Winks gets the nod and even the blind horse is impressed*
The JimmyG2 Column.
.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.