The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Post season bloodbath at Spurs.

What happened to the bonfire? Is that Kaboul?

And so we sail calmly into port on the good ship Hotspur after a mostly choppy voyage. Still guided by the same man that we set sail with, which is in itself an innovation. Long may it last.

Some of the crew were more able seaman than others and wholesale changes are predicted. Some of the crew disappeared overboard during the voyage and have yet to resurface.

There will be keel hauling, plank walking and bodies dangling from the yard arm for mutiny but that entertaining bloodbath is for later. Meanwhile post season precedes pre-season and starts today(*full list of squad for Malaysia and Sydney below)

Hope they get some sleep on the plane. Anyway there we were grudgingly accepting a Europa place and admitting finally that after this transitional season Mauricio deserves another chance.

But  two wins, and two clean sheets later we emerge as the best of the rest, a mere six points and twenty goals off a Champions' League place. It's been a slog lately but 'All's Well that Almost Ends Well'.

I've seen it calculated that if we had beaten Utd 7-0 rather than losing 3-0 we would have changed places with them. I'm sure that's right, not that it matters now. but Glory Glory was closer than we thought.

It's a sobering thought that coming fourth is the new double as far as the current Spurs are concerned. If Louis Van Gaal had come to us rather than Utd. would things have been very different I wonder.

An upbeat end to the season  helped by the spectacular implosion of Liverpool whose season went astray from the moment that Brenden Rogers said that  they wouldn't do a Tottenham.Oh yes they did and we didn't.

Stand up if you feel a bit sorry for Gerrard's ignominious end to his Premiership career. Well a tiny bit then. No-one at all? Harsh but we've still got plenty of problems of our own.  

By finishing 5th we go straight in the Europa Group stage midway through September several weeks after the also rans and W.Ham who qualify through the fair play league and start their qualifiers on July 2nd.

That's the sixth season running we have won our last game of the season and it was a welcome victory over Everton who didn't impress at all. They gave the ball away frequently which was very Spursy of them and gave us too much space, which we mainly wasted in the final third.

We controlled the ball and the game apart from a 15 minute spell at the start of the second half. Mauricio countered this by substituting Dembele who was possibly injured, but playing well, adding strength to the midfield with Stambouli.

Elsewhere it was the usual try this position on for size that we have seen before. Bentaleb was at left back and Dier at right back again. Both played well with Dier supplying the cross for Harry Kane's record equaling goal.

Bentaleb at left back was a revelation, very little got past him, Coleman in particular who has been a nuisance in the past. He got forward well to give us width  but was often ignored  But for Harry Kane he would be without doubt Musings Man Of the Season.

Marks out of 10 for the season?
Well 4/10 for style and content, it's been grim at times. 6/10 for achievement: 5th place and a cup final.  8/10  for the belief in young players, especially our own and a cautious 7/10 for future prospects.

It was good to see Winks and Onomah on the bench and there was space for a couple more. Yedlin apparently homesick would have been better playing than moping on the bench over his mom and apple pie.

Nobody played poorly and Tottenham fans ever willing to clutch at straws end the season on a legal high and face the future with guarded optimism. One or two things need sorting out first of course.

Harry Kane needs support and someone to take some of the responsibility from him up front. A quality defensive midfielder would protect our leaky back four and allow Bentaleb and Mason to be more positive.

Mauricio needs to respond more quickly to on field situations and be less rigid in his formations and personnel. Eriksen needs to retrace his steps and find where he dropped his mojo . Hugo needs to commit at least for another season.

If the Head Coach sticks with his philosophy and philosophies are for life not just for Xmas he needs to find some players that fit it it better or that can adapt.

It's going to be difficult to improve on this season's Premiership achievement, we are not ready for Champions' League but unless the performances improve nobody is gonna be happy.

Musings Awards
Players of the Year....................Harry Kane: Nabil Bentaleb: Hugo
Most Improved.........................Danny Rose.
Most disappointing...................Christian Eriksen: Erik Lamela.
Silliest decision........................Appointing Kaboul as captain.
Most urgent to sell....................Kaboul, Adebayor, Townsend.
Best things about the Season....Mauricio's faith in youth. Fielding the youngest team. Beating Arsenal and Chelsea. Not losing to W.Ham, not even once.

The Future is Bright and Jimmy Greaves continues to improve.

Squad for Malaysia and Australia. (From the OS)

Hugo Lloris                            
Luke McGee
Michel Vorm
Eric Dier
Federico Fazio
Danny Rose
Jan Vertonghen
Kyle Walker-Peters
DeAndre Yedlin.

Nabil Bentaleb
Tom Carroll
Nacer Chadli
Mousa Dembele
Christian Eriksen
Erik Lamela
Ryan Mason
Josh Onomah
Benji Stambouli
Andros Townsend
Grant Ward
Harry Winks

Harry Kane
Roberto Soldado

Younes Kaboul, Vlad Chiriches and Paulinho have been given permission (that's Mauricio speak for 'ordered') to remain at the Training Centre, while Emmanuel Adebayor and Etienne Capoue have been granted leave to return home for family reasons. Musings say, Don't phone us.

Make of all that what you will. Shop window for some perhaps or hoping they get lost on the voyage. Quite a few youth on the trip. Others including Pritchard are called up for England U21 duty.

Late news flash:
Harry Kane beat Malaysia 2-1with a full supporting cast of thousands, mainly  Academy lads and no-one disappointed. More details in the Post Season Tour Roundup later.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Speaking of Alex Pritchard here he is before his successful season loan at Brentford where he was their player of the year.. Musings tip for next season. Our natural successor to Eriksen?. Looks a bit like him, takes free kicks like him. It's the hair. Yet another one of our own.
Share this Share this story on Facebook Share this story on Twitter Share this story on Google+ Share this story on Pintrest Share this story on Reddit Share this story on StumbleUpon

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Exit doors declared open at Spurs.

 That's most of the Magnificent Seven and Kaboul.
Any more for the Annual Bonfire of the Dead Wood?
The JimmyG2 Column.
It's almost over. Deep breaths, relax, just one to go and then it's over. Paint the shed, dig out the fishing gear, browse the holiday brochures, talk to the missus or whatever.

We might still make 5th despite the best efforts of Mauricio and the lads so lie back and enjoy the Magical Mystery Tour of some of the lesser known European night spots.

Even if it doesn't go exactly to plan against Everton the EUFA thingy is more or less inevitable and I for one am glad. Come on you Gunners do us a favour.

Europa again, a cup final, beating Chelsea and Arsenal: not too bad for what we all knew would be a transitional season. Fielding the youngest team in the Premiership; five of our own starting or finishing at times.The Futures not as dim as sometimes painted.

There's a new Stadium under way; training facilities second to none; Harry Kane, one of our own, the toast of Tottenham. This could be the start of something good. Not to be written off and forgotten in my view.

A win and a clean sheet for the penultimate game, against a poor Hull side admittedly, shows us the way. The game was illuminated and won by two brief moments of class in a desert of tediocrity.

Lamela,who has been playing more effectively lately set up Chadli with a thoughtful through ball and Mason chipped delicately for Rose who hadn't stopped running since he got off the bus outside the stadium to volley into the roof of the net.

Lamela and Rose vied for MOM once again and I thought Rose just shaded it for his enterprise, effort and spirit. Before these moments at the start of the second half and after for that matter we were uninspired once again. Eriksen in particular.

 Chadli's opener reminded us what the aim and purpose of the game was and incidently his usefulnesss and we cheered up briefly  to score a second. Once again there was no start for Yedlin and Dier played out of position at right back, and it showed.

It was Fazio's turn this week to supply the opposition with the ball. Vertonghen played as if he was doing us a favour by turning out at all and Mason was more effective than his midfield partner Bentaleb for a change.

Glimmers of hope friends glimmers of hope. For fans for whom success is all the season like the 'Curates Egg' has been 'good in parts'. This of course is disastrous for eggs but not so bad for football seasons.

 With just Everton away left, fortunately for us without Aaron Lennon who has been playing well and enjoying himself, our judgment on the season is taking shape. The proverbial annual Bonfire of the Dead Wood looms.

If Levy can make out the wood from the trees we might clear several stunted continental oaks and a few saplings and replace them with hopefully native English stock grown with Premiership conditions in mind.

Most of last year's plantings failed to take root and could be grubbed up without too much disruption. Eriksen, Lamela, Dier and Chadli could be left to mature a little more. All the rest are open to best offers.

If the Head Coach can get  two or three of his preferences and pot up some seedlings from the Nursery then we might go into next season bedded in better than we were this season.

 Pochettino has certainly done enough to guarantee another season at the very least.

His preferred tactics were a mismatch for the players available and but for Harry Kane this season might have been a complete disaster. He has shown stubbornness and inflexibility at times and on the whole the football has been dull.

Eriksen's loss of form and the possible departure of Lloris are both clouds on the horizon in a fairly unsettled outlook. But beat Everton and secure 5th and the sun will be peeping through.

All managers have weaknesses and blindspots, it's a matter of finding a decent match for the club's preferences. One of our recent sackings has just won the Russian league with Zenit St Petersburg.

Up and Coming with a reputation for promoting youth and handling them well, Mauricio will do for me for now in the light of our other achievements this season. Now what about the entertainment side of the business Mo.

Let's not throw him on the Bonfire or add his name to the Manager Go Round just yet. That's the Musings Annual Appeal on behalf of the Stability Foundation.

 It's a big step up from 5th to Top Four and we are nowhere near ready for it yet.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
He's young, he's strong, he's quick and he's one of our own. Nabil Bentaleb a genuine success story this season perhaps overshadowed by Harry Kane. I like the boy.This shows his more positive side. Breaking out from the 'if we've got it they can't score' school of thought which usually only gets you to the half way line.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Greavsie Update.

 “The biggest regret of my whole football career
 was leaving White Hart Lane in 1970.''
The Greg Meyer Column.

 Tuesday May 12th 2015… Birthdays … A Little Group Welcome at the Bedside.


It’s off!! The Hall of Fame Induction for James Peter Greaves has been put on hold pending his return to fitness to turn out at the big event.

Leading up to the event I had penned the following which like Jimmy remains as eternal as ever.

 His most famous quote is … “ My Biggest regret is … “. More on that later.

 So apt and so ironic given he enters the Spurs hall of Fame as a Legend when available. Why he has stayed away so long explained later.

The First Million Pound Player.

In todays transfer market he might be the first 100 million  pound transfer. His strike rate compares easily with Messi, Ronaldo and anyone else that comes to mind. Forty four in Fifty seven games for England for starters.

A predator extraordinaire. These days called a fox in the box.

 But no James Peter Greaves was much more than that. A ability to glide past players, even in mid
field , meant when he appeared in the box it was always odds on  for a goal.

 He just passed it into the back of the net. No fuss. Just scored.

 There is that famous quote from Bill  Nicholson I think. All he did today was go out and score four goals. Nothing else.

History records rather than blast it netwards he preferred the passing it into goal approach. And so his conversion ratio of a goal a game was born.

Why Was He So Good.

Simple stupid. Jimmy believed in 90 minutes and beyond. His game was built around concentration for the entire game. Mental toughness. No switching off. No having a little rest. Pure and simple 90 minutes and ready for any chance, however late, and bang it was in the net.

Some Memorable Quotes and Memories  From Our Jimmy.

Grew up in Dagenham and rose to great heights. His pre match meal was usually a full English roast. Washed down with a cleansing ale no doubt. A team mate might dine on a pasta and salad. Seemed to work for our Jimmy.
First off a reflection on Sicknote … fondly remembered by all us Spurs… Love you Darren ..

       “I’m 58 and think even I’ve played more football than Anderton over the past two years.If Black Death swept through London… oops you would not want to be in the same street as Darren.”

      On Bobby Moore …

          “ He knew where an opposition player was going to pass it before that player even knew.”

And so back to that first quote ..

           “The biggest regret of my whole football career was leaving White Hart Lane in 1970. My interest after that weakened. I was heart broken.”

So There You Have It.

   A phone call from Bill Nicholson telling him the deal was done was how it happened.  Not what would happen. You are off son.  Greavsie was shattered. The club of his life was offloading him for the new up and comer, Martin Peters. 

 Even then football was rather ruthless. Don’t blame Jimmy. Still with the passage of time most wounds heal.

At A Kent Pub.

    Yes can understand the bitterness.

  Fantastic both sides have now agreed terms of rapprochement.

 Meanwhile back bedside a trio of birthdays to help out. Florence Nightingale on nursing duties with humour and cheer provided by Tony Hancock and Catherine Tate.

 Welcome back Saint Jimmy of Greaves … Striker Extraordinaire … One of our own.

Cheers   …  a speedy recovery would be great news for his many fans  … Greg Meyer.   coys..

Jimmy and Jimmy's Video Spot.
Messi and Ronaldo eat your hearts out:  heavy leather balls, atrocious pitches; no protective rules for the artists and terrible weather too it seems. Any excuse to watch Jimmy Greaves.Well the man's not well for goodness sake.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

The house that Mauricio Pochettino built.

You've got the plans upside down Mauricio.
The JimmyG2 Column.
It's more than a mess : it's a cowboy building site. Losing twice to Stoke, a moderate team at best, is a foundation of sand on which to build. The new site foreman still hasn't got his cement mixing ratios right and the bricks are not of the best quality.

I am not demanding his P45 because he is in a learning process at Spurs and indeed in the Premiership.  But his apparently  willful misreading of the blueprints at his disposal reveal a worryingly eccentric view of the squad building process.

Four centrebacks with two quick fullbacks on the bench. Even with a World class keeper we still conceded three to make us one of the four worst defensive units in the whole of the Premiership.

 Soldado on as usual for his weekly run out. Did he even touch the ball? Vlad again. That's a site clearing bonfire started with a can of petrol. Booked before 20 minutes he should have been subbed at half time.

 Dembele who arguably should have started against Stoke to stiffen up the mid-field on for our best performer Lamela.  Persisting with Mason and Eriksen when they are clearly knackered and/ or out of form.

Why not start Yedlin and allow Dier to play in his preferred position and Vertonghen too. Round pegs in triangular holes abound. Only five on the bench why not acclimatise a couple of youngsters.

Not so much a team but in the main a set of chipboard cut-outs. Now Mauricio hasn't had the chance to get down to Jewsons and order his own building materials yet and has been working with stuff he found lying around on site.

Fortunately that included an unused RSJ in the shape of  Harry Kane and without him his first year at Spurs could have been a lot more painful if not terminal.

Now I'm not expecting him to turn into the Master Builder straightaway but he has a curious connection with Ibsen's main man, Halvard Solness: his belief that youth would come knocking on his door and save him.

So far this has been the bright spot of the season and the hope for the future. We need to see more of them in this fag end of the season.

In a more direct message to Spurs fans and perhaps all football fans Halford Solness also said: '' Castles in the air- they are so so easy to take refuge in. And so easy to build, too.'' And he'd never met a Spurs fan in his life.

 I stand rebuked. I've constructed many of those in my time. Often though because the reality offers little joy or hope. We are looking to our Argentinian Master Builder to take more care with the planning applications and groundwork and build something both substantial and lasting.

This season has touched some highs, Arsenal and Chelsea obviously but the second half of the season has seen some dramatic subsidence and underpinning is called for in the summer.

Not on a vast scale and preferably with tried and tested Premiership materials. Of the Magnificent Seven not one had been strength tested for the conditions they would have to face.  

 There is a theory that Spurs, Southampton and Liverpool are all deliberately playing badly to avoid the Europa. If only. If Arsenal win the cup then we are all likely to be involved anyway so let's join the competition as late as possible.

Calm Jimmy,calm. As we all know its only football: it's not a matter of life and death.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
I know, I know your granny would look good on you tube but it's all we've got until he actually gets a start. DeAndre Yedlin. He can shoot, he can head, he's quick. We'll have to work on his irritating tendency to pass to a player in the same colour shirt though.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

It's not all good news

Everything is overshadowed at the moment especially in the JimmyG2 household after the bad news about Greavsie. The boyhood hero that I grew up with and share a birthday.

A troubled life after a wonderful football career with his wife and family instrumental in bringing him through alcoholism. Then a successful media career which he says he enjoyed more than playing because he didn't know he could do it.

 Wednesday 13th May, next week, was the planned date for his inclusion in the Hall of Fame after many years of dispute over the use of the money raised. More on all this later when things are clearer.

 Latest news is that he is aware of the seriousness of his condition and faces a long slow recovery. Irene's comment that he is having to do as he is told gives a hint that his determination and spirit are not dimmed.


We made that out of a silk purse. Only at Spurs.
The JimmyG2 Column.
If there is such a thing as a good defeat,which there isn't, but if there was, going down fighting 1-0 to Man.City on Sunday was probably on the list.

Until that man Aguerro settled the battle of the strikers with a goal from a City breakaway after we had once again rattled them from a Lamela corner. Dier, Fazio, and Vertonghen all missed decent chances from headers.

Had Lloris stood up and not anticipated a shot across him then the single near post goal might have been avoided. But we have come to expect perfection from Hugo and apparently he's only human after all.

We might have won by two or three but for excellent keeping from Hart, saving one on one with Mason and later Harry Kane. We're getting closer to City having conceded 15 in the previous three City games,so the single goal was a minor miracle.

To be fair this was a pretty lethargicand unambitious City team apart from Silva, Hart and Aguerro and we missed a good opportunity to beat them. But we turned up, turned out and came close to turning them over.

That there were were several candidates for MOM including Erik Lamela, Betaleb, Dier and Danny Rose indicates a better all round team performance. The first half hour was the best we've played for some time.

 Pochettino however continues to puzzle. I am not sure why Yedlin didn't start allowing Dier to play centre half where he is more comfortable. Nor why Dembele wasn't at least on the bench.

The sight of us ending the game with three strikers on was misguided from the Coach and smacked of desperation. Goals are created from midfield and the wings not from a trio of centre forwards.

Paulinho who played an impressive cameo  could have come on earlier and Soldado to support Harry Kane would have been quite enough. Adebeyor is an unwelcome sight as far as Musings is concerned.

The big puzzle is where has Eriksen gone. Burnt out? Mind elsewhere? He is a class player but is contributing less and less. Another Spurs triumph, making a pig's ear out of a silk purse.

Come back Christian all is forgiven. He's never going to be a pin up boy for the high pressure total football game but most of what was good previously came through him at some point.

With CL out of the equation and EL more or less inevitable it's time to see what else we have in the tactics and personnel locker . A sort of end of season preseason.

There is still the Europa League qualifying rounds to consider; the higher we finish the later we start but I don't think playing one or two youngsters or resting some of the senior players will make too much difference.

Give Harry, Eriksen  and Mason some rest; see if Soldado can play himself into form, give Yedlin a run, start Paulinho and check whether recent performances were a flash in the pan.

Lets dedicate the last three games to JimmyGreaves and find out what we've got on our hands.
I make my annual plea for as little disruption as possible. But we all know how that went last season.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Get well soon Jim. Long fascinating interview.With added goals.