The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Spurs excitement mounts : Fire up the Quatro.

Audi Cup Line-up. Who let that cockerel in?
The JimmyG2 Column.
 America! It's a long way to go for a pre-season friendly. Just ask Cristopher Columbus. Though I dare say we've been a lot further. At least the game against Real Madrid or Spurs Old Boys as they are known on the Musings is closer to home.

I kid you not, Real Madrid in the prestigious (it says here) Audi Cup, no nor have I. Only a week to go before we take on Man.Utd in the prestigious Premier League. That one rings a bell. I'm so Spurs centred that I seem to have missed it.

It's bi-annual and started in 2009 to celebrate Audi's 100 yrs of production. Bayern, the hosts, have won it twice; Barcelona once in their only appearance. Bayern were runners up that year and the Manchesters have been runners up too. Prestigious indeed.

So now we are all up to speed on that one. Four teams compete by invitation and Spurs game against Real is on Tuesday at  17:15 on Premier Sports but I am expecting streams to be available. Try FSI free football streaming

The Wiki intro to this yea's tournament raised a hollow laugh
The competition will host the 2009 Audi Cup winners Bayern Munich, the 2014 UEFA Champions league winners Real Madrid, 18-time Italian champions Milan, and 8-time FA Cup and two times UEFA cup winners Tottenham Hotspur, of North London.

They dug deep for that. Nothing except a League Cup win in the last couple of decades and no mention of Bayern's impressive recent league wins. But then it's only Germany, World Cup winners four times the last as recently as 2014.

But I'm delighted we've been invited, just can't work out exactly why. Unless it's to allow Real to run the rule over Harry, Hugo and Christian. Part of the erstwhile special relationship, or did that get binned while I wasn't looking.

But as far as the game against MLS All Stars goes was it worth the trip? Well Harry scored and could have got several. No signs of the second album/season problem. His goal was the most difficult of his chances.

Rose is confirmed as first choice left back and Trippier will challenge and soon for the right back position. More crosses than Highgate cemetery. Dier struggled manfully in midfield and is perhaps worth another look in the event that we don't sign a 'marquee' specialist.

None of the youngsters look quite ready yet to act as back up to Harry and the big tent will need another  photo session. Alderweirald wasn't entirely convincing in his first pairing with Vertonghen
but time will tell. 

However against an established team in their mid season and at altitude we still should have won on our second half performance where once again it was the boys that stepped up. Onomah should have scored following a slick passing move between Kane, Carroll and Alli.

Back home, Adebayor may or not be going to Aston Villa: Soldado may or not be going to Villareal. Kaboul, Capoue, Paulinho and Vlad have definitely gone and one or two others of the so-called dead wood. So the Bonfire of the Vanities has at least been lit.

Winks, Carroll and especially Dele Alli caught the eye but only the last named is likely to be retained for the match squad. I hope I'm wrong on that because a decision definitely needs to be made soon on Carroll.

I have hopes for Coulthirst, and there's Pritchard and Velkjovic absent on other duties and some of the youngsters who played in Australia. Mostly these will go out on loan. Not forgetting Mason who is sadly injured once again.

Pre-season has been a bit of a mish mash and who knows what went on behind closed doors. Manchester Unted next week will be a doddle after Real and if we beat them Mauricio can claim an astute build up.

Mcgee and Velkjovic who might yet be in my All Academy squad are both only 20 but both look older than Brad. Milos had a 100% passing accuracy in his only appearance against Limassol in the Europa but was only on for 4 minutes. But it's a start.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
What was Chadli doing for the first? Mis-control and a mishit shot  neatly turned in by Villa for the second. Their keeper kept them in it early on. A good work out as they say. Plenty of positives for Mauricio to ponder.


 My Predictions for the season: As submitted to the Topspurs 'Vox Pop' 

Another season already, already? And so the Tottenham treadmill keeps on turning, grinding players managers and fans to dust. Remarkably I find myself more optimistic and cheerful than I was last year and on re-reading last years I find that I was more optimistic last season than the season before. What the hell is wrong with me.

Mainly because of Harry Kane and the Academy Boys and the fact that there are even more poised to make the breakthrough. My dream of an all Academy squad in the next few years is still on track.
Oh delusion then if you insist.

We might mislay Andros along the way but as long as Lloris stays until McGee is ready all is well. Otherwise the fortuitous collision of a talented Academy squad, a settled manager in his second season who favours youth, and a Chairman who guards Spurs money as if it was his own produces a uniquely positive scenario.

I'm making Eriksen, our only true creative, and Lamela, the most likely to become one, honoury Academicians for the interim as they are only young. I'm backing Harry Kane to top 20 Premiership goals.

We punched above our weight last season and bettered my prediction of 6th. so all is set up for the same again this season, another top six finish for the eighth time in a decade. We probably won't make the CL but I would like to see us do better in the UEFA.

I'm assuming that Liverpool will continue in their quest to be the new Tottenham and leave us in poll position to be the best of the rest. In the likely event that Brenden gets the sack, which would be very Spursy, all bets are off.

Let's hear it for the boys, and I do mean boys for they it was that stepped up last season: Kane, Bentaleb, Rose, and Mason when all about them experienced old pros, Adebayor, Soldado, Vlad, Paulinho amongst others were falling apart.

Proud of them and looking forward to Pritchard, Alli, Carroll, Winks and others joining them. Against Sydney FC we had 9 Academy boys on the pitch at some stage and not one of them failed to make their mark.

They all go the extra pitch length for the club and with their commitment and loyalty they give back more than they take out which more than makes up for what they lack in experience or even skill.
Bentaleb or Paulinho: Harry Kane or Adebayor: you choose. Magnificent Seven? Halfhearted Two And a Half more like.

So that's 5th again and Harry to score 20 in the Premiership. The one might be dependent on the other unless we sign someone, or better promote someone, to help him out.

 Come on Mauricio break the mould of the tedious search for foreign Premiership unready stars: you know you want to. And Daniel will back you to the hilt on this one.

Two columns for the price of one! You lucky people. Are you getting excited yet?


Anonymous said...

When all around are calling for "marquee" signings, I love this approach. I don't want to finish 4th this year, I want to win the title at some point in the next 10 and then stay up there at the top of the English and European game for decades to come. The way to do that is to genuinely build a team from youth and then when the stadium money comes in begin to buy the world's best. The age of the current team is so encouraging for the future. That said I'd take Berahino...

KennyJ said...

Yup, feeling hopeful because I think we have a coach who has a long term plan and Levy seems to be backing that and one who believes in youth, our youth....and it is already becoming easy to forget that Harry K was v unlikely to be seen as the player that he is at this time last season. COYS for the future...long term. :-)

JimmyG2 said...

Agree totally.
I use the term 'marquee' signings ironically. I don't even know where it comes from.
My dream is of an All Academy team winning the Champions' League. But 5th will do for now.
Kane and Rose were both written off as Ist. team starters.

redwhiteandermblue said...

I had the same dream about the academy.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see us in very good shape this year. I think Levy will get a RM, a backup striker and a DM, and buy intelligently.

So it will all be up to the squad and Pochettino. I wish I felt better about the latter’s tactics. He made it too easy for teams to counterattack effectively last year. I’m hoping we sit back as we did against Arsenal away--and didn’t do the other 37 PL games.

Anonymous said...

But we still only have one forward!! Shaq is not a backup I'm comfortable with

Anonymous said...

I worry about our goal scoring ability, great that youth are getting a chance but I'd like to see at least two decent signings. We cannot let Liverpool overtake us, 5th is realistic, cut out the stupid dropped home points against the lesser teams and who knows.
Spurs 4th, West Ham relegated, Arsenal fail again = A good season.

Anonymous said...

I too feel a slightly weird sense of optimism, conflicting totally with the usual mood of impending doom which is the more normal state of mind of all Spurs fans (at least, ever since the departure of Keith Burkinshaw). It stems from the fact that at last we have something of a plan which is slightly more to the liking of us fans than wide-boy Sugar's notion of turning us into a bigger version of Wimbledon FC, or Irving Scholar's absurd plan to rebuild WHL as an executive box only stadium while flogging THFC crafted lingerie to the well heeled attendees. The new plan began to take shape about five or six years ago when we finally got planning permission from Enfield Council to build the brand new academy and training facility on a large disused sports ground minutes away from junction 25 of the M25. It is without doubt now one of the finest club training facilities in Europe (arguably the World) and in a perfect location - there aren't many areas where Barcelona are second best to Spurs! And 'quelle surprise' five years down the line we are churning out top class academy players. Without doubt Poch was appointed not on his track record of winning things (that would be zero) but his willingness to promote and develop young players. Of course bad stuff can still happen. Poch may be the one rather than Kane who suffers from the dreaded second album/season syndrome, Liverpool may have unearthed another Suarez amongst the 27 signings they have made and put even greater distance between us and the Elysian Fields of Champions League and displacing any one of last season's top four may prove impossible. But as we walked away from Goodison Park back in May I commented that Liverpool's end of season crash and burn meant we finished champions of our mini league within the league, and while, sadly there is no automatic promotion from this league, we have earned the right to challenge for top four as the next in line.
Good things may be happening - heavens above!

JimmyG2 said...

Last Anon.
Like your style.'THFC crafted lingerie' I hope the marketing boys don't read this before we get into production.
Like your link between the training facility and the Academy development. Joined up thinking.

I sense a shared feeling of optimism amongst us. All the more anguish to follow when we crash and burn. But what the hell who cares, we're happy for a while.

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