The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Kaboul captaincy in the balance?

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

The JimmyG2 Column

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.

The JimmyG2 Column
  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.
The JimmyG2 Column.
  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.