The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 18 August 2017

It's All kicked Off.


A smooth take off but there could be turbulence ahead.

The JimmyG2 Column. 
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Tables stowed, window blinds open, arm-rests down and seat-belts fastened: here we go; here we go. At last we're up and running or rather up and flying after Newcastle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Money to waste and time to spare.

80 million spare cash and plenty of time.





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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