The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Spurs Face a Fundemental Problem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Mikey D said...

The game plan is the problem because Poch only has one, irrespective of the opposition or the way a game is going. Look where Walker was for the 2nd goal and also when Hazard picks up the ball in the 2-2 last year. I'm not criticising Walker must using this as an example of the fact that Poch refuses to set up defensively and seems to think a couple of defenders is enough when we're hit on the break.

Cheshuntboy said...

With the imminent return of the irrelevant EL and the sadly diminished FA Cup, I reckon we'll do very well to hang on to a Top Four spot, especially since the only thing guaranteed under our current manager is a late season fade (or collapse, to judge from last year).
Managerial reputations built over many seasons can evaporate in one or two (see just above every Spurs manager in the last twenty-five years), and it will be interesting to see if Pochettino is capable of learning from his all too frequent errors of team selection and tactics (not to mention transfers) to become the managerial genius his fans so desperately want him to be - has he got the necessary flexibility? Not on the evidence of the Liverpool performance, or of his admiration for the dogmatic Bielsa, but you never know, do you?

Anonymous said...

The game was lost, because of Pochettino wanting to make a statement at Anfield. This is laudable, but at the same time somewhat naive. Maybe, he was worried that people would call it a small club mentality.
What I won't stand for is the likes of Cheshuntboy using this as an opportunity to crawl out of the woodwork to doubt the credentials of Pochettino. He is still pining for Sherwood and Redknapp, but coming from Cheshunt I guess Johnny Foreigner won't be his cup of tea. And yes, I will dig him out every bloody time.

JimmyG2 said...

Thanks fellas.
Pochettino 0/Spurs Musings Combined..3
He's the best we've had for years but is certainly not perfect.
Not sure your comments are justified or appropriate Sweetsman.
He is a little inflexible and stubborn but some of his faults are admirable as you say.
Horses for courses I say.

Anonymous said...

The comments made by that poster are not new and there is previous, as they say. Pochettino probably has the lack of confidence in his own stature that the likes of Mourinho don't suffer from: Jose thinks nothing about parking the bus at the big grounds. There is a fallacy that you need to win away at the big grounds; you just don't need to lose and you don't get more than three points for a win.

Mikey D said...

Sweetsman - if your comments re Cheshunt were meant to be funny, well they're not. I'm foreign and I also live in Cheshunt. It's a more diverse community than, say, middle class Hertford. Stereotyping is what prejudiced people do - the very people you are mocking. You'll also find all the pubs here rammed full with Spurs fans when a games on. Why not come and see for yourself? We welcome everyone!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't trying to be funny; and I don't live in Hertfordshire. He had an animus about AVB and it seems to have continued with MP.

Cheshuntboy said...

Funny thing - there are any number of insulting terms for people who favour their own community or nationality (if that nationality happens to be English - the Scots, Irish, Inuit and Apache can be as nationalistic as they please), from xenophobe and chauvinist to downright racist, and all stations between. If there is a word, insulting or otherwise, for a bias towards foreigners (the corollary of which is a contempt for your own nationality), I don't know it, but I do know that even those few Englishmen who've been given the chance to manage in the PL (invariably with relegation-threatened clubs like Spurs in 2008, when Redknapp got the gig) have been ridiculed and mocked, while the plum jobs have gone to fashionably foreign coaches, some with impressive track records but others with nothing more than broken English to recommend them. My problem with AVB wasn't that he was Portuguese; it was that he advocated sterile turgid football (as everyone but 'Sweetsman' now acknowledges), while Pochettino's nationality isn't the issue: it's the ridiculous hype that has accompanied his so-far modest achievements - 'best manager in the PL'? Don't make me laugh!

Anonymous said...


Cheshuntboy said...

QED? I'd have taken Wenger or Mourinho over any manager we've had at WHL in the past twenty-plus years, and I'd happily take Klopp or Conte today - my objection to both AVB and Pochettino is that they didn't/don't have what it takes to manage at the very top. AVB failed (though I've never seen any acknowledgement of that from you) and Pochettino certainly hasn't yet succeeded. You, on the other hand, were a frequent slagger-off of both Redknapp and Sherwood, and your comments suggested that their accents and backgrounds were as big a factor as anything they did on the pitch - they were too close to 'white van man' for your cosmopolitan tastes - do you still live in France, by the way?

Anonymous said...

1. I never slagged off Redknapp or his accent. I thought he was excellent and would be going for the league, but then got sacked. The reasons for that were down to him and his understandable flirtation with the England job.
2. Sherwood was a backstabber, who we all know was responsible for the leaks when AVB was there. AVB was undermined from both within and outside the club, especially from the tabloid press by the likes of Ashton and Samuel. AVB installed a defence first game, especially after he was given all the new players to bed in. The previous season had seen some excellent results and it can be argued that by making Bale the spearhead, he put him in the shop window from which the club made a lot of money. Bale had a very high opinion of AVB. Not all the English press was against AVB: Jason Burt thought he was an excellent coach. That said, I much prefer Pochettino to AVB. Sherwood's making fun of Lamela's English just shows him to be an outright Jeremy. Bankruptspurs has made a fine job of piercing Sherwood's vacuous bubble, but I doubt he's your cup of tea.
3. To say that the English press give English managers a hard time is laughable. Even Henry Winter was lauding Sherwood as some bright young thing, even when he hadn't achieved anything.
4. The QED refers to what is evident between the lines of what you have written. Whatever is said about how diverse Cheshunt is, it was you I thought of when the Brexit vote came in. At the very least, you're an English nationalist, who tend to be on the right of politics.
5. Alex Ferguson isn't in the habit of giving private audiences to any young upstart; and he's on record regarding his admiration of Pochettino. Pochettino has won the admiration of many other football watchers. Pochettino's English is fine for his job, which is to manage Spurs; it's not to do the job for the monoglot English tabloid press. I think you'll find that Pochettino is trilingual.
6. There are very good young English managers, but Sherwood just isn't one of them.

Anonymous said...

PS. I've never lived in France. Where you got that from is beyond me.

Cheshuntboy said...

I think I got it from a post on the Harry Hotspur site three or four years ago - I can't imagine how I confused you with someone else, but I can't be right all the time, can I?

JimmyG2 said...

Well people I hope you all feel better for that.
Seems to be a case of mistaken identity.
Meanwhile coming to a football pitch near you the Europa Cup.
Your both always welcome of course.

Cheshuntboy said...

I'm genuinely sorry that this stupid running squabble periodically breaks out on your otherwise civilised site - I follow Spurs as a football team; nothing more, but some people seem determined to impose their own ideas of diversity, multi-culturalism and (yes!) political correctness on a few men kicking a ball around, and that's when it seems to get nasty. My rows with fellow Spurs supporters used to be about the respective merits of Ray Evans and Joe Kinnear, or whether Chris Jones could hit a cow's arse with a banjo, but those were simpler times.

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