The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Lamela's Replacement

 If you've got it flaunt it.

The Greg Meyer Column.
Friday 28 March ... Parky and Lady Ga Ga Share a Birthday.
 Lamela's Replacement.
   " And if you no longer go for a gap that exists,you are no longer a racing driver, because we are competing, we are competing to win."
  1990 Australian Grand Prix.
 Ayrton Senna had it. Incidentally Ayrton has a circuitous Spurs connection. His football love was S. C. Corinthians, the club where Paulinho was signed from.
 Liverpool collectively have it.
 Aaron Lennon used to have lots of it. Still has it in bursts perhaps but signs of it fading are becoming increasingly obvious. Sad really.
 Erik Lamela has it. I mean we've seen it on You Tube and less so live at The Lane. More on that replacement issue shortly.
 Aaron Lennon has been known for his electrifying pace. Pace that has meant he has been a productive and long standing Spurs starter. Not a prolific goal scorer and blighted by injury fairly regularly. To most Spurs fans fond memories. Arsenal anyone.That famous4-4 draw away for instance.
 So it was with increasing sadness that our pub watched on last Sunday against Southampton. Where were the bursts of speed taking him outside the opponent ahead. Replaced by the dreaded inverted runs. Okay nothing always wrong with inversion.
 However on most if not all of those incursions forward Aaron kept running down blind alleys. The end product that Aaron has been criticised for has become more glaringly lacking. Good enough to start for a top five club. Our pub sadly think not. Destination Stoke or likewise, Hull say, perhaps.
 Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling all have it. Glen Johnson is no slouch either. So what of Spurs chances on Sunday and what of that replacement.
 The Beating of Liverpool.
 I dunno what the discussion has been at your pub but there are some very definite views here in Kent.
 Ban that AVB high line. Remember the carnage at the Lane. Dawson and Vertoghen were shredded. Perhaps the pace of Kaboul, a more focused Belgian and a more conservative line might be the Sherwood call.
 Perhaps pressure in the midfield, Sandro anyone, and more compactness might negative the Liverpool class and pace.
 Spurs if they can contain are capable of a dangerous counter attacking away game. The question remains who can support Adebayor. A pacy winger would help.
 Harking back to those earlier thoughts ... who replaces Lennon. Townsend. Sorry not from our pubs corner.
 What about someone blessed with pace, control, class and still only 22 years old. An Argentinian International.
  Yes Erik Lamela fits the bill.
 If only he could make it onto the pitch.
 Pace . A quality that Ayrton Senna had in boundless abundance. Ayrton also had another ingredient that champions have. A fierce competitive will to win. To paraphrase from a Spurs perspective and thinking ahead to that Sunday encounter against Liverpool ..

  "And if you no longer go for a gap that exists,you are no longer a footballer, because we are competing, we are competing to win."
 Cheers .. Sunday is when Spurs Senna quality needs to be on show ... Greg Meyer.         coys.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Well he certainly had it as recently as last season. Like the Royal Mail, speed and delivery. Been with us for 8yrs and still only 26. Due for replacement perhaps but let's not forget.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Uncertainties at Spurs.

Well Christian certainly saved ours.
The JimmyG2 Column.
So there I was at about 2 pm last Sunday starting to run through in my head the many potential successors to Tim. 2-0 down to Southampton after barely half an hour it looked all up for Timothy. I was quite resigned to losing and not expecting anything much in the second half.

Our man was up in the stands  ( now and again), suited and collared and tied, without even a gilet to throw down in anger and surprisingly clean shaven. All this presumably on Levy's orders to preserve the dignity of his office even as he was being sacked. There are proper ways of doing things.

 I mentally crossed Pochettino off the list for being beaten twice by Tim himself in his brief reign. All over bar the shouting  which was to presumably occur at half time. Why doesn't he shout before the game instead of half way through if it's so effective.

Anyway two careless errors by Naughton, who undid all our good support work for him on Musings in the space of ten minutes. He gifted Rodriguez and then Llalana via Lambert opportunities which they took well. Credit to the lad though he kept his head up for the remainder of the game.

Fortunately Eriksen was to take matters in hand and scored quickly after another right back error beating Klyne and Boruc to a loose ball. This was the shape of things to come though I paid little attention at the time being occupied by thoughts of new managerial appointments.

At this point Lloris made his only telling contribution with a good block from a powerful shot  to at least keep us in the game. Not that I was expecting anything positive to happen. Southampton were sharper and better organised than us and we looked to be starting the final countdown not with a bang but a whimper.

But Eriksen had not completed his days work. He was set up for a tap in after some good work by Soldado on the right. He gave his marker Lovren a subtle Spanish nudge and sped away along the by line holding his cross along the six yard box until Eriksen had made his run.

Dembele, clearly not match fit, had been subbed for Sigurdsson at half time and deep into injury time Gylfi buried a shot from the edge of the area to win the game from a lay off by, you guessed it, that man Christian. He was outstanding followed closely by Soldado who clearly also enjoyed the match.

I ripped my mental list of Tim replacements to shreds and began to ponder once again life under Mr. Timothy Sherwood. Team recover from a poor start again and substitute scores the winner in extra time in a not quite ;five goal thriller'. What's not to admire.

This was the first time we had recovered from 2-0 down to win at home for over 20yrs. Of course we should not be 2-0 down  in the first place bu tit's reassuring to know that we can recover if we have to.

Perhaps Southampton aren't all that good; perhaps Pochettino really can't speak English after all; perhaps Tim is learning at a fast enough rate of knots to save his job; perhaps Liverpool will be so exhausted by their mid week exertions that we will come flying out and be well ahead before Suarez even notices.

As the old 50's hit has it 'Quizás, Quizás, Quizás'. Made famous by Doris Day as 'Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps' in 1964  just  before The Beatles took over the world and just after Spurs had already done so. Funny how  Doris always had her finger on the pulse of things.

So the uncertainty about the set-up for next season continues. Just when you thought that Tim and Spurs were down and out they bounce back. My money now is on Tim to stay. Why would Daniel be so keen to make him look the part if not.

Not necessarily because he has done enough to earn it but because he's done enough to make keeping him  less destructive than sacking him and starting all over again.

But there are no certainties at Spurs. But at least there are signs that three of our new signings, Eriksen, Soldado and Chadli seem to be making the grade and if any of the remaining four ever get a period of sustained fitness they might make it too. Though probably not this season.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Much as I  love and admire Doris here is a version of  'Perhaps' closer to the Cuban original. Make a good Spurs theme song with the crowd joining in to emphasis the refrain.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Calling all true supporters.

Seasons over. Might as well make an early start down the allotment.
Never did like football much anyway.
The JimmyG2 Column
Apparently we've nothing to play for now; the season's over according to many fans and supporters. Apart from pride and reputation and the entertainment of the fans that are left of course.

 Then there's the extra money that each additional place secures. And the automatic entry into the Champions' League that the Europa winners get next season. And about time too. When are they going to stop Champions' League failures dropping down into the Europa too.

 So with nothing left to play for performance and effort are everything. Silly me but I still get the match day buzz whatever the competition and whatever our position after all these years. Sad I know.

Two spirited performances in a row. Mr. Manager you are surely spoiling us. Benfica, in anticipation of an easy victory, engaged cruise control when they went 4-1 up just after the half hour. But when the moment came for a surge up through the gears after Chadli's first they got stuck in neutral and couldn't respond.

When Chadli scored again to put us within striking distance of taking the tie into extra time they were rattled and the engine choked. Siggy and Harry Kane both had chances with headers to surprise and delight the most jaded Tottenham fan. Of course we left it too late but failed in some style.

If only Eriksen had started the game or come on earlier. If only Soldado had put away that early chance. If only the ref and his army of assistants had gone to Specsavers. I think Tim's analysis that nobody in Europe would want to play us now was a stretch too far but I applaud the sentiment.

So we are free now to concentrate on qualifying for the Champions league which has been a stretch too far for a while now. Injuries have certainly disrupted our season and we went to Benfica without a recognised centre half in the squad.

In the event Sandro and Fryers did well until Sandro who likes to live on the edge went headlong over and gave away a silly penalty to enable them to foil our win in the dying seconds. The back four did ok especially the much maligned Naughton who has performed creditably for several games.

Timothy favourite Bentalib justified his manager's trust once again and was the pick of the team apart from Chadli. Two goals in quick succession is always going to catch the eye. Late sub Eriksen showed what we had been missing and Harry Kane ran about a bit to good effect.

 Anyone planting their earlies down the allotment missed a treat. And serve them right. It was only fifteen minutes but it was worth the entry fee. Of course if it's prizes that are your main focus there's always the cup for the biggest onion or prize turnip.

I'm looking forward to next season already as Soldado must be too. He let his head drop for the first time after his early miss and he might have been impressed and worried by 20 year old Kane's cameo. Two assists and header on target in the 20 minutes available to him.

The team that started had an average age of 24 and the bench would need identity cards to join in even the subdued celebrations in the Lisbon night spots after the game. 'The Future's Bright' as they say. Oh and that's another reason to follow the boys to the very end of the season and beyond.

Southampton up next at the Lane. An attractive team who include Lallana and Shaw who we might do well to have a look at before they move beyond our reach if they haven't already. Another good performance required and a win would be nice to maintain fifth place.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
For those who missed it, double digging or sorting out last years leftover seed packets here's the comeback. The cameraman obiously thought that Siggy had scored but we know better. Unfortunately Bentaleb set up the equaliser and Sandro wasn't going to stop for anyone. Eriksen asks about the penalty at the other end which they diplomatically didn't show.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Tim not to be sacked.

On Reflection.
The JimmyG2 Column.
We lost the NLD as many feared but not in quite the manner that many expected. We actually went down fighting. To be honest it was more shadow boxing against a team that were content to sit back than hard edged hand to hand combat.

In fact we could and perhaps should have won. Tim at least won the battle of hearts with his own squad if not the battle of footballing minds.

We went one down in under two minutes to a wonder goal by Rosicky who was only only in the starting line-up due to injuries. It was just  his second Premiership goal of the season. Were we down-hearted? We were not. Amazingly we dominated play from then on.

 However it was another showing of that movie we have seen many times before. More shots, more crosses, more corners, more of everything except goals. Arsenal sat on their lead and with the help of our own creative shortcomings saw the game out.

Adebayor put himself about as he always does against Arsenal; Chadli had a golden opportunity to equalise but hit Koscielny on the line; Lloris swept up effectively and made a good stop from Mertesacker; Naughton and Eriksen had decent games.

But Ade was too isolated and Soldado brought on far too late. Eriksen who was our main if not our only hope was inexplicably subbed. Arsenal landed the first punch and then backpedalled for the remaining 14 rounds as we failed to land land a telling blow.

Tim's faith in Bentaleb is touching but his patience with Lennon seems to have been exhausted; Sandro picked up another yellow; Vertonghen's mind is elsewhere; Townsend was more controlled though equally ineffective.

Dan Levy watched on with his usual expressionless poker face and if he is a passionate supporter as alleged he hides it well. I doubt whether this more spirited display will help Tim's future managerial prospects at Spurs. We still lost and for the third game in a row against Arsenal failed to score.

His 'Don't sack me' plea to Levy thinly disguised as a petition for patience was more naked than a Playboy Centre fold or so they tell me. It will ring hollow in the ears of Hoddle and AVB for whom Tim at least sharpened the knife for the stab in the back.

'For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword (Matthew 26:52). Settle for second in command to Louis Van Gaal Tim and learn the trade: or drop down a league or two and do it the hard way.

 For all his many faults though on reflection I don't think he should be sacked. Sacking a manager is so last century. If contracts were more enforceable perhaps greater due dilgence would be applied when appointments are made. Perhaps Tim should never have appointed. But he was.

As Tony Benn, another magnificent lost cause once said '  Making mistakes is how you learn'. However Spurs fans might have prefered Tim to  had done it in his own time rather than in ours.

But we are no worse off now than when Andres Villas Boas was awarded the Order of the Hessian Bag and he might be right that with his six month apprenticeship completed, a  full pre-season and a settled squad including Lamela and an acclimatised Soldado we might push on.

He knows the club and particularly the youngsters and his introduction of Bentaleb has on the whole been a success if a little overdone. There may be more to follow and Kane might start with Bobby tomorrow

The alternative is a punt on a new manager and yet another season of turmoil and transition.Two steps forward three steps back once again. The man who appoints all these failures might want to have a good look at himself though his face will give very little away as usual.

'Mirror mirror on the wall
I can't see anything there at all'

We might hit overdrive and Arsenal and Liverpool might overheat and be stranded on the hard shoulder of the Europa League but it's not the likeliest outcome now is it. We love Spurs on Musings but have followed them for too long to waste too much time on hope.

We have solid achievements and  fine traditions to build on although the foundations might be in need of some reinforcement after all this time. It might be the Architect and the plans that are at fault and not the site foreman and the building contractors.

Tomorrow we go to Benfica trailing 3-1. An early goal, a clean sheet and a Soldado or Harry Kane hat-trick is my hopeful recipe for putting the season back together but we all know what hope does. I'm looking forward to next season already..

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Our moment of hope by our player of hope in the first leg. It's that word again. Live in hope: die in despair.
Cunning diversionary run by Paulinho; cue general jubilation and expectation in the crowd. But not for long.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Lamela's back

  So much for patient data security.
The Greg Meyer Column.
Saturday 15 March  ... Ry Cooders Birthday.

Lamela's  Back.

 Whichever way you look at it he is never far away from any Spurs fan's thoughts.

 Whether its his return to the Spurs Training Centre at Hotspur Way or the ongoing speculation as to his spinal health, the picture remains as equivocal as some of Tim Sherwood's tactics.

 He has been spotted in Italy, Argentina and in various High Street haberdashery's ( new curtains for his new home finally??). Dead man walking at an earlier presser this week suggested Erik was back and starting his rehab.
 Playing again this season no certainty however. Our pub would wager Sherwood will be gone before Lamela is fit and available for selection.

 Why is his presence or for the more negative among you his absence so bleedin' important. I mean there are six others in that new "club", the Magnificent Seven.
 However more like the "Munificent Seven" thus far. So called given the generous and handsome amount of money lavished on their purchase by Daniel Levy. Some might say misspent but perhaps a little early to say. Ahead of more Lamela news a quick look at the "Seven's" progress.

 Paulinho has hardly won any gold statuettes for his performances. His Brazilian teammate certainly has lived up to his name. Oscar settled and starring for Chelsea. More work on his lines needed by Paul.

 Capoue started in a blaze of glory, suffered injury, and it's been staccato ever since. Out injured at present.

 Chadli surely a squaddie. How he starts for Belgium amazes our pub.

 Chiriches has looked promising but hardly magnificent. Injuries and hangovers have taken their toll. Still out injured. Probably hungover as well.

 Eriksen seems to be transitioning into the Premier League. No Modric but not far behind. Unlike Modric he certainly has goals in him.

 Soldado is another who divides opinion but overall has retained great fan support. Our pub reckon he will come good but maybe not magnificent.

 So what of number seven ( actually wears number eleven in the Premier) Erik Lamela. Surely the jury is very much out just like him. However given all the speculation, gossip, and rumours then it was no surprise when the following missive emerged from cyberspace, portal of original departure point unknown.

 A Letter From Lamela.

Perhaps characterized as jottings from the back of a Spanish Taverna beer coaster it is a little reminiscent of those famous thoughts of a certain Luka Modric. Please excuse the rather hesitant and literal Google translation of Spanish to England.

 Over to you Erik.

No like curtains in new apartment.

 No like Le Coqueney to English lessons. Just getting hang of Spanish English lessons with Andre. Now difficult to comprende Tim, when he talks to me which is not very often. Still Bobby Soldado going well with his lessons. Very dedicated. Three times per week. Still he is a leetle older than me.

 No like when loudmouthed brother Brian puts twitter foot in mouth about Erik.Si he means well but not sure Tim realise is mostly lot of twatter.

 Do like You Tube video that you have all seen. Played very well in it. Working on new one but lack of recent material makes it hard.

 Do like Spurs fans. Most think I will come good. Me too.

 Do hope my back, my leg, whatever it is that Club say I have gets better soon.

 Meanwhile At A Kent Pub.

 However you read the Lamela saga it is generally agreed his Spurs career has been mismanaged. Undoubtedly he has the talent. Perhaps the new manager when he arrives will agree and Erik will blossom.

 Our pubs greatest fear is that if he is let go prematurely then he will certainly become a superstar at that next club

 With our lack of class, our lack of a cutting edge (Ade aside), then in a rapidly disintegrating season he remains a light on the hill.

 Cheers ... hopefully that light makes it to burn brightly at the Lane ... Greg Meyer.     coys.
 Jimmy's Video Spot: 
Just to take your mind off the football the other Magnificent Seven. Tomorrow might not be pretty. A win would put Timothy, the season, the world and life in general into a whole new perspective. Here's hoping. I might just go to the pictures instead. Only joking.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Tim goes down fighting.

Tim drowning not waving.
The JimmyG2 Column.
They say a drowning man will clutch at any straw and Tim's looked to be drowning not waving in his famous/ notorious Chelsea post match interview. He took aim directly at the players but there is bound to be some collateral damage: Levy; Enic; Baldini to name but three.

He was adrift in a rubber lifeboat with a slow puncture from the start to be honest but after this latest storm he has neither a paddle to steer clear of the rocks of disappointment nor a bucket to bail out the waters of disillusion..

 Is it just me or have we reached a turning point, a moment of truth with the Chelsea shambles? Was it the performance? The result? or Timothy's outspoken and unguarded comments that make this particular setback seem more significant than some others?

Sherwood spoke like a man who realised that his number was up and that if he was going to go down then he was taking a few others with him. His sincerity and anguish were  clear but this public forum was perhaps an ill advised platform to confront his team and by implication his masters.

I think it has sealed his fate. 4th was a pipe dream that ran out of Golden Virginia some weeks ago. But statistically Tim hasn't done badly. Levy may argue however that it is a crucial part of the manager's role to get his players in the right frame of mind for games.

Tim may have provided him with the excuse to terminate his contract at the end of the season, which was clearly the intention all along. Tim has highlighted the attitude of the players rather than the performance which was unorthodox but  effective for the first hour.

Now I don't think managers should be sacked midway through their contracts let alone midway through the season. So Tim should never have been appointed. But now that he has he should be given next season when his contract ends, to complete the job he was appointed to do.

Otherwise we face another season of turmoil and change. Let the current manager and as many of the current squad that are not lured away by money or Champions' League and especially the seven new signings, none of whom started yesterday, attempt to finish the job..

I have no personal gripe with Sherwood unlike many other fans although the support for him seems to have strengthened. I want what's best for Spurs.I'm not fully convinced he knows what he's doing but it's not working out too badly. Yesterdays tactics clearly surprised and  confused everyone including Jose Mourinho.

I don't suppose that either Lennon or Kyle Walker demanded to play out of their comfort zones but neither has the technique or awareness to play the roles they were allotted. However Tim was bold and his thinking well outside the box. Unfortunately so were our players for the most part.

But the manager cannot be held responsible for the individual incompetence of the various players concerned or for  the mistakes of the officials. For almost an hour it worked while Chelsea watched warily and waited.

They could have been 2-0  up within 5 minutes and Lloris could have had a very early bath even before the water was more than lukewarm. But Hazard was honest and tried to score. After that Dawson and the rest of the team settled down and started to make a game of it.

Chelsea were rewarded for their patience  by a colossal error by Vertonghen who dawdled on the ball, slipped and in trying to retrieve the situation made things worse with an aimless back pass seized on by Eto'o who put it through the legs of both Dawson and Lloris.

The game was salvagible at this point until the referee decided that Chelsea needed a hand and gave a penalty and a red card against Kaboul for an innocuous tackle on Eto'o.  Then Dawson was injured and Sandro went to centre half and joined in the fun. He slipped and set up Ba

3-0 down and Chelsea had hardly created anything. Not to be outdone Walker, always game for a laugh attempted to head the ball back to Lloris from 25 yds. He had failed to notice Ba lurking by the goal who made it 4-0. Anybody on this forum fancy a game at centre half?

Hugo's reaction made him a prime candidate for captain even as he was on the phone to his agent with the words, 'I am a world class player get me out of here'. PSG beckons. Cue Sherwood spitting Cockerel feathers and laying into his squad for their lack of fight, attitude, backbone, concern and desire, The ABCD of the Dereliction of Duty.

Yet another debacle which may look different in a fortnight's time. Although with Benfica, Arsenal and Liverpool on the horizon it could look a whole lot worse. Levy, who wasn't there will not like the sound of things and it may force his hand. It just feels different this time.

If I were Tim, suffering as he is, I would resign before the weekend and pass the whole sorry lot back to Levy to sort out, unless he promises to pledge that Sherwood will see out his 18month contract. It's not entirely a mess of Tim's making after all..

Jim's Video Spot:
Here it is in all its video nastiness. Tim misses out on an Oscar nomination but it looks a genuine heartfelt performance which is what he says his players should be putting in. I decided against showing you the highlights of the Horror show. I'm still having nightmares myself.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

There could be trouble ahead for Spurs.

This next stretch could be a bit tricky.
The JimmyG2 Column.
That Bobby Soldado eh, what a tease. I knew he could do it all the time. 'I don't do 'in off me arse senor Timothy. I do it with movement,style and a cool finish.' Even his English is improving as you can see. 

And for the fourth time this season he scored the only goal to win the match. The surge of relief from the crowd, the fans everywhere and the man himself was palpable. A little of the interest in our investment duly paid back. Let the floodgates open.

In fact the slack granted him by our allegedly fickle fans is quite unique in my experience at Spurs. 28 yrs old, £26 million and would rather put the ball anywhere than in the net. He has enjoyed quite exceptional tolerance. Not from everyone obviously.

Recent interviews in Spain emphasize his appreciation for the support of Spurs fans during his goal famine especially on social media. I knew they'd find a good use for it in the end. He has scored at better than 1/2 throughout his career at all levels. We'll have some of that Roberto.

Once again he worked hard, made intelligent runs and accepted Adebayor's cute ball with style and grace. It has to be recorded that this followed a positive breakout from a Cardiff corner by Townsend, possibly his only effective moment in the whole game.

So this week we were on the right side of a one nil result but the performance though not exactly dire left much to be desired. Iin fact the Soldado goal was the only highlight of the game other than a risky 360º turn by Vertonghen on the half way line.

The midfield of Paulinho and Dembele was even more mundane than the full back pairing of Naughton and Fryers. Without Eriksen who was suffering from a back problem there was little evidence of grey cells at work in the centre of the park.

Lennon fizzed a little but was more effective going backwards than forwards. Paulinho seems to be dreaming of Brazil: sun-kissed beaches and scantily clad ladies in the main rather than playing himself into the Brazilian team for the World Cup.

Star man was captain Michael Dawson who threw himself about to good effect at both ends of the pitch. Even his partner Vertonghen was inspired to show a little more involvement. He avoided any running vendettas and deigned to bring the ball out of defence occasionally.

The next stretch looks tricky. We face Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in the next four games and none of these will park the bus so on the positive side we might find more space to play in. Always look on the bright side....

Cardiff took the bus out of gear but left the engine running but we were never under threat until the very end. If we can get six points from the next four games sharing the points with three of our rivals we will be handily placed for the calmer waters at the end of the season.

We are unlikely to play 442 away to Chelsea so Soldado will almost certainly not start  but I hope he gets some game time. Harry Kane could have saved us ten minutes of tension but was clearly under instructions not to steal Soldado's limelight.

If Sherwood gets fourth and through another round of the Europa will he have done enough to save us the turmoil of another managerial change? I doubt it. Verbal agreements have clearly been signed. As they were under AVB results have been positive but performances disappointing.

Tim has held the fort remarkably well but is only keeping the seat warm for another headline grabbing signing. I doubt he will see out his contract. Levy will not have been pleased with the style of football which is more AVBesque than sexy.

AVB achieved his dreary style by thoughtful and careful design: Timothy by accident and default. Slow starts won't wash against better opponents and we will look to our big players to step up. Ade, Sandro, Eriksen, perhaps Kaboul and of course Bobby S. and Hugo Lloris.

'Every little breeze seems to whisper Lloris' as Chevalier used to sing.
or as we pause for breath before Chelsea:

There may be troubles ahead
but while there's floodlights, and fixtures, and fans and a chance
let's take the field and advance.

Jimmy's Video Spot: Soldado scores.
Well that one seemed to go down pretty well with everyone. Well found by Ade and instinctively finished. He seems to finish well when he doesn't have to think. See his offside Cardiff goal.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Spurs rally but remain on life support.

Relax boys.  I'm just clearing my throat.
The JimmyG2 Column.
 Well I didn't see that coming, did you? With more than a little help from our Ukrainian visitors we boldly go into the last 16 of the much maligned Europa cup. Next up Benfica.
 Let's hope they are just as helpful. Hero and then villain Zozulya scored to make it 2-0  straight after half time and then got sent off after an altercation with Vertonghen. to give us an opening.

The further we get the more the arguments in favour of winning silverware rather than coming fourth strengthen. I can't see it myself but hang on to your hats it might become a more and more bumpy ride.

Given a choice I lean towards qualifying for the Champions' League because that's where the money and the prestige are. But you don't get a choice you just get a fixture list and take it one game at a time and see where you end up. A footballing Magical Mystery Tour.

Vertonghen's dramatic response would usually bring forth a lecture on Musings on the decline of standards in public life. But Dnipro were wasting time and throwing themselves about like circus clowns from the kick off.

So even if Jan did make the most of the situation he was certainly butted. Him and Zozulya were at it the whole game but Zozulya cracked first after Verts had pushed into him when both sides were preparing for a free kick.

There's probably a good reason why it wasn't a penalty. Presumably the ball was dead or some such technicality. Anyway we saw a chink of light and grabbed hold of it firmly with both hands. Not as easy as it sounds.

The damage to our reputation of Bale's diving last season and Vertonghen's over reaction which certainly got Zozulya sent off may be justified by many in the circumstances but sometimes you act in haste and repent at leisure.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em may be acceptable as a practical workaday philosophy but it's not exactly the moral high ground. Much more of this and we'll be Chelsea.

Eriksen had given us a lifeline with one of his free kick dippers. The sending off enabled us to build on our hopeful anticipation of an upset by making our task a lot easier. Soldado's nicely taken offside goal gave us some momentum and then Adebayor with Eriksen' and Fryer's help took over.

Both strikers were on hand to finish off Erikson's pass but Ade got there first. His second was as good a goal as I've seen this season. Power, strength and deft control. At least Soldado is not letting it get to him just yet.

Tim will probably treat Ade to an all expenses paid world cruise in the summer and if he doesn't and carry his bags on board too there's no gratitude in the world. Tim saved Ade from football oblivion this season but Ade has certainly breathed life into his manager's fledgling career.

 What does it tell us about tomorrow's game against Cardiff a team in disarray from their owner downwards and hanging onto their Premiership status by a thread. Coaches preach momentum and confidence, making winning a habit and all that.

But at Tottenham there is no knowing whether we will slaughter them, grind out a narrow victory or suffer an ignominious defeat. Bungee jump, downhill slalom or roller coaster choose whichever recreational image suits your mood.

With Eriksen rightly restored to the creative hub and Bentaleb giving way to Sandro, back to almost his beastly best we should dominate and win. A fast start would be nice for a change, an early goal, preferably Soldado and a commanding win is not too much to ask for surely.

The football wasn't all that enterprising on Thursday, Eriksen excepted, and Lloris made a couple of excellent saves to keep us in it. But once Adebayor came to life and Lady Luck smiled down on us we seized the moment.

We were dead and buried at 2-0 down but rose like Dracula from the grave to secure an unlikely victory. The season is still alive, the patient is breathing but on life support for the moment.

 On the Premiership front with Arsenal losing to Stoke it ain't quite over just yet. If we win tomorrow that is. Liverpool look to be out of sight though we have to play them both.

Jimmy's Video Spot: You the Jury.
 Vertonghen 'simulation' as seen on Ukrainian TV. Hmm. Captain Dawson steps in followed by Adebayor who prevents the offender from getting a second red card. Can you get two red cards? The White Hart Lane sniper strikes again. But there was certainly contact.