The Blog that's not always wrong.

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:
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)


Sunday, 7 August 2016

One More In?

I certainly am and sure do.
The JimmyG2 Column.
I've said it before but it bears repeating; the last few years have been a very good time to be a Spurs fan, follower, supporter and in my case all three and a blogger. I don't dare stop now in case it jinxes our progress.

The destruction of Inter Milan, again, (can we play you every week?) without the availability of Vertoghen, Wimmer and Wanyama and with several youths including some of our own was very satisfying on many levels.

I'm going to be accused of 'happy clapping' again  which means in this context someone naive or easy to please, (Urban Dictionary) but I don't really care I've lived through many years of dross and disappointment and I mean to enjoy it while I can.

 I'm certainly not a recent convert. I've been with Spurs for more years than I care to, or on occasions, can remember Regular readers of the is blog will know that I am not easy to please. Naive? Well maybe. But there are positive signs of development under Mauricio.

Do we need some more signings? Well you can't have too many good players as Glen Hoddle once observed but they have to fit the squad, the tactics, the Head Coach's approach and at Spurs be cheap and preferably young.

 I wouldn't be too unhappy if we called a day right now with Janssen and Wanyama fitting our immediate needs. If you can think of anyone who ticks all the boxes let Dan Levy know.

Mauricio has hinted that there will be at least another one to come in but someone to put pressure on Christian won't be cheap if experienced and may not have the quality if he's cheap.

In Oslo we failed keep a clean sheet once again; we were very fortunate indeed to be awarded the early penalty; Mason missed a good chance to make it 2-0; the ref was born in Enfield and the weather in Oslo is more like England than Italy.

 Inter who are not the force they used to be showed more petulance than endeavor and weren't really interested in the second half once they went behind. Mancini should never have given up the day job. 'Moon River' what a song that was.

So yes clearly very lucky indeed to win 6-1 with several well fashioned goals from five different players. As Gary Player once nearly said: 'The more I train under Mauricio Pochettino the luckier I seem to get'.

Harry shrugged off his Euro nightmare with a confident penalty after only 4 minutes. He scored a second with a shift and shoot effort later. Lamela scored a beauty confirming again his class and form.

Janssen put himself about  effectively, scored and assisted. Deli Alli got on the score-sheet with a controlled finish and was at his prickly best. But the icing on the cake was Shayon Harrison, barely on for a couple of minutes finishing off a fine team move.

He looks like being our third striker and at 19 will remember his first goal for ever. Winks played well and all the youngsters showed the benefits of playing within a known system and being able to slot in.

Cameron Carter-Vickers (henceforth known as CCV) alongside and under the eagle eye of Toby played 90 minutes for the second game running so perhaps Jan and Kevin  are going to be out for longer than we thought.

Eriksen was disappointing but is clearly not quite up to speed. All four of our full backs showed speed and attacking threat. So what's not to Happy Clap at? Just like them 'I Believe' and intend to enjoy myself at the same time.

Of course the first true test will be next week away to Everton but I bet they are more frightened of us than we are of them and rightly so.

We are playing more positively and key players are finding form including new boy Janssen. Dier is showing for the ball between the centre-backs and playing the ball more positively i.e. roughly in the direction of the opposition goal.

There is less passing along the back four and we saw much more creativity in and around the box with Lamela and Alli  and the front players much more involved. Carroll, Mason and Winks are all mainly forward thinking too.

 Breaking down defences has been a weakness for some time but if Eriksen can find some form and join the rest we will be able to jump start the bus and drive a coach and horses through the car park.

(Editor: That metaphor doesn't really work Jimmy but I'll let it go as it's only pre-season.)

Josh Onomah.
Top of Alan Smith's 10 young players to watch. He's 19 and made 19 appearances last season. Marcus Edwards and Josh go to the same barbers.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
 Highlights of us thrashing Inter Milan. 'Tottenham are rampant' He got that right.
What were you expecting, Andy Williams singing 'Moon River'?
Get Clapping, be Happy the real football starts next week.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Another one in the bag.

 The Future is bright.
Damn right.
The JimmyG2 Column.
I couldn't be any prouder of our boys out in Australia if they'd won them both and with a bit of luck they might have done. The youngsters in the squad put some of their elders to shame in the process.

'Our Boys' is appropriate in the chronological sense too with newcomers Janssen only 22 and Wanyama (25) even though they both look older.

Admittedly Juventus in the first game took their foot off the pedal after 20 minutes when they went 2-0 up due to some slack passing and a poor tacklling by Ball

They will learn from this that mistakes are punished at this level and it's a good lesson to learn early in their senior careers.What's the point of taking them to the other side of the world if they learn nothing.

We steadied and played more quickly and positively after that and Juventus nearly fell off the bike in the second half and we should have equalised. Lamela was a class above, scored a good goal and should have had another.

Wanyama was calm and looked after the lads, showing for the ball constantly. I am revising my original opinion of him as his passing was good. This is the blog that is not always wrong, and not always right either.

 I think he can do a good job alongside Dier initially with Demeble's enforced absence for the first four games. Silly boy. We may not miss Moussa quite as much as we feared.

Now Australia is a long way to go, and just as far to come back. Which means we top the league for pre-season mileage at over 20.00 miles. Chelsea are well behind us in a mere 14.000 miles.

Usually such trips are mere football folly, flag waving, brand building and the like. But Mauricio has used this trip well to have a look at the new signings, the next batch of youngsters and to 'rest' most of the first team squad.

Good opponents too and several youngsters showed well over the two games. Miller and Yedlin at full back< Carte Vickers after a shaky ten minutes against Atleti, and Walks. Janssen in the same game got more service and combined much better.

Onomah looked decent but needs to recover more quickly. Edwards, featured in the previous blog, didn't do too much to justify his superstar status but clearly needs more time.

Harry Winks certainly looked ready and played with energy and head up positivity and should make the squad for the new season. The supply line continues. Eriksen needs minutes after illness but played too tight.

Against Atleti Oblak and the woodwork denied us at least four goals and their winning goal was offside. Godin should have been flagged the moment the free kick was taken.

Mason played well and only a brilliant reflex save from Oblak prevented him scoring  Onomah, and Lamela both hit the woodwork with the keeper beaten. Eriksen and Janssen both had shots well saved..

 A better performance all round against an experienced Atleti squad with 8 of their CL. players in the squad. Deserved kind words from Simeoni and Poch well pleased with his squad and the trip

We lost both games which is always a good sign  pre-season. Remember that wonderful pre-season under Ramos followed by the two from eight disaster before the arrival of Harry Redknapp.

With two promising signings in crucial positions and some youngsters stepping up  I'm putting my shades on already. Superstars on silly money? Who needs 'em?

There are reports surfacing of Marcus Edwards signing a two year deal after months of wrangling which is good news all round. Only 17 so expect him to go out on loan. A more suitable one than Pritchard at W.Brom hopefully.

Spurs might be happy to stick with what they've got although at the current count we are linked with a couple of dozen names from Europe and several departing. We'll see.

 The next game in Oslo against Inter on Friday (KO 4pm on ITV4) with the first team squad involved will tell us more about the season to come. But whatever happens my pride is well founded and I hope it doesn't cometh before a fall.

Jimmy's Video Spot
Don't just take my word for it here are the highlights of the Atleti game. Janssen and Lamela combining well. Plenty of young heads up