The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Hugo Lloris injured?

 The toast Ladies and Gentlemen is:
 'Arise Sir Christian Eriksen'
The Greg Meyer Column.
Is Hugo Lloris Injured? ... Other Musings.
Snowshoes and skis out of the closet mean a happy band here have gathered for pre match drinks at our Kent Pub on a Friday evening. Log fires galore and hopes raising accordingly.
 Something about the ratio of fine English ale consumed to ever increasing optimism leads to some fascinating speculation regards the Lilywhites. 
Is Hugo Fit.
Last featured against Sunderland on 17 January. Since his understudy Michel Vorm has played all three games. Hugo not even on the bench. He wasn't in France either as some of our pub travelled to France , in particular a lovely meal at Chez Mimi, along the coast near Bologne.
No Hugo mind they certainly knew who he was. Viva La Lloris was the Chez Mimi call by owner of said establishment. Still wanted a tip though.
After viewing the Vorm howler from Row 15 West Stand surely you play your best against Sheffield in the snow. But no despite the snow showing up , no sign of Hugo. Not even near the bench. 
Brad Friedel had taken time out from meetings with his bankruptcy managers to travel to Bramall Lane.Can't blame him. Needs the money obviously. Even a cold bench in Sheffield helps.

Our Pub are not alone with these concerns over Hugo's health. Lots of radio callers post match in Shefield braved the blizzard to cling to a mobile phone and express like sentiments.
Yes probably worried over nothing. Mauricio probably played Vorm on a promise. Hopefully that promise does not extend to the Cup Final.
Were We Wrong About Harry.
Sorry Harry. Maybe we were wrong about the seeming lack of pace. I mean Linnekar had no pace. Sheringham lacked speed, not necessarily of thought however.
Harry, no Usian Bolt but ole the direct running at defenders in the Chelsea game, same after that and still it continues to build.
Our pub fears have not completely abated despite the 18 goals thus far. Against Sheffield on wednesday seemed to snatch at some good chances.
Still, and its a big still, how about that pass to Eriksen at minute 88. Sublime. The relief valves at our pub flooded open as did the real ale outlets.
Harry Kane is not going to Madrid, at least not just yet. Given our lack of strikers the young lad is under a deal of pressure. If he comes through this season then our pub's mine host has promised a Harry Kane Night. Free beer. 
Where else could you get an offer but ...
At A Kent Pub.
Some great Spur birthdays today. Dimitar Berbatov and Peter Crouch both are celebrating. Chalk and cheese perhaps but both part of the Spurs legend.
Berbatov, still recognised as the finest first touch in the Premier, and Crouch among other highlights the Champs League win in Italy. Before that his goal at City to send us into the Champs League.
Another tough alpine adventure against West Brom looms. Still with our French number one back, Chadli also plus that new found steel, surely a winner.
Cheers... Christian Eriksen should be knighted ... Greg Meyer.    coys.
Jimmy's Video Spot.
Note the eye catching dummy run by Lamela and not for the first time. A free kick worthy of winning a cup final but that's still to come. Turn down the volume on the commentary. Or better still put it on mute.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Surprise, surprise.

 Tango Time.
Federico and Mrs Pochettino lead the new training sessions.
 The JimmyG2 Column.
And so back to Sheffield with a narrow lead which may not quite be enough. Largely the result of a combination of our own lack of creativity and pace and an opposition with a limited game plan which was very well executed.

A performance out of the Victor Sylvester training manual. Too much slow slow and not enough quick. Get some of them upbeat Latin American rhythms and passion in Mauricio. Get Erik and Federico to teach them the Tango.

We resorted to the long ball from the first minute and stuck with it despite it not having any sign of success.If there's one thing that a team from the third tier are qualified to deal with it's the long ball.

In the end Soldado on for Captain Ade pulled one down from out of the sky and induced a fortuitous penalty. Townsend who doesn't lack confidence stepped up and made it four in a row. Otherwise I'm not certain we would have taken a lead for the second leg next week.

Our second half kick-off summed it up. We took seven passes to get out of our half and then lumped it upfield where it disappeared into the massed ranks of the Sheffield defence.

Individually Stambouili, Vertonghen and Dier had decent games and Townsend was dangerous in the way that a firework thrown over the fence into a school playground might be. Unfocused comes to mind but he was virtually our only threat.

The red carpet treatment for Ade was pragmatic but didn't work and  was an appeasement too far. Kane was played out of position to accommodate him and he was lucky not to be sent off for a Rugby style hand off.

But the Pochettino bandwagon  rolls on with last minute winners now our speciality. Napoleon who knew a thing or two about winning once commented to his Generals that he had plenty of clever ones but he liked them lucky too.

Mauricio might side with Tina Turner as she so nearly once sang: 'What's luck got to do with it? Mauricio will pinpoint fitness and intensive training and the high press as the reason for our late winners.

He will rightly ask if is it lucky to have a player of the quality of Christian Eriksen (22) in the side. Although he had nothing to do with his purchase he has become under Pochettino the keystone of our play.

 However 'subdued' sums up his performance on Wednesday night. But after Sunderland he has eight league goals level with Kane including four winners and three of them late late late.

 He has been a slow maturing, late vintage, a bit of an acquired taste but six points out of the ten we have accumulated from last minute winners are down to him.

His progress at Spurs brings to mind that of Modric (29). The fans were dubious for the first season but both gradually became or are becoming key elements in our upward progress. A playmaker with added goals.

Double high intensive training sessions may go some way to explaining our happy knack of winning games late. Though I doubt it explains very much over the short term.

Perhaps if we stick with the same manager or the same training regimes for the next ten years then you may see a gradual build up of fitness. Fat chance of that at Tottenham as we all know.

 Perhaps it's attitude and belief. 88 minutes? Plenty of time lads. Give it Christian. This again is down to the manager to an extent. Pressing high up certainly seems to work (see HK video) although we don't all do it consistently yet.

But Eriksen along with another no frills player Harry Kane are at the heart of the Spurs progress. The Dane now runs further and has more touches than any other player on the pitch or at times the Premiership. His understated style has gradually won over the fans. The late winners help.

Sunderland like Sheffield came looking for for a draw and both all but got it. The referee  and linesman combined to rule Vertonghen off-side from his own half to deny us a 3- win.

The alleged Arsenal connections of both are a conspiracy too far for me. Probably just had an accumulator and had us down for 2-1. Jan's other goal has been awarded to O'Shea. Not that it matters to us but I bet it does to him.

Against Sunderland a glaring miss by the usually reliable Fletcher and a late world class save by Hugo once again, gave us the game at 2-1. A third of all our Premiership games have been won with this score.

Against Sheffield Vorm was untroubled by anything resembling a shot or a cross. But Davies was  harassed all night by Campbell-Pryce  but nobody though to help him out.

And between the two Capital 1 Cup legs a visit by Leicester who prop up the Premiership in the FA Cup in what looks on paper as an eminently winnable game

Apart from Chadli  everyone is available  so a chance to rest one or two. If we don't win this by more than the odd goal I will be very surprised. Not on TV anywhere so no streams available.

Not that much surprises me about Spurs. We win games we could lose and lose those we should win. But to be fair was ever thus. But surprise surprise, almost February and we're still fighting on all fronts.

Kyle Naughton:
The exodus begins: gone to Swansea for £5million which will just about pay Adebayor's wages for  another year. Filled in at left back when we needed him without complaint and a reasonable right back when required.

Probably not good enough, too hesitant going forward, but its a good deal all round. Lennon to Hull is the latest hot tip but of course we never comment. It would of course pay for Ade to see out his contract.

Jimmys' Video Spot:
Latest video of The Boy Kane. Not quite my favourite all time Spurs player yet but at 21 he's got plenty of time Left foot, right foot, head. Lovely.
 You can add a nought to that valuation. Saved us a minimum of £20 million so far. New contract? Give the boy whatever he wants.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

What's going on at Spurs?

Sunderland result?
Your guess is as good as hers. Probably.
The JimmyG2 Column.

Tottenham get more Tottenhamesque by the day. We all but thrash league leaders Chelsea, Tottenham style 5-3 naturally, then lose to relegation battlers Crystal Palace.

We scratch a draw with Burnley in the cup then give them a two goal start within the first ten minutes of the replay and recover to all but thrash them too.

Kaboul is made captain, then cast into the outer darkness, nearly transferred to Besitkas, Tottenham style the deal falls through on the odd million here or here.

But he returns and is nowhere in sight for the first goal and then goes three rounds on the pitch with SuperJan and anyone else within range.

White Hart Lane has now becomes a fortress: we are unbeaten at home in eight. The much maligned Andros Townsend is the clear MOM for the replay. The four goals are scored by different players three of whom are outward bound if we can get bids.

Soldado can't score to save his career, contrives to miss from 4yds but is eerily backed by a sympathetic Tottenham crowd and then supplies two assists.

The ball into the six yard box for Rose is the kind of ball he is crying out for himself and a diagram of its trajectory and the movements of the players defies the laws of physics.

It would take a brave man to discern any clear pattern in Pochettino's progress but progress it undoubtedly seems to be. We are still fighting on all fronts and hovering just outside the top echelons of the Premiership.

Whether because of our own strengths or the weaknesses of others is a moot point. But as each tortuous week progresses, three steps forward two steps back, he buys himself a little more time. He looks almost certain to complete his first season, at the moment.

Which Spurs team will turn up and how will they perform from half to half or even minute to minute is anybody's guess. It's a match crying out to be won but then so was Palace and the first round tie against Burnley.

There are tougher matches on paper than these, Chelsea comes to mind. And there you have it. We scoff at the odds on paper and go our own way, in our own time in our own style.TotNam style

 Players that are performing well are prone to the odd brainstorm: Fazio comes to mind. And players performing badly like Paulinho and Townsend can play blinders.

Chiriches is a candidate for A&E at any time; Rose goes AWOL at the drop of a hat; Paulinho is favourite for the most disappointing Brazilian International ever to play in the Premiership and Stambouli (Capoue:edit) a long lapsed member of the Magnificent Seven.

Yet all four played very well at times last night and were on the score sheet. It's the kind of event that leads William Hill, Billy Ladbrokes and Tommy Coral to rope themselves together and throw themselves off  Beachy Head.

Sometimes we concede in record time, occasionally Harry Kane comes out of the traps like a startled greyhound and at others Christian waits until injury time to clinch victory. All very unpredictable and wearing on the nerves.

So like Jermaine Jenas we remain predictably unpredictable but with a little more consistency we could have been more than just contenders.

The intriguing possibility of Jermain Defoe playing against us on Saturday rears its head. The high line should make him largely ineffective and it might inspire Roberto to pop a couple in if he plays.

The myth of the returning hero suggests he will get at least a hat trick. So 4-3 Spurs it is.

Transfer Window.
Now as you know we don't comment on rumours unless we actually started them ourselves. No ITK's reputations were damaged in the writing of this blog. But as far as I can tell at least 10 of our current squad are due to be sold.

Coming in is anyone near the end of their contract throughout Europe and the known world. And one or two from uncharted territories in Antarctica, Equatorial Africa and yet to be discovered islands in the Pacific.

Hopefully we will only sign someone to carry Harry Kane's bag from the coach if we can get shot of Adebayor who seems to have had a strop with a manager too far.

Reasons to be cheerful.
Bright spot so far, apart from the Boy Kane without whom we would be languishing in mid-table or worse is the appearance of another Academy hopeful Josh Onoma.

 He joins Harry Winks as another graduate to feature in the first team squad this season. With Milos Veljkovic recalled from Middlesborough where he was well liked and Alex Pritchard and Tom Carroll doing well on loan can my dream of an all Academy team be far away. I said dream.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
All Tottenham's goals from last season. I know, I know I spoil you. As we gear up for the second half  of the season a 5 minute slot to inspire us all. It's compulsory viewing for the squad every night on Pochettino's instructions. You lucky people.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Can Spurs fans tell what it is yet?

 Can you tell what it is yet?
The JimmyG2 Column.
'Can you tell what it is yet?' As Rolf Harris used to say as he busied himself in front of a half drawn cartoon. That was before they locked him up for sexual offenses rather than for producing awful records
(Two little Boys: Tie me kangaroo down sport. ( I rest my case)

It's something like that with the slowly emerging butterfly of Mauricio's Spurs. It's a transitional slow burn that he has undertaken. Always a risk with a trigger happy boss but with Lady Luck riding shotgun he might just get away with it.

The pressing has been a little intermittent and the final formation like Rolf's cartoons more than a little indistinct.  Another week began with yet another 2-1 win, not that the score  matters; a win is a win.

Though Musings has always maintained that playing well over an extended period will net you more goals and more points than playing poorly.

You remember 'playing well' I assume. Passing to someone in the same colour shirt, moving in anticipation of a return pass, shooting below a height of eight feet, and generally nurturing the basics.

The win against bottom of the league Leicester and they are bottom of the league for a variety of reasons can be filed under many headings. 'Thank God for Hugo' is one; 'Harry Kane early goal' and 'Eriksen pops up with another late winner' is another.

The gap between those two events is less than memorable. It was hard to find anything positive on which to build any optimism for the New Year. But we were level with Arsenal in 7th and still fighting on all fronts. 

Now I love winning and challenging for honours as much as the next man but at Spurs we have always expected a degree of quality and entertainment along the way. We were making the weaker teams look better than they deserve.

Against both Leicester and Burnley, two teams vying for relegation and therefor showing some spirit and fight and making the most of their limited talents, we finally prevailed.

 Mauricio would have us believe due to our superior levels of fitness. Late goals which used to be our Achilles heel are now our best friend so he might have a point or three.

Initially against Man.Utd we gave them too much room and respect. This was not the 'Yanited' of old and when we finally woke up to this fact we gave them a game. By then but for Hugo they could have been out of sight.

In the end we might just have nicked it. Kane's run and Mason's overlap for the reverse pass which Ryan should have have buried was a thing of beauty and a joy forever which deserved to win any game.

A half each and keepers to the fore it was a fair result. Positives? Andros mostly played well and got two decent shots on target. Chiriches wasn't a disaster and cleared bravely off the line.

 Fazio and Verts dealt with almost everything but were susceptible to the simple ball over the top. But for Hugo the boy Kane would have been man of the match.

As for the rest including playmaker Eriksen it was hit and miss and for some like Stambouli and Chadli it was mainly miss. Dembele and Lamela could have been on earlier as we pressed for the win.

But that was all BC (Before Chelsea)' What a difference a day makes, just twenty four little hours' as the old song has it. At the moment it looks more like an Emperor than a Cabbage White emerging in the post match euphoria of a wonderful win against the top of the league.

An unexpectedly welcome win and another step on Harry Kane's march into the England squad. Five goals against one of the best teams and allegedly one of the best keepers in the league.

Kane and Chadli were outstanding and Terry's and Jose's faces were worth the entrance money. Terry didn't even smile when he scored. (see video)

Pochettino was strong and dignified and Mourinho was blathering on about penalties not given which would have changed the game.

Cahill could have had two separate reds for his tackles on Rose and Kane and had already picked up a yellow. We were as lax in defence for their goals as we were brilliant on the attack for ours.

A season changing performance a 'yes we can' moment to take into 2015. And it's no good telling JimmyG2 not to get carried away. Loving it and savoring it all.

Not because it was a great one off performance but because it might just be the start of something good. A song for every occasion at the Musings.

A victory made all the sweeter because we were one down and of the all the Premiership teams this is the one I want to beat: racist fans and billionaire owner included.

Danny's brave crucial goal; Andros confident penalty; Chadli emerging from his own shadow; Verts almost smiling and bonding with Fazio like twins reunited after separation at birth.

Lets hear it for the Academy Boys. Five started and three of them were on the score sheet.

Go on admit it, you were still worried on 86 minutes when Terry made it 5-3 and your heart sank when you saw who was standing over the ball for the penalty.

A positive goal difference at last; just two wins from relegation safety; above Arsenal and W.Ham; two points from the Champions' League places. 

A real team effort despite individual errors.  Can't wait for the DVD. Champions' League beckons. Do we dare to do? After this all things are possible. I think Mauricio might have earned himself a little more time.

Chelsea first goal:
Costa clearly offside in the first phase but doesn't touch the ball even though he tries and is in Hugo's line of vision. Onside for the second phase. Oscar does well to sort his feet out.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
 Nearly ten minutes of Tottenham beating Chelsea. Defence coaches look away now. Hazard was a pest for them all match but not quite as much as Harry Kane was for us. Strong for the first, skilful for his second. No apologies for the commentary, better than the English one whatever language he was speaking.