The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 24 April 2017

All in the Mind.

 I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours.
The JimmyG2 Column.
 Both managers played out of their tiny mind games but Conte was playing with a huge stack of Casino chips and won the match and gets the accolades. Mauricio gambled on Son at wing back and lost.

Son conceded the penalty with a crash test dummy slow motion tackle on Moses who waited patiently for it to arrive and then fell over his legs. Which bit of 'Stay on your feet especially in the box' does our boy not understand.

We were playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded pistol and we had first shot.

Blame Mauricio for putting him a position he should never have been in but both the player and Manager will be hugely unhappy. With Davies and Rose injured Mauricio had to make a call.

Sissoko might have been  better one. Our Moses if you will. We will have to wait for the Manager's memoirs to discover exactly what he was thinking Trying to cram two pints of all our best players into a pint pot didn't work.

This after a Willian free kick for which some keepers might have stood a foot or two further to their left than Hugo did. But a fine strike and a calm penalty to follow.

In the meantime Harry Kane had equalised cleverly redirecting an Erikson cross backwards with his head into the corner. 1-1, game on for a while.

They had five shots including the naively conceded penalty and scored four times. Our two goals were lovely to behold but we were playing catch up both times. 4-2 hugely flatters them.

At 2-2 being able to bring on a fresh Costa and Hazard gave them a significant edge and Hazard with an assist and a goal turned the game.

His shot from outside the area seemed to mesmorise several members of our defence as it passed into the corner of the net. Nobody thought to stick out a leg.

Fabregas was their third substitute, our second and last was N'Koudou for another pacy but largely ineffective cameo. What a difference some Russian oil loot makes when the chips are down.

 Not that I would prefer a mainline cash quick-fix injection to the healthy five a day slow build upon which we have embarked and which is showing excellent progress despite the odd set back.

Matic's wonder strike added insult to injury and had the net not intervened they would still be searching for the ball somewhere down Wembley way.

Starting with Son at left wing back was puzzling, substituting him for Walker and playing Trippier out of position at left back was also perplexing. If it was a possibility why not start that way?

In the event we gave a good account of ourselves; Eriksen was the best player on the pitch and his second assist for Dele's equaliser was our goal of the season.(See Video). Dembele played well again.

Two new records for the annals: most games lost at the New Wembley and most semi finals lost in the FA.Cup but if we can see it out in second all is forgiven. Liverpool losing  to Crystal Palace who we play on Wednesday certainly helps.

Last season the boys were so disappointed by the prospect of not winning the league they imploded and exploded simultaneously. Le's hope the prospect of not winning the Cup doesn't have the same effect.

But we are in a better pace now after another year of team development and cohesion under Mr. Pochettino. He lost this battle but is on course to bankrupt the Casino quite soon

Difficult preferences loom. Arsenal to win the Cup again or Chelsea to do the Double. We still have a chance to prevent the latter so let's all concentrate really hard and that includes you Mauricio.

Keep it simple, focus, play everyone in their usual positions, pray we stay injury free, a pinch of luck and who knows. On this occasion Mauricio confused not only me but himself.

Referee Martin Atkinsonski tilted the level playing field somewhat by giving them free run of the park. Luiz,  Alonso and Player of the Year Kante should all have been booked before half time.

Ironically it was Toby that got the first booking and his first of the season for the early foul which led to their first goal after Pedro had run through the wide open steppes of our defence.

Kante is a fine player, he can walk and chew gum at the same time, pass and tackle, a rare combination these days but he was more likely to win the Russian hit man award for the kind of performance he put in yesterday.

God these grapes are really sour. It all leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth but heads up, the future looks bright if we can hold it all together for just  a little while longer.

Some will say we should have given their rough house tactics back to them but we know what happened last year and I'm glad we learned a lesson which will stand us in good stead in the longer term.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Our goal/ assist of the season by my two favourite players. I just hope nobody else was watching.
Only a top flight geometrician, or a space flight controller. could truly appreciate the curve on that ball. Out of this world.

At this point hopes were raised only to be cruelly dashed with the arrival of Chelsea's 'subs'. For 20 minutes things hung in the balance.

Dele Alli justifies his young player of the year award. Again.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Game changer for Spurs.

Isn't there somewhere else you'd rather be
 at the weekend Eden?
The JimmyG2 Column.
 I'm not sure why some teams don't just phone in and concede the points. A 4-0 drubbing of another half decent team in Saturday's early kick off. We could sit back and enjoy the rest of the weekend once again.

Yeah I know; Pride cometh; he who laughs last and so on. Just enjoying the moment, really enjoying it. We've had lots of great players over the last half century bit never had a great team like this. Indulge me.

Those who have been following the team for just the last decade do not know, do not have the faintest idea how lucky they are. It's our turn and we've done it differently with a sprinkling of semi uknowns youngsters and some of our own .

I'm not missing the tension, anxiety, frustration and angst yet. But it's like having your leg amputated: from time to time you can still feel the pain so they say. Give it time Jimmy, the Great Healer.

Next week and the rest of run in will be different certainly but the momentum, confidence and  positives from this seventh consecutive home win are enormous. Our first such run in 50yrs.

I have forgotten it well. As they say of the sixties if you can remember it you weren't there. The trouble with getting old is you forget the good things as well as the bad.

Thank Heavens for a second bite at the cherry. Spurs fans deserve it after the past few decades.

So many positives but where do we start. More scored and least conceded in the whole of the League. Top of the 2017 Premiership league. WHL a fortress. Son Buzzing and Harry back. and I haven't even mentioned. Eriksen and Dele yet.

Janssen's first Premiership goal in open play and Mauricio's delighted reaction to it is indicative of the spirit of the club. Dembele's first goal of the season from an Eriksen corner.

Harry Kane joining Shearer, Van Nistelrooy and Thierry Henri in the Premiership's elite with three consecutive 20 goal seasons. Next target, Henri's five. All for Spurs I hope.Following in JimmyG1's footsteps

This game repeated the pattern. Quiet but dominant start, focus and application. Then the breakthrough and the floodgates threaten to open but once again don't quite. Is four a flood?

As against Watford we should have scored a hat-full but made do with 4 without reply. Memo to self: get a bigger hat. Son set up by Harry scored delightfully,with speed and close control.

Then Harry himself took over and with persistence and determination hustled the Bournemouth defenders into allowing him to score. He didn't even look up at the goal reasoning that it was still where it usually is.

Janssen's goal was the icing on the cake for us and the cherry on top for him. Mauricio agreed and his celebration along the touchline was exuberant mainly for Vincent himself.

With Chelsea losing the deficit is cut to four and our superior goal difference might just count in the end (46/38). Everybody else in the top seven, even Arsenal, won  so the 3 points was vital to maintain The Gaps.

Conte who blames himself for the defeat against Utd. must now lift his team for their FA Cup semi-final against Spurs on Saturday. “It won’t be easy because I think Tottenham are now the best team.

They are in good form and they have a lot of enthusiasm. They are feeling the possibility to write history and it is important for us to know this.”

Well he's not wrong but I don't think, for a second, that he actually believes it. But thanks Utd. anyway for sowing the seeds of doubt. It's a kind of counter intuitive reverse pep-talk which we had best ignore.

But Conte's touchline performance was subdued from the start. Man marking Hazard with Herrera again worked well and raises the question whether we should do the same with, say, Dier or Wanyama.

I would prefer us to stay with our own game as we are playing well and may disrupt our own performance if we change tactics and take special precautions. It's not something that Mauricio usually does.

Though letting Hazard think that Victor will be shadowing him for the 90 minutes all week won't do anything for his concentration level, if he lasts that long, or even shows up.

Against Bournemouth another team performance with nobody playing badly though the defence was never really pushed. Dembele, Son, Kane and Eriksen played  particularly well.

Captain Hugo watched on with interest again and Mauricio was more animated than usual. The full press was in evidence and was encouraged loudly from the touchline. Slackers need not apply.

Next week the Semi-Final gives us a weekend off in a manner of speaking before we face the final six games. We need to take say 14 points from them and for Chelsea to slip up at least once to give ourselves a chance

Not impossible by any means the way we are playing.  COYS. What odds the Double? Steady Jim that way madness lies.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Nothing fancy this week, just the goals and highlights. I've watched it four times and we get better and better.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Too late now. Spurs are going in.

Spurs breech Sky Four defences.
 The JimmyG2 Column.
Bugger. Just swooping in on the Rhur dams when we've been spotted on the radar. Pundits and papers were clearly waiting for us to implode or explode but have decided to give us a helping hand.

Tottenham the best coached team; Mauricio the best Premiership Manager; Dele the greatest footballer of his age in the History Of The game. Trippier for England and that last from Ex-Arsenal Keown.

All in the same week. If that's not formation flying at its best I don't know what is. But it's too late now guys we're going in. Not under the radar, but hidden in plain view.

Dele has had a hand in more goals than Bill Brewer, David Beckham, Peter Gurney, Stephen Gerrard, Dan'l Whiddon, Frank Lampard and Uncle Tom Cobley and all, combined, before the age of 21.

The implication is that Mauricio and Dele are too good for Spurs and putting the usual suspects for the next greatest thing, Man.Utd and Real Madrid among others on the alert.

The raid on the reputations of all but Chelsea was sparked by our sixth consecutive win and more broken records than a bull in HMV. And so let concerted destabilisation begin.

So far they've ignored us and focused on the woes of Arsenal, Man.City and Man.Utd, Arsene, Pep and Jose. But as the number of games decreases the threat to the established order is confirmed.

Time for push to turn to shove. Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean that they're not out to get us. Pundits and press have too much invested in the Sky Four to let it go so easily.

Don't fight it people, Spurs are on the move.and heading for the top of a league near you quite soon.

Another 4-0 victory, our default score, after a slightly tricky first 15 minutes against Watford  has made them sit up and take notice once again.

So it was over half an hour before the aforementioned Dele curled a beauty into the top corner for our first. Before half time Dier had lashed one in and Son found the corner of the net with another.

3-0 up at half time and all from the edge or outside the box. Precision bombing at its best: the Rhur valley flooded and the Watford and other Gaps widened severely.

Isn't it nice to be the early Saturday kick-off, win, and sit back. In the event all the top seven teams won except Arsenal, thumped at Crystal Palace. Talk about a result. Enough said, let's not gloat too soon.

Harry returning ahead of schedule just failed to get on the end of another Trippier cross and set up an easy one for Son to complete his hat-trick but he missed. Harry won't be passing unselfishly again in the near future.

Son had scored a fine controlled goal from another....all together...Trippier cross for 4-0. We should have had 6 or more. A footnote on Janssen and that's all he will be in the History of Spurs if he makes even that.

He was in the right place twice but failed to trouble the scorers. Gomes saved from a nice hold up and turn early on and the crossbar prevented a second from close in. Very close in. I remember Soldado doing the same.

Eerie but let's not go there. The sight of Harry  arriving on the hour must have been sad for Vincent but he just hasn't done enough with his chances, honest as he is.

Son is all over the place at times but creates plenty of chances for himself and at least puts some of them away. His two fine goals against Watford and his ridiculous miss just about sums him up.

Not at our impeccable best but 4-0 will do. We don't need more for our goal difference which is the best in the Premiership as is our defensive record.

Dam good show boys. What's not to admire, revel in and ram down everybody's throats?  But not just yet.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Dele's Taxi ride to training with Lloyd Griffith.
What a lovely fella well both of them in fact. Dele is a sport, can crack a joke and take one although he didn't look too comfortable at times. I bet his caravan would fetch a fortune on e-bay.
That Eric Dier's a very lucky boy.

Friday, 7 April 2017

New Era Announced at Spurs

 Mohammad? No Christian!
The JimmyG2 Column. 
Can you remember where you were you when Spurs scored 2 extra time goals to win a game and maintain their challenge for the Premiership?

Or how you felt on 88 minutes with Chelsea beating City, Arsenal and Liverpool winning and us 1-0 down to Swansea?

Was much blood spilled? Yours? The cat's? Innocent bystanders'? What odds for our fifth consecutive win?  Or were you all calm and philosophical, if ever so slightly depressed, like me.

There can't be many, if any, in the  'Never doubted the boys for a moment ' camp. Most of us were in in the 'Oh well we gave it a good go. What do you expect away from home without Kane, Rose, Wanyama, Lamela and Winks?

Arsenal person Fabiansky feigned serious injury, waved away the stretcher when it arrived, refused to go off even though his number was up and then conceded three.

 'Poetic Justice' hardly does it... well 'justice' though it was pure poetry.

He had played well and thwarted us several times before the collision with Janssen, on in good time on this occasion for Sissoko. It was Vincent who put in Son for our second with a neat flick.

Eriksen had set up Dele, in the right place at the right time again, via a deflection for the first and he returned the compliment with a ball that took out five players for Eriken's delightful third.

 Like Mohammad Ali, Christian floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee.

We had huffed and puffed for 80 minutes after Routledge's early opener without a breakthrough. If they were going to score it was likely to be by an ex-Spur as they had several on the pitch from the start. 

We had over 70% possession,and once again more shots (18/4) and shots on target (8/1) than the opposition.They scored with their only chance following some sloppy defending by Davies.

We have scored more points in 2017 than any other team and gained more points from losing positions this season (17) and since Mauricio's arrival (53) than any other team.

Never say die team spirit and fitness rule OK? I do love a good  statistic. Well occasionally.

 The top of the table looks like this with 8 to go.

(1) Chelsea..........30...........38.........72
(2) Tottenham.....30...........38.........65
(3) Liverpool.......31...........27........60
(4) Man.City.......30...........23.........58
(5) Arsenal..........29...........25.........54
(6) Man.Utd........29...........19.........54

Of course good players, an excellent manager and a bit of luck always help. But as Tina Turner almost sang 'What's luck got to do with it? Do with it?

We left it late but better late......... Did their early goal upset their game plan? With a goal to defend were they perhaps more negative than they might have been.

But 'To do is to dare' or some such nonsense and we dared and definitely did. The Dier, Dembele axis is not the most imaginative but Mauricio eventually sorted things out and the creatives were released to do their thing.

Even Georges-Kevin got a run out and had a hand in one of the goals. We were good but wasteful for much of the game but got it together as they tired in an exhilarating final ten minutes.

Only Chelsea stand between us and The Double. I'll say that again. Only Chelsea stand between us and the Double. Has a certain eerie ring about it don't you think.

With several returning players the future is looking very bright indeed: Wanyama and Hugo at the weekend; Kane next weekor sooner; but Winks, Lamela and possibly Danny out for the season.

But don't shoot the messenger love. Good news in the short run on returning players and better news in the long run on the attitude and outlook for the club.

This victory will stand us in good stead for the run-in. We proved to ourselves that nothing is ever a lost cause and that knowledge will keep us honest and focused.

So farewell to the 'Spursy' period then, a phrase more used by our supporters than our rivals. It was our get out of jail card; our self mocking comfort blanket. Our 'what can go wrong, will go wrong' put down.

It developed out of our so called soft centred, lack of 'mental strength' period; the 'it's only Tottenham' era; the 'Spurs will always let you down' phase.

It briefly re-appeared for the last four games of last season. But let's not go there again just now. A page has been turned and a new  chapter begun.

We could still catch Chelsea but I don't think we will. They would have to lose too many points even if we win all our games and there is a tough period looming; neither is likely.

But 'Spursy' has been stuffed firmly into the back of a drawer and although it cannot be destroyed and could return to haunt us I don't think it will for some time and certainly not under Mauricio Pochettino.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
 Christian Eriksen
My 'first name on the team sheet' player. Five minutes of magic. 11goals and 16 assists so far this season.. His return to form after Xmas is the key to our progress. Love this boy. Finds space and has time on the ball, always the mark of a top top player.

Monday, 3 April 2017

No Excuses for Spurs

Chelsea go up in flames at Crystal Palace.
The JimmyG2 Column.
'Egressi sumus, vidi, vici' to adapt Julius Caesar's famous phrase: we went to Burnley, we saw, we conquered. Not an easy place to go by popular acclaim but with Chelsea losing, a crucial win.

To be honest Burnley are in free fall at the moment and we gave them another little nudge towards the relegation cliff edge. The two goal gap did not flatter us in the circumstance.

 Without Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Erik Lamela and forced into emergency measures by in match injuries to Wanyama and a more serious one to Premiership dĂ©butante Harry Winks we adapted, coped and thrived.

Hugo was barely troubled and had time to complete another chapter of his memoirs; the removal of Gray for Voakes was a bonus and Dembele played well, on for Wanyama who had eventually succumbed to a back problem.
We went to a back four with Dier in midfield and he coolly scored the opener following an Eriksen corner. Sissoko replaced Winks just after half time and might be called upon more in the run in.

The ankle ligament injury to Harry the Younger almost certainly means the end of the season for him but he has youth and the summer recess on his side and should be fit for pre-season.

He will likely miss his chance with the U/21 tournament in the summer too, but he is probably bound for bigger things in the medium term. Get Well Soon HW.

The unexpected Chelsea loss to Crystal Palace gave a twitch to the lace curtains and allowed a little crack of daylight in on the title race. It's still theirs to lose and on this occasion they lost.

Dele could have settled the nerves earlier but his miss from a deflected save prolonged the tension at 0-0 and a dithering miss at 2-0. However his link up with Eriksen for Son's goal was a pleasure to behold.

Son was only on for 15 minutes but had three chances, one of which he took. He seems to thrive as a substitute and perhaps this is the way we will go to allow Janssen to play himself into form.

Davies and Trippier were very ordinary but fortunately weren't tested. Walker and Rose can't come back too soon, or Kane, though Janssen with a rare start in the Premiership was again honest and hardworking.

A 'gritty' win then under adverse conditions with plenty of excuses to let this one slip but we availed ourselves of none of them. Our fixtures and those of the others bode well for the run in. The Double is still on!

With Verts and Toby composed at the back, strong choices in midfield but most importantly a new attitude,  confidence and discipline by the whole team a repeat of last year's disappointment looks unlikely.

And with those painful memories still fresh and sore we should be inoculated against any form of collapse. In fact Chelsea have blinked first and City could do us another favour in midweek while we travel to Swansea.

Gilfy and Tommy, a couple of our favorite sons might try to undermine our heroic ascent but they were sold for a reason and neither would make our current first team though I like them both.

There is no need to rush Victor back for this game as Dier and Dembele can cope in front of a back four and there are tougher games to come.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
'All Spurs can do is win their games and hope the news from elsewhere is good' The commentator calls it right and the news was, like Mr.Kipling's cakes, exceedingly good.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

World's end comes at an awkward time for Spurs.

 We took to the lifeboats briefly
 but didn't completely abandon ship.
The JimmyG2 Column.

Another home Premiership win, our 10th consecutive and 13th. in all competitions. We seem to be leaving the old WHL at exactly the wrong moment but that's in the script for Spurs.

Just seconds away from winning the Champions' League, last minute of extra time and 2-0 up against Real Madrid when a flash of lightening, a whiff of sulphur and a crash of thunder heralds the end of the world.

Just a recurring dream or rather nightmare of mine which you are welcome to share. But the move to Wembley might just be more than a little disruptive. Unless rumours of a year's delay for whatever reason are more than that.

Probably wishful thinking at this stage. Meanwhile another team came  to the old WHL and were sent packing. Only just this time. We cruised out of port majestically for the first half and went in at half time 2-0 up.

In the second half we seemed to be waiting for the whistle from about the 46th. minute. An uncharacteristic error  by Toby gifted them a goal and in general our passing was increasingly all over the place.

Briefly we seemed to have abandoned ship and were bobbing about in the lifeboats. Until the arrival of Harry Winks that is who was combative and positive as always. He re-energised our approach and helped us off the back foot.

 Janssen too. Both might have come on 15 minutes earlier again. Spurs of old might have drawn this against a decent, well organised, well coached outfit with some decent players.

 Or even conceded all three points. On another day if all chances had been taken and both penalty shouts given or not given a draw would have been a fair  result but not these days.

Eriksen opened the scoring again with a controlled shot on 14 minutes from a rare assist by Dembele and set up Son with a fine ball but Forster made a good save. Dele bought and scored the penalty before half time.

The winds at half time were set fair for us to coast home.  But Southampton hadn't read our cruise brochure and after Ward Prowse scored gave us over half an hour of possible tension though in fact there was little real threat.

Had Rodriguez come on instead of Long it might have been different. The injury to Gabbiadini was a bonus as he looked lively if only briefly.

Romeu matched Wanyama and Dembele for beastliness and Tadic threw a Dele but didn't get the penalty. His dramatic fall after being touched by Davies got nil for artistic interpretation.

Redmond saw off Walker, who did not have his finest hour and Trippier arrived and was even worse. Davies though improving starts a long way behind Rose in every sense and is never going to catch him.

Son had done little  and was eventually replaced by Janssen who put himself about for 10 minutes, drawing fouls and distracting the Southampton defence like a wasp at a picnic.

He and the other Harry should start the next game. Dele ghosted in and out of the game, now you see him now you don't. He's our Wild card, Joker and Ace all in one. Gives us that unpredictability that we otherwise lack.

So good game, good win, decent opponents and now an International break. Pray for all our boys on duty. At least Harry Kane and Danny Rose are safely tucked up in the treatment room.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Ironic that just as they start to muse on Harry Kane's absence Eriksen scores. Plain sailing until we encounter some choppy water on 50 minutes but we see out the final 40 minutes fairly comfortably.
Dele 11 in last 12 games.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Erik Lamela: the Real Story.

One man and his dog: true Spurs.
The Greg Meyer Column.
 The Day After St Patrick’s Day.
Erik Lamela … The Real Story.
“ In a world full of manipulation , lies and half truths, the conspiracy theory is often a safer bet than the official story.” … Gary Hopkins UK author. “

Theories conspiratorial abound over the past, present, and future of the 24 year old Argentinian. He of the cultured left foot. He of the tenacious pressing skills. He of the inability to successfully take on and beat a player.
 Fortunately that flaw is generally overcome by the regular brilliance of that left foot. Erik last played on 24  October 2016. A seemingly innocuous training ground injury relating to his hip. A crook hip in the body of a still young man.
 Hardly an old age pensioner. Not a player in his time with Spurs that has worn out multiple pairs of boots. So what are these theories, rumours and just old fashioned gossip that are circulating.
Theory One  …  The Death of Simba.
This columnist has supported many a pet over the years. When one of them inevitably drops off their perch a period of mourning ( spelt “mourinho” in South American Spanish) ensues. But everyday life goes on. 
The unfortunate demise of Erik’s Beloved dog does not keep a young and very well paid footballer from plying his trade.
Theory Two … The Near Death of Brian Lamela.
Brother Brian survived a kidnapping in 2013 but was hospitalized in January 2017 suffering serious injury in an accident. Erik was allowed to return to Argentina before returning to Italy.
As part of his early settling in a foreign land , namely England, with very limited English skills Erik received some great support from his family.
Indeed Brian and the rest of the Lamela clan were very hands on. Instagram abounds with family pics of Team Lamela gathered at their favourite restaurant.

Certainly the impact of  his brother’s misfortune on Erik cannot be downplayed. Mauricio Pochettino rubber stamped his urgent return to Argentina. But with Brian in recovery mode why not have Erik follow suit.
The  Roma Theory.
Erik’s second biggest move was from River Plate to Roma in 2011. It was a successful move on multiple fronts. He developed his game and was deemed a star performer for the club. On the domestic front as well he was happy.
So profound was his impact that it led to his 30 million pound move to North London leaving behind his comfort zone at Roma. No surprise then when in January as part of his “rehabilitation” a move back to Roma occurred.
 However it was just an extended visit. He has returned to Hotspur Way to continue his treatment. There goes the return to Roma theory.

The Official Version.

Mauricio Pochettino among many quotes.
 January 6 2017   
                                                                    “ We hope that in a few weeks he will be available to be involved in the training sessions with the rest of the group.  We are not hiding anything.”    The Sun.

 St Patrick’s day
“ Continuing individual field work and integrating with some aspects of team training.” No he is not picking potatoes.    The Official Site.
Hardly anything coming from the club upon which you could risk the family home in the local betting shop.
The Elephant in the Room Theory.
As noted above Spurs like most clubs are not always overly informative nor frank regards the content of their injury bulletins. Understandably the recuperative powers varies with the individual.

Surely the West Bromich Albion  method is not practiced at White Hart Lane. You will recall them keeping mum regards the Berahino ban for drug use. Out with an injury was the official club version.
Outrageous speculation that Erik’s issues relate to drug usage are surely that. Outrageous!!
Summing Up.
Conspiracy theories, rumours and gossip aside Erik is sorely missed. His pressing, his precision, his corner taking and his goals are valuable. Yes not quite 30 million’s worth yet.
Still an integral cog in the Pochettino Plan. I’ll leave the last word to a man who was surely a secret Spurs admirer.
 “ People love conspiracy theories.”   Neil Armstrong.
Cheers .. Get Well Sooner Erik .. Greg Meyer.    coys.
Jimmy's Video Spot. 

If anyone thinks that we haven't missed him then they need another think. Quality player and he's all ours, for the moment.You can't have too many good players. it's the bad ones that are the problem.
(Glen Hoddle I think)

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Turning Point?

 Millwall binned.
The JimmyG2 Column.
Plenty of encouraging statistics from the weekend, 75% possession and six goals from 15 shots on target. Millwall failed to manage one and so Michel Vorm clocks up another clean sheet.

Son got the regulation hat-trick in the enforced absence of Harry Kane and Janssen's first goal in open play since joining us  both auger well however long he is out.

(From 2 weeks until the end of the season according to the fan-site doctors).We await official news
No scan yet, the ankle is too swollen. Doesn't sound too good but Pochettino might reveal all on Friday.

Free Sweep-stake entry for correct guess on how long he's out. Usual free subscription to the Musings prizes. I'm going for 5 weeks but your guess is as good as mine.

Dele's third goal in as many matches at Fortress White Hart Lane, Eriksen's continuing form, a goal and two assists and Wanyama's and Davies steady development are all super positives.

But there are positives beyond all these. The midfield pairing of Victor and Harry Winks is the future at Spurs. Harry's 98% passing accuracy three quarters of them positive tells a story, but it is the style and confidence of the boy at 20 that is telling.

He does not always choose the easy option, he can mix it when necessary and both he and Victor turn quickly and usually pass forward.Winks and Eriksen together on the pitch is a joy.

Of course it was only Millwall but like Chelsea and Everton they came on good form (17 Games unbeaten) but like the Zen concept of one hand clapping the sound of our cage being rattled was a deafening silence.

There were noises offstage though, mainly racist chanting at Son who gave the perfect reply. Unfortunately we are not above a little racist chanting ourselves and so cannot claim the moral high ground.

I'm told we did the same to our own Lee Young-pyo a decade ago. 'DVD: three for a fiver'. People seem to think that football gives them a free pass on racism despite the high level campaigns.

The anonymity of a large crowd is I suppose like the facelessness of the internet. Anyway it's not funny except to those limited few and certainly not clever.

A composed team performance, we picked up the banana skin and dropped it in the recycling bin. Trippier's ball for Son's second was beautiful to behold.

His first goal was pure Sonism, miscontrol and then recovery and a beautiful strike. His second was poetry and his third a complete gift from the Millwall keeper King.

The shadow of Kane's injury clearly casts a shadow over everything but let's not panic just yet.

So on to the semi-final against Chelsea, a fixture that they will relish less than us. We've lost our last six semi's the last one to Chelsea ( 5-1, Bale got the goal). This one is ours and then City in the final.

And that one's ours too.

As Frankie Laine once sang. (Ask your grandfather.)
I believe for everyone that goes astray (Kane)
Someone will come to show the way (Janssen)
I believe
I believe.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Everybody's happy. Vincent looks round, holds his position, Son finds him and a neat finish. Nice team response. As Mauricio says it could be the turning point in the Spurs family season. Pleased for the boy.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Sunday, Sunday.

Tottenham up next at White hart Lane.
And that's just the opposition tea lady.
The JimmyG2 Column.
Don't go near White Hart Lane if you've got a winning or even a not losing run to maintain. Everton like Chelsea before them found this out on Sunday.

They came, we saw, we conquered. They neither closed us down nor parked the bus and were caught like rabbits in our headlights. We controlled both the tempo and shape of the game.

On 20 minutes Harry showed his strength and belted a dipper into the corner of the net from 30 yds. Williams looked on with admiration.

Just after half time we implement the full press and Wiliams and Schneiderlin  join the Dispossessed, a brutal daylight robbery by Dembele, taken up by Dele who sets up Harry Kane for his second.

The final scoreline might therefor puzzle neutrals but it was a familiar story to the faithful. 2-0 up and coasting with ten minutes to go. It's in the script, we've seen this movie before.and against Everton too.

Lukaku scores following a slip by Vertonghen when no real danger threatened. But this is the remake. We score again delightfully. A real gem of a goal. Dele makes a run for a free kick taken by Winks.

The other Harry finds him in space  and Dele makes a difficult finish look easy and the two goal lead is re-established. Cue sighs of relief all round.

But wait, just as the curtain falls Valencia steals a second while literally nobody but the fans are  watching. The final 8 minutes plus 4 minutes extra time is played out uneventfully. No problem in this updated version of the old story.

On reflection I wouldn't take any of the Everton players. Lukaku is stong and effective but not  up to Harry's level. Ross Barkley is often linked to Spurs but neither would want to play back up to what we already have and  neither is better.

Baines and Coleman are decent too but at 32 and 28 respectively a little too old for Mauricio to work his magic on and once again our own and their back-up are arguably better.

This is to be honest a half-hearted piece because I missed the first half due to family commitments. Well, family preceded my love of Tottenham by several years. I managed to slip away after an hour and catch up.

It was not a problem in the (good?) old days. You went to your local game and listened to Sports Report at teatime for the rest.  All games were at 3pm on a Saturday.

Sunday lunchtime! What's that all about? That's when you read the Sunday papers to catch up on the stories behind the headlines.

Match of the Day didn't start until 1964 and has been recognised by Guinness World Records as the longest-running football TV programme in. I was in my early 20's by then. How the world changes.

Now you can watch every game,  up to half a dozen at the weekend and another on Mondays. Not to mention European competitions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Anyway all's well that ends well and this certainly ended well with a composed team performance. Vertonghen has renewed his membership of the attacking defenders club and we are all the better for it. Ben Davies looks more comfortable by the game.

Dele is sneaking into the top scorers table which of course three season wonder Harry leads. His stats at his age are amazing and in  a few more seasons, injuries permitting, he will top all the charts: Spurs, England and possibly European.

Here's a couple to be going on with: (Courtesy Football 365)

Premier League goals since start of 2014/15:

Sergio Aguero 62
Diego Costa 49
Alexis Sanchez 46
Romelu Lukaku 46

Premier League goals for Englishmen since start of 2014/15:
Jamie Vardy 34
Jermain Defoe 33
Charlie Austin 24
Dele Alli 23

And there's plenty more where they came from. Musings have loved followed and backed him from the start. Oh yes we have.

Millwall in the cup on Sunday lunchtime. OK I've cleared the decks for this one. Expecting a strong team, performance and result. No surprises please Spurs. It's a day of rest after all

Sunday Sunday: A walk in the park (Blur's lyrics: certainly not mine. I've been a Spurs fan for too long to make that mistake.)

Jimmy's Video Spot.
12 seconds of magic. Harry Wink's first assist. Timing, movement skill and team work. Two young men getting it together. I give you the New Spurs. Admiration even from the Arsenal's Alan Smith.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

New challenge tipped for Spur's enforcers.

Stardom calls for Moussa and Victor
 in the remake of the Kray twins life story.
The Jimmy G2 Column.
Only at Spurs. Win 4-0 including a Harry Kane hat-trick and lovely assist for Dele and still be disappointed we didn't win by more or at least ring some changes. Expect more as they say.

It was the same score at half time. What what were they playing at for the last 45 minutes: trying not to get injured? Verts and Toby went off anyway with hopefully minor knocks.

We not only took our foot of the gas but parked the car and threw the keys out of the window. I hope we can locate them in time for Everton, unbeaten in nine, next Sunday.

So a satisfying performance all round really, even Ben Davies had a better game. Eriksen buzzed, Walker ran about a lot and Wanyama and Dembele  did their 1950's Kray twins impersonation.

Stoke were aggressively awful  and we were phlegmatically good.

Wimmer finally got a chance but Janssen did not. He must have done something truly evil off the pitch to be so studiously ignored even when on the bench. Winks gave his usual competent 20 minute cameo.

Son was the preferred Harry sub but why keep Kane on for an unnecessary 45 minutes at 4-0 and a hat-rick up? Obviously all this is way beyond my pay-grade.

So all good in terms of performance, attitude and result; European blues firmly shaken off; Stoke's spoiling tactics largely ignored even by Dele though Wanyama picked up a silly yellow in the final minutes.

More twists up ahead I have no doubt but good housekeeping now in terms of resting players and getting squad players up to speed might just make the difference in the final dozen games.

Failure to rest Harry and accumulated yellows may come back to haunt us as the last phase of the season looms. Liverpool coming unstuck against a rejuvenated Leicester was an unexpected help.

We are second to Chelsea on points and goal difference though City could overtake us again if they win their fixture in hand. We can't possibly implode like last year, can we? So second is definitely on.

Good News.
Dan Levy shares The Musings Academy dream  and to do things differently. Not for the same reasons though.

The Academy has paid for itself a hundred fold with the players produced and sold and the current value of Harry Kane. Shrewd investment all round. But Musings loves our own even if they don't quite make it.

They give their all for the club and while they are in the squad bring that commitment, spirit,  loyalty. and the extra effort that mitigates their possible lack of quality.

Bad News.
Danny Rose is still a month away and it doesn't look as if Lamela will make another appearance until pre-season if he's still with us by then. One rumour is as good as another where Erik is concerned.

This weeks puzzler. 
 When did Spurs last have a goal difference of over 30 and top the least conceded league. (19 in 26 games).

Jimmy's Video spot.
Ronald and Reggie. Couple of softies compared to our terrible twins. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. West Ham's major offensive seems to have petered out. Only joking lads. Rule London today tomorrow.........

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Spurs clearing the decks.

Stoke at 1.30.
The JimmyG2 Column.
 And so once again we bid farewell to Europe as our very own Brexit campaign comes to a successful conclusion. Nigel, Theresa and Boris all sent Daniel congratulatory tweets expressing their thanks for our support.

Daniel was too busy counting how much he had saved at the Bargain Basement sales and how much he was going to make by playing our home games at Wembley next year to reply.

I exclude Sissoko from the Bargain Basement jibe because he was no bargain and only made the bench for the return game against Gent but not the pitch.

Dele getting sent off didn't help and Harry's own goal was badly timed but this match was lost last week. If we had played in Gent like we played on Thursday night neither of these malfunctions would have mattered so much.

Dele has curbed his 'nasty' streak of late but he lost his temper here and rightly paid the price. He's young, he'll learn, although I think I've said that before. Gent did no more than they had to and go through.

We played better all round than the week before with Eriksen the pick. He got the early goal but he and others missed decent chances The intervention of the the Footballing Gods was decisive.

Walker saw plenty of the ball but made little use of it. Vertonghen had a positive game and the most shots but mostly in Row Z. Harry's major contribution has already been covered.

It is pure conjecture whether we would have won with Dele but it would seem so as we all but beat them without him. Winks again featured and was bright and positive. Janssen got on just in time to hear the final whistle.

Dier sunk to new depths, where is the Hero of Yesteryear? Wanyama and Dembele were strong and Victor scored  to give us half a renewed hope. Under the circumstances a good performance, unfortunately a week too late.

The decks cleared for the coming Premiership battles starting with Stoke very shortly and the FA Cup.. Two down two to go. A problem halved is a problem solved as they say.

Some will be relieved. Some will blame Wembley which doesn't auger well for next season.

But as Sir Billy Nick once said “It’s magnificent to be in Europe, and this club – a club like Tottenham Hotspur – if we’re not in Europe…. we’re nothing. We’re nothing.”

But what did he know.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Dangerous and ill-tempered. The moment our hopes faded for this years European adventure.
Rumours that he might get more than a three game ban.

Commentary milks it but all true I'm afraid. 


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Hugo Lloris Worries.

 Worried? Face, Worried? 
We're not bovered Hugo. Yet.
 The Greg Meyer Column.
February 22nd  2017 … Greavsie Turns 77 this week  … today George Washington turns 285.
The Hugo Lloris Worries.
Nervousness, anxiety, rising stress levels and then mostly relief have become an ever present in the recent exploits of our beloved French and Tottenham  Numero Uno when endeavouring to play constructively out from the back.
Those symptoms being suffered  by Spurs fans as well. The high Liverpool press exposed Hugo’s less than consistent, less than confident distribution qualities of late.
The disquieting efforts came hard on the heels of his unfortunate largess at the Etihad against City. Firstly the miscued clearance against Sane. Then the gift to allow Kevin De Bruyne to prod home.
Hugo again donned the gloves against Gent. His distribution was generally sound and his world class shot stopping abilities kept Spurs in the tie.
And so to the FA Cup round at Craven Cottage. Apart from one heart in the mouth moment when he delivered the ball directly to a Fulham attacker in the penalty box (the resultant shot was saved)  distribution from the back was generally sound.
Michel Vorm of course between the posts. Our pub’s “experts” are hoping Toni Jimenez and Hugo are working hard on the recent hiccups. Certainly Hugo will remain Spurs main man.
However Vorm’s assured performance and distribution begs the conclusion. As in all parts of the squad keen competition for places is paramount. Michel is certainly keeping Hugo on his toes.
But hang on there are probably further reason for optimism regards Hugo emerging from his temporary blips. Ergo the return of the best Centre Back pairing in the League.
The Vertongen factor, he of the cultured left foot, and his reunion with the best defender in the Premier, one Toby Alderweireld, gave Spurs a measure of recently missing balance. Both Jan and Toby are capable of defence splitting passes much in evidence at Fulham.
Yes it was Fulham. No it wasn’t Liverpool away, City nor Gent. It was no coincidence that Spurs measured play from the back had returned.
 And yes Hugo Lloris will return and it bodes well for the exciting games and challenges ahead.
In the famous words of Harper Lee, To Kill A Mocking Bird …
..................“ It’s not time to worry yet. “.
Spurs playing, fighting, not worrying still on 3 fronts.
 Cheers …. no worries mate … Greg Meyer.    coys.
 Jimmy's Video Spot.
And this is the reason why: because for every goal he may or may have not given away he saves a hundredfold. Seven minutes of outstanding quality.
As Frank sang:
Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention.
Or old Satchmo:
Jeepers, creepers where did you get that sweeper keeper?

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A Tale of Two Harry's

What no Fatted Calf Mauricio.
The JimmyG2 Column.
Being of a gloomy frame of mind after Thursday I thought I would wait until after the second game in our Premiership break and lump them both together under the heading 'Pochettino out' or something equally dramatic.

However a strong team gave a strong performance and earned a home tie against Millwall in the quarter-final of the FA Cup. Mauricio just couldn't let this one get away. Gent of course is retrievable with the same kind of attitude.

So many positives: the return of Vertonghen; the return of the real Harry Kane who did exactly what it says on the tin (Striker and leading goalscorer) He needed that hat-trick and so did we. Not in this particular game, one would have done.

But Harry was not to know that. Give that boy a centimeter and he takes a yard. Eriksen too came back to form and supplied Harry with a couple of chances from crosses which he took with good movement and touch.

The non prodigal Son was lively but largely ineffective as he often is lately. He's the Pinball Wizard. But the pinball rather than the Wizard. Dele and Eriksen found some good positions but failed to convert their chances.

The other  bonus was Harry Winks who was energetic and positive  again. He more than justified his start alongside Wanyama a pairing which 'Musings' has advocated for some time.

Against Gent Winks was one of the few players to merit any awards and the performance of the rest and Mauricio subject to severe criticism from every quarter.

Poor performance and attitude, substitutions too late again, predictable result in the circumstances. But post Gent and pre-Gent if you will, things picked up nicely. Both Vorm and Trippier showed their squad quality.

We were 3-0 up on 72 minutes. Janssen was on the bench and should have gone straight on, and probably Josh Onomah. Being ignored for whatever reason or given another five minute cameo is just a waste.

Sissoko was favoured with the first substitution and once again did nothing at all to justify it. Perhaps Mauricio is giving him enough rope to hang himself with.

Our only really hairy moments were self inflicted by Vertonghen's miscontrol and Vorm's excellent imitation of his mentor Hugo. Both came to nothing fortunately

Win on Thursday and we will be back on track. Win the next two, at home to both Gent and Stoke and we will be positively full steam ahead.

Well that's if you count Wembley as home. It's more like our country weekend retreat and it has done us big city types no favours so far. It seems to intimidate us more than our Continental opposition.

So we won one and lost one, found some form and welcomed back old friends. What's not to like especially with the continuing emergence of Harry Winks,  another one of our own.

Comparisons to Modric are ridiculous and certainly premature but Modric was older by a couple of years when he came to us and is now one of the world's top midfielders. Even Eriksen has the edge currently.

But all the signs are there, for the other Harry and for Spurs. Whichever way you look at it we're on our way to Wembley at least in the short term.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Harry Kane stars. Some nice movement and touch, his fifth Spurs hat-trick and his second this year.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Spurs Face a Fundemental Problem.

Did the game plan ruin the performance
or the performance wreck the game plan?
The JimmyG2 Column. 
Well this is going to be fun. If it wasn't for the expectations of our loyal supporters for 'Musings' to make sense of yesterday's debacle then I would have got a sick note and pulled the covers back over my head.

There will be many that argue that the 5-1 defeat to Newcastle was our worst performance in recent years but the game against Liverpool will have its advocates too.

After all there were plenty of people willing to make excuses for the Newcastle defeat, mental and physical tiredness and disappointment  among them, but I can't think of any for the Liverpool one.

You can blame injuries to Vertonghen, Rose and Lamela  if you are really desperate but as Harry Redknapp called it: great first team; average squad. None of the recent signings were first team ready and it shows.

Our attitude and preparation were wrong. It's as if we bugged Jurgen's team talk and decided to double bluff him. High line and Davies against Mane, I ask you.We went toe to toe and shot ourselves in the foot.

A packed mid-field and a more defensive posture for at least the first 15 minutes might have stopped it being all over within 20. Wanyama's and Dier's errors for the goals were not untypical of our general play.

Whether the poor performances of the players undid the game plan or whether the obstinate game plan exposed the players to being overrun is a moot point. Classic chicken and egg.

But you have to adapt the game plan to the opponents, alter it when necessary in game and tailor it to the players available. Eriksen would have been better on the left and given Davies more support
 than Son.

And what is it in our DNA that leads to our Managers being unable to think on their feet? Nearly 70 minutes before the first sub in a game where we were always struggling and Janssen gets barely 10 minutes to affect a game in which we had never looked like challenging.

Son reached new heights of ineffectiveness and fluffed our only real chance. He gave Davies no support whatsoever and Mauricio apparently didn't notice. But none of the starters played well individually or together.

Winks had more positive thoughts in ten minutes that the whole of the team put together in ninety. Hugo kept the score down but placed us again under pressure with the ball at his feet.

Perhaps the weakness of the bench is no reflection on Mauricio but N'Koudou for Son  might have improved things if he was given enough time. Actually Trippier and Vorm for Harry and Dele might not have made things much worse.

Mauricio blames the players and casts doubt on their attitude and is unrepentant but he must share the blame. The squad is thinnish. Son like Chadli is a nuisance unless he scores. Harry is somewhere else.

You can hover between bad day at the office and total meltdown as your temperament dictates. At this stage nothing except the League Title is irretrievable. We are still 3rd after tonight's City win but the signs are worrying.

We never quite capitalise on the failings of others but once again the fixture list ahead looks as benign as the Premiership ever can. None of the top six away and the games all look very winnable until a couple of the last few.

The top placings will go down to the wire apart from the very top and we cannot forget what happened last season so there's always a nagging doubt. Mauricio's call prior to the game for us to improve our away form fell on deaf ears.

That's the third game running that we have failed to score in open play and the 0-0 draw at Sunderland wasn't good mental preparation for this key away game.

Now we have a two game gap before the Premiership challenge re-emerges, a sort of Barcelona away week in the Europa and FA Cups. Time to test the outer reaches of the squad plus any newly recovered injured, if any.

I would like to see us concentrate on the Premiership and the financial and prestige rewards of the Champions' League. We are nicely placed to do so. I don't think Mauricio will disagree.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
A slow hatch. Doesn't answer the chicken and egg question though but well worth watching. Well you didn't want to watch our highlights from the Liverpòol game did you.

Thy would only be half as long in any case as this 4 minute nature video.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Good signs for Spurs

Of course we're Paranoid: They're out to get us.
The JimmyG2 Column.
 We needed to win this one, as 'Musings' predicted, though with Arsenal and Liverpool losing it isn't quite as tight as it might have been. City nearly threw it away after total first half dominance against Swansea.

Brazilian wonder-kid Jesus clinched it in injury time with help from ex-Arsenal keeper Fabiansky (edit). Ex Spur Siggy gave us all hope with an equaliser but we are still clear in second after the weekend. Funny old game!

We are one point up on City, 3 points on Arsenal, 4 points on Liverpool and 5 points up on Utd. with a superior goal difference to all of them. Chelsea are out of sight and are not likely to come back into view until next season.

Next week's game at Liverpool is a classic six pointer and I would take a draw now but then I always would against close rivals. It's the Middlesbroughs we have to beat and we did.

Totally dominant once again but we had to rely on a Harry Kane coolly struck penalty to get the points in the end. Son was positively frenetic and won the penalty with a sharp turn that deceived Bernardo

But he was so wasteful with the ball. It was a better performance than at Sunderland: higher pace and more movement. Dele and Eriksen both played well without exactly busting a gut. The defence was solid though little troubled.

But the dominance of the midfield by  Dembele and Wanyama was almost embarrassing. In fact by half time it was clear that we didn't need belt braces and a length of baler twine and Harry Winks might have added some extra creativity.

However compared to last season we are higher in the league with more points; we have scored more goals; conceded less; we have won more games and lost fewer.

2015/6 after 24 games..

2016/7 after 24 games

All this despite sustaining more injuries to key players and in a more competitive league this season  with Chelsea, Liverpool and Man.Utd arguably stronger..

Missing are Champions Leicester who have an evens chance of being relegated  from the top flight, the first club to do this ignominious double in 80 years. (Win a free subscription to The Musings if you can name the last club to do so).

The Bad News is that the season doesn't end after 24 games but all the signs are promising except injuries.

Talking Point:
Valdes roughing up Dele after some pushing prior to a corner. Hand to face automatic red normally. Or a retrospective ban (See Moussa Dembele and Diego Costa). No FA action to be taken apparently

It was not even mentioned on MOTD or on the commentary but was caught on camera and not punished by the match referee. Howard Webb  declares it a straight red.

 No videos easily available so we have to make do with an earlier technology. At least they won't get taken down.

Take that, and that, and that

Just before there's at least two penalty fouls on Dele and Toby.

Do we care other than to record our satisfaction that Dele like Dier previously has  learned his lesson and did not over react or react at all. We won so I'd be more annoyed if I was in a relegation dog fight with them.

Following the failure of Lee Mason to send off  Rodwell against Sunderland for a wild hack it does seem like an agenda. Just because we're paranoid it doesn't mean that they're not out to get us.

Danny Rose. 
Out for anything from two weeks to three months according to rumour. I'd prefer the former. Davies has done OK but it changes our whole approach and he's no Danny Rose.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
How about coming out to this at the new stadium. The original recording and video of Black Sabbaths's 'Paranoid'. Who you calling Paranoid?. I just know all the facts (William S. Burroughs)

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

On A Wet Tuesday Night up North.

Harry, I said Doctor Spock.
Anyway, listen you'll love this.
The JimmyG2 Column.
And the answer to the age-old question is 'Not quite'. There are no easy games in the Premiership we know that and this was clearly one of them.

Plenty of excuses so let's get them in first starting with the self inflicted: change in formation, why desert the successful three at the back with marauding wing backs; substitutions were too late and hardly designed to change the game.

I hope Harry Winks and Janssen enjoyed the scenic trip and took the opportunity to brush up on their geography of the British Isles. Neither were given either enough, or any time to affect the game.

Sunderland could only play one up front anyway, they've only got Defoe available at present and deployed the rest to make a wall Mr.Trump would be proud of.

To these self inflicted wounds were added the usual everyday mishaps. The weather; the pitch; the referee; the injury to Rose: our opponents determination and game plan. Desperation is the Mother of  Goal Prevention.

We are going to miss our Danny. Danny is claustrophobic, if he sees an open space he heads straight for it, at pace. Ben Davies is the opposite. Offered an open space he checks, cuts back and heads for home, but not quite as quickly. 

But the main problem was our lack of inspiration and creativity in the final third. Once again Spurs dominated all the stats but had only three shots on target.

We out-ran, out-passed and out-cornered them, but when midfield destroyer Wanyama has the best chance and the only testing shot our problem is apparent. Slow build up and misplaced passes were the order of the day.

Harry Kane might as well have stayed at home to bond with the baby and Dele could have kept him company and read passages from Dr. Spock to him. No not him from Star Trek, the 50's icon on baby-care.

The partnership between Dembele and Wanyama is strong but  hardly overloaded with speed of thought or motion. Dare I mention Harry Winks again.

We passed when we should have shot, Dembele and Son: and shot when we should have passed Davies and Wanyama. Eriksen and Walker made some effort but nothing went to plan.

In the end instead of going round the wall we put Sissoko on to try to run through it but with equally little success.Could we loan him out to Mexico?

Could we hack it on a cold Tuesday night up in the Far north. Not really. So frustration all round. A point really suits neither team in their current positions. They frustrated us, and we frustrated ourselves our fans and our Manager.

They kept a clean sheet for only the third time this season in the Premiership and similarly we failed to score for only the third time in the same competition.

Once again we made it hard for ourselves when there was a golden opportunity to be grabbed. In the event not much harm was done but that is not the point when things are tight in the Runners-up to Chelsea Stakes.

One point covers four teams but we are top of that particular pile. It could have been much worse. Four of the top six drew and Arsenal lost. We can take a little comfort from that I suppose.

But we can't rely on our rivals to mess up to maintain our position. We need to take a firm grip on our own destiny and be bolder and more assertive, both manager and players.

We are second with a superior goal difference to everyone but Chelsea and that might just be crucial in the end. A win would have put us clear in second but let's not dwell on missed opportunities.

Against Wycombe we endured a win that felt like a draw. Against Sunderland a draw that felt like a loss. Next up Middlesbrough and I'm guessing that 3 points will be essential this time.

Danny Rose probably out for a month.
Vertonghen probably another 3 weeks.
Lamela. Any day; probably 'manana' in the Spanish and S.American sense.
Transfer window. What transfer window? But that suits me. Slow build and own grown is the new 'flashing the cash'.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Anyway whatever happens on the pitch this season here's a virtual tour of the new Stadium. If we can survive a year of Wembley and playing all our games away from home it will be a fitting venue for Champions' League
We've put in a 100 quid bid for the Naming Rights so expect the Spurs Musings Stadium at White Hart Lane to be announced quite soon.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Spurs close to Trivial Pursuits.

Match analysis: see back of the 'Year of the Rooster' stamp: 
We won.
The JimmyG2 Column.
I know, I know second eleven won with ten men, we came back from 2-0 down for the second week in a row; never gave up and scored four for the fourth time in as many weeks. No more to be said?

Well a few things worry me, though I admit as far as Spurs are concerned I am a bit of a worrier after long years of practice.This was a Division Two side, admittedly on a roll, but somewhat crude, direct and unsophisticated.

Shirt tuggers to a man with Akinfenwa the heaviest, strongest  most ungainly looking striker in modern football history. Basically our second team squad nearly couldn't cope.

Sissoko, N'Koudou, Davies, Wimmer, Onomah,Vorm and CCV were several shades of not up to the jobness. Even Dier as captain played poorly.

Son, a first team regular scored two deflected goals, Dele, who also scored, and Dembele had to be brought on to pump out the sinking ship.

 Janssen showed his usual effort and balls to score the penalty but still hasn't scored in open play.
Trippier did well certainly until he was injured with half an hour to go but we had used up all our subs. I went into resignation mode when they scored their second on 35 minutes and Hope and Faith slunk away.

Only Winks enhanced his reputation. Son provided the only real inspiration with his running and movement but might have scored a double hat-trick on chances. Mauricio has signed him up for a course in Waste Management.

But we won and a win is a win, is a win. This display will therefor be forgiven especially if we win the cup but the close call and late winner will not be forgotten for some time.

Questions arise and remain. Why didn't Janssen start? Kick a man when he's down why don't you. Why wasn't Dier played alongside one of the rookie centre backs to nurse them through it?

Why did Mauricio gamble by playing all three subs with over half an hour to go?  Succinct answer on a postage stamp: we won despite all that. Luck favours the brave. To dare is to do.....Make that the back of an envelope.

Don't second guess the manager Jimmy but I still feel that this was a victory more to be to be ashamed of than reveled in. However we progress to the next round instead of being a Trivial Pursuits question on 'Upsets in the FA Cup'.

I was having a laugh at Arsenal's expense when they scored a 98th. minute penalty to beat Burnley last week. We nearly matched them with a 96th. minute goal to progress to the 5th. round against a Division 2 side.

Let it go Jim, things could be a lot worse. You could be a Liverpool fan.

Fulham away in the Cup.
Ryan out of hospital

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Lovely man and we might never get the excuse to feature him again. Quick feet for....Let's not go there. Made a good living in the lower leagues. Hope for us all.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Bargain Buys at Spurs.

Memo to Picture Editor
'Down, but not out' you idiot.
The JimmyG2 Column.
City played well and had a point or three to prove. When we got the chance, in general, we played below par: Kane, Dele and Eriksen weren't at the races, or perhaps that's exactly where they all were.

However they all turned up for the second half and contributed when it mattered for the goals.

We hung in, rode our luck, took our chances and Bob's your Auntie Mary. An unlikely point I'd have taken before the game. A re-jigged defence due to Vertonghen's injury and then re-re- jigged after Toby's.

Several players performed in a variety of roles and Wanyama stood out in the back four. Wimmer thrown in at the deep end sank this time and was subbed at half time. Perhaps Davies would have been a better choice after all.

Hindsight oh Hindsight get thee behind me hindsight.

They were well up for this, at home and they stifled us from the off. Mauricio  was crushed in his own press. We didn't have a shot on target in the first half and less than half a dozen shots all game.

We didn't dominate possession as we usually do. But we did score two well worked goals and forced a draw from 2-0 down.

An afternoon for both goalkeepers to forget. Bravo was beaten by our only two attempts on target and Hugo, our saviour on many occasions, gifted them both their goals. His distribution was worse than woeful too.

So were we hapless, out of sorts but lucky, or determined and clinical? Hmm. Is it possible to be both at the same time?

It was a fortunate that the new Brazilian wonder kid Jesus only got ten minutes because he looked a real handful. But for whatever reason they played well but failed to score until we gave them a helping hand or two.

As the game wore on and the press slackened we found time and space to mount some effective resistance, despite a precautionary substitution of Toby with a hamstring twinge.

The other Harry got another half an hour in a difficult game and showed his maturity and confidence once again. So plenty of positives from the game.

Kyle Walker got away with a blatant push on Sterling which could well have been a penalty and a red card. But we got the benefit of the top four doubt. If it was the other way round we would have been seething.

 Dele's timing, Walker's new found Trippieresque crossing, Son's finishing and Kane's clever lay off brought home the bacon. A draw that feels like a win for a change.

We are unbeaten in eight and Dele now has 8 goals in his last seven appearances. The best five million we have ever spent apart from Jimmy Greaves at under a 100.000 but that was then.(edit)

Results were mixed but we remain in the top three. Chelsea won again and Arsenal too with a 97th. minute penalty would you believe? Yes obviously we all would.

Everybody else drew and the lads are off to Barcelona for a rest before Wycombe at the weekend to soak up the vibe.

It's certainly not for the weather which is wet, cold, snowy and windy, or all four together all the way down from Barcelona to Alicante.

Spurs progress chart 2016/17.
Never below sixth this season, fifth or better for the last 19 games, top four for the last four. The Tottenham snake is raising its head and is looking forward. (See diagram below)

(from Football Filter with thanks)

Injury Update.
Ryan Mason is in hospital with fractured skull following a clash of heads with Cahill early in the Hull/ Chelsea game.He has undergone surgery but it will be a few days (or weeks) before the long term situation is clear.

Calmer news today after the ambulance chasing red-top press after the game. 'Bleeding on the brain'. He is now awake and talking.

We send all our best to an honest own grown who we might well have kept.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
One of his best games for us. Finishes off a 15 pass move with the winning goal. One of our own with a career blighted by injury. Strong, brave and positive.

Final pass by Erik Lamela  to whom we also send get well soon wishes.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Who stole the bus?

Missing West Brom. bus found abandoned
Tottenham man sought in connection.
The JimmyG2 Column.
Well that went surprisingly well against a team that we have recently struggled to put in their place. 1-1 draw was the bookies' best bet based on past results.

We are now on the best current winning run in the Premiership, six games, seven games in all competitions, and ahead on all measures compared to last year.
The weekend results went well for us too with Liverpool and Utd. drawing and Everton humiliating City. We are second and deservedly so and more importantly playing well with fluency and confidence

Next week's game against City could be significant though not decisive. But make no mistake it's a good time to play them, demoralised as they are and ripe for the taking. Anything Everton can do..........

Eriksen was buzzing and when he plays well Spurs play well. Dele was focused and alert and his assist for Harry''s third 'exquisite', not a term I often use in a football context.

Harry Kane's hat trick was the stuffing in the W.Brom turkey. McAuley's own goal should be awarded to Eriksen as his original shot was on target before the two deflections.

Mauricio solved the conundrum of how to squeeze Dier, Wanyama and Dembele into the same team and the power and strength approach worked well. The parked bus, jumped started by an HK goal within ten minutes, was found dumped by the side of the road.

Victor continues to impress and Dembele once again resembled the player we thought we had bought all those years ago. The full backs rampaged and Toby and Jan were imperious as usual.

Hugo is donating his match fee to Medecin Sans Frontieres once again as he feels embarrassed taking Dan's money when he has so little to do.  The proposed job share with his cousin in the Foreign Legion should be fine.

One black spot was an ankle injury to Jan Vertonghen  not for the first time and it seems to be his Achilles heel if you will. Eight weeks minimum is the projected lay off at the moment.

The Musings rule of thumb is to double the first estimates so Easter is our best guess.

However as I wrote last time we it's the one position where we have ample cover  in Wimmer, Dier, Davies and Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Oh and Chelsea continuing to beat all comers, except the Mighty Spurs of course. I'm not confident we can catch them but winning our games is our best and only option.

And the hope of course that others can inflict some damage on them but we all know what hope does.
Their spat with Diago might just Costa them dearly (Sorry)

However I might just be starting to think about beginning to consider contemplating an examination of the possibility of dreaming. I might just...

There is certainly greater discipline lately and a blow-out like last season is unlikely. Wanyama, Dele and Dier all seem to be under control. Dier's response to Diego Costa's attempt to wind him up was indicative.

I might just.....

Jimmy's Video Spot.
My Goal of the Season (So far) Teamwork, cheek, flair and class. A move that began on the training grounds of Tottenham. The Dele and Harry show. 21 seconds of magic. I love the way Dele patiently waits for Harry to get into position and mesmorised nobody closes him down.