The Blog that's not always wrong.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Bangs and whimpers at Spurs.

Fill up on the way to Cardiff Mauricio
The Jimmy G2 Column.
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Not sure whether T.S.Eliot was a Spurs fan but he accurately predicted the end of the year 2018 in his much quoted lines:
''This is the way the world* ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper. ''

* He means year obviously
From a poem appropriately called
'The Hollow Men' by TS Eliot (1925)

The Hollow Men seems to follow the otherworldly journey of the spiritually dead. These “hollow men” have the realization, humility and acknowledgement of their guilt and their status as broken, lost souls. (from wikipedia)

As good a description of the Spurs dressing room after the last game of 2018 against Wolves as you will find. ''We couda been a contender Mouricio, we couda been a contender'' and possibly still are but the moment seems to have gone.

Wolves are not a team to faff around against and boy how we 'faffed'. They came with a plan, which we knew full well and executed it to the letter with a little help from us. Knowledge is power but not if you ignore it.

Sit it out and keep the score down. Then on the hour hit them hard. (Wolves `playbook 2018/2019). Grab a goal, faff about and hope for the best. Give them a hand if they need it. (Spurs playbook for Wolves Dec. 2018)

Almost everyone gave the ball away, some more than others. When we went 3-1 down we suddenly started running around like cripples touched by the hand of Christ. Too little, too late. We should never have let up.

We had three decent shots from outside the area and little else. Kane's went in; Eriksen's was well saved and Son's whistled close. Otherwise nada, zilch, nothing.  Wolves waited and waited.

Never have so many blind alleys been run up by so many to such little effect. Dele came back at least a game too early; both full-backs were poor, the midfeld and central defenders were adequate.

And once again the substitutions were inappropriate and too late.When the plan isn't working you need to change it possibly radically and quickly. Go to a back three; bring on Skipp or KWP or Foyth and change the shape.

Anything to pose some new questions and shake up the mentality of the team which was clearly either complacent or knackered physically and/or mentally or unfocused or all four in some part. Anyway a disappointing end to a very wonderful year.

Whatever the question was Moura was not the answer. 1-0 up on 72 minutes you could have lost a lot of money betting on Spurs. But injuries and a packed schedule obviously took their toll .

Fighting, or scrabbling if you must, on four fronts which may prove a front or two too far; winning runs, best start since the Glory Glory years; sparkling performances by the team and individuals including our own still count.

One swallow doth not a summer make and one defeat does not a season ruin. The title was never on and we were always going to finish third. I am disappointed by the manner in which we fell away.
but not the fact.

'Spursy' and 'bottlers' appear among the headlines again but after this half season and our current position this is simply lazy or agenda journalism. We have had several opportunities lately to 'bottle' it and have ignored them in style.

Analyse, dissect, inspect, survey, scan, study, scrutinize, investigate, explore, probe, go over with a fine-tooth comb, check, judge, review, evaluate, it all you like. Perhaps we are just running on empty at the moment and Mauricio knew.

Remember that this is a 'Musing' on a single game and not an assessment of the whole half season. We are closing in on something but I am not sure what.

Awards:
Best newcomers: Kevin Walker-Peters and Oliver Skipp.

Most improved player: Mousa Sissoko.
 
Most consistent performer: Toby Alderweireld.

Best players. Harry Kane and Cristian Eriksen in their separate spheres.

Award for Entertaining Effort: Heung-min Son and Danny Rose

Most Missed lately:  Jan. Vertonghen.

Must do Better: All the full-backs.

Teacher's Favourite: Dele

 I know it's 'the Hope that kills you' but  'I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains'. Anne Frank

A Happy New Year to all. 

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Any excuse. My favourite movie scene ever. Rod Steiger and Marlon Brando in 'On the Waterfront? I coulda been a contender Charlie. I could have been somebody'. Enjoy. Makes me cry every time. Spurs only do it very occasionally lately.


 

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Just the New Blood Tranfusion Spurs Needed.

Spurs Player resting after training.
Were-Wolves up next.*
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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I could get used to this. What a way to almost end a very good year. Two mid-table teams with good reputations crushed. 11 goals; one clean sheet; youngsters and our own on full display and central to the performances.

Into second behind Liverpool and only Wolves at home between us and a Xmas clean sweep. We weren't lucky but we did have the odd piece of luck which all teams need for success.

But 'Fortune favours the brave' they say and 'to dare is to do' and all that. Mauricio with the aid of a sprinkling of youth is managing the twin problems of a hectic time-table and extensive injuries, very well.

Currently Wanyama, Vertonghen, Dier and Dembele are all unavailable but Foyth, Sissoko, KWP and Skipp have stepped up in style. Lamela, Dele, Rose, Trippier, Eriksen and Aurier have all been sidelined recently too.

The Doomsday Merchants decrying our lack of transfer activity in the summer have so far been proved wrong but the the tsunami from this earthquake may still be yet to make landfall. We will see.

The wayward finishing of our opponents in both games and their haphazard defending under pressure has certainly contributed to our success but we have played with control and patience until pace and movement by our forwards, especially Son, have created chances.

In midfield Winks continues to build on his earlier promise, Eriksen has been our creative motor, Harry Kane playing deeper from time to time has impressed as a provider, Dele has been a Quixotic presence again from deeper positions.

In defence Toby and Vertonghen have marshaled a rotating back four, or three with authority and Sissoko has been a revelation for some weeks. Behind all of this Lloris has been consistently good. Davies in a back three has shone.

So the lack of new players has been augmented by youngsters, Skipp, KWP and Foyth, and more recent signings Moura and Sissoko playing their full part. New signings have to be integrated into a tight knit squad which is not always easy.

On Boxing Day thanks to 3 assists by KWP it was all over by half time but a couple more was the cherry, sorry, on the cake. We are beginning at last to be counted among the contenders but of course it is Liverpool's Trophy to lose.

But they were saying that about City a month ago. We seem to have been hiding in plain sight until very recently like vampires appearing only to drink the blood of our fellow Premiership rivals and avoiding the daily light of publicity.

A deflected Eriksen shot opened the rout. Moura swept in the second and Son found the corner of the net for the third. All three from outside the area from passes inside by a rampant KWP.

In the second half Harry Kane converted a brilliant chip from Eriksen, and Son cleaned up after a fascinating goal-line scramble. The ball should have been cleared at least four times. but they all count.

We might have have conceded a penalty for Forth's challenge against Bournemouth but should have had one for Zouma's challenge on Harry Kane against Everton. Not so much the Roller Coaster more Swings and Roundabouts.

Son will be a loss in January but Lamela and Moura and perhaps Llorente can fill the gaps. Harry Kane is increasingly flexible and a lot of hopes will be resting on Dele to find the holes in opposition defences.

Some of the strain on resources will be eased by the expected return of Vertonghen, Dier and hopefully Wanyama to give the perpetual motion midfield of Sissoko and Winks a breather.

It is unusual recently for Spurs to score so freely but chances have increasingly been made and taken.
This may reflect a new attitude by Mauricio and the team. A more ruthless 'kicking a man when he's down' attitude.

*Sorry: over excited Marketing Dept.

Next week: Half Season Awards.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Man of the Moment (and match). Talks and plays lovely. Another 30 million saved. Kyle Walker-Peters he's one of our own you know. Local boy from a footballing family.


Monday, 24 December 2018

Anybody else want stuffing ?

It's certainly beginning to look that way.

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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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A couple of weeks ago when all our rivals had played and won we went into the game against Leicester which we had to win to keep up and we didn't even think to blink.

Yesterday when two of our rivals had already played and lost we went into the last game of the weekend against Everton looking to open the gap and once again we stared them all down.

I got that same warm feeling at the six goal hammering of Everton  which I had as a kid when Xmas week was the occasion of the trip to Santa's Grotto at the Co-op.

At 1-0 down the second before Calvert's Lewin's header was disallowed for the push on Sanchez all my disappointing Xmases flashed before me. One year there was a mix-up and I got a set of hair slides and some false eyelashes.

But all was well and I changed it later for a balsa wood glider. Spurs changed their losing start for a super charged performance and a six goal romp.Everton were well and truly seasonally stuffed.

Are we contenders? Is Mauricio going to reject the offers from Manchester. or Madrid? Will Trump be Impeached? These are questions for another day and probably for someone above my pay grade. Enjoy the moment people.

Harry Kane scored his fourth consecutive brace against Everton and could have had four,  but it was Son that initiated the comeback with a tricky finish after Pickford had collided on the edge of the area with Zouma.

Son was exuberant and unstoppable and scored twice. Eriksen was outstanding and scored on the volley from 25yds  which he made look easy.  Dele ever alert was on the scoresheet too.

 For half an hour it was an open and exciting game but eventually the Spurs attack were irresistible.

Dele didn't appear for the second half nursing a hamstring as a result of a nasty tackle by Pickford after the whistle had blown for an offside. It was all that saved him from a red card, though I don't see why.

Lamela got an assist but tended to overplay. Skipp made another appearance and may get another start before the New Year. Another team performance and apart from the Dele injury all is well. 'Only precautionary' says Mauricio.

Sanchez returned from a nine game absence and was rusty but effective alongside Toby. Walcott scored their opener which made all his Xmases come at once. Siggy got their second after a mazy run along the edge of the penalty area.

Four defenders tracked him and Hugo might well have saved the shot anyway. But let's not be greedy. After Harry Kane put us 3-1 ahead before half time the game was over to all intents and purposes.

Everton never quite recovered from the disallowed goal at 1-0 up and a relentless Spurs concentrated on improving their goal difference for the battles to come. 5 points up on Chelsea and Arsenal and a mere 2 behind City.

Last month City were nailed on for the title. This month it's Liverpool. Next month it might well be Spurs but chicken enumeration prior to hatching is a tricky business and Musings rarely makes predictions especially about the future.

So tuck into the turkey and stuffing with abandon  fans, not the boys though they have another eminently winnable fixture against Bournemouth on Boxing Day and will have to do it without the help of Santa. His job is done .More stuffing anyone?

It's OK man, we got this.

Happy Xmas Everyone.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Full ten minutes, well what else have you got to do? Relax it's Christmas.
Everton showed early but Spurs were slicker. quicker and more alert. 


Saturday, 22 December 2018

Loose Lips

Bottlers? Not us mate. Two nil is the correct answer.
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*The Greg Meyer Column.
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Loose Lips Sink Ships and Arsenal.
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       " Karma, a dish best served cold like revenge . "
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                                                                                      Daniel Lee Rose circa 22:15 hours Wednesday 19 December 2018.
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 The immortal and somewhat prophetic  words of the Tottenham Hotspur captain at a stadium in the darker side of North London. Not a regular occurrence, a win by Spurs at the Emirates.
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 Made sweeter by that rarity, by the fact it takes Spurs to a Cup semifinal, and particularly so given the gloating rights  of the Arsenal players 17 days previous after the league win over Spurs.
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Captain Rose spoke eloquently and without  a gloating word to be seen . 
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 Players Loved and Hated by Spurs and Arsenal.
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Certainly the man of the match , loved by Spurs, despised by Arsenal did everything to build on that reputation. Grass roots stupidity was on show as well. In this age of cameras the Arsenal fan demonstrating remarkable accuracy in hitting the target with his half full bottle will be brought to swift justice.
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A momentary blight . Dele Alli showing restraint and even a cheeky response. Perhaps Theo Walcott sprang to mind. The 2-0 sign. Only this time Tottenham had the last laugh.
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Presently at Arsenal none springs to mind to qualify for Spurs' fans particular venom. Cecs Fabregasp and  Thierry Henri used to fit the bill. Of course the ever injured Jack Wheelchair was right up there. Unfortunately he hobbled off to West Ham and his ambulation remains largely by the same conveyance. Currently out of action for an extended period.
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Goal of the Season.
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The delicious scoop whereby a sublimely talented outer right foot lifted the ball with almost delicate grace and precision into the Arsenal onion bag is certainly a contender. Spurs best defender on the day propelled the ball onto our One Season Wonder's chest. Harry Kane received, controlled and then instinctively placed  a forward's dream into the path of the onrushing Alli.

The marvels of television showed the one touch take on, the measured look ahead by Del at the hapless Petr Cech  and you know and saw the addictive rest. Yes addictive. A goal Spurs fans and others will never tire of watching.
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Defender of the Match.
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The Captain for a day Rose played well. Skillfully supported by Ben Davies and Toby Hardtospell. Will Davies ever get back to full back given his performances of late. Even so the standout defender was one Paolo Dino Gazzinga who made at least 2 world class saves and of course provided both assists albeit third hand for the Spurs goals.
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Perhaps his genes are helping his rise to almost challenging our Captain and reformed driver. The magnificent Hugo Lloris.
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Paolo not only comes from the same country as his Manager Mauricio but they share the same birthplace, the town of Murphy, Sante Fe, Argentina. Albeit 20 years apart.  Hugo is still number one but wasn't it nice not to have to sit on the edge of your seat each time Paolo was called to release the ball from his area.
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Perhaps the feeling of impending danger associated with some of Hugo's distribution is meant to be, Spurs like that is. Not always things done the easy way.
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Meanwhile at a Canal-side Pub.
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This edition of Musings comes to you direct from the Ashby Canal aboard our 54 foot Narrowboat, recently rechristened " Blanchflower of Avon ". Taking a break from the hectic progress on the canal ( 4 mph top speed )we pulled in to the picturesque village of Bulkington and made our way to a recommended Spurs haunt, the Chetwynd Arms , to view the game. It doubles quaintly as a Chine Restaurant of sorts.
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Whatever a very enthusiastic Spurs contingent turned increasingly chaotic. The euphoric pandemonium continued well into the night. Given the libation consumed we survived the short walk back to "Blanchflower " and surprise, surprise continued celebrating.
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A straw poll of the fans at the "Arms" came up 85 %  Pochettino staying, 7 % going and  8% too drunk to offer an opinion. Unfortunately the Manchester/Pochettino links are not going away soon.
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Our philosophy is to ignore them and enjoy the  realistic title threat we pose and the prospects of Pochettino's first Cup silverware.
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Cheers ... an early Christmas present welcome at the Canals of England ... Greg   coys.

* Greg Myer erstwhile occasional Antipodean correspondent and genuine Spurs fan(atic) with another view on Spurs and the Arsenal triumph.

Jimmy's video Spot.
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Last word to The Man.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Dele's Early Xmas Present.


Thanks Santa.
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The JimmyG2 column.
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Let positivity be unconfined. Can we do it? Yes we can!'  Belief not hope is the Musings message for Xmas, the New Year and for all time. Sorry but we don't beat Arsenal at the Emirates very often as you all know.

Dele, this year's Santa's little helper, was the best player on the night in an all round team performance of intensity and focus. Arsenal had chances but didn't take them which is what we are often accused of.

Not on Wednesday night though. 3 shots on target: two goals. And not just any old  goals but delightful, splendid, satisfying, thrilling, sublime, magical goals. Fitting for the occasion and worthy of the revenge we sought for two weeks ago.

Gazzaniga with accurate kicks out and Dele with an assist and a goal had a hand in both. Harry Kane was only on for a couple of minutes before he got his 3rd. assist in 3 games.

Dele set up Son for the first with an incisive through ball. Kane lofted the ball over a virtually non existent defence to find Dele whose control and sublime chip with the outside of his right boot left Cech helpless  and Spurs fans breathless.

It was a 'thing of beauty and a joy for ever'. Touch, vision and nonchalant calm all in one smooth movement. His growing maturity showed with his lack of fuss over being hit on the head by a plastic bottle thrown from the crowd.

In fact he gestured the scoreline to the crowd and used the incident to emphasise his own and Spurs performance. But individual excellence apart this was a team effort. Again less possession but more shots on target and goals


Dele and Son go through their personal goal celebration 

Davies was more comfortably at centre back than he has been at times at full back. He has played there or in a back three throughout his career and for Wales.

His flexibility might be very useful over Xmas and the New year. Two clean sheets in a week tells its own story.

Apart from his distribution Gazzaniga made two essential early saves, some good catches  and one horrendous miss-kick which he got away with. Captain Rose was back on form again. Trippier was sound. Toby was immaculate.

Moura made an important interception but was rightly substituted as nothing was sticking to him in attack. Lamela didn't really have time to hunt anybody down but he was certainly on the look out.

Sissoko's  and Winks did a good job in midfield though Moussa's lack of touch showed at times and Winks was caught on the ball occasionally. But they faced down the much lauded Arsenal duo Guendouzi and Torreira.

So revenge exacted in short time and bragging rights returned where they belong. They weren't given time on the ball and we counter-attacked at speed. Their re-organised back line couldn't cope.

So the present at the top of our Xmas wish list was delivered. We managed to avoid Burton in the next round and drew Chelsea over two legs. The first tie is at Wembley in the week beginning 7th January. Spurs v Burton final anyone?

Next up Everton on Sunday and Bournemouth and Wolves before the New Year . What can possibly go wrong?

Mrs Jimmy G2 said I was smiling when I woke up on Thursday and chuckling in the night. Was anything wrong?

I said, 'I don't think that was me?' She took it the wrong way but frankly my dear I don't give a damn at the moment.

Pochettino
With Mourinho gone the usual nonsense begins about Mauricio being anywhere but Spurs. I am sure for what it's worth that he won't go anywhere until The Project is more advanced and until we win something.

And remember this is the blog that is not always wrong. I'm dreaming of a blue and white Xmas.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
What else but that goal. 'A simply sumptuous dink'. The commentary says it all. Kane controls the ball immaculately on his chest, turns, looks up and plays the ball  over the top quickly to Dele, running free. The rest is History.

If there is a better goal for Spurs this season I will be amazed.

On the training ground quite a few players could have scored like that. At a key moment in a cup tie against local rivals very few would even think to do so.

Little Boxy Bird a regular Musings respondent posted this:
'Cech came skittering out. Alli raised his right foot and stroked, cosseted, dusted, fondled – and all other manner of delicately sensual verbs – the ball over the goalkeeper’s head, where it seemed to hang in the night air before falling gently into the back of the net' (Barney Ronay in the Guardian)


Monday, 17 December 2018

Wembley Football Gods Asleep


Fortunately the Gods woke up when they heard
that Eriksen was on.
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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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The Football Gods having fallen asleep well before half time awoke just in time to punish Burnley for their blatant time-wasting with an Eriksen goal in the time added on...... for time-wasting.

They not only have a sense of justice but an ironic sense of humour too. Even Sean Dyche had the good grace to smile at Joe Hart's frantic efforts to make up for the time he'd wasted from almost the start of the game.

It took the referee over an hour to respond to this anti football tactic by booking Bardsley and Brady. Parking the bus and then draining the petrol tank seems to be becoming a thing. They just used to hide the keys.

Burnley seemed to have written this one off before they set out. At a half-full Wembley in poor conditions they were hoping for a point but did nothing to secure it. Relegation is too good for them on this display.

Eriksen made the difference and the boys were clearly under instructions to give it to Christian whenever possible, even Harry Kane who got the assist for the second time in a week for his goal

Kane already has more assists this season (4) as he had for all of last season (3). Evidence of his blossoming awareness and all round play.

We left it late to equalise at Barcelona and even later to grab the points against Burnley. They didn't have a shot on target and Lloris apart from one punch and a poor kick out was left completely to his own devices.

He boasted in the post match interviews that he had finished  the L'Equipe crossword in record time during the game.

Son missed  a good chance; Hart saved well from Lamela, and a more confident Sissoko who again played well, might have gone on to score a couple instead of squaring the ball into the melee in the Burnley penalty box.

Rose was as poor as he was good on Tuesday. Lamela was not much better. Davies looked a better player at centre half but he and Toby were hardly under any pressure at all so it is hard to judge. Trippier was a good out ball but nothing much resulted.

Dele was again quiet but is playing much more responsibly from a deeper position. He is doing the hard yards, seeing the wider picture; dropping in, dropping off but not out, and filling in where necessary.

 Oliver Skipp, taking time off from his A levels, was given the time to settle in and did nothing spectacularly bad or for that matter spectacularly good. The 13th.product of our own to make the grade so Mauricio  says..

He's much younger than Winks and probably stronger, more Dier than  Eriksen but he looks to have the temperament and skills to follow in his footsteps if not this season when all the walking wounded return but possibly next.

Injury Update.
Dier is recovering from an emergency appendix operation and won't be back until January so young Ollie might get more pitch time. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger Oliver.

Champions' League draw.
We got Borussia Dortmund. Our footballing Gods slumbering but clearly not fast asleep. Might have been worse.

We have won 2 and they've won 2 in our 4 previous meetings. Only the Gods know where our home game will be played. (Our home game is first on the 13th. Feb). They are having a good season so far.

So we are still safe in third for the moment; a clean sheet; a benign immediate fixture list and a quick opportunity to avenge the NLD Derby defeat. Arsenal and Man.Utd. both wilted in the top six heat this weekend.

We are ahead of Arsenal by 5 points and on goal difference and Chelsea by two points. I can't even see United from here. But remember Jimmy he who gloats last gloats longest. And anyway it's not nice.

What's not to like? I expect someone will find something.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
All Cristian Eriksen's recent goals and assists. A 6 minute feast of football from the Lap of the Gods..
Please sign a new contract. He should be second only to Harry  Kane in the pay scales.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Spurs not Spursy Now.

 
 Spurs the Stealth Bombers of football.
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 The JimmyG2 Column.
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I mean it wasn't the real Barcelona; Messi only played half an hour; they'd already qualified top of the group; we needed PSV's help to get through, we left it until the last five minutes to score the equaliser and Liverpool is the main story.

But we made more passes and shaded them in possession, we had more shots and more shots on target; Dembele cost them 135 million; more than our whole team put together  and did you hear that Liverpool progressed?

Their keeper made several saves; ours didn't have to; Eriksen was clearly the most creative player on the pitch; apart from the goal we donated they didn't come close to scoring. Oh and Salah scored Liverpool's goal

'Mission Impossible' was achieved in style and we could and should have beaten Barcelona by two or three clear goals. Rose, Son and Eriksen all had good chances. Attention switches now, obviously, to Utd. Mourinho and Pogba.

We have made a habit of flying under the radar, unless of course the 'bottlers' or 'Spursy' epithets apply. I don't usually mind although it irks occasionally. Like when you draw with Barcelona, Barcelona! at the Camp Nou.

Only 8 teams have ever gone on to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions' League after gathering only 3 points from their first 3 fixtures. None by drawing with Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

Ah well let's just enjoy the performance. Kyle Walker Peters recovered from a very early catastrophic error and a yellow card in an inauspicious opening to his Champions' League debut. But he bore up well considering.

The hug and reassurance when he was substituted late on from Mauricio makes it unlikely that he will be punished too harshly. He is a lucky boy that thanks to PSV's draw with Inter Milan we went through.

Sissoko and Rose vied for MOM though Eriksen in the second half was exceptional. Let's hope that like some Spurs fans nobody in Spain noticed. Kane contributed his 16th goal or assist in his 16 CL appearances.

Dele was subdued but integral to the team effort. Lamela was crazy good in his brief appearance Llorente didn't touch the ball unlike Moura who scored and should have had another. The Belgians were unruffled.

Fans,players and Mauricio had a nail biting wait for the final result of the PSV/Milan match which was running a minute or so behind ours but all turned out to be well. Like us Milan had drawn.

What a  result. What a performance. We turned up, didn't bottle it, flew low under the radar and didn't crash. The euphoria may not last but let's enjoy while we can. New Spurs: only a little bit like the Old Spurs.

So no more 'bottlers'. An end to 'Spursiness' . What will they find to taunt us with next once the NWHL opens apart from Mauricio to Real Madrid or Man. Utd or anywhere but Spurs.

We may not progress any further let alone win the Champions' League but a point has been made and a reputation re-established.

Next up strugglers  Burnley. We couldn't could we? CL draw is on Monday and the games are to be played mid February. A very fitting opening perhaps for the new Stadium? Don't bet the farm on it.

 Bring it on.

Glenn Hoddle. 
Well enough to watch the game and joke about it too.

Glenn Hoddle (@GlennHoddle) tweeted at 9:21 am on Wed, Dec 12, 2018:
That just wasn’t good for my recovery! But a great performance well done boys , deserved to win 😎 COYS


Jimmy's Video Spot.

Speed and teamwork. 10 seconds from defense to Moura's goal. Harry Kane assists, drawing three men wide, from Lamela's fine run and pass.

Erik considers sliding Lucas through or is he just giving them the 'eyes'. Fine goal, well set up and crisply taken in the nick of time.

Possibly the most important 10 seconds of the season but watch this space.


Sunday, 9 December 2018

Spurs up for free hit Barcelona game.

Bottlers? You bottle it, pour us a glass and we'll drink it .
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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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After 20 minutes I was having visions of the Spurs 'Bottlers' headlines especially when our re-united Belgian defenders revived their well worn 'After you Claude 'routine right from the start.

But it was all mind games and once we had composed ourselves and hadn't conceded we brushed off the cobwebs, turned up the volume and set about Leicester with increasing vigour and intent.

It is not psychologically easy playing last when all your immediate rivals have won, especially away from home against a team we've had problems with in the past. Eventually we made light work of it all.

We didn't bottle it; we held it up to the light, swirled it round, had a cautionary sniff and then took a good gulp and swallowed it down like true professionals.

Son's lightening strike on the stroke of half time was a thing of beauty and clinical wrong foot destructivity. It was a  just reward for our increasing control in a game that lacked consistent goal-mouth excitement.

Dele increasingly took centre stage. His usual though sometimes exaggerated confidence was allied to calm control. His reward was a back post diving header engineered by Son which sealed a deserved victory.

Few alarms or excursions and all this without talisman Kane and chief architect Eriksen until the later stages. Why they came on at all I have no idea, the other boys were managing quite well all on their own.

I was surprised that Llorente didn't start or at least come on as a sub when Harry appeared. But Son, Dele and company stepped up when Harry was injured last season so Mauricio had this well under control.

Clearly Mauricio was contending with injuries and the looming Champions' league away fixture against Barcelona on Tuesday. His claim to be able only now to focus on this was understandably a little economic with 'la verite'

It was clearly on his mind with the team selection for the Leicester game. Harry Kane 'rested' shock horror. Actually the Barcelona game is a free shot, a bonus, a side dish, a taster, irrelevant to the main course and we will go for it.

In the meantime we remain the top London team despite Chelsea beating the alleged runaway Champions elect which tightens it all up at the top of the Premiership. Not a foregone conclusion just  yet.

Not that the media seemed to have noticed. All the fuss was about everything but Spurs. Liverpool top, Arsenal's unbeaten run; Chelsea's win and even Man.Utd not losing all made the headlines. Spurs march quietly on.

*Our best Premiership start continues and with winnable games ahead it could well get better. Son's goal was his third in four games and Dele's his 50th for Spurs. He joins Son (52) and Harry Kane (117) at this milestone

*Stats courtesy of the BBC.

Harry Winks played a full game again but is not yet back to his pre-injury form of last year but the signs are good. Eric Dier flitted competently between midfield and back four and Hugo was there when required.

The full backs were adequate. It was good to see Kyle Walker Peters get some minutes and with both Trippier and now Aurier injured he might just start against the Big B. Or possibly not.

Messi played and scored twice against locals Espanyol, Mauricio's old team, on Saturday so obviously he wasn't being rested for Spurs. Mauricio, Deli, Son and the boys will want to put on a good show on Tuesday.

A Harry hat-trick will double his transfer fee. (see clickbait nonsense)

James Maddison.
An interesting one. Clearly talented and has the 'vision' thing. Harry Reknapp passed on signing him in 2015 for less than half a million from Coventry to QPR. But then he tried to sell Bale for 3 million to Bournemouth.

Leicester paid 20 million for him from Norwich. At 22  he could benefit from the Pochettino touch but that boat seems to have sailed. He wouldn't have been an automatic first choice at Spurs at the moment.

Clickbait nonsense. 
Harry Kane to Barcelona for 200 million widely reported. 

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Oh go on then, all the highlights. Apart from the goals not much to write home about. But at this stage that's how we like it.

Harry's 'what's a bench?' face is a delight. Came on for a pre-Barcelona warm up I assume.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

We're on our Way From Wembley.

Sky to launch new spectator sport channel to rival football.
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The JimmyG2 Column. 
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I've a mind to make this week's video the one of a spellbound audience watching paint dry. Spurs played out an unenthralling midweek encounter in front of Spur's lowest Wembley crowd of 33,000 thousand.

Southampton were the victims in this non- drama in front of their newly appointed manager but they did not really set out to impress the poor man though the money will be a great compensation for him.

More appropriately they demonstrated their defensive frailties so that at least he knows his first priorities. Nobody tracked Harry Kane's run to the near post in the first ten minutes for the first or closed down Moura for the second.

The right hand channel had been a Freeway all night for Trippier  and it was Harry Kane who used it to set up Son for a deserved third goal. Toby had found Kieran frequently with unerring accuracy. The Sinners ignored the danger.

Memo to former RB Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhuttl who has been appointed Southampton manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal; sort out the defensive marking especially at left back. Free advice for nothing

At 3-0 on 55 minutes Spurs closed up, put the blinds down, cashed up, switched on the fax machine and preserved their energies for the weekend. This allowed Southampton to play a bit. They found Lloris and the woodwork in uncompromising form.

It's never a good sign when your keeper is MOM but we invited them to play and they did, but Hugo was glad of the practise. Harry Kane scored and assisted but otherwise played well within himself as they say.

Charlie Austin eventually scored an offside goal which the sympathetic officials let go and at the death it was 3-1. Lloris and Mauricio might have rued the absence of a clean sheet but the rest of the boys frankly didn't seem to give a damn.

Other results, unlike last weekend, went our way and Chelsea play Man.City on Saturday. Back in third clear of Arsenal and Chelsea who lost to Wolves and a clear and widening gap to Everton in 6th. Europa at least looks nailed on.

Lowlight was the recurrence of a lingering groin strain picked up on England duty to Trippier. Highlight was the brief cameo appearance of Oliver Skipp who made an enterprising forward run. Watch out Winksy he's right behind you.

My dream of an all Academy squad is taking shape nicely. So climb aboard the Academy Bandwagon. Go on you know you want to. Think of the savings. I know DL already has. I had a dream.....

Son was unlucky after enterprising play to hit the post. Harry Winks played a full game and was busy but a little haphazard. Toby was magisterial and kept an eye on young Foyth. Son was the pick of the attack.

 Do we count Danny Rose as one of our own? I suppose not but he is now one of Senior Pros and has been with us almost all of his career after leaving the Leeds Academy in 2007 before they did a 'Leeds' without ever playing for them.

He gallops about like a racehorse put out to pasture but has more upside than Davies and keeps the opposition and the Spurs fans guessing. Only injuries have prevented him nailing down the left back berth.

He echoed the views of fans about Wembley saying it didn't seem like an honour any more to play there. Like other unofficial predictions he suggested that the move to NWHL could come in February and solve all these problems. Not just the fans then.

So against Southampton we spent the first half splashing the paint about and the second mainly watching it dry. Not quite what the fans had hoped for but 3 goals and 3 points will have to suffice. 

Some people are just never satisfied.

Next up Leicester who are not the team they were if they ever were. Three points please on the December treadmill boys. If it has to be a paint drying fest, so be it.

With half a dozen out, hamstrings, groins, knees and ankles it could be the first dozen fit enough to get themselves onto the pitch. Vardy is out for them. We'll see.

Stadium Opening. Not just DannyRose but a mountain of rumour suggests February. 

Clickbait drivel.
Mauricio to replace Jose for 40 million. You couldn't make it up.Oh wait.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
There's an 8hr. video of the Empire State Building by Andy Warhol and a 10 hr one of paint drying. Don't ask. I think it's known as 'edgy'
But you've suffered enough lately so here's young Oliver Skipp against Inter Milan. Finds space, passes quickly, often positively. The first of Spurs Millennials to make it.

Let's not get carried away but he could be a contender Charlie. (My all time favourite movie scene)



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Monday, 3 December 2018

Credit Call After Tottenham's Lost Weekend.

Bad Day at the Office
What Office?
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Talk about 'The Lost Weekend'*, and we haven't even got alcoholism as a defence though we played like inebriated fools at times. Nobody from Manager to the most junior playing member covered themselves in glory.

And with all the top five except us winning we drop to fifth though still in touch with the top four. Out- thought, out- fought all over the pitch and on the touchline too, we were poor in every department.

Foyth committed the cardinal sin of giving away a goal to Arsenal and the loss is hard to bear. But let's not make him the scapegoat  for managerial, team selection and performance failures.

Of all the back four he is the most defendable, neither full back contributed much defensively or going forward and what Jan Vertonghen our most experienced outfield player was thinking I have no idea.

The glaring omission of Toby in this most emotionally testing of ties is beside the point here. But if Juan was considered mature enough to take part why then was Harry Winks left out from the starting line up?

That nothing was done to shore things up at 2-2 or even at 2-1 up is down to Mauricio and follows a trend of overdue substitutions and unsuitable starting elevens. Like Juan he usually gets away with it but not on this occasion.

That we staged a comeback after going down early to a moment of madness is to our credit but how we got to half time ahead is a little baffling. The second half which we lost 3-0 was all downhill.

A resurgent Arsenal this season throwing off the turgid shackles of the later Wenger years was too much for our somewhat moribund approach. But after paying so well twice last week it was an undoubted shock to the system.

Eriksen and Dele tried but were largely given little space; Son, as he often does, shot when he should have passed but at least bought a penalty and was lively. Lamela was big miss in this type of game.

Dier scored a near post header courtesy of the goalkeeper and Kane played wearily but takes a good penalty. Hugo didn't get as close to any of the four goals as he might have done particularly the last.

Sissoko needs time and space and Arsenal allowed little of both. They outflanked us on both sides and Torreiro who is only 22 and was bought for 26 million last July was outstanding. Some excellent South American scouting there by someone.

The banana thrown at Aubameyang was a disgraceful end to a shameful day. They have the culprit on film and he will be arrested, prosecuted and banned. Getting beaten was more than enough for one day.

Bad day at the office? The photocopier jammed, burst into flames and burnt the whole bloody building down. So yes a bad day at the office if you like. With a game every three days there is little time to pick over the ashes.

The gap between 5th and 6th, ourselves and Everton who went down to a freak Liverpool goal and Man.Utd who dew again is now eight points but even a draw here would have preserved our top four status.

Enough already. Congratulations to Arsenal and Emery who has swept through them like a forest fire. They were the better team on the day but after an 18 game unbeaten run we are still level on points.
Go figure.

We must be doing something right in the great scheme of things. We will have to forgive the boys even though we might not forget for many months, or even years or ever. Spurs still have credit in the fans' bank on which to call.

Next up Southampton who as I type have sacked their manager Mark Hughes after only 8 months. So polish up those 'new temporary manager bounce' excuses ready for Wednesday. A win will start to erase the Memories of Black Sunday.

* The Lost Weekend. 1945 Oscar winning film noir about a talented but alcoholic writer who is supposed to be staying sober over a weekend trip. It doesn't go to plan with almost disastrous results.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Highlights? I don't think so.
Here's an hour of meditation and relaxing music and pictures for the build-up for the next game. Keep it by you in case we need it after Xmas.

Best with headphones. Blot out the real world. Enjoy.