The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Spurs Spice up the Recipe.


Spurs secret: Fresh ingredients, carefully blended.
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The JimmyG2 Column.

Well if a week is along time in politics two are a lifetime in football. Pity that Mauricio didn't quite get his ducks in a row in the League Cup.

We could have and should have beaten Arsenal with some slight adjustments and still had plenty in hand this afternoon as it turned out.

Of course you can't legislate for Flamini, the forgotten man at Arsenal, scoring twice (400/1 apparently or for the basic errors by Vorm and Fazio that led to the goals but you can try to cover all contingencies.

Carping and hyper-critical maybe but losing a NLD, even if it was  a little  unfortunate, is a stain on his Spurs CV and may come back to haunt him when tougher times come round and friends desert him.

Many will write off the League Cup in favour of 3 points in the Premiership especially with a stunning win over City. But many will not agree with downgrading our chances against the Old Enemy.

However  we go from strength to strength despite this, from just outside the R zone to within striking distance of not just the top four but the very top itself. Early days.

This was much more nourishing fare than at the start of the season. An added dash of enthusiasm from Son and a pinch of the precocious steel of Alli  all carefully stirred, not shaken.

I must confess I missed the game live for the first time for a couple of seasons. Wedding Anniversary duties called which were arranged some time ago. I would have put money on a Sunday fixture this weekend.

 I struggled for a signal deep in the depths of Don Quixote country but when 1-0 flashed up to City half way through the soup course I turned my attention to Mrs.JG2 who was giving me looks enough to frighten Diego Costa.

It was 1-1 at half time which chimed with my optimistic pre-match forecast. I went out to the hotel lobby to get the details.

My co-blogger phoned from Tasmania to put me in the picture. Dier growing into his role with every game with the equaliser after the linesman had ignored a blatant Walker offside in the build up.

De Bruyne for them, also marginally offside after a YaYa Toure  breakaway from our corner on 25 minutes. Spurs coming into the game more after this and Lamela playing well. Walker was involved, giving the ball away.

I went back in time for the Main Course: Tuna steaks in a mushroom and clam sauce and an Alderweireld header from a Lamela free kick. 2-1 Spurs. Both very tasty.

Ice cream  to follow served with a topping of the long awaited Harry Kane goal. He took a difficult chance calmly clipping a shot back into the net from an Eriksen free kick that came back off the bar. Spurs 3-1.

On the later download Roy looked as delighted as the Spurs fans. So what would arrive with the coffee. An Erik Lamela special no less. Nothing easy for that boy, beating the keeper and the full back at least twice before firing home.

Spurs 4-1 and a day to remember for many reasons. Dier confounded his critics once again, Deli Alli played well and with a maturity well above his years and Lamela was MOM. Alderweireld and Vertonghen continue to blend.

Clinton got the assist for Lamela's goal, and Harry put both fingers up to the doomsayers. One season wonder? Make that a decade or more. A veritable feast of football.

Again a real team effort  and nobody played badly. The Head Chef has some surprising choices on his menu but regulars are coming round to his selections.

It has all been quietly simmering for a while but Mauricio and the boys added some spice and turned up the heat in the last two weeks.

Yellow cards:
Indiscipline or at the root of our new found midfield strength. Tottenham top the league for yellow cards. 20 so far and Dier (4), Alli (3) and Lamela (3) have half of them.

Thoughts for the Day.
Could Sunderland and Newcastle both get relegated in the same season.
Four of the top six are London clubs and that doesn't include Chelsea.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
We've featured him before but this boy could be a basic ingredient for some time to come. Nutmegging Luka Modric was just the start. Sorry about the Manchester sound track.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Harry and Son to start.


 Sonshine Superman is indeed our salvation. 
 For this week anyway.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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And Lo as Forcasteth on Ye Musings last week we Duly Moveth up into the Top Half of the Table.  As it says at the top, 'The blog that is not always wrong'. 

Mason and Bentaleb were also out as announced in the headline and might for a bit longer yet. Dembele remains mysteriously absent.

Three clean sheets in a Premiership row; three wins in a week. Mr Pochettino you are really spoiling us. All we need is a hat-trick from Harry on Wednesday night to send the fans away deliriously happy.

Against Palace who were on a bit of a roll, another shallow youth was trusted by the Head Coach to do the business and Deli Alli (19) more or less did. 

Then a gem of a find to paper over the goal scoring cracks all the way from S:Korea via the Bundesliga.  The future's bright: the Son has risen. 

Expect a lot more of this Son nonsense (see headline) before the season is out. Walker only made one mistake and Hugo was magnifique.  Eriksen  replaced Chadli in good time and had an instant impact.

Things are decidedly looking up. They might come to a grinding halt later in the week but there is no reason not to look on the bright side. Even Erik Lamela is playing better and his persistence enabled  Eriksen to send Son away for his goal.

Nice one Son. I did warn you. Pre-match we over-estimated Palace who seemed to complacently believe in their own hype. They were compact in defence, that's the new 'park the bus'. Perhaps our youth and fitness enabled us once again to prevail latish in the game.

They hit the post twice before we wrapped it up and saw it out. Hangeland backed off for too long and Son was lucky with a shot which went under the keeper. Harry would pay good money for that sort of good fortune.

But I never felt that our back five were vulnerable and only Chadli was below par. It was the youngest starting eleven in the Prem this season and even if we are found out later this week we are developing something we can be proud of.

Question of the Day; (New Feature)
Will Harry be rested from the Prem while 'come on my Son' * is on form .Or will Mauricio think that might undermine his confidence even further. Or can he accommodate both.
*Give it a rest Jimmy (editor).

Thought for tomorrow against Arsenal.
Reminds me of the old sex therapy joke. Two miserable and one happy man in the session. 
Therapist to the first miserable man: ' How often do you engage in sexual intercourse? About 15  times a year' he replies.
Same question to the second miserable man who replies ' 20 times a year'
Same question to the grinning happy man who replies 'Once a year'.
Puzzled, the therapist asks why he is so happy under the circumstances.
Happy man replies: 'Because tonight's the night'

Good News. (I think)
Revised plans have been submitted for the New Stadium. 'We're on our way to Wembley.'

Bad News. (Possibly)

I said many years ago that I wanted to watch a game at the New White Hart Lane before I set off for the Great Stadium in the Sky. At the current rate of progress it's gonna be a damn close run thing.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Who else? Good defending from Dier and Lamela tackling back. Lamela quickly rolls it out to Eriksen who sends Son on his way with one touch. 9 seconds from start to finish. 3 goals in a week you bet the crowd have really taken to him. 
Sonsational. Enough already Jimmy.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Mason and Bentaleb out.


Going up. Top half next stop.
 
The JimmyG2 Column. 
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So Spurs are up and running. Well three points up certainly but more of a brisk walk than a run. But a win is a win is a win as they say. Whoever they are.

We are four points from the Champions' League places and four points from the big R zone. It has a certain satisfying symmetry about it if nothing else. But there is a feeling about that we have turned the corner.

Three points away from home, a second clean sheet in a row and the winner scored by Academician Ryan Mason following as good a team goal as we have seen for more than a month of Sundays.

What more do you want? Fifteen uninterrupted  passes concluding with a brave goal after one touch interplay between Kane, Lamela and Mason to snatch victory in the 82nd. minute. Christian eat your heart out, but get well soon.

 In some ways a victory we didn't quite deserve. Sunderland were probably better than we thought or hoped especially the ex Spurs Kaboul and Defoe who gave Toby Elderweireld the run around all day and should have scored.

Lloris crouched tall and made him make the decision and thankfully he hit the post. We edged the possession but they had more shots and more of them on target.

 Late on a fine shot by Rodwell hit the bar with Lloris well beaten but as they, them again, say the woodwork marks the outside of the goal.

Mauricio and the lads were rightly excited by the goal and more for the manner in which it was scored than the goal itself. It's a start: 20 seconds of excellence in a game of more than five thousand .

Mauricio's substitutions of Lamela and Townsend, worked well and were timely this week. Lamela provided a measured through ball for the goal and Andros was like a force of nature unleashed on the right.

Both put themselves in the selection shop window. Chadli was at the peak of his infuriating ineffectuality and blazed over twice when set up by Lamela our leading assister last season. Point made and taken.

Newcomer Son could have been subbed earlier and didn't match up to the hype. He looked a lot better on you-tube. 'Who doesn't' I hear you shout, but he did alright for a debut in the Premiership. Tidy start and much more to come.

Mason went off injured and if he joins Bentaleb for a couple of weeks in the treatment room we might just learn how crucial they have been to the energy and drive of our midfield.

 Carroll, Pritchard and Winks wait in the wings. Academy rules KO!

We fielded the youngest side so far this season in the Premiership, as we did consistently last season and it was good to see Carroll get a brief cameo replacing the injured Mason who seems to be dominating this review

I made him MOM for the second time in 5 games. Dele Alli is clearly good but looks a little lost at the moment; Dier played well again and Vertonghen showed some of the command we have been waiting for.

Good News.
Adebayor is no longer with us. No mention of whether it cost us an arm and a leg or just an arm or a leg.I suspect the former. By mutual consent. That's management speak for: Ade fired the bullet and we bit it.

Bad  News.
There's no more good news. Sorry couldn't resist the old joke.
  
No News 
How long our new hero Ryan Mason will be out for. Rumored a couple of weeks.Usually it's double the earliest prediction.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
That goal. Terrible quality. The video not the football. First time pass from HK. A bit of a collector's item in recent days. If Pantilimon had stayed on his feet as Hugo did for the Defoe effort he would have saved it. Small margins as my old Geography teacher used to demand.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Spurs caught short.

I'm a Belt and braces man myself.
Nasty stuff that Velcro.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 So what can we make out as we peer through the latest window into the gloomy unknown beyond. Harry Kane was hoping for a playmate to join him up front but the jury is out on that one. Another pair of Premiership virgins to be unveiled.

Adebayor continues to sulk in his tent at every level but Levy is attempting to cover his tracks by the dubious tactic of re-classifying attacking midfielders as strikers. Ingenious? Maybe. Effective? Let's wait and see.

Heung-Mi Son certainly looks good but so did Lamela. The most expensive Asian player ever at £22 million so let's hope he hasn't been brought with one eye on shirts sales out East.

I wouldn't let Adebayor anywhere near our young squad who are hopefully being brought up with the right attitude. The influence of such a cynical old pro in the dressing room might cost us more than we're paying him.

The defence is certainly looking stronger with the addition of Elderweired and Trippier and Dier may  be the answer to some of our midfield weakness.Where's that Jury got to? That's two cases pending.

The Berahino farce was another full scale Levy production. A flop unfortunately. In Pearson he met a man as obtuse as himself and once again the Head Coach didn't get his man. Panned by most critics.

Do they still use fax machines these days? Who needs enemies when we have a friend like Daniel. I wonder how many deals have been lost through his antics. No doubt some money has been saved but at what cost.

Another window in which there was close to a net profit on sales and signings but it's not only about the bottom line. But try telling that to an accountant.

I know, I know, we haven't done a 'Leeds' and thank Daniel for that. But in truth how many top flight clubs have? 'Solvency for what?' one might ask.

Fortunately the carryings on at Man.Utd and Real Madrid over De Gea and the usual parsimony at The Emirates took some of the heat off us. They will both probably qualify for the Champions' League though despite everything.

Leaving us to the whims of injuries, loss of form, or illness seems to me to be asking for trouble. But then I'm a belt and braces man and would prefer not to have to rely on safety pins and Velcro.

On the positive side, a recent theme of Musings, we have kept our key players and Eriksen, the only   real quality in our previous job lot, could return at Sunderland where we will meet up with some our 'deadwood' a great deal of which has been cleared.

So like the Curate's Egg the transfer window was good in parts. But a support striker for Harry was the key for me. Roll on January and hopefully we won't be too far off 5th. to catch up.

If Spurs can bake me a humble pie I will gladly eat it. Meanwhile the Jury have gone out to lunch.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Harry Kane for England and St. George. The goal that starts the goal rush? Great movement, skill and calm, and a good ball from Shelvey who played well.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Meanwhile: Everything but the points.

There's a few here awaiting collection
 at Sunderland marshalling yards.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Plenty of nourishing food for the positivity diet this week against Everton.  Everything but the points but a general improvement all round in individual performances.

Nobody played badly and we sustained our efforts for most of the game. Everton were very ordinary and Lloris, apart from a good save from Cleverly after a Walkeresqe error by, er, Walker, had little to do.

Vertonghen and Elderweireld are looking more like a solid unit and there is a rumour going round that Jan dribbled through the entire Everton team and shaved the bar with a well struck shot.

Dier had his best game in midfield though he needs to be a little more careful with the 'destroyer' tag. Dembele had a more positive performance until he fouled himself  and had to be subbed..

Bentaleb looked more like his old self and Mason might have had a couple. His through ball to Harry from deep in his own half was worth the entrance money. Rose made a lively welcome return in place of the insipid Davies.

So the somewhat leaden sourdough loaf we have been accustomed to under Pochettino was spiced up by the return of Rose, the re-emergence of Jan and the encouraging performance of Dier and the all round livelier display.

If Mason's pass was the icing on the cake,the cherry on the top should have been Harry's winning goal but at least we looked as if we might qualify for the Great British Bake-Off next time around.    

Now I am firmly in the play well and the points will come school. The team needs to stick to the recipe and like Harry the goals will come. Mason supplied the pass that Harry dreams of but he hesitated and enabled Howard to make the save.

He should have scored and so should Chadli and Mason. How we didn't win 2 or three nil only the footballing gods will know. But we are making chances and playing more positively.

Everton's best man was their keeper Tim Howard which tells its own story.

The cake never quite rose at Utd;  it collapsed when the oven was opened against Stoke; looked promising at Leicester but proved undercooked; finally against Everton the ingredients gelled but something was missing. Ah yes the points.

Transfer Window. 
 Regular viewers will know that we can't be bothered with ITK and rumour and prefer to wait until the window is closed before we stick our heads out. (How does that work Jimmy?)
 

Apart from those featured on the blog ( Heung-Min from Bayer Leverkusen  and Clinton from Lyon) nobody else is coming in. So Harry continues all on his own up front and Dier likewise as midfield destroyer.

Neither has Premiership experience but our Chairman knows what he's doing surely.

Recent signing from America young Yedlin has gone on loan to Sunderland but his work is done. The games in the USA are over and no doubt shirts were sold.

We did the same for the trip to S.Africa a few years ago signing Bongani Khumalo who was released 4yrs later without ever playing a game.

Let's hope our two new boys haven't been signed just for their shirt selling potential. But the Club knows what it is doing, doesn't it?

Importantly Lloris is still with us but on the other hand so are Adebayor and Lamela.

Full List:
In
Kevin Wimmer
(Cologne) Undisclosed
Kieran Trippier (Burnley) Undisclosed
Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid) Undisclosed
Clinton Njie
(Lyon) Undisclosed
Heung-Min Son
(Bayer Leverkusen) Undisclosed

Out
Cristian Ceballos (Charlton Athletic) Free
Bongani Khumalo Released
Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande) Undisclosed
Lewis Holtby (Hamburg) Undisclosed
Etienne Capoue (Watford) Undisclosed
Younes Kaboul
(Sunderland) Undisclosed
Benjamin Stambouli
(Paris Saint-Germain) Undisclosed
Roberto Soldado (Villarreal) Undisclosed
Dominic Ball (Rangers) Loan
Vlad Chiriches (Napoli) Undisclosed
Shaquile Coulthirst (Wigan Athletic) Loan
Ryan Fredericks (Bristol City) Undisclosed
Brad Friedel Retired
Grant Hall (Queens Park Rangers) Undisclosed
Aaron McEneff Released
Alex McQueen (Carlisle United) Free
Jonathan Miles Released
Nathan Oduwa (Rangers) Loan
Connor Ogilvie (Stevenage Town) Loan
Grant Ward (Rotherham United) Loan
DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland) Loan
Aaron Lennon (Everton) Undisclosed.

Courtesy of SamR on Spurs Community. Thanks.
As he says ' Some clearout'.



Jimmy's Video Spot.
10 minutes of another (Yet another? No perhaps not) confirmed signing, Heung-Min Son. At £22  million the most expensive Asian player ever.

 Like N'jie looks quick and calm in front of goal, two footed and economical with passes and very economical with headers. Another newcomer to the Premiership  but our scouting team know what they are doing, don't they?