The Blog that's not always wrong.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Is there Life after Burnley?

 For Death read Burnley: For hell read UEFA:
Bit over the top Jim but still.
The JimmyG2 Column

Here's a new game to get us through the end of the season and beyond. Is there a beyond after the end of the season? Of course there is: next season. There's always next season. The Afterlife as we believers call it.

Each week we will supply a performance continuum on which to plot your reaction to the game. It's free to enter and your current subscription will cover it. A small charge may be necessary in the future to cover administration costs.

(Owing to a printing malfunction the continuum sheets are not available this week. Watch this space.)

Why am I avoiding talking about the actual game. Obviously you didn't see it. The clue is that this weeks axis runs from Unacceptable through Uninspiring to Pathetic. Inept and tedious are somewhere along the line too.

Let's take the positives as they say. The back five revamped at half time due to an injury to Kyle Walker played OK. The undervalued Michel Vorm made a couple of decent saves and we kept a welcome clean sheet away from home.

The exciting, but not always in a good way, Vlad Chiriches made a decent stab at centre half and then at right back. Davies was bloodied at centre half and wasn't much worse than anyone else.

Danny Rose was one of the few to show any concern for the result and I made him MOM once again.
He gets into good positions and then wastes them but at least he gets into good positions.

Mauricio might take some cheer from the defensive performance against allegedly lively forwards but seems to have over compensated in his team talk to remedy our defensive failings.

 Chadli woefully out of form started again. No Lamela, Dembele, Fazio or Soldado. Even the mighty Andros can't make much of an impression in eight minutes. He struggles to do so at Spurs over the full ninety. England is another matter

Is Mauricio saying something to those up above about the limitations of his squad and its balance or is he still juggling his players and formations. Does he not yet know his best team as the pundits would have it

With our Academy contingent visibly wilting  and the rest looking forward to their holidays lacklustre doesn't even come close. Must put that on the performance continuum (which as I explained we haven't got) for this week.

The first ten minutes tells you most of what you need to know. Lately Eriksen's late goals have given the lie to my theory that how Spurs perform for this period is the key to the result.

But against Burnley I noted a dozen basic errors of control and passing, four of them by Walker, in this period. Then I snapped my pencil in frustration and ceased noting.

 Burnley incidentally should have been a goal up in two minutes but Danny Ings managed to find Vorm when scoring was the easier option.

 We had only a couple of shots on target in the whole game. Making Harry captain was asking for trouble. He had little service and consequently did little.

The game was crying out for Eriksen to step up but he didn't. Brazilian International Paulinho was possibly the worst player on the pitch and raised a cheer for the most inept attempt on goal this season or perhaps even longer.

So we played out a tedious draw when with Liverpool getting thumped by a resurgent Arsenal and City going down to a revitalised Crystal Palace a win would have put us enticingly close to a challenge for top four.

Twas ever thus at Spurs. They raise our hopes and then falter at the moment of delivery. And you know what they say about hope.

Perhaps the City loss puts things in perspective and Burnley have had good results against higher flying teams than us including both the Manchesters and Chelsea. But perspective is for historians not fans.

Of course I would have taken our current position at the start of the season and still would. With a seven point gap between Southampton in 7th. and Swansea in 8th. there is little likelihood of us avoiding the UEFA  as some would like.

Wednesdays and Saturdays; Thursdays and Sundays. As bad burnt as scalded. It allows the manager to explore the darker depths of the squad, keeps the fans off the streets, and is worth a lot more this season and could even lead to the Champions' League by the back door.

So there you have it. A missed opportunity. All games are ' must win' at this stage and Villa certainly is for a variety of reasons. The Sherwood factor looms large but whatever the result he will claim the credit for it.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
This is what I'm talking about Mo. Take a leaf out of Bro Schillings book. Before the game, during the game and after the game. Fire them up and get that dressing room jumping. No more first ten minutes lethargy.


IKnowAlanGilzean said...

It's a shame Poch seems to have sidelined one or two who could be useful in the run in, as the young'uns are looking spent, mentally as much as physically. Mind, I'm pretty tired with the season too and looking forward to a summer break.

I'd love UEFA Cup qualification again, I don't care what anyone says. If we can ease Lpool out of the fifth all the better.

Ashley Collie said...

Bold assertion on UEFA, IKAG, but as we're kind of stuck with it (5-7 place) anyway, what would you change to make a better go of it next season? Keep some of the former loanees (guys like Pritchard, Carroll, and don't loan out others) and use them as a Cup team, keep the first team for League, with a couple of key players added to the "cup" squad? Could that work? Because that Thurs-Sun sked seems to have a deleterious effect. And I'm with you, I sensed the season could be over after the Fiorentina/Chelsea, 2 in 4 days games, and I think I've turned off, much like the team. Bring on the fresh grass and renewed, refreshed team, along with our young upstarts! ;)

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

Hello Ashley, I am a bit old school in that I would prioritise the UEFA CUP/EL. I'd prefer to reach the CL via winning the EL than coming 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the league. I think we could play the youth and back up in the League Cup if we need to sacrifice one competition.

IKnowAlanGilzean said...

I accept that the Thurs-Sun schedule can be detrimental, but the group stage affords opportunities to rest key players and save their little legs from some of those long journeys across the continent.

No strategy is without its flaws, we could shelve all cups and just go for the league without getting 4th place. It isvery hard to come top 4 in England given the two big blue clubs or Ben Johnson/Lance Armstrong as I call them and the 3 big red clubs.

Let's win things. I'd take the FA Cup over 4th place.

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