The Blog that's not always wrong.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Spurs trying something different.

Spurs face an uphill struggle to finish
 out of the Europa places.
The JimmyG2 Column.

I well remember one of our first managers, Albert Sisyphus as I recall, who set the pattern for Spurs. Albert was an unorthodox coach who cut his teeth in the Athenian amateur league. Probably before your time.

One of his training techniques  was to get the lads to roll a giant ball up a steep incline and just as they approached the top he sounded a klaxon and they let the ball roll back down again to the bottom and started again.

Spurs still use it today. Harry showed a fondness for it the year we got robbed of the Champions' League place by Chelsea.  Mauricio seems to have adopted it too.

 It's a variation of the two steps forward, three steps back routine which Spurs have made their own over the years.

My grandfather remembers the Albert Sisyphus ball logo on the shirts in the early years before Spurs moved to the site of a chicken farm on the High Road when the cockerel logo was adopted.

We went into the Manchester Utd. game approaching the lower heights and hoped to make it three away wins in a row at Old Trafford. But the klaxon sounded at kick off  and the ball rolled back down towards the lower depths.

They out-thought us and out-fought us and in truth we were thumped. They eased up at 3-0 and we drew the second half  0-0. The game passed all our players by and once again Danny Rose was the pick of a poor bunch.

Rooney had a laugh at his own and our expense; Fellaini and Carrick ran riot almost unopposed, Fazio's ability in the air might have helped and Dier's inexperience was cruelly exposed. Dembele might usefully have started

 Lloris should not have been beaten from that angle. By this time the milk was well and truly spilled and it's no good crying now. Hugo was slow to confront Rooney neatly set up by Bentaleb for the third though Dier probably confused them both.

We sold Carrick to Utd. over 8 years ago but could still use his calm control. Kyle Walker who was wild beyond comprehension needs to take a leaf out of Carrick's autobiography 'My life as a Zen Buddhist'.

The lift that a win would have given us might have been decisive but with all our immediate rivals gaining points it looks as if the ball is firmly stuck in a Europa slot. With an 8 point gap between us and Stoke in 8th the Europa place is ours to lose.

With a full weeks rest after our last game we certainly can't blame fatigue after a midweek European game. In fact it was just like old times where we were beaten in our heads before we took the field. Still work to do Mauricio on and off the pitch.

If we beat Southampton we might make sixth but we are unlikely to finish any higher. Our moment seems to have gone for this season. Henderson's fluked rebound goal to give Liverpool victory over Swansea was an indication of the operation of the fickle finger of fate.

Can one game make this much difference? Well yes if you take account of who it was and most importantly the way we played. This was a tired performance lacking spirit from the players and imagination from the coach.

The sight of Adebayor in place of the 'injured' Soldado gives an indication of our level of  desperation. The last chance saloon banned him months ago but there he is still was propping up the bar.

With Leicester Burnley and Villa  next up things might look different in three weeks time but I somehow doubt it.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
For the first goal Carrick moves quietly into the wide open spaces of our midfield and sets up Fellaini unmarked  with a measured pass.

For the second we fail once again to clear the ball from a set piece and Carrick scores with a well placed header from the penalty spot though Dier was almost certainly fouled by Fellaini the build up.

For the third Bentaleb kindly squares the ball to Rooney; Dier mixes his feet up and Rooney makes no mistake from 6yds. Cue knockout blow.


Ashley Collie said...

I posted this in part elsewhere, but it still stand IMHO: I think we’re stuck in the Europa League time loop…quite possible if we get 6 or even 7th, we’ll be back in it. We’d have to tank to avoid it – although, turn up and play like we did vs ManUre, and there’ll be no problem, we’ll finish below 7th for sure. Here’s what I think MoPo should do (but obviously won’t, as he’ll try for highest position, and Mr. Levy surely wants revenue of extra EL games next season) — say he’s going to play some of the younger guys to blood them (like end of last season with Kane and Bentaleb), and by doing so, he has a built in excuse for finishing lower than 7th. Also, get rid of most of Mag-7 (since we’ve already spent the money, anything we make, even if less than what we paid, will be a bonus). But most importantly find an on-field, outfield leader (like Roberts, Mackay – or screw it, even someone like that Cheatski dude, Terry, at least he has balls and fire) to lead and mentor the youngest squad in the PL. I think an on-field leader is our most important need, and bring Pritchard back, and blood the young guys, players who are young and hungry. And get Mitchell to earn his pay and find us some hungry bargains not high-priced talent (our three most expensive players are not even starting and understandably so) not suited for the PL. COYMFS! ;)

JimmyG2 said...

Ashley Collie.
It ain't gonna happen Ashley. We're gonna be in the EL so lets learn to enjoy it.
Blood some more youngsters , i love seeing our own youngsters step up. Agree about Pritchard. We've started some games with 5 of our own and they've done us proud except Townsend.
Next season, it's always next season, we might just get the stone to the top of the hill and defy the myths, |greek or otherwise.

Ashley Collie said...

Good work, Jimmy G (my boyhood hero, BTW)! I don't think we'll tank it, I'm just suggesting it. Because we are stuck in that Star Trek sort of time loop for the Europa! Actually, there are teams in the NHL (pro hockey) and NBA who are blatantly tanking so much (selling off players, going with young guys) to get the top draft picks. So, the league honchos are wondering how to change the rules. As for us Spurs fans, and other Greek myths, I see us as somewhat Promethean, trying to do good (supporting our team) but paying the price for that and getting our insides eaten out! Give this MoPo guy a real shot, get shot of our expensive baggage, bring in some excellently scouted bargains (they're out there because less funded teams find them), and promote the a world class academy to be proud of, and hopefully reap the reward. I don't think we've tried this tack in my memory! Cheers mate!

Anonymous said...

I believe you and many other bloggers, totally fail to understand the fatigue issues that affect so many young and/or inexperienced players in senior competitions. There are two issues concerning fatigue, body and mental. Each affect the other in different ways. Examples being, physically they will be looking tired on the field and struggle to handle any hard physical contact either given by the opposition or to pressure the opposition. Mentally, they are struggling with motivation which affects there ability to continue giving 100%. Just because we are now getting a weeks break between games, remember they are still training hard. Given a season of many games, constant travelling, especially long haul flights, with insufficient time to overcome the jet lag and many games with insufficient rest periods all accumulate over the course of the season. Obviously, the problem worsens towards the end of the season when everyone, especially fans, are looking for a strong end to the season. Players in their mid to late twenties having several seasons and have played well over the 100-150 game mark are usually the least affected, Unfortunately, the player himself will probably not understand his fatigue problem and the professional staff need to be constantly monitoring each player. Especiall the young players.

Cheshuntboy said...

Many bloggers and posters seem finally to have recognized that Pochettino isn't an embryonic SAF or Wenger (i.e. a GREAT manager) - both had already achieved real success well before their early 40s, whereas Pochettino has never even managed two full seasons at the same club, either here or in Spain. Now the mantra is 'Give him time', but why? Even the harder training regime which was credited with earning the late goals and comebacks seemed to have rebounded at Old Trafford, where most of the team looked knackered almost from kick-off, and Pochettino's tactical inflexibility, and poor use of substitutes have been obvious from Day One. Man U's success in the 1990s was the exception that proved the rule that you'll win nothing with kids (aka Hansen's Law) - it seems to me that Levy has yet again made a dud appointment and the longer he's left in post, the worse things will get.
P.S. I was very opposed to AVB's appointment, and thought Sherwood was shabbily treated, so I'm not automatically opposed to whoever's in the hot seat at WHL - in fact, I thought Gross and Graham were both sacked unfairly, while the Levy/ENIC years have been shambolic, with accidental or panic appointments like Jol and Redknapp being relatively successful, while supposedly planned 'project' appointments like Hoddle and AVB clearly failed. I don't know who should be our manager, but I know who shouldn't, and if Levy chooses to hide behind the 'give Poch time 'mantra (i.e. take the 'moral high ground', and be praised by the pundits for not 'knee-jerking'), we can all look forward to further unending trophyless 'transition' well into the 2020s and probably beyond. Changing managers might not alter that grim outlook, but it's surely better than just accepting it!

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

good stuff Jimmy.

Last week, I said I would be very disappointed not to take at least a point from Old T and I was.

JimmyG2 said...

If we don't give him time how will we know.
Spurs biggest mistake has been to be serial manager sackers. !4 and counting while Arsene has been at Arsenal. I think thatMauricio has the makings.

Ashley Collie.
Promethian! I feel another blog coming on. I'm all fired up.

I think you exaggerate the mental and physical effects.
You could argue that the young players are better equipped to cope.
Mauricio needs to be more flexible in his tactics and selections.

Ashley Collie said...

Cheers, Greg, keep up your "Promethean" work! PS Here's me over 'ere on the sunny Left Coast, on a podcast chat with the Dalai Lama of soccer, Simon Allen...kind of fun talk about Spurs!

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