The Blog that's not always wrong.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Referees, Game Changers and Comebacks

 
Must be easier not to go away in the first place.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well that all turned out very nicely. Lull them into a false sense of security with the early goal; allow them to bask in their impressive home record and rejoice in our poor recent away results. Then let Dele loose on them. 

 Mauricio's cunning plan worked a treat and I just hope not too many Spurs fans and 'Musings' faithful slit their wrists prematurely.

Like Liverpool we went 1-0 down early, equalised before half time and then we both knocked 'em for six. Well four anyway. Just as well too.

With all our rivals winning even a draw here would have cast a depressive pall over our New Year. At this stage of the season no game is a 'must win' but some games just feel like it.

So Spurs are alive and kicking still. We made an important statement here after the first 15 minutes: scored four; contrived to miss a penalty and hit the bar with an Eriksen special. Only Lloris did his best to keep their hopes up.

The penalty was contentious and can be argued in various ways. The original foul was outside the box and could have been given as a free kick.

 Redmond might have got a red card for it anyway under the strict application of the current rules.

Harry missed the penalty anyway as Van Dijk had repeated his trick of interfering with the penalty spot as he had done at Arsenal and Harry slipped and skied the shot. Surely some retrospective punishment is due.

But the sending off changed the game. Yiddo Mike Dean came up trumps again. In the last seven games that he has reffed us we have won six and drawn one. And he's given us three penalties. Can you referee us every week.

Actually this is all a bit simplistic as we go back a lot further than that, 56 games or so, and have suffered many adverse decisions. I'm sure that it all evens itself out over time. I think I'm sure anyway

Dele changed the game too with his headed equaliser and Cristian Eriksen and Moussa Sissoko continue to make major contributions. I am deleting all my negative comments about Moussa Mk. 2

Dele is our wild card and destined for greatness with us I hope. His unpredictability is a worry for opponents and occasionally frustrating for his fans. His equaliser was all about anticipation.

The icing on the Xmas cake was the coolly taken final goals by Son and Dele again. Almost carbon copies of each other. Harry's bullet header from an Eriksen corner, I kid you not, had put us ahead.

Negatives: the petulant and unnecessary booking by Vertonghen in the last minute at 4-1up who now misses the Watford game. Whatever was he thinking ? Quite.

And Walker misses the Watford game after accumulating five yellows. Let's just hope that Toby has fully recovered from his bug otherwise its Dier and Wimmer in the centre of defence and Trippier at right back.

Not that it should prevent us from beating Watford. There I said it. But both Wimmer and Trippier have served us well in the past and I am confident they will again when necessary.

So the 'Comeback Kids' triumph again ( Spurs have the most points gained in the Premiership from losing positions: 13) There's plenty of fight when the chips are down, as when all our rivals win.

Curiously though in the last couple of seasons we somehow falter when we have the chance to go top or top four. Our fatal flaw perhaps. We can't be arsed unless the chips are really down and not even then at times.

But,but, but whatever happens tomorrow will see us ahead on almost all measures and should send us all into the New Year in a positive frame of mind.

Happy 2017 to you all.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Virgil out-leaps everybody. Dele out-leaps Virgil. Harry makes up a lot of ground. Three fine headers and two cool finishes.


Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Comes Early at The Lane.

 Merry Xmas and a Successful New Year.
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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Christmas Night at a Kent Pub 2016.
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Christmas Comes Early at The Lane.
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Christmas came early at White Hart Lane on Sunday last, at 5:32pm to be precise. The ecstatic moment, Danny Rose scoring the second against Burnley to put Tottenham effectively out of sight of a restricted Turf Moor mob.
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Deep in the Spurs back line , immediately adjacent to Block 25 East Side actually, Harry Kane took possession, a deft swivel inside a Clarets opponent and then a lofted pass up the left aiming just beyond the half way line at Christian Eriksen.
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The said pass turned into a beautiful wall pass via an attempted Burnley mid air intercept. It fell kindly to Moussa Sissoko who barged past another Burnley shirt. He does not do 'glide' as does the other Moussa.
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From there a majestic run by Sissoko through the Burnley heartland led to a sublimely weighted pass to our Danny Rose. He obliged with an unstoppable Exocet rocket past the until then excellent Tom Heaton. The Lane went ballistic.
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Block 25 were dancing ,hugging complete unknowns, behind, next door,all around. Curiously the acclaim was a mixture of French  (here to see Hugo surely),German, American, Singapore, Australian and yes some token English regulars.
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Wholehearted rejoicing across the globe pitch-side. Perhaps an indicator of how global the Spurs brand is these days.
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Christmas came tout suite in another guise this year. The world's best keeper signed a new contract for Spurs till 2022. After a promising early career as a tennis player young Hugo Lloris swapped his racquet for keeper's gloves and has never looked back.
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Revered as a ghod at The Lane his new contract was every Spurs fans wish list priority. Of course the yuletide cheer was compounded when Michel Vorm took time out from his modelling career with wife Daisy and also signed on till 2018.
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I still remember that horrible goal against Leicester in the FA Cup that burrowed under his flailing arm. Nevertheless an excellent security blanket. Perhaps it speaks volumes for the spirit and camaraderie engendered by Team Pochettino.
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Vorm is unlikely to achieve much ahead of Lloris but is prepared to stay with the Spurs "family". Warms the cockles of a Christmas heart.
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Christmas came coincidentally early this year for a manager looked upon by most Spurs fans as a competent manager but allegedly dubious on certain personal fronts. Various reported Super Injunctions relating to him suggest confirmation of a multitude of outings on the internet.
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Alan Pardew told Newcastle of his defection around Christmas 2015. So the timing was somewhat ironic not to say coincidental when the P45 from Palace arrived in Thursday's post. Mind, as always with this time of year, Santa helped out with a 4 million pound payout.
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Drinks are on Alan and especially so if he fronts ...
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At A Kent Pub. 
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Spirits and beer are flowing in equal measure here. We have a new publican who despite lukewarm initial expressions of support for West Ham promises to change his ways.
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We are still alive on 3 big fronts and our lawyer and others are convinced a title tilt is still realistic.
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An early New Years Eve present would be 3 points at Southampton.
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Cheers ... thanks for your support ... keep the cards and letters coming in ... Greg Meyer.            coys.
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Jimmy's Video Spot.
Burnley at the Lane. Full backs rampant. Walker makes amends. Thanks Santa.

 

Monday, 19 December 2016

Spurs toolbox gets some overdue refinement.

Got anything a little more delicate?
It's a parked bus not the Great Wall of China.
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The JimmyG2 Column
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A very hearty Xmas welcome to both our readers. Your not expecting original jokes for the sort of money you're paying, Shirley? A fun-packed festive edition to lift the spirits......(Editor: Get on with it Jimmy. Time's money to these busy people.)

Well anyway a good week by any measure. Eriksen back from his recent sleepwalk-about; Dele a little more focused; six points caught up on Arsenal; Sissoko beginning to look the part; excellent performances from our dynamic full back duo.

Against Burnley they once again  provided both goals and assists and are essential to Mauricio's new flexible game plan with three at the back and flying wing backs . Danny Rose outstandingly the MOM  and not for the first time lately.

A special mention for Jan Vertonghen who in the absence of Toby with a temporary back problem stepped up once again. Temporary back problems can be tricky though and we need him back soonest or Jan will have no-one to pass to.

Xmas Greetings to the fixture computer who gave us a couple of 'friendly' games designed to make the turkey and mince pies taste even more delicious than normal. Hull and Burnley both dispatched at the Lane.

Hull are probably the poorest team we have played  but it was nice to see the Old Boys re-union and they all got a good welcome. It gave Eriksen the chance to shine again. We can only hope he has settled back into his groove.

We are up on last year on most measures and somehow still in contention for something or other despite not playing consistently scintillating football. We need to bear in mind that other teams have improved in terms of recruitment.

Not that changing Managers or buying new players is always a positive as we have found to our cost over the years though it seems to be working for some of the top six this year.

But all this without Lamela, Kane and Toby for significant periods and Dele, Eriksen, Kane and Dier performing below their levels of last year. But a settled team under a settled Manager can be just as effective.

The feeling that we are somehow much poorer than last year is a question partly of perspective, of where we are coming from. Last year we were in contention for Champions, this year we are certainly not.

Out of the Champions' League in disappointing style and back in the Europa, it just feels a lot worse than it probably is.  Above us only Chelsea are consistently good and we may have a chance to ruin their record.

If they win their next two games but we get a point at WHL at the start of January we not only stop their winning run but prevent them achieving the longest Premiership consecutive winning run. (14 games by Arsenal 15 years ago.)

If we are to progress in the Europa and not jeopardize our  Premiership chances Mauricio needs to be a lot cleverer with his handling of the squad. Some actually believe that winning the Europa was his cunning plan all along.

Seems a bit it a long shot to me. Cup football is beset with all kinds of hazards: form, injuries, the weather, the draw, refereeing decisions and probably many more.
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On the bright side the other Harry has emerged at last into a starting role and performed well up to expectations.We seem to have a lot of sledgehammers in our midfield toolbox and an additional scalpel might help to balance it out.

Next week the prestigious and coveted Musings End of Year Awards. It's free to regular subscribers so Don't Miss It.

Breaking Good News.
Lloris signs his new contract until 2022. That doesn't mean he won't leave us but, like the others it makes him much more expensive.

And in a two for one goalkeeper deal deal Michel Vorm has signed a two year extension on his.

That's seven players tied down. The Pochettino gift that keeps on giving. Come on Toby and Erik: you know you want to.

Morgan Schneiderlin.
Just popped upon E-Bay, Manchester seller and first bidder is a Midlands buyer at 13 or possibly 18 million.
Do we want him? Do we need him? Would they sell him to us? Would he block Winks and Onomah? Not good enough for Man.Utd not good enough for us as the old British Telecom adverts used to say.

Sorry must fly, presents to wrap, turkey to stuff, chimney to sweep and last minute shopping to do.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Before you forget. Here's the boy we didn't think we would miss but we certainly have. As much for his pressing and ball recovery as his skill. Bit repetitious but he's not played that much.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Pochettino to shake it all up.

 
Tottenham: Not Waving but Drowning.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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About suffering they were never wrong the Old Spurs fans. Our pain goes largely unnoticed in a busy world. I mean it's not a matter of life and death to anybody else.

Like Icarus in Breughel's painting who falls to earth having burnt his wings flying too close to the sun. How very Tottenham after our sudden death in the Champions' League.

We disappear without trace or attention and everyone else passes by especially the two other London clubs in particular who sail calmly on with their business of winning the Premiership.

Other fans and the Tabloids may briefly gloat at our quietly slipping beneath the waves without a murmur at Old Trafford. The rest is silence. Our suffering of monumental indifference to anyone but ourselves.

Does defeat to Man.Utd mark the high water mark of our current ambitions? Quite possibly even with a run of  those notoriously 'easy' games in the run-up to Xmas. Europa here we come unless of course we win it this year.

Fat chance the way we played at Old Trafford and that on the back of a couple of decent displays. We swept Swansea aside with a lively team performance last week  and Eriksen was instrumental in midweek helping to slay the Wembley Jinx Dragon

But the players that turned up for those games collected a free pass for the next. In fact against Man.Utd the best outfield performance was by the man leading the Worst Signing poll, Moussa Sissoko.

An unusually early substitution by Mauricio and the boy certainly responded. There was no actual end product but he certainly gave the Manchester defence something to think about with his directness and strength.

Winks on for the injured Dembele just after the hour did nothing to suggest he couldn't have been a decent partner for Wanyama who crucially missed a sitter for the second game running. This time it mattered.

But there was no spark at any stage. Harry's error and our high line led to our downfall against the speed of Mkhitaryan. who finished decisively. Once again we shaded possession but created little and could have lost by more.

Eriksen had three shots well saved by De Gea and the rest of out attack mustered nothing between them. How Dele rather than Christian stayed on for the whole game is a mystery

So one step forward in the Premiership and one step back. Man.Utd are again within striking distance instead of being well and truly dumped. A chance to go fourth ignored.

Dembele who was lethargic is now sidelined with a foot injury. . Perhaps Winks and Dier will get the chance to patrol the midfield.Wanyama and Dembele has never really worked. Too many beasts not enough gazelles. 

Actually what about Carroll, Winks and Onomah for the next couple of games? No perhaps not but the trust in youth paid off last time and if you don't try it you'll never know. Shake 'em up Mauricio. Dele definitely needs a jolt.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Onside and Ibra offside but not interfering with play or unsighting the keeper. 10 seconds between a misplaced pass; an interception; a penetrating through ball and a crashing drive into the roof of the net.

Mkhitaryan cost less than Sissoko but at a reported 200,000 a week is way out of our wage structure.
We'll wait to see who has the last laugh. 


Musee Des 

Musee Des Beaux Arts (1940 W.H. Auden.) 

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just
walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy
life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

(Editor's note. Spurs are in the bottom right hand corner of the Breughel painting)

Monday, 5 December 2016

Justice Done But Nobody Saw It.

 I didn't see it.

 The JimmyG2 Column
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I've always liked Swansea. A footballing side but with not enough footballers to make it work. We transferred their best player, Gylfi Sigurdsson because he wasn't good enough. That's the gap and on Saturday it showed.

I liked Gylfi, a taller Icelandic version of Eriksen in many ways and would like to have kept him but sentiment has no place today in such a competitive world.

It took us until nearly half time and a  penalty cunningly earned by Dele to make the breakthrough. But after that we overran them and the statistics tell the story.

We had 28 shots, 15 of them on target: they had only one shot and it didn't trouble Hugo. 5-0 is a fair reflection of the game. Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen got pairs, Son scored a cracker and Wanyama missed a sitter.

Mauricio didn't see the penalty incident and Bob Bradley said the referee was unsighted, such is the modern game. Apparently Mourinho didn't see the penalty incident either in the Everton game.

Oh Mr. Wenger what have you done? Diplomatic blindness runs rife in all sports these days. 'I didn't see it' the football manager's mantra.

We were 4-0 up on 69 minutes and Winks and Onomah could have been straight on. Sissoko could have waited a little longer or been kept fresh for Wednesday. At least he supplied the assist for Eriksen's second.

We consolidated our top five position with United and Everton drawing and Liverpool surprisingly surrendering a two goal lead to lose to Bournemouth and improved our goal difference at the same time.

We also gave ourselves a lift ahead of another important week. If we avoid defeat against CSKA Moscow we go into the Europa which would give the wider squad more opportunities. A balance of youth and experience always works best.

Carter-Vickers, Onomah, Winks, N'koudou, Janssen and perhaps Carroll might all start along with Toby getting in some minutes before the weekend. A strong bench would help in an emergency.

On Sunday we can make a hefty dent in United's season and give ourselves a little more lily-white water between ourselves and the chasing pack, now six points behind.

A draw at Old Trafford wouldn't be a disaster but we might find ourselves nine points off the pace if Chelsea go charging on as they are at the moment. In the end draws are not good enough at this stage.
'No more drawers' as the actress said...

So nobody saw it but it a was fair enough result in the end.It could have been more but let's not be greedy.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Most videos taken down by FA for 'copy-write reasons'

Well they missed this one. The Press returns, bags of effort and some nice football too. Harry back on form, Eriksen and Dele buzzing. Not much to see of Swansea but then they didn't do much. No clear view of 'the incident' in any of the videos I've seen.


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

So,so and so long Sissoko?

No Man's Land: CSKA at Wembley in December.
 Flatter but equally hostile territory
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well the 13th game and Chelsea, 6 consecutive wins, saw the end of the  'unbeaten' run so perhaps we can concentrate on getting back to winning a few now.. For 44 minutes we outplayed them but a couple of fannying about moments in midfield led to our downfall.

But I've enjoyed your company all  through the recent good times so it's only right that we stick together through the not so good times. That's roughly since since Chelsea at the end of last season until now and possibly a little longer yet.

Results and clutching at the 'unbeaten' straw have papered over the cracks but investment has been ill advised and we have been poor nudging awful except for the City and Arsenal games. We got lucky against W.Ham last week but not in the Champions' League.

Eriksen got the early goal against Chelsea with a classy shot for a first goal in open play since before...Oh ages. . Son missed an early chance against Monaco in midweek in our Champions' League swansong this time around.

Two contrasting games but the same negative result. We held our own at the weekend but were second best all over the pitch against Monaco. Unfit players, square pegs in round holes and the inexperienced Winks may be excused.

But why Vertonghen was rested for a 'must win' game seems strange. Lloris kept it respectable but no-one else played to an acceptable standard.

Hugo was so good there was a general feeling that if he decides to leave us then you couldn't really blame him. He hasn't as yet signed his new contract but we've been speculating about him leaving since a fortnight after he arrived.

Monaco were better quicker and more interested than we were. Now we have to decide whether to throw the Leverkusen game and avoid the Europa and concentrate on the Premiership, or try to win the Europa and qualify for the CL that way. Hmmm.

If I didn't know Mauricio better I'd say he threw the Monaco game we were so poor. The Europa is knock out from now on so we might as well give it a go. He has decided to stick with Wembley too which raises doubts.

Playing at Wembley has done us no favours and Sissoko's intervention on this matter has done him no favours with the Head Coach either.

But as he's currently leading the 'worst ever signing at Spurs' poll and has only been at home for five minutes then  buckets of salt may be necessary. Early days, he may yet surprise us all but there are few signs yet.

However he may not get the chance as his attitude in training has not impressed and he was not even on the bench for Chelsea. Never argue with the Coach Moussa: he is always right even when he's clearly wrong.

Chelsea on a 5 game winning streak and conceding few brought out the best of us as usual. I 'd have taken a draw. In fact I'd have taken a narrow well contested defeat, which is exactly what we got.

But once again for us it was a game of two halves which at least was an improvement on Monaco. Son's failure to match the run of Moses was a crucial element in the winning goal on top of overplaying in midfield by Dembele.

Pedro's goal matched Eriksen's for quality but the defence stood off him in admiration while did a half Cryff turn and curved it past Hugo.

Against Chelsea we saw off our nemesis Hazard but Diego Costa was firmly focused on playing football and created the winning goal for Moses completely unmarked on the edge of the area.
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We almost missed signing him apparently!

We need a good December and the fixture list throws up some eminently winnable games: Swansea, Hull and Burnley at home and Man.Utd. and Southampton away. Two of those are in the bottom three but remember there are no easy games in the Premiership.

Thirteen points should maintain our challenge.We also have the return fixture with CSKA Moscow in No Man's Land at Wembley though not on Xmas Day. We may get an inkling of Mauricio's thinking here especially if Sissoko gets a run out.

We are now seven points off top spot, four behind Arsenal in fifth and four ahead of Man.Utd in sixth. We will do well to finish in the top four from here but there's lots of games and  we can only, fingers crossed, get better.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Moussa Sissoko: 30 million at 27yrs. old. Whatever were we thinking?  This video gives a whole new meaning to 'Highlights'. Actually we could save a fortune on players because he doesn't need team-mates.

I repeat he may yet surprise us if he ever gets the chance. Lamela got a couple of years and Moussa may get at least half that. We need to wait until the ink dries on his contract.


Monday, 21 November 2016

Winks gets the nod.



Winks gets the nod and even the blind horse is impressed* 
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The JimmyG2 Column. 
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Well 'The Musings' lobbying on behalf of young Master Winks finally paid off and Mauricio was not disappointed as we have been telling him for some time.

He not only started his first game but scored our first equaliser and played well to boot. Sorry. Along with another of our own he turned the game though it was a damn close run thing.

If W.Ham deserved any sympathy after the ongoing London Stadium debacle, which will probably run and run, this is not the place to look for it because they ain't gonna get none.

We didn't play that well, Winks excluded, and left it late, very late. Substitute Son gave the ball away several times in as many minutes but had a foot in both  of Harry's goals that secured the win.

His cross was palmed into Harry's path for the calmly taken second equaliser and he secured the winning penalty following a dart to the by-line and turn invoking a rash challenge by the W.Ham substitute Nordveit.

So we remain in fifth but closed the gap on most of those above us and put a little more Lilywhite water with those beneath us after a deluge of draws all around us. Two points per game and three points up on the same stage last year.

I won't dwell on the performances: it was an uninspiring and tedious performance especially in the first half, but though twice behind we came back well.  Danny Rose got a fifth yellow and will miss Chelsea.

Dembele was rightly subbed having been booked, worryingly, for dissent and at best we were alarmingly average. Eriksen flickered and faded and must have narrowly avoided being substituted himself.

Janssen played reasonably again but within his limitations and gave away the penalty with a stupid grappling offence. The up front pairing of him and Harry Kane is not a match made in heaven.

Winks was a positive shining light and we stepped it up a little in the second half to take more control but chances were rare and we capitalised on most of those we had. We would have won the league by now if we were playing well.

The title is a stretch in the circumstance but the more damage City, and Chelsea do to those around us the better. We haven't lost to any of those above us and if we can do a City on Chelsea next week
things will be looking up.

In fact we are still unbeaten in the Premiership after 12 games though not in the Champions' League
which rears its ugly 'must win' head on Tuesday at Monaco.Our best opening run since the Double season over 50 years ago but there the comparisons end.

There are tough decisions in midweek for Mauricio on team selection ahead of Chelsea. The return of Lamela and Toby is imminent(ish) but perhaps not  in time for Monaco. Dele (Nutmeg specialist) was back against W.Ham. Will Winks keep his place and sit out Chelsea?

With Rose out against Chelsea will Wimmer or CCV join the back 3/4 and Verts switch to left back? Jan is not quite your speedy overlapping wing back now is he.

 Could Josh Onomah  get some time? I feel another 'Musings' campaign bubbling up. Money can't buy the kind of spirit, or love we have at the club currently shown by Winks celebrations with Mauricio and Dele.

Tell me that you want those kind of things
That money just can't buy. (Can't buy me love. The Beatles) 


The perennial rumours of Man.Utd interest in, at the moment, Harry Kane can be safely ignored but we can't be too far out of kilter with the rest of the money obsessed world and we do have to keep faith with our players.

Harry could probably double or even treble his wages by such a move but he says he's not interested and I believe him. 'Stay Harry stay!' to coin a phrase. He certainly has the 'love'.

* From a 16th.century adage, 'A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse' and The Faces third and most successful album.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Quick feet, and alert positive brain. Another Harry here to stay for the long term. Looked the part on Saturday. Might need some of his creativity tomorrow.


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Unexpected Challenge for Harry Winks.

Get Changed Chirpy, you're on.
What can possibly go wrong in two minutes?
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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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Phew! We needed that performance at The Library to prevent our hopes from plummeting and our fears from gaining ground. What a difference a game makes. Yet another draw but this one was a point gained rather than two points dropped.

 After Bayer Leverkusen in midweek I feared for the worst at the NLD. Away from home against a team who would have gone top if they'd won, not least against the 'auld enemy'  after the worst ever performance many can remember this was a must not lose moment.

I haven't dwelt on the CL game as it is best forgotten. Vertonghen and Wanyama did OK; the rest drifted between hapless and hopeless with Sissoko the pick of the latter.

The Arsenal game was a Premiership Cordon Bleu occasion not a pie and mash supper and as usual we were suited and booted for it. The return of Harry though not at his best after a couple of months out showed us what we had been missing.

Janssen is a willing understudy and his brief appearance  pointed up his weaknesses.The Soldado factor is an incidental red herring. He will likely settle in as Lamela eventually has.

An unfortunate own goal by Wimmer gave them hope. Were several players offside when the kick was taken? Apparently not in the latest version of the offside rule.The ref was probably technically correct but the law is a nonsense.

They weren't interfering with play. As Bill Nicholson once said: ' If they weren't interfering with play what were they doing on the pitch? Add a Yorkshire accent and some down to earth language and you get the flavour.

At least our penalty was indisputable other than among Arsenal fans. Dembele's driving run at the heart of their defence, something he should do more often instead of lateral runs and negative changes of direction, induced a penalty.

Harry converted with confidence though Cech went early and the ball was driven straight down the middle. The defence held firm, Lloris was on form, Rose Vertonghen and Dembele were outstanding and honours were even.

Eriksen stepped up in the absence of Lamela and Dele and as usual ran further than anyone else but on this occasion to good effect.

Another talking point was Son's failure to beat Cech to the ball when the keeper slipped. Did he funk it? Was he slow to react initially? Was it a lost cause anyway? I tend to the first and that he should at least have tried to get a toe in.

The substitution with less than two minutes to go of Son for Winks was too little too late again. Chirpy might have done as much in the time available. 

Walker struggled on with an injury until 10 minutes to go and was replaced  by our very own Lone Ranger. Who is that masked man? KieranTrippier no less.

Our injury list is starting to be a worry: Toby, Lamela, Dele and now Walker.  Davies and  Son have confirmed ankle problems. But at least Harry is back which should give a boost to the whole squad.

Especially as the latest news is that Janssen was subbed off with suspected concussion after being punched by Mignolet in the Holland, Belgium friendly. No confirmed details of the injury as yet.

Mauricio needs to match his new found flexibility in formation with renewed confidence in the youth. The bold move of going three at the back and using Walker and Rose as wing backs seemed to free up space.

We often in fact play this way with Dier moving into the back line giving Toby and Jan the freedom to move forward.

Will this give us momentum for the next phase of the season? Beating City didn't  and with Chelsea and Liverpool scoring for fun we need to make sure we don't slip any further behind.

We are still in fifth but now 5 points  behind the leaders and only three clear of Everton and Man.Utd. It could develop into a tough 7 team dogfight and maintaining our unbeaten run with draws won't hack it.

But this was a performance to gladden the hearts of players and supporters alike. Arsenal were very negative and timid in the circumstances. Their star players didn't perform but we hardly gave them time and space.

We need more of the same Mauricio against W.Ham after the break. After that it's Monaco and Chelsea so no time to relax or think about the Christmas shopping just yet.

Editor's Note.
Chirpy's registration has been refused by the FA and he is therefor not available for selection. We are appealing the decision

Jimmy's Video Spot.
All the highlights. A few chances evenly shared. You decide about the two goals and the Son opportunity. Offside, soft and funked for me.


Monday, 31 October 2016

The Great Tottenham Bake Off.


 Toast or stuffing?

The JimmyG2 Column.
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We are still unbeaten,  and only three points off the top having secured a hard fought draw with the Premiership Champions. What's not to like? Well not many more crumbs of comfort to be honest.

Another game we could and should have won. And the Premiership Champions this season are half baked mid-table mediocrities at best and certainly not the force they were, if they ever were. Oh and we were at home.

The introduction of youth, Winks, and speed, KG N'Koudou, with two and eight minutes to go respectively in an effort to secure all three points was once again too little, too late and reflects Mauricio's current lack of boldness.

At the minimum it's a five horse race this year and with the added pressure of the Champions' League perhaps Mauricio and the team are feeling the heat. They have collectively become cautious and risk averse and our build as a result up is painfully slow.

On paper we are doing well especially with key players missing. We are still well in touch in the League leaders. Against Liverpool in the cup we gave youth and back up players their opportunity.

But Liverpool's back ups played better than ours and they deservedly won in a disappointing performance. The fact that it's a competition we can afford to jettison is not the point.

Against Leicester we were perhaps unlucky. We hit the woodwork three times and once again the defence in general and Vertonghen and Rose especially were excellent.

Their one shot on target went in after a careless header by Wanyama and Walker falling asleep and failing to respond to the danger on the back post. He's behind you! Both played well otherwise! But moments win and lose games.

Our lack of both goals and inventiveness in our approach has been evident for some time. The view that,no Dembele: no Tottenham has been exposed as a myth. More like, no Eriksen: no Tottenham
and he's just not on form.

The Belgian waffle is under-cooked and the Danish open sandwich lacks bite.

Pochettino is the best thing since sliced bread for Tottenham but perhaps he has gone a little stale. He won't be toast any time soon like most of his predecessors but he needs to add some yeast to the mix Toast definitely not, but stuffing perhaps.

 A batch of that would come in handy for Leverkusen and especially Arsenal who are up next. As we showed against City we can work up an appetite for the Caviar and Bolly. It's the Bread and Butter stuff we  choke on.

We've lived mainly off scraps and crumbs from the high table for decades and must grab the recent more solid fare more firmly and with greater vision and guile.

Jimmy's Video Spot
Vincent Petrus Anna Sebastiaan Janssen.
Just to remind us and him of what he can do and why we bought him. Not just  blunt instrument either. To the victor the spoils.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Spurs Milestone turns to Millstone.


Unbeaten: Try playing with that round your neck.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Still unbeaten in our best start for years. But that Milestone can soon become a Millstone. After all you could, at the extreme, draw every game and still get relegated. That's an observation not a prediction.

Three consecutive draws is a worryingly reassuring trend or a reassuringly worrying trend depending on your state of mind. Being a Spurs fan probably the latter.

 It could be worse. But yet another opportunity to go top, however briefly, spurned for the second week running. But we are still in there on all fronts, well, until tomorrow anyway.

The Champions' League group is wide open after our midweek draw with Bayer Leverkusen. We played quite well in the first half but the fact that all the candidates for MOM were defenders(Verts, Rose, Lloris, and Wanyama) is telling.

It was a similar story against a hardworking well coached and organised Bournmouth side on Saturday. Other Premiership contenders could easily come a cropper here. Candidates for MOM again  all defenders:Verts , Rose and Wanyama.

We are clearly missing a consistent goalscorer and although Harry Kane's backup has his strengths and merits putting the ball in the net is not so far one of them. Son, Dele and Lamela need to swarm round him to benefit from his hold up play.

Son seems more effective coming in from the space on the left and Janssen needs to be trusted to do what he does. Goals will come but in the meantime he is working hard and effectively.

Of course our recent experience with Roberto Soldado creeps into the minds of the more pessimistic Spurs fans. But then what other sort is there?

Even if he doesn't score soon he will become a fan favorite. We have a soft spot for honest and hard working strikers even if they don't often score. Think Pavlyuchenko. Spellcheck suggested 'bellyache' for my first effort at that.

Some might say three tough opponents, in different ways, away from home and to emerge with our undefeated medals round our necks is a positive scenario. Captain Hugo has admittedly made some top class saves but that's what keepers are for.

Jan has stepped up in our hour of Toby need and Wanyama continues to surprise and delight. Well me at least. In fact the back six have been consistently good, apart from some stray and suicidal passes playing out from the back. 

The front five have been good at times but never consistently good together. They take it in turns to shine and then the light flickers and fades. Calls for Lamela or Ericksen or Dele to be rested are mounting.

But rest any or all of this trio and where is the creative spark to come from. Dembele back from injury is still in recuperation mode; Son has sparkled, fizzled and gone out and Janssen's blue touch paper is yet to be lit.

You should have saved this for firework night Jim (Editor)

Fortunately City after a lively start have never quite recovered their panache after losing to us and Arsenal faltered after six consecutive wins to preserve our position one point off the top. But there are four teams ahead of us now.

One point and a two goal difference covers five teams. So where exactly are we? There or thereabouts as they say but this is not Premiership winning form, and certainly not Champions' League although I expect us to go through.

 Pochettino continues to puzzle with his substitutions and his persistence with Sissoko who could well get a three match ban for throwing a touchline elbow against Bournmouth. (Charged today:
Monday: accepted by Spurs)

No bad thing at the moment but it would be just our luck for him to escape. He will take time to settle and will be given some space as was Lamela. He was cheaper than Eric but only just.

The team against Liverpool on Tuesday should feature Vorm, CCV, Wimmer, Davies, Trippier, Winks, N'Koudou and Onomah (Edwards is injured). Dembele could captain as he needs more pitch time and Dier has had time off.

It looks like a five horse race for the Premiership at the moment but Liverpool Arsenal and Chelsea are all on the rise. We are currently treading water. We managed to throw a two horse race last year and it might help if there were less pressure.

Liverpool away is no Gillingham at the Lane. However good luck to those that play and I hope that the back up squad excel and shock Liverpool who will be keen to progress.

Of course Mauricio may have different ideas and put out a more experienced team but I doubt it.

And remember this is the blog that's not always wrong.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Not much to see but mainly Spurs. Lloris to the rescue early and a few chances not taken. Not a lot of scintillating team play and passing but some individual moments against a compact defence. Lamela came closest


Monday, 17 October 2016

Hugo: City Link


 
Masters of Distribution! I should forget that one Hugo.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
Eight games in and still unbeaten. First goal conceded in open play. I'm starting on a positive note because that's the kind of guy I am despite being trapped in this Spurs nightmare for more years than I can remember.

Sometimes you get to feel like a hamster on a treadmill frantically peddling and getting exactly nowhere against the packed defences and negative ambitions of our opponents.

(Watch the imagery Jimmy: hamsters on a treadmill against packed defences with negative ambitions doesn't really work for me! (Editor) Sorry Ed. good point)

Total domination of all the relevant stats, over 70 possession overall and 78% in the first half and yet in grave danger of losing to West.Brom. for the last ten minutes.

 Foster was their clear MOM and Time-Waster in Chief and we were saved by last minute genius from Dele and almost getting what we truly deserved from an Eriksen free kick on the whistle.

So what's new? We've seen this movie so many times. It's like Xmas repeats on the BBC. We deserved to win but almost lost. In days gone by though we might have come away empty handed. But this is the New Spurs.

It's a bit bit like the Old Spurs admittedly, same DNA after all, but with added bite and energy. We were good in the first half but needed to step it up in the second once we realised that Foster was having one of them days.

Instead we seemed to go into sleep mode and forgot where the 'wake up' button was located until they scored. By 'they' I mean Chadli. The curse of the returning player strikes again.

That shock and the arrival of Son, who should have been on earlier, was the alarm call we seemed to have been waiting for. Dele's equaliser was cheeky and classy at the same time and Eriksen nearly snatched it at the death.

One point off top and one point behind Arsenal. Was ever thus. We missed the chance to go top but the last three games between us have been 1-1 draws. Proves again that we need learn to jump start parked charabancs not search fruitlessly for the keys.

Did I mention that we are without Toby Alderweireld for anything from three weeks to a year. Awaiting updates after scans  as they say.. Latest news is that the likelihood is towards the former.

Dier slotted in reasonably seamlessly. Sissoko was again a bit of a letdown and Lamela somewhat randomly ineffective.  One or two of our own were spotted slouching about on the bench but none got any minutes. Again.

Wanyama was consistently strong and arguably our MOM. Lloris is to be replaced by City Link until he learns to lump it up to Janssen who will hold it up until the rest of the boys arrive. Where's Paul Robinson when you need him

Ahhh,the old days. They weren't that bad were they? Well yes most of the time. At least Hugo won't be going to City any time soon. Everyone else was good intermittently except the two mentioned.

The Dembele substitution puzzled me; he could have benefited from a few more days off and Wanyama didn't need him either. He even had time to gett himself another yellow card for simulation.

Perhaps Mauricio was checking whether he could start on Tuesday. Never mind Winks and/or Onomah your time will come.

Still our best start in decades but  worrying 'Spursy' signs if you look closely. Best not to. Enjoy the ride and don't worry too much about the destination at this stage. Tottenham's Perpetual Magical Mystery Tour.

I am the egg man, I am the Walrus and we are all (in this) together. Get well soon Toby.

Jimmy's Video Spot..
Any excuse to feature our rock. Strong brave, stays on his feet, scores goals and only cost 11:5 million. Eriksen (11million) apart Spurs Best Buy for years. Tall and not bad looking either. Another to add to the five famous Belgians. Poirot, Dembele, Verts and er.. Chadli.


Monday, 3 October 2016

Pochettino more 'DamBusters' than 'California Dreaming'

Pochettino to all crew members.
 Man City at 2:15. Tally Ho boys
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 I spoke last time of 'Hints of Glory'. Well Sunday was more of a Declaration of War; a Statement of Intent; a Manifesto and a Five Year Plan all in one rather than just hints. Full press re-instated, discipline and effort to the fore.

Several contenders for MOM: all of the back line; Wanyama, Son; Deli; Eriksen in his understated but vital way. Which speaks to me of an all round team performance. Breathtaking stuff and Pochettino bested his rival in no uncertain terms.

We had time and space to miss a penalty after a silly spat between Lamela and Son. Another clean sheet and still 'key' players missing or on restricted manouevres. We didn't even start Janssen our 'essential' back-up striker.

Wanyama on an early yellow again was tremendous but consequently more of a controlled explosion than Blitzkrieg. I was wrong about this boy and he is very effective when he keeps it simple.

We are still flying under the radar and if they ever re-make that Second World War 1950's classic 'The Dam Busters' Mauricio is a shoo-in for the Richard Todd  role as Wing Commander Guy Gibson and Spurs as Squadron 617.

Code-named appropriately 'Operation Chastise' we did just that to City. The low flying tactic surprised the Germans in 1943 and continues to surprise the pundits who long for high-flying superstars. You would have thought they had learned their lesson with Leicester.

Our bouncing bomb currently is Son and the backroom boffin Cristian Eriksen. That's our third consecutive victory over them. 'Can we play you every week?' I hear you cry.

Jermaine Jenas actually tipped us for a win. Come back Jermaine, all is forgiven. We were fluid in attack and composed in defence. Hugo was hardly bothered but livened all our lives up with some ill-conceived distribution.

Son and Deli combined neatly for the second on the half hour after an excellent cross from Danny Rose induced an own goal by Kolarov before the ten minute mark. All sorted early, just how we all  like it.

Sissoko started and will almost certainly be an asset when we can work out what he does best apart from run through people. Bit head down but Mauricio will sort that out.

Kevin-George gave a spirited cameo for a whippet in a Greyhound race and the Spurs fans are going to love him.

This was a  high octane performance from Spurs from start to finish and from front to back. Son led the charge which was why he started and Bravo despite a good save from Lamela's penalty never convinced with the ball at his feet under pressure.

Guardiola was dignified in defeat and acknowledged that the better team had won. Our best performance for a long time against decent opponents who were strangled at birth.

Now for another break. Well I need it even if the super-fit lads don't.

The Lamela/ Son incident.
Wrestling for the ball for the penalty was unseemly and in the end the miss didn't matter but it might have. I don't believe for a moment that there was no appointed penalty taker.

It doesn't sound like Pochettino to me who is closer to a control freak than a laid back, 'laissez-faire' let it all hang out, California Dreaming, kind of guy.

'Whoever wants it' is a certain recipe for disaster. I remember three players getting banned 'sine die' over a fracas over who was to take the penalty in my playing days. British Rail North( Hull Division) since you ask.

We have an excellent and vitally important team spirit and I'm sure this spat has been quickly put behind us. Recently Eriksen who takes them for Denmark offered the ball to Janssen to break his duck. That's much more like it.

Jimmy's Video Spot:

Some team talk Mauricio. Flying under the radar with a tightly knit team against formidable opponents. He even looks a bit like Eriksen that Barnes Wallis. It's the hair.

Fly in whatever formation you like! Man like I don't think so. You dig!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Latest: Injuries should mean that Winks starts.


4-1-4-1 this time?
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well it's shaping up to be another good week. Only City between us and hints of Glory. Champions' League back on track at least after a successful trip to Moscow.

Not that a similar journey did Hitler or Napoleon much good but they foolishly tried it in the depths of Winter. Watch and learn Adolf; watch and learn.

CSKA's new Stadium built mainly privately by Evgeni Ginner not with just a corner shop on site but a skyscraper in the shape of a trophy in the corner. Unfortunately he spent so much on the stadium he had little left over for players.

Due to open in 2013 it got delayed until less than a month ago. Russian winters again I expect. At least it was on grass this time not like the Young Boys Swiss debacle I vaguely remember.

A business associate of Roman Abramovitch with alleged Russian Mafiozi links who probably got his working capital from the same oil asset strip. 'Alleged' and 'probably' I said.

A 3000 mile round trip as the crow flies with a depleted team having lost the first match to Monaco at home. But you can't keep a good team down and we are a good team. Son scored the only goal of the game from yet another Lamela assist.

That's 6 assists in all competitions and 2 goals. He leads Son (5 goals and 1 assist) and Eriksen (2goals and 2 assists) in the Tottenham goals/assists chart for the current season.

CSKA Moscow were not as good as we feared but had some good players. Peter Crouch clone Traore, once of Everton, huffed and puffed but  didn't get many loose roubles from Toby and Jan:  increasingly the Dependability Brothers.

They sat back hoping to catch us on the break. Or perhaps our reputation and Premiership position preceded us. We dominated possession once again. Deli hit the bar; a Lamela  shot was deflected just wide. Janssen narrowly missed;

Toby who I rated MOM  perhaps should have scored with a header from a corner. Kevin George N'Koudou  was a revelation when he came on and another 15 minutes of similar quality and he would have been MOM by a country mile, whatever that is.

With under 20 minutes to go Son scored his fifth in five when his shot was parried by Akinfeev but trickled over the line. He had been left untroubled by a series of shots from nearly everyone. Shooting practice next week Mauricio.

Now compared to the vast spaces of the Universe an 8yds by 8ft goal target is quite small but both sides on their kind of wages might have got a lot closer occasionaly. I don't want to mention my Granny again but well, you know.

Winks got another brief appearance and depending on the state of the injuries at the weekend might get a start.  Lamela and Dele are performing patchily but they provide the touch of class that turns matches. See statistics above.

City's 3-3 draw against Celtic may undermine their confidence and generally speaking their defence is nowhere near the standard of their attack. I would settle for a draw now but we have the players to go for a win.

Early goal, shut up shop may be Pochettino's thinking unless my doctor's certificate for a weak heart has been passed on to him. He seems like a sensitive and caring sort of guy. Not a strategy for the faint hearted however

'Equalise before the other team score' as Danny Blanchflower once advised.

Sam (Entrapment has won) Allardyce: Ex England Manager.
Greedy gob-shite. They avoided Harry for exactly the same reasons but fell for Sam's 'charm' in desperation. Old school like Harry and been under suspicion for 'bungs' for years.'The love of money is the root of all evil'.

His record as manager for England can't be bettered though. 3 Points per game.

Good job nobody reads this stuff!

Jimmy's Video Spot.
George-Kevin N'Koudou: Welcome to Spurs.
He'll do. Andros Townsend on speed but with a sense of direction. Startling on Tuesday with much more to come. Bit fuzzy: the picture not K-G N'K. Once an Arsenal target so doubly welcome if he proves a winner.


Monday, 26 September 2016

Spurs Update.

Arm round shoulder time for another young fledgling.
The JimmyG2 Column.
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Mark that down in your diaries; put it on the calendar: another very good week for Spurs. Six points and through to the next round of the EFL Cup with some ease.
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We are the top London team; up to second place and Man.City and ourselves are the only undefeated Premiership sides. Next week first play second after the long Midweek March to the Russian Front.Our best start in the League for over half a century so I'm told.

 Saturday's win over Middlesbrough was without several  hitherto considered essential cogs. (Kane, Dembele, Dier, Rose. Now joined by Sissoko but better news on Harry though no time frame yet)

If City win the league, and they are widely tipped, they will have bought a trophy. If we win it we will have earned it and done it in a way to make our fans justifiably proud

Of course we kept the fans on edge at Middlesbrough by letting them back in the game and missing several opportunities to put the game to bed. But I wasn't worried for a minute; it was more like half an hour.

Son was outstanding, not for the first time lately, and scored both goals. Lloris was untroubled, Vertonghen is coming out of his shell and Eriksen orchestrated most of what was good for the first hour.

After the midweek EFL game my cup,bucket,bath and swimming pool were overflowing. Six Academy boys finished the game against Gillingham with Harry, Danny, and others in the wings. I know, I know: it was only Gillingham.

My dream of an all Academy team, some say delusion or even nightmare, is officially back on track. Several Kids against Grown and somewhat ugly Men and the Kids won hands down. Not ugly in the appearance sense but in the footballing one.

Edwards lived up to the hype; Josh Onamah scored; Winks and Carroll were positive as well as tidy; CCV helped by Wimmer was relaxed and unfazed. Two or three of these could certainly be fed in to the match-day squad.

The Seniors turned up and Lamela with a goal and three assists and Eriksen with two goals showed the way. Janssen worked hard and got his reward with a penalty which has eerie echoes of the beginning of the Bobby Soldado saga.

Kevin-George got his start and fitted in well with the general scheme of things. Quick and willing is enough for the moment. Importantly he gives us another option.

This was a nice balance of experienced internationals and some of our own. Mauricio didn't just throw the youngsters to the Gillingham lions. These fixtures can easily go wrong. In the event they didn't get a look in from the start.

I don't think you can underestimate the value on the pitch as well as off it of the camaraderie of several players who have come through the ranks in the Academy. The goal celebration with his classmates on the touchline for Onomah's goal demonstrated this.

Not one player in the squad is in his thirties and with an average age of under 25 like last year we have a young but solid base from which to move forward. Dembele and Vertonghen are the Senior citizens at 29 along with captain Hugo Lloris.

(Correction:Michel Vorm is 32 but as he's back up to Hugo my general point remains. Anyway he's a goalkeeper)

There were some nice moments as the youngsters waited to play their part. Arm round shoulder time for Pochettino and words of encouragement for Edwards, even a joke as Walkes waited.

Of the youngsters only Winks saw minutes against Middlesbrough and could have been on earlier. He might get his next chance in Moscow. Sissoko was the only question mark and even for a Spurs fan it's too early to tell.

So far he's making Lamela look like an all time bargain. But Eric got a couple of seasons to settle  and so will the alternative Moussa.

 Next week will be tougher but take it one game at a time and if we can repeat this week as the jumping cow once said 'I'll be over the moon' .

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Well let's enjoy it while we can. Sorry to rub it in Gillingham.. We might need this sort of composure in Russia and at the weekend. I'd settle for two draws but hope for much more. Performance is all.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Spurs pencil in Harry as Long John Silver.

Plenty of engine power but not much spark.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 So where are you on this one. Tottenham fans seem split between 'another lacklustre performance against Bus-Parkers who we should be beating with ease' and 'totally dominant and on another day we could have had a hatful'.

Mauricio wielded the axe, or rather gave some players a rest, as we forecast and changed things around to make us more forceful though less creative in the absence of Lamela and Eriksen.

Sunderland didn't offer to take us on so all that power went to waste and it was the spark in the final third that was missing. Fortunately Son was was on song and ran their defence ragged.

Dier reverted to centre half and Vertonghen played at left back as he does for Belgium. Dembele started with Wanyama in midfield. Sossoko started his first game on the right and showed plenty of strength.

Harry Kane still started though and scored from a Deli assist. Not at all sure about the logic of all this at home to a side in the bottom three. Mauricio will point out that we won and are now in the top three.

Not bad for a team still misfiring on all cylinders. Harry went off on a stretcher with possible ligament damage and will probably get several weeks well earned rest. Janssen on in his place failed to impress.

The Daily Mail are reporting six to eight weeks. So he could be back for the weekend or make his first appearance as Father Xmas at the Tottenham Xmas party. All guesswork at this stage. We might run a sweepstake.

Good of Harry though to wait until we got a belated back-up in Janssen before getting the injury we have feared for more than a year. One man's misfortune however is another man's opportunity.

Still no sign of Winks, Carroll,  Onomah, Harrison or Cameron Carter Vickers. Winks or Carroll alongside Dembele and CCV at left back or....oh you get my drift. I expect they'll all start against Gillingham on Wednesday.

I'm joking of course. Mauricio seems to have abandoned his blooding of young players for the moment but at least 20yr old Deli has earned himself a new contract. What a snip at 5million. We might even double our money by the time he's Pogba's age.

Apart from Son, Toby was boringly reliable, another bargain, and Kyle Walker had another good game. Deli was alternately irritating and precociously good and got the vital assist. Allowances made for youth.

For a centre half Dier makes a good central midfielder and Jan for a centre half is a good full back. He has more time and space to be positive especially as Bus-Parkers tend to leave their wingers at home.

So still unbeaten in the Prem; up to where we finished last year; keeping our heads while some about us others are losing theirs, but not playing that well. You get the same points though for a scratchy win as you do for giving someone a thrashing.

As for Wednesday's cup game I hope that N'Koudou and several others get some time and Janssen gets some goals and that Mauricio is a little more adventurous with his substitutions when the game is won. Or should that be 'if'.

Pochettino is hinting at changes again but keeping well schtum about Harry's prospects for recovery. Wise man. It's usually twice as long as first forecast..

Update: Spurs have changed their Xmas party play to Treasure Island and penciled in Harry as Long John Silver. You read it on Musings first.


Jimmy's Video Spot.
The Son Heung-Min show. Great performance and he has been effective this season. The spark we need perhaps. Might save him for Middlesborough and give Georges-Kevin a start. It's what Cup ties against lower league opposition are for.





     

Friday, 16 September 2016

Pochettino to Roll the Dice and Spin the Wheel.

 Ditch Wembley and play in Dublin
there's no snakes there.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Up the Stoke Ladder and down the Monaco Snake. Well it makes a pleasant change from the Roller Coaster. A hugely disappointing performance and result after all the pre-match hype, expectation and hope against Monaco.

The fans' reaction and Mauricios'  reflects this as Monaco were far better than we supposed although they are top of the French League and recently beat Paris St. Germain.We should have guessed as much.

They have some strong players and some quick players and some strong, quick players. They had done their homework and had a plan. They got lucky with our help admittedly and capitalised on the two chances that they had.

Even then if we had been as deadly with our own opportunities a draw would have been the least of our expectations. Deli almost scored twice, Son missed an early chance and Kane a late one.

Lamela assisted at both ends but several others share the blame. In fact this was a lacklustre performance all over the pitch as the Manager admits; from Eriksen and Kane to Dier, Davies and Vertonghen.

Deli was the pick of our bunch when he was moved forward in the second half after Dembele replaced Son. Toby (Gibraltar) Alderweireld and Walker played well too.

Deli is raw and a bit impetuous but he offers some creativity and effort sadly lacking when Eriksen is not on song. With 20/ 20 hindsight perhaps Moussa should have started.

Sissoko made a decent if brief appearance and might be penciled in against Sunderland on Sunday. Janssen might give Harry a rest, surely one of the reasons we bought him.

Monaco played their cards better than us and Mauricio says he would have folded his hand for a new one if he could. I think that's a bit extreme but I know what he means. Actions though speak louder than words.

Sunderland on Sunday gives us the chance to go again quickly and changes could be made. Harry, Eriksen, Dier and perhaps Vertonghen might find themselves holding a watching brief at the start.

Have another look in our Compendium of Games Mauricio and give the Ludo dice a roll and the Roulette Wheel another spin and see what else you can come up with. Some players are wrong if they think that they are unrestable.

They can't still be feeling the after effects of last seasons collapse surely. I'm sure that Wimmer, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Winks, Onomah, Harrison and Carroll are raring to go if they are.

Youth and our own helped get us where we are today and Champions' League or not deserve to help keep us there. They have the necessary energy, enthusiasm and loyalty if the Seniors can't muster any.

With Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA drawing 2-2 there is still everything to play for in the group and disappointment should not give way to despondency, just yet.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
We look better in the highlights than we did overall. But you can't say we had fewer chances than them. Welcome to the Champions' League Tottenham Hotspurs! Where do they find 'em


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Spurs Benefit from Doctor's Oders

Tonic to be taken as often as possible 
before, during and after matches.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Just the tonic we needed to get us and Harry Kane up and running; Eriksen back in the groove after signing a new contract; Son seizing his opportunity and taking his chances; Deli buzzing and scoring in the second half and Hugo giving his hamstrings a gentle run out.

A clean sheet and four goals. Eight points from four; new boys bloodied, and glimpses of slicker football ahead of our first Champions' League fixture in midweek against Monaco at Wembley in what threatens to be a record attendance of 80.000.

 Just what the Doctor ordered. Couldn't read your handwriting but the powerful medicine worked wonders. A more thorough examination awaits against Monaco but the preliminary diagnoses is promising.

OK that's the positive prognosis but there are some negative side effects. Stoke  are not a good side and the sight of Charlie Adams chopping down Deli Alli tells you much of what you need to know about them.

At 4-0 up Winks should been given a stroll round the grounds rather than Sissoko and the dream of a team of our own is fading rapidly. Too much pressure to succeed in the CL and qualify again. Is Mauricio abandoning our own?

We almost fell asleep in the waiting room again but our appointment was only delayed by some 15 minutes.We breathed more easily when the negativity of the Dier, Wanyama axis was surgically incised.

Harry Kane should be rejuvenated by scoring and as they say a goal is as good as a rest. Eriksen's assists for Son were the craftsman and his scalpel at their best and Lamela pepped us up when he came on.

Several players jostled for MOM. Son obviously: Kyle Walker and Toby were outstanding in defence and Eriksen supplied the pacemaker for any negative murmurs.

The patient has been recuperating after the exertions and disappointments of last season but appears to have shaken off any psychological or physical after effects and has been passed A1 to return to work.

Let's hope for even more positive thinking on Wednesday and that Monaco can swallow the bitter pill and and take their medicine like men.

Jimmy's Video Spot
Kevin N'Koudou. Obviously can do. Harry Kane will just love this boy. If he's half as good as this you tube outing he might just be the answer to all sorts of problems. Pace, crosses and the left wing vacancy and I'm not talking about a replacement for Jeremy Corbyn.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Who's Sorry now?

 Well what can else I say?
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The JimmyG2 Column.
Spurs Musings obviously. Apologies to all of you that took me at my word and went down the pub and missed the exciting last moments of the Transfer Window. 'Nothing's going to happen' indeed.

But this is after all the blog that's not always wrong so we reserve the right to be a little off beam occasionally. And in our defence I would like to point out that we were wrong by mere seconds, well minutes anyway.

With 3 minutes to go we agreed a deal with Newcastle that gave both sides a couple of hours to sort out the details of the transfer of Moussa Sissoko who had stalled on an offer from Everton.

After all you can never have too many Moussas in the side. Pity we didn't get the other Moussa Dembele from Fulham to really confuse David Pleat.

Add Everton's to the growing list of Chairman who don't pick up the phone when Daniel's name pops up. But the Master of Blinkmanship stared them down and this time the fax machine operated smoothly.

Transfer Window:
 In:
Janssen and Wanyama signed early to fill long standing gaps in our back-up.
Lopez , NKoudu, Sissoko signed late.
Necessary back-up, pace and strengthening of the squad though none of them at first glance immediate first picks.

Potentially the best of these is Sissoko if Mauricio can release the inner French International and the one that played against us last season. Otherwise he is a bit moody (He plays when he wants to)
Oduwah, another winger, is back from Rangers on expiry of his loan.

Sissoko comes highly recommended by Hugo and N'Koudou is another Frenchman. Remember when we used to mock Monsieur Wenger for being stuck in his native land.

Out:
Essentially nobody crucial though sad to see Mason go. He and Bentaleb, on loan at Schalke, were the kingpins only two years ago. Injuries sustained in the line of duty put paid to Ryan's chances

 N'jie (loan) never really proved himself for good or ill. Nkoudou for Chadli might be an upgrade especially for pace.

Pritchard  was a surprise and Ball and Sonupe (winger) have left us too.
More surprisingly Carroll remains and Son too though both strongly rumoured to be going.
 
So, the Window? How was it for you and Spurs? Of course the old favourites  'settle' and 'gel'  (Pharmacists to Royalty) come to the fore and these are always the known unknowns in any transfer.

Importantly no key players or first choices have left and this leaves us with a more settled squad unlike some of our rivals.

The squad has certainly been improved with plenty of upside on several players. Decks have been cleared of clutter but rivals have paid more and bought established talent.

The heat is off Daniel for the time being for a change but he is becoming almost a parody of himself. This time it worked. No net spend zero  this time.(edit).

Moussa Sissoko.
Strong, quick, gets forward well. Bit head down. Welcome to Tottenham. Two Moussas, Dier and Wanyama in midfield. That's seriously strong stuff. Still no higher creative talent in there to change the game.

Eriksen, Lamela, Harry and Deli now have to  up their game or 0-0 will become our most common score.


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Relax. Nothing is going to happen.



Good advice to Spurs fans
 on the last day of the Window.
.
The JimmyG2 Column.



One, two, three and breathe! This time the International break comes at a convenient time for us and hopefully halts the momentum of the teams that have started well.

Our points tally is better than last year at this stage, though that's nothing to get excited about, but we are unbeaten so far and showing some resilience under pressure at times.

We are not playing fluently though and were lucky not to be further behind in the first half against Liverpool. Coutinho missed a sitter and Vorm was our clear MOM.

We left it late against Palace and are relying on unlikely scorers, Wanyama and Rose, to get the points  as Kane, Deli and Eriksen have yet to find any sort of  form.

The break may allow us to regroup and refocus, allow Hugo to recover, though Vorm has in no way let us down so far, and take stock after the end of the Transfer Window.

Now that the wild rumours about Isco and even Sissoko have been scotched this will undoubtedly be a disappointment on various levels. At the moment its about 2/3 in including a new Deli from Brentford and 7/8 out including Mason to Hull.

So much for Pochettino's dream, and mine, of an all Academy team  in the style of Barcelona. Go back to sleep Mauricio, get comfortable and finish the dream. You woke too early.

Stop selling the Academy boys, give Winks and Onomah some more game time or the dream will become a distant fading memory with just a hint of nightmare.

The two early signings have filled some gaps at last but the first team squad has barely been improved and real quality to augment Eriksen and Lamela is still missing

Only two of the magnificent seven remain with us, none of whom had any Premiership experience. The purchase and likely sale of Son and N'Jie shows that perhaps that particular lesson was not fully learned.

An obvious danger when you have a pocket full of Bale Money and go down the Summer Sales.

I'm on holiday and haven't been able to see live much of the actual football. Yes there are still parts of the known world where wi-fi hasn't yet penetrated so detailed reports are suspended for the time being.

The new England Manager, Mr. Samuel Allardyce has kept faith with the Spurs boys, clearly sticking with class over form and lets hope that all five reward him.

Have a nice evening.You do know nothing is going to happen don't you.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Ryan Mason in his peak season for Spurs when he and Bentaleb were two of our key players. Liked the boy and of course one of our own.

 Good luck at Hull where he will find several friends and who knows we might buy him back for twice what we got for him (12 million) next season if he can stay injury free. That should keep the Academy running for a few more years.



Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Up and Limping

 Temporary set-back. Of course it's not terminal!
(I know it's a chicken. No cockerels available)
.
The JimmyG2 Column

Normally you would take a draw away from home to a team with a new and respected Manager that we have struggled to beat recently. But expectations can make fools of us all.

This was our first eleven bar Dembele and they were without Lukaku and others. We only turned up for the latter stages when Everton ran out of steam and Janssen, on for Dier, made an impact

Only Lamela looked his usual self and scored the equaliser on the hour from a rare decent cross from Kyle Walker. He should try it more often and then teach Danny Rose how it's done.

Wanyama on his debut did exactly what it said on the tin, strong but limited and he gave away the free kick from which they rather luckily scored after 5 minutes.

There were few signs of quick interplay or moving the ball forward swiftly. Vertonghen was clearly not fully fit, Harry seemed stuck in his Euro rut  and both Deli and Eriksen looked half asleep.

Both full backs got forward well but neither can cross reliably. Toby was his usual composed self, and on half-time,  Vorm saved our bacon after a woeful back pass from Rose and Janssen might have pinched it at the end.

I know you want me to reassure you: early days, not quite up to speed, options up front, new players still to come in, new Manager bounce will soon fade; promising youngsters and great expectations. Whats not to like?.

But the youngsters on the bench didn't get a minute between them and the established stars looked jaded before we even began. But even then we might have won it.

 Perhaps with Winks or Mason on from the start to add a little dynamism to the mid-field we might have done so. Dier with Wayana didn't seem to work but credit  Mauricio for changing it round early and salvaging a point.

 So a disappointing beginning to the season, though we got what we deserved in the end.

Another one of those games where we clearly got the kick off time wrong and the early error and subsequent goal made the job even more difficult. But we got there, more or less, eventually. One point gained certainly.

So don't panic Mr. Manwaring, at home to Crystal Palace next week and only three more games until Moussa returns. I don't expect to see Victor partnering  Eric at the start next time and can't believe that Deli and Eriksen will be so uninspiring.

Mind you supporting Spurs I like to get my panic in early. Let's hear it for the the New Spurs; a bit like the Old Spurs.  All last years flops  under new Managers won so playing catch-up  is going to be a risky business.

But that's five league games without a win. Just because we started slowly last season and still made third it's not a game plan I recommend. Thumping Palace will settle the nerves. Well mine anyway.

Things could be worse:we could be W.Ham or Arsenal supporters.But lets not gloat at the misfortunes of others. Well not just yet anyway.

Bad news:
Hugo. 
Hamstring could be out for 4 weeks give or take. Mauricio attributes our poor 1st.half  performance partly to his injury. Hmm. Like Spurs he's up and limping

At least he's not citing the end of season disappointment at not winning the League, or even coming second, for it.

Good News.
Michel Vorm
Did OK as substitute. One game-saver otherwise untroubled.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
No new signings to showcase  so here's one we might lose. No I don't think so either. He's not worth what he's allegedly asking but as he says himself 'Don't believe everything you read on the Internet'.(Except on The Musings obviously)

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