The Blog that's not always wrong.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Stats show that Spurs are in Pole Position


That Picture Editor will have to go.
Although on second thoughts.
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The JimmyG2 column. 

As I dip the quill we are third and have the best goal difference in the Premiership. It's a long while since that last happened at this stage of the season. If we can maintain it, this could be a crucial factor come May.

With a 0-0 stalemate between and Man. City and Leicester on Tuesday we maintain our goal difference status but drop back to 4th. four points ahead of Crystal Palace.

An encouraging gap is opening up between the top four and the rest. The team with the best goal difference at the half way stage has won the league in nine out of the last ten seasons so I am reliably informed.*

I'm looking forward to every game now though I'm pleased the Watford slog is over. Three consecutive wins over Christmas; seven scored and only one conceded. 

We were undoubtedly lucky at Watford. An inch from losing it and a fortuitous winner by Son who was offside in the build up but not flagged. In the pre goal-line technology days the Watford goal would certainly have been given.

The whole ball and nothing but the whole ball, so help our lucky stars. If I were a Watford fan I would be mightily miffed.

But you make your own luck by dint of effort and application. As Gary Player once said when accused of being a lucky golfer: 'the more I practice, the luckier I seem to get'.

A new formation by Mauricio showing unacustomed tactical flexibility with Dier in a back three which released the full backs and Trippier certainly made good use of it. If Danny Rose could cross like Kieran he'd be Marcelo and playing for Brazil.

But there are fine lines in football just as there are in life. Had he taken his chance against Norwich and put in just one good cross all would be forgiven. But still not bad for the scapegoat before last.

Ironically it was Dier who failed to stop Ighalo from turning and poking the ball past a hesitant Lloris. But any of the central three could have been beaten by the awkward bounce.

The pitch certainly suited their style rather than ours. I thought that preparing  a special surface to suit the home team was a purely cricketing phenomenon. Is it the pitch  producing the approach or the approach requiring the pitch?

Another previous hate figure, Erik Lamela scored the opener and vied with Trippier for MOM. A deceptively languid run and a clever disguised finish just as you thought he was going to get caught in possession.

30 million probably not but then the price tag is not his fault and he has come good consistently this season. He was top assister last year too.

Dembele another revived figure went off injured at  half time to be replaced by Eriksen another player under the spotlight. Tom Carroll started and at Central Casting is filed with Christian rather than Moussa.

 Tom as usual was effective in a controlled way, consistently positive wherever possible and Eriksen's class shows in everything except his tackling. Both these players have their doubters but I'm not one of them.

Lamela's goal came as a result of the Pochettino inspired pack hunting mentality of Deli Alli and Carroll who pressured Watford in their own half and released Lamela. 16 minutes in and one up.What can possibly go wrong.

They scored just before half time and on the hour Ake got a straight red card for a high studs up tackle into the middle of Erik Lamela. This seemed to unsettle us and we let the game drift against ten men who dug in.

The latter stages were a bit topsy turvy and I went from confidence that we would win, to relief that in fact we didn't lose, to elation when we got the goal and the three points from a difficult game.

(* From SIMB via parklanerob on ftl.)

Jimmy's Video Spot. Latest on Erik Lamela
Skill, vision, determination, a rabona, the eyes. Pochettino's representative on the pitch. It's taken a while to settle and recover from injury but those who doubted he was the real deal will just have to think again.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Spurs young lion's pride.


 
 On the fourth place at Xmas Mauricio sent to me;
 a young team full of energy.*

Top four at Xmas. Thank you Santa, I'll never deny your existence again. Give my regards to Mrs Christmas, Rudolph and the Elves. With Man.Utd faltering  and our vastly improved goal difference we sneak into the Yuletide Champions' league places.

Now we have to knuckle down and stay there. We began against Southampton where we left off last week against Newcastle: under the cosh. But we survived their early pressure and slowly but surely took command.

Actually 'command' is a bit strong but two goals in three minutes just before half time was not only the turning point but gave us a clear view of the route to the finishing post.

With a two goal cushion which we never looked likely to relinquish our younger fitter side took over. We managed the second half well and the word 'professional'  springs to mind.

Davies, in for the unwell, Rose grew into the game and the back four repelled all-comers. In fact with Dembele playing like a man reborn, 'Pochettinodised' is the technical term, it was a case of Belgians' Rule.

Tadic and Pelle looked strong early on and Mane was a nuisance from time to time but their defending especially for the goals will give Ronald Koeman nightmares for weeks to come.

It all began with a proper striker's goal by Harry Kane set up by the persistence of  Erik Lamela; the determination of Deli Alli and some comical defending.

Harry Kane's post match tweet says a lot about his attitude to the club. (31 goals in 2015)
Harry Kane tweet


An attitude seemingly shared by most of the squad. The camaraderie in this emerging force and delight in each others performance is heart warming. You're an old romantic Jimmy.

Harry himself seems to have shaken off all doubts and doubters and in 'I can do this 'mode with plenty to do after the ball breaks to him slotted home one on one with Bazinga. One season wonder, I think not.

They tried to hack all three players in the move down but we kept our heads and feet and completed in style. Pretty it wasn't but this is the new Spurs.

Within minutes Kyle Walker from out wide somehow found Alli on the edge of the six yard box in a crowded area and this time he controlled and finished with an embarrassing amount of ease and time.

Now we were on cruise control and keeping what we had. Lloris back to normal made two very good saves; Dier too was more his previous self and Kyle Walker is now in 'sensible' mode and all the better for it.

Plaudits go mainly to our Belgian triplets and Hugo though Deli Alli the media favourite got MOM in the press. Now I love the boy; he has edge and presence but I thought that was more than generous.

Mauricio's pride in his young charges was evident after the game and once again with an average age of 24 we were the youngest fielded in the Premiership over the weekend again.

Trusting youth was evident again in his substitution of  Carroll for Alli. Clearly unlike many Spurs fans Tom doesn't get the blame from the Head Coach for last week's capitulation to Newcastle. Well we were winning when he went off.

But let's not let facts obscure a good scapegoat. After all Walker has shaped up; Rose and Lamela,   are now two of our better players, Andros can't get in the squad and Jenas is long gone. But don't fret Tom, Mauricio and me have got your back.

With Pritchard close to return, Onomah already bloodied and Harry Winks on the bench this week the Academy dream lives on.

So the Turkey and stuffing and even the sprouts will taste better than usual and I will be whistling while I load the dishwasher. Then I will collapse in front of the TV and dream of Champions' League.

Mourinho. Yes or no.
Not that it is even likely but just asking.
Thumping 'no' from me. Building nicely under Pochettino. Jose is a fine manager and a winner given a top team and a couple of  hundred million to spend.

 But he doesn't favour young players and his ego is bigger than our new 61,000+ Stadium and would inhibit our boys' development. Horrible person anyway.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Picture quality is poor I'm afraid. Doesn't show Captain Hugo berating his team obviously fearing another Newcastle. Well it worked. Two fine saves are shown, the goals and good defending by Alderweireld. Even better by Vertonghen later but he doesn't feature.

Happy Xmas to all our readers and a Spurstastic New Year. COYS.

(*Working on a complete 12 days version but it won't be ready until next year at the earliest. All suggestions welcome)

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Spurs make costly mistake.


 
A lot easier than stopping Newcastle winning
 at White Hart Lane.
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 The JimmyG2 Column
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And it was all going so well. Quite well anyway. My two grandsons who play in the local Madrid league (Alevin section*) were thrashed 5-0 on Saturday and even Lloris would have saved most of them.

My other team, Real Madrid, were beaten on Sunday evening by a single goal by ex Spur Soldado watched admiringly by ex Spur Dos Santos despite the best efforts of ex Spurs Modric and Bale.

White Hart Lane centre of universe claims proven.

In the main event Spurs dazzled by the sun glinting off the gleaming domes of football Mecca, the Champions' League places, allowed a Newcastle side to come back from the dead and snatch victory with an injury time goal.

Those who don't learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them (originally Santana but many others have arrived at the same conclusion.) It was a re-run of the score and scorer of last year

Either the Spurs History coach has taken Xmas leave early or they have neglected to appoint one. Newcastle clearly paid strict attention to theirs, took copious notes, learned the lessons and passed the exam.

And we began the game on such a high after beating an experienced Monaco side in the Europa on Thursday to maintain our unbeaten run and top our group.Thank the Lord that 'unbeaten' monkey is off our back.

Carroll started in the Europa fixture and scored a delightful goal and such was Pochettino's confidence in the boy that he started his first Premiership game two days later. Perhaps a selection too soon and too far.

He will get most of the blame for the defeat as Lamela the previous whipping boy/scapegoat who scored a hat-trick on Thursday is now on course to join the select band of Argentinian 'Yids'.

In fact against Newcastle only Lamela put in a full shift before being mysteriously subbed for Son who was lively but ineffective again. Chadli also got a late run out and looked as startled as I was when he came on.

Carroll was as good as most of his colleagues and better than some. Dier having scored a header from an Eriksen corner retired to his tent and was caught on the ball several times.

 JimmyG2 resists the rare opportunity to crack the 'Dier was dire in the second' half joke.

Deli Alli's poor touch let him down twice early on as we pressed and played some decent football. After that he was too casual. Eriksen, assist apart, sleep-walked through most of the game.

But Lloris must take his share of the blame: two fumbles leading to goals is unexpected, out of character but even so unacceptable.

He has plenty of credit in the bank to offset these lapses but Elliot in goal for them made the difference, saving well twice from Lamela. Last week it was Hugo at W.Brom saving us point and it usually is.

Rose played well but should have scored by taking a touch and passing into a half empty net but he blasted it across goal and wide. Walker made an early first time cross but frightened himself and never tried it again.

'Composure' is today's word boys as it should have been on Sunday. We bossed it completely for the first half but didn't make it safe. 'Complacent' is the word for the second half.

Whatever Mauricio said to them at half time clearly didn't work. They should have bugged the visitors dressing room and eavesdropped on Steve McClaren. .

Our substitutions were as misguided as McClaren's were inspired: both his subs scored within minutes of coming on. Bentaleb for Carroll would have made more sense although we were winning 1-0 when Tommy went off.

Newcastle were destined to win this game and you can't stem the tide of history or as Canute demonstrated you can't stem the tide. You must score when you are on top to make the game safe or you get your feet and possibly your crown wet.

That's King Canute by the way not Frederic Oumar  Kanoute who played over 200 games for Sevilla after he left us and scored at just under a goal every two games.  Shurly some mistake there.

Our  excellent record of scoring from set pieces this season is not quite as good as our record for conceding  from them. Our Belgian centre halves are playing well but defending high balls into the box is not a strength.

So black marks to Hugo and Mauricio  who both have plenty of goodwill and achievements to offset these recent lapses and the Head coach has to decide how to deal with his wayward charges.

No doubt the usual rockets up fundaments and extra press-ups are on the agenda but I would give them a few days off, take them to see the Xmas lights up Oxford St. and perhaps Santa in Hamleys and make them all feel really uneasily guilty.

It might be more effective than unleashing the Pochettino wrath and allow them to think that they've taken their punishment and all is sorted. 'Forgive but never forget´ another Musings motto

I'm not as cheerful as I sound but there are still 22 matches to go. Some are talking as if we have blown, bottled and funked it completely. Arsenal briefly being top doesn't help but we can learn and move on.

The top four nonsense, or even winning the league must stop, one or two players need to calm down, concentrate and graft, Deli Alli especially. We are progressing nicely and ahead of the curve.

One loss doesn't make a winter of discontent so lets not throw the baby, or the Head Coach, out with the bathwater. (Bit of a mixed metaphor there Jim. Editor).

*Alevin section (10/12 yr. olds)...An Alevin is a newly hatched salmon or trout hence why I call them 'my little fishes' Cute eh? Well it's just a little something to take your mind off the grown up football for now.

Headline: Fuente al Saz Alevins make cheeky bid for Hugo Lloris.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
You didn't really want to see the highlights did you. Actually I don't think we featured much.

Always best to chill and relax after a set-back, then go again refreshed.

We could have done with some of this energy and movement in the second half on Sunday. Resembles an aerial view of Junior football. The ball is in there somewhere.


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Vital decision facing Spurs.


 And Tottenham Hotspur will play Leicester City.
Might have been worse: away at the King Power stadium
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The JimmyG2 Column
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Poor conditions, poor refereeing, poor performance at W. Brom but 'No excuses' Pochettino' won't use the first two to explain the third.  Away from home we managed to sustain our unbeaten run but it should have been all three points.

Ahead early and in control we allowed W.Brom. to bully their way, under a lenient ref. back into the game and showed little of our new found steel to stop them.

In truth only Lloris turned up  and whilst others, Alli, Rose, Dembele and Lamela, had their moments this was not football apart from the first 15 minutes as we have come to understand and expect it.

Dier, Alderweireld and Vertonghen were all below par, unsettled by the wind, Rondon and each other's uncertainty. Harry was lost in a forest of defenders, Eriksen's flame flickered and went out; Dembele huffed and was eventually puffed..

Alderweireld found Alli ironically with a long ball which caught the W Brom defence in three minds and we were one up and coasting. Which might just have be part of the problem.

Let's enjoy our current Premiership Champions hype but don't start believing in it. Every point has to be hard earned and as we know to our cost at times there are no easy games in the Premiership.

Strugglers Newcastle beat another over-hyped Premiership outfit Liverpool; Chelsea lost at home to Bournemouth; Man.City were beaten by Stoke. The doors to the Premiership trophy cabinet have been left wide open.

Top of the league are Leicester who we play in the third round of the FA Cup. Perhaps we would both be happy concentrate on the league. This one can't ultimately end in a draw though and at least we start at home.

Which brings us neatly to our unbeaten league run. Our current twelve games overtakes the same achievement from over 30 years ago. Next up is the 22 game sequence from 1949.

Let's hope that beating that statistic doesn't become a priority or an obsession. Unbeaten runs may well give the boys that Invincibles feeling but winning is the habit we need to foster.

If we had lost to Chelsea and won at W:Brom in our last two games we would have been a point better off. You could go a whole season unbeaten and still get relegated. Just saying.

Ten points covers the top half of the table: six points the top five including us. It is close, very close and we must not miss out by timidity and failing to turn draws into wins

 So let's not start parking the bus for fear of losing our unbeaten record. Lets not get defensive cautious or distracted To Dare etc.....You win nothing with best run statistics. It's points we need and what do points mean? Exactly.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
We haven't featured captain Hugo Lloris for a while So here is the latest video of his best saves. Get top four and he is almost certain to stay. Fail by even a single point and he will have plenty of offers.


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Pochettino and Machiavelli in agreement

 Nothing ahead to trouble us Mr. Hardy.
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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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Even with London derbies at either end and a 5000 mile round trip in the middle we still managed to emerge undefeated from another challenging week. But signs of fatigue and stress are beginning to show.

If the Europa fixture against Qarabag had actually been in the middle it might not have been so bad but a Thursday night at the extreme edge of Europe and a midday fixture on Sunday against a semi resurgent Chelsea was not what the doctor ordered.

Don't they have people somewhere to check these things. But if TV companies, who are paying the piper, say 'Jump' I suppose they meekly inquire 'how high?' These days  football is too often about the money.

Anyway All's Well that Doesn't End As Badly As It Might Have although but for a Lloris wonder save from Hazard we might all be in full conspiracy, misery mode. Infamy, infamy, why have they all got it infamy. ( Edit Courtesy Kenneth Williams  Estate)

We now sail into what looks like calmer waters before Xmas and into the New Year. With our new found steel and determination under the gaze of Mauricio 'no excuses' Pochettino we might just extract good value.

With West Brom, Newcastle, Southampton, Norwich, and Watford to play in December we should find ourselves handily placed for the challenges of 2016. 15 points is not impossible though unlikely. 11 seems more realistic.

And with our telescopes fixed firmly to our blind eyes, that is mine and Horatio's firm prediction.

We are not a team these days that gets complacent under the Head Coach's steely eye. We can top our Europa group with a home point against Monaco  having already qualified with the win at Qarabag for the next stage.

But beware the reefs that lie just below the surface in seemingly placid waters. After all the Titanic was unsinkable. And it wouldn't be the first time. But that was then.

The Qarabag game featured most of the first team squad and with little recovery time we looked to be flagging against Chelsea as a result.

 Perhaps we will see more of the back up squad against Monaco although Mauricio's priority may be topping the group.

His game plan seems to be to take one game at a time and trust to the fitness and resilience of the squad. The future starts now and let tomorrow take care of itself when we get there.

Tommy Carroll played a lively 20 minutes in Outer Europe, Onomah never looks out of place and I would like to seem them both start in our final game of the group stage.

We set out to prove that we can be as dour and un-entertaining as the next man and did so without breaking sweat. Our build up was painfully slow but Pochettino, clearly a student of Machiavelli, will claim that the end justifies the means and a win is a win.

The Chelsea game was 90 minutes too far for some and I wouldn't have taken Kane or Dier on the trip. However as Harry scored you might argue that I got that wrong too. Armchair Manager left standing shock.

Mourinho claimed that this was Chelsea's best performance so far this season. Even so Begovich was the busier keeper and whilst they didn't exactly park the bus it seemed to have run out of petrol in a very inconvenient place

Dembele showed early but faded after a knock; Lamela made a late impression and Alderweireld played well; we missed Pundits Pet Alli but he'll be back.

Mason was lively and positive until he hobbled off but Lloris probably shades MOM for his one outstanding save, a couple of alert dashes to forestall trouble and some good punched clearances from crosses.

Such was the quality of the game that Diego Costa stole the headlines by throwing his toys out of the pram and his bib at Mourinho when dropped to the bench and not even sent on as a sub after eventually warming up..

So our record breaking unbeaten run continues. We peer over the very Rim of Achievement; knocking at the door of the ante-room to Football's Heavenly Treasures; waiting in the Express Lift to the Penthouse, on the cusp........

(Editor: Enough already Jimmy. That's more than enough to jinx us for the next decade. Jeeesus)

OK Chief but don't say I didn't foretell the impact of the Academy Boys under Mauricio. We just need to see it through now starting with the run into the New Year.

I will be very disappointed if we are not in the top four by the start of 2016. And you can quote me on that.

And remember you are tuned in to Spurs Musings. The blog that's not always wrong.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Cesc Fabregas stars in this short video of his best moments in the Spurs v Chelsea game.
Whacking the ball into Willian's face from close up is my favourite bit though his free kick runs it close.


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Young gifted and back.

And plenty more where they came from.
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The Jimmy G2 column.
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 Any minute now the alarm clock will go off and I will realise that it's all been just a wonderful dream. I think I'll just doze off until after we seal our Europa progress and thrash Chelsea.

Another fine team performance against W.Ham and though most agree that Moussa was the King of the Jungle  there were a number of other beasts with a claim for MOM: Alli, Alderweield, Kane, Walker and Dier all played well and nobody played badly.

Dembele seems to have been born again and resembles the player we thought we had brought from Fulham in 2012. Strong on the ball, scoring goals and much more direct. Another example of the Pochettino effect.

The pundits, still hooked on their Deli Alli love-in, made him MOM but once again this was an attacking performance by a young, gifted side relishing the opportunity to press and run about quite a lot.

There were some delightful passages of play and quite how on this showing W.Ham were level on points before the game baffles me.

We had more shots on goal (12) in a single game than any team in the Premiership; we have the second best goal difference: we always run the furthest and have been awarded the most yellow cards.

Perhaps the last factor, which makes me a little uneasy, is part and parcel of the overall package. Oh those heady days when we won the Fair Play League. Are we becoming too nasty now or were we too nice then.

As long as we don't crowd the ref; protest every decision; wave imaginary cards about and allow the medical squad on the pitch when necessary perhaps we are still just on the right side of the line..

Deli Alli picked up his fifth yellow card and will miss the Chelsea game. Perhaps it will be a salutary lesson for the 19yr. old who needs to stand his ground but know when to turn away and curb his enthusiasm just a little.

The togetherness of the squad is evident and heartwarming to see. It injects a hard core throughout the squad and is perhaps something that has been missing in recent years.

We've often had a nominated hard man Palacios, Parker, Sandro and Jenas most recently but this is different because now: it's all for one and one for all. They can all look after themselves and everyone can look out for Christian.

But it's a narrow line to walk between team spirit and a Stoke or a Sunderland or W.Ham and two banned before Xmas and another on the edge indicates that it might get out of hand. Jenas was a joke by the way.

Erik Dier says that Spurs aren't 'Spursy' any more. Meaning that the soft centre has been scooped out. But we must take care not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Walker Let himself down with an ill-judged attempted clearance which led to their consolation goal after scoring a fine goal himself. Harry remains on track and should have had another hat-t rick.

With Eiderweireld and Walker contributing goals that's twelve different scorers so far this season and shows that the attacking intent is not solely centred on our one season wonder.

We bossed the game especially in the centre of the park and W. Ham were poor in every department except in goal. It was pleasing to see big lump Andy Carroll subbed. Our centre backs stood off him and picked up the second ball.

I'm glad that Onomah is being patiently groomed, but in a nice way, and that Tommy Carroll has not slipped Mauricio's mind. I hope both start against Qarabag or perhaps Harry Winks and that Son who was lively, gives Harry a rest.

I know, I know if we win this one we´re through but it´s Chelsea on Sunday and beating them is a priority and would inspire us to greater things before the Xmas rush. Deli Alli could start.

What team he puts out could depend on whether his faith in youth is greater than his belief in the capacity of his squad to cope with multiple games on several fronts at once.

I haven´t been so excited by our performances and prospects for decades, Gareth Bale in our Champions´ League flirtation under Harry excepted.

Jimmy´s Video Spot.
I expect you can bear to watch the highlights again. Could and should have been more but that´ll do. Eriksen already has more assists than he got the whole of last season. Son sets up two and Mason is very unlucky not to score..
We´re young, gifted and back on track.


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

The curse of Premature Adulation at Spurs.


New mug Mauricio?
Yeah. The lads had a whip round.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
Eleven games unbeaten and three games in six days but our young team did us proud. In the end Arsenal snatched a draw and on possession and chances perhaps a fair result.

But a week that could easily have gone so wrong  and might have done so in years gone by. But this is the new Tottenham itching to go places including the New White Hart Lane.

Mental as well as physical endurance thanks to Pochettino's work on a young and responsive squad. Arsenal and the NLD at the end of an arduous week a call to action, a spur if you will. We had excuses to hand but didn't use them.

Ah the innocence of youth trusted and given a sense of purpose by a Head Coach that is not afraid to throw them in at the deep end and so far they have all swum safely ashore.

It felt as if we totally bossed the NLD especially in the centre of the park. But I'm content for the moment to be disappointed to come away with just a draw at the Emirates.

We may have drawn this particular battle but we are making good progress in winning the Premiership war.

We've beaten the top of the table and yesterday stopped Arsenal themselves going top. Cazorla was withdrawn at half time to lick his wounds and the pundits were falling over themselves to acclaim Deli Alli.

Not that it's my favourite fixture or the Chelsea and West Ham games to be honest. Of course I relish the chance to establish the London bragging rights but the emotion can get in the way of the football.

These are games where the result becomes more important than the performance and yet it is the performance that produces the results. No complaints though about this latest episode of Beat Your Neighbour.

It's difficult even to pick a clear MOM whatever the commentators might have said. Ali, Dembele, Lamela, Dier, Walker, Rose for his beautiful assist and Alderweireld all have their advocates.

Alli looks the real deal with his strength in the tackle and ability on the ball. If he doesn't have his head turned by premature adulation he could be a mainstay for us for years. But pundits: they build 'em up and they bring  'em down. Adulation I said.

Only Lloris who might have done better for the goal and who was hesitant at times doesn't make the frame. Even then he made a couple of excellent saves to match Czech at the other end.

So a team performance then. Pressing, harassing and tackling all over the pitch and a Harry Kane goal to round it off. Two weeks ago it wouldn't have gone in but this is on the other side of a hatrick.

One season wonder, clearly not. But even with Harry misfiring and Mason and Bentaleb, last years midfield  stalwarts, injured for weeks we have maintained our momentum towards the Promised Land.

The emergence of Dier and Alli; the central partnership of Toby and Jan; the re-emergence of Dembele, Walker and Lamela has not merely papered over the cracks this time round, they have knocked down the wall rebuilt and replastered it.

We are not only consistently fielding the youngest team in the league we are bringing the most 'own grown'  products from the production line to the showroom.The Future is Bright and the present is very satisfying too.

 How relaxing it is to go into an international break following a good performance riding high in the league. Not that many of the Senior squad or the younger teams either will get much rest with friendlies and qualifiers galore at every level.

But at least they should be able to play with smiles on their faces.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
A tale of two assists
Moussa mops up. Jan send Danny away and that pass forward is the most beautiful thing. Harry scores with aplomb as all the best sports writers say. I think the commentator changes sides at half time.

 Blame game? Difficult because  its such a peach of a cross from chief Premiership assister Ozil. Rose not close enough? Jan too far across? Walker gives Gibbs too much space trying to cover Jan? And the award goes to Hugo.

Amazing clarity on the video


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Belgium play France in N.London. The Derby


 What time does it all kick off?
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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Derby Day 8 November 2015: Dracula’s Birthday.

Belgium Play France in North London: The Derby.

War has been declared for today only. Our pub hunkered down amid the leafy glades of Kent is in combat mode. Over a pint or two our merry band of regulars have forensically examined the looming battle in North London.
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The first clue surely relates to the make up of the respective combatants. Spurs have a significant Belgian flavor while Arsenal have  on many occasions been mistaken for the French national side.
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Guess who are rated the best football team in the world. Yes its Belgium. An omen surely.
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Spurs have  4 members of the Belgian side including Alderweireld, Vertongen, Dembele and Chadli. The defensive pairing of Toby and Jan has seen a remarkable turn around regards Spurs previous open door/open goal policy of last season.
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A second “clue” may lie in the unlikely turnaround of a certain Belgian’s form. Mousa Dembele went knocking on Mauricio Pochettino’s reputedly always open door in the summer. Not entirely sure it is always open.
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 Andros Townsend had trouble meeting a decidedly frosty reception from Mauricio this week. Banished to the Under 21’s. Dishonourable mention in despatches for Andros.
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Dembele was rumoured to be unhappy with his lot, as in not getting a lot of game time. Whatever transpired between him and the manager seems to have worked in spades.
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 He is fit, he is scoring goals(3 in 3 just lately), and he is closing on the form that he was demonstrating when he first signed from Fulham. Remember his scintillating display when he ripped Manchester United apart at Old Trafford.
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More of that form will mean the chances of the Belgian contingent trumping the French in the Derby today are much enhanced.
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So to that French factor. The likes of Koscielny, Debuchy, Giroud,  Flamini, Coquelin and of course Monsieur Wenger are a formidable sextet.
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Koscielny will line up on Harry Kane no doubt. Coquelin likewise will try to snuff out the threat of Eriksen.

The Flamini factor surely cannot strike twice.He scored two in the League Cup against Spurs. Before that his last goal was for the Under 10’s at Ecole Primaire Marseille in 1994.
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Spurs of course have their own French factor namely our Hugo Lloris. The Captain of France no less. Arsenal boast their own goalkeeping superstar Petr Cech. Things cancel each out on balance.
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A final “clue” may lie in the supporting cast for each team. Arsenal have an impressive list of wounded soldiers . The English invalids include Walcott, Oxlade Chamberlain, Wiltshire and Aaron Ramsay, almost English.
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Spurs have most available albeit our Korean is short on game time.
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The Arsenal foreign legion however is all class. The likes of Sanchez, Ozil and Cazorla  for starters. Goals galore there and hopefully for Spurs but perhaps not this week. And so any one of 3 outcomes would not surprise our assembled squad …
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At A Kent Pub.
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Nervous anticipation hangs in the air here at our pub. Nothing to do with Bram Stoker's birthday. He is 168 years old today. The fact that Spurs are going to war away from home is perhaps a tipping point in favour of the Gunners.
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Mind, that said, our lawyer is going for a narrow and famous win to the youngsters.
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Cheers … Belgium to triumph …  Greg Meyer.       coys.
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Jimmy's Video Spot. Vintage stuff on a vintage radio from Rob Wilton. 'Our Harry' features. Some of this spirit is exactly what we need today. Mauricios's pre match pep talk. (Home Guard 1943). I think you had to be there. I was: just.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Pochettino gets his reward.

Shaun the sheep.
It would appear so from this side at least.
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The JimmyG2 Column.

The biggest of elephant traps, lavishly baited with banana skins and laced with the droolings of TV pundits lay in wait for Spurs on Monday night, and we almost fell in.

When Carragher and Neville rate us, like us, and want to have Mauricios babies then it's tin hat and body armour time in my book. Especially just before the first game of a hectic and possibly crucial week.

High flying, unbeaten, pundit backed Spurs against the (technically) managerless bottom of the league strugglers Aston Villa on Sky Sports, in prime time.What could possibly go wrong.

In the end it was almost the architypical Tottenham game. The New Spurs rising Phoenix like from the bones and ashes of the old Spurs. But the same DNA still  flows.

Early goal; two up at half time. That's the New Spurs. But then as history shows 2-0 up is a dangerous situation for us.. We relax and drop deeper; get slack; they get a goal courtesy of a misplaced pass and a deflection and its 'Game On'.

That's the Old Spurs. Then Lamela keeping his head when all about him others are losing theirs earns back a little of his record fee. Some harrying and nice footwork and he sets up Harry for the goal that not only takes the wind out of their sails but overturns the boat.

Harry without thinking whacks the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area and we maintain our unbeaten run and press our noses hard against the Champions' League Gift shop window and start compiling our Xmas wish list.

70 minutes of dominance with yet another goal for Dembele; a calm finish by Deli Alli; good work by Dier; a Mr.Sensible performance from Kyle Walker; hard centres only in our Belgian Centre Back selection, and ten minutes of mayhem.

Lloris tried to summon up a bit of trade for himself by some careless distribution but at least he chose a good game to do it in. The goal which deflected off Vertonghen is not down to him.

Whats not to like? Spurs fans should be conditioned for this contingency now whatever Mr.G. Neville, who I respect as the best of the current pundits, says.

What Mr.J. Callagher thinks is out of his very short volume 'The Beautiful Game on Merseyside'. Namely that Clarke should have brought Moussa down before he reached the penalty area and scored. He didn't though he tried, and he did.

Well at least you practised what you preach Jamie. So have Spurs turned the proverbial corner before the return Europa game against Anderlecht. Not quite a must win but certainly a mustn't lose.

Where did they find an Arsenal supporting fixture computer. The group is finely balanced at the half-way stage and we need to play with more focus in the remaining ties.

The question of Spurs progress reminds me of the two Professors of Philosophy on the train to Oxford. One thoughtfully tapped his note-pad with his fountain pen which tells you how old this anecdote is.

'The sheep in that field have all been sheared' he remarks. The other after careful consideration replies, 'It would appear so from this side at least.' Clearly a  lifelong Spurs supporter.

If we won the Premiership and then the Champions' League we would surely celebrate but then ask' 'But can we do it every year?' The fans version of the managerial cliche 'We are taking it one game at a time'.

Whatever the outcome this season all credit to Mauricio. He has cleared the decks, battened down the hatches with Toby prompting Jan to greater effort and responsibility. Mostly though he has trusted youth.

Onomah(18) was the latest fledgling to be hatched and not at an easy moment in the Villa game. He like Alli looks the part. Harry is threatening once again to reward his Head Coach handsomely.

As are all of his young proteges. Their spirit and camaraderie shines out and the fans at last have something of their own to cherish and support.

We are scoring more and conceding less and it is decade and a half since our goal difference looked as healthy as it does after 11 games. It could be important in the final countdown.

So it would appear that we are making progress. Well it looks like it from here anyway. 

Jimmy's Video spot. 
All the goals and highlights as they say. Scott Sinclair a pain early on and Ayew and Gestede later. But the highlights flatter Villa who were out of it for most of the game. Eriksen and Lamela buzzing and Harry winning his cousin £5000 with his late strike to complete a six scorers accumulator for him. Rewards: they  just keep on coming.
       

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Vardy pips Harry for Real Madrid spot.


Life is just a bowl of cherries. Five is plenty
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The JimmyG2 Column.

Nice place for a stroll on a sunny winter afternoon, Bournemouth. And that's exactly how it turned out. I spent a couple of pleasant holidays there as a boy. Pitch and putt, Fisherman's Walk; probably all car parks now.

What a difference five goals make. Funny old game . There I was one minute into the Bournemouth game preparing myself for a bout of clinical depression when up pop Eriksen and Harry Kane to make it all better.

Against Anderlecht  we got what we deserved, namely nothing, for a lackadaisical performance, a word that encapsulates Spurs at times over the years. As usual they were better than we allowed for.

I posted in another place my thoughts on the performances in that game and I'll leave it at that. I still think that we will progress but in our usual way making it harder for ourselves. How Spursy is that!

Europa summary after Anderlecht

'Pity it isn't Bonfire night or I could go off on one of my world famous thematic outbursts

Damp squibs; Townsend, Trippier, Davies 
Rockets that burn brightly briefly and then fall back to earth: Eriksen, 
Sparklers that fizzle but ultimately disappoint :Lamela, N'jie 
Catherine Wheels , Look pretty but go round and round and get nowhere: Dembele. 
Roman Candles. Good in brief bursts. Dier and the rest .
Except Hugo Lloris who is pure dynamite and got into the box by mistake.
But it isn't so I won't............(On Spurs Community match thread)
 
However after several games in which we deserved better we get three points and five goals in a game where the scoreline flatters. Let's hear it for Artur Boric, the Secret Spurs Footballer.

Harry's gifted hat-trick was the cherry and the icing on the cake. I'd add marzipan too but I've never liked the stuff. Not that he didn't deserve it. As usual he grafted and popped up in the right places at the right time.

So let's hear it for Mauricio's pale blue and dark blue army. We move up to sixth; break the drawn games stranglehold; get Harry back on track; see the return of Mason, and Dembele scores his fourth goal in just under a hundred appearances.

Eriksen is purring like the Rolls Royce that got the cream; Lamela scores and Walker has yet another decent game. We've never played them before in the league and they wished it had stayed that way.

Our goal difference gets a healthy boost and Lamela heads the combined assists and goals chart once again.

Christian Eriksen.
I made him my MOM against the beleaguered Cherries simply for his sheer class. His curler from range should have been the 6th. Sorry Harry.

Every Spurs team in every decade needs a player of Eriksen's class or they're not really a proper Spurs team.  If we had spent the Bale money on just him it would have been money well spent. Well nearly.

Harry Kane.
Anyone who just knew that Harry would come good can heave a big sigh of relief. He's one of our own and I love him but he needed those goals and a rest to follow. He should have been subbed for N'jie as soon as he got the third goal.

He plays and speaks as if he desperately wants Spurs to succeed so that he doesn't have to leave. Amen to that. And remember he didn't properly start his scoring spree until Halloween last year. Scary.

His nerve and confidence in taking the penalty was exemplary.

Football Gossip: well at least at this time of the year they have the decency not to call it ITK.
I happened to inadvertently read the Bleacher Report Gossip Column, as you do: Here's a sample.

Deli Alli to PSG;
Jamie Vardy to Real Madrid .
Well they won't be needing Harry then. Who writes this stuff and who inadvertently reads it?

Meanwhile in the real world: A whole week for us and Harry to savor what could be a turning point in our season. So many positives and Villa next Monday night without Tim at the helm and heading for the relegation rocks.

If we all shove together they may be well and truly scuppered. Wreck ahoy.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Halloween  a couple of years ago. See Townsend is still with us.

What does Kyle Walker bring to the team apart from being the life and soul of the party? Strength speed, determination and commitment. Playing better now after a season disrupted by injury. I like the boy.

Only Jan.(Mr. Cool) Vertonghen takes this Halloween prank in his stride. Perhaps they don't celebrate Halloween in Belgium.


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Spurs ready to challenge.


Ah!  Mr. Klopp I presume
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 The JimmyG2 Column
  
The unstoppable force meets the immovable object. Jurgen and Mauricio ran themselves to a standstill or at least they encouraged their respective teams to do so. Both teams 'pressed' in the image of their managers.

In the end it was an exhausting deadlock but we could easily have won and beaten both the dreaded New Manager Bounce and the even more dreaded Manager of the Month curse. We steered a narrow path between them.

Mignolet made three vital saves whilst Lloris had nothing but routine stuff to deal with. They might have gone one up whilst their legs and arms were still pumping in the first 20 minutes but we faced them down and controlled matters from then on.

They ran further than they had in any match this season and even more than us, not only the Premiership's youngest side but the fittest and acknowledged current Premiership long distance champions.

We have been building up to this for some time but Jurgen must have threatened them with something extreme to manage this change in half a week. The result was a lively game which we can file once again in the 'should have won´ folder.

Unless we can turn draws into wins we are doomed to finish somewhere around 8th. That´s our fifth draw in eight games, more than any other team in the Premiership. With Kane misfiring, Son injured and Clinton as yet a little raw we are struggling for goals.

But the defence shares with Arsenal the accolade of the meanest in the Premiership so far, only seven conceded in nine games. Our goal difference looks a little healthier than it usually does at this stage.

Mignolet spoilt Clinton´s afternoon with a fine save from  what would have been a contender for ´Goal of the Month´ following a nicely worked move.Harry provided the pass but he lost out on another one on one.

With Eriksen returning to form from open play though certainly not from corners, Dembele giving a fair impression of his alleged true self and Walker playing almost sensibly we are fleetingly beginning to look something like a team ready to challenge.

Alli and Lamela though failed to rise to their recent form but the Belgians in defence look stronger by the game. Rose replaced Davies but made no lasting impression this time out.

Am I disappointed that we failed to win, or relieved that we avoided falling to Liverpool once again? As usual a little of both. But this is not the Liverpool of old and it feels like two points dropped rather than one gained.

Jimmys Video Spot 
Mignolet thwarts Spurs, not for the first time I seem to remember. Jurgen does his little 'klopp' dance and the Spurs crowd rise in unison in a well rehearsed scene to clutch their heads in their hands. Commentary is speeded up and behind the play. I think I prefer Michael Owen like this.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Klopp, Pochettino and Rodgers Open Envelopes ... All Revealed.


Can't stop Mr.Rogers. Busy, busy, busy today.
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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Friday 16 October … a Wilde man’s birthday.

Klopp, Pochettino and Rodgers Open Envelopes ... All Revealed.


Spurs and Liverpool at The Lane just got a whole lot bigger and more difficult because of that envelope Brendan Rogers opened on Sunday 4 October. Out popped a P45 from John W Henry.

Simultaneously two envelopes containing invitations were winging their way to Vancouver, Canada and Frankfurt, Germany. Mind the envelope addressed to Carlo Ancelotti in Canada relies on the believability and trusted sources of one Harry Redknapp.
A man who has received more than his fair share of envelopes in his time. P45’s, invitations from the taxman and many more.

Whatever, it all started with an envelope, to be more exact three of, back in 2012 when Rodgers was appointed Liverpool manager and whether for money, vanity, publicity, fan enlightenment, all or none of the above Liverpool allowed the cameras in and so the documentary Being: Liverpool came to be.

 Brendan was mercilessly parodied and it was not just the envelopes. No the comparisons to the David Brent School of Management  were close to the bone. Show and tell was born in America. John Henry’s wife an avid fan. In the UK it was positive cringe country.

The most famous perhaps infamous scenes involved our Brendan brandishing 3 envelopes and announcing inside were three people who will let us down this year. Chronologically he may not have got it spot on but the identities of those 3 envelopes has finally come clear.

Envelope One.

Undoubtedly Luis Suarez.

Not that he let Liverpool down, damn near won them the League but his big money move to Barca certainly justified him being in the envelope eventually.

Envelope Two.

Here Brendan was  a little disingenuous. There were actually 23 names on a list . He was not just betting each way but the whole field. And to give him his just desserts he was not wrong. After spending over 110 million pounds in his first year after Saurez it went belly up. 
We won’t do a Spurs ( a reference to the Bale money fiasco). Finished behind Spurs who got fifth. So then given another train load of cash and thus far another belly up. Ergo the …

 Last Envelope.

 No prizes for guessing. Brendan himself. Live by the envelope, die by the envelope.

Still that early TV career at Being:Liverpool was not all to waste. Looks like a pundits job at beIN awaits. As well surely Tim Sherwood is looking nervous. The bookies have installed Brendan as favourite for the Villa job. Quickly moving on from a dead man walking to the bright new thing in waiting.

 Ah football, don’t you just love it. We certainly do …

At A Kent Pub.

Here at our cosy hostelry in the green glades of Kent it has been a busy week. With no Premier, Harry Kane has been our concern. Great to see him score again. Dubious . Never.

Of course a lot of discussion has centred around the bounce factor of a new Manager. Certainly like the cut of the Klopp jib. The Normal One has charisma which is generated by others.
 Lovely contrast to The Special One who first bust onto our screens with the self promoting statements. I am the Special One. Not so special at Chelsea at the moment. Hardly surprising little sympathy for him here at our pub.

Spurs are without Son and Dier since City. Big misses. Dembele is tipped to come in. His talk off season was lack of opportunity. They don’t come a lot bigger than this one. Son, sounds like a broken foot bone but all will be revealed in true Spurs fashion the week after he comes back in possibly 5 weeks.
 Lamela. Can the man this Pub has stood by, albeit teetering on the odd cliff too many times, continue to be a real influence. Another goal would be delicious.

Perhaps we can but ease the anxiety by thinking of our back four. Toby, Jan, Kyle and Ben. Doing great so far mostly.

Worth a paragraph on his own. A whole Column I hear you say. Our favourite Frenchman, and favourite man besides … Hugo… say no more. Our truly world class player and leader. He leads France and more importantly he leads Spurs.
 Here at the Pub his Gallic charm plus a lovely photo still attract the female fan. Which besides man love galore from our menfolk does lead to some desirable discussion with those female fans, all engendered by the fabulous Captain of Spurs. A big man in these parts.

To leave you with two of life’s truisms. Firstly a Pub philosophy.

 “ A bottle of fine red a day keeps the doctor away. Mainly cos you’re too drunk to call him.” Seen in the Kent Pub lavatory.

Cheers … Oscar Wilde’s birthday today … in the immortal words of the early Spurs fan …” Work is the curse of the drinking classes”.. and don’t we try to live up to that at our Kent Pub … Greg Meyer.     coys … think we should squeak by Pool.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Just to prove you don't get sacked for nothing. Motivation is his middle name.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Great Dane savages Swans


Our Great Dane on the Ball.
We will have to sack that Picture Editor Jimmy.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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A point away from home to Swansea who have some good players and play attractive football is not to be sniffed at. We went behind twice so perhaps a point salvaged rather than two lost.

This after our midweek adventures in Monaco where we again got a draw away from home against our strongest rivals in the group. They are not having a great season but like Swansea have some good experienced players in their squad.

Another couple of games to put in  the 'Probably should have won' file.

Lamela began and finished a move on the Riviera that put us ahead following some slick footwork by Chadli. They pegged us back late in the game with a cross and header. A recurring theme at the moment.

The draw at Swansea doesn't seem a just reward although it was the sparkling return to form of Eriksen and his free kick expertise that enabled us to share the points. We looked to have the game mostly under control.

Harry Kane scored again but in somewhat farcical circumstances. He beat Lloris at his near post with a sliced clearance from a Swansea corner. Hopefully as the season progresses we will all share a laugh at the memory.

The boy is looking shagged but not in a nice way. Might be better as an impact sub for the last half hour for a few games. Clinton who looks lively if a little startled at times could deputise until Son recovers.

Dier failed to heed last week's Musings warning about yellow cards and duly received his fifth in eight games and will miss the Liverpool game under their new manager.

It will  probably be Jurgen Klopp though Harry is still available. The New Manager bounce awaits us.

Walker eventually did quite well against the Ecuadorian flying machine, the aptly named Jefferson Montero  but not until he had set up the opener. But he will roast better full backs than Walker whose speed is his USP.

We have our own flying machine in the shape of Andros Townsend but he went out of control quite soon after take-off, and crash landed once again.

There's a difference between having a football brain and having a football for a brain. Eriksen is an example of the former and Andros the latter.

Eriksen was the star both in open play and from free kicks. He even almost tackled on one occasion but play-maker is his job description and that's quite enough for me.

Del Alli more than fills the gap left by Mason, Bentaleb and Dembele who made a late sub . appearance but looked a little rusty. Alli will probably keep the midfield slot even when his rivals have recovered.

The football is getting better but we are so painfully slow moving the ball out of defence. On several occasions we took nearly a dozen passes to get out of our own half.

 By then Swansea had showered, had a quick rub down and were ready for us. Perhaps we were hoping that they would actually doze off  and we could catch them by surprise.

Not while the admirable Williams was in control they won't. We lack pace in the side currently and moving the ball more quickly is one antidote.

We are unbeaten in our last seven Premiership games and haven't lost since the opening day. Good but no cigar just yet. A win on Sunday and we would have tip-toed into the top four but isn't that always the Spurs way.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Man of the Moment Mr.C Eriksen returns to form with a bang. Two bangs in fact and nearly three. Buzzing all match. Fuzzy picture and a very dodgy commentary by my old head headmaster by the sound of it.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Spurs Spice up the Recipe.


Spurs secret: Fresh ingredients, carefully blended.
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The JimmyG2 Column.

Well if a week is along time in politics two are a lifetime in football. Pity that Mauricio didn't quite get his ducks in a row in the League Cup.

We could have and should have beaten Arsenal with some slight adjustments and still had plenty in hand this afternoon as it turned out.

Of course you can't legislate for Flamini, the forgotten man at Arsenal, scoring twice (400/1 apparently or for the basic errors by Vorm and Fazio that led to the goals but you can try to cover all contingencies.

Carping and hyper-critical maybe but losing a NLD, even if it was  a little  unfortunate, is a stain on his Spurs CV and may come back to haunt him when tougher times come round and friends desert him.

Many will write off the League Cup in favour of 3 points in the Premiership especially with a stunning win over City. But many will not agree with downgrading our chances against the Old Enemy.

However  we go from strength to strength despite this, from just outside the R zone to within striking distance of not just the top four but the very top itself. Early days.

This was much more nourishing fare than at the start of the season. An added dash of enthusiasm from Son and a pinch of the precocious steel of Alli  all carefully stirred, not shaken.

I must confess I missed the game live for the first time for a couple of seasons. Wedding Anniversary duties called which were arranged some time ago. I would have put money on a Sunday fixture this weekend.

 I struggled for a signal deep in the depths of Don Quixote country but when 1-0 flashed up to City half way through the soup course I turned my attention to Mrs.JG2 who was giving me looks enough to frighten Diego Costa.

It was 1-1 at half time which chimed with my optimistic pre-match forecast. I went out to the hotel lobby to get the details.

My co-blogger phoned from Tasmania to put me in the picture. Dier growing into his role with every game with the equaliser after the linesman had ignored a blatant Walker offside in the build up.

De Bruyne for them, also marginally offside after a YaYa Toure  breakaway from our corner on 25 minutes. Spurs coming into the game more after this and Lamela playing well. Walker was involved, giving the ball away.

I went back in time for the Main Course: Tuna steaks in a mushroom and clam sauce and an Alderweireld header from a Lamela free kick. 2-1 Spurs. Both very tasty.

Ice cream  to follow served with a topping of the long awaited Harry Kane goal. He took a difficult chance calmly clipping a shot back into the net from an Eriksen free kick that came back off the bar. Spurs 3-1.

On the later download Roy looked as delighted as the Spurs fans. So what would arrive with the coffee. An Erik Lamela special no less. Nothing easy for that boy, beating the keeper and the full back at least twice before firing home.

Spurs 4-1 and a day to remember for many reasons. Dier confounded his critics once again, Deli Alli played well and with a maturity well above his years and Lamela was MOM. Alderweireld and Vertonghen continue to blend.

Clinton got the assist for Lamela's goal, and Harry put both fingers up to the doomsayers. One season wonder? Make that a decade or more. A veritable feast of football.

Again a real team effort  and nobody played badly. The Head Chef has some surprising choices on his menu but regulars are coming round to his selections.

It has all been quietly simmering for a while but Mauricio and the boys added some spice and turned up the heat in the last two weeks.

Yellow cards:
Indiscipline or at the root of our new found midfield strength. Tottenham top the league for yellow cards. 20 so far and Dier (4), Alli (3) and Lamela (3) have half of them.

Thoughts for the Day.
Could Sunderland and Newcastle both get relegated in the same season.
Four of the top six are London clubs and that doesn't include Chelsea.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
We've featured him before but this boy could be a basic ingredient for some time to come. Nutmegging Luka Modric was just the start. Sorry about the Manchester sound track.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Harry and Son to start.


 Sonshine Superman is indeed our salvation. 
 For this week anyway.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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And Lo as Forcasteth on Ye Musings last week we Duly Moveth up into the Top Half of the Table.  As it says at the top, 'The blog that is not always wrong'. 

Mason and Bentaleb were also out as announced in the headline and might for a bit longer yet. Dembele remains mysteriously absent.

Three clean sheets in a Premiership row; three wins in a week. Mr Pochettino you are really spoiling us. All we need is a hat-trick from Harry on Wednesday night to send the fans away deliriously happy.

Against Palace who were on a bit of a roll, another shallow youth was trusted by the Head Coach to do the business and Deli Alli (19) more or less did. 

Then a gem of a find to paper over the goal scoring cracks all the way from S:Korea via the Bundesliga.  The future's bright: the Son has risen. 

Expect a lot more of this Son nonsense (see headline) before the season is out. Walker only made one mistake and Hugo was magnifique.  Eriksen  replaced Chadli in good time and had an instant impact.

Things are decidedly looking up. They might come to a grinding halt later in the week but there is no reason not to look on the bright side. Even Erik Lamela is playing better and his persistence enabled  Eriksen to send Son away for his goal.

Nice one Son. I did warn you. Pre-match we over-estimated Palace who seemed to complacently believe in their own hype. They were compact in defence, that's the new 'park the bus'. Perhaps our youth and fitness enabled us once again to prevail latish in the game.

They hit the post twice before we wrapped it up and saw it out. Hangeland backed off for too long and Son was lucky with a shot which went under the keeper. Harry would pay good money for that sort of good fortune.

But I never felt that our back five were vulnerable and only Chadli was below par. It was the youngest starting eleven in the Prem this season and even if we are found out later this week we are developing something we can be proud of.

Question of the Day; (New Feature)
Will Harry be rested from the Prem while 'come on my Son' * is on form .Or will Mauricio think that might undermine his confidence even further. Or can he accommodate both.
*Give it a rest Jimmy (editor).

Thought for tomorrow against Arsenal.
Reminds me of the old sex therapy joke. Two miserable and one happy man in the session. 
Therapist to the first miserable man: ' How often do you engage in sexual intercourse? About 15  times a year' he replies.
Same question to the second miserable man who replies ' 20 times a year'
Same question to the grinning happy man who replies 'Once a year'.
Puzzled, the therapist asks why he is so happy under the circumstances.
Happy man replies: 'Because tonight's the night'

Good News. (I think)
Revised plans have been submitted for the New Stadium. 'We're on our way to Wembley.'

Bad News. (Possibly)

I said many years ago that I wanted to watch a game at the New White Hart Lane before I set off for the Great Stadium in the Sky. At the current rate of progress it's gonna be a damn close run thing.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Who else? Good defending from Dier and Lamela tackling back. Lamela quickly rolls it out to Eriksen who sends Son on his way with one touch. 9 seconds from start to finish. 3 goals in a week you bet the crowd have really taken to him. 
Sonsational. Enough already Jimmy.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Mason and Bentaleb out.


Going up. Top half next stop.
 
The JimmyG2 Column. 
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So Spurs are up and running. Well three points up certainly but more of a brisk walk than a run. But a win is a win is a win as they say. Whoever they are.

We are four points from the Champions' League places and four points from the big R zone. It has a certain satisfying symmetry about it if nothing else. But there is a feeling about that we have turned the corner.

Three points away from home, a second clean sheet in a row and the winner scored by Academician Ryan Mason following as good a team goal as we have seen for more than a month of Sundays.

What more do you want? Fifteen uninterrupted  passes concluding with a brave goal after one touch interplay between Kane, Lamela and Mason to snatch victory in the 82nd. minute. Christian eat your heart out, but get well soon.

 In some ways a victory we didn't quite deserve. Sunderland were probably better than we thought or hoped especially the ex Spurs Kaboul and Defoe who gave Toby Elderweireld the run around all day and should have scored.

Lloris crouched tall and made him make the decision and thankfully he hit the post. We edged the possession but they had more shots and more of them on target.

 Late on a fine shot by Rodwell hit the bar with Lloris well beaten but as they, them again, say the woodwork marks the outside of the goal.

Mauricio and the lads were rightly excited by the goal and more for the manner in which it was scored than the goal itself. It's a start: 20 seconds of excellence in a game of more than five thousand .

Mauricio's substitutions of Lamela and Townsend, worked well and were timely this week. Lamela provided a measured through ball for the goal and Andros was like a force of nature unleashed on the right.

Both put themselves in the selection shop window. Chadli was at the peak of his infuriating ineffectuality and blazed over twice when set up by Lamela our leading assister last season. Point made and taken.

Newcomer Son could have been subbed earlier and didn't match up to the hype. He looked a lot better on you-tube. 'Who doesn't' I hear you shout, but he did alright for a debut in the Premiership. Tidy start and much more to come.

Mason went off injured and if he joins Bentaleb for a couple of weeks in the treatment room we might just learn how crucial they have been to the energy and drive of our midfield.

 Carroll, Pritchard and Winks wait in the wings. Academy rules KO!

We fielded the youngest side so far this season in the Premiership, as we did consistently last season and it was good to see Carroll get a brief cameo replacing the injured Mason who seems to be dominating this review

I made him MOM for the second time in 5 games. Dele Alli is clearly good but looks a little lost at the moment; Dier played well again and Vertonghen showed some of the command we have been waiting for.

Good News.
Adebayor is no longer with us. No mention of whether it cost us an arm and a leg or just an arm or a leg.I suspect the former. By mutual consent. That's management speak for: Ade fired the bullet and we bit it.

Bad  News.
There's no more good news. Sorry couldn't resist the old joke.
  
No News 
How long our new hero Ryan Mason will be out for. Rumored a couple of weeks.Usually it's double the earliest prediction.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
That goal. Terrible quality. The video not the football. First time pass from HK. A bit of a collector's item in recent days. If Pantilimon had stayed on his feet as Hugo did for the Defoe effort he would have saved it. Small margins as my old Geography teacher used to demand.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Spurs caught short.

I'm a Belt and braces man myself.
Nasty stuff that Velcro.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 So what can we make out as we peer through the latest window into the gloomy unknown beyond. Harry Kane was hoping for a playmate to join him up front but the jury is out on that one. Another pair of Premiership virgins to be unveiled.

Adebayor continues to sulk in his tent at every level but Levy is attempting to cover his tracks by the dubious tactic of re-classifying attacking midfielders as strikers. Ingenious? Maybe. Effective? Let's wait and see.

Heung-Mi Son certainly looks good but so did Lamela. The most expensive Asian player ever at £22 million so let's hope he hasn't been brought with one eye on shirts sales out East.

I wouldn't let Adebayor anywhere near our young squad who are hopefully being brought up with the right attitude. The influence of such a cynical old pro in the dressing room might cost us more than we're paying him.

The defence is certainly looking stronger with the addition of Elderweired and Trippier and Dier may  be the answer to some of our midfield weakness.Where's that Jury got to? That's two cases pending.

The Berahino farce was another full scale Levy production. A flop unfortunately. In Pearson he met a man as obtuse as himself and once again the Head Coach didn't get his man. Panned by most critics.

Do they still use fax machines these days? Who needs enemies when we have a friend like Daniel. I wonder how many deals have been lost through his antics. No doubt some money has been saved but at what cost.

Another window in which there was close to a net profit on sales and signings but it's not only about the bottom line. But try telling that to an accountant.

I know, I know, we haven't done a 'Leeds' and thank Daniel for that. But in truth how many top flight clubs have? 'Solvency for what?' one might ask.

Fortunately the carryings on at Man.Utd and Real Madrid over De Gea and the usual parsimony at The Emirates took some of the heat off us. They will both probably qualify for the Champions' League though despite everything.

Leaving us to the whims of injuries, loss of form, or illness seems to me to be asking for trouble. But then I'm a belt and braces man and would prefer not to have to rely on safety pins and Velcro.

On the positive side, a recent theme of Musings, we have kept our key players and Eriksen, the only   real quality in our previous job lot, could return at Sunderland where we will meet up with some our 'deadwood' a great deal of which has been cleared.

So like the Curate's Egg the transfer window was good in parts. But a support striker for Harry was the key for me. Roll on January and hopefully we won't be too far off 5th. to catch up.

If Spurs can bake me a humble pie I will gladly eat it. Meanwhile the Jury have gone out to lunch.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Harry Kane for England and St. George. The goal that starts the goal rush? Great movement, skill and calm, and a good ball from Shelvey who played well.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Meanwhile: Everything but the points.

There's a few here awaiting collection
 at Sunderland marshalling yards.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Plenty of nourishing food for the positivity diet this week against Everton.  Everything but the points but a general improvement all round in individual performances.

Nobody played badly and we sustained our efforts for most of the game. Everton were very ordinary and Lloris, apart from a good save from Cleverly after a Walkeresqe error by, er, Walker, had little to do.

Vertonghen and Elderweireld are looking more like a solid unit and there is a rumour going round that Jan dribbled through the entire Everton team and shaved the bar with a well struck shot.

Dier had his best game in midfield though he needs to be a little more careful with the 'destroyer' tag. Dembele had a more positive performance until he fouled himself  and had to be subbed..

Bentaleb looked more like his old self and Mason might have had a couple. His through ball to Harry from deep in his own half was worth the entrance money. Rose made a lively welcome return in place of the insipid Davies.

So the somewhat leaden sourdough loaf we have been accustomed to under Pochettino was spiced up by the return of Rose, the re-emergence of Jan and the encouraging performance of Dier and the all round livelier display.

If Mason's pass was the icing on the cake,the cherry on the top should have been Harry's winning goal but at least we looked as if we might qualify for the Great British Bake-Off next time around.    

Now I am firmly in the play well and the points will come school. The team needs to stick to the recipe and like Harry the goals will come. Mason supplied the pass that Harry dreams of but he hesitated and enabled Howard to make the save.

He should have scored and so should Chadli and Mason. How we didn't win 2 or three nil only the footballing gods will know. But we are making chances and playing more positively.

Everton's best man was their keeper Tim Howard which tells its own story.

The cake never quite rose at Utd;  it collapsed when the oven was opened against Stoke; looked promising at Leicester but proved undercooked; finally against Everton the ingredients gelled but something was missing. Ah yes the points.

Transfer Window. 
 Regular viewers will know that we can't be bothered with ITK and rumour and prefer to wait until the window is closed before we stick our heads out. (How does that work Jimmy?)
 

Apart from those featured on the blog ( Heung-Min from Bayer Leverkusen  and Clinton from Lyon) nobody else is coming in. So Harry continues all on his own up front and Dier likewise as midfield destroyer.

Neither has Premiership experience but our Chairman knows what he's doing surely.

Recent signing from America young Yedlin has gone on loan to Sunderland but his work is done. The games in the USA are over and no doubt shirts were sold.

We did the same for the trip to S.Africa a few years ago signing Bongani Khumalo who was released 4yrs later without ever playing a game.

Let's hope our two new boys haven't been signed just for their shirt selling potential. But the Club knows what it is doing, doesn't it?

Importantly Lloris is still with us but on the other hand so are Adebayor and Lamela.

Full List:
In
Kevin Wimmer
(Cologne) Undisclosed
Kieran Trippier (Burnley) Undisclosed
Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid) Undisclosed
Clinton Njie
(Lyon) Undisclosed
Heung-Min Son
(Bayer Leverkusen) Undisclosed

Out
Cristian Ceballos (Charlton Athletic) Free
Bongani Khumalo Released
Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande) Undisclosed
Lewis Holtby (Hamburg) Undisclosed
Etienne Capoue (Watford) Undisclosed
Younes Kaboul
(Sunderland) Undisclosed
Benjamin Stambouli
(Paris Saint-Germain) Undisclosed
Roberto Soldado (Villarreal) Undisclosed
Dominic Ball (Rangers) Loan
Vlad Chiriches (Napoli) Undisclosed
Shaquile Coulthirst (Wigan Athletic) Loan
Ryan Fredericks (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Brad Friedel Retired
Grant Hall (Queens Park Rangers) Undisclosed
Aaron McEneff Released
Alex McQueen (Carlisle United) Free
Jonathan Miles Released
Nathan Oduwa (Rangers) Loan
Connor Ogilvie (Stevenage Town) Loan
Grant Ward (Rotherham United) Loan
DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland) Loan
Aaron Lennon (Everton) Undisclosed.

Courtesy of SamR on Spurs Community. Thanks.
As he says ' Some clearout'.



Jimmy's Video Spot.
10 minutes of another (Yet another? No perhaps not) confirmed signing, Heung-Min Son. At £22  million the most expensive Asian player ever.

 Like N'jie looks quick and calm in front of goal, two footed and economical with passes and very economical with headers. Another newcomer to the Premiership  but our scouting team know what they are doing, don't they?


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Positive signs at Spurs.

Spot the Musings correspondent in the pub
 after our latest game.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 I had intended to stop taking the positives from games where we didn't do as well as I expected or as we deserved. It has a whiff of a losers mentality and has a tolerance of failure built in.

However with a poor to mediocre start to the season we don't have much alternative. Two points from eight beckons the way we are going but on the plus side Harry is unemployed at the moment.

So let's take the positives: we should have least got a point from the opener at Old Trafford. We played very well for the first twenty minutes and woke up for the last ten. We also gifted them the only goal and scored it ourselves.

An easy victory threatened in the first home game against Stoke until the game was all but over but then Toby blundered and both centre backs went  AWOLand not for the first time in the game.

Positives Jimmy, positives. Against Leicester we controlled the game pretty well and Dele Alli put us ahead. We will have to forget the next minute or so in our search for positivity. So LDD could easily have been DWD yielding five points rather than two.

No-one other than Man. City have come bursting out of the traps and five points would have put us on the fringes of top four. We have new players coming in possibly in areas where we are deficient and Rose, Eriksen and Pritchard returning from injures.

Mauricio will soon realise the error of his ways and give up the Dier experiment. Another youngster has been bloodied and is on the scoresheet. The new stadium is making progress and we have the best training facility bar few.

The results against Utd. and Stoke were an improvement on last year and against Lericester we took ther wind out of the sails of one of the front runners away from home.

You will realise that by now I am getting a little desperate. This positive thinking gig is giving me a headache. Just moan and slag all and sundry off Jim; it's a lot easier. Nope it's too early in the season.

Musings New Season Resolution is to look on the bright side until at least  the 10 game mark is passed. Then we might just call for a few of the appropriate parts of the anatomy of the usual suspects.

We lack creativity and invention in the attack and pace all over the pitch but these could be attended to by the end of the window. We are leaving things late once again but our previous excursion into early purchase did not work out well.

But this was not because these were early bird bargains but because we were flush with cash and chose players without any Premiership experience. Not one of the Magnificent Seven boasted Premiership credentials.

I can't keep track of the rumours of players coming or going or wishing they were coming or going, or denying that they are coming or going so on Musings we tend to wait until they happen and then claim we knew it all along.

Allowing the transfer window to overlap the start of the season is a nonsense and I agree with JJ who says it's too long anyway. Sort it someone.

Anyway I'm on holiday in sunny,so far, Bridlington in a house with intermittent wi-fi so if you get this it will be the sort of good fortune Spurs could do with against Everton who have twice as many points so far as we have.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
No rumours here. Clinton N'Jie signed sealed and delivered. Seems like a nice boy.Young skilled fast and looks as if he enjoys his football. Usual you-tube warning. If he settles he could  be another positive.