The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Spurs Ignoring the Lessons of History.


 Those who ignore the lessons of History
are doomed to repeat them.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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'Late Kane goal saves Spurs humiliation'. A brief headline but pithy and more or less precise. But it was only the Guardian so no need to stress too much. It didn't actually save us from humiliation: that had already occurred.
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Mauricio offered the boys a human sacrifice to preserve the Seniors' dignity by removing the rookie Kyle Walker Peters, playing on his weaker side, at half time. It could have been Trippier or any of the midfield juggernauts.

At least KWP understands the concept of jumping. Trippier can't be blamed for being short, that's pure heightism, but when you jump you have to leave the ground. This will do KWP no good at all. 

We were turgid and inept and surprisingly surprised by the invention and application of Newport very much at home in front of their own supporters in their tiny stadium and on their own sub-standard pitch.

Which bit of ''it's the FA Cup away to would-be Division 2 Giant killers'' did they not understand and anticipate? It's what the 'Magic' of the Cup is all about and the only Press story is when the 'Big Boys' get beaten.

They were at us from the start like wasps at a picnic. Eventually we got stung and it took us until after half time to realise that flapping at them them was not going to work. It never does.

Mauricio is obviously not a student of Military History. The First World War showed the difficulties of deploying heavy equipment in unsuitable ground conditions. Hannibal had similar problems crossing the Alps with elephants. Many of them died en route.

Those that ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. It was not until the arrival of the Light Cavalry in the shape of Son and Dele as well as Newport's own fading stamina and belief  that we made much headway.

The heavyweight midfield of Sissoko, Dier, Dembele and Wanyama were doomed from the start to get bogged down. Too many sledgehammers not enough scalpels in the starting tool kit.

Illness and injury provide cover for Mauricio but the lack of intensity, interest and motivation do not. The team was badly balanced and without Lamela, Eriksen and Winks and Son and Dele left out we gave ourselves few initial options.

Foyth another lightweight emerged in the second half after a dodgy first half and stepped forth in  style. Wanyama and Llorente were perhaps the two worst performers but there were other candidates.

Harry secured the replay after an ingenious assist by Son and we live to fight another day.  They will clearly be overwhelmed by the sumptuous Wembley surroundings and we will thankfully escape being reduced to a Trivial Pursuits question for ever more.

As well as the individually wrapped hair products, scented soap, shower gel and the pristine THFC towels we were going to recruit a couple of dozen 'hostesses' for the occasion.

You know tall, pretty, slim with short black skirts and matching underwear and non disclosure agreements ready signed. Thought it might put the Welshmen off their game just a little. Away dressing room only obviously

But that idea seems to have been overtaken by events elsewhere. A well deserved pay day for Newport and a timely lesson for us. Anyway we will win the replay easily if we can be bothered. Won't we?

Ahead an exciting couple of weeks: Millwall or Rochdale away (if we beat Newport), Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal in the Prem and Juventus in the Champions' League. Saturday was not the ideal preparation and performance for that lot.

Even Harry was getting worried about the result but he kept trying as he always does and was rewarded with a tap in to save at least a few of our blushes.

Harry and Dele combined late on and we came within inches of winning which would have been more than just a mere  injustice it would have been as they say 'a travesty'.

Incoming. Lucas Maura.
The only firm rumour in sight. He's Brazilian and on the fringe at PSG and at a rumoured 25 million a possible bargain. Labelled a PSG 'star' by the tabloids but can't actually get in the teamregularly.

My teenage grandsons, FIFA addicts to a man, were most impressed when I told them we might be signing him. Quick and clever they agreed.

But we won't post the you tube video until we see Mauricio's cardboard cutout with its virtual arm round his shoulder. 'Many a slip twixt cup and lip' as they used to say.

Priority should be an understudy/backup/ to Christian but never mind.

Good News week
Hugo, Toby, Erik, Christian and Danny in full training and all or some could be available for Midweek against Man.Utd. No sign of Harry Winks and Serge is still out.

ITK
Llorente to Chelsea: Rondon to Spurs. If only it were true.

Llorente still in Mauricio's plans allegedly. To sell him I hope.
I was once told that people risk their jobs to bring us this nonsense. More bloody fool them I say.

In Other News.
Spurs have applied to Harringey to increase the capacity of NWHL to 62.000+ up by 441+. Apparently we over-ordered on the seats and can't return them due to special paint specs.

Disclaimer.
 Spurs Musings accept no responsibility for any development that has taken place between the creation of this column and its publication especially at the end of a hectic transfer window. Not at Spurs though obviously.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Juan Marcos Foyth. 20 and Argentinian.
Featuring this week one of the few to emerge from the Newport debacle (love that word) with any credit even after an erratic first half. Plenty of company there.

Blurry stuff but it shows the boy's positive attitude. Space ahead; run into it. No Agrophobe he.
Toby isn't getting any younger you know. Like the boy. Hype on overdrive: 'dribbles like Messi' (NOT!)

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Spurs handed a lifeline.

Thanks Swansea.
This next bit looks tricky but we still have a lifeline.
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The JIMMYG2 Column.
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I've always liked Swansea and they certainly handed us a  lifeline to the top four by unexpectedly beating Liverpool under new manager Carlos Carvalhal who is enjoying more of a Bungee jump than a bounce.

However even with my new powerful Sherlock Holmes kit magnifying glass (Thanks Santa) I am struggling to find any positives from Sunday's performance other than we didn't get beaten. One point to each which suits neither.

With the top three winning we lost ground at the end of a friendly run ahead of more testing times and the Champions' League to come. We took 26 points from the last 36 available which is probably not good enough.

Of these only Man.City. was a top four rival. Four 1-1 draws and the loss to Leicester have put us in pole Europa position which is not where we wanted or expected to be.

We are clear above Arsenal if you count that as a positive but that is a somewhat parochial and limited achievement which hardly shows up on the Big Screen. With their quality incomings this may not be true for long.

The upcoming games against Man.Utd (H), Liverpool (A) and Arsenal (H) our next three Premiership games put the ball firmly in our own court. Ahead is the Cup game at Newport and a Champions' League against Juventus completes the sandwich

By the middle of February our progress and fate will be clearer on every front. Home wins and away draws would seem to be the order of the day but performances like the one against Southampton won't do.

Vorm was an able deputy for  Lloris, his handling and distribution were sound. Jan kept his cool and knitted things together at the back once again but after these two I am struggling. At least Southampton failed to score.

Without Eriksen, like Hugo laid low with flu, we struggled to join up the dots and he was a key miss. Dele was at his indecisive worst; Son was marooned; Dembele was a bull in a china shop at best.

Aurier and Davies got forward well and saw plenty of the ball but nearly every one of their crosses were wayward. The Dier/Dembele midfield was slow and without inspiration. Sissoko didn't exactly help.

Harry was hardly in it but a determined run for a Davies corner put us on level terms within minutes of Sanchez unfortunately diverting a cross into his own net. He had a shaky half hour and will be a fine player one day but not on Sunday.

The substitutions were late and puzzling again. Son off rather than Dele and Llorente ignored when we were chasing the game. One wonders what he was bought for. Lamela and Wanyama should have been on earlier.

Nothing in the Window and I don't expect any outgoing. Incoming an outside chance I think but that comes under the heading of speculation and we just don't do it. Plenty of rumours and hints and we don't do that either.

So as we cling to a narrow ledge over half way up the most treacherous climb in football poised for the final ascent there are tricky footholds ahead. Rope yourselves together Spurs fans it could get very nasty.

Newport (edit).
Hope to see Kyle Walker Peters, Lamela and Foyth among the starters and  Llorente too. Alderweireld says he's ready and he and Wanyama should get some pitch time

Jimmy's Video Spot.
99th for Harry by sheer determination.  A bit unlucky to concede but you couldn't say we deserved to win it. Three minutes are about right for highlights. Harry had a chance late on but they ignored it.


Sunday, 14 January 2018

Transfer Window Confusion.

They've put the wrong glass in this transfer window.
I can't see a thing.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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When we are bad we are merely tedious: when we are good we are brilliant. The 4th goal against Everton was everything you would want from a Spurs side and rounded off a good performance all round.

Carry on like this and we won't want to leave Wembley. Son's fifth successive home goal (Sorry Jermain) unbeaten in 12 at home. After Southampton tougher Premiership and Champions' League to come but not yet.

The Toffees are going through a sticky patch at the moment and the last team they wanted to face was an in form Spurs at Wembley. Sam had some early success at Everton but has stalled lately and he was hoping that Wembley would inspire his team.

No such luck. Everton failed to get a shot on target, not for the first time recently, and the players weighed down by thoughts of the 'anyone and everything but Sam' in the after match interviews visibly shrunk from the task.

Wayne Rooney's sad attempts to foul and hack when he couldn't perform sums up the level that he and Everton have sunk to. That they were so poor should not distract us from the positives for Spurs from this game.

We throttled them and Dembele gave us a glimpse of his past strengths and our future hopes. Harry Kane broke more records once again doing little but score another couple to reach 20 goals for the fourth season running.

He joins Shearer and Henri on this milestone and replaces Teddy Sherringham as Spurs Premier league top scorer on 98 goals but in far fewer matches. Jimmy Greaves is the next stop on 220  league goals over a nine year period 50 years ago.

Mauricio certainly backs him to do so and given a injury free run it's not out of the question. Hopefully they will all be at Spurs to make him a rare one club man these days at this level.

He also matched Steven Gerrard's six EA Sports awards, but he does not allow this kind of external froth to distract him. His focus is exceptional and his dedication to training proverbial.

However Son was MOM for an exciting non-stop display and eventually all four of our attacking wizards got in on the goals and assists act especially in Eriksen's firm finish following some one touch football by Son and Dele in a move initiated by Harry.

On the ex-Spurs front  Gylfi gave Aurier too much space and a free run on the right but it was good to see Aaron Lennon come on to a tremendous reception after his well publicised mental health problems.

3-0 up on the hour one has to wonder why Lamela was ignored until the last five minutes and KWP passed over completely. Wanyama came on for Dier and at least got a decent 20 minute run out.

Liverpool's win against Man.City gave them a boost at our expense. We were rather hoping that City would beat all our rivals and in the long run City are still nailed on for the Premiership title.

Below us with Arsenal and Burnley losing our 5th. position is enhanced. We are 3 points off Chelsea and Liverpool in 3rd/4th. position and 4 points ahead of Arsenal in 6th. Pity about the Liverpool result though.

We are unbeaten at home since the Chelsea game in August; the Wembley hoodoo has slunk away with its tail between its legs; Lamela and Wanyama are back, Toby, Winks and Rose are closer and next up Southampton.

Burnley, once challengers  are 10 points behind us and United. and Chelsea with 3 draws in the last five are faltering just a little. All together. ' Always look on the bright side....Somebody's not singing at the back there.

More important though is the step up in performance by Dele, Eriksen and Son. Dier was sound and Jan Vertonghen continues to make Toby's absence less of a problem than it might have been. Aurier and Sanchez played better.

Hot News. (Well luke-warm anyway)

Cameron Carter Vickers is back from loan at Sheffield and Marcus Edwards is going to Norwich for the rest of the season. Co-incidentally (?) we are interested in Norwich's talented young midfielder James Maddison, the new Dele apparently.

The boys are in Barcelona where Mauricio still has connections a house and family for a few days 'breathing space' and to freshen up the training schedule. Any excuse for a jolly though that is not Mauricio's style.

As long as they only sign fans' memorabilia and not Independence petitions by mistake they should all get back safely in time for the weekend.

Half way through the transfer window and nothing stirring.My money is on a couple of youngsters for Mauricio to mold and no big money buys. Musings doesn't do speculation but that would suit us fine.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Lovely stuff. One offside and a mis-hit but when things are going your way they go your way. Lovely drag back by Son in the approach for the second. It doesn't  unfortunately show the full build up to the fourth goal.


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Spurs keeping vital contact.

 Swansea and Wimbledon out for the count.
W.Ham still standing.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Busy, busy busy; three games in eight days. Us bloggers are feeling the strain so God knows how the boys are feeling.Verts. and Harry might well have been given a rest against Wimbledon but they scored the goals to take us through.

We started the week at Swansea in a tropical rainstorm which fortunately eased just as the officials were contemplating abandoning the game. We had managed to find enough dry patches to play on up until then.

 The predicted second half monsoon didn't happen and we ran out 2-0 winners. Dele played well and Kane's chipped assist for his goal was the pass of the game, if not the season, or even the decade though he did little else.

The officials also seemed to be in a parallel universe but we got the benefit of their errors when not issuing Sanchez with a second yellow and the crucial poor offside decision for Llorente's opener. How did the linesman not see that!

Wanyama got a vital run out and looked strong, Jan (Mr.Dependable) played well again. Eriksen and Dele our two 'creatives' ran on water and this was a good win given the conditions which could have been a great leveler.

And so on to W.Ham looking to be the only team to take 12 points over the Xmas, New Year period. This one we nearly lost to their only shot on target, a wonder strike by Obiang. Son's swerving 25 yarder was nearly as good and we shared the points.

I'm not sure whether W.Ham had read the script or just read it and ignored it but they are certainly a jinx on our ambitions this season. Negative and defensive in true Moye's style but they did the business partly due to Mauricio's own lack of positivity.
 
A defensive set up in midfield and with Sissoko starting didn't bode well. It boded less well when it was clear that W.Ham hadn't come to play but to spoil. Lamela for Sissoko at half time was the minimum requirement.

That this change didn't occur until the 70th. minute is a testament to Mauricio's frequently lacklustre in-game management. Still nobody's perfect. Injuries and lack of adequate back-up clearly limit his ability to make changes.

10 from the 12 available points maintains more than just contact with the top four and progressing in the Cup is not a bad return from the sometimes punishing Xmas schedule. We got out of that bar fight alive at least.

Now I have to admit I didn't see the Wimbledon game but that's never stopped an experienced blogger from writing a review. I watched this one on the wireless, or radio as you 'hep cat' trendies prefer to call it.

21st. century, 2018 no less and we're back to technology developed by Marconi the century before last. Clearly Spurs are not designed for the wireless and nor are the commentators. Less chatter speculation, banter and more commentary please.

I gathered that Lamela was the pick for his industry and effort; Harry did nothing except score two goals; Foyth and KWP  again  did themselves no harm; Llorente was poor and it was good to see Wanyama back and fighting fit.

The Harry remark reminds me of a Bill Nicholson quote, which is possibly apocryphal about Jimmy Greave's workrate. ''All he's done today is score four goals''. Free yearly subscription to anyone that can track it down.

'Apocryphal' is journalese for 'I made this up but it sounds true but my deadline means I haven't time to check it out'. I have been using the story for years but can't actually find it now.

We're going to have to sort out this pace thing against the Bus Parkers. It's not straight line pace over a 100 or so metres that is lacking; Andros Townsend has that but acceleration and change of pace in tight spots which Modric and Messi have.

Most importantly speed of thought which Eriksen has although he's no slouch as his runs on breakout show. Pace of pass too is lacking especially among out of defence. It's all about pace but not just about running.

I'm gazing through the Transfer Window but can't see anything clearly. Plenty of rumours but we don't do transfer rumours we only 'muse' on them after they have happened.

Kevin George is off on loan to Burnley where he probably won't get too much game time either. He's coming back at Levy's insistence so they say. I've no idea why.

Perhaps a surprise or two coming our way, anyone decent in would be a surprise. I'll take that back, bit knee-jerk. Aurier possibly, Sanchez probably, Foyth, in time, definitely among the non- dead beats.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 

No apologies. ''There really is no stopping Harry Kane at the moment'' what he said! One of our very own three season wonder. Worth 200 million apparently but I wouldn't sell him for double. 8 minutes of Harry and  Spurs magic.