The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Spurs close to Trivial Pursuits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fulham away in the Cup.
Ryan out of hospital

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

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Bargain Buys at Spurs.

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

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

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

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

Hindsight oh Hindsight get thee behind me hindsight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(from Football Filter with thanks)

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Who stole the bus?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I might just.....

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

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Spurs timing just right.

Harry and Mauricio get their timing just right.
The Jimmy G2 Column

Harry times the birth of his firstborn on a Cup weekend to Championship opposition. 'He shoots, he scores'. Though not quite the t-shirt for this particular occasion Harry.

Mauricio took his chance too putting out the backup squad, just the nine changes from Chelsea, and introducing them to the mysteries of 3/5/1/1.

Why else would we play such a system at home to poor Championship opposition?

A calm controlled performance as would be expected. Cameron Carter-Vickers, barely turned 19, started and gave us yet another centre half option along with Wimmer.

I make that five options with Dier and our two Belgian regulars. Six if you include Mauricio himself. Too old? I bet he's fit enough in an emergency.

Harry Winks did his Party Trick, his Christian Eriksen impression which at 20 yrs old was a bit of a show stopper and he was a clear MOM.

He's the other Harry and, just like him, one of our own. He has another four years to get up to speed.

Mauricio had to bring on Dele to change the game and he showed his class, finding space and laying the ball off quickly. Kevin N'Koudou. gave another effective cameo and must be close to a proper start.

He and Sissoko provided the assists from wide for Davies first Spurs goal, a clever glancing header and Son's 8th. of the season following good team play. We left it late but there was no panic.

Wycombe up next at home which should see roughly the same team take the field and a similar result.
Cameron Carter-Vickers and Wimmer took their chance but Vincent Janssen did not.

CCV is another of our own having joined the Academy at 11. He remains eligible for both US and England. He is stocky, strong and good in the air.

Vorm kept the keeping gloves warm but had as little to do as Hugo himself often does. He's better with his feet however and did very little but with the same authority.

Both teams achieved their aims: us to give game time to the irregulars and go through to the next round: Villa to avoid getting completely swamped. Both missions accomplished.

On the transfer front Schneiderlin seems to have gone to Everton for 22 million. At that price I can only assume we didn't want him despite the Southampton, Pochettino connection.

But as the Beatty in the British Telecom ads used to say: not good enough for Manchester Utd: not good enough for us.

The Rolling Stones got it spot on:
'You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes,
 well you might find
You get what you need'

Obviously keeping our savings dry for the next couple of weeks. Apart from transforming Vincent Janssen or replacing him what exactly do we need?

Jimmy's Video spot.
Beatty or the Rolling Stones? No contest! A classic from the 1980's. I love The Stones but couldn't resist this.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Who's a Flat Track Bully now!

Get Noah on the blower:
 Chelsea have run into one helluva storm.
The JimmyG2 Column.
 O Happy Day. The Chelsea Parade was a washout and we rained on it so heavily that Noah launched the Ark for only the second time in recorded history.

Mrs JimmyG2 observing my love affair with football sometimes asks exactly what I see in the game. After some games I have to admit I am stumped for an answer. But not on Sunday night.

We did ourselves so much good by winning this one and incidentally gave everyone else a boost too. Let's hope they return the favour. This time we kept our cool and maintained concentration, focus and discipline.

We certainly showed that we had learned our lesson. It's the football stupid. Dier's sad shake of the head when confronted by Diego Costa summed it up. And no hint of petulance or a whiff of a nutmeg from my MOM Dele.

I gave it to him ahead of Wanyama who was at his beastliest and supplied the grit and 'the worlds my oyster' Eriksen who brought forth the pearls because goals win games and it is such a rare kind of talent to possess.

I won't go as far as one football writer who said: 'Dele Alli underlined his growing reputation by single-handedly ending Chelsea's 13-match winning run on Wednesday'.

It doesn't exactly throw the Premiership wide open  but it exposes the limitations of the league leaders for all the chasing pack to see and establishes our credentials once again.

Eriksen and Spurs threw off the 'flat track bully' mantle and draped it  firmly on Chelsea's shoulders. They had a wonderful run but against mainly moderate opposition. We've now won five and might get a jog on ourselves.

Martin Keown gave a warning to Chelsea. He believes that the end of Chelsea’s 13 match winning streak could spark a complete collapse just like it did to the Gunners.  Nice thought Martin. 

Mauricio rubbed salt into the wounds by bringing on another of our 20yr.olds, Harry Winks, with another 20 minutes still left. Way to go Mauricio.

We controlled the midfield with Dembele and particularly Wanyama who saw off Kante and Matic. Costa, Pedro and Hazard barely had a sniff against our three man backline.

We didn't quite run riot but Eriksen found space for two precise crosses and Dele bold and decisive did the rest. Seven goals in four games. Reminds me of Bill Nicholson's comment on Jimmy Greaves work-rate.

'All he's done today is score four goals'

A famous victory but we must not allow this be the climax  of our season but use it as a springboard to greater things which we failed to do after defeating Man.City.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Dele's goals, Eriksen's assists but it's a team game remember. Athleticism and grace, power and accuracy. Foreign commentary because they don't get taken down so quickly.
You're welcome.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Third place within grasp for Spurs.

Relax it's only Man Utd. buzzing around.
The JimmyG2 Column.
Half way through the season and the pressure builds. Man.Utd are on a six game winning run buzzing round us like a fly up a cow's backside and our four game run flicking them away with disdain.

On Wednesday we have the chance to make everybody's day by putting paid to Chelsea's impressive record breaking attempt. A draw wouldn't be a disaster but we are playing well and at home and a win is not inconceivable.

'Unbeaten' became a millstone for us and in sight of a record their winning run might prove to be a step too far for them.

Ever since we failed to swat and squash the Man Utd. challenge completely  we have been in increasingly good form, both team and players. A kind fixture list has given us the opportunity to settle and play.

Watford were woeful but we made the most of it with Dele and Harry finding their goal touch, Eriksen fine tuning his engine and Wimmer and Trippier slotting in nicely. Toby might never have been away.

Wanyama continues to impress and only Son was wasteful though energetic and keen to make his mark. Harry Winks might have started or come on earlier but I always say that.

Harry's first goal was as good a goal as I have seen for some time. Good team build up, Trippier's precise passing and Harry's movement and touch were wonderful.

The top six are pulling away from the rest and it looks as if we will have Europa football next season as a fail safe option. Liverpool, Arsenal and City are not as consistent and are well within our sights. Beat Chelsea and the world is our lobster.

On Sunday Trippier was oustanding though none of the defence were under much pressure. Even Lloris remained calm and gave our defenders some breathing space with his distribution.

If our four consecutive wins and two consecutive away four goal hauls (the first time since the double winning season over 50 yrs ago) can inspire some confidence we have nothing to fear tomorrow 'but fear itself'.

As long as we concentrate on the football and not on settling old imaginary scores. Otherwise we have plenty of candidates for the first red card and the end of the game as a fair contest.

We have nothing to prove in the tough guy stakes. Focus and concentrate.

Spurs 2-1 but bet responsibly.

Hold the front page!
Bournemouth 2 Arsenal 0 as I type. Sorry 3-0. Oops! 3-1. Oh! 3-2. Three minutes to go.One minute to go. Six minutes extra time. 3-3 Giroud. And breathe.

Beat Chelsea and we go third

Jimmy's Video Spot.
The Dele and Harry show with a walk on cameo from Kieran  Trippier. Thought I might edit out their shambolic goal but I'll leave it in as a warning.

Dele's first 50 games bears comparison to the best and Harry equals Thierry Henri's tally for his first 100 games.You know what they say about the future.