The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Spurs Enter the Unknown

Is it a known unknown or an unknown unknown?
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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As a famous American, not Clint Dempsey, nor even Brad Friedel,  but an even more famous American than both of these, once said:

There are known knowns:  things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know.

These are surprisingly wise words from the American Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, who generally speaking particularly with regard to the Iraq war was both dangerous and self serving.

I'm pretty certain that Brad would have made a better Secretary of Defence than Donald would have made a goalkeeper. This is not so much a known known as a guess. Whether he would have made a better striker than Clint is firmly in the realms of known unknowns.

He omitted of course the crucial part of this; those things we think we know but are completely wrong about. False knowns as they are known. Like the existence of weapons of mass destruction before we invaded Iraq. Most ITK information comes into this category. These are sometimes known as guesses or even fabrications.

How does this apply to THFC? I can hear you asking and I'm coming to that. A lot of what Daniel Levy does is in firm known unknowns territory. During the transfer window we have no idea what is going on and very occasionally we find out later..

ITK of course acts as a smokescreen for this kind of activity and may well be generated by The Small Leaks Dept. within THFC itself to cover Daniel's tracks. The Leandro saga is a perfect example of a rumour masquerading as a fact, or is it the other way round?

So what do we actually know? Franco Baldini's arrival is now a fact and thus elevated from a known unknown to a known known. Although the system is the preferred set up of Daniel the choice of personnel was largely determined by AVB which makes good sense to me.

We can assume from this that AVB will be staying. Leaving now would be like inviting people round for a meal and going out for a drink on your own as soon as they arrived. A whole new take on 'Your dinner's in the oven'.

 The DOF system was put on hold as Harry doesn't need such help, just a mate to share the driving and tell him what a good job he's doing..

Newcastle did it a different way: appointed a DOF with a loose mouth who loves the limelight without consulting the Manager resulting in the immediate resignation of the Managing Director and general disgruntlement by the fans and Alan Shearer. Spurs method has more chance of success in my view. I give Pardew until Xmas.

Signings are all still in the known unknowns category as is the future of GB. I was 90% sure that he would stay at the end of the season. This dropped to 70% at the height of the Real Madrid nonsense and the AVB to PSG stuff. I'm back at 80 % at the moment.

Signings are firmly in the known knowns because we haven't actually made any yet. But as your targets increase in quality so the problems over fees, wages and bids from other teams mount. We may have to wait until the richer Champions' League rivals get back from Tesco's with their carrier bags full of goodies.

Where will we finish this season? Now there's a real journey into the unknown. What will count as success or failure? Anything less than top four will be rightly regarded all round as more than disappointing.

After the Year of Transition and with a settled management structure unlike most of our rivals and a couple of key signings we should be good to go into upper reaches of the Premier League but can we mount a challenge for the top place?

Probably not but as Sir William Nicholson once said:
"It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory."

Good luck with that thought if we only manage 5th again.


  Musings nomination for the best signing of last season. Hugo Lloris.
(Graphics by Alon Berg)

Jimmy's Video Spot: Paulinho
A more likely  signing than others we have been linked with. A goal scoring Brazilian in the Sandro mould Looks good enough to me and a bargain at around £20 million. We think we know about this one and remember we are not always wrong.

 Musings Likelihood rating: Quietly confident unless Real Madrid grab him first.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Washing Tottenham's Dirty Linen in Public.

Washing machines? I eat 'em for breakfast.
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The JimmyG2 Column
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 Welcome to No News from Anywhere apart from a little back office revelation of which more later. All quiet then on the Tottenham Front. The lads are dispersed throughout the world of sea, sunshine and sand and even if Musings knew where they were we wouldn't tell you.

They surely deserve a break from the high pressure world of Premiership football having laboured for so little reward in the vineyard of frustration and pain. After all money isn't everything, though I'd rather be miserable with it than without it.

None of our elite squad have been sold or let go apart from Gallas and Bentley and some youngsters who are at the end of their contracts and and as yet no new playmates have arrived. Playmates in the sense of people to play football with not 'Playmates' in the....Well you know full well what I mean. I should think one or two of them are knee deep in 'Playmates'.

Some of our targets have made their excuses and declared themselves 'off the market' due to the lack of Champions' League or their present clubs whispering sweet fortunes in their ears, as indeed we are with our Gareth.

Some were never in the frame in the first place and one or two who shall be nameless have been lit up in neon for far too long and should be quietly switched off and allowed to cool down.. We are making ourselves look rather foolish pursuing players that clearly don't want to come to us.

Meanwhile the list of players we are 'considering making a bid for' or even 'swooping' for gets longer by the day We are still hanging onto our crown jewel despite a report that he has signed for Real Madrid for £90 million. Even in the crazy world of football nobody, not even Real Madrid, will pay that especially while Ronaldo stays. Worth three Modric's: hmmm.

Levy's money saver collapses.

However the really hot wash news which I can reveal today is that that an experiment designed to save money has been abandoned. The project estimated to save upwards of several pounds initiated by Levy last Xmas and kept a closely guarded secret will not continue. It was abandoned after the first disastrous month.

The scheme was the revival of the old amateur system of the lads taking home their kit to wash in their own time and at their own expense. The lady who used to do the washing, an old girl friend of Defoe's, referred to in a friendly way as 'The Scrubber', has been reinstated .

The scheme started on the wrong foot when it was discovered that Aaron couldn't reach the washing line and his request for a step ladder was turned down by Daniel on cost grounds. The application to lower the line was rejected by Health and Safety as it would be a hazard to children.

Hugo kept dashing out and taking his kit in whenever a passing cloud loomed and his jersey was always damp, a health hazard in itself, and he was warned of the likely consequences by the club doctor.

Kyle Walker couldn't work out the washing instructions and after several shirts had shrunk after being washed at too high a temperature he was taken off the scheme. He was simply the first of many which led to the scheme being abandoned.

Gareth couldn't take part as his line was already full of nappies from baby Alba. He was given permission to opt out on compassionate grounds. AVB himself took Bale's kit home as one of the many inducements to keep him at the club.

Benny tie-dyed his on day one with disastrous results; Jermain simply refused to release his kit for inspection; Ade tried to renegotiate his contract to take account of his increased domestic bills and Big Tom wasn't quick enough to take advantage of the brief sunny periods in a wet winter.

Sandro kicked the living shit out of his washing machine when it developed a fault and had to withdraw; Daws headstrong as always picked up the bleach instead of conditioner and his kit fell to pieces. Siggy searched in vain for a hot spring in the Enfield area.

 Scotty forgot to let go of his socks when loading and was drawn head first into the drum and spent some time in casualty. Jan Vertonghen, Moussa and Tom Carroll were the only members of the squad that not only washed and dried their kit but brought it back ironed neatly and folded tidily. 

In the end DL said he would wash everyone's kit for them but a suitable fee could not be agreed in time for next season. It's the first item in Franco Baldini's in tray when he joins us.

I hope you will forgive me for washing the THFC dirty linen in public but I thought you might prefer to read about this little domestic saga, which is exclusive to The 'Musings' by the way, rather than being teased with the usual transfer rumours. More Tales from White Hart Lane as and when.

A warm Musings welcome to Spurs Fan, Alon Berg, who supplies the opening graphic of 'Sandrobeast' for today's column. Much more from him in the future.

Jimmy's Video Spot;
We began with the mighty beast so let's end with him. Here is some footage illustrating the good feeling in the camp at the start of last season.. With Scotty on the wane he is going to be absolutely crucial to us next season and we hope to see him on the pitch very soon alongside our other beast Kaboul. They will have to fight it out for the uber beast title. Younes didn't have to face the washing machine test though and might have the edge.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

No Quick Cure for Spurs ills.

There just ain't no cure for the Summer Time blues.
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The JimmyG2 Column 
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 Bored with life? Tired? Listless? Headaches? Warts? Losing the will to live? Try 'New Signings', the only guaranteed way to banish those close season blues. A new striker or two will lighten the step; a creative midfielder will bring that smile back to our faces.

Above all a positive announcement on Bale, our multi award winning star, five and counting to date would certainly banish the doubts and fears. It won't of course be enough. Can you see any fans welcoming the new season if we kept the same squad for next year. So we're back to the New Signings Wonder Cure.

Well that's what the ITK boys as they stagger out of the crypt into the cruel light of day would have us believe: 'a signing a day keeps the heartache at bay'. Only this will help us forget the agonies of last season and set us up for the glories of the next. It doesn't seem to matter who we sign, somebody or other preferably from abroad will do.

And then we can bag up all those items we've grown out of and leave them in a bundle outside the Championship Charity shop. New Improved Persil Washes Whiter. Which implies that the Old Persil wasn't up to the job. Can we get our money back?

Actually I'm getting less and less satisfied with the failure to usurp Arsenal in the top four as time goes on. It's like toothache, a dull nagging pain that sneaks up on you just when you had forgotten all about it.

As teenagers say, 'It's so unfair' and makes our recruitment hopes so difficult. Leandro has already said that he wants to play in the Champions' League. Excuses. Excuses Musings didn't think that he would come to us anyway.

But hopefully it will disappear as toothache does on the morning of your dental appointment when the first pre-season games start, or the draw for the Europa is made, or David Villa is pictured next to AVB on the pitch at WHL both wearing the scarf. Or even each wearing the scarf.

I am not arguing that we don't need to upgrade in one or two places but I am ignoring the snowstorm of rumour and gossip until something actually happens in the real world. Then I will dig myself out from the avalanche of fictitious gossip, hearsay and invention with the shovel of fact and the snowplough of truth.

Meanwhile I am of course following the England team's travails with rapt attention. Or should that be 'trapped revulsion' or even 'crap retention'. They nearly succeeded in losing to Ireland and Roy has shrewdly analysed the situation: we don't win enough games. The team were as ponderous and uninspiring as the man himself.

Defoe was as aimless for England as he has been recently for Spurs. It is clear that Harry's famous injunction to Pavlyuchenko was based on the performances of Defoe. On one occasion the trajectory of his run accidentally coincided with the trajectory of the ball and he then appeared to deliberately pass to Theo Walcott. This was later denied by his agent.

However against Brazil they got up off the canvas at half time and all but won what developed into quite a thrilling encounter. Joe Hart's heroics kept us alive in the first half and goals by Rooney and Oxlade- Chamberlain nearly snatched it. England, Brazil, Thrilling, Roy Hodgson. what's going on?

On the brighter side: Jan (edit) Vertonghen:

Awarded the title of best central defender by 'Stat Zone'. We like the boy's attitude and his football skills generally. But he is fingered as the culprit on goal analysis sites (see Windy's blog) more often than Benny, Walker or Dawson though their errors are usually more spectacular.

 He is very good with the ball in front of him but is slow to turn and recover and caught out of position at times. But he displays lots of quality and potential and if Kaboul recaptures his fitness quickly the prospect of him and Vertonghen as our first choice pairing is something to look forward to.

Statistics that may or may not have some significance:

England: B licence coaches..  1,700..population..64 million
Spain: qualified coaches..... .21,000..population..50 million
Germany: qualified coaches..27,000..population.. 80million

Clearly Spain and Germany's recent successes at all levels of the game are purely coincidental.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
All 93 of Spur's goals in competitive games for the 2012/2013 season.
Pick your favourite. Mine is the cheeky Lennon goal against Sunderland. Pop it round the corner and dash round and put it in. Well Gareth's got more silverware than he knows what to do with. What happened to that  Defoe fella that featured prominently in the first half of the season? 11 before Xmas and not much after.