The Blog that's not always wrong.

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.
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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.


Thursday, 15 June 2017

All Sorts Going On.

We just can't see it.
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The JimmyG2Column.
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Politics may be stuck in The Doldrums, an equatorial region of the Atlantic with calms, sudden storms, and light unpredictable winds but not football at Spurs.
 
Theresa set off in full sail and has ended up clinging to a rock for several days awaiting rescue by the DUP and survives because 'There is no alternative'. No such problem at White Hart Lane, New or Old.
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Josh Onomah has been reborn as the new Dembele rediscovered at the Under 20 World Cup and CCV too; Edwards is still lurking in the wings; KWP is out there somewhere and Winks and Lamela will be like new signings.

Erik says 'Hi' and 'thanks' and with Son breaking his arm we wish them both speedy recoveries. As well as we did whether we would have done even better with Erik as an option last season seems a no brainer to me.

Transfer Window? What transfer window? Apparently some fans are floating the 'we need an older, experienced, winner'  boat but we got very close to the beach without him and the wrong man could capsize the craft.

Actually Sissoko is a storm warning of what can go seriously wrong in pursuit of this mythical beast. New players must fit into the crew and be able to row in unison. No Billy Big Rowlocks need apply.(Sorry)

Daniel has been seen recently on a flight to China: flogging Sissoko? Drumming up Sponsorship? Selling the club? Or brushing up on his famed Chow Mein recipe at the horse's mouth. Your call.

In a recently published player values article which I hope D.L hasn't seen, selling just half the team could almost pay for the New Stadium entirely. But then how would we then fulfill next seasons fixtures? 

Dele tops the list at 155.000 million just ahead of HK. But Dier at 85 million and Gareth Bale at 59 million perhaps gives us pause for thought on the whole venture.

I wouldn't swap either of them for twice that but then that sort of decision is well above my pay grade especially as an unpaid blogger. The values are all according to some algorhithmic formula which doesn't surprise me at all.

The only player almost definitely possibly leaving is Kyle Walker maybe. But this rumour was started by Kierran so and may not be quite on the money. He would be a sad loss in many ways including football. City have offered loose change so far.

Harry Kane captained England and scored a last minute equaliser to save his side from the ultimate indignity: losing to Scotland. That boy is a phenomenal force of nature and worth every penny of the alleged 154 Million.

He put two past Hugo on Tuesday night in the France friendly too. I don't call that at all friendly but I expect they will laugh about it later. Varane was sent off for clipping our Dele and Kane put the penalty straight down the middle.

The fixtures are out and will need some studying in depth before I can conclude that the Computer has been nobbled again. At the moment the only observation I can safely make is that all teams play each other twice, home and away.

But as Eric Morecombe once said to Andre Previn: 'I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order' We have an early chance to expunge the memory of that 5-1 defeat at Newcastle
in the opening fixture.

And then we 'welcome' Chelsea to Wembley in our first Home, sort of, game. No Doldrums round here. Next up holidays and clearing out the garage in no particular order.

So that was the week that was, just as long in football as in politics just seems longer in the latter.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
If this isn't the new Dembele my name is Michael Caine. Blew my bloody doors right off in the Under 20 World Cup. Needs to take this level of effort, strength and confidence into the full squad next season.

A big step up but you can see why Mauricio has been nurturing him.

Will we see Harry Winks and Josh starting a Premiership game together this season?
That would be another 50 million saved Mr.L.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Spurs have problems.

Now that was just silly Hull.
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 The JimmyG2 Column.
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So anyway in this dream I had we won the league, Hugo got the Golden Gauntlets, Arsenal were relegated and we beat W. Ham easily. I woke up just before the Champions' League final finished but we were 3 up with minutes to go.

And you know what?  We have achieved almost everything else. Harry Kane 7 goals and two hat-tricks in the last two games won the Golden Boot.  Three players on 20 goals or more.

86 points which would have assured us of the title in 13 of the 20 years of the Premiership. Highest scoring  attack; meanest defence; team spirit; good football and lessons learned from last year.

And all achieved without stellar marquee signings and eye watering wages. Just some of our own, youth and experience bought in under the radar and for peanuts. Except Sissoko but he's the exception that tests the rule.

And without key players for parts of the season. Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Danny Rose for a couple of months; Erik Lamela for most of the season.

 But you know all this. However progress with the youngest squad in the Premiership deserves saluting. Third last year after an end of season meltdown; second this with ruthless determination, flair and skill. Next? Who knows.

The last two games showed how we have moved on under Mauricio's steely eye. Thirteen goals from all over the squad: Son and Dele, Toby, Victor, and Ben all getting in on the Kane act.

In the final game last year we lost 5-1 to a Newcastle already relegated. This year we cruelly knocked seven past newly relegated Hull when they had the temerity to score at 3-0 and rob Hugo of the Golden Gloves.

It's a shame in a way because I lived in Hull and the surrounding area for more than a decade and they have bought quite a few of our surplus players. They are my third favourite team after Spurs and Real Madrid. 

But poking a wasp's nests with a stick is not advised. Their goal followed slack play by Jan. Dele and Davies had already guilty of some dithering but we cleared our heads and came back fighting.

Our home form this season is better than the Double year, but it's the away form that has let us down. The last time we only lost four games in a season was over a hundred years ago.

Harry Kane, our talisman, and three season wonder, scored as many goals in the League as Sunderland and two more than Middlesbrough and that was with 2 months out. But you know all this.

What I'm trying to say is that we have had a fantastic season, playing generally the right Spurs way, you know passing and moving, and improving under Mauricio as he himself has improved.

He has been a credit to the club, a gentleman at all times, a class act in every way and performed with dignity both pre-match, post-match and during the match. Long may it last.

The Tottenham Dictionary has been revised. Out go 'Spursy' along with 'bottlers', 'soft centre' and 'lack of mental toughness'. In come a lot of words meaning very good to watch. Suggestions welcome

 Dele remains a delight; Harry a phenomenon; Eriksen pure poetry; Son a human pin ball; Wanyama a revelation and Sissoko currently a disappointment.

No I know we haven't won anything yet except for the respect of the footballing world which is a good solid basis on which to build. Not on Sky and in the papers naturally but that's only to be expected.

We have made WHL a fortress and must now turn to Wembley and make it work for us against visiting sides. It's not pitch size that will be the problem but unfamiliarity and atmosphere.

It's more a matter of perception and we have just the Manager to impose some clear thinking. Most of our team will embrace the extra yards available and Dele, Erikson,  Harry and Son will be even harder to pin down.

 I have a dream. Spurs have problems no doubt; keeping the team together; squaring the Wembley circle; Carefully exanding the squad; sorting out our priorities and probably more more. But we can do this.

 That rumbling sound is either WHL being torn down or me snoring.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Hat-trick for Harry, goals from all over the team. Lovely ball from Dier to Trippier. A fitting end to a superb season. Pity about their goal but let's not be greedy.


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Spurs master plan revealed to cope with Wembley move.

 Another way of getting an extra 25.000 into the Lane.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Wonderful day; wonderful game; wonderful result; wonderful crowd and I am full of wonder at what it means; where we are and what the future holds.

It couldn't have been scripted better apart from the rain and the old War Horse Rooney, an old man against men and boys scoring the last goal at The Lane.

But Harry Kane scored his 49th. home goal , his first against United. and what proved to be the crucial winner to secure second place. 3rd. last year; 2nd. this. 3-2-1 liftoff.

Wanyama's headed opener from a Davies cross was a collector's item but Harry's deft flick from an Erikson free kick for the second was straight out of the Tottenham play book.

De Gea's 'What the Hell am I supposed to do about that and where are you all' gesture after the first goal spoke volumes. They turned up only fleetingly.

Nothing 'Spursy' to see here; no slip-ups on this historic day; Dele at his good humoured will of the wisp best; Wanyama and Dier strong; the Belgium centre backs sound; everyone contributing; no weak links.

Unbeaten at home for the current season; second place signed sealed and delivered. Manchester United our first opponents 118 years ago and 'bete noir' over the recent years beaten. Who said the fixture computer has no soul.

We played well from the start and showed clear intent and determination. That we scored early in both halves is a tribute to Pochettino's motivational powers. We were up for this without a doubt.

Their pace nearly undid us on a couple of occasions but we dared to squeeze the play with a high line and reaped the rewards. 'Audere percipere fructum' as the Romans have it and Musings suggestion for a new motto.

'To dare is to do' has always seemed a bit cryptic, even gnomic. to me. But this team assembled at a fraction of the cost of their opponents and others and probably worth nearly as much currently understands what it means.

We seem to have stumbled on a winning formula after years of experimentation with Managers and bought in 'Stars'. Grow your own, buy in young potential, add a dash of experienced under the radar bargains, train 'em up and let 'em loose.

It certainly leaves financial space to pay for for a new Stadium and Training ground and shows vision for the future which as we all know is very bright.

So a great day that will live long in the memories of fans and former stars alike. We've always had great players but rarely a great team. This team far exceeds the sum of its parts and that's due to Mauricio.



 Who planned that?

The calls will begin even from Spurs fans even as they enjoy the benefits of the current parsimonious approach to splash some cash. Keeping our current squad by raising the wage levels would be the most effective way.

With Winks, Rose and Lamela yet to return from long term injuries and Edwards and others waiting in the wings we are not short of talented players if we can hold on to them all.

Mahrez, Zaha and Barkley are confidently rumoured to be on their way in but Musings prefers to wait until the cardboard cut-out of the Manager with his right arm on their shoulder appears.

Walker and Rose are the favourites to leave but why sell the two best full backs in Europe just at the point of success, especially to rivals. Anyway we'll see but perhaps not for a month or three.

The songs have barely faded away and the tears hardly dry before the old stadium is being cleared and the new one rising in it's stead.  In the meantime we have to make a Wembley of our own.

 This cardboard replica puzzle just needs scaling up.

'Musings' suggests we build a full size Wembley replica out of cardboard, or 3D print one at the training ground and play on it every day until August.

But allegedly prestigious Corporate fund raisers are already set in place to Hong Kong less than a week after the end of the season and America later. Nothing more than wage slaves our boys. But what a wage.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Nothing fancy: Just the Managers; the teams; the fans; White Hart Lane and the goals for the Archives.


Monday, 8 May 2017

Spurs cancel contract.

 
Mauricio sold our shares in that place months ago.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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And so we quickly return to the land of lack of mental strength, Spursy and putting things in glass receptacles after our visit to the London Stadium and the defeat by W.Ham. Don't mention the 'B' word

Well that didn't take long did it. We played poorly agreed but in the light of our recent form and progress over two years  it's clutching at straws as an explanation.

Captain Hugo does us a disservice after 9 straight wins and the usurping of Arsenal after 22 years
by pouring petrol on the old 'mental strength' diversion.

Spurs comfort blanket; the Management, Manager, player all purpose cop out over many decades to excuse failure to invest at the appropriate time and excuse poor performances.

Recently this has morphed into the feeble 'Spursy' joke. Somehow this fatal flaw seeps into the bloodstream all players signing at The Lane and gets into their DNA.

For once very few of our team played well. But our record stands any scrutiny over the last two seasons. We cut the Chelsea lead from 13 points in mid March and a win would have taken us to within one.

Not the sign of a team which lacks 'mentality'. We have kept Chelsea honest and if they lose on Monday as some predict it will be because the pressure we have exerted has relaxed with the W.Ham defeat.

Winning the league was never on after Xmas and 'Musings' said so some games ago. Not coming second is just as unlikely. We would have to lose our three remaining games and the chasing pack win all theirs.

With Arsenal beating Man.Utd and Liverpool drawing against Southampton only Man.City can overtake us so third is a given even if we lose our remaining three games.

At West Ham we got our tactics wrong, the Dier Wanyama midfield axis lacks creative dynamism Three at the back seems to free up our midfielders more and Mauricio got his substitutions wrong.

Dembele is not a sound choice at 1-0 down. N'koudou might have threatened more than Janssen. Swapping Trippier for Walker seemed like a waste at the time.

Vertoghen was one of the better players on the night and his substitution I assume was down to injury. This has been another crucial factor over the season for us coming up just short.

The build up was too slow. They cancelled out our attack with blanket defence and grabbed a goal.
Nothing to do with complacency and what's in our heads.

Blame the W.Ham curse, the big pitch, Friday night, the weather, the ref, tiredness or whatever and I am gutted that it was W:Ham that did for us on this one.

But we are going to come second to a moneybags team, doing it 'our way' and this was a blip. If it were 'mentality' then we wouldn't be where we are.

We have failed to build teams in the past and lacked any kind of vision which Pochettino has brought. We have chopped and changed Managers and when we have bought good players sold them carelessly.

The lack of 'mentality' if anywhere has been at the very top of the club not in the heads of the Manager and players. Now we have a settled 'project' with a  clear aims and affordable strategies and a young Manager still learning on the job.

At W.Ham we were sluggish, Erikson and Dele flickered from time to time and the full backs got forward but to no appreciable effect. Harry Kane and Son will have to read the match reports to see if they did anything.

Lloris kept it respectable after Toby, not quite at his best again, decided to go on a run starting from his own penalty spot.We were desperate for a point Toby but not that desperate.

Now we have to resolve important matters before next season. Wage structure; our attitude and approach to Europe; how to make Wembley and the New White Hart Lane a fortress or at the very least a lockable gun cabinet..

Not losing The Last Game At The  Lane next weekend will preserve our proud home record and secure second. But anything Arsenal can do we can do better. Let's go on our way to Wembley in style.

No longer available at the Spurs Shop.
The cosy comfort blanket bearing the 'Spursy' legend available in blue and white. Slow sales over the past season have rendered this item out of stock. The supply contract has been cancelled. Sorry.

To be replaced by
'Essence de Pochettino' parfum. The Spurs Shop could make a fortune selling bottles of that.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
You want bottling? Here is a fully automated water bottling plant in action. Not to be confused with a rare poor performance by Tottenham Hotspur.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

No Place Like Home Sweet Home.

Cheer up lads. It might never happen.
Oh it just did.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Spurs have at last aligned themselves with the Stars, Destiny and the March of Time. I'm not one for cliches but I feel the Hand of History on my shoulder today.

 Let it be recorded that on the last day of April 2017 Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal in the last NLD at the Old White Hart Lane to ensure that we will finish above them for the first time in over two decades.

We still have a desperate gamblers outside chance of catching Chelsea to win the Premiership but I'm not that desperate or a gambler and for the moment content with second. Progress is all. Next season is another country.

We played like a team built and developed over time by an inspirational Manager. They did not. If Dele and Eriksen had put away their chances we would have gone in at half-time 2-0 up.

If Cech hadn't been on top form it could have been 6-0 at the end. As it was Dele surrounded by red shirts who showed greater alertness and desire to score the opener after neat footwork by Cristian Eriksen.

Within minutes Harry Kane had won and scored a penalty to finish the job. The rest is truly history. St.Totteringham day cancelled for this and hopefully many more seasons. For ever? Never say For ever.

Our ninth consecutive win on a day that Arsenal, who are currently on their longest non-winning run against us (6), never came close or looked likely to halt. We were a team: they were a loose collection of individuals.

Wanyama and Verts were outstanding. Jan stepping up and out of Toby's considerable shadow once again. Eriksen went under the radar but his influence was telling.

All this excitement should have happened a year ago. But as we have reached the four games to go mark let's not dwell on it. We have learned, improved, got the t-shirt and moved on.

I am proud of the team, the squad,the manager, the club for their achievements and attitude. Inspired by the thought that they can only get better if they stay together. Every one of them with no exceptions.

Most of them could double their wages at another club next season but take one brick out of a wall and the whole thing might collapse. It's not the moment to even think about this.

Champions' League again; the New White Hart Lane to come after a year at Wembley should fulfill most of their ambitions. It's not always about the money.

Spurs rank first in the Premier League this season for:
shots per home game (19.94); shots on target per home game (7.78); chances created (15.0) and fewest goals conceded per home game.

Oh yes and best goal difference, highest goals scored and least conceded overall in the Premiership.
What's not to stay for ?

This proud record and achievement must be taken into our new temporary home. Whether the move to Wembley will prove a disaster or an inspiration remains to be seen. But attitude is everything.

I suspect the former but the truth will hopefully be somewhere in between. Pochettino needs to get into their heads on this one. No other team will have played at Wembley as often as us after all.

The game itself was a disappointment. Not exactly a fight to the death of rutting stags in season now was it. More like a formal changing of the guard. Arsenal seemed to know their place.

Apparently Ozil showed more passion in leaving his stud marks on a door in the changing rooms over a drug test than he did in the whole of the game. Sanchez body language seemed to suggest, ' Adios amigos'.

The sight of Giroud's tongue and embarrassed grin after another miscontrol or failed attempt said it all. Only Ramsey really seemed to want it and had their best attempt well saved by Hugo.

So the baton is passed. A win here may just have saved Arsene's bacon so we might unfortunately have done them a favour but their final position will tell all. Europa looks much more likely than the CL.

Arsenal's move to their new stadium hovered over them financially for a decade but we have found a new way after much experimentation over several decades. 

Youth and emerging talent under a Manager that will give it a chance; investment in the Academy and the training ground sets us up for Lilywhite future.

We have struck gold in Dele, both Harrys, Eriksen, Wanyama, Dier, Toby, Dembele, Rose, Walker and Jan. And made silk purses out of others.
 
We need to mine the same vein again. The balance and spirit of the current squad must not be threatened by careless transfers at ridiculous fees and disruptive wages. And I know Daniel agrees.

W.Ham on Friday will tell us more. Draw and CL qualification is assured; the dreaded four games to go banana  skin will have been side-stepped, Kyle Walker's situation will be clearer. If he plays he stays in my view.

All our players will come under pressure and some re-adjustment of our wage scales might be necessary but so far nearly all of them have signed new contracts. Keeping Mauricio is crucial.

Thanks for the Memories White Hart Lane. This one will stay in the mind for a long time.We are going away next week after Man.Utd but we'll be back quite soon and just next door, close to home sweet home.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Had to have it on the blog for the sake of the archives. Not that you'll mind. Dele and Harry scoring; great shots of  White Hart Lane as a backdrop to the start of The New Gap. Happy Days.


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Spurs to Kill Two Birds with One Stone.

Plenty of these at Spurs this year.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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It's simple: win on Sunday and they can't catch us even though they have 5 games to go, draw and it's theoretically touch and go; losing doesn't merit consideration.

Not that finishing above Arsenal is our main priority. If Chelsea slip up there would be only one point between us but there is nothing quite as satisfying as killing two birds with one stone.

Last night we ground out a win against form team Crystal Palace, apart from us that is, on their own ground. If it was Man.Utd or another of the Sky elite it would be a sign of a good team.

Doesn't apply to us though. The BBC report didn't even mention that we lost Dembele to injury at half time. Only that Palace  ' lost influential defender Mamadou Sakho' ten minutes later.

Am I getting paranoid you ask. Nope. Been paranoid for years, just getting worse as the pressure mounts. I think it goes with the Spurs territory in the new Premiership era.

8 wins in a row and on the last occasion we did that, over 50  years ago, we won the league. We have already bettered our best Premiership points total with 5 games to go. Nothing can go wrong now Shirley.

Yes we all know it can but if we don't believe then how can you expect the boys to do so. The bounce back at Palace albeit initially subdued after the Cup semi-final on Sunday was gratifying and possibly very significant.

To be fair Palace weren't up to much and Lloris was our unused keeper. They talked up Benteke and he won a few headers but nowhere near goal and nobody picked up the second ball.

Zaha and Townsend twinkled intermittently and if we bought Wilfred for anything close to the Sissoko fee I wouldn't complain too much. The rest were pretty ordinary despite their recent good results in our cause.

Zaha has caught the eye lately and Mauricio is allegedly a fan. He has improved his work rate, and defended well at times last night. If Lamela is going he might well find a role.

Sissoko came on for Dembele and was given a specific 'Help Kyle Walker' assignment and did exactly that. Kyle was having one of his nightmare flashback performances.

The other Moussa and Eriksen filed a claim for the corner flag territory for the last ten minutes and helped see the game out. Son on for Wanyama who was lucky not to be sent off livened things up as usual.

The first half performance was not encouraging but the arrival of Son and Sissoko and tactical changes at the back changed the situation. They retreated and we upped the pace but it was Eriksen who made the difference.

Both with his performance and his fine goal, once again from well outside the area. Verts won the Belgian best player contest against Benteke and even Toby but Christian took all the plaudits and ran the game in the second half.

Sam will blame the injury to Sakho and the ref's failure to send off Wanyama for a second yellow card foul on Townsend. But his team looked happy to take a draw and put little pressure on us.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Alan Smith like 'The Musings' is not always wrong. He calls this one spot on. 'Just when you want a bit of quality'.  

Christian in acres of space. Harry circling with the ball as if waiting for permission to land and then wham! the only goal of the game.



Monday, 24 April 2017

All in the Mind.



 I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours.
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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?
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 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.
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 The JimmyG2 Column.
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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!
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The JimmyG2 Column. 
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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.

Team..............Played.....GD......Points.
(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.

'Spursy'
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.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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'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 d├ębutante 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.
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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.
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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 The Day After St Patrick’s Day.
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Erik Lamela … The Real Story.
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“ 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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Theory One  …  The Death of Simba.
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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. 
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The unfortunate demise of Erik’s Beloved dog does not keep a young and very well paid footballer from plying his trade.
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Theory Two … The Near Death of Brian Lamela.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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The  Roma Theory.
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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.
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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.
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 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.
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 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.
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Hardly anything coming from the club upon which you could risk the family home in the local betting shop.
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The Elephant in the Room Theory.
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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.
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Outrageous speculation that Erik’s issues relate to drug usage are surely that. Outrageous!!
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Summing Up.
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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.
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Still an integral cog in the Pochettino Plan. I’ll leave the last word to a man who was surely a secret Spurs admirer.
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 “ People love conspiracy theories.”   Neil Armstrong.
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Cheers .. Get Well Sooner Erik .. Greg Meyer.    coys.
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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.
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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.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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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:
HARRY KANE 65

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

Premier League goals for Englishmen since start of 2014/15:
HARRY KANE 65
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.
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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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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.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 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. 


r.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Hugo Lloris Worries.

 Worried? Face, Worried? 
We're not bovered Hugo. Yet.
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 The Greg Meyer Column.
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February 22nd  2017 … Greavsie Turns 77 this week  … today George Washington turns 285.
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The Hugo Lloris Worries.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Hugo again donned the gloves against Gent. His distribution was generally sound and his world class shot stopping abilities kept Spurs in the tie.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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 And yes Hugo Lloris will return and it bodes well for the exciting games and challenges ahead.
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In the famous words of Harper Lee, To Kill A Mocking Bird …
..................“ It’s not time to worry yet. “.
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Spurs playing, fighting, not worrying still on 3 fronts.
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 Cheers …. no worries mate … Greg Meyer.    coys.
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 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?