Flatter but equally hostile territory
The JimmyG2 Column..
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.
We almost missed signing him apparently!
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.