The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 20 November 2017

How many blips make a trend?

That's not a trend. It's a series of blips.
The Jimmy G2 Column.
Well that was disappointing . Actually it was awful, verging on the disgraceful. It was clear in the first few minutes who wanted this more and it wasn't us. Surprisingly only new boy Davison Sanchez stepped up.

With four players coming back from injury and Harry Kane still heavily strapped, Eriksen still on cloud nine after his hat-trick for Denmark and some marginal decision by ex Spurs fan Dean there are excuses if you want them.

My upset radar was alerted  when I saw the midfield pairing of the two Moussas. Dembele has lost his mojo through persistent injuries and Sissoko never had one in the first place.

He was by no means the worst player on Saturday. But he plays like a driver-less snow-plough on a steep incline. But at least he put in some effort against Arsenal.

Perhaps injury was why Harry Winks didn't start but we missed his quickness of thought and range of passing from the start. Where we weren't poor we were ordinary and again Mauricio was slow to plug the holes in the sinking ship.

Arsene must be wondering why he hasn't started his potentially potent strike force more often: Sanchez (A) Lacazette and Ozil all turned up, tuned in and turned on. Harry Kane, Dele and Eriksen did not.

The Arsenal trio might not see out the season with Alexis Sanchez rumoured to be off to City and Ozil still not appreciated by the fans which might cause further disruption.

We were certainly contenders in my mind at the start of the season, Wembley notwithstanding. But after a few games it was clear that City the first of the big spenders were going to be hard to catch.

Now increasingly the second and third of the big spenders are looking more firmly entrenched. Fourth is shaping up to be a three way scrap. Not only did we lose the NLD but all our top six rivals won in style.

One point covers four clubs in 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th place and we are closer to Burnley in 7th. than we are to Chelsea the club immediately above us in 3rd after almost a third of the season

Man City..GD.. 33....Points..34....Unbeaten so far.
Man.Utd..GD... 21....Points..26....Patchy but with Pogba and Ibrahimovic back from injury.
Chelsea....GD...13....Points. 25....Won last four.
Spurs........GD.. 11....Points. 23....Wembley factor. 2 losses in last 5.
Liverpool.GD.. 11....Points. 22....Won last 3.
Arsenal....GD.... 6.....Points. 22....Patchy but they beat us.
Burnley....GD....3.....Points. 22.....Won last 3.

Then a four point gap to Watford.

The West Ham capitulation was a shock; the away losses to rivals Man.Utd and Arsenal a worrying trend. One bad day at the office can be written off but three and it's time to at least look up the auditors' number.

Now I have been described as a happy clapper, complacent, a loser, not able to see the wood for the trees, an ostrich, but the financial pressure to spend, to increase wages and to win trophies are forces many fans find it hard to ignore.

Not for me personally. I'm still clapping although not quite so happy as I was before.

With Danny Rose again on the naughty chair it makes me begin to idly speculate who will be next out of the door after him if we fail to make the Champions' League this season.

Will the promise of the new stadium  and its increased income be enough to keep the likes of Dele and Eriksen and Pochettino on board as new offers begin to pile up. If the project stalls will they keep the faith.

At the moment we are building not just a stadium but a team under a top class manager committed to youth and our own. We must not let impatience and the pursuit of the False Trophy Gods interrupt our progress.

How many blips make a trend? At what point on a trend do we press the panic bottom? Clearly we are not there yet and tomorrow against Dortmund in the CL we can  clear our heads, if we can be bothered having already qualified.

Next up in the Premiership on Saturday are West Brom. at home who have had so many bad days at the office lately that they have sacked Tony Pulis and hover just above the drop zone.

Ideal opponents to put us back on winning ways again you would have thought. But it's a funny old game as we know and we need to set about it in a more determined fashion than we did on Saturday.

But beware cornered rats and new manager bounces. I'm looking forward to looking back and laughing at this little November wobble.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Just to take your mind off things here's us beating Dortmund a little earlier. We lived a little dangerously but definitely played. Good luck tomorrow and lets see some youth on the bench if not on the pitch.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Spurs clean up.

Pomp and Glory against the  Champions' League Champions
 After the Lord Mayor's Show
The JimmyG2 Column.
One of the great features in the 'Old Days' after some equestrian spectacular like the Lord Mayor's show: the ancient Gilded Coach pulled by Six Shire horses; mounted police and Horse Guards escort was the sight and smell of the clear up.

It gave rise to the popular expression 'After the Lord Mayor's show' meaning the let down or the anti climax after a great event.The brooms and shovels which removed all traces of the event were an inevitable part of the occasion.

You can see where I'm going with this I hope. After the wonderful win against Real Madrid, two goals from Dele and a fine performance all round comes a humdrum showing against bottom of the League Crystal Palace.

Palace have 4 points and 4 goals, none away from home, after 11 games. Real Madrid have won two consecutive  Champions' League titles and we took 4 points in our two games against them.

Now having said all that it's my firm belief that even Palace could have beaten Real on the basis of our games against the two clubs. They defended and broke well and could have won barring heroics by our 3rd choice keeper Gazzaniga.

But in terms of expectations Real was a challenge and Palace a foregone conclusion. How could we lose? The truth is that Spurs like to keep us guessing even now. In the event we won and three points is exactly three points.

It's obviously a London thing because their single draw was against W.Ham and their only win, against Chelsea. We managed to avoid their Capital Scalp Cabinet by snatching a win with a fine Son goal.

It was a beautiful curler on the hour and he became Asia's leading Premiership scorer on 20 goals. Not that he played well but goals cure all ills. He was in good company with only Dier and Verts leading the clean -up party

Our 2nd. reserve keeper Argentinian Gazzaniga was MOM which always tells a story. Even then he seriously misjudged a wild dash from goal and Zaha missed an open goal.

We had 2 shots on goal and scored. Palace had three and lost 1-0. We were lethargic after the exertions of Wednesday night and, without the lively mind and movement of Dele, uninspired.

Winks and Harry went off with knocks and join Dele on the sidelines for the upcoming friendlies for England. They should be safe there until the NLD the following weekend.

Danny Rose made an appearance but the excitement generated by his return was not justified by his impact on the game. Aurier in for Trippier was poor and made two bad errors that might have cost at least a couple of points

Eriksen, without Dele, with Harry Kane labouring and Son buzzing but not stinging until his goal looked lost. Llorente's cameo placed him firmly in the Soldado, Janssen tradition of our recent striker signings.

Sissoko started and Dembele came on for Winks at half time but neither made much impact. We played poorly and won which they say is the mark of a good team.

We failed to win in our first three home games at Wembley in the Premiership but have won our last three.The clearing up operation was completed with 30 minutes to go and all hosed down in good time.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Let's hear it for Mauricio Pochettino scoring for Espanyol. The man that makes the team more than the sum of its parts.

Not the foul on Michael Owen in the World Cup but a moment of glory for The Man. circa 1998/99.
He's come a long way and had a haircut since then.

Friday, 3 November 2017

An echo of glory

Dele and Christian as you've never seen them before!
The JimmyG2 Column.
So we are not just in it, but in it to win it according to Mauricio. Not specifically the Champions' League but just everything in general.The next level is winning things. Beating Real Madrid is just a start

As Bill Nicholson said:  “If you don’t win anything, you have had a bad season.” and a lot of fans view our current progress with a mixture of impatience at its slowness and envy at the achievements of others.

But for the moment I am euphoric with the view from the other side of the moon and Real Madrid are as sick as parrots. Last season we were out of the Champions league with two games to go as Mr. Pochettino observed.

This season we are through with two games to spare. Progress by any measure from the so-called 'Group of Death' but not enough for him or for that matter Bill Nicholson.

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.” Another box double ticked and underlined.

We outplayed an admittedly off form and possibly over the hill Madrid side, taking our chances in style and denying them more than a couple of sights of goal.

We even coped with an early injury to Toby which necessitated a reshuffle and the appearance of Moussa SissokoEric Dier went into the back three and we barely missed a heartbeat.Actually I missed several.

There is so much to praise in attitude and performance. But for Real Madrid it was truly 'Death in the (very late) Afternoon' at  our 'lucky' arena before 83,782 aficionados, mainly ours.

Our whole brave band of toreros performed well and there were several candidates for Matador de Toros (Killer of Bulls or 'Man of the Match' in English. Trippier, Verts,Winks and especially Dele, among the leading contenders.

We also ticked another Bill Nicholson box: we didn't just win: “It’s no use just winning, we’ve got to win well.” The only pity was that it wasn't the Final. But it well might be. See you all in Kiev in May.

We proceed to the knockout stages with the players carried shoulder high and Dele and Christian sharing the ears and the tail. (Sorry got carried away there after our moment of truth)

And Mauricio in stressing winning things and not just competing picks up another theme of Bill “Spurs have got to be the best in the land, not the second best.” We're getting there, we're getting there.

Dele struck half way through the first half sliding in a Trippier volleyed cross after a fine ball out to the right by Winks. His second after an hour was a fine solo run from a Dier pass. His shot diverted b  Sergio Ramos.

The 'coup de grace' was administered by Cristian just after the hour following a fine counter attack involving Dele and Harry Kane. Ronaldo scored a consolation goal with ten minutes to go but we saw out the game.

The cries of 'ole' were pushing it just a little but justified in the circumstances. In fact Dele missed an easy header and should have had a hat-trick. Winks was impressive in the company of Kroos and Modric.

Trippier now has 13 assists in 2017, 6 more than any other defender. Dele is back with us in style and Harry Kane didn't draw undue attention to himself by scoring. What's not to like?

Only worry for me was the hot-headed behaviour of Dembele especially in the light of the 'eye gouge' on Costa last year. Gives a whack gets some back and then loses it completely.

He and Ramos both lucky not to be sent off.

Real Madrid have gone 5yrs (30games) undefeated in the Champions' League and this was their worst defeat since losing 2-0 to Juventus ten years ago. We are unbeaten so far in the competition.(WWDW).

I expect big changes at Real next season. Zidane will probably survive but they have a new wave of youngsters and Marcelo, Ronaldo, Ramos, Benzema, Pepe, Nacho and others could all on the chop list.

Kroos and Modric after recent displays are not immune. Of the ever injured Bale I will say nothing.

I hope we settle in NWHL as well as we have at Wembley. All those stories about spending two years at Wembley. 'A consummation devoutly to be wished for' as Bill from Stratford once said in his pome about Toby.

My favourite quote from our manager and inspiration, the one that didn't get knighted is:

''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''.

Runners up in the CL in May it is then.

 Jimmy's Video Spot.
Just for posterity all the goals and highlights. Some lovely running off the ball by Eriksen, Harry Kane and Dele.

Tripps all on his own out on the wing. Marcelo gone walkabout.What a European night to remember. 

I think he means Zidane not Casemiro at the start and Marcelo not Mascherano who plays for Barcelona. Nice work if you can get it.

Monday, 30 October 2017

No Big Deal

It's a six horse race. 

The JimmyG2 Column.
Ten games in, just 28 to go, and the first checkpoint for our progress. We finished 2nd last year and at this point we were 5th. with a goal difference of 9 and a tally of 20 points.

This year with the added burden of playing our 'home' games at Wembley we are 3rd. with a goal difference of 12 and the same points tally and the Wembley 'hoodoo' vanquished at every level. So why the long face?

Well we are further behind the leaders than we were last year but unless we go out and spend 2/300 million pounds like Man.City, and match their wages we are always likely to be.

They are 8 points ahead of us after 10 games and have a goal difference of 29. Certainly a whirlwind start but the top six will undoubtedly all take points off each other. We need to play our part in this.

We have improved the squad in the recent window within our means and the return of Lamela, Rose, Dembele, Sanchez and Wanyama should give us further impetus, though rumours are rife that Victor is out long term.

Losing to W.Ham and Manchester United in the same week doesn't help to keep a positive outlook. Surrendering a two goal lead to fall out of the Carabao Cup at home to West Ham adds insult to injury.

Playing well enough to hold Man.Utd for 80 mins at Old Trafford and then losing 1-0 once again to a general defensive lapse having had the chance just prior to go ahead merely prolongs the agony.

If Dele capitalises on his own astute movement and converts Eriksen's most, and perhaps only, incisive pass of the game we probably defend a narrow lead for the last 15 minutes and win or at worst draw.

 But he goes with the wrong foot and puts it wide. Earlier Sissoko had alerted the Manchester Airport Traffic Controllers with a shot that registered on their radar screens rather than put the ball in the net  when well placed.

Jose had bigged us up before the game. 'Best team in the League' and all that: a win win for him. If they lost it was only to be expected and if he won it made his team even better by beating the best team in the Premiership.

We played quite well without anyone being outstanding. Eriksen was slow to get up to speed and his first four passes went astray. Winks had a good first half and then ran out of steam.

The defence played well until collectively conceding the goal. Which is bit like saying 'It's a great car except for the engine'. A simple header by Lukaku and a scuffed finish by substitute Martial whowas allowed to run free.

We were the only team in the top six not to win this weekend  but maintained our position though the pack is closing in. Next weekend  we play Crystal Palace which might give us some hope as four of the top six play each other.

Before that on Wednesday we have the CL game against Real Madrid who lost yesterday to newly promoted Catalonia team  Girona in La Liga. There was a frenzied atmosphere given the political situation in a tiny stadium.

Girona pressed even after they went ahead and Real were without Bale and Kaylor Navas. Isco was their standout best player and Ronaldo is off form. They are vulnerable this season and even a draw might ensure our progress.

So win both this week which is by no means impossible and the long face disappears. Poch. will have some serious match planning to do and it partly depends on the availability of Harry Kane and the fitness of several other players.

The statistic that was stressed  after the Man.Utd game was quite startling: only one win in 17 away games against teams in the top six. I feel a frown coming on. Neigh lad it's just not good enough. Sorry.

But as President of the 'Take a Draw Now' Society against rivals we have to turn the losses into draws at least to improve our record. (Played 17: W1. D5: L11) There are 13 other teams where the win is  essential.

I always like to stress the positive and look on the bright side and there are plenty of stats to cheer us up: Sissoko is improving; injured players are returning; Llorente is due a goal; Aurier didn't get booked or sent off in his last game.

Son is getting quicker; Harry is getting better; Winks is the find of the Millenium; Poch is the best manager in the world; Lamela will make a difference; the Stadium grows by the day.

And even with these recent blips and a couple of bad days at the office we are still third.

So cheer up everybody: it's no big deal

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Their goal a catalogue of errors and failure to mark and track.  Dele's miss: he made it by his movement and missed it for some reason. Fine ball by Eriksen. Lloris iffy on at least 3 occasions

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

What Sort of Forecast is that!

There is no Harry Kane! and Eriksen, Dele and Winks
 to start in midfield against Liverpool.

Well 1 out of 2 ain't bad.
The JimmyG2 Column.
It's getting harder to find new ways of saying nice things about Tottenham but the win against Liverpool on Sunday raised new aspects about our game and Mauricio's management.

Firstly let's admit that they were inept and contributed hugely to their own downfall and not just Lovren. Coutinho is the only players who would challenge for a place at Spurs.

We changed our approach for this one and instead of slugging it out toe to toe we lay in wait for them and ambushed them on the break. Son playing off Harry was ideal for this role. As Llorente was against Real Madrid under different circumstances.

Who would have forecast a midfield of Dele, Winks and Eriksen even two weeks ago. The injuries to Wanyama and Dembele obviously forced changes to our thinking but the extra mobility was key here.

Aurier playing on the left to counteract Salah's pace was a potentially dangerous ploy but in the event  he did the job and didn't even get booked. Well done that man.

Dele had his best game for us in ages and illustrated the flexibility of the players and the increasing tactical flexibility of Mauricio. We had the full range from Boy Wonder: a goal, the skills, the cheek, work rate, tackles and responsibility.

Dier's flexibility is already established and Vertonghen's. Now Davies, Son, Dele, Aurier and others have demonstrated theirs and Mauricio's increasing willingness to exploit the fluidity and movement of the squad.

Two up in 12 minutes was an unexpected bonus and 3-1 up on 56 minutes enabled us to close the game down, as we did at Huddersfield, and coast to the win. I would have taken Kane off on the hour.

Lloris made a world class save from Coutinho but was suspect for their goal by not sweeper keepering as he did with his head later. But his throw out to Kane for Son's goal was excellent.

Kane suckered Lovren in, ducked under the ball and then sped away to find Son's run. I'm not sure that Salah would beat Son in a straight race over half a pitch as quick as he is.  

Son made up several yards Henderson and swept Harry's inch perfect pass into the net without breaking stride.  He seems to be getting quicker if that is possible.

Harry Winks showed that his Bernabeu performance was no one-off though a lower key performance here, but he could do with a rest before Man.Utd after an exhilarating fortnight.

So victory at last over Liverpool who have had the hex on us for several years. Harry's first goal at Wembley in the Prem and its leading goalscorer once more. He has scored half our total goals which is a little worrying.

Yet another couple of milestones. Next up W.Ham in the Carabao Cup tomorrow and Man.Utd away on Sunday. Both very winnable in our current mood and with Bilic unsacked we won't have to face the 'new manager bounce'

West Ham will not be fazed by the size of the venue but the crowd support might just unsettle them. Another chance for Mauricio to show his tactical nous and the depth of his squad.

Some, all or none of the following might surface if fit: Dembele, Rose, Kyle Walker-Peters, Lamela, Davies, Vorm, Llorente, Foyth, N'Koudou, Georgiou as well as one or two of the usual suspects.

A mixture of kids and experience is always better than just throwing the kids in and hoping that they don't drown and I expect Mauricio to keep it balanced. Big guns on the bench in case starters fire blanks.

United will almost certainly sit and we need to hit them hard and fast. A genuine six pointer and although I would usually take a draw against close rivals not on this occasion. We can do this and deal them a critical blow.

So the best time as a Spurs fan since the Double days. We have had great players from time to time but rarely great teams. The slow build of this one, with minimal outlay, youth and some of our own has been well worth the wait.

Now for some silverware starting tomorrow and another challenge for the Premiership continuing on Saturday. COYS.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
I give you the new smiling Dele Alli. Calm, responsible, several tackles, a couple of visionary through balls, the back-heel and a delightful nutmeg or two on Can. Oh and a goal. Lovely stuff.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

It's All in the Balance at Tottenham

 Watch out Luka. He's right behind you.
The JIMMYG2 Column. 
On a unexpectedly cool and rainy night in Madrid Spurs stepped up the plate, picked it up and virtually smashed it. So the answer to the perennial question : 'Can they do it on a cold wet Tuesday night in Madrid? is 'Yes we can!

Now Spurs have never won the Champions' League and perhaps never will. But on Tuesday night in Madrid we got a fleeting glimpse of what it might feel like. One game at a time Jimmy.

At the Bernabeu, home of the current Champions, we laid down our marker, and made a huge step forward to qualify for the next stage. Our very first goal against the Champions.

We led for 15 minutes and I dared to hope that the unlikely was about to happen. The home crowd were stunned and the visitors elated.

Spurs and Harry Winks came of age. With Aurier, Sissoko and Llorente starting Mauricio was clearly thinking how to balance Champions' League and Premiership. And thinking clearly in the event.

We were without Dembele, Wanyama, Davies, Dele and with Rose only briefly. But we didn't just hold them to a 1/1 draw but on the night Harry Kane could have snatched it at the death.

 At Spurs what can go wrong usually does but that was then and this is now. Real are currently a little under par and were soundly whistled at for much of the game. But not in a good way.

A draw was my best hope before the game as it would maintain our parity on seven points with Madrid at the top. In the event it was a damn close run thing and truthfully could have gone either way.

Lloris was generally voted our MOM for several fine saves, The one from Benzema at point blank range which had 'retrieve from back of the net  and replace on centre spot' written all over it was the best.

With Dele banned and Eriksen not quite on his game Llorente was Kane's main support and though a bit cumbersome for long periods in the end it was he that set up a couple of chances.

A sensible selection and it distracted Ramos from his usual dominance. It also gave Lloris the excuse to kick long and his occasional dodgy distribution was not exposed.

The defence all round was focused and solid except for Aurier's Kyle Walker moment for the penalty. In hindsight he had little option than to try to stop Kroos scoring.

 Whether Toby would have got the block in is a moot point.We were denied a good shout for a penalty ourselves when Llorente's legs were taken from him in the area, but such is life away from home.

But they could not score in open play which is entirely  down to the organization and effort of all concerned. Which brings me to one Harry Winks (21) and one of our own who like Spurs emerged with great credit

This boy was terrific and I am bursting with praise and pride for the boy. Against Modric and Kroos two of the world's best he held his own. He showed for the ball, found space and took responsibility.

Mauricio trusted him in the cauldron of the Bernabeu at the highest level and as for  England last week he was not found wanting. Well done coach and player. I make no apology for making him our current poster boy.

Is Winks as good as Modric? Nah! But after the eleven years that Luka owes him he might well be. They might have pencilled in Winks as a Modric replacement in a couple of years time. I'm joking, I'm joking.

With Dembele and Wanyama out it was vital that others stepped up. In the end almost everyone did: Dier, Sissoko, the other Harry;  Lloris and the back line.

Sissoko linked positively with his old team-mate and current chum  from Toulouse, Serge Aurier down the right and the always dangerous Marcelo was largely contained. and this was his best performance so far.

It was Aurier's ball across the six yard box that ended with Harry challenging Varane and the ball went in off the defender. Winks was at the heart of that move too. Thrills and spills at both ends and I was delighted with the draw.

The atmosphere in the Bernabeu was formidable but you could still hear the Spurs fans despite being outnumbered 10 to1. It had been been at least 25 and rainless for two months. Spurs however brought their weather with them.

Light rain throughout the evening failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the visitors in the ground or out and about in the city. Liz from the Irish Rover sends her regards and thanks all those that dropped in.

We take them back to Wembley in two weeks and I wouldn't bet against a home win, although a draw would do in terms of qualifying for the next stage.

Before then it's just Liverpool and Man.Utd. in the Prem and W.Ham in the Carabao Power drinks Cup. This exactly what we all signed up for after all and the slow build has all been worthwhile.

Sugar daddies? Who needs 'em? But that's a topic for another day.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
It's the Harry Winks Show folks.
Starting with a Scotty Parker 360 degree turn and haircut and then the full range of space invading, passing, tackling covering and linking with Christian. You name it, he did it.


Monday, 16 October 2017

Wheel of Fortune favours Spurs

Turn wheel turn. Our number is coming up.
The Jimmy G2 column.
I remember a song from the early 50's by Kay Starr. This was before sex was invented in the 60's and The Beatles put paid to all that sentimental ballad stuff and before Spurs did the Double.

 Oh, wheel of fortune
I'm hoping somehow
If you ever smile on me
Please let it be now.

Amen to that, and the Wheel is taking us closer to the top where we hope it will suffer a breakdown and stick there for several years like several others lately.

Meanwhile as it spins Spurs maintain their progress on all fronts. A great week for club and country and for our International players most of whom will be going to Russia.

Eriksen scored for Denmark again; Harry captained England and like Eriksen on Saturday scored  the winner; Jan was MOM against Bournemouth and became the most capped player for Belgium (97).

Chelsea and Arsenal beaten; Man Utd. and Liverpool drawing; clear in third and Real Madrid and Liverpool to come next week. Happy Days indeed and everything in our own hands. Spin, wheel spin.

We thumped Huddersfield despite only playing for half an hour. We shut up shop at 3-0 and still managed another. Sissoko's first goal; a couple for HK and Davies added another in his bid for the Spurs Golden Boot.

All this with nearly half the team injured or banned and Harry finally running out of steam on Saturday. But this a squad effort. Harry Winks starting for England and Spurs and acquitting himself well if a little cautiously.

New signing Sanchez is more than a little raw but even younger than Winks and only two months older than Dele. Vertonghen is benefiting from the left back golden glow and Dele is steadily improving.

Kevin N'Koudou got a hospital pass late on from Sissoko in a four on one break and drawing the short straw was last seen on his way to    er... the hospital.

At least Dele won't be under the spotlight in Madrid as he's banned for this one. Real are not on top form at the moment but have enough firepower to cause us problems. A draw would do, away from home.

They struggled to beat lowly Getafe on Saturday and only a very late Ronaldo goal saw them through. They have played 8 won 5 drawn 2 and lost 1 so far and are in third place 5 points behind Barcelona.

I fear Isco who is on top form for club and country and is hard to pick up and stop. But they have plenty of firepower and I'd take a draw (4/1 with the bookmakers) right now.

Although as Kay nearly says to the wheel:
If you ever smile on me: 
Please let it be now.
 Let the arrow point at me
 on Tuesday at the Bernabeu.

Nobody could accuse us of playing scintillating or extravagant football yet. It's all a bit ponderous but it's getting the job done in the face of Wembley hoodoos at every level. And Real Madrid should know that our away form is pretty damn good

 A gap is opening between us and the pack. Arsenal,  Liverpool and Chelsea are currently struggling in our wake and we are only one point below our tally from last year. Above us only the Moneybags Manchesters: Turn wheel turn.

With Liverpool and Man.Utd in the Premiership slotted between the away and home fixtures against Real by the beginning of next month we should have a clearer view of where we are heading. Point arrow point.

Best wishes to the boys and all those fans traveling to Madrid. Stay safe.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
The last time we played Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the Champions' League.

Lest we forget. Some of theirs are still there; some of ours have become theirs; None of ours are still with us.

Crouchy only made two tackles in his whole career and was sent off before half-time. Not Gomes finest hour. Both still going strong though

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Danny Lee Rose: The Real Story

 Eh Ma, isn't that our our Danny, Superleftback?
The Greg Meyer Column.
October 12 2017 … Spurs Legend Birthday.
 Daniel Lee Rose  … The Real Story.
“ A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  

                                                                                      W. Shakespeare  Romeo and Juliet  circa 1596.
Bill Shakespeare , reputedly a keen football fan , died 401 years ago. His memory lives on and indeed grows ever larger.
However another synonymous with the aforementioned flower, one Daniel Lee Rose, is in danger of fading from the average football fans memory. Danny Rose last featured for Spurs on January 31 in a drawn game with Sunderland.
Thereafter a short term knee injury has blossomed into a diagnosis of Mr. Invisible. Conspiracy theories as to his whereabouts, indeed his very existence have circulated with regularity as follows.
The Abduction by Aliens Theory.
No concrete proof of this theory has yet to be advanced. But given the nature of the matter highly unlikely your extraterrestrials  are going to leave a calling card, let alone a goodbye note.
Tottenham Hotspur FC have hardly been an encyclopedia of information as to any news on Danny.
Mauricio Pochettino’s standard line has been  “He is some weeks away.’ Away but where. Hmm.
The Lord Lucan Theory.
Lord Richard John Bingham, Seventh Earl of Lucan, killed the family nanny on November 7 1974 fleeing at real Rose style pace. He has never been seen since.
A multitude of theories as to his fate include departing for deepest and darkest Africa, accidentally drowning himself and migrating to sunny Australia.
As to Danny Rose, no nanny at Chez Rose and by all reports an excellent swimmer. As well Barbados is his chosen holiday destination.
Whilst Danny’s excellent attempt thus far of invisibility has been impressive the Lord Lucan theory much like the suggested drowning does not hold up well.
The “It’s All About the Money “ Theory.
True there is that famous, perhaps infamous, interview regards Spurs pay structure needing drastic overhaul. The allied moving to Manchester United mutterings did not go down with one Senor Pochettino. Has Danny burnt his bridges such that reality has stepped in a la Kyle Walker style.
Fearing his plunge from Mauricio’s favoured “son” to want away mercenary would dampen anyone’s recovery. Let alone a wish to appear in public.
 Rumours still abound as to his departure in January.
The Kent Pub Theory.

A knee injury failing to recover the gentle way required surgical intervention. Plenty of time to brood and look on as your teammates play for glory and get second.
A jet heeled player with the ability to take on and beat the opposition. Not in plentiful supply at Spurs. A former winger who through astute coaching found out how to defend. On his day the premier left full back in the Premier.
Rumours filtering through with the occasional pic indicate he is running about Hotspur Way.
A fit and flying Danny Rose takes Spurs a step closer to the Title.
Cheers … and happy 37th birthday to Ledley Brenton King … Greg Meyer.    coys.
Editors note. The 'Real' Story is an unfortunate linguistic coincidence.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Just in case you've forgotten. The Joke that Davies is no Danny Rose has worn a bit thin but still has a little more tread to burn.

Spurs Friendly Pub 5 minutes Walk from the Bernabeu.

Spurs friendly Pub within 5 minutes walk of the Bernabeu.

An excellent bar to assemble in before the game and to meet up in later.

My daughter Liz the Manager of the Irish Rover which some of you will already know
extends her usual warm welcome to Spurs fans next week.

Special Football deals:
Excellent Burgers,chips and a pint 10 Euros (Heineken): 10.50 (Guinness)

Bucket of 5 Amstels on ice for 12 Euros.

Heineken is 5euros a pint and Guinness is 5.50 which is not bad for Madrid and this area.

Kitchen will be open until 1am on Match day and the bar until 3or usual.

There will be some English speaking staff on duty.

Opposite the Stadium across the Castellana. (six lanes: wait for the green lights)
Down the side of the Ministry of Defence.
Over the first traffic lights and the Irish Rover is in the corner of the square on the left,
5 minutes walk max.

Spanish food available.
Menu del Dia from 12pm for 9.50 Euros before 1.30 and 10.50 Euros after.

Plenty of screens and an atrium entry bar for smokers and screens and a terrace upstairs.

Stay safe. I wouldn't mention Catalonia or display any support for them in Madrid. Tensions are running high in Spain and the police are not noted for their good humour and tolerarance especially towards football fans. 

Remember Seville!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry.

2017 and Harry Just get Better and Better.
 The JimmyG2 Column.
 The Harry Kane Tribute Edition.
Sorry that headline should have read 'Harry, Harry, Harry' as our boy clocked up his first Champions' League hat-trick. Messi and Ronaldo have each scored seven but at 24 he's got plenty of time.

Gareth Bale scored our only other one seven years ago against Internazionale in 2010. He was only 21 at the time but hasn't managed another one since. I'm pretty sure Harry will.

As Elizabeth Barrett Browning once asked: How do I love you? Let me count the ways. Harry's stats are simply amazing? World Class? No question. And Tuesday night was another master-class.

He has now scored six trebles in 2017 and 11 goals in seven games this month. His nearest rivals are Aguerro and Lukaku 10 goals adrift in this calendar year. Where would we be without him? Don't answer that.

Although others stepped up when he was out for a couple of months last year but he still won the Golden Boot for the second year running. And that included the usual August famine.

We had four shots on goal and Harry scored three times. If he had been on the other side they certainly would have won but unlike HK they couldn't finish. Their keeper didn't got a hand on any of them.

Elderweireld's through ball supplied Harry's first, taken on his left foot and slipped past the keeper as he advanced. Sissoko's pull back onto his right foot was the second and Trippier supplied the cross for Harry's headed third.

The perfect hat-trick scored in style but without fuss. Game over although it could have been different. Camargo's fierce angled shot struck the crossbar with Hugo beaten at 0-0

He was forced to make two smart saves after the break at 1-0 and nearly scored an own goal with a wild clearance off  Sanchez, the ball rebounding just wide.

Details, details. I am brimful of positivity: Sissoko shaping up; young Winks looking for all the world like Dembele's replacement,seven players out, yet another away win; Aurier not even carded and staying on his feet.

Onomah and Winks my midfield Academy dream is still on as Josh is doing well at Villa so the reports say. He scored again at the weekend.

Llorente doing a job; Pochettino showing some in-game flexibility though Trippier starting on the left was again a waste as his cross from the right for Harry's third showed. He always cuts back on the other side.

Son and N'Koudou were lively but loose and it wasn't generally a scintillating performance except from you know who who even supplied the pass for Trippier's run.

Anyway top of the group, level on points and goals with some Spanish team and still everything to play for. Wanyama close they say, Verts available again.

Rose unfortunately has clearly been captured by aliens and is being held for ransom in a spaceship hovering over the earth probably over Manchester. 100 million they say.

But we didn't do too badly with the 'bare bones' this week and if Mauricio sticks to square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes we should continue to progress.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Three guesses. Got it in one. Only one shot of Toby's ball for the first but I could watch re-runs of Harry's goals all day. In fact I nearly have in the blog edit. Happy Days.


Sunday, 24 September 2017

The fighting spirit of....Carabao!

From milk sops to empowerment. Let's give it a go.
The JimmyG2 Column 
Another week another blog. Disappointing start against Swansea, a ground out progress against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup* in midweek and a very pleasing if slightly nail nibbling finish at The Taxpayers Stadium yesterday.

We continue to dominate all the statistics in these games but despite Harry's efforts seem to struggle just a little achieving one of the main objects of the game: nestling the ball in the Onion Bag.

Frustrating start at the weekend; just enough in mid-week to avoid the looming banana skin and a satisfying revenge for last season at West Ham. Back to 4th same as this stage last year.

Partly thanks to our old colleague Chris Hughton at Brighton who pricked Newcastle's winning run balloon with a composed performance on the South coast. We wish him well.

'Can you see what it is yet?' as the disgraced Rolf Harris used to say. After 6 games the shape of the season is still only a blurred outline. We are still in contact with the leaders but there's only 32 games to go. Don't panic!

But after 3 consecutive away wins we are obviously hoping that our away form will compensate for Wembley. That's a big ask and our home form must improve if we are to make top four.

Dele was given the opportunity and challenge against Barnsley to contribute more and rose to the occasion with a  composed finish following good movement from a cross by Kieran Trippier.

I am not a fan of Trippiers and his famed crossing is hit and miss at best. When Aurier gets his head together he will almost certainly be first choice. Meanwhile KWP waits in the wings for his chance.

Harry's first goal against W.Ham encapsulates everything that is good about Spurs at the moment. Dele's movement; Eriksen's vision; and Harry's improvised finish from a cross by the Boy Wonder is the current attacking essence of Spurs.

Dele is under scrutiny at the moment with rumours again of interest at Real Madrid. This is, to put it politely, nonsense and when linked with the return of Bale becomes total rubbish.

Some say that Dele is not even good enough for Spurs which gives you some idea of how little his unpredictable talent can be quantified. He's gifted but young and is an essential part of our attacking triumvirate.

Coupled with a sound defence in which Toby is playing a more equal part with the rise of Jan; the improvement of Davies and the arrival of Sanchez we are good to go.

It was good to see Harry Winks showing more of his usual appetite and the cameo by Llorente was most enjoyable. It didn't take him long to get into the London derby spirit.

I am still not convinced by Sissoko though he is improving and with the absence of Wanyama and the worrying situation with Dembele he has to step up. Onomah might have been a good option but too late now.

If West Brom. had beaten  Arsenal tonight by six goals then we would have dropped to fifth but I wasn't really that worried. Come on the Baggies. Always liked 'em. Do us a favour Mr.Pulis.

*Carabao Cup

You may remember the Carabao Cup in its original form if you are old enough as simply the League Cup until it's transformation in the 80's to the Milk Cup (remember the Milk Marketing board?))

 Then consumerism took over with the Littlewood's Cup and then the Rumbelow's in the early 90's. But the poisoned chalice did for them unlike Coca Cola which went from strength to strength on its back.

Significantly alcohol replaced soft drinks at the end of the Millenium when Worthington and Carling spurred on by this added product  lustre took us through the Millenium and beyond..

Unimpressed by the sight of these marketing success it was sponsorless for a few years until Carabao energy drinks struck a three year deal in 2017.  Pretty much a sign of the times and there is a social history to be written here.

But from Milk, to Shopping, to  Beer and Soft drinks to specifically an alleged 'health' product  is an interesting and possibly telling progression around the history of the past 50 years.

In the meantime I quote from their website:
“Carabao” is an energy drink that was inspired by the fighting spirit of an individual. It is more than a global energy drink, it is the empowerment to accomplish personal goals.

'Carabao symbolizes the spirit of individuals who fight for the cause they believe in. Not by force, but with determination, hence the slogan: The Fighting Spirit of Carabao”

Whatever. However as we're in it I want us to want to win it. Not a top priority unless you value silverware above everything else  but a harmless detour on the way to greater things.

Next up just the Champions' League away to Apoel but after Barnsley who cares? We all do obviously. Let's inject some of the Carabao fighting spirit on Tuesday.(edit)

Mauricio says the fact that we have seven seniors players out including Eriksen, Vertonghen and Dele banned is not an excuse. We'll see. An opportunity for someone or two.

Serge Aurier.
Booked for several fouls for the first yellow and then another for a crude and unnecessary tackle on Carroll who bought the foul miles from goal. Needs to calm down just a little and stay on his feet. 

 Jimmy's Video spot:
All the goals and build up here. Aurier brain fart. 3-0 up and coasting but 'All's Well that Ends Well' as the man said. Eriksen's overhead flick to Verts for the second is lovely too and Dele's run once again.

The three Musketeers strike again and again and again.


Sunday, 17 September 2017

Grounds for Optimism

Hoodoo Dragon only half dead I'm afraid.
The JimmyG2 Column.
 I had this pretty piece all ready in my head after the Borussia Dortmund win at Wembley  in the week in the Champions' league. A nagging doubt and second thoughts stopped me from posting it born of a long devotion to Tottenham.

You know the stuff: brilliant tactical Managership; fine performance; Dragons slain; myths put to bed; onwards and upwards; Harry world class; didn't miss Dele; defining week; blah blah blah.

Definite grounds for optimism, Wembley included at this point. but like politics a week is a long time and anything can happen. Actually 4 days in this case

Now of course all this is true and yet and yet. I am now puzzled over team selection and tactics against Swansea who we beat 5-0 last year at the Lane and 3-1 away and a little angry over the way we played.

But poor decisions and the crossbar and some excellent keeping by Fabiansky were the difference between a win and a draw. But in the minds of the Press the Wembley Hoodoo lives on at least in the Premiership.

We used the first half as a warm up for the real thing and Swansea had time to hone and perfect their game plan. I'm not sure that their bus won't require towing away: more broken down than parked.

Against Borussia Dortmund we looked prepared and as if we knew what we were doing, pressing higher in the second half . Against Swansea we didn't look at at all sure about anything. 

Sissoko starting is never a good sign though he played as well as some. Trippier at left back is a stretch; bringing on Llorente and then ignoring him was just silly.

Six defenders at times against a team that didn't come to play is a waste. Resting players that could have been given next week off and not making full use of substitutes only Mauricio can explain.

So did we underestimate Swansea and not play at full pace and at full strength after a fine performance in midweek? Were we complacent? Did Mauricio overthink things? Were we just unlucky?

Some or all of the above? It was certainly an opportunity missed in so many ways and the slumbering Wembley Hoodoo Dragon lives on to breath fire for another day.

In the final analysis Trippier and Sissoko are not good enough, though Keiran is more effective on the right and Sissoko through the middle. Dele is not quite with us currently though not as bad as some are making out.

Aurier was good against Dortmund and lively in his limited appearance yesterday. Sanchez was excellent midweek but a bit ragged marking shadows on Saturday. Kane was inspired in the CL and unlucky against Swansea.

Son was lively in both games. He scored from a narrow angle against Dortmund but his attempt to do the same against Swansea was well saved. Eriksen shoulders the full burden of creativity when Dele is not quite fully on his game.

We are certainly better against teams that come to play. But our build up is too slow and we still lack movement and invention in the final third. Harry's hard work can't do everything.

Swansea's defence was packed and effective but Dortmund's was not in the same class as its attack. An unfortunate blip certainly but whether it is more than this or signs of a worrying trend remains to be seen.

We started slowly last year too and it won't be until at least ten games before we can make any assessment but we are already points and goal difference down, 1 point above Arsenal but one below below Newcastle.

With Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all drawing the damage is not quite as bad as it could have been. But the 'Manchesters' are striding away in some style.

It's been the Tottenham way for decades: two steps forward: one step back, and it certainly feels like it this week after a fine start at away to Everton and then a home win against Dortmund.

Is it just the fact that is not White Hart Lane and that a move to any new venue would have unsettled us. Has it come just at the wrong moment after our wonderful record last year.

Watch On the bright side we didn't lose, kept a clean sheet and we're still fifth.

Jimmy's Video spot:
 Serge Aurier: Welcome to Spurs.

Victor and Serge will compete for the 'Tough Guy Challenge' and probably for the 'Yellow and Red Card Stakes' too. But the boy has made an impressive start.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Limited selection choices at Tottenham

Someone's taken out all the soft centres.
The Jimmy G2 Column.
But anyway I'm keeping faith with the Danish pastry: the thinking man's confectionery.

So the Top of the Bill event fizzled out in embarrassment as the home town contenders failed to turn up. Spurs won without breaking sweat for their second away victory and another clean sheet.

Perhaps we could play all our home games away. Oh I forgot we already do. Apart from the first 20 minutes which were scrappy we dominated once again and could and should have won by more.

Dele missed the proverbial sitter, Sissoko should have scored and Harry scored a couple, one lucky, one superb and missed a couple too. 7 points out of 12, only one less than last year and sitting in fifth again.

Rumours of our demise have been much exaggerated. Ben Davies reborn after a decent run of games in Danny Rose's absence vied with Eriksen for MOM. This formation suits him and encourages him to go forward.

What exactly is the formation? 3331/3511/ 3421 or whatever. Answers on a foolscap sheet. But essentially it's fluid and suits our current squad.

New boy Sanchez looked mean and sensibly played it safe alongside Verts and Toby at the back although they and Hugo were barely troubled. One shot on target by Everton tells the story.

Sissoko starting in his more natural position in central midfield surprised everyone by being not at all bad apart from straying offside when it mattered and  displaying his poor touch and inability to score when well placed.

But he cleared a path through the undergrowth for Eriksen  who used the time and space  positively once again. Harry did his September thing, Dier played better too and only Dele was a little sloppy.

Rooney got frustrated chasing shadows and took it out on Dele but was ignored: not even a defiant gesture from New England to the ghost of Old England.

Dembele was presumably rested for The Champions' League fixture against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday and was hardly noticed when he eventually came on. But by then Everton were mentally back in the dressing room.

So Mauricio. called it right and the Transfer Window wasn't quite so bad after all. Aurier might make an appearance on Wednesday and even Llorente either alongside or ahead of Harry with Dele still suspended.

We have options all over the place and Spurs once famed soft centre is looking pretty hard and crunchy these days and that's without Wanyama.

Seen and Heard:
Spurs last 4 away: beat Leicester 6-1, Hull 7-1, Newcastle 2-0, Everton 3-0. +16 is top flight's best goal diff over 4 away games since the century before last. Not even I remember that. 

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Welcome to Tottenham Fernando Llorente. Welcome indeedy.You wanted experience this boys got it. World Cup winner with Spain.

At 30 doesn't quite fit our normal profile. But scored 15 in 33 appearances for Swansea last year. Needs early game time and could perhaps play alongside.

In case you were wondering Vincent Janssen has gone to Fenerbache on loan having turned down a permanent move to Brighton. He's still ours and we wish him all the best.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Incoming: Transfer Rumour Free Zone Exclusive.

I'm with Aesop.
The JimmyG2 Column.
So it's all true. We are jinxed at Wembley and Harry Kane can't score in August. We are all doomed I tell you. Doomed. If  matches were only 85 minutes long we'd be jostling for top.

The Hoodoo Fairy not only visited the Home dressing room to plant her seeds of doubt in the player's minds especially Harry's  but popped into the Away teams as well to tell them to hang in there and all would be well.

Well that's how we played anyway: no pace, passion or belief from the start. Even when Dele scored what should have been the winner he couldn't find the energy to celebrate.

Burnley were inspired by playing at Wembley but also playing against a top team. All teams want our feather in their caps. Even Chelsea parked the bus. It's a tribute of sorts I suppose.

But we had enough of the ball and chances to win both. Do they have any awards for the slowest build up in football like they did for slow bicycle races that I remember from my youth?

The team is in need of a pacemaker as well as another playmaker to help Eriksen.. Only Son has real pace from the starting squad yesterday and he was mainly motion but no notion as he sometimes is.

Lloris redeemed himself with a couple of sharp saves and a sweeper keeper tackle, otherwise meltdown would have been all over the fan-sites. Other than Verts everyone was a couple of  degrees south of meh.

Dele played OK but Erikesen amd Dembele didn't approach the heights of last week and when Eriksen is quiet Spurs are quiet. Heaton thwarted Harry on more than a couple of occasions.

Trippier went frequently AWOL but Sissoko at least gave a decent impression of a footballer. We were mainly pedestrian and uninspiring. But no-one could accuse us of ever being fast out of the blocks lately

Points from first three games from Season 2010/11:

17/18 - 4/9
16/17 - 5/9
15/16 - 3/9
14/15 - 6/9
13/14 - 6/9
12/13 - 2/9
11/12 - 3/9
          10/11 - 4/9          
(Thanks to Danners9 on Spurs Community)

Whether this is because we rarely get our buying done early and get a full pre-season with a whole squad I don't know but it's nothing new and not a cause of major despair. Yet.

 4 from the 9 points available is bang average for us over the last eight years. It would be so calming to win the first three but we have surely learned to live with it.

After all we drew with a team that beat Champion's Chelsea and outplayed the team that thumped us 5-1. So victory may well go to the brave (To dare is to do or whatever after all) but the race is not always won by the swiftest (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

Just as well really as we don't have anyone with that explosive burst of pace to get them clear. But  there's another 48 hrs of the Transfer window left yet: plenty of time in Dan Levy's never too late world.

As Cryff once said: “You play football with your head, and your legs are there to help you.” and the Wembley thing is all in the mind and the papers. Clear your heads boys and let the ball and your legs do the talking.

It's not WHL certainly and the atmosphere is different but the pitch is the same size as most in the Premiership. Soon, very soon, I hope, the place will become a fortress. 

Musings got its fingers burned last time with transfer speculation so we're not going there again especially after Sancho's change of heart. Incomings may be likely but we are waiting for the cardboard cutout. 

Did we get one for Davinson? Perhaps a group photo at the end of the window, or is this a tactical change by Mauricio. Another profit on the window looks likely. More income than incoming.

Rose and Lamela might add the vital pace and be like new signings. If they both stay!

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Davinson Sanchez:
This one's done, he even played two minutes, Not sure why. Strong, quick, good in the air and from Ajax. What's not to like. Will he score more than anyone else in the back four? Worth a punt.

 So good they show everything at least twice. Most humiliating? Not sure what that's all about.


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Curses, Jinxes, Hoodoo's: Hot Rumours and Hot Facts.

 Mauricio on the Poop deck and Spurs going down fighting.
Not HMS Victory unfortunately
The JimmyG2 Column.
 A significant day and opportunity at our new temporary home but not at this stage of the season a defining one. Except perhaps in the minds of the the more extreme fans.

Harry could have put the August curse to rest but didn't. Though at this stage he's not worried. He has been Golden Boot winner for two years running without finding the net until September.

He must be a fair bet to score on Sunday at home to  Burnley though, curses, jinxes and hoodoos notwithstanding

He had a record eight shots against Chelsea and hit the post with a fine drive as he did against Newcastle so you can't say he's not trying. That's 34 shots in eight August games. What we need is a penalty.

Another chance to break the Wembley jinx in the Premiership came and went. Against Champions Chelsea which makes the defeat all the more frustrating but there are easier games to come.We will play much worse and win.

We dominated the game but not the Chelsea makeshift defence, We had more shots and corners and 68% possession. Luiz in midfield out Wanyama'd Victor who played poorly, losing or miscontrolling the ball too often.

The only superiority Chelsea had over was on fouls as usual. They are perhaps more ruthless and street-wise than us and a little less naive. Are we cursed, jinxed or hoodooed against Chelsea?

I would have taken the draw before, during (and after) the game at this stage of the season.

Crucially it was  Luiz that mugged Wanyama in the build up to the winning goal with two minutes to go. The ball out to him from Lloris is a frequent manouevre but he was further out than normal and being closed down.

Hugo compounded his error by allowing a shot from Alonso to go under his body at the near post. De Gea and many other keepers would have kicked it away.

Earlier Alonso had scored from a brilliant free kick. We didn't even get on the score-sheet as Batshuayi scored an own goal.  We pressed well for the 20 minutes before and 30 minutes after half time.

The first 25 minutes was choppy water and Morata missed what should have been an easy chance for him, heading wide unmarked from six yards in the first five minutes.

We lacked speed of thought and movement in the final third and Mauricio should have hauled off Victor who looked off the pace and his game and replaced him with Winks or Son much earlier.

I'm still on the 'pissed off/disappointed spectrum at the moment but there are plenty of positives. 'To dare is to do'  after all and I prefer Spurs to go down fighting with guns blazing than playing the percentages game.

But the time for 'daring' and 'doing' was from the kick off as well as in the last ten minutes. We set up much too negatively against a team with its own missing key players: Dembele, Dier and Wanyama together is defensive overkill.

Too many cannon balls: not enough close quarter grappling arms, rapiers and pikes. The easy way on Sunday was to win the game, for Harry to score, settle some old scores and set fair for the League and beyond.

But as we know that is not the Spurs way and we will have to wait a little longer for the smoke to clear before the path  is fully revealed. Until then we wait to step up from a mere 'ship of the line' to flagship HMS Victory

Meanwhile the battle of Hugo's reputation will continue. Best in the Premiership? Probably not. Faultless?  Which keeper is ? He has a problem with distribution but not crucially on Sunday. Several were slow to respond.

Trival Pursuits.
When was the last time that we lost to two goals from a left back? Or any full back?

Hot Rumours.
By the time you read this 17yr.old Jadon Sancho might have signed from Man. City for 3 million. Or not as the case may be. 'Sancho' you fools, not 'Sanchez'.

Although Davison Sanchez has already signed from Ajax, for a club record of 40ish million and now confirmed, with Aurier from PSG imminent and Sesssegnon and Barkley for the last day. Add an Argentinian keeper from Southampton.

 The log-jam has moved and Daniel is asking for the return of his credit card as soon as his wallet is found. Mr.President you are spoiling us. Where will we put them all?

Hot Fact.
Kyle Walker Peters has signed a new Contract until 20/20. Perfect vision from Spurs.

Jimmy'sVideo Spot.
A week to go and no videos of actual signings to hand but there will be next time, so here's Moussa Dembele back to something like fitness and form. Fan favourite and MOM against Chelsea.

More skills and strength than goals and assists but credit where credit is due and five minutes of strong meat. The 'Warrior' indeed.

Friday, 18 August 2017

It's All kicked Off.

A smooth take off but there could be turbulence ahead.

The JimmyG2 Column. 

Tables stowed, window blinds open, arm-rests down and seat-belts fastened: here we go; here we go. At last we're up and running or rather up and flying after Newcastle.

As you can tell I've just flown back from holiday. Watched first game in a vast pub with more screens than fans but very decent beer and smoked salmon sandwiches to not exactly die for but to sustain serious injury for at least.

So it's all kicked off. Away from home for the opener; revenge calmly extracted; a clean sheet, another Academician not only selected but doing well; Erikson on form with two assists and good signs nearly everywhere.

Newcastle were innocuous and had the cheek to jeer  Sissoko after pocketing our 30 million. Insult to injury comes to mind. Dele having done very little made one of his instinctive runs to convert an Erikson cross and the rest is history.

Even Davies, clearly bored at full back ventured into the penalty area and got on the end of a snappy, Dele, Harry and Christian exchange to score. That's two in two games.

Had it not been August Harry might have had a couple but could only hit the keeper and a post. If they had gone in we would be top of the league but it's a bit  early, don't you think, to get over-excited about that.

Many made Kyle Walker Peters the MOM especially the Press who love a talking up point and the boy played well. But MOM I think not although he might be some day soon.

Eriksen announced his presence early this season with two assists and an excellent overall performance on Sunday and in pre-season and was clearly MOM. Sorry Kyle but your day will come.

Dembele verged on the imperious and if he can stay injury free will make a major contribution this season. His midfield partner Dier was clearly saving himself for better things and hardly registered.

Lloris kept awake but wasn't really required but he might be busier on Sunday. Verts and Toby went through the motions but like Hugo were barely tested. In fact it was a stroll in St.James Park.

Pre-season brings to mind our first victory this season at Wembley against Juventus (edit). Kane and Eriksen scored and Juventus didn't and this went some way to obliterate the loss to Man City from the collective memory.

Another game referred to as a 'meaningless' friendly but that's only if you lose. We took some good things from the game and they will stand us in good stead this season.

 Even the other Moussa didn't have a poor game which is a big step forward. KWP went some way to erase the hurt of of Kyle Walker's sale.

They were wasteful when chances occurred but Harry and Sissoko hit the woodwork and there was evidence of slick interplay between Kane, Dele and Eriksen again which will hopefully be a feature this season.

Lloris was sound and Trippier crossed beautifully first time for Harry's headed opener. He's out for a month but with the arrival of KWP and the flexibility of Dier do we need to splash unnecessary cash?

The arrival of Ajax centre half, young gifted and quick, Sanchez gives us necessary back up if Wimmer goes to W.Brom. We've got 90 million in hand so far, less whatever we paid for Davison Sanchez.

On the other hand I read six weeks ago that Barkley was a 'done deal' and it may yet be but I doubt it
at the current prices and wages.

So no Wembley jinx for Sunday, no trouble in the camp after Danny Rose's outspokenness and rehabilitation, signings signed; so bring it on Mr. Conte. (1-1 Spurs)

Jimmy's Video Spot.
The tenth academy player  to make his debut under Mauricio. Does the simple things quickly. We may get a clearer view if he starts against Chelsea.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Money to waste and time to spare.

80 million spare cash and plenty of time.

 The JimmyG2 Column.
Involved in quality competition and we are just about holding our own. Eriksen has settled early; Vincent has scored from a N'Koudou assist; more youngsters are blooded and so far unbowed. Proper football returns.

These games are being disparagingly referred to as pointless 'friendlies' by some. But Danni Alves reaction to being tormented by N'Koudou and Jese's hack on Dele were far from friendly.

It's not the Champions' league by any shot but it is a good opportunity for the established players to get up to speed and for the youngsters and fringers to lay out their wares and state their claims.

Dele and Harry Kane are still a bit Ibiza Beachy but Harry  reacted well and got fired up when he was denied a clear penalty against Roma's Fazio. Rings a bell though somewhat dimly.

We got the rub of the green when PSG shot themselves in the head and had their keeper sent off soon after half time. Against ten men we were calm controlled and ran out easy winners. (4-2).

Not so against Roma where the referee spoilt the game and gave them a silly penalty against Cameron Carter Vickers for a ball to hand moment early on and then denied us an even more blatant one.

However Roma were slicker than us and without Eriksen in the first half we looked a little pedestrian. They won following a foul on CCV in extra time. (3-2)

Several youngsters and own grown appeared and were several shades of competent. CCV got the most criticism but he's still young (19) and playing in the most difficult position for the inexperienced.

Josh Onomah who seems to be next in line to step up was played out of position again but to me has all the makings. Ashley-Booth is well liked and looks talented and Walker-Peters  played pretty well.

The Academy are only taking on applicants with double barrelled names currently but 20yr Anthony Georgiou popped up surprisingly after a season or two of injuries and made a good impression against Roma.

Highlight off the pitch was Mauricio being sent off but not going because he apologised and said to the ref. 'Come on nobody can understand what we're saying in Spanish, let it go'. And he did.

'Soft words turneth away wrath' as they say. He also scored a wonder goal in training and was dignified in comments about Conte's out of order questioning of our ambition.

When your playing a hand stacked with stolen oil money a little humility wouldn't go amiss. Mauricio is the man! However all this is by way of distraction from the final game of the Champions' Cup in America.

We were well beaten by Man. City who out-pressed us. Correction: they pressed and we didn't. 3-0 and it could easily have been more: much more. Not sure that anyone except the keepers deserve a mention in dispatches.

Dele had a couple of half chances; Harry Kane blazed a decent one over; N'Koudou looked lively; Trippier put in a couple of decent crosses; Eriksen went close from a free kick. Other than that it was mainly City.

Kompany roughed up Dele and this might be a feature this season. As long as he keeps calm and they take their eyes off  Christian we might prosper.

City look strong, especially with Walker at full back. (Editor: Leave it Jimmy that ship has sailed) and a host of shiny expensive talents old and new. Jesus missed a tap in and Aguero hit both posts. De Bryne was buzzin'.

If they can blend and accept that some will only have walk-on parts then they might be the team this season. No need for us to panic just yet: the season doesn't start for two weeks and the transfer window goes on for another four.

Levy continues to plough his lonely furrow and some fans will blame him personally if we don't win the Premiership; the CL and a couple of Cups this season for want of more depth to the squad.

He will probably throw them a sop in the end but his latest last minute buy, Sissoko at 30 million, is not a good augury. Put it in the envelope marked 'Youth Development, Academy and Contingencies' Mr.L.

But Jones's advice of 'Don't panic' from 'Dad's Army' seem apt, and that's where I am. Next up Juventus at the weekend and more will no doubt be revealed.

We won't be signing Neymar at 197 million crisp ones I can confirm or Barkley at 120 thousand a week either. And you can quote me on that. 'Musings' is ITK.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
You can see where the squad get their passion from. He'd be like a new signing along with Erik and Danny. It's only a training session Mauricio. But that's the point.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

He's Thinking It Over.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.
Live with it.

The Jimmy G2 Column.
The garage is now neat and tidy with a floor you could eat off and holidays are completed leaving the whole family knackered and sunburned. What's not to like?

So we arrive at that magical moment in between seasons when something actually happens after much useless ITK; aimless speculation; pointless wondering and vague hopefulness.

Not all good or unexpected news though: Kyle Walker has left the Stadium, to City for in excess of £50 million. The worst kept secret since Mummy was seen kissing Santa Claus.

I always liked the boy, moments of misjudgement and all and predicted on Musings that he would make us some money eventually though not all that much by today's values.

He was a longstanding member of the team, the life and soul of the party and his going might just give others pause for thought. He's just had two good seasons and however you look at it Kieran Trippier he's not as good taken all round.

He has a different skill set to Kyle but you can´t teach pace and speed of recovery, nor crossing accuracy in Kyle's case unfortunately but I think we are at a dangerous moment as far as squad retention goes.

Some would say that if anybody is going better Kyle than any other first team regular. In the end it depends on what we do with the approaching 70/80 million. that's accumulating.

Though money doesn't seem to burn holes in Daniel's pockets as it does with Mrs Jimmy G2. I'm a dead man in the unlikely event that she ever  reads this blog.

You can't keep a player that doesn't want to play for whatever reason and Mauricio will hold firm on that. Two or three promising youngster to blood would suit me and the integration of established old youngsters too.

I wouldn't protest too much if we spent some of it, but not most, on Barkley. He's young enough and has enough talent for Pochettino to hone. Sessingnon would be my preferred incomer, new contract at Fulham or not.

Barkley hasn't gone on Everton's pre-season tour and only has one year left on his contract but DL won't be interested at 50 million. So he's listening to his favourite song by Banks 'The Waiting Game' the key line of which is 'I'm Thinking it over'.

If he runs to form he will leave it to the last minute and run the risk of losing him but you can't teach an old dog new tricks so they say.

Once again we've been linked to roughly several hundred players young and old worldwide and one or two dead or retired which is why we at Musings don't bother with transfer rumours or alleged ITK.

We must keep the rest of the squad which is on an upward trend and will improve as they play together for another season under the best manager over the last two season in the Premiership. Keeping him  is crucial too.

The boys are returning to training in dribs and drabs including Lamela and one or two youngsters have been added to the US tour Party. N'jie and Fazio have gone to pastures new.

 Trippier signing a new 5yr. deal is the hottest actual news I can offer you. Pretty predictable after the transfer of Kyle.

Theresa is still in office but not in power as she quells daily Ministerial mutinies. No such problems at Spurs where all is under firm control. Mutiny? I dare ya.

I will post again when the USA trip starts with some real football news, good news hopefully. In the meantime get that garage cleaned up, and stock up on factor 30. Otherwise now' t much happening really.

Jimmy's Video Spot: Kyle Walker:

Welcome to City! The (only) One that Got Away (so far). Bold, strong, quick, 8 years a Spur, 183 appearances and 4 goals. Personally I wish him well anyway.

5 minutes of positivity but this video is not the whole story and I hope that City get some of the other side. But this is a tribute after all.

Posted by a Real Madrid supporter and what do they know.