The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Spurs duo team up.


 The cockerel basks in the sunset glow of a successful week.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Another week and suddenly the clouds break and a shaft of sunlight bursts through. With more banana skins around than the Chimpanzee house at Whipsnade we picked our way tentatively to the end of a successful week.

Mauricio seems to be getting things clearer in his own head and in the heads of the players. Harry Kane increasingly our talisman sets the example by his effort and scores goals too. Watch and learn Roberto.

Eriksen  is settling into the playmaker role. The back five are more settled and the return of Kyle Walker gives us pace and width. The injury to Mason may disrupt things for a while and Bentaleb needs a rest.

He gave the ball away from the kick off on Saturday and never quite recovered. Stambouli looks favourite to step up against Leicester on Boxing day.

Corners turned perhaps. Last week began with a late win at Everton and so did this week at Swansea. After Everton it was mainly downhill, not quite thrashed by Chelsea and ending with the disappointing draw with Palace.

This week has been much more positive with the sweet revenge on Newcastle and some delightful football and a circumspect win at home against a surprisingly positive Burnley side.

We are still still in all competitions and 6th. equal on points with Arsenal in the league. Most people would have taken that at this stage of the Pochettino evolution. In the League Cup we are a two legged tie against Sheffield United away from Wembley.

Shades of Juande Ramos. We successfully avoided Liverpool and Chelsea in the semi final draw despite the best efforts of Graham Souness. Conspiracy Theorist? Moi? (See Video)

 But we seem to be perpetually hovering on the edge of meltdown; flirting continually with disaster and generally giving our more nervous fans, which includes me, the colleywobbles. 89th. minute? Don't look away yet.

 At Swansea Kane and Eriksen were the bright spots  and of course Lloris who defied the elusive Boney when he should have scored. Davies is still improving and will give Rose more than a run for his money.

Eriksen  is challenging Chadli as our top Premiership scorer  and needs to be in a position where he can hurt the opposition more. Kane's early goal settled everyone's nerves but we might easily have been down at halftime.

We played well for 20minutes ceded control to a lively Swansea, rode our luck and re-emerged to clinch victory after some sustained pressure for the last 20. Double training, lady luck, Pochittino's influence starting to bear fruit. All or none of the above.

Even Soldado scored within two minutes of replacing Kane and might have had a second.The boy Kane presses his claims at a more senior level with another strike.

 Chadli rubbed salt into Newcastle's wounds with a goal in the first minute of the second half. However did they manage to beat us in the league? But that was then. Is this another false dawn or has a corner been turned.

Burnley told us a little more. It was a faltering performance against a side we should have beaten easily. Another Kane early goal following clever wing play by Chadli should have opened the floodgates.

But we made heavy weather of it and ran out 2-1 winners again. The good news is that Lamela opened his Premiership account with a fine winning goal cutting in from the right and setting up Kane for a tap in which he missed.

The bad news is that Mason was carried off with an ankle injury. Walker continued his rehabilitation and it looks as though he and Lamela might make a good pairing. Lamela cutting in leaves space for Kyle to overlap. Early days but the hope is all.


Jimmy's Video Spot.
The Capital One Cup draw. Jamie Redknapp gets the Souness death stare for not following instructions and pairing Chelsea with Liverpool.
'Not like that you fool, how I showed you.' Jamie wisely avoids eye contact.






Apologies for the foul language but thanks to Joel anyway.





























Like the football Fazio and Vertonghen are not wholly convincing and nor are the midfield youngsters Mason and Bentaleb lately. Soldado is playing like a man who suspects that his number is up. Lamela continues to work hard and disappoint.

Results though continue to paper over the cracks which is more than enough for the moment



Monday, 8 December 2014

Spurs launch exciting new initiative.


 Plenty to clutch at.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Clinging to the top half by our fingernails while W.Ham go third and Newcastle beat Chelsea. I mention these two teams because a few weeks ago both Pardew and Sam were tipped for the chop. Now both teams are in the top seven.

Where will it all end? Spurs go from bad to even more worser. A week that started encouragingly with a comeback win against  Everton and included a fine performance by Harry Kane and a winning goal from Soldado fizzled out with a whimper.

Midweek we managed to not be absolutely thrashed by Chelsea and we almost drew first blood with a Harry Kane header which struck the crossbar in the opening minutes. But after the first quarter of an hour we hardly troubled them.

Apparently we had 70% possession in the second half but that's the Mourinho way. 2-0 up they were never going to expose themselves and contained us and scored another when Remy put Vertonghen on his backside to score.

Against Crystal Palace at home we  looked a spent force especially the Academy three. Football these days is more a squad than a team game and Mauricio should have used his players more sparingly.

In the end we were fortunate to hold onto a point. We started so slowly that latecomers might have thought that the kick off had been delayed. At home to Palace  Hugo was MOM which tells its own story.

The first 20 minutes were straight out of the AVB's autobiography' Possession: my way'. It wasn't until the final 15 minutes that we played with any pace or energy which seems the wrong way round to me.

 Lennon should have started or been on much earlier to give us width. After all it worked against Everton.

 Let's clutch at a few straws: Take the positives as they say. Fazio and Vertonghen look like an effective pairing in the making. Davies had a decent game again but every little breeze seemed to whisper ' Lloris'.

Now most of us suspected that this season of 'Transition 5' was not going to be good. Little did we think that it might be actually bad. But unless we get some gel and pretty soon we might slip even lower. We have the worst goal difference in the top half.

6th was acceptable as Pochettino and the dozen or so previous signings adapted to the new systems. I don't know what Daniel's cut off point is but bottom half at the start of 2015 might be pushing his limits. He wouldn't would he?

There are some straws to clutch at and the Everton game gave us hope. Eriksen, Davies and Soldado are threatening to come good; Lamela still flatters to deceive but at least makes an effort and young hopeful Yedlin is due at Xmas from America.

Kyle Walker is due to return soon but there is no respite in the fixture list with Europa and Cup games offering Mauricio little space for single, let alone double, training sessions.

The Palace game leaves us feeling a little flat although they are not a poor side. In Bolasie they had as good a player as any on the pitch  and they recently beat Liverpool in style.

We were resigned to two steps forward, one step back this season but progress has been much more faltering. One step forward three steps back especially at home.

15 games in is too soon to be getting in wrist slitting or manager sacking mode but we need more consistent evidence that the team is absorbing and buying into the Head Coach's methods and approach.

I'm booking myself in on the Santa Claus Stadium tour so as to catch the ear of the venerable gentleman. There's only one thing on my list: A Soldado hat trick by Boxing Day. He might have had one against Palace.

 At least he was getting into the right places. That's it Jimmy: clutch them straws: seize them positives. Build that boat.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
In 1947 Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic, all 5000 miles of it, in a balsa wood boat. So the straws might come in handy. Though maybe not this season.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Distinguished visitor brings new hope to Spurs.

Spotted on the High Rd.. around teatime on Sunday
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The JimmyG2 Column
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Father Xmas is alive and well and was last seen kicking a ball about on White Hart Lane: reindeer, sleigh; big sacks and everything. Xmas has come early. Enjoy it while you can.

 Just when you thought you were too old for the man with whiskers who is normally dressed in red. Not this year though. Presents gift wrapped for everyone at no extra charge.

First unwrapped was a midfield of our very own Academicians  Mason and Bentaleb playing ahead of a whole host of expensive imports. The latter our personal gift from Timothy for which much thanks. Actually a leftover present from last Xmas.

Pochettino enhanced his reputation for encouraging new talent against the opinion many others both inside and outside White Hart Lane. Not only did the team selection  prove to be right but crucially the motivation and the game plan was too.

Second out of the sack was another of our very own, Harry Kane, by popular acclaim the MOM for his endeavor and inspiration. He was instrumental in both goals and ran himself into the ground pressing from the front in a manner to gladden Mauricio's heart.

He ran further than anybody else on the pitch. I love that boy and we have championed his cause for the last couple of years. This bandwagon is getting seriously overloaded now though. Lineker is yet another Johnny- Come- Lately.

Third was a winning goal set up by by a newly inspired Lennon for Senor Roberto Soldado. The relief all round the ground and on the pitch was wondrous to behold. I nearly cried. He's on top of my Xmas tree after scoring a cracker.

Soldado, Kane and Lennon in one flowing move. That's three sets of knocker,s if you'll pardon the expression, silenced at one go.Well quietened anyway for the time being.

The extended love for Soldado in the face of so much scoring failure  is a rare and beautiful thing at Tottenham. He's clearly a gifted footballer and his record at Valencia speaks for itself.

 But it has been his attitude, his dignity under trying circumstances and professionalism that has won everybody over. It is a latitude not extended to everyone at Spurs. We want goals from our strikers no matter how much link play they perform.

The fans responded to the increased pace and positivity of the team in style and can take some of the credit for yet another comeback. The levels of both play and noise were significantly raised.

I don't know what Pochettino threatened the players with, extra training on Xmas day perhaps, but even Eriksen did his defensive share, protecting Davies from the threat of Coleman. As well as orchestrating the attack and scoring the equaliser following a fine run and shot by Boy Wonder Kane.

 If Christian had been an Academy boy I might have voted him MOM but charity begins at home. Even Vertonghen seemed to be enjoying himself which is like having a gold, frankincense and myrrh stuffing for the turkey

Lennon put in his usual defensive stint and little was seen of the attacking threat of Baines. Mauricio had got all the angles covered.

The final parcel to unwrap was the football.  The best performance by Spurs home or away since the days of Harry. The fans of possession football may marvel at our success with so little of the ball (39%)

Possession for a purpose is the new catchphrase. Having the ball in the right places and doing something with it. Everton played most of their football in front of our defensive shield and Lloris was well protected.

Chiriches has at least one Walkeresque moment per game but you just hope it won't be fatal. Hugo bailed him out after an under-hit back pass. Otherwise his cavalier spirit is effective. He's a better right back than Dier.

So that's three of the last four games won from a goal down. Our sixth concession of a goal in the first 15 minutes. Can we try scoring first preferably in the first five. It must be easier lads surely.

Figgy pudding all round and don't spare the brandy butter.

Question: Your thoughts welcomed:

Fined £20,000 for failing to control our players: 3 red cards with only a third of the season gone: 5 Yellows against Everton. Is this a welcome show of spirit and aggression or an outbreak of indiscipline?

Chelsea tomorrow.
It's a pity we don't have a whole week to savour this performance but we will take on Chelsea in midweek with renewed spirit. Expectations are not high against the champions elect but I'm going for a dogged draw. Hugo MOM.

Pitch invasions:
I quote from a Mr.O.Wilde. spokesman for the UEFA Disciplinary Committee.
To allow one pitch invasion may be regarded as unfortunate;
to allow two looks like carelessness;
to allow three is rank incompetence and heads will roll.

Roberto Martinez.
An uncharacteristically churlish response from the Everton manager. He's usually quite generous. Before the game he was talking us up for Champions' League so he obviously fancied their chances.

After the game the disappointment of going a goal up early and then losing to the better team clearly threw him off balance. He had the look of a man fearing it was all slipping away from him.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Best highlights and goals I could find. No soundtrack so you can't hear the chants of 'yiddo' when Soldado scores. Kane pounces; Lennon leads the charge, and Roberto slots it home as if  he does it every week.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Kaboul captaincy in the balance?


 Thoroughly prepare wall before papering.
Use only the best materials.
(Jimmy's household hints)

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The JimmyG2 Column
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Mauricio waits two Premiership seasons for a comeback win and then, like buses, two come along together. Late winners too. The double training which has allegedly upset the senior staff would appear to be working.

We used to be last ten minute bottlers but not these days. If that ain't progress then I'm a Big-Eared Hopping Mouse but not quite as extinct. Three of our last four Premiership goals have been scored with just ten minutes to go.

The delegation led by captain Kaboul and first lieutenant Adabeyor were sent away by 'I'm in charge here Pochettino' with a flea in their ear and were banished from the pitch and the bench into the posh seats.

I can tell you're impressed with all this inside knowledge. So I give due recognition to a trusted friend whose Aunt works in the Winchmore Hill Sainsburys. Till 17 since you ask.
 
But her next door neighbour is a cleaner at the one at our new stadium site and heard it all from Mrs Pochettino as she did her weekly shop when picking up her husband after double training. Has the ring of truth, no?

I use the term 'new stadium' loosely. Why we didn't offer Archway the steel fabrication contract I will never know.

 If this insurrection gives the manager an excuse to reverse his error on the captaincy then all well and good. Lennon was part of the protest group as our most senior player after the departure of Dawson  but made the bench due to injuries elsewhere.

 He came on as sub, his proper role against tiring opposition, and put in a decent cameo performance. As did Vlad widely tipped to be going to Italy along with Paulinho. He still puts your heart in your mouth but not as frequently as he does at Centre Back.

In fact he did well and was part of our second half surge, engineered by Eriksen who scored and assisted with a delightful free kick which came back off the post to be snapped up by Harry 'always in the right place' Kane.

The width offered by Aaran and Vlad stretched the ten men of Hull and Pochettino got that one right. What the point of Paulinho was I'm not sure. Perhaps a reward for not questioning  his training programme.

My Sainsbury's contacts had nothing to say on this point. I have been banned from two Spurs sites for questioning the accuracy and motivation of alleged  ITK  but I offer these insights in good faith. Please yourselves.

All this followed a doubtful red card for Ramirez for a Beckamesquely petulant foul on Vertonghen. Technically a  correct decision but harsh on Hull. Vertonghen has form for over-reacting but cannot be held culpable here whatever Brucie says.

Livermore scored following some slack defending but my MOM was Michael 'I told you live to regret selling me' Dawson. He had a point to prove and proved it.

In fact Lamela had our only shot on target in the first 50 minute. But give the boys some credit we showed some spirit eventually and dominated possession even when Hull were pressing. Even some of the football as the game went on was pleasing.

Ben Arfa should have put the game out of sight but both Kane and Soldado missed easy chances. Well easy one would have thought for highly paid professionals. I'd miss them for half the money.

Let's not hear any more moaning about referees they need to be wined and dined not abused.The man in black is our friend. Repeat: the man in black is our friend even if he's in a tasteful shade of lilac.

We were one down after a quarter of an hour and though I offered a mild expletive not suitable for a family friendly blog I found the I didn't really care. Not because I thought we would rally and win but because it seemed par for the course lately.

Crisis? Disaster? Bring it on. Without the red card I doubt we would have won and the win papers over the cracks for a bit longer.Actually papering over the cracks is not an easy skill to master.

So we stumble on but we will hopefully find our feet soon and not fall flat on our faces. The Transfer Window looms but I would rather Mauricio slapped this lot into shape than disrupt the squad too much.

Mason played well and I like Soldado and Kane playing off each other. At centre half it's Vertonghen and A.N.Other. Dier needs to be given a go. On Sunday's performance there's not much to choose between Davis and Rose.

And so the pieces slowly, too slowly fall into place. If I were confident that Pochettino would be given time I would be less edgy about our faltering progress.

I wouldn't claim that its all coming together nicely as my builder is fond of saying but if winning when playing poorly is the mark of a top team we are world beaters.

We may be 10th but we are level with Arsenal and 2 points off fourth. If we can get it together by Xmas we have an unexpected chance of achieving something. I'm not sure what.

Jimmy's Video Spot:Kyle Walker.
I know, I know 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'. But we have missed his flair and energy. Always capable of a breakdown in football intelligence but also capable of quickening the pulsein a proper Tottenham way. I for one have missed him.  


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Don't pick up the phone Mauricio.

That's Another Fine Mess
you've gotten us into Stanley
Starring Daniel Levy as Stan Laurel.

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The JimmyG2 Column
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  The fans are stirring themselves up for action.

 Joe Lewis, ENIC, Daniel Levy, Baldini, Chirpy, tea lady, OUT. The last in the list is likely to be the only one to take the fall before Mauricio. Where will it all end?

I'm putting my money on Mauricio getting sacked before ENIC quit. It's Daniel's default setting. 'Trouble at Mill?', sack my latest appointment. That would be four managers in three years Mr.CEO. You're really spoiling us.

Well I'm paid to give you my opinion so here it is. Players, managers and owners are temporary. Fans are forever not just for Xmas. This has been an increasingly disappointing couple of years but it will end without our 'help'.

In fact our 'help' makes the situation worse. Levy will interpret the boos as backing for him to sack yet another manager. The reality is that terrible decisions have been made by Levy/Enic since the sacking of Harry.

 Some would include that too or go back to Martin Jol. Selling the best players, buying the wrong players, hiring and firing managers.

 The squad isn't exactly awful though some are playing well below expectations. It might be quicker to list the one's that aren't. But with the fans backing, even against their better judgment, the manager should be given time and the team supported.

What happens above that is well beyond our pay grade and power to influence. Relax and find things to enjoy, Kane, Mason and Hugo  and/or laugh at: Fazio's clearances, Kaboul's forward runs, Eriksen's free kicks, Danny Rose's sense of urgency, Adebayor's efforts.

They are all there for our entertainment. Some of us can remember much worse periods. 'But that passed and so will this.' (Anglo Saxon proverb)

Blogging for Spurs is essentially a labour of love. Well until recently that is when it has become more a labour of frustration, disappointment and even despair.

 The current haphazardly recruited squad is less than the sum of its parts. Clearly some of that is down to the manager. But a new manager can only play the hand he has been dealt.

 It is true that Pochettino has not played his cards well at times. Fazio ahead of Vertonghen against Stoke. Harry Kane getting his deserved Premiership start, but on his own up front?

Mauricio seems to be under the laboring under the delusion that his 5yr.contract means what it says on the tin. Another delusion is that Tottenham, fans are tolerant, supportive and patient. 10 games into the year of transition and patience is running out.

On the pitch however spirit and application are intermittent. Whatever happened to pressing. Has the new Modric, Christian Eriksen, been got at? Expect to find a cuddly new manager under the Xmas tree if things get much worse.

 Stoke are a team firmly managed that contrive to be more than the sum of its parts. Its sense of purpose and ability to do the simple things, like pass and mark enabled them to beat us with some ease although we had chances.

If Kane's diving header from a neat chip by Chadli had gone in then things might have been different. Chadli disappeared at that point for a massage and a lie down , then popped up later with a stunning consolation goal with ten minutes to go.

Naughton's red card  sealed our fate but when you've got a world class goalkeeper why pick up a red and not give him the chance to do his thing. Not the first of our back four to have the option of the shower room to themselves.

Hopes were briefly raised but it's not nearly enough. Half time changes may look decisive but it's only a reflection of poor initial selections and performances.

Musings mantra has always been 'stability'. Give the man a chance  to get in his player choices and settle the team into his ways. But it only needs Daniel to give him his full backing and then he will know his days are numbered.

Last week we advised him not to pick up the phone in case it was Levy. It could be even worse: it might be Harry with some useful advice or worse still Man.Utd. or Liverpool.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Every cloud as they say. The emergence of Kane and Mason from the Academy with Rose and Townsend is something to enjoy even if only two of them are playing well. If Pochettino stays and I believe he will at least see out the year then the future could be bright.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Turning point reached at Villa.

Half a game half a game, half  game onward.
Into the Valley of probable defeat rode the Academy lads and Erik.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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  Well there's a belated turn up. Pochinetto had never won a singe Premiership game from a losing position. Well he has now. Last week we lost a game we should have won. This week we won a game we all but lost.

Supporting Spurs is not for the faint hearted. Last week we were heading for Hell in a Handcart. Or worse plummeting like a stone towards the R Zone. I was beginning to fear for Mauricio's Lilywhite future.

Cue the arrival of the Academy hit squad and our second or is it third favourite Argentinian. If you put Mauricio above Lamela it's fourth. The Erik, Harry and Andros show arrived to back up Danny and Ryan..

What did they bring apart from the enthusiasm of youth? Energy spirit, and commitment and skill enough for the moment. Benteke boiling over was the turning point of the game.

Mason was instrumental and might have been sent off himself. But  on review it was a yellow at most. Both clubs have been charged however with failing to control their players.

The footballing gods were kind and it may be the intervention we need at this moment ten games in. Small events sometimes have big consequences. If it helps the coach and the team focus then it could be a turning point.

But you can't but admire the spirit. Lamela demanded a red card having been whacked earlier by Benteke. Not something I condone. But he's young and hasn't absorbed the message that we are the nice guys.

Too nice you might argue but I prefer it that way. The Chelsea, Man.Utd way of intimidating the officials is detrimental to the game but that's an argument for another day.

There is a line between fiery, nasty and aggressive and playing with spirit, energy and commitment. Aggressive players sometimes relinquish some of their skill or use it as a substitute. Scott Parker struck a good balance.

Soldado, Kane and Kaboul were all prominent in the melee and it was a sad sight in a way but somehow uplifting. It led to the Spurs revival in this game anyway, aided by astute and timely substitutions.

Top Premiership scorer Chadli was on hand again aided by yet another Lamela assist. Townsend and Lamela for that matter were more controlled, fewer stepovers and wild shots. Have they reached a turning point too?

Whether it was the result of coaching or divine revelation involving burning bushes I know not. The former we all hope. Is Mauricio getting through? Or was it the urgency of the situation we were in? Time will tell.

But it felt like something had changed. Mason had been outstanding from the start, Rose less so. When they were joined by another two of our own and another youngster  I wondered if Pochettino had seen the light or a light anyway.

 Harry Kane got the winner from a deflected free kick  having repeatedly told Erik that he wasn't going to give up the ball. So we won and hopefully the coach will draw some obvious conclusions from the game.

Firstly that Ade has had more than enough rope to hang himself. His miss from a delightful Soldado through ball could be another if not the final nail in his coffin.

Although the news that he hasn't traveled for the Europa game tomorrow makes it sound as if he will start on Sunday, unless he's been dropped completely which is unlikely even if justified. Oh well Kane and Soldado tomorrow will have to do for the moment.

Secondly Soldado and Ade is not a match made in heaven. Harry Kane had plenty of time to get in the zone before he was sent on. Thirdly appointing a man hovering on the edge of selection as captain is a hostage to fortune.

I was tempted to suggest that only Academy lads should start in the Premiership bolstered by young foreigners only when necessary. What they lack in expertise and experience they make up for with commitment and pride in the badge.

It would certainly be more involving and possibly more rewarding for the fans than watching expensive signings failing to deliver. It might not deliver top four but sometimes you have to step backand find another way to move forward.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
But for the hand in the face the ref could probably have virtually ignored the whole thing. Certainly not a punch. 15 seconds of hyper-activity that was the start of the Spurs comeback. Still plenty of work to be done so credit the lads.  Don't let the new found spirit get out of control. Let the football do the fighting.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Pochettino to take the fall for Levy.



 Dublin?
Well Sir, sure I wouldn't start from here in the first place.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Where do we begin after Sunday. We got beat 4-1 against the champions last week but I took more positives than negatives from the game. There were signs that Mauricio was getting through.

This week the reverse is true. We dominated the first half but didn't create much. Ade's goal barely justified his selection. That Rose, and another home grown, Mason were our best players gives some idea of the lack of quality available.

 Their equaliser within six seconds, six seconds I ask you, of the second half restart was a blow from which we didn't have the resolve to recover. A rookie playing poorly headed their winner and Vertonghen hardly made a challenge.

Pochettino wasn't even back to his seat for their first goal and Dier was somewhere else entirely. Newcastle got a roasting at half time, made substitutions and were out, warmed up and waiting. We were caught stone cold and not for the first time.

'Tardy' as my old headmaster used to say of me doesn't quite have the ring of modernity. Try these: crawling, creeping, dallying, dawdling, dilatory, dillydallying, dragging, lagging, languid, leisurely, sluggish, snail-pacedunhurried.

Well we were one up after all and Newcastle are relegation fodder so what's the hurry. We lack mental and physical pace all over the pitch, Lloris excluded and even he was on the back foot for Ameobi's goal.

This was always going to be a year of transition and I entertained no illusions other than Pochettino bedding in and shaping them up and shipping some out. But with one win in seven in the Premiership and 11th place in the league things become more urgent by the week.

The Premiership table makes grim reading even at this stage. It's not two from eight obviously but all our alleged rivals are above us including Liverpool, Everton and Man. Utd who have all supposed to have made 'disastrous' starts.

We are three above the relegation zone and five below West Ham who are in the last Champions' League spot. We are cast adrift in the dangerous bottom half shallows and my prediction of a six place finish is looking ridiculously optimistic.

We are bungee jumping but someone forget to secure the rope. Whether we blame Daniel Levy, Mauricio, Baldini, Jermaine Jenas or the tea lady is a matter of judgement and opinion. After pre-season and nine games it is hard to blame the coach though he has not helped himself at times.

Appointing Kaboul as captain was probably not wise given his injury record and tendency to errraticism. There are talks of cliques in the dressing room and favourites on the team sheet. This is mainly journo gossip. Spanish speaking players talk to each other in Spanish, shock.

But Poch needs a year or two to implement his plans and genuine efforts made to supply his wants and needs in the transfer window. No more pathetic 'third party' excuses and shortsighted penny pinching.

Adebayor with an upset stomach played ahead of Kane and Soldado both of whom impressed recently. But our problems are more deep seated and go further back than Pochettino's foibles.

Levy has form on a number of counts. Not fixing the roof when the sun was shining as the Tories were fond of saying.. The time to invest was during the Harry Redknapp Champions' league years.

The knives are not out for him yet, just being sharpened in readiness. The mutterings are getting louder, protests are mooted and even elements of the press have turned on him. The teflon coating might just be starting to flake off.

We sold the heart of the team over recent years and any of the team with heart, and failed to replace key players going back to Berbatov. Moreover if you change your manager every six minutes you are building a house without foundations.

We have an unbalanced squad, light on strikers and overloaded with moderate midfielders. We splashed the Bale cash but not prudently.

That Harry Kane has emerged as a serious contender for a starting place and Ryan Mason has joined Bentaleb, injured at the moment, as a regular in midfield is a tribute to our own grown production line and fills me with pride and, fatally, hope.

Rose already first choice has seen off Davies.  Paulinho has slipped quietly beneath the waves. Fazio and Chiriches, have been observed drowning not waving. Capoue after Sunday looks to be floating towards them with a faulty life-belt. 

It calls into doubt the quality of those purchased in the post Bale spending spree and the judgement of those making the calls. Compound that with our third manager in a year and you have the makings of a disaster.

Early days perhaps but even in a season of transition you need to see some firmly based progress. As the country gentleman said; Top four? Well I wouldn't start from here in the first place.We have been treading water whilst others have progressed.

It wouldn't be a problem if Levy didn't have such an itchy trigger finger. Bottom half at Easter and Mauricio will be leaving instructions to his household:  'Don't answer the phone it might be for me'.

Lose tomorrow and,or Sunday and the fans will be out in the kitchen rattling those pots and pans especially the ones with non stick coatings.

However I am confident we will win both. Crisis averted for another week. Don't answer the phone Mauricio if we happen to lose both.

Jimmy's Video Spot. Best viewed on mute;
Well life at Spurs is not all gloom and doom. In the Europa we put five past Asteras in the Harry and Erik show. Lloris was sent off and Harry went in goal. The rest is history as is Harry's goalkeeping career. Laugh before you cry.


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Sharkface … Lamela’s Tango … Wenger’s Unfortunate Condition.

Sorry Harry, 
hatricks in Europe just don't make the headlines these days.
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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Trafalgar Week Saturday 25 October.
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Sharkface … Lamela’s Tango … Wenger’s Unfortunate Condition.
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Pablo Picasso ( would have been 153 years old  today ) never played football but he would have appreciated the outrageous artistry of a certain Argentinian maestro at White Hart Lane on Thursday night.
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Genius comes in many forms and Pablo certainly exhibited that in a prolific output over his 91 years. Still but a tender 22 years Eric Lamela is by no means prolific yet. However courtesy of the Internet his rabonesque strike on Thursday means he is fast closing on Pablo regards the planet Earth  recognition stakes.
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Eric was obviously brought up on the tango of which a recognized dance step is the rabona. Courtesy of the Net we see him scoring against River Plate as a teenager. Voila he treats the world to that tangoesque strike again last Thursday.
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Maybe his instinctive decision to tango rather than use his non preferred right foot had something to do with his relaxed and confident state of mind. After all besides his Argentinian manager there were a total of seven Argentinians in the Asteras Tripolis outfit.
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From his very first You Tube dance video we have taken to the lad. In part the leaving of Berbatov,  Modric and then our beloved Bale meant  who was going to provide that certain magic worth the admission price alone.
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Lamela has yet to consistently blossom , a first season to forget, but the dance band is gathering momentum. He certainly provided one of those special and memorable moments.
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“ I was at the Lane when Eric Lamela scored a Rabona.” 
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Mind it seems that one of the game’s most respected managers had not heard about it.
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The Selective and Blinkered Vision that is Arsene Wenger. 
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 At his Friday press conference Arsene was asked for his comment on the goal that anyone that had a computer, mobile phone, radio, television, could not but have come across.
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'No. Sorry' said Arsene he had been watching another game at the time . So what. Surely a man professing to be up with most things football might just have seen a news snatch on multi media. Unless you resided in a cave deep in the Amazonian jungle then there was no missing it.
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Seems the antipathy that our French rival holds towards most things Spurs is still very much alive and dancing.
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Sharkface.
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Football fans can be mischievous when allocating nicknames towards rival teams managers.
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I am sure the good natured  naming of Brendan Rogers by Spurs fans is perhaps of mixed origin. Those recent comprehensive defeats have not endeared Brendan to North London
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Mind his protestation that Liverpool will not do a “Spurs” after selling Luis Suarez are looking increasingly wobbly. Surely you sell a Bale and a Suarez then replacement and back to where you were does not occur overnight.
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 Brendan has steadfastly refused to acknowledge the degree of difficulty. “ We’ll not do a Spurs.”
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Seems a certain Italian Mario is exacerbating the apparently well laid Rogers plans. Certainly losing no sleep over  the potential sharks circling if Brendan stuffs up …
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At A Kent Pub.
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Surely no Europa hangover against Newcastle on Sunday. Given his substitution against the Greeks then Lamela to start. Harry Kane probably not. Still whilst our Pub are not yet convinced he is certainly improving.
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 Hard taskmasters here at the home of fine English ale.  He has certainly pulled a long way ahead of another touted forward. Mrs Townsend must have the maternal stoicism of Job. Andros may yet make it but not sure it will be in football.
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Don’t much mind Newcastle save and except for a certain arrogant Dutchman. Tim Krul’s antics at the World Cup coming on top of his amazing display against us last season cement his place in our Pub’s Hall of Dislike.
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Still expect our men to prevail.
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Cheers … perhaps no rabona .. but a tap in from Eric would suffice … Greg  Meyer.    coys.
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 Jimmy's Video Spot.
What else? Adebayor grafts away and causes a defender to set up Erik for the coup de grace rabona style. That's final blow not cut the grass. Mauricio pretends he's not impressed and intends to fine him at this point, but lets him off with a warning as his second goal wasn't bad.

 Welcome home EL. Kisses the badge too. Odds on to be at Real next season.


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Spurs closing the gap on City.

And quite hilly too.
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The JimmyG2 column.
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 Well hello! It seems a long time since my last Confession. Actually it's only 10 days since I last Mused.  There's not a lot of difference between the two at times with Spurs.

I've lost concentration. I'm suffering from football deprivation. I don't count the European qualifiers

All that was put right at lunchtime on Saturday when there was more football than we could cope with including a masterclass from Aguerro. Spurs were definitely the underdogs which is how I prefer it. Less chance of a losing when we we were expected to win.

We've lost our last several against Moneychester City and my hopes were flying so low that they were not only below the radar they were being used for sewer maintenance and exploring several caves discovered below the site of the new Stadium.

It only needs the sighting of a rare orchid or a  bat colony and we could be spending the next decade at MK Dons not just a season. That's just the latest rumour of course which as you know we never comment upon.

What else can I tell you?  Costly research has revealed that football is getting too expensive, but you worked that out for yourselves for nothing.The common man is heading back to the common, or Hackney marshes as they are known locally.

The 38th game nonsense is back on but remember season ticket holders you will be eligible to attend the match in Qatar, Jakarta or wherever. Daniel however will not be funding your travel expenses.

 Not quite like laying on a coach and a couple of crates of brown ale for away games is it?

Game set and match to the prawn sandwich brigade, now known as the Caviar and Champagne Society. It makes sense in Corporate terms. By 2020 all the games could be played abroad which in Corporate terms would make even more sense.

However I digress. It wasn't quite Slaughter House 5: The Sequel against City but we were still well beaten. We gave them a scare at times and there are more positives then negatives from the game apart from the points.

The main ones are the indications that the squad are increasingly buying in to Mauricio's message. Mason demonstrated the effectiveness of the hard presss and set up the opening for the first goal.

 Last time we had over 60% possession and conceded five goals. Logically in some tactical universe it made sense to let them have more of the ball.

If we had only excluded Aguerro from this generosity it might have been closer. You will have observed that the last three beatings are in a descending sequence 6,5,4 so the season after next we should at least get a draw.

 If only the ref... but let's not go down that road. The sending off was wrong and should be successfully appealed. But the foul on Soldado was outside the box.

Lampard was offside and interfering with play by obscuring Lloris's view for the first. He was also throwing himself to the floor before Lamela even arrived for the second goal. But down that particular long long trail trail a winding mental instability lies.

 Soldado had a good game generally, assisting the Eriksen equaliser and setting up Mason but the penalty miss will stick in the memory longer. Actually it was a very good save rather than a miss.

Mason impressed once again with his attacking instincts; Eriksen was stung into a lively performance by the criticism of his national coach; Lloris oozed class but only just pipped Hart for the GOTM award.(Goalkeeper Of The Match award).

I'm not sure that playing a high line against the Champions on their own ground was a wise strategy but on the whole I like his style.Very Spurs. The more circumspect approach which got a draw against Arsenal might have been better in some ways.

Perhaps City had another gear but we will never know as they didn't need it this time. Fazio was an odd choice for such a pressure match but presumably Verts was not ready. He hooked Capoue and Lamela who were struggling so at least we know he watches the games.

We're still all on a learning curve with Mauricio and I am happy to extend him the time and space to develop his ideas with the squad we have now and the incomers of his choice in January. Perhaps even DL is getting bored with sacking managers.

 Whether he will persevere with Bobby Soldier next week remains to be seen. But at least the fella runs about a bit. Expect to see Harry Kane and Ade on Thursday against a weakish Greek side in the Wafer.
(Asteris Tripoli).

I say 'weakish' but beware. They are unbeaten and head the group and have been very successful on their own terms. They have a strong home record but fortunately they are playing the first leg at White Hart Lane.

So the answer to the question which you didn't ask ask 'Are we nearly there yet? Is 'No, but we are heading in the right direction' Please Mr. Levy give the man time to impose his vision on the squad.

 Jimmy's Video Spot:
John McCormack ' There's a long long road awinding'  or the Beatles 'Long and winding road'
Now just let me think a moment. Done.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Big Yellow Taxi warning for Spurs.


Big Yellow Taxi
Read on: all will be revealed.
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The JimmyG2 Column
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 I missed the actual live excitement of the game but caught up with it on a download yesterday. And actually 'live excitement' is not a totally gross exaggeration. The traditionally close scoreline always has the potential for  an outbreak of nailbiting.

This was the sixth consecutive single goal victory in the Premiership between us and Southampton. Apart from a glaring miss by Mete late on Lloris was relatively unbothered. This was a much needed win for the team and the coach and moved us up from 12th to 6th.

Actually only goal difference and alphabetics keeps us from 4th. But 6th is about right and where I predict us to be at the end of the season. With only 7 games played it is too early to draw any precise conclusions.

Chelsea have made the early running and will probably win the Premiership by 5 or more points but only 3 points separate 4th (Man Utd) from 16th (Stoke). It's all still to play for as they say.

What of the Pochinetto Project; the Mauricio Masterplan; the Argentinian Assignment? Well it was launched in some style into the choppy waters of the Premiership with yet another new man on the bridge against QPR but has been stuck in the doldrums from time to time.

It's still rolling on although it gets stuck in the mud at times. Up to it's axles against W.Brom. Just to show that Musings can mix its metaphors with the best of them, But there looked to be bursts of progress against Southampton.

Even Adebayor sprinted about for the first ten minutes of each half and came alive for his part in the Erickson goal. But you get the impression that he's not  fully signed up. You get the same money whatever effort you put in.

 Lamela who is the only one who really understands the Argentinian for 'press you bastards' was prominent. With both sides initially closing down quickly the centre of the park was very congested but we had the better of it in the end.

Erickson whose goal was crucial  would like to take more part but doesn't really have the energy. But with a more settled back line  even Vertonghen looked happier. Marginally. Injury to Naughton bought on Dier and there was minimal disruption.

Danny Rose had recovered from his injury and played well. Strange that there were concerns over the fitness of the two most abused players in the team. You don't know what you've got till it's gone as Joni used to sing. Naughton could be out for six weeks.

 Some said that Kaboul was edgy but I didn't see that myself. I thought he looked strong and decisive. If he was yellow carded for his nothing foul on Mete then as the last man he should have been sent off but he was not forced to walk the plank.

Lets face it though against Southampton and Besitkas we prospered because their strikers were slightly worse than ours. Chadli our top scorer made a clever layoff for the assist. Another of the 'You don't know what you've got' fraternity.

Capoue emerged as a key player, Lloris was relatively unbothered. None of their players were significantly better than ours so if we've got any pieces of eight going spare I would blow it all on a figurehead for the front end of the ship.

Vertonghen was quietly effective which is how I like my centre halves; Mason didn't look out of place in the starting lineup and as at Arsenal we seemed to be taking a more strategic approach. The passing was quicker and we got forward  with some degree of urgency.

We are getting less possession but more points. And what do points mean? There are no awards for keeping the ball to ourselves other than that the opposition can't score if we've got the ball. A very unSpurs like philosophy to my mind.

So a re-evaluation is going on of our assets and Rose has not yet been displaced by Davies. Let Mauricio have a good look before the next window. Remember that Cinderella was found skulking in the scullery.

We paved Paradise and put up a Parking Lot. There might be a warning there for those eagerly awaiting the next transfer window. Let's clean up this lot first; there might be some stained glass hidden under the dust.

By all means sell Ade, Townsend, Lennon, Chiriches, Soldado, Paulinho, Chadli if you can replace them with something better but make sure you've examined the horse's teeth and got a second opinion.

Always look a gift horse in the mouth. It's got to be fed after all.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Had to be really. The wonderful Joni Mitchell In Concert in 1970. Prawn sandwich audience didn't recognize the intro. Shame about the frock Joni but the song is on a piece of vinyl that I still play. You're welcome.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

What's Lamela ever done for us?.








Mauricio's Secret Weapon: A pressing Machine!










This could be the start of something good. Let's hear it for the boys. Experienced internationals have given way to the younger generation in our search for effort and heart.

Against Forest and Arsenal we had a sprinkling of home grown and younger players on the pitch at various times providing a balance of the enthusiasm of youth and the experience of, well experience.
It worked for Pochettino at Southampton and it might just work at Spurs.

Ryan Mason got his chance in the Premiership after his enterprising appearance against Forest against the advice of many including me. But Mauricio was right and the boy played well again.

He turned in some impressive stats particularly on forward passes:


..................................Touches......Accurate Passes......Fwd Passes

Danny Rose ......................54...............19........................8
Ryan Mason......................51................25......................18
Etienne Capoue ................50................27......................12



















He was also right about Kaboul who was named captain against the advice of many including me. But he played the game of his life against Arsenal and was MOM by several football pitches.

This clearly upset Adebayor who in protest against not being given the top job has declared a go slow. However newly appointed Vertonghen although not signing a new five year contract to replace his old four year one turned in his best performance for some time.

So hats off to Mr. Pochettino who appears to know his squad better than the average fan. He changed his match attire and his tactics to suit the occasion. Out went pressing, except for the suit, and in came solid defence and rapid counter attack.

And it nearly worked with Chadli's goal giving us the lead for nearly 20 minutes after some sound defending by the back five. Lamela provided the assist once again. It was his sixth of the season and no-one else is even close.

So the answer to the question 'What has Lamela ever done for us ?' is 'Provided the assists for over a third of our goals. He can be irritating but he has a talent we are clearly short of; the ability to spot a run and deliver a pass.

We defended 15 Arsenal corners successfully and got a point with 31% possession. Against W. Brom we had over 60% possession and got nothing for it. Slippery things statistics and I only use them when they prove my point.

My point here and Mauricio seems to agree is that there is more than one way to skin a cat and I hope we see more of this Mourinho like flexibility of approach. (No cats were harmed in the writing of this blog by the way)

So is this the week that things turned the corner for Spurs? After all a week is just as long in football as it is in politics.Turning corners is a cliche for writing about Spurs. It seems more of a labyrinth at times. We turn so many corners we sometimes bump into ourselves coming back.

But something has changed. Reports are that Mauricio let rip at the post West. Brom team meeting. The message seemed to be 'Shape up or ship out. My way or no way.' The inclusion of Mason seemed designed to reinforce this message.

For most of the Forest game it appeared that we had not taken Mauricio's words on board. But it came good in the end with the arrival of Mason and Kane. Mason scored a cracker and Soldado diverted a wayward shot from Townsend (What other sort are there?)

Kane finished coolly from a through ball by Lamela. A very similar goal to the one against Arsenal where top scorer Chadli was set up by top assister Erik the Argentinian. Youth to the left of us: youth to the right of us. Well Nacer is only 25.

We have tough tie on Thursday in the Europa against Besitkas but home advantage and new found confidence and momentum should see us take the points. Expect several changes ahead of the game against high flying Southampton.

They are due altitude nose bleeds any time now but the desire to beat their old manager and his equal desire to build on the events of this week should produce a game high in intensity, tactical craftiness and several goals. Hopefully Spurs to win by the odd goal in 5.

Obviously we need a balance of youth and age. We used to have the Bale/Modric axis but as usual we couldn't hold on to them. However the future is bright and we need to build a new axis of the Lamela, Kane, Mason/ Vertonghen, Lloris type.

We have sold the heart and heartbeat of the team in recent seasons but after transplant and cloning advances in medical science it is not impossible to rebuild or grow it again.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
I'm hoping that this marks some sort of milestone this season. Ryan Mason's equalizer; a poacher's delight from Soldado; Lamela sets up Harry Kane  and grazes the post; Mauricio comes from behind to win; his substitutions are timely and effective.


















Monday, 22 September 2014

Tin Man Tottenham: if he only had a heart.

If I only had a heart and now I've run out of steam.

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The JimmyG2 Column.
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The Wizard of Oz Edition.

 So how was it for you? Make that, just how bad was it for you?
Worst you've ever seen Spurs play? Ever?
Worst you've seen Spurs play at White Hart Lane only?
Worst you've ever seen since the Premiership began?
Worst since ENIC took over?
Worst this calendar year?
Worst since Mauricio took over?
Or perhaps you disagree and feel we were unlucky with the ref, the pitch, the crowd, the weather and the opposition.

Plenty of support for the first two, very little for the last.
Shock horror Spurs fans stand united at last.

From back to front, Lloris of course excluded, and from start to finish, team selection, substitutions,
individual performances, effort, add your own criterion, this was a mess. I was going to put a dog's dinner but my dog wouldn't even sniff at it.

Our new captain burdened by the cares of office looked decidedly edgy but then who wouldn't playing alongside Chiriches who had his ineptly exciting side on full display. Our new vice captain went AWOL from the start.

The other one having fallen out with Pochettino was confined to barracks. Allegedly. Whatever could go wrong for Mauricio has gone wrong and in some style. But he has only himself to blame with his team and captaincy decisions.

His half time talk, rant, plea whatever, inspired the team to plumb new depths of apathy and substitutions were too little, too late again.

 Adebayor and Chiriches should have been off at half time if not sooner. Chiriches and Kaboul should never have been paired.

As for the rest Danny Rose was MOM again which tells a lot of the story. Capoue made some impact in the first half and Lamela tried but showed no vision. Eriksen gave a master class in how not to take free kicks and corners. 

Dier for Chiriches and the much maligned Kyle Naughton in his place would have been sensible. OK Mauricio you've made your point to the management we have an unbalanced squad but don't push your luck..

When the bottom of the league team' supporters are chanting 'Can we play you every week?' you begin to hope you've reached rock bottom and that the only way is up. But Forest in the Capital 1 Cup on Wednesday might test that theory, possibly to destruction.

The next few fixtures might prove terminal for Pochettino's prospects Oh yes they might. Four managers in a year makes you suspect that something is up. The spectre of Santini and Ramos rears up.

So here's another little quiz to take your mind off the impending visit to Arsenal which could be dramatic but not in a nice way. 

How long has Mauricio got?
  1. Gone by Xmas
  2. Gone before the next transfer window.
  3. Gone by Jimmy Greaves and my birthday. (20th Feb. since you ask)
  4. Will see out the season.
  5. 18 months, same as the average for all last dozen or so managers
  6. Will see out his contract.
Good odds available on 6) I'll warrant. Might have a sneaky sixpence on 4) but things had better look up soon.

Even Cane Hoy who probably don't care much about the football anyway, they're another Investment Company for Christ's sake, watched this one from behind the sofa which is where I'll be Saturday tea-time.

Normally I would opt for the take a draw now option ahead of a visit to The Emirates but to be honest at the moment I would take loss and a show of spirit.

Mr. Pochettino has a plan and a system, a vision even but not the players to implement it. At this stage of the season best to stop ramming square pegs into round holes. Just let them go on and run about a bit.

Which would be a lot more than they did on Sunday. I don't suppose Mauricio is short of good advice. Apart from The Musings that is. Harry will pop up soon and opine,' With that squad he should win the league. Timothy is sniggering in the shadows.

Of course there will be some in the, bad day at the office; early days; Coach exploring his squad; W.Brom not as bad as they are painted party. I've been there myself often. Too often. But Sunday really stole the Garibaldi.

Those that don't learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. Mauricio has dug himself into a hole with this squad and you know the advice: Stop digging.

Back to basics. Courage and heart and effort. Pick those that give a damn. Is it too late to get Dawson, Holtby and Sandro back? Bentaleb and Kane are in the same boat. What they lack in talent they more than make up for with attitude.

Jimmy's Video  clip: Somewhere over the rainbow.

Made for Spurs: blue birds flying; dare to dream; dreams coming true; clouds far behind; troubles melting away. Somewhere over the rainbow, well it certainly wasn't at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high.
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true
Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top that's where you'll find me
Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can't I?


Been dreaming too long mate. Reality eventually dawns. Well this week anyway

 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Elephant in the Room at Spurs.

Sorry Jumbo you're standing in the way of progress.

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The JimmyG2 Column
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I've still got the old Jumbo my dad made out of an army blanket wrapped in what's left of a piece of flannel that I used to chew on. He was a tailor and had a tidy barrack sideline in soft toys, mainly elephants and rhinoceros because of the colour.

I say 'used to' because I don't need my childhood comfort blanket now: I support Spurs instead comfortingly the same under whichever new manager Levy appoints. Dominating but failing to win is now a basic component of our DNA .

Same old, same old or as the French more elegantly put it plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (“the more it changes, the more it's the same thing”).

Worried? Headaches? Support Tottenham and everything falls into perspective. A reassuring glimpse of the old blue and white stadium, 115 yrs old and still going strong is like meeting an old mate that owes you a drink.

The news that he has died leaves a big hole in your life and no recent Johny Come Lately's will ever fill the gap. He may be richer and always stand his round but some things and their memories are irreplaceable.

News that the new stadium will be delayed perhaps until 2020 or whenever is no surprise. We've waited for getting on for a decade for the shiny state of the art thingy that is planned to overshadow Sainsbury's.

We will appreciate it all the more for having to wait as I used to be told. Instant gratification is bad for the soul. We want a new stadium. When do we want it? Yesterday. Why do we want it? Well anyone who's anyone has got one.

The thinking is that with vastly increased match day turnover; a naming rights deal; an upgrade on the investment company that  runs us enables us punch our weight but at a higher level.

You are what you spend these days. We are the sixth biggest club in terms of spending and we finished sixth last season, are sixth as I speak and are most likely to finish sixth again this season. In the meantime the football outcomes remain the same.

Of course it's early days in the Pochettino revolution, the football against Sunderland showed quite long periods of some style. We were ahead twice and came out of the blocks in both halves with intent and pace.

Lamela and Dembele battered the woodwork; Eriksen was at the centre of things again; Lamela clearly understood the Argentinian for 'press' even if a few others didn't. But we only took a single point when we should have taken all three.

A deflected Johnson shot wiped out Chadli's opener and it was all square within five minutes. A late OG from a needless free kick took care of Eriksen's early second half goal. Late goals, conceding from set pieces, haven't they both been abolished under the new regime.

Mauricio bewailed our lack of killer instinct and any day now the phrase 'mental strength' will rear it's ugly head. However mental strength does not determine which side of the post the ball goes.

The referee allowed Clattermole and his mates to hack and chop until the 80th minute by which time it was a tad late and the damage had been done. Then he booked five of theirs and one of ours, Dier, rightly peeved at not getting a penalty.

Clattermole was expecting an England call up apparently. Presumably for the British Army Ground Clearing and Tree Felling Division and not the England football team. Lamela was particularly favoured by his attentions.

But let's not blame the ref. We had the chances and fluffed them. Adebayor could have had a couple, even so he was involved in both goals They offered little and without our help would have scored none and got nothing.

But 'twas ever thus, well at least for the past decade or so. We no longer have the R word in the back of our minds; the squad is certainly improving and most live in hope of new owners and a new stadium.

But as I tuck up in bed with Jumbo tonight I wonder if things have changed all that much. It's true that Levy hasn't bankrupted us but you can't help feeling that the Archway Engineering blockage should have been cleared by now.

If we had given them what they were asking when the gap was rumored to be £2million  we could be moving into a new Stadium 2 or 3 years ahead of even the most positive estimates. How much would that have been worth?

So plenty of positives in the long and short term but an uneasy feeling that we've seen this movie before. We know how it ends. As the picture fades and the lights come up the hero didn't get the girl
but his faithful old horse is still with him.

Actually his faithful old elephant in this case. I bow to the inevitable but I don't have to like it. Ambition gave up on me years ago.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
For those with kids or grandchildren over ten here's what replaces Bob the Builder . A Minecraft reconstruction of the iconic White Hart Lane. One to cut out and keep. Though I suspect there's no rush.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Delivery for Mr. Pochinetto.


Delivery for Mr. Pochinetto
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well it was never going to last was  it? As soon as we faced a half decent side it all went wobbly and Liverpool are more than half decent. Mauricio Pochinetto welcome to White Hart Lane.
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 His face in the second half revealed that he now realises exactly what he's taken on. I hope his  wife hid the cat. Did anyone play well today against a slicker faster Liverpool side?

 Eriksen is still stuck in an airport lounge somewhere after his holidays and his set piece kicking is straight out of the Hugo Lloris 'Distribution for Boys' manual.

One or two tried but to little effect. Adebayor and Lamela in particular but they repeatedly  failed to release the ball quickly enough. Chadli and Ade had gilt edged chances at crucial moments. The price of gilts has obviously fallen.

Liverpool roared from the blocks at the start of both halves and the game was virtually over within 50 minutes. Or we played as if it was. There were some serious errors of judgement particularly from Kaboul.

Even Lloris was affected. Moreno dispossessed Townsend on the half way line when Andros took his first touch, then outpaced him over 50 yds and bore down on Hugo who stood Freidalised in the six yard area.

 He left him just enough room to squeeze a shot home for their third. Lloris wrongly supposed that one of defenders, say for example Kaboul, would head him off. There was no sign of Dier at this point or any other of the senior staff either.

Dier is young but should know better than to make such a soft a penalty decision easy for the ref for the second. Capoue was an onlooker for the first goal.  We had plenty of defenders on duty but no sense of urgency or positioning.

A catalogue of errors as they say and each one punished by a lively Liverpool side that look as if they will be challenging once again for the Top four even without the dentist's best friend.

 Capoue, last weeks best thing since sliced bread has quickly gone stale if not mouldy. Chadli can be found  in the same supermarket aisle. Look for the 'Marked down; approaching sell by date' basket. Townsend  could well be in there if you look carefully.

Of course I'm going over the top. Just like last week but in the opposite direction, but you wouldn't want it any other way I'm sure. 'Out of over-reaction cometh forth truth' as it says in the Musing's Dictionary of Quotations..

It's a pity we have to play any actual games at all in many ways. 'Reality is too much for mankind to bear' as some old dusty sage once remarked. He's not wrong as far as Spurs are concerned. Is that the sound of bubbles bursting.

He also remarked that the World ends not with a bang but with a whimper. A pretty apt description of our seasons over most of the past decades. Facing reality is not a sign of depression however. I hope so for Mauricio's sake.

There is work to be done here, though rather more then some might have thought. Not a time then for curling up in a ball by the corner flag. Or even curling up in the corner flag with a ball. Or even.....

There we were after an unbeaten pre-season, progress in the Europa on Thursday, and two Premiership wins busily building trophies in the air. But they were all against inferior opponents which gave us no guide to the travails on Sunday.

Flat track bullies indeed. But we all know that this is inevitably another Year of Transition. I've said sixth all along and I stick by it. Two steps forward, two steps back at best. The best you can say is that the result was not as bad as it might have been and has been lately.

So I'm not downhearted yet. Being slapped in the face by the wet haddock that was Liverpool is just as likely to wake us up as knock us down. Individual errors apart for which no manager can be held responsible the team looked out of sorts.

The pressing was half- hearted in the main and the lack of incisive passing was striking. This was not a team with belief etched on their foreheads. Two more winnable games before Arsenal against whom I would take a draw now if offered.

The transfer window usually brings out the worst in the fans and Daniel Levy but he'll be happy, we made £6million on the window + the Defoe money, £13 million since January. Count them beans Daniel.

 Here's the ACDC (Actual Completed Deals Confirmed.)

In

Ben Davies
Michel Vorm
Eric Dier
DeAndre Yedlin
Federico Fazio
Benjamin Stambouli

Out

Gylfi Sigurdsson
Jake Livermore
Iago Falque
Michael Dawson
Zeki Fryers
Sandro

Good window/bad window? Are they better than those they replace? Do they fit the system better? The manager didn't get any of his priorities so Time, the Great Healer, will tell. It might all look better in a month's time or worse of course.

If he's happy then I'm happy. Probably not over the moon at the moment: quad trimmed; some rough diamonds to polish; key players retained. But we have stood still whilst rivals have moved forward.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Here's one we signed earlier and probably the pick. If he settles. Federico Fazio. 27  years old, 6'5'' and Argentinian, obviously. £8-10 million. (That works out at about  £ 1.5 million pounds per foot, or £125,000 an inch) So a bargain in today's terms if he's as good as they say.

The video clearly demonstrates  that he can smile, wink, sit, stand walk and sign his name. More than enough to be going on with . Well you didn't want to see the video of the Liverpool goals did you?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Pochettino to shuffle the pack again.


The end of a perfect day.
Or just another false dawn.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Don' be silly, of course I'm going to get carried away. Best performance in every way since we beat Newcastle 5-0 under Harry over two years ago. We're on our third manager since then but this was a welcome glimpse of the proper Spurs.

Of course we're not even nearly there yet and we've had more false dawns at Spurs than breathtaking sunsets but two  Premiership wins albeit against mediocre opposition and top of the League unusually for us on goal difference will do for now.

 The next game against Liverpool will tell us a lot more but they looked vulnerable against Man. City last night. We've picked some of the low hanging fruit so now for the higher reaches of the Premiership tree.


While we're on a fruity theme, in the 30' a popular song of the day was 'Life is just a bowl of cherries'. It was of a rather philosophical bent about living in the day and enjoying the moment and I recommend it to all Spurs fans for the next few days.

We certainly served up a varied fruit salad against QPR, and the scoreline was the cream on top. A scrappy last minute win against W.Ham did little to prepare us for the riches displayed on Sunday.

We were fighting the twin hoodoos of a Sunday lunchtime fixture after the Europa win on Thursday night and the threat of the return of the mighty Harry.

Skilful rotation of his forces by Mauricio, who I could easily get to like, and a purposeful game plan put paid and in some style to a tired looking Redknapp and a tired looking QPR.

 All dead men walking by the looks of things though there are rumours that Harry will be offered a new contract. Or Tony F. has taken out a contract. I'm not sure which.

Harry's life seem to be flashing before him as he sat slumped in has seat even as his team were conceding more space, more possession and more. goals. Meanwhile Pochinetto was a hive of activity on the touchline to make sure there was no let up.

Harry is 4/1 to be the next manager sacked whilst Sam Allardyce is favourite at 2/1. Surely just a coincidence that they both had the misfortune to come up against a revitalised Spurs. Brenden Rogers be afraid, be very afraid. 4/1 hmmm.

Did our new man discover the secret of a successful fruit Sundae? Well it seems to be at least four parts hard work and endeavour to four parts talent and a couple of the essential dashes of good fortune here and there.

Against W.Ham we waited over an hour and a half for a goal to come but on Sunday four came along together. All the players against QPR bar Dier were available last season so it might just be a case of last years signings coming good under a more purposeful game plan and a fitter squad.

 Have we nearly gelled yet? You can change the proportions to suit yourselves but pressing from he front is important if not always fully delivered  and an expectation that even the flair players will contribute to all aspects of the game.

 Even Eriksen was not found wanting and Lamela has already shown that he is up for a fight. With Capoue adding strength as well as good distribution to the midfield alongside the 19 yr. old Bentaleb, one of Timothy's better ideas, we dominated from the start.

 Just 12 minutes for the first of Chadli's well taken pair. A goal in the first 20 minutes for a welcome change. Chadli's pass down the line for Rose whose early ball flummoxed a bewildered looking Ferdinand for the 4th. was another from the bowl of exotic fruits.

Another old stager, something of a Harry specialty, Dunne didn't even make it out after halftime and both might be regretting listening to Harry's beguiling words, though Tony Fernades lavish hospitality might have played a part.

Fitness and effort played a part against Limassol and W.Ham again down to Pochinetto's  insistence on the work ethic side of the game, double training sessions and all. Late lapses of concentration may have been dumped in the dustbin of Spurs recent history

Kaboul, not quite his old self, was caught out by a speculative straight long ball but Phillips fluffed the chance. Otherwise with Vertonghen growing more confident by the minute and both full backs playing very well Lloris completed the weekend crossword in L'Equipe well before half time.

Several players had a claim for MOM: Lamela certainly caught the eye and his run and cross for Chadli's second was a peach, or whatever your favourite fruit might be. His fierce dipping corner was headed in at the near post by Dier.

Rose has a claim for his best performance in a Spur's shirt and Capoue as well as Lamela, Eriksen and Chadli  all made telling contributions.

 Lamela will be the popular choice partly due to the relief that many fans will feel that our record signing might be worth the money.

A hatrick from Soldado on Thursday would complete the rehabilitation of all but  Chiriches and Paulinho though both have shown glimpses of their real ability at times.

Of course the strands of hope and achievement might unravel against Liverpool but for the moment the momentum and confidence of three straight wins and a fourth on the cards against Limassol and playing at home might just do the trick.

We are moving the ball from the back more quickly and from the midfield more precisely. There is a positive feel to the attitude and the play. The third goal came at the end of a two minute, 48 pass move and  every player was involved.

Under AVB a 48 pass move was always a possibility, possession being the name of the game, but it might not have taken us far over the half way line and would have taken most of the match to complete.

I know, it was only two teams that might be fighting relegation and there are tougher tests to come. But we are nicely set up to beat Limassol and we might just sweep Liverpool away. They certainly looked vulnerable against Man City.

Well as Doris Day amongst others used to sing: ' We're not here to stay; we're on a short holiday
Life is just a bowl of cherries Don't take it serious, it's too mysterious'.

We may be top today but it's probably only temporary; enjoy it while you can.

Jimmy's predictions.
Liverpool (Ever cautious as befits the President of the Take a Draw Society) 2-2.
Limassol. Clear win with the team comprising anyone not needed for Liverpool and Lloris. 2-0

Those we have loved.
Michael Dawson to Hull for a ridiculously cheap £3 million (allegedly). I thought he left weeks ago.

Those we haven't quite got to love enough yet.
Andros Townsend in part exchange for Sneiderlin. Not really a goer 3/10 chance.

Those we might get to love.
Defender Federico Fazio from Sevilla for £10 million give or take. Done according to 'insiders'.

Jimmy's Video Spot. (Spurs 48 pass move video has been blocked by the F.A.  (Meanies.)
So Daniel Levy gets down and with the lads for the ice bucket challenge. Nominated by AVB. No hard feelings there then! Nominating Perez has probably scuttled our chances of Christiano coming or the return of Modric and Bale.