The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Young gifted and back.

And plenty more where they came from.
The Jimmy G2 column.
 Any minute now the alarm clock will go off and I will realise that it's all been just a wonderful dream. I think I'll just doze off until after we seal our Europa progress and thrash Chelsea.

Another fine team performance against W.Ham and though most agree that Moussa was the King of the Jungle  there were a number of other beasts with a claim for MOM: Alli, Alderweield, Kane, Walker and Dier all played well and nobody played badly.

Dembele seems to have been born again and resembles the player we thought we had brought from Fulham in 2012. Strong on the ball, scoring goals and much more direct. Another example of the Pochettino effect.

The pundits, still hooked on their Deli Alli love-in, made him MOM but once again this was an attacking performance by a young, gifted side relishing the opportunity to press and run about quite a lot.

There were some delightful passages of play and quite how on this showing W.Ham were level on points before the game baffles me.

We had more shots on goal (12) in a single game than any team in the Premiership; we have the second best goal difference: we always run the furthest and have been awarded the most yellow cards.

Perhaps the last factor, which makes me a little uneasy, is part and parcel of the overall package. Oh those heady days when we won the Fair Play League. Are we becoming too nasty now or were we too nice then.

As long as we don't crowd the ref; protest every decision; wave imaginary cards about and allow the medical squad on the pitch when necessary perhaps we are still just on the right side of the line..

Deli Alli picked up his fifth yellow card and will miss the Chelsea game. Perhaps it will be a salutary lesson for the 19yr. old who needs to stand his ground but know when to turn away and curb his enthusiasm just a little.

The togetherness of the squad is evident and heartwarming to see. It injects a hard core throughout the squad and is perhaps something that has been missing in recent years.

We've often had a nominated hard man Palacios, Parker, Sandro and Jenas most recently but this is different because now: it's all for one and one for all. They can all look after themselves and everyone can look out for Christian.

But it's a narrow line to walk between team spirit and a Stoke or a Sunderland or W.Ham and two banned before Xmas and another on the edge indicates that it might get out of hand. Jenas was a joke by the way.

Erik Dier says that Spurs aren't 'Spursy' any more. Meaning that the soft centre has been scooped out. But we must take care not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Walker Let himself down with an ill-judged attempted clearance which led to their consolation goal after scoring a fine goal himself. Harry remains on track and should have had another hat-t rick.

With Eiderweireld and Walker contributing goals that's twelve different scorers so far this season and shows that the attacking intent is not solely centred on our one season wonder.

We bossed the game especially in the centre of the park and W. Ham were poor in every department except in goal. It was pleasing to see big lump Andy Carroll subbed. Our centre backs stood off him and picked up the second ball.

I'm glad that Onomah is being patiently groomed, but in a nice way, and that Tommy Carroll has not slipped Mauricio's mind. I hope both start against Qarabag or perhaps Harry Winks and that Son who was lively, gives Harry a rest.

I know, I know if we win this one we´re through but it´s Chelsea on Sunday and beating them is a priority and would inspire us to greater things before the Xmas rush. Deli Alli could start.

What team he puts out could depend on whether his faith in youth is greater than his belief in the capacity of his squad to cope with multiple games on several fronts at once.

I haven´t been so excited by our performances and prospects for decades, Gareth Bale in our Champions´ League flirtation under Harry excepted.

Jimmy´s Video Spot.
I expect you can bear to watch the highlights again. Could and should have been more but that´ll do. Eriksen already has more assists than he got the whole of last season. Son sets up two and Mason is very unlucky not to score..
We´re young, gifted and back on track.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

The curse of Premature Adulation at Spurs.

New mug Mauricio?
Yeah. The lads had a whip round.
The JimmyG2 Column.
Eleven games unbeaten and three games in six days but our young team did us proud. In the end Arsenal snatched a draw and on possession and chances perhaps a fair result.

But a week that could easily have gone so wrong  and might have done so in years gone by. But this is the new Tottenham itching to go places including the New White Hart Lane.

Mental as well as physical endurance thanks to Pochettino's work on a young and responsive squad. Arsenal and the NLD at the end of an arduous week a call to action, a spur if you will. We had excuses to hand but didn't use them.

Ah the innocence of youth trusted and given a sense of purpose by a Head Coach that is not afraid to throw them in at the deep end and so far they have all swum safely ashore.

It felt as if we totally bossed the NLD especially in the centre of the park. But I'm content for the moment to be disappointed to come away with just a draw at the Emirates.

We may have drawn this particular battle but we are making good progress in winning the Premiership war.

We've beaten the top of the table and yesterday stopped Arsenal themselves going top. Cazorla was withdrawn at half time to lick his wounds and the pundits were falling over themselves to acclaim Deli Alli.

Not that it's my favourite fixture or the Chelsea and West Ham games to be honest. Of course I relish the chance to establish the London bragging rights but the emotion can get in the way of the football.

These are games where the result becomes more important than the performance and yet it is the performance that produces the results. No complaints though about this latest episode of Beat Your Neighbour.

It's difficult even to pick a clear MOM whatever the commentators might have said. Ali, Dembele, Lamela, Dier, Walker, Rose for his beautiful assist and Alderweireld all have their advocates.

Alli looks the real deal with his strength in the tackle and ability on the ball. If he doesn't have his head turned by premature adulation he could be a mainstay for us for years. But pundits: they build 'em up and they bring  'em down. Adulation I said.

Only Lloris who might have done better for the goal and who was hesitant at times doesn't make the frame. Even then he made a couple of excellent saves to match Czech at the other end.

So a team performance then. Pressing, harassing and tackling all over the pitch and a Harry Kane goal to round it off. Two weeks ago it wouldn't have gone in but this is on the other side of a hatrick.

One season wonder, clearly not. But even with Harry misfiring and Mason and Bentaleb, last years midfield  stalwarts, injured for weeks we have maintained our momentum towards the Promised Land.

The emergence of Dier and Alli; the central partnership of Toby and Jan; the re-emergence of Dembele, Walker and Lamela has not merely papered over the cracks this time round, they have knocked down the wall rebuilt and replastered it.

We are not only consistently fielding the youngest team in the league we are bringing the most 'own grown'  products from the production line to the showroom.The Future is Bright and the present is very satisfying too.

 How relaxing it is to go into an international break following a good performance riding high in the league. Not that many of the Senior squad or the younger teams either will get much rest with friendlies and qualifiers galore at every level.

But at least they should be able to play with smiles on their faces.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
A tale of two assists
Moussa mops up. Jan send Danny away and that pass forward is the most beautiful thing. Harry scores with aplomb as all the best sports writers say. I think the commentator changes sides at half time.

 Blame game? Difficult because  its such a peach of a cross from chief Premiership assister Ozil. Rose not close enough? Jan too far across? Walker gives Gibbs too much space trying to cover Jan? And the award goes to Hugo.

Amazing clarity on the video

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Belgium play France in N.London. The Derby

 What time does it all kick off?
The Greg Meyer Column.
Derby Day 8 November 2015: Dracula’s Birthday.

Belgium Play France in North London: The Derby.

War has been declared for today only. Our pub hunkered down amid the leafy glades of Kent is in combat mode. Over a pint or two our merry band of regulars have forensically examined the looming battle in North London.
The first clue surely relates to the make up of the respective combatants. Spurs have a significant Belgian flavor while Arsenal have  on many occasions been mistaken for the French national side.
Guess who are rated the best football team in the world. Yes its Belgium. An omen surely.
Spurs have  4 members of the Belgian side including Alderweireld, Vertongen, Dembele and Chadli. The defensive pairing of Toby and Jan has seen a remarkable turn around regards Spurs previous open door/open goal policy of last season.
A second “clue” may lie in the unlikely turnaround of a certain Belgian’s form. Mousa Dembele went knocking on Mauricio Pochettino’s reputedly always open door in the summer. Not entirely sure it is always open.
 Andros Townsend had trouble meeting a decidedly frosty reception from Mauricio this week. Banished to the Under 21’s. Dishonourable mention in despatches for Andros.
Dembele was rumoured to be unhappy with his lot, as in not getting a lot of game time. Whatever transpired between him and the manager seems to have worked in spades.
 He is fit, he is scoring goals(3 in 3 just lately), and he is closing on the form that he was demonstrating when he first signed from Fulham. Remember his scintillating display when he ripped Manchester United apart at Old Trafford.
More of that form will mean the chances of the Belgian contingent trumping the French in the Derby today are much enhanced.
So to that French factor. The likes of Koscielny, Debuchy, Giroud,  Flamini, Coquelin and of course Monsieur Wenger are a formidable sextet.
Koscielny will line up on Harry Kane no doubt. Coquelin likewise will try to snuff out the threat of Eriksen.

The Flamini factor surely cannot strike twice.He scored two in the League Cup against Spurs. Before that his last goal was for the Under 10’s at Ecole Primaire Marseille in 1994.
Spurs of course have their own French factor namely our Hugo Lloris. The Captain of France no less. Arsenal boast their own goalkeeping superstar Petr Cech. Things cancel each out on balance.
A final “clue” may lie in the supporting cast for each team. Arsenal have an impressive list of wounded soldiers . The English invalids include Walcott, Oxlade Chamberlain, Wiltshire and Aaron Ramsay, almost English.
Spurs have most available albeit our Korean is short on game time.
The Arsenal foreign legion however is all class. The likes of Sanchez, Ozil and Cazorla  for starters. Goals galore there and hopefully for Spurs but perhaps not this week. And so any one of 3 outcomes would not surprise our assembled squad …
At A Kent Pub.
Nervous anticipation hangs in the air here at our pub. Nothing to do with Bram Stoker's birthday. He is 168 years old today. The fact that Spurs are going to war away from home is perhaps a tipping point in favour of the Gunners.
Mind, that said, our lawyer is going for a narrow and famous win to the youngsters.
Cheers … Belgium to triumph …  Greg Meyer.       coys.
Jimmy's Video Spot. Vintage stuff on a vintage radio from Rob Wilton. 'Our Harry' features. Some of this spirit is exactly what we need today. Mauricios's pre match pep talk. (Home Guard 1943). I think you had to be there. I was: just.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Pochettino gets his reward.

Shaun the sheep.
It would appear so from this side at least.
The JimmyG2 Column.

The biggest of elephant traps, lavishly baited with banana skins and laced with the droolings of TV pundits lay in wait for Spurs on Monday night, and we almost fell in.

When Carragher and Neville rate us, like us, and want to have Mauricios babies then it's tin hat and body armour time in my book. Especially just before the first game of a hectic and possibly crucial week.

High flying, unbeaten, pundit backed Spurs against the (technically) managerless bottom of the league strugglers Aston Villa on Sky Sports, in prime time.What could possibly go wrong.

In the end it was almost the architypical Tottenham game. The New Spurs rising Phoenix like from the bones and ashes of the old Spurs. But the same DNA still  flows.

Early goal; two up at half time. That's the New Spurs. But then as history shows 2-0 up is a dangerous situation for us.. We relax and drop deeper; get slack; they get a goal courtesy of a misplaced pass and a deflection and its 'Game On'.

That's the Old Spurs. Then Lamela keeping his head when all about him others are losing theirs earns back a little of his record fee. Some harrying and nice footwork and he sets up Harry for the goal that not only takes the wind out of their sails but overturns the boat.

Harry without thinking whacks the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area and we maintain our unbeaten run and press our noses hard against the Champions' League Gift shop window and start compiling our Xmas wish list.

70 minutes of dominance with yet another goal for Dembele; a calm finish by Deli Alli; good work by Dier; a Mr.Sensible performance from Kyle Walker; hard centres only in our Belgian Centre Back selection, and ten minutes of mayhem.

Lloris tried to summon up a bit of trade for himself by some careless distribution but at least he chose a good game to do it in. The goal which deflected off Vertonghen is not down to him.

Whats not to like? Spurs fans should be conditioned for this contingency now whatever Mr.G. Neville, who I respect as the best of the current pundits, says.

What Mr.J. Callagher thinks is out of his very short volume 'The Beautiful Game on Merseyside'. Namely that Clarke should have brought Moussa down before he reached the penalty area and scored. He didn't though he tried, and he did.

Well at least you practised what you preach Jamie. So have Spurs turned the proverbial corner before the return Europa game against Anderlecht. Not quite a must win but certainly a mustn't lose.

Where did they find an Arsenal supporting fixture computer. The group is finely balanced at the half-way stage and we need to play with more focus in the remaining ties.

The question of Spurs progress reminds me of the two Professors of Philosophy on the train to Oxford. One thoughtfully tapped his note-pad with his fountain pen which tells you how old this anecdote is.

'The sheep in that field have all been sheared' he remarks. The other after careful consideration replies, 'It would appear so from this side at least.' Clearly a  lifelong Spurs supporter.

If we won the Premiership and then the Champions' League we would surely celebrate but then ask' 'But can we do it every year?' The fans version of the managerial cliche 'We are taking it one game at a time'.

Whatever the outcome this season all credit to Mauricio. He has cleared the decks, battened down the hatches with Toby prompting Jan to greater effort and responsibility. Mostly though he has trusted youth.

Onomah(18) was the latest fledgling to be hatched and not at an easy moment in the Villa game. He like Alli looks the part. Harry is threatening once again to reward his Head Coach handsomely.

As are all of his young proteges. Their spirit and camaraderie shines out and the fans at last have something of their own to cherish and support.

We are scoring more and conceding less and it is decade and a half since our goal difference looked as healthy as it does after 11 games. It could be important in the final countdown.

So it would appear that we are making progress. Well it looks like it from here anyway. 

Jimmy's Video spot. 
All the goals and highlights as they say. Scott Sinclair a pain early on and Ayew and Gestede later. But the highlights flatter Villa who were out of it for most of the game. Eriksen and Lamela buzzing and Harry winning his cousin £5000 with his late strike to complete a six scorers accumulator for him. Rewards: they  just keep on coming.