At A Kent Pub.
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This week we celebrated the untimely anniversary of the passing of a comedic genius ... Spike Milligan ... " I told you I was ill." Surely celebration will be most timely on Sunday. Not just for Gareth, Emma, and Alba but for the entire Spurs 2013 revolution.
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Yes many a glass will be raised and as we say here ...
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" When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."  H. Youngman.

Cheers  ... Bale is Ghod ...  Greg Meyer.    coys.
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Jimmy's Video Spot.
Arsene says, 'We dont plan for anyone. There's no-one special'
Don't watch this then Mr. Wenger. Enjoy the goals and the celebrations too. Hopefully tomorrow as well.