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.
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.