The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Never say Never. say Spurs

For AVB the pundits predict it's up or out.
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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 November 29 2013 .. Three Older Great Birthdays .. One Plays Sunday



May You Never.
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" May you never hold your head down without a hand to hold,


May you never lose your temper if you get hit in a bar room fight.


May you never lose your Tottenham.

May you never leave your team out in the cold ...."     with help from and apologies to John Martyn  ... "May You Never." The lyrics are very apt regards Andre at the mo.
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 Philosophically speaking its been a little rough lately down our Kent Lane. Nothing to do with the goings on at a certain White Hart Lane. Actually its all to do with those football goings on.


Talk of Andre VB out. Bollocks.
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 A thousand and one conspiracy theories emanating from all sources inside and out the Tottenham Hotspur FC Board. Bollocks.


Dressing room mutiny. Bollocks. So what is the problem? Various theories were floated this week ...
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 At A Kent Pub.
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Inverted wingers. Sounds like a new political catch phrase. At least we have done away with the term"project". Yes the squatting went some time ago. Mind Martin Samuel of the Mail seems somewhat inverted in his call for a return of the said squatting. Yes to less inversion of the wingers and more to the old fashioned reach the byline approach.
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 Sad but true. Michael "always smiling, always trying"  Dawson was to put it nicely, embarrassed by the likes of Auguerro and Co. To put it bluntly the boyo is out of his depth completely. Yes Kaboul was rusty but not the badger in the headlights that was our loyal captain.
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 So Kaboul or Vlad , alongside Verts. Fryers or even Holtby at left back until the Rose return.


So that's the back and front. The middle. Sandro stays, Dembele does seem to be finally running into form, faith in Paulinho, and yes Lamela for his creativity.
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Just before the naysayers arrive, Lamela seemed better against Citeh. Not knocked off the ball, showed good pace, keen and confidence is building.
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Tromso ... always makes us think of a Monty Python sketch ... went to plan. No catastrophic injuries. Moussa looking more forward than usual. Brad kept a clean sheet.
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 Okay back to some more fine English ale. After all it is Man U.on Sunday. Van Persie, Rooney, etc. A big ask. Will they lift? Starting to get rather pivotal for Spurs and a certain managerial tenancy.
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Sitting round our birthday table today some real legends. John Myall turns 80, Brad Friedel's brother Kasey Keller is 44 and yes the Welsh wonder Ryan Giggs turns 40 today.
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We cannot go any worse on Sunday can we. Surely not.
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Cheers and commiserations ... in the immortal words of John Martyn ... "May we never lose our faith in Tottenham..."      Greg Meyer.         coys.
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 Greg's Video Spot :
By special request from Greg, John Martyn's 'May you Never' Live at the BBC from 1973.
We won the league cup that year and somewhere around then we beat Manchester United 4-1.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

AVB to stay

 There that should fix it. Oops!
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well I've given it the full 24hrs as per Musings rules about blogging too soon after a defeat. In fact before this hits the streets it will be 48 hrs or more. You know, just to give it a bit of perspective, to allow the blood to cool; and the hackles to settle.

So far it hasn't helped. This was more than a pasting; if we were wallpaper we would have slid right off the wall. It was more than a beating; omelets have contained eggs less shaken up. We were humiliatingly pulverized. Perspective and time is not making it easier to take. Once again we had more possession but did nothing with it. City plundered goals at will.

Four consecutive games without a Premiership goal and now we can't even boast about our defensive record. We were more than just casual, we were slack and showed too little concern for the result and our reputation. Vertonghen's inept and half hearted attempt to clear for their sixth sums it up.

Digging deep for the positives: Lennon had a bright half hour; Sandro never gave up; Dembele was reassuringly strong and composed; Walker was positive and kept his head up; Lloris didn't go completely to pieces, and that's about it. If your desperate for a little brightness you could say that we were reasonably competitive for the half hour after we conceded but that is to ignore the other five goals.

Analysis by the pundits shows that we were totally unprepared mentally at kick off and within ten seconds the ball was back with Hugo for the fatal kick. From our own kick off, I ask you. And Hugo has form on poor distribution.

People have been crying out for Lamela to start. He did and though clearly a talent and not given to hiding he produced very little. Adebayor is not the answer to whatever the question might be. Kaboul is just not ready; Dawson was cruelly exposed; Holtby buzzed but didn't sting.

A depressing end to our fine statistical start especially after W.Ham and Newcastle. Four consecutive Premiership games without a goal and little sign of the expected gelling yet to appear. We are playing like a team overburdened with tactical analysis, playing without joy.

There must be a happy medium between the alleged Redknapp 'Just go on and fuckin run about a bit' and the 70 page manual stuff ascribed to AVB. Something that would release the multiple talents of this squad and still preserve some of the new-found defensive competence.

Rumours of dressing room conflict and the usual tabloid nonsense about losing the dressing room are rife. Vertonghen who has issues of his own about his role is the chief denier of such stories. He probably wouldn't have noticed anyway given his catatonic response to Walker's Halloween scare stunt. (See Video Spot)

So that all is not well at Tottenham cannot be denied but it is nowhere as bad as is painted nor as dire as the wrist slashing tendency amongst the Spurs faithless would have us believe. Sacking the Manager is simply throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

It raises more questions than it solves and pushes the whole  shooting match back another couple of years. Any new manager would have exactly the same problems to solve: Premiership inexperience, Soldado and our pattern of play, left back, Adebayor, lack of balance in the side. Add your own why don't you.

For me the greatest problem is the lack of invention and excitement in our of football and this may well be down to AVB. He needs to let their creative juices rip just a little. Lamela needs to play on the right or in the centre while Eriksen is injured and Townsend on the left. Dembele looks to have played himself back into form.

We signed too many new players in the Summer, 9 if you include Rose and Townsend, and they will all take some settling in. Even in the face of this we are not doing too badly, 2 points off Champions' League places and 3 points better off after 12 games than last season. It's  hardly a catastrophe.

Next weekend AVB has the opportunity to put things right against Man. Utd. On Thursday the Europa tie against Tromso should be the start of a change in fortunes. By next week the Man.City game won't be forgotten but could be put behind us.

Those calling for the sacking of AVB will look like the hysterics they surely are and the ship will have weathered the storm and be sailing in calmer waters. Keep the faith, keep your heads and trust that this choppy passage will have focused minds and attitudes at all levels in the club from Levy to the youngest fan.

Latest betting: Villas Boas 10/11 to be the next manager sacked. Save your money folks, it ain't gonna happen.Too expensive for Dan Levy to start with and lack of available and suitable replacements at this stage of the season. Give the man a break and the players too.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
In case you missed it: the Halloween stunt. Six minutes of fun from happier times just a month ago.The reactions of the players is spot on according to their characters as revealed on the pitch. See what I mean about Jan. What the hell is it with mobile phones?


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Can AVB stand the Pressure?


We can only live in hope.
But it will probably get worse before it gets better.
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 The JimmyG2 Column.
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Missed the game: family matters. Seen the highlights; read all the reports, the blogs, the fan sites; Krul blow; Krul result; Krul afternoon's work, November is the Krulest month, 'Don't be Krul' and so on and. I get the picture.

So the game is filed under the usual heading: Spurs half asleep; go behind; dominate the game; keeper plays a blinder; manager under fire; apocalypse looms. Label that:  'same old, same old' then. At least it sounds more exciting than of late.

Andros was even more head down and fire at will than usual. Will was apparently seated in row Z unfortunately. Sorry, old joke but appropriate in the circumstances. A frustrating indigestible lunchtime meal and a good game to miss by all accounts.

The reaction is quite alarming though. Not quite 'AVB out' but pretty damn near in some quarters. Not starting Lamela can be laid at his door; the persistence with inverted wingers which doesn't seem to be working and not firing the boys up for a home game again are all correctly placed in his in tray.

But the poor performance of Siggy, Townsend, Defoe, Dembele and the poor tackle by Paulinho which led to their goal cannot. That's the trouble with losing just before a break, it gives us all too much time to gnaw the meat off the bones of failure.

The Lloris incident has given the Press the opportunity to return to their attack on AVB. Like a cat with a mouse they wander off onto some other fall guy, Jol,or whoever and then at the slightest pretext return to a previous victim.

However we are still only 2 points off second and a win which we should have achieved on the run of play
would have taken us to 2 points off top. Knee jerking is by definition a tad premature. If we are mid-table at Easter then perhaps some grumbling might be understandable.

Speculation is even rife as to who might replace AVB if he were to be sacked. Laudrop is the most mentioned. But how long would you give him? Longer than Andres presumably. More disruption more changes more transition.

 Musings predicts that he won't be sacked in any event but the pressure may get worse before it gets better. Tinkering and fine tuning is required rather than a complete overhaul.

We have practically a new team to integrate under a newish manager feeling his way. To consider further disruption is madness. I have said all along that we might have to be content with 5th this season in the light of the considerable changes already made.

If we make top four we should be more than satisfied. Would I like to see us challenging for the top spot? Of course, I'm a Spurs fan, why wouldn't I? But in the meantime I would like to see a more energetic approach, more movement, more interplay, more imagination  and less turgidity.

There are signs of this in the recent work of Chiriches, Kaboul and Vertonghen bringing the ball out from the back as opposed to playing pass the parcel along the back four. The back door is more secure than in the past so we must use this security to launch more enterprising sorties more quickly.

I am sure that this is all part of AVB's long term game plan and it must be allowed to blossom. We should trust the creative talents and energy of Eriksen, Lamela, Holtby and Paulinho to speed things up.

We don't need two defensive midfielders especially at home and Dembele is too slow and unimaginative to fulfill this kind of brief. Soldado apparently played better against Newcastle but needs  an earlier ball and quicker build up  to play to his strengths.

Being where we are while AVB works out his best team is decent enough. I would be surprised if Lamela and Eriksen don't feature in our first choice squad and Townsend too once he gets his head up, they have the creativity we are lacking.

If AVB sticks to his guns he is stubborn and if he doesn't he is weak and flippy floppy. He can't win. So Andres batten down the hatches, cancel the papers, switch off Sky and do your own thing. Sit in a darkened room and put Frank Sinatra's 'My Way on continuous loop.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
The tackle that never was from Paulinho. Have a word with your fellow countryman Mr. Beast. The sort of through ball by Goufran to Remy that Soldado can only dream of at the moment. Friedel demonstrated once again that he is no Lloris. The bombardment of  Krul's goal. A minute of action that encapsulates the whole game.


Friday, 8 November 2013

Dear Ade: Love Andre: PS. Erik.

  Lamela on the road to Nirvana
Looks and Smells Like Team Spirit.
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The Greg Meyer Column
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 Friday November 8 2013... Fans Favorite Birthday.
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A Letter To Adebayor From The Manager ....  Lamela Watch.

 When all else fails then a good manager rather than resorting to his sword puts pen to paper in an endeavor to prove the modern day quill is mightier than the last resort sacking option.
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  I mean even the legendary patience of Job ( manager of the Jacobites United mob) would be tested by the antics of the son of a well known elephant washer from downtown Toga.
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  So no surprise this turned up in the Spurs Lodge player box marked Mr. Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor to be completely accurate.
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The Managers Office                                                                                                                     Phone: 020 8365 5180.

Suite 13

Spurs Lodge .. Luxborough Lane

Chigwell  IG7 5AB.
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 Dear Emmanuel,
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                       as you are well aware my office door is always open although in your case it would appear frequent relocation to the four corners of the world would seem necessary to allow for at the very least rudimentary communications
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 A flying desk perhaps. South Africa, Togo and lots of points in between here and London spring to mind.
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                      I well remember how excited you were setting off for the African Cup but also assuring us you would be back as soon as possible. Yes of course we understood your difficulties in returning. Even I would have trouble with a flight schedule in Swahili.
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 Yes air travel can be confusing at times even when you have your own personal jet.Good pilots and staff are hard to find these days as you say. How many multilingual pilots are there. How many can read maps.
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                    Still you escaped from that five star hotel in Johannesburg only to get lost on the way to the airport. We here at Spurs Lodge understood that could happen to anyone. We were not worried in the least given your departing sentiments of a quick return to us.
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  Well yes international travel is fraught with difficulty of course. Mind you made it home eventually but then had some other issues. Still you did get to play again last season, I think.
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                   A new season dawned, a new resolve given your protestations of being top dog striker .Off we all went to Hong Kong. Not a roaring success I grant you . A break from London routine and an exciting season for most of us to look forward to.
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  Yes Manny I know Bobby joined us, yes Erik too, Paulinho and Christian, Etienne. Nacer ....quite a lot of competition indeed. Everyone was so excited, training together and then terrible misfortune struck.
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                  The very unfortunate death of your brother Peter was doubly tragic training wise. A meaningful pre season went out the window.I had no hesitation in endorsing the club's granting you extended compassionate leave ,nor the further extension and the one after that.
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                  Never mind a complete lack of pre-season. Never mind what seemed a previous attitudinal problem re-emerging. Arsenal, Man City anyone. Of course I thought having a run with the kids might be useful. Oops after that more injury problems.
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                 Where to go from here. I mean we tried travel brochures from Turkey and others in the summer. No Manny was determined to fight for his place. Such bad luck with aeroplanes, injuries and life in general. Seems all too much for you .
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                 Perhaps as they say in Portugal ...
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                             "A preuica e a mae detodos visios"  ... Laziness is the mother of all vices.


                             " Burros velhos etc ... You can lead an elephant to the well but... you know the rest.
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 But perhaps we should stay positive  ....


                            "Mas vale tardedo que munca" ... Better late than never.


Please come back to Spurs Lodge ... the old Emmanuel Adebayor.


         Sincerely yours


                                 Andre.
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Lamela Watch At A Kent Pub.
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 Our pub like nearly all of you have never lost hope that our Argentinian superstar will come good. Okay one swallow on a late European autumn night does not make it anywhere near the finished product.
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 However the you tube glide, the dribbling trickery, the close control in traffic and even a goal were all on display against FC Sheriff. Let's hope he has a big chunk of time (starting?) against Newcastle at the Lane Sunday.
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 More certain of a start is our birthday boy. Actually Vlad the Impaler was born on this day in 1431. Our man Vlad Chiriches is only 23 but like Lamela starting to settle and threaten.
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 Cheers .... That's Amore .. Thats Lamela ... Greg Meyer.    coys.
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 Jimmy's Video Spot.
Well it's either Erik's goal or Nirvana with Smells like Teen Spirit. Not much on offer for Lamela's goal yet so Nirvana it is. Has a certain relentless charm to it. Nirvana not Lamela. Captures the spirit of Spurs in the 90's. No perhaps not, we didn't get that down did we?
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 Anyway currrently my favourite Spurs player  and my favourite Nirvana track. Might even start on Sunday? Lamela not Nirvana.

                                    

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

It's All Coming Out at Tottenham.

 Three!

A penalty shoot out; a goalkeeper knock out; a defensive shut out and some performance stand-outs. Yet  in some quarters the jury is still out. The performances agreed are not as far out as we would like but the results are enough to make some rivals eat their hearts out.

Hugo Lloris:
What a knockout this boy is: literally on this occasion. Should have gone off without a doubt but proved conclusively that the modern Frenchman is no surrender monkey. Can I say 'monkey'  in this context? A glance at Kaboul will back this up if you need convincing.

Whether his staying on was right or wrong medically, and it was almost certainly wrong, Brad would never have got out to make that save late on. Speed of thought as well as movement.

Harry Kane.
Stole the show against Hull in the Cup: scored one which was disallowed for handball by Defoe who could only stand and admire. Scored another to take us into extra time. Smashed one against the bar and scored his penalty in style. And wasn't offside once. You get my drift?

What do we want? Harry for back up to Soldado. When do we want it? Now.

Soldado.
He's not getting the ball or the goals expected. Although the second results from the first.. Is it his fault or the team's? Chicken/egg: egg/ chicken. He received just the one pass in the box against Everton despite numerous runs and clear indications that he wanted the ball in the channel.

Nobody in the midfield was quick thinking enough to oblige. Eriksen and Siggy are the only ones with enough football brain to respond to him in time. Sandro and Dembele are poor at seeing a pass, Lennon and Townsend run infield too often and hold the ball for too long.

 Holtby and Paulinho are better but not good enough to supply the man in the manner to which he is accustomed. More one touch training urgently required.

Chiriches.
Right, I 've changed my mind. He's the goods. Still likely to give us the screaming ab-dabs occasionally but the upside is all positive.

Friedel.
Gone. Thanks for everything and goodbye. Need a new backup. Gomes should be given first option against Sheriff on Thursday.

Defoe.
Gone. Goodbye and thanks for everything but that was then. Harry Redknapp might like a Friends Re-united reunion after Xmas.

Vertonghen.
MOM on Sunday. Pity he doesn't like left back but he was back to his imperious best, apart from the daft tackle in the penalty box that went unpunished. I know Jan should have had one himself but you can only push your luck with refs so far. We've had our share for this year in any case.

AVB
Our most successful Manager in terms of points/games played seems to be getting a lot of stick lately. A more attractive playing style and goals will come as the team continues to gel. The first half against Everton was one of the best 45 minutes we have played this season.

Ten matches in and we are 4th averaging 2 points per game. Last year that average would have got us 3rd. We've kept 7 clean sheets in 10 league games for the first time in our history according to Official sources and 13 in 17 in all matches. Mr Villas Boas you are surely spoiling us.

 He must be doing more right than wrong at the moment. All the old pro's and pundits will tell you that a tight defence is the best foundation on which to build a winning team.

Siggy.
Did more in 15 minutes than Aaron did in 75. Forced an excellent save from Howard at least. And I am a big fan of Lennon's although his USP, speed, has been commandeered by Andros.

Sandro.
AVB is getting criticised by some for subbing The Beast for his understrapper the man previously known as the beast, Moussa Dembele. Madness when he was playing so well, stupid and unjustifiable decision. Except Sandro was taken off for an injury not just for whimsical serendipity by AVB.

Seems people are just looking for reasons to have a go at Andres. God knows why at this stage of the season. Spurs fans have had it too good lately. It's not exciting but it is effective and I anticipate better things to come.

At Spurs conceding goals is going out of fashion. But the next item on the agenda is that we have had the most shots (133) but the worst conversion rate. I blame Townsend with an assist from Paulinho.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
We might as well make this a Hugo Hug-in. Devotion above and beyond. But when you don't trust your back up keeper that's what happens.