The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Seen and The Unseen at Tottenham

Don't look away just yet.
The Jimmy G2 Column.
As the old song says; 'What a difference a day makes', or even in our case, an hour and a half plus stoppage time, to the mood and prospects in the dressing room, on the pitch, the terraces and to Spurs fans everywhere.

We can still mathematically come top even now though it has been a forlorn chase fueled by hope and expectation for a while. But the draw at W.Brom seemed to me to be the end of the campaign to win the league.

The gusher of enthusiasm is temporarily at least capped. As I gave up on first some time ago the draw with W.Brom affected me a lot more than it should at my age.

Now with Deli Alli banned for an off match-camera punch at Yacob  (I'm with Arsene, 'I didn't see it!') and Eric Dier possibly out for the next match or more we need to refocus and strain every sinew to come, at worst, third.

The ball is firmly now in Pochettino's court on Deli Alli. So far he has indulged the boy, in public anyway, with a fatherly chuckle about his mean streak. 'A bit like me' he says but it won't do for his own sake and the teams.

He needs to be taught how to cope with provocation. He's young, he'll learn. He is often close to stepping over the line and will now miss the rest of the season as a result.

Having a mean streak and standing up for yourself are clearly fine. But punching an opponent no matter how provoked in broad daylight is just plain daft.

He needs a dab on the brakes not a complete hand brake turn or he will be increasingly targeted by wily opponents and managers who can't win by any other means.

As for the match we could have been 2 or 3 up in half an hour and had a beautifully crafted early team goal gone in we would probably have gone on to win. As it was, nerves and a sense of foreboding and doom set in.  

It started from Lloris  with ill-judged passes out and a feeble effort to clear the corner from which Dawson scored their equaliser. The feeling that it was not our day seemed to grow

I think Mauricio was found wanting in his failure to do a Pulis and change the game around. It's not just about substitutions but the deployment and motivation of the players on the pitch.

Another fine move later on ended with a Lamela shot striking the post but in the end we were relieved not to lose. Rondon was powerful presence up front and perhaps should have scored with a header.

They bossed the second half by out-pressing us which always seems to throw us off our game and in the end despite our early dominance, and their crude tactics, Alli was fouled three times in the first ten minutes, a draw seems about right.

We should have known what to expect and have been prepared for it. Our goal from a lovely Eriksen free kick on the half hour diverted in by Dawson under pressure from Vertonghen was no more than we deserved  at that stage.

But we have seen this movie before. No second goal and under increasing pressure their equaliser seemed inevitable. Shades of the  Spurs I have supported all these years.

The hero rides off into the sunset with the girl and they are both buried in an a rock fall just as the credits fade. But this team is different and can shrug this one off, even without Deli Alli.

Harold Wilson once said that a week was a long time in politics. At this stage of the season with so much at stake a week is an absolute eternity.

I prefer it when the games come thick and fast. Not so much time to analyse and regret. There are so many reasons for wanting to beat Chelsea next Monday, final finishing position included.

Their players' unprofessional comments about us and Leicester when they have to play both in the run in will probably escape censure but should bare some scrutiny.

Are they preparing to give their all against us and switch off the engine and coast downhill for their final game against Leicester?

Clearly a mean-minded legacy of the Mourinho years. He may have gone, but his narrow perspective on the game still courses through their veins.

Jimmy's Video Spot: Hugo Lloris:

The man's a positive ball and babe magnet. Taken some criticism on occasions but at his best our captain is very good indeed and better still he's staying at Spurs. And that is directment des bouche de cheveaux. No sense in wasting an 'O' level is there.


Cheshuntboy said...

Here's a glass-half-empty opinion for you - we're still three points short of the record total which only earned us fifth place in 2013, and that in the weakest PL since the abomination was foisted on us more than 20 years ago - embarrassing home defeats in the domestic cups and a spanking from Dortmund - has it REALLY been that great a season?

Ashley Collie said...

I've never seen us in second with a sniff at first in over 40 years for one. And for another snapshot of the season, we did the double on a CL semi-finalist! We also competed head to head and didn't lose to L'Arse or Pool in the League, and tonked ManUre. All a matter of perspective, but us over the colonies generally feel this has been one hell of good platform, with more to come! COYMFS!

Chris Cumner-Price said...

Spurs have lost 4 all season. We have drawn 4 games since the start of December and are starting to play some great football. Our squad isn't good enough and yes it was disappointing bit to take the FA cup and league cup more seriously but the team we picked against Dortmund wasn't our team

Anonymous said...

Thrre is no doubt the team has improved considerably but too many draws and home failures eg Newcastle and Leicester damaged us but we must finish on a high by beating Chelsea Southampton and probably with them needing the points Newcastle. Mopo has been excellent but sometimes doesnt seem to have a variation to unlock teams who press us particularly in attack options but the transfer window may show he can. The squad needs another top forward , midfield anchor and a winger who scores and supplies to give us at least a 2 pronged attack. Everybody knows give the ball to Harry. Purchase by selling Carroll Bentaleb and Chadli.Best season for years and still interested in title in month of May.Second yes but third please no!

JimmyG2 said...

What happened in 2013 is not really relevent. Different circumstances. And a half empty glass is still half full.

Ashley Collie.
Tend to side with our Colonial friends here.

Chris Cumner-Price.
Yep that's where I am.

Not sure what's up with Mo and Bentaleb but I wouldn't sell any one that wants to stay and who wouldn't.
Great team spirit st the moment, bringing in new players could upset this. need to be carefully selected and the younger the better. Within reason obviously. Six year old scores hat-trick in his first game.

Anonymous said...

Trying to consider that even with increased revenue of Premier and Champions league we still are paying for a new ground so may not have transfer funds. If we need to sell to buy and upgrade then maybe those 3 might go.We need quality to stay in champions league.Look at impact of Toby Dele and Eric to this year and agree buy wisely but they didnt upset apple cart and have addedconsiderably tothe squad.Onwards and uowards.

Cheshuntboy said...

This season has been a glorious opportunity wasted, however much people sweeten the pill by chanting the traditional Tottenham mantra of 'Jam Tomorrow'. Even if Leicester sink back to mid-table (or worse) next year, they'll always be the Champions of 2015/16, whereas we'll be runners-up (or worse), and will no doubt be struggling to see off rejuvenated City, Chelsea, United and Liverpool sides next year. We can't sneer at Arsenal's endless succession of CL qualifications without titles (not that I do) and then claim that doing the same thing ourselves is the greatest triumph since 1961 - a real chance for Spurs to win the PL has been blown, and that's the bottom line for this season.

Anonymous said...

Just like a fart in a lift, you can always depend on Cheshunt boy to linger around. He's still not got over his proper-football-blokes like Redknapp and Sherwood being around.

Anonymous said...

To put my last comment into context, I hate Cheshuntboy and have done for some time. He has been carping from the sidelines when AVB was here and now can't bring himself to be positive about possibly our best manager since Burkinshaw. Then again, that's Cheshunt for you.

Cheshuntboy said...

Whoever you are,'Anonymous', I guess you're one of the AVB admirers who tried to bully dissent off the Spurs sites when the ginger one was boring the pants off us all two or three years back, and I suspect that you were a Sherwood hater when that total dud accumulated 69 points in a much stronger league, and got sacked for his efforts. Transfer your foreign manager fetish from AVB to Pochettino if you must, but I'll stay off the bandwagon until our current coach shows a bit more tactical nous, uses subs more effectively and prioritises competitions - why bother with the EL at all if you're going to capitulate to the first decent team you're drawn against?

JimmyG2 said...

All valid points from your perspective I agree.
But a wasted opportunity never.
A team of our own, youth and a sprinkling of cheaply acquired 'stars' while they were just clouds of gas have done us proud. Too many draws yes but four losses all season.
Lets wait for three more games to see where we finish before we get too critical. And the best is certainly yet to come.
We are well ahead of the curve.

JimmyG2 said...

Thanks, in any case, all.

Anonymous said...

I'm Sweetsman, Cheshuntboy, and you know that I hate your guts. I think that your opinions, finally stated, say it all. I did not like the undermining of AVB, who if you are going to bring up points totals, did bring in a larger haul than Sherwood. I hated Sherwood, because he was party to the undermining through all his mates in the media. You are doing exactly the same thing with Pochettino, and I think the reason is that you are bitter that Sherwood did not follow Redknapp and then wasn't allowed to carry on. Your points are irredeemably stupid, just like Sherwood. If you can't see that Poch has been effective in dealing with the main problem at Spurs through the years, the soft underbelly, then it just points to your bias. I actually wanted Benitez, but I am so glad that we got Poch and it seems many of our players are, too. Some of them would not have stayed if Sherwood had continued. The club is so much better without him.

Cheshuntboy said...

Point of information, 'Sweetsman' - you raised Sherwood, not me, and I've seen too many managers make a good start and then fall away (Shreeves, Pleat, Francis, Hoddle, Jol, even your beloved AVB) to think that Pochettino has put everything right with a bit of basic fitness and motivational training, much needed though those things were. If we don't fall back next season, when I've no doubt the usual big boys will be putting up a far better show than this year, I might join in your Pochettino lovefest, but I've still got my doubts, and I believe I'm entitled to my opinion, however much it infuriates you. By the way, I gave up posting on 'The Boy Hotspur' and 'Dear Mr Levy' because the endless abuse from you and people like you became tedious - this site has been a haven of generally polite exchanges of opinion, but you no doubt think a bit of abuse will improve it no end, by ensuring that there's no divergence from the party line - best manager since Burkinshaw? No - best ever, surely!

JimmyG2 said...

Everyone welcome here but please leave your handbags at check-in.
I wanted Van Gaal so what do I know.
Sherwood was the fall guy from the off.
Harry was a constant embarrassment and as he would have said himself should have won the Champions' League with that team.
Cheshuntboy and Sweetsman. You're like two drunks thrown out of a pub and still fighting outside on the pavement.Be nice its only football.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with criticism, but what I have a problem with is the instant criticism at any mistake. It's the type of so-called support that can blight the development of young players, eg the abuse meted out to Lamela. Well, MP has turned around a number of players: "proper coaching" as Honigstein tweeted. Anyway, don't take my word for it, read the effusive praise from Norman Giller and he's a Sherwood fan.

Cheshuntboy said...

More like one drunk who interrupts someone else's conversation to start a row but, hey, it's your blog.

Anonymous said...

I think that Pochettino has extended his contract, because he thinks he can deliver on getting the team into the CL while the new stadium is finished. By then end of his contract, he will be just into his 50th year and will want to move on, because I think he knows that at that point Levy will sell. We should enjoy it while it lasts. Ferguson thinks he's bloody good and knows a thing or two about management.

Cheshuntboy said...

Match ended - Leicester are champions, and well done them. Dropping six points from winning positions in recent weeks hasn't helped us though. I thought 'Spursyness' had been abolished, but obviously not.

JimmyG2 said...

Third now guaranteed, second still possible. Spursyness now consigned to the dustbin (for now).
Lost it in the second half last night in more ways than one. (See next blog later)

Cheshuntboy said...

I'll be interested to hear your opinion of the most undisciplined and thuggish performance in the history of the club - I don't remember anything remotely like it in more than fifty years following Spurs, and I'll be interested to see how the apologists excuse it.

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