The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Future clouds over at Spurs.

Perhaps it's just me.
The JimmyG2 Column
There used to be a football club over there. Join the gang Man.U. What's the point of sacking your manager with four games to go. Well because you can is the simple answer. The point is that the wielding of the power to do so is the point.

Investors and owners have to be assured that eyes, hearts, spreadsheets and minds are firmly fixed on the vital aspect of the game. Success at all or any costs. Reputation and integrity which we and Man.Utd. once possessed have been all but abandoned.

The bottom line is everything. Our greatest achievement under ENIC is not doing a Leeds and going bankrupt. Unfortunately there are no medals or prizes or advances in reputation for just staying afloat.

Amongst the contenders for the Man.Utd is Ancellotti who might be sacked from Real Madrid even if he wins La Liga, the Champions' League as well as the Copa  del Rey. Must be me that's out of step.

Now the Rock of Gibraltar has sunk beneath the waves.  At least they appointed a genuine insider on a four game non-contract with no promise of continuity. To be honest that's more or less what we did with Tim but were not quite so open and honest about it.

Man Utd are rapidly catching us up. That's three managers they will have had in 30 years. It's a slippery slope Manchester people. There will be moans and the gnashing of teeth but no actual panic in the streets. Not this time anyway.

They can't afford to get it wrong again say the pundits. But we've said that for years about Deadpan Daniel and nothing seems to stick. He's not called 'Teflon' for nothing. If cutting corners were an Olympic event they would have struck a personal Gold Medal for him by now.

It's fortunate they didn't sack Sir Alex after 10 months as they might well have done these days. They would never have witnessed his ascendency to the very top of Mount Olympus.

It looks as if we will have to wait until the big boys have rooted through the sacked manager bin bags before we can eat. So much for an early appointment to ensure that we keep our best players. They will be queuing at the exit door by then with Jan and Hugo leading the great  escape.

It's not about the football anymore. We don't have teams: we have corporate brands. Very soon they will dispense with the actual football and play it all on computers and just compare balance sheets. Actually Levy might prefer that.

The football doesn't seem to get his gastric juices going. Is there just a whiff of disillusion on the Musings this time round? Well its been a long time in the making and this seasons shenanigans have somewhat focused our mood.

 The immediate  point of interest for me is whether Harry Kane can make it four in four against Stoke and how many youngsters get bloodied in the next few games. The futures always bright even when the present is shrouded in fog.

Against  Fulham, a team bereft of ideas and quality who are doomed to go down despite changing their manager, we gathered yet another three points, 7 from 9 in the  current run in.

 Eriksen showed some dead ball quality eventually, Rodallega missed an early chance while our new centre half pairing were introducing themselves and Lloris saved a penalty at a crucial moment. The better  he plays the more likely he is to leave unfortunately.

Harry's three in three was the other outstanding moment but they were few and far between. Adebayor's interest flickered and died. Sherwood is going down fighting but some of his comments about the quality of the squad are alienating fans and players alike.

I suspect we will beat Stoke and end up being the nearly men again. It would be interesting to see Kane and Soldado start with Eriksen in behind them but second guessing a manager winging it no matter how successfully is a fool's errand.

Looking forward to the game but I'm not sure why. Sherwood or Moyes is the question of the moment. Even the future is clouding over.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Eriksen provides two pin point free kicks which just beg to be diverted goalwards. Paulinho and Kaboul oblige. The improved Lennon sets up Harry Kane for a third. Meanwhile Sidwell accepts a gift from Fryers then puts a penalty too close to Hugo.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Tears of a Clown at Tottenham.

At Spurs, laugh and the World laughs at you.
Cry and you are joined by thousands of others.
The JimmyG2 Column.
If it wasn't so funny we'd all be crying. Hadn't even had time to blow the froth off me beer let alone open a bag of scratchings before we were one down on Saturday. 25 seconds before Rose had had his boozle well and truly bammed by Amalfitano.

 Lloris was still stubbing out a Gauloise on the post when he palmed a soft ball out to Vydra who put it back into the net as if scoring against Spurs in the first minute was only to be expected. And the way we are starting games he's not far wrong.

Tim''s game plan this week scheme was to see how far behind we could fall and still win. Well Tim it looks as if giving the opposition a three goal advantage is a goal too far. Stick at two goals down, let's not push our luck. Although Adebayor did manage to under hit a penalty at 2-0.

Brunt returning from a 5 week lay off scored a second with just four minutes on the clock while Spurs were still sorting out their formation and tactics. I always thought that sort of thing was what the pre-match huddle was for.

Another centre half comedy routine between Kaboul and Chiriches let Sessingnon in for a third Fortunately West Brom. scored a fourth but in their own goal this time when Olsson deflected a Lennon cross. Otherwise it could all have been over by the 30 minute mark.

Four goals, a missed penalty, an own goal and still 15 minutes to go until half time. When it came I took the opportunity to practise  my Smokey Robinson  'Tears of a  Clown' karaoke routine for the pub music night later.

You know the one:
 Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my sadness hid
Smiling in the public eye
But in my lonely room cry
the tears of a clown
When there's no one around.

It veers between comedy and tragedy at the moment at Spurs.Though the first act veered between pure farce and tragedy. A manager hanging by a thread which many say should be a lot thicker: a club with Champions' League pretensions  scrabbling for a Europa spot which many don't want anyway.

Well friends laugh until you cry or cry until you see the funny side. It all ends up as another season wasted and probably another one to come whoever comes in. The LVG story will run and run. This week he's auditioning at Old Trafford. Perhaps we'll get David Moyes.

Not that he'd touch us with a barge-pole. Rogers and Martinez both apparently turned down the chance to come to Spurs because of the manager sacking antics of our Chairman, eight in 12 years under ENIC's stewardship.

So boys on with the motley whether our performances are comic or tragic, tragi-comedy or comi-tragedy is a matter of opinion. Mine is that we have made ourselves prime candidates for stand -up of the year this season.

The pity is that the margins are so slim at the top level that a couple of wins would have put us right in the mix for top four.Whatever you think of Tim personally and don't write in and tell me please, he hasn't done badly but appointing him was a script with fatal flaws.

 As they say the table doesn't lie and whichever way you play it we have not been good enough in performance although the cast were highly rated in the advance publicity notices.

Credit Tim and the lads particularly Kane and Eriksen once again on a terrific comeback but if we didn't throw ourselves down a deep hole in the first place we wouldn't have to dig ourselves out at the end now would we.

 Lennon had his positive moments too supplying the cross for Harry Kane's second goal in two appearances and inducing the Ollson own goal.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
 Smokey Robinson and yes the Miracles in 1970. And a miracle is what we need to turn this season into any sort of  success. 1970/71 a good season for Spurs too: League Cup winners over Aston Villa with two goals from Martin Chivers. I'm looking back at the moment as it's too painful to look forward. Great song and performance.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Good news: bad news at Spurs.

My second favorite export from Denmark.
The JimmyG2 Column.
The Good News is that we finally gave someone a beating: the Bad News is that it was bottom of the League Sunderland who look certain to go down and apart from a ten minute spell before Eriksen's deserved goal gave up well before the end.

Chiriches and Lloris conspired to give them a helping hand in our usual sloppy way gifting Cattermole the first goal. Once again the dreaded words rang out: 'that's his first goal for his club in over a hundred appearances. Charity thy name is Tottenham.

Last week three of our centre halves auditioned for the role of Fairy Godmother and Kaboul went forward to the regional finals. He was joined this week by the fourth central defender Chiriches. Do we even have a defence coach?

But apart from this generous start we were better, quicker, and keener than of late. Playing for the new manager perhaps or celebrating the much publicised departure of the current one. Tim has refused to return to his old post or act as No 2 to a more experienced man.

Pride cometh before a fall as we know but in this case pride cometh after the fall. A couple of years under Van Gaal or whoever could accelerate his career greatly but even that is a step down too far from the heights of fall guy manager of Spurs for Tim.

Eriksen ran the show again aided (geddit?) by a top class performance by Adebayor. Christian is fast becoming my favourite Danish product beating  pastries and bacon into second and third place. He assisted the first two with whipped crosses and scored the third to give Sunderland little hope of a comeback.

Harry Kane starting his first Premiership game deserves a mention. With a little more sharpness in the box he might have had three but had to settle for a single but important goal that put us ahead.

Chadli started in midfield with  Paulinho and impressed in patches. An unlikely pairing which might not work against better teams or any other teams for that matter. Paulinho has some obvious class but again failed to make any serious impact..

Chiriches is from the 'Give the other team a chance' school but he shows initiative and skill and I can't help but like the boy. Kaboul is never going to be the player we thought he might be I'm afraid.

Lennon continues to disappoint and in the main his legs are too quick for his brain. Townsend who replaced him suffers from the same faults but more so. Siggurdson  came on as a late substitute and demonstrated his happy knack of scoring goals.

But football is a team game and as a team we were greater than the sum of our parts. This is always referred to as the mark of a top manager. Just a little too late I'm afraid Tim.

What Levy will do in the unlikely event of us winning all of our remaining games and qualifying for Champions' League remains to be seen. At least Man.Utd went out tonight so the dreaded finish fourth/Chelsea scenario can't happen.

The next manager stakes are hotting up. No more bets are being taken on Louis Van Gaal but Rafael Benitez has broken from the pack today and there are firm rumours around of his appointment. Not that we ever comment on rumour and speculation.

We can do our own rumination and speculation thank you. We are not quite in the 'Anyone but Tim' camp but have pitched our tent in a nearby field and are watching events carefully through our binoculars.

Million almost up.
 Finally we would like to thank all our readers and subscribers as we approach our millionth visitor. If there were any way of identifying the lucky millionth we would deluge them with goodwill and freebies.

As we can't, Greg and I will celebrate quietly on our own with a precocious Pinot Grigio and a tube of onion and sour cream Pringles. A special cheer to all those that take the trouble to comment. It's nice to know that there are real people out there in Webland.

And as we like to boast; we are not always wrong. Here's to the next million.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
My money is on the abrasive Dutchman with the fearsome reputation. He has walked out of more interviews than anyone in the game. A reputation for strong words opinions and actions seen here conducting training with the Dutch national squad. It probably sounds a lot worse in Dutch.

Friday, 4 April 2014

The Beginning of the End.

Looking forward to next season already.
The JimmyG2 Column.
 I've just moved house and it has taken me all week to find the box where the Musings Archives had been packed. Mrs JimmyG2 shrewdly labelled it 'Keep from JimmyG2 until he's in a better mood'. She seems to think that I take all this football stuff seriously.

Anyway I'm better now and had time to reflect on matters Liverpool and after. We're not ones for kneejerk reactions on Musings, our knees wouldn't take it for a start. We don't do 'ENIC' or even  'Levy' out.  We didn't think that AVB should have been sacked and events are increasingly on our side.

We haven't even indulged ourselves with 'Sherwood out' until now. Tim's behaviour as manager is verging on the bizarre and his comments recently on Hoddle not having managed recently reveal an interesting lack of  awareness of his own situation.

His decision to stay in the stands last Sunday because he felt that he couldn't have influenced the game makes us wonder how he justifies drawing his weekly stipend. But of course he didn't appoint himself and we can't hold him personally responsible  for the imminent collapse of our season.

He started well, the much vaunted new manager bounce, but statistics show that sacking the manager rarely works in the medium and long term. The attendant disruption to every aspect of the club and the team usually undermines any possible positive results from the change.

It's not merely a tactic at Spurs it's more of a  belief system. If Tim is Sacked we will be on our 18th Manager in 30 years with an average stay of around 18 months months. Barely time for the tea lady to discover their favourite biscuits let alone develop a style and philosophy.

That's the new manager not the tea lady you understand. Daniel Levy, he of the Sphinx-like composure even at moments of high drama on the pitch has degree level qualifications in Manager Sacking. His 'nothing to do with me guv' shrug when they don't do enough, quickly enough was his final year special option.

Liverpool marked the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end for Tim and our fading hope of salvaging something from the season. I didn't think we would qualify for the Champions' League but felt we could secure 5th and Europa football next season.

Now we will  most likely to end up in 7th which is where AVB left us. Tim will sacked, which was the cynical plan all along and Louis Van Gaal appointed as agreed. Let the fireworks begin, let the clear-out commence and hold on to your hats. And that includes you Mr. Levy.

At Liverpool everything that could go wrong did go wrong and very early on. All three centre halves conspired in various combinations to gift the game to the current top of the league team. Vertonghen went off injured having set up Kaboul for an early own goal.

He didn't seem to mind much and was replaced by Dawson who put Suarez away with virtually his first touch. Kaboul might have bailed him out but was careless to put it kindly once again. Liverpool have some good players but they didn't have to work too hard to give us a walloping.

You might argue that we did well to keep it down to four. Eriksen was our only bright spark apart from Lloris as usual but even he should not have been beaten along the ground from that distance by Coutinho. Chadli looked vaguely interested from time to time but the rest are best forgotten.

This was a dispirited and largely incompetent performance by an increasingly dispirited team. Several hearts have gone missing and it says something when Adebayor is proving to be one of our keenest performers. Credit Tim for that at least.

So after initial success which threatened to undermine Levy's dastardly plan, Timothy is floundering. The appointment of a serious candidate Ancellotti, Van Gaal, Benitez, De Boer or whoever may prevent an exodus of our better players though I fear some are gone already and not just in their heads.

But the deal needs to be announced quickly. An average stay of less than 2yrs per manager,continually selling your best players and not getting the new stadium built in good time has damaged our reputation and hopes for the future.

Keeping the club from bankruptcy, not doing a Leeds as some fans would have it, is the absolutely barest minimum requirement for any management surely. We deserve more and better. Even a benign looking run in won't save us this season I'm afraid.

The club is in a mess largely resulting from the sacking of AVB, blowing the Bale money on too many foreign players new to the League and the country and appointing a rookie manager for the interim. The cockerels are coming home to roost Mr. Levy.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
 Dead Man Walking and talking in chastened and honest mode or giving the impression of a chastened and honest man. Or perhaps he really does not have clue what he's doing and is making it up as he goes along off the pitch as well as on it.