The Blog that's not always wrong.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Spurs must stand firm on approach.

The future starts now.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well that's the Europa done with for now. For ever I hope although 'forever' is a long time. Hopefully when we next meet Borussia Dortmund it will be at the next level.

The clamour has started and will build for new and better players in order to cope with our impending elevation. Are we about to start the journey back to the old failed attitudes and procedures that have served us so badly for more than a couple of decades.

Lists of the deadwood are being compiled as we speak . A long-standing Spurs pastime. Well we've just managed to clear up the last lot so it's time to start again I suppose.

Let's not start that player and manager merry go round again, just as we seem to have kicked the habit. I'm proud of where we are and how we got here:  

Academy; State of the Art Training Ground; Manager that believes in youth and building a team; New Stadium; Premiership Title; Champions' League.

Actually we look as if we are ahead of ourselves on this one as few thought that we would be competing for the Premiership, which we are, before the new stadium was up and running.

We came up against an excellent Dortmund side with a squad less than our best for various understandable reasons and for which Mauricio has sort of apologised and lost it in the first leg.

The return leg was more even but they could have stepped up a gear and missed two excellent chances. Son missed one but Borussia charitably gifted him a goal and  it could have been a lot worse than 2-1.

A pretty comprehensive 5-1 overall but not the signal for another major clear out. We are on a slow build which has reaped the promise of greater things to come. Let's not abandon everything now just as it looks as if it is paying off.

Borussia are one of the top teams in Europe and have been several years in the making first under Jurgen Klopp and now under Thomas Turchel. They are where we aim to be in a season or two.

We are not quite' ready to win the Champions League, or even the Premiership for that matter. We should continue the steady development under Mauricio Pochettino and not panic´at the first set-back.

Cover for Dier and Kane which should have been sorted before now are the first essentials for continued development. Mason, Bentaleb and Carroll of the established squad and Onomah, Winks and Pritchard and one or two others all have part to play.

This squad is young and will develop together if we let it. Where are they now that asserted that Harry Kane would not make it at the top level. Or that Lamela was a waste of money and that Rose and Walker were liabilities.

These are the players, especially Mason and Bentaleb last season, that have got us where we are today. So now it's 'thanks lads, but no thanks' is it?

We have got off the Money-Go-Round and are building an alternative attraction, something special with some of our own.

Can they take us to the next level? Next level, next level is what we have heard for years especially over Managers. Could Jol do it? Could Harry, AVB, Sherwood and now Mauricio?  In most case we never got to find out.

Let's keep faith with players, the Head Coach and  Plan A. Don't let's throw the baby out with the sponge, the soap, the little yellow duck and the bathwater.

If we do we will lose the essence of what we have built: an evident team spirit and the pride of both players and supporters.

I sent Mauricio a game plan for Bournemouth, on rice paper in invisible ink with instructions to read and destroy immediately. He followed it to the letter.

Score early; get a second; play with intensity from the off and don't relax. Play Bournemouth, who had won their last three off the park from the whistle. Actually that's my Plan A and I don't have a plan B either.

He overdid the 'score early' bit but if a first minute goal is good enough for them it's good enough for us. Two up in 15 minutes and a possibly tricky tie was done. We left them standing and in truth I have no idea how good they are. We didn't get to see.

Harry ( Roy of the Rovers) Kane. aka the One Season Wonder was superb throughout. Two goals, defensive tackles and headers and now the League's top scorer. He joins illustrious company in the 20 goal consecutive season stakes.

He is only the fifth English player in that particular  club: Cole, Ferdinand, Fowler and Shearer  are the others and Shearer is one of the main cheerleaders for our Harry.

Eriksen is finding form just at the right time and anticipating the possibility of another Boruc spill followed up when all about him others were standing still and scored a deserved goal.

The first half was some of the best football served up this season and another fine team performance. Even Hugo's distribution is improving and his ball out to Walker set up the first goal.

So the wobble was firmly fixed with two of the 'easier' games and 6 points in the bag. But Leicester haven't blinked yet and the gap remains 5 points with seven games to go.

All the chasing pack have a game in hand but the nearest, Arsenal, have 6 points to make up and our impressive goal difference might just come in handy in the end. Man.City in 4th. are 10 points behind. No need to look down boys.

Good luck to all the boys in the Internationals. Play well if called upon. Safe journey and return.

Are we nearly there yet? The Next Level starts here. Enjoy.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Just a reminder: Deli Alli, who else, in his first game for England emulates Harry Kane by scoring. Koscielny, who better, is slow to close him down and he beats Lloris from distance.


Saturday, 19 March 2016

Spurs Brightest Star

Count them revenue generating letters.
More than Son, Alli and Dier put together.
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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 The Saturday After St Patrick's Day.
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Spurs Brightest Star.
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A majestic ball playing defender. A scorer of vital goals at crucial times. Powerful headers and sweetly timed rockets. A leader. A likeable personality with an instantly recognizable haircut.
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 Probably the longest name in the Premier League and certainly the most unpronounceable. Tobias Albertine Maurits Alderweireld was born in Antwerp 27 years ago.
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 He joined the Ajax youth academy as a 16 year old staying and developing until his exit to Atletico Madrid in September 2013.
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 It was during his time with Ajax that a lifelong friendship with Jan Vertonghen was born. Surely an early clue as to why he joined Spurs in July 2015.
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He excelled at Ajax and chose Atletico but with some regular established centre backs already in place he found it hard to break through. A loan to Southampton transpired in September 2014. An option for Southampton to buy at season's end was to prove controversial.
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Team Pochettino with its big connect with Spain had first hand, anecdotal and pure football gut feeling as to the qualities of Toby A. That knowledge only increased after his loan effected by  'The Team' now coaching at Southampton.
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 A successful season with the Saints meant them exercising the option to buy for 6.8 million pounds loomed. Either by sheer luck or perhaps the machinations of Daniel Levy (surely not) Atletico cancelled the option for 1.5 million pounds allowing them to sell to the highest bidder.
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 Enter a Spurs barrow laden with 11.5 million pounds. Even more unusual Spurs were doing major business at the start of the transfer window.
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 Team Pochettino striking quickly and brilliantly plugging a gaping Spurs defensive hole. Younes  Kaboul was on his way. No further comment required.
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Apart from his rapport with Jan Vertonghen it was no coincidence Spurs were somewhat awash with a bunch of Belgian stars. Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli are no slouches. At least Moussa isn’t.
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Toby brings numerous qualities apart from his tonsorial elegance. Something Deli Alli has put on record with Toby being the most attentive in the squad in that regard. Fluency in English is another useful quality.
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Captain Hugo Lloris has stated his preference for the back squad to converse in English. Probably a great move given the likes of Danny Rose, Ben Davies, Kyle Walker and Ben Trippier are not known for their linguistic skills. Kevin Wimmer  speaks excellent English as does Eric Dier albeit fluent in Portuguese as well.(edit)
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Certainly the lines of communication will be vital just like ….
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At A Kent Pub near Westerham.
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Most of Toby A. was on display against Dortmund at the Lane on Thursday night. Goal saving tackles were well in evidence mind the vital goal scoring was left in the locker room. Probably a bit much to ask for 5 vital goals in the one match to ensure Spurs advanced.
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As well did we really want to advance. Most of our pub are comfortable with leaving Europe this season. The main game is ensuring we enter next season via the Champions League. Oh and the small matter of the title chase looms.
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Bournemouth , thankfully at home. No mugs despite our 5-1 win at Dean Court. Again thankfully they are almost safe on 38 points. Relegation fears almost gone means perhaps not quite the same incentive. Spurs all the incentive in the world.
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Some more magisterial defending and a vital goal would be welcome from our shining light Toby Alderweireld.
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Cheers … yes we do have other shining lights .. hopefully they all turn up on Sunday …   Greg Meyer.      coys.
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Jimmy's Video Spot.
It's either this short video with very irritating backing or a 4 minute tutorial on how to achieve a Toby haircut. Yes I thought so. So here it is. Player of the Season for most people.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Mauricio's game plan revealed.


 

Only trying to help Claudio, only trying to help.
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The JimmyG2 Column

So now it begins in earnest. The decks are cleared; the hatches battened down, the main-brace is spliced; the crows-nest swept clean of feathers; the flags are unfurled:  'Tottenham expects.....'

The five point gap remains and with only 8 games to go first place seems beyond our grasp. But we have nothing to fear but fear itself and if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

Add your own motivational bullshit yourself at this point. My current appropriate one is: 'It's not about perfection:it's about growth'.

Or perhaps 'Just breathe'. I'll try to remember that when we're 1-0 down to Newcastle with 15 minutes to go and needing 3 points to win the league

Sorry, key players rested; the Europa ditched, not that we would have got much further anyway, eight games to go, 24 points and all to play for.

Nicely placed coming round Tattenham corner as the Derby  commentators used to say. The Winning Post is in sight and other rivals are slipping back or boxed in with Cup games and replays.

The question now is have we got the bottle? Does our young inexperienced squad have the nerve? Villa, poor at best, away, no home pressure, was an ideal fixture in many ways.

In the end we won it easily as all the statistics show. But we nearly blew it with some slack passing and the usual re-appearance of the opposition keeper playing out of his skin.

Deli Alli was  poor, his first touch horrendous and his general play dilatory. But his quick brain secured the first for Harry and he set up the second with a pass inside probably intended for Lamela but gratefully accepted by HK.

Watch the highlights and listen to the pundits and you would think that Alli played an absolute blinder. But Spurs fans who watched the game know different.

'All he's done today is set up two goals' as Billy Nick might have said. Harry Kane put in a good shift as usual, hit the bar early on and scored twice to go level with Jamie Vardy for the top Premiership scoring honours.

The doomed Villa still contrived the hit the woodwork twice, and the last ten minutes threatened to be much more exciting than this correspondent and his heart specialist would have liked.

Some good individual performances including Walker, Harry, Lamela, and Toby but despite one or two neat passages of play this was more about the ineptness of Villa than the sparkling football of Spurs.

Eriksen worked harder than he is given credit for and it was not Lamela's fault that his early incisive ball for Kane was not converted. But for the moment put entertaining football back in its box. It's all about results.

Now it's always been my view that over the long term playing good football nets more goals and points than playing poorly and winning. But over 8 games? My convictions begin to wilt.

With Ardiles and Hoddle expressing surprise at how well Mauricio has done in so short a time the fact remains as they say we've never had a better opportunity. The target has been set.

But as the team put out against Dortmund last week shows we need to focus on the Premiership whatever the Head Coach may have thought before W.Ham and Arsenal.

Ranieri is still desperately trying to take heat off his players and praying that they don't all wake up one morning next week and realise that they could win the league.

You ain't kidding anyone Claudio, get that open top bus ordered. Do it today. That should jinx them. Our helpful map of their last one should help.

It will be interesting to see how we strike the balance on Thursday in the second Europa leg between giving as many youngsters a go as possible and not getting absolutely thrashed. Mauricio will be cautious.

3-0 up Borrussia  might go easy. No I don't think so either. If we do play the fringers then I'd settle for a draw. The Europa used to be a key part of our season but we have our sights set on something higher.

'It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.' Mauricio will certainly have got that message.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
On the other hand it costs nothing to dream or to remember. I wonder if they've still got that bus. Danny could play and talk, probably at the same time.


Saturday, 12 March 2016

Spurs in Autobahn collision.

Auf Wiedersehen Europa.
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The JimmyG2Column.
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 Reports that Spurs were involved in a multiple coach crash in Germany involving a head on collision with the Borussia Dortmand team coach surfaced on Thursday

 The Germans escaped unscathed and were able to continue their European tour.

Tottenham were said to be badly damaged and remain stranded on the slip road to The Europa until next week. We await further updates but the Head Coach driver insists that all proper procedures were followed.

Actually in the context of our season it was more like a minor collision in Sainsbury's car park but that headline doesn't shift multiple copies now does it. Anyway we continue our journey but probably with a shorter itinerary.

Rumours that  the coach driver fell asleep at the wheel were strenuously denied. Most of the blame is being laid at the door of the owners for failing to maintain the vehicle properly by cutting corners on the supply of vital spares.

Our decision to outsource important components  to Africa and the far East rather than keep them in-house as was the previous policy appears to have back-fired.

The part supplied by a Nigerian company has not passed the stringent stress tests required and its value remains unclear presently. Mr. Levy may live to regret supplying his bank account details during the transaction.

A key component from Asia which came highly recommended has since not come up to expectations but is out of guarantee and cannot now be sent back. We may be able to adapt it for use in the longer term.

The vehicle will be tested again next week but is not expected to pass the examination. Mental fatigue is one possibility but the vehicle provided was clearly not fit for purpose on this occasion.

The Club deny categorically that this was part a deliberate insurance scam in order to claim on our Champions' League Policy but suspicions will remain.

The prototype  vehicle of an experimental design and largely built in our own  workshops by apprentices is clearly not yet world class and nor would we expect it to be at this stage in its development.

But the club is confident that the current policies will yield good dividends in the very near future.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
A very good side that would probably have beaten our best eleven if available. We were very narrow but we nearly made it to half time and Eriksen actually had the first shot. Pochettino cut his losses on this one.

They been developing this squad and approach for several years under Klopp and now Tuchel so patience Spurs fans.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Offers turned down this week.

 

File that under 'Missed opportunities´  Miss Anstruther
and hand me that complimentary copy of 'Tactical Substitutions´ by A.Wenger
from the waste paper basket would you.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Oh dear, but at least we didn´t lose. Two tough derbies in a week and one point from six is not title winning form and Leicester seemingly going from strength to strength. So second or third place it is, hopefully.

I didn´t see the whole game, family Junior  football commitments. I followed it on my phone initially but watched the roller coaster second half when I got home.

 And saw the highlights of course. From Deli Alli´s back heel, and Harry´s wonder goal which was  fit to win any game on the hour until the bitter end. 'Bitter end' what an apt phrase.

But at least we didn´t lose which but for Wimmer's fine tackle at the death on Ramsey we might we might well have done. Wenger went boldly for the win and was rewarded.

Fortune Favours the Brave they say. Pochettino's negative substitution of Lamela, who was on a´yellow, for Mason to protect our lead didn´t work out although on another day it might have done.

Lloris may be a God in some household´s but he was palpably human for Sanchez mishit equaliser. Would Vorm have saved it? Maybe. But we played into their hands by not continuing to press against ten men.

In an NLD even with ten men nobody is going to crawl into a corner and rock with their thumbs in their mouths. At 2-1 up we should have won it but as at West Ham some credit must be given to the opposition Manager.

All the stats demonstrate that we are on for Top Four finish but we have lost invaluable momentum and perhaps confidence and need to regroup and re-assess.

We have the distraction of the UEFA games against Borussia Dortmund amongst highly winnable games at Aston Villa and home to Bournemouth. But beware wounded prey fighting for it's life at the other end of the table.

Of course going through to the next round of UEFA could be just the inspiration we need but a second string might struggle and the search for inspiration could backfire.

A man once said that 'April is the cruelest month' but so far March has certainly rivalled it for it's impact on our season. We don't have a fixture on the 15th. the Ides Of March but we've two either side so Beware.

For what it's worth I think that Leicester will win the league with Man. City second. We should get third but need to dig deep and prioritise the Premiership. The UEFA is a long shot and key players need a rest.

The folly of not buying a genuine back up to Harry will almost certainly come back to bite us as wonder goal apart he has not played with enough swash or buckle lately. Son has been increasingly poor. N'Jie is still in the treatment room.

Alli, Harry, Dembele and Dier need some time off to lick heir wounds, figuratively speaking that is. Onomah, Winks and Carroll should slot in somewhere. Son and Chadli might start too.

A draw away would be fine achievement but I can't see it myself except  with a full strength team which would be folly.

Musings Meltdown. Not on my watch. We would have torn their hands, arms, legs and possibly their heads right off if offered our current position at the beginning of the season so let's not lose heart now.

But for missed opportunities we could be top but that's life, football and the Universe,  and there will many more twists on the road to the end of the season. Opportunity knocked but no one answered this week.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Worth watching for the Deli Alli moment and Harry Kane's goal. Enjoy!

Friday, 4 March 2016

The Accidental Tourists

Didn't we book an express ticket straight there?
What Tour? Oh well enjoy the ride.

 The Greg Meyer Column.
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 Friday 4 March 2016 .. Our Pub Celebrates a Special Birthday.. Does he Start …

Spurs .. The Accidental Tourists.

The stratosphere currently occupied by a certain North London football team is uncharted territory. Spurs have never won the EP League in its current format let alone finished better than 3rd.
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Are Spurs an accidental tourist or genuine title contenders? Oh and they have never finished above Arsenal since the League was born in 1992.
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This unfamiliar seat in First Class rather than Economy/Cattle with the also rans is causing stress symptoms galore in many Spurs fans.
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 I mean having just survived Swansea( we go second),and then Ham (losing but still second), we are about to embark on the most important North London derby in history.

Just ask Gary Mabbutt. Good thing we have access to copious stress medication available at our local outlet, the Kent Pub.

The progression of Spurs this season is no accident. A combination of a carefully orchestrated intense preseason fitness regime allied with selective rotation in most areas seems to be working and then some.
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Albeit the non rotation of our striker(s) and centre mid field defensive, read Harry Kane and Eric Dier, may yet find Spurs out.
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The introduction of Argentinian family values building a culture of togetherness amongst the playing group and staff has seen an addressing of the previous ”mentality” deficiencies. Shaking hands with Daniel Levy at the Spurs Lodge cafeteria seems bizarre.
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 If it is part of the Pochettino philosophy then okay by us. Words like resilience and the like are popping up on MOTD continually. Ian Wright included. “Spursy” seems to be fading with those false dawns.
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 Perhaps the lesser number of tourists in the Spurs side is a critical factor. Remember the oft quoted observation of Arsenal . Almost a French national team. The Spurs English contingent is impressive.
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 From the Academy and beyond you have Kane, Alli, Mason, Onomah, Thomas Carroll, Rose, Walker, Trippier, and nearly English a Welsh Ben Davies. It's no accident.
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The Pochettino philosophy of encouraging youth and home grown talent is a Chairman’s dream. Daniel Levy’s ears are burning. The January window papers were awash with credible stories saying he was up for a second striker.
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Money was available. The Argentine family brains trust were not tempted leaving aside the Fulham lad Dembele which will happen in the summer.
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No one suitable available. I mean what do you get for 30 million. Christian Bentekhe moved for 32.5 million. A fizzer so far at the Bindippers Supermarket Outlet.
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Train Accident or Full Speed Ahead … The Derby.
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So to the derby that matters. Spurs win and surely top four is heavily favoured. Spurs win and the title dream will be no accident.
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Welcome headlines for Spurs this week included Check Out (sorry still in supermarket mode ), Koscielny Au Revoir ( replaced by Mertesacker… an accident waiting to happen pun intended), No Spurs casualties versus Ham, and an Arsenal Message Board Meltdown.
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However please do not put the house on it advises our Pub accountant from Tranmere. A wily French fox will have them up for Saturday. Still the Anti Wenger Society will truly meltdown if a certain Argentinian triumphs.
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Mind the likes of Ozil, Sanchez and a wild card are dangerous when wounded. Arsenal are on a poor run. Over at Spurs Kane is out of sorts, temporarily. Giroud likewise and more so. The Walcott nemesis is at least back on the Park. FA Cup anyone?
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Surely Dembele,  Alli and a vintage Eriksen performance might provide enough goals for Spurs. As well Toby Unpronounceable and our Pub favourite Captain Hugo Lloris might build on an impressive Tottenhm defence this year.

Captain of Spurs and the French national team. How they would love him at Arsenal. His photo stand alone on the fireplace mantle …
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At Our Kent Pub.

A difficult derby, a difficult prediction in a truly historic North London Derby. Spurs are no accidental tourists. They will continue the tour ahead of Arsenal.
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The ultimate destination of top spot will be no accident. The open top bus tour up the High Road of Tottenham remains a live option at your local travel agency.
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 And before we forget Erik Lamela is 24 today.
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Cheers … Harrison Ford of Accidental Tourist fame is surely a Spurs fan … Greg Meyer.          COYS .. Please do not let us down.
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Jimmy's Video Spot.
Happy 24th. Erik. Hard work, flair and a decent goals and assists record. It's taken a while  but he's one of Mauricio's first names on the team-sheet. Is it because I is Argentinian? I don't think Pochettino is that sentimental. The boy's good.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Spurs players to be kept in the dark.



They blew 'em up 
but we were supposed to burst 'em.
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The JimmyG2 Column. 

Well that was nasty wasn't it. Not the sound of bubbles bursting though hopefully. A collective brain freeze the like of which we haven't seen for some time. 'Win tonight and Spurs go top' as the pre-match build up had it.

Fortunately with Arsenal and Man.City both losing  no immediate damage was sustained and Leicester moved only a point further ahead. But it's a worrying development which can be wiped swiftly from the memory banks on Saturday.

If only life were so simple. This was poor team performance with no-one stepping up against a robust W.Ham side that deserved to win. They were quicker and more inventive and Bilic got his tactics and approach right.

We were not allowed to play out from the back and through midfield and uncertainty spread from Hugo right through the team. We lost the midfield battle and with Kane stifled and the full backs pinned our normal game plan was torn up.

We rallied in the second half especially with the appearance of a not quite fit Alli but it was too little too late. W.Ham had the goal and psychological advantage and with The Boleyn Ground in full song never looked like losing it.

Alderweireld and Eriksen did OK, but that's the best you can say. Lamela gave a good imitation of his old self; all commendable effort and blind alleys. Chadli should stick to the super sub role.

The stats seem to show a different story; 65% possession and twice as many passes but those who saw the game know better. We were essentially second best and this should sting us into action in the games to come.

Let's not dwell, as Mauricio says 'a missed opportunity' but it's hard not to hear the pundits chuckling to themselves at the thought that Spurs might bottle it at the death.

Against Arsenal we need to ram that thought down their throats and Arsenal's too in their own moment of crisis of confidence.

Beating W. Ham would have given us the luxury of a draw being acceptable on Saturday but we don't now have that option. So once again we have to do it the hard way; the Spurs way, but that's nothing new.

Was it the sudden realisation that it was just within our grasp? The weather? The pitch? The referee? The emotion of the setting? Wily old Bilic? The high octane season starting to take its toll?.  One of the above? Some of the above? All of the above? None of the above.

It's usually not one thing but truly I don't know and probably neither does Pochettino. Having only a couple of days to put it right is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Remount as quickly as possible they say.

But all the positives from the season are not negated by a single goal loss, away from home to a team itself pushing for honours. And looking for straws to clutch at, even our goal difference was hardly dented.

The last time we were beaten we went on a six game winning run so all is not lost but a win on Saturday is important in so many more ways then the three points.

We can go top briefly if we win, but keep it to yourselves and don't tell the boys whatever you do. It's just the normal NLD with bragging rights and pride at stake. That should be enough.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
I dedicate this famous Harry Lauder ballad to the boys for the rest of the season.
Some good advice here for Mauricio and the team:
Well it helped us through two World Wars and it's Birmingham City's theme song too and look what good its done them over the years.

( 'Happy Abode' is The top of the Premiership)

Keep right on to the end of the road 
Keep right on to the end 
Though the way be long, let your heart be strong 
Keep right on to the end 

Though you're tired and weary still journey on,
Till you come to your happy abode 
Where all you love, you've been dreaming of 
Will be there, at the end of the road.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Tottenham Cockerel Threatened.

I've warned that bloody bird
 about crowing before the sun rises.

I don't often get my forecasts wrong. Well not that often and not so wrong. Mostly I try not to make predictions, especially about the future. But I was off beam this week about both Fiorentina and Swansea.

Probably my natural caution as a long time Spurs supporter. But we are nowhere near as unreliable as we once were. We used to be reliably unreliable, like Jenas. But these days we are becoming almost predictable.

I thought the Europa second leg would be tight and close and that we would concentrate on maintaining our away goal advantage. Nope, out came Mauricio's Marauders led by Deli and Erik and grabbed the game by the throat from the start.

I overestimated Fiorentina who gamely tried to match us with a high press but they couldn't sustain it for more than fifteen minutes in each half and rapidly fell behind. We had more strength, stamina and will.

I predicted that in these circumstance we would see little of our own grown youth from the bench. But Josh Onomah was trusted to see it through for the last 15 minutes, and Harry Winks briefly got to share in the victory.

We went through easily enough with a fine goal by Ryan Mason which I thought he had telegraphed and under-hit and what was he doing right up there anyway. Wrong Jim. Thrice wrong.

They were never really in it with the defence under Toby as sound as a pound, ignoring for the moment  currency fluctuations, and on the hour Lamela made sure with a fine turn and shot with Eriksen poised.

An own goal from a Trippier cross which Deli was well placed for  made it 4-1 on aggregate which wasn't even flattering. Our reward is the highly fancied Borussia Dortmund in the next round. More fancied than us? 

Against Swansea I expected an easier game but they scored on 20 minutes and held on for nearly another hour. Was I concerned? Well perhaps a little on 68 minutes but Chadli finally diverted a fierce sort of cross-shot by Walker past Fabianski.

The keeper who had played brilliantly finally beaten by Pochettino's substitute who had been on for barely six minutes. But remember a quality keeper is for ever not just the occasional Sunday.

Lloris had earned his match fee with a couple of excellent saves and this was another game where a team performance carried the day. Son and the Masked Man Harry Kane were the only ones below par in a crowded box.

Eriksen was by popular consent the MOM and he has played increasingly well over the past few games. I always vote for him on principle and, as someone pointed out, twice in the past, when he was injured and wasn't even playing.

Walker got a shout too. I like the wing back pairing of Walker and Rose in home games where the opponents are likely to park the bus. Rose got the winner  and his attitude sums up the new non Spursy Spurs. He's as 'in their faces'  as Del Alli.

Mason came on for Son for the last 20 minutes and reminded everyone that he along with Bentaleb were our midfield mainstays last season and will be important for the run in and the rest of the Europa.

On 80 minutes Eriksen led a break out of several players and it looked like the finish of the Olympic 100 metres. They had so many options that they inevitably made a mess of it but the game was all under control by then.

An important week after the loss to Crystal Palace in the Cup. Two local derbies to follow where form sometimes goes out of the window but we have the momentum and confidence to win both after six consecutive Premiership wins.

And that's my forecast though I would settle for 4 points as long as we beat West Ham. But can you see us losing to Arsenal at The Lane currently.

The Arsenal forums were apparently a bloodbath after their loss to Man.Utd. with Walcott 's and Wenger's heads first up on pikes above the ramparts.

We almost sympathise because we've been there ourselves. Many times. And it's not nice. But I have warned you before about crowing before dawn. Lets's just enjoy what we have for the moment.

And Claudio Ranieri desperate to take the heat off Leicester tips us for the title. Thanks Claudio You might be right. Throttle that cockerel someone.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Good viewing. Some breaks at speed with Deli Alli always there or thereabouts; some one touch flowing football; well taken goals and Eriksen demonstrates the art of  ducking out of a tackle and letting the ball come to him and we're away.