The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Can we fix it?

I'm with Bob
 Fix it don't scrap it.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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'Crisis? What crisis?' This crisis I'm afraid. It looks like stick or twist time after Brighton. The International break gives us a little breathing space and may delay any precipitate action by Levy or Mauricio.

I don't think he will either resign or be sacked. Who is available at short notice: Allegri, Mourinho, Chris Hughton, Allardyce, David Pleat again or Sherwood? But it doesn't solve the contract dilemma for key players or the fitness or out of form problems either.

Personally I don't want him to go immediately if at all. I want him to  stay and analyse and put things right with the team, the squad, the club and the fans. He is better placed to do so than any panic incomer and has credit in the bank

I would bench any that don't want to be with us and indicate so by their attitude on and off field and play by contrast those that clearly are still in love with the club including some youngsters.

And I include his own role in the current situation, if he can. But the weasel word ' immediately' indicates that at the end of the season unless fortunes and attitudes pick up then it might be best for all concerned for him to go.

There has always been a vociferous Anti-Enic minority and  a similar 'Levy-out' group. Now there is a loud 'Pochettino out' minority too but the fans and supporters don't get to decide these things.

The season is only 7 games in and we are 4 points off top four, radical change is uncalled for. Nobody is pretending that our form is good but there are many factors.

This latest defeat to Brighton means Tottenham, who were in the Champions' League final just four months ago, have taken 11 points from 24 so far this season and have failed to win in their last 10 away games in the Premier League.

This stretches back to a 2-1 victory at Fulham on 20 January. In total the club have lost 17 matches on the road in all competitions in 2019 - more than any other top-flight side. So a crisis of sorts without doubt.

Acknowledging the situation may be the first step to solving it but we are a long way off doing so. Despite a spirited rearguard action against Southampton and a lively half an hour against Bayern the last few games have been dreadful by any standard.

The results against Bayern, Colchester, and Brighton are a roll call of shame. Hugo's second crucial mistake this week on just two minutes in was a prelude to another  desperate display.

My father in law was an engineer and did all his own car maintenance.  His advice was always to fix one thing at a time to see if it cures the problem. If you try several things at once and don't check the results each time you will never know what the problem was.

Changing the Manager is drastic and sometimes it even works, like putting in a new engine. But it might be the clutch or the gearbox, or the electrical system or a faulty filter in the fuel system.

That was when you could get at the engine instead of just plugging it into a computer, and repairing things rather than replacing them. There were Car Maintenance Classes for Women then at the Local Tech. Probably illegal now.

Mrs Jimmy G2 went  for a term, obviously inherited her father's genes. Change the oil Mauricio and check the tyres.

Check out each of the players for their commitment and fitness; the ownership for its investment; the financial impact of the new Stadium; change the formation and the training regime and the tactics. Repair rather than replace the Manager and/or the players.

But not all at once. We need focused intelligent analysis. Knee jerk and you'll tip the oil can all over yourself.

There are many factors and changing managers may be throwing the baby out with the bath-water. Simply it is not a wise first step as it is irreversible and then we are probably back to the old days when Spurs Managers' average stay was 18 months.

We had 14 managers while Wenger was at Arsenal. So let's proceed with caution. I would bench anyone whose contracts are up or that have expressed an inclination to leave: play those that show commitment on the pitch and on the training ground.

Liverpool's powering start, City's loss and Utd,'s continuing woes have taken the tabloid and pundit  heat off us temporarily and we should use the lull to get down to an enquiry into our fall from grace.

It helps that Mauricio is no longer flavour of the month, though if this decline was a scheme to make him persona non grata at Utd. and Real it is case of cutting of our noses to spite our face and not a recommended game plan.

I note that there is no wild talk of Pep coming to Spurs after their indifferent start.  Remember he once said that the players stop listening to any manager after 3 years. He only overstayed his welcome only once, at Barcelona by a year.

My other team, Real Madrid, were in meltdown only a fortnight ago. Zidane was toast. Now they are clear league leaders and firing on nearly all cylinders in La Liga.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.Eventually.

Hugo Lloris.
Dislocated his elbow a particularly painful injury as we saw. GWS Hugo. But I don't expect to see him back much before Easter just in time to save us from relegation. I'm joking, I'm joking. I hope.

Next Up
Two weeks breathing space then Watford at home on Saturday 19th. at 3pm. I was thinking that playing away at Brighton would take some pressure of the boys as the natives are certainly getting restless, but apparently not.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Brighton TV view of the game. Bit one-sided but so was the game. Lloris caght in at least three minds. Brighton played well, we did not.

Mercifully short highlights but I can't protect you forever with  speeches and restful music. Sorry.



Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Pochettino on borrowed time until Brighton

Mauricio down but not out. Yet.
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The Jimmy G2 Column
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Dig the positives out of that performance Jimmy. Might give Geoffrey his head here, he's always saying he could do it. The Geoffrey Shufflebotham Column. Catchy or what. Nope, stand tall Jim.

Mauricio says we gave up. We certainly got thrashed in the end by a sharp, strong and competent team. Although for half an hour we matched them, pressed them and went ahead on 15 minutes through a goal by Son.

Not his first opportunity by any means. We looked good and felt good. By half time the game had unravelled and eventually produced our worst home defeat ever. Perhaps the project too. The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

The equaliser, the first of many fine shots came soon after but the killer goal was Lewandowski's just on half time. We failed to clear the ball in our penalty area again, failed to manage the game again, and his turn and shot changed the half time mentality.

We had played well to that point but that is clearly not enough. Within 10 minutes of  the break we were 4-1 down. Two more fine strikes by Gnabry. They had 10 shots on target and scored 7; we had 8 and scored two. One a penalty.

Two more goals by Gnabry and another by Lewandowski in the last ten minutes were record breaking killers . The fact that Gnabry is an ex Arsenal reject only adds salt to the wound. And wound it is even if not fatal.

Mauricio asserted at the week-end that 'Nothing is broken' but after Bayern  Newcastle and Colchester it's looking pretty battered. If 'it's broke then fix it' though what that entails precisely is difficult to assess.

New Manager; an unsettled or inadequate player clear out, or a return to first principles of the project. Promote those that want to be here; re-instate the team press; sharpen up tactics and substitutions; be more pro-active in-game.

Speaking of new managers, it's anyone but Mourinho for me. He has been a winner in the past but with him the cure is worse than the disease. Nice guys are not always losers and winners don't have to be nasty or make teams in their own image.

We need a re-boot if you'll forgive the expression preferably for me under Pochettino. After Southampton it looked as if this was under way. Bayern are a class team on form that played well but we only stuck at it for 35 minutes.

In the end we were swamped and the effect on Pochettino's pride and reputation may cause him to resign before he is sacked by an itchy trigger fingered CEO that has form even though he must share some of the blame.

I think that the established relationship between the two will prevent that but I am nervous whenever I look at the headlines in case he has gone even as I write this, so I've stopped looking for the moment.

This is known as the Ostrich Strategy for avoiding bad news.You don't need to know what Geoffrey thinks as it probably echoes what many if not most of you think too. But this is known as creative journalistic tension.

Short term measures: banish Aurier; reinstate Dier, give Sanchez more playing time or he will never make the grade; don't play Dele, my favourite player, until he is fully fit. Give Lamela his head and play Moura on the wing as a sub.

I am a big Eriksen fan but if he's sulking then bench him and anyone else that thinks they are more important than the club.  The much vaunted 'Bonfire of the Deadwood' is coming and it might not be pleasant.

Winks had at nightmare or least a bad dream  especially when he was targeted by Bayern after playing well for the first half hour. But his role needs to be sorted out. Every one of the back four last night night were under some sort of transfer or contract cloud.

It's a mess that has been fomenting since at least the loss to Liverpool in the Champions' League final and some of you will assert well before that. The lead Lawyer for the Defense is pleading for a recess to enable the dust to settle and for the future to become clearer.

But let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is a lot of good that could be preserved and built upon. The youth policy and breeding some of our own. Not one of the players in 'dispute' with the club or manager is home grown.
 
I am what is sometimes called a Happy Clapper', my team and manager right or wrong almost, but today I am only clapping with one hand and I'm not too happy either. Bayern were good but not that good. 3 goals in the last ten minutes flattered them a bit.

But if Mauricio has reached the end of his cycle and 5years+ is a long stint at Tottenham so be it. Sir Alex won 38 trophies in 26 years, but it was 4 years before he won a trophy and 7 years before he won the league.

Changing managers when the season has barely started smacks of panic and is not a good look for a Champions League finalist. Keep calm and think it through.

We owe a manager that has bought success and respect to the club at least that.

Next up: Brighton & Hove Albion away at 12:30 on Saturday.
All Hell will break loose if we lose this one. Again. The word on the street is that Pochettino will be gone but I'm not so sure. Anyway we will win so it won't be tested.

Jimmy's Video Spot.


Sunday, 29 September 2019

Spurs Ride Out the Storm


 Bus Parkers Beware: Anything you can do....
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The JimmyG2 Column
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Yes it's a funny old game and a funny old world come to think of it. I avoid the epithet 'Spursy' for many reasons: it's a stick to beat us with; it's meaningless and ridiculous.; I abhor and reject it and never ever use it.

But this week has definitely been 'Spursy'. We go out of the Carabao Cup to a 4th. Division side with barely a whimper and then give a Premiership team a goal and a man advantage for an hour and come back with a bang and the three points.

If Mauricio had lost the dressing room lately I think he rediscovered  it again on Saturday. This was not the performance of an unsettled squad; it was a heart-warming demonstration of pride and togetherness.

I watched with growing disbelief as we not only held out, but won it. All that practice against teams that park the bus has paid off and we are just as good at it as anybody else when we have to be.

Everybody dug in and stepped up. Winks relished the challenge; Sissoko proved himself in multiple positions; Harry Kane marshalled the troops and scored the winner in admirable style. Not exactly our finest hour but close. 'We never surrendered. All did their duty'

We fought them in the penalty area and under duress offered 'blood, toil, tears and sweat' and no little skill in the breakaways. I was prepared after half an hour for 'hard and heavy tidings'. And we made our way 'through disaster and through grief to the ultimate defeat of our enemies'
  
(From the speech in 'our darkest hour in 1940 by Winston Churchill, another secret Spurs fan. It was played in the Home dressing room at half-time so I hear.)

I would like to think that this is a turning point in what has been a worrying season though not as bad as some have painted it.. Even Eriksen turned up and once again ran further than anyone else on the pitch cutting off the supply lines.

Lamela fit and on form again was another that thrived in this situation and Danny Rose too because they both love a fight whether in 'fields or on streets'.  Playing with ten men seems to work. A bit nerve shredding though for all concerned and not recommended viewing every week.

Hugo redeemed himself for his error with several good saves and Mauricio took the blame saying that playing out from the back was at his insistence. If so we need a new keeper because Hugo is not very good at it. Old dogs and new tricks.

Toby and Jan filled the holes and plugged the gaps and kept surprisingly cool, Ndombele is getting there and scored another goal. Dier was solid and unspectacular which was just what we needed. Son was involved in both goals.

Auriers 'taking one for the team' got him sent off because his short term memory is poor. He forgot he'd been booked less than five minutes before. I'm afraid his recent performance and goal raised false hopes.

'Professional fouls' are cynical anti-football and unprofessional and he was rightly sent off for a second yellow. His downside is a lot bigger than his upside. Sissoko deputised with aplomb. So an hour to play and a man missing in action.

 "Never was so much owed by so many  (fans) to so few (players)"

Mauricios reaction.

 ''I feel proud, I am happy, so happy because of the players, because of the fans and the staff, because they deserve to be in a different situation to the one we've been living in during the past few weeks."

Amen to that. have a week off and relax. Oh sorry it's Bayern Munich on Tuesday in the Champions' League. 'Idle hands are the devil's workshop'. Keep busy and safe  Mauricio.

Jimmy's Video Spot
Many people claim to have heard this live from the House of Commons but no live recording was actually made. This is a reconstruction several years later.

'False memory' syndrome. Millions will claim to have been at the Lane for this famous victory. Our Kennedy assassination moment. 'All did their duty'

Thursday, 26 September 2019

The last straw reports.


Relax. It's just a couple of punctures on the Project bus.
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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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Having been Cheerleader and Happy Clapper Commander in Chief, twice mentioned in dispatches, Stadium Tour and  bar, Champions' League Final Defeat Apologist par excellence, I find myself confronting the Colchester debacle.

'Debacle' and I choose my words carefully, defined as an event or attempt that is a complete failure from the French 'breakup' or 'overthrow' of which more later. Also a wonderful novel on the folly of war by Emile Zola. 

Shhh I'm getting there. Colchester, just clearing my throat and my head. This is a very tough gig for a long, long term Spurs supporter anticipating even better things under Mauricio Pochettino after 5 years of progress.

Oh yes we have. But we haven't won anything yet. I hear you. I am usually of the  'In a month's time we will look back and laugh' persuasion but it's getting harder. Ah! Colchester in the Barbacao Cup. One of possible targets for Trophy Glory.

Put that one in the 'out' tray friends. Colchester. I was going to pretend I didn't see it, Urgent brain surgery or something but Geoffrey would have spilt the beans. 'Our worst performance this century' in his opinion.

Actually Geoff. that's not that long but let it go. Unfortunately I did see it in all its tedious entirety. A brainless and heartless performance. All the more disappointing because we had some Academicians playing and they didn't really step up. 

Tanganga was OK but untested; Skipp was busy but careless; KWP was better in the second half; Parrott was disappointing though we were not set up to provide him with many real opportunities 

Of the Seniors only Dier stood out until Lamela and Son came on. Dele has lost his magic and Moura was in head down mode. Davies is just plain dull and Sanchez more than a little haphazard. Wanyama is a shadow of his former self.  Gazzaniga was barely tested.

So is this game a one off blip, a series of blips, a lengthening trend. I am finding it hard to deny as the evidence collects that something is amiss, and not just on the field though one may clearly affect the other.

Mauricio clearly isn't happy but we don't know why, though many are prepared to guess: players attitude very possibly, lost the dressing room and all that but again we don't really know why or if it's even remotely true.

But clearly all is not well generally. Unsettled players or players that have been made unsettled by contract problems, Eriksen is not the  only one. Mauricio has always been a bit wayward on team selection, tactical formations, in game management and substitutions.

When you're winning it can be papered over. But recently his composure has slipped and his weaknesses more exposed. A lot of this is media drivel and I don't do Twitter or the Newsnow clickbait nonsense.

Although as a blogger I know the pressure to generate 'hits'. Talking to yourself or shouting in the wilderness is a soul destroying exercise. But I try to avoid 'clickbait' headings, most of the time.

So rumours of Boardroom and Dressing room splits are of little interest. The thing that counts is the on-field attitude and quality and Colchester was a true shock to the system. It was horrifying to watch.

We were so out of it that we seemed to be watching ourselves in our own nightmare. Spurs Zombie eleven facing their demons. Colchester had one or two good players and the rest played above their usual level as is to be expected in these fixtures.

What should have been a chance not only for Harry to have a rest but for the team to recapture the Spirit of Crystal Palace, make progress in a winnable cup and recreate some harmony and enthusiasm, crashed and burned.

The very opposite occurred and generated some horrifying stories; the imminent departure of Mauricio and the arrival at Xmas of Jose, several players exiting before the New Year and turmoil behind the scenes.

Colchester the last strawfor all concerned.

The ITK 'insiders' follow the tabloids and the tabloid chase the ITK's round and round in ever decreasing circles until they disappear up their own fundaments. There's smoke but who lit the fire?

For what it's worth, thank you Geoffrey, Mauricio won't leave or be sacked until we are on an more even keel and will stay until the end of the season, Eriksen? Does anybody care? Toby drowning in the current tsunami of bad news.

We've had a multiple tyre burst  and are parked on the hard shoulder at the moment with no jack. Keep calm the wheels haven't actually completely fallen off. The Project needs a service and this crisis might turn out to be a good thing.

If Pochettino goes before Xmas and we are fighting relegation I will apologise profusely and might tender my resignation and follow Mauricio down to the Labour Exchange.

And take Geoffrey with me.

Next Up. 
Home to Southampton on Saturday 28th. at 15:00. This will tell us something but I'm not sure what. COYS

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Give yourselves a break. here is a couple of hours of chill-out ambient music and beautiful nature scenes to get you in the mood for Southampton. It's worked before. The alternative was the highlights of the Colchester game.

You're welcome.



Monday, 23 September 2019

Reports of Spurs demise greatly exaggerated.

'Friends Supporters and Spurs-fans
Spare me your tears
I come not to bury Tottenham
 but to praise and try to mount a reasoned defence 
difficult though it may seem in the circumstances'

The JimmyG2 Column.
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Another day, another lead, another failure to clinch victory The bare statistics show that it's over ten years since we failed to win 3 consecutive games when leading at half time and that it is even longer since we had such a winless away run

We haven't won an away game since January 20th. when we beat Fulham. Records are being broken as we speak. But these glaring facts do not describe the game against Leicester, a tough team this season at a tough venue.

On the hour let the record show that VAR once again our friend early in the game turned traitor in the end and ruled out our second goal by Aurier with a extremely marginal decision for offside against Son in the build-up.

We played well in a hard fought game but Son pulled two good chances wide and Kane hit two shots straight at Schmeichel when well placed, apart from the goal that was ruled out. A game we could and should have won.

Son incidently has been directly involved in seven goals in his last six Premier League appearances versus Leicester (4 goals, 3 assists). But today was an off day in his lively start to the season.

Had we won all this doomsday crisis stuff would disappear. So as far as that goes after 6 games it is not deep-rooted or something that can't be turned round. The home defeat to Newcastle is a more worrying piece of evidence for Mauricio's front and backstabbers.

'Et tu Brute?' That's addressed to Spurs fans not the pundits and commentators of whom you don't expect anything better.

Our away form too is now more a trend  than a blip. But we did actually did well in our last three tricky away games, losing the last unluckily and drawing the previous two unfortunately. In all three we went ahead which is a positive.

On the Leicester game itself  Lamela was impressive especially in the first half. The absence of Hugo on new father duty did not materially affect the result. Gazzaniga was reprieved for his early spill by VAR and he made several good saves and catches.

In midfield Winks and Sissoko stood firm though Ndombele is not up to speed and the introduction of a labouring Wanyama rather than Skipp on 79 minutes was baffling. If you want dedicated effort then Winks and young Ollie should start the next game.

The introduction of substitutes Eriksen and Moura came too late once again. If Dier is not fit enough to contribute even as a sub. he should not be on the bench. Eriksen seems to have totally lost his focus.

Harry Kane scored a bizarre goal that pays tribute to his determination.  After being pushed in the back by Soyuncu on the edge of the area he scored virtually lying on the ground. But he and Son missed several chances between them.

As you might have predicted Maddison scored the winner with 5 minutes to go after Pereira had equalised soon after our 2nd. goal was ruled out.

Maddison is obnoxious but talented and finally scored with his 32nd. shot of the season. You know exactly what is going to happen when the commentators go on about his lack of goal scoring success.

We played with spirit and energy away to Arsenal and thrashed Palace. We came from behind to beat Villa. and got an away point at Olympiacos

Let's not do the pundits and rival fans dirty work for them by predicting the demise of Mauricio or the false tales of 'Trouble at Tottenham Mill'.

I have acknowledged the worrying trends but this early in the season nothing is decided or set in concrete, neither performances nor attitudes. As Mark Twain said after his obituary was printed while he was still alive in a newspaper:

 ''Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated'.

We are currently down to 7th. but it would have been lower if we had not scored 4 against Palace. I usually caution against making dire or premature predictions until the 10th. game is reached. Or even expansive ones.

As Harper Lee said in 'To Kill a Mockingbird 'Things are never as bad as they seem'. Geoffrey says, 'Sometimes they are worse'.

My other team is Real Madrid and everyone agrees that Zidane was on the point of being sacked in favour of Mourinho. Except that they are currently joint top of the table after beating Seville 1-0 last night. Just saying.

Next Up
Colchester in the Carabao Cup 3rd Round on Tuesday 24th September at 19:45.
Banana skins we love 'em.

Premiership against Southampton on Saturday 28th. at 15:00.
Yet another chance to prove me right. Or not as the case may be.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

All the goals and the er..non goals.Son looked offside originally but the VAR decision was very marginal and raises all sorts of problems about the technology and judgements thereon: precisely when the frame shown was taken; which point of the body is being used.

 But you win some, you lose some.


Thursday, 19 September 2019

It's back: but it never really went away.

It's back scarier than ever.
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The JimmG2 Column.

For the second time in three games we gave up a two goal lead away from home but made a draw. We improved in the second half here and just about held our own and got out alive.

We didn't win any of our group games last year and still made the final but this was a sloppy dispiriting performance especially after last Saturday's positivity fest. Only Harry Winks and Toby played to anything like their usual level.

Mauricio was not best pleased by our attitude and psychological approach. Conceding goals when ahead just before half time is obviously not part of the game plan.

We were warned that in the Olympiacus Athens' cauldron this would be a hard gig against an on-form side. We were surprised by their early pace and skill and might have gone down to a goal or two before we scored.

But courtesy of a Kane penalty and a fine Lucas Moura strike we went ahead against the run of play but conceded a goal just before half time again. Soon after the restart they in turn were awarded a penalty after a clumsy foul by Vertonghen.

We gained some control in the second half and it fizzled out as a 2-2 draw which is better than the away leg in 1972/3 when we lost 1-0.  Dele scored but was just offside and Lamela and Dele might both have set Harry up but chose to shoot.

We beat them in 72/73 4-0 at home so let History be our guide here.

I hate to resurrect the old  'Roller Coaster' cliche but there is no doubt that poor old Mauricio is clinging on for dear life up front: elated and excited after Palace and foaming at the mouth after last night.

But whose fault is it that? Sanchez failed his second audition for right back? (Don't phone us Davison) That an unfit Ndombele struggled from the start in midfield (thank God for Harry Winks).

That Lucas Moura goal apart did little to justify his start; that Ben Davies and Vertonghen look even slower than they actually are against quick opponents; that Davies interception apart made little contribution and went AWOL frequently.

Eriksen was awful and should have been subbed at half time; Dier might have made a contribution. If I was KWP I would be more than a little miffed if Aurier wasn't to be trusted twice running.

Dele in his first appearance should have been subbed for Son earlier and Lamela who certainly made a difference likewise for Moura. The Manager has a tendency to let things drift and all this affects the mentality of the team.

But this is of course the view from the outside. We didn't lose either of these tricky away games; some team changes were inevitable and we cannot fully know the reasons for the decisions made. We can only appraise what happened on the pitch.

We had the same number of shots on target as Olympiacos (5) but once again out-fouled our opponents. They have a good record at home against English clubs winning 5 out of 6 including 3 wins against Arsenal.

So let us not despair just yet. We drew when we could easily have lost or just as easily won which is what's irking the Manager:

“It’s disappointing because we are not talking about quality, we are talking about intensity, will and aggression''. ''Not respecting the plan' (Pochettino; ' Not learning from our mistakes?' (Kane)

Some, all or none  of the above; complacency; arrogance, bad day at the office; blip; too many changes (5) . Pick your own favourite. Anything but 'Spursy' which is banned as nonsensical on Musings.

Up Next.
Away to Leicester who currently lie 5th level with us on points in Saturday's early kick-off. Why so soon after a Wednesday Champion's League game you may well ask. 'He who pays the Piper' as they say.

Could be another tricky one. Though ain't they all but some are trickier than others.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Straight from the Horse's mouth. Not a Happy Bunny but he must share some of the blame. Some of these faults are within his bailiwick.


Sunday, 15 September 2019

Tottenham Get Street-wise.

4-0 up at half time.
That's the Way to do it
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 The JimmyG2 Column.
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Don't you just hate it when Spurs go four nil up by half time? You know that the second half is going to be one big disappointment. But I'm with the Poch and Toby Show, it's definitely 'the way to do it'. Some disappointments are easier to take than others.

Out of the blocks like startled greyhounds, the ball played forward within 10 seconds and our first shot by Harry Winks, well wide but that's not the point, in the first minute. Exactly what Spurs fans have been demanding for months.

We were one up in ten minutes and three up  before the midway point of the first half. Two from an electric Son and an og. after an enterprising run by Aurier who kept most of his many critics quiet at least until his next game.

The intent was clear and whatever was said at these crisis meetings between Manager and Players this week  paid immediate dividends. A crossroads; moment of truth whatever, we won't know just yet but a corner seems to have been turned.

'Crisis what Crisis?' A week is a long time in football and a fortnight twice as long.

By the time that Lamela converted Harry Kane's first time cross just before half time Roy Hodgson's head was permanently stuck in his hands. And this game was talked up beforehand as a possible banana skin.

This was mainly due to Palace's away record against the top six not from their performances against us. We had won our last 8 Premier League (PL) games against Crystal Palace, conceding just 1 goal in that run.

We grabbed our destiny with both feet: quicker and longer passes; more movement especially Son; none of the interplay between Lloris and defenders inside the area at which frankly we are not very good at. Positivity flowed.

'And not before time' you say and I agree. Players who fancied a move or have been linked with a move have been told to shape up or sit on the sidelines. They all played on Saturday (Toby, Serge, Danny, Jan and Christian) and  played a full part especially Toby.

His direct raking passes to the wing where Aurier and Rose lurked caused panic and 'alarums' in the Palace defence. Just such a pass brilliantly controlled by Son opened the scoring. The press returned led enthusiastically as usual by Lamela. Harry Kane roamed with intent.

Winks and Sissoko dominated the midfield largely untroubled and all the defenders were busy except Hugo who made a couple of routine saves and was otherwise given the afternoon off.

We start Sunday in third place but are likely to be lower by Sunday night unless everyone draws. Did I mention that Norwich beat City. So anything, even everything, is possible. Last week's word was 'unsettled': this week's seems to be 'sorted'

Palace started the game in third place but I think they well have problems finishing in the top half. Sakho doesn't inspire confidence and Zaha is their only player of any class.

Professional fouls:
We committed nearly 20 fouls, twice as many as Palace and several on danger man Zaha which the commentators lovingly refer to as 'professional fouls' and positively encourage. They are not, they are profoundly unprofessional and are spoiling the game.

Some of them were close to the half way line and danger was remote. It earned Winks and Eriksen yellow cards. which are clearly not enough as teams rotate the fouls amongst themselves. Two yellows might cure it or 15 minutes sin bin and a yellow.

Some will argue that this is Spurs getting more street-wise and joining the 'big boys'. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. We are already a big boy and we don't need it and nor does the game.

Next up.
Spurs travel to Olympiakos in their Champions League Group B opener on Wednesday 18 September (kick-off 17:55 BST)

Then it's Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday, 21 September (12:30 BST).

Jimmy's Video Spot..
Let's not gloat, just a couple of minutes of our goals. Son and Aurier rampant early, Alderweireld magnificent, Lamela lively. Mauricio happy, me delighted, Geoffrey thinks we wasted the second half.

And all without Dele, I expect him to start on Wednesday.


Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Spurs Prospects Improve

That was last week: Don't Panic.
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The JimmyG2 Column
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The away leg of the NLD is always a test of more than football skills and coming after the awfulness  home to Newcastle I'm glad to see the back of it. But we passed on almost all fronts and can look forward with positivity not back with dismay

I agree with Harry that this was the ideal game to test our spirit and morale. 'Season defining' is a stretch too far Geoffrey but we came out smiling in the end. We don't exactly have momentum but sheer inertia has been avoided.

This was our 'do or die moment' or rather our 'dare to do or die moment and we did. We were the  brighter starters and should have won it from 2-0 up a minute before half time. In the end we were grateful for the draw as Arsenal came at us for almost the whole of the second half.

Even then Harry Kane struck the post and Son lost his way a couple of times when well placed Sissoko missed an easy and a more difficult chance though both shots hit the same spectator in Row Z. But if he could shoot he probably would not be playing for us.

Why he didn't leave it to Eriksen I'll never know. If ever Christian had a key moment to tackle this was it. Know your limitations is the key text to take from this game. That's Moussa and the full backs too.

So Arsenal brought out the better, if not the best, in us especially in the first half where Kane, Son, Eriksen and Lamela broke with freedom and pace. Eriksen started, which was surely a good sign for the rest of the season. (Now confirmed.)

Kane put Son away and he in turn sent Lamela clear and his early shot was spilled by Leno. Eriksen following up gleefully tapped the ball in for the first on 10 minutes. Luiz as he had done once before in a Chelsea game set off in the wrong direction.


Son was stupidly tackled about an hour after the game finished by Xhaka and Harry thrashed in the penalty like a man possessed. 2-0 up and half time imminent: dare to dream time.

 Sanchez roped in at right back and Rose in one of his more cavalier defensive moods  had other ideas. Both tried to dribble out when a more unfashionable hoof was called for. Danny has not had a good start to the season.

We survived the first error when Sanchez failed to clear but not the second  when Danny's attempted nutmeg failed and Lacazette eventually scored with power on the stroke of half time. Get well soon Ben, Sess and KWP.

Arsenal were back in it and they carried their momentum into the second half. Lloris was excellent with his hands, not so with his feet and we survived. They scored but once again VAR was our friend spotting an offside in the build up.

In another breakaway Kane was released by Dele but his cross missed out Eriksen, waving for the ball and unfortunately found Sissoko breaking just behind him with predictable consequencies. 

I would have taken a draw before the game at this critical moment in our season. Bu I am buoyed by the fact that we could have won it. It was an exciting but only moderately skillful game but certainly an improvement after last week.

So we can now settle down and into the season with that performance. We have twice neglected the opportunity to go above Arsenal but I don't think it will be long before we re-establish ourselves as top four contenders.

Premiership Odds
Top two looks like a repeat of last year but it's a funny old game as my hero once observed. City are odds on to win it for a third time running, Liverpool 2/1,and Tottenham at 14/1 ahead of all our other rivals. Chelsea and Utd are 20/1 and Arsenal 30/1 after signing Luiz.

Odds are constantly changing but in any event bet responsibly.

If David Luiz is the answer what on earth was the question. 

No News is......
Eriksen is still with us. If he departs for nothing at the end of this season we have more than had our money's worth from the boy. 6 Years for 11million is the bargain of the century.

Musings bet is that he signs a new contract on at least double the money and a buy out clause of 25 million+ .

He was the only one of the Magnificent Seven bought with the Bale money to be an unqualified success at Spurs though Lamela gets an honourable mention in Dispatches, on the grounds that at least he's still with us and playing regularly after a season out injured.

Incidentally  the Musings forecast that neither Christian nor Toby would leave is 100% correct. Geoffrey says that's a first But we only do statistics when they prove we were right.

I'm moderately elated: Geoffrey is moderately depressed. I expect my gentle readers are somewhere in between. Usual suspects excepted.

Once Ndombele and Lo Celso are fit and with Toby and Christian staying we have a formidable force to take the battle to City and Liverpool. Bring it on.

Next up.
Crystal Palace at home on Saturday 14th.Sept after the International break though almost all of the boys are on International duty.

Champions' league.
We are drawn in Group B with Bayern Munich, Red Star Belgrade (Crvena zvezda), and Olympiacos.
Our first game is on Wed. 18th. Sept. away to Olympiacos.

Carabao Cup.
We play Colchester Utd away on the Tues. 24th Sept at the enticingly named JobServe Stadium.

International break
All our uninjured senior players will be involved in a variety of International level games and  three or four young and fringe players too: (Skipp, Parrott, Roles and Georgiou). The last two for Cypus.

Harry Winks celebrates his return to the England squad and a good performance against Arsenal

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Eriksen's 50th. goal and does he not like that. Smart work up front by both teams. Pepe looks a find. Arsenal will hope that he scores more than Luiz concedes. 40 minutes and it's ours to lose. But we managed a positive draw.

Some hopeful attacking signs knit together by the Dane. Full backs vulnerable, but centre halves solid. Great game for the neutrals as they say.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Tottenham to go back to move forward.


 
 Spurs just waving not drowning
for the moment anyway
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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I spent most of yesterday following the Test on the 'wireless' and it ended conveniently enough with a sensational win to preserve our Ashes hopes in time to for the Spurs game. Thanks  Ben.

So I began to watch the game against Newcastle game in a high state of elation and optimistic anticipation. Here surely was our first home banker  to celebrate Mauricio's 500th. game and a chance to go above Arsenal into third.

I observed Newcastle's ten man defence and our ponderously slow, deliberate and painful approach work with growing apprehension. Would this one go the way of several others in recent history. In less than half an hour my deepest fears were realised.

Sanchez allowed Joelinton to run off   him and he was found by a fine ball by Atsu which he controlled well and beat Hugo for his first Newcastle goal. Danny Rose was slow to realise the danger and we were 1-0 down..

No need to panic just yet we did the same against Aston Villa and won and against City and drew.

To cut a sad story short, little changed until Eriksen injected a little positivity with half an hour to go. But even he and Lo Celso could do little to alter the tedious mindset we were in and nothing else troubled the scorers.

Eriksen played aball inside the full back for Sissoko who pulled it back to HK but he couldn't control the shot and the moment passed. Lo Celso sent Harry awy inside the box but he was obstructed by a flying Rugby tackle. Nothing was given.

Kane should have had a penalty but so should Newcastle earlier. Mike Dean was content to let VAR take the blame but as in the other game the on-field decision stands unless controvertible evidence emerges to the contrary.

Moura missed a 'sitter' late on which would secured the draw but I'm not sure if we deserved it. No I am sure, we didn't. I would gladly have accepted even the loss of the Ashes for  a Spurs victory here.
Sorry Ben.
 
The full backs both got down the flanks but without real intent and few effective crosses were forthcoming. We had 80% possession and 2 shots on target.Although we had more shots (15/5) They had 20% and 3 shots on target.

So no knee jerk from me but all is not completely well at Tottenham. Mauricio said we lacked passion and aggression. But what we actually lack is creativity, movement and the skill to break down blanket defences; more speed of passing and positivity of approach too.

That's all down to you and your game plan Mr.Manager. We haven't played well for some time but technology and the failure of others have earned us the rewards of a top four place and a Champions' League final.

His observation that the team lacked unity and desire is perhaps more worrying. Again that falls into your in-tray Mauricio and needs dealing with urgently not allowed to fester. 'Unsettled' is the current buzzword but thee are no concrete reasons offered.

Injuries and tiredness were last season's excuses but they don't apply now although KWP's injury may require some re-jigging in the absence of Aurier who may be leaving and Son though willing is not up to match form yet.

The Newcastle game highlights our failings and this early set-back may allow team and Manager/Coach  to reset the GPS. We need to keep and play Eriksen and the return of Dele Alli hopefully for the NLD should help.

The midfield of Winks and Sissoko is not progressive enough as both look to recycle the ball neatly and tidily but without the forward speedy progress necessary to apply pressure when required. Lamela buzzed but failed to sting.

Moussa may be reverting to his pre- reincarnation position and looked better at fullback. New signings Ndombele and Lo Celso are either injured of not up to speed. Dier too is still strangely absent.

Sometimes you have to go back to go forward and Dier's recall could be a stabilizing influence on a team losing it's way at the moment. The return of Vertonghen out of favour for whatever reason would add to our defensive stability.

Mauricio faces some hard choices this week on formation; team selection and playing style ahead of an obviously crucial fixture but at least he has a full clear week to respond to this wake-up call.

Injuries and complex player situations won't help and for Arsenal it could be good time to face us. Win it and of course everything changes but papering over the obvious cracks won't suffice in the long term.

To summarize the Newcastle game: no press, no imagination, no movement, no energy, no goals, no points. Few excuses.

Some of this is down to Mauricio and some to individual errors but it would be harsh to criticize individuals when team effort and organization were more at fault.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Full highlights. Sorry couldn't find anything decent and shorter. Not sure whether Mike Dean is biased or just incompetent. VAR didn't come to our aid on this one.


Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Spurs Reap the Benefits.


 Very Advantageous Result.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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You lucky boys. How did we not lose that? Well basically City did a Spurs: dominated possession; played very well; won all the stats but only contrived to score 2 from 30 efforts. We've been there.

We only had 3 efforts and managed to score the same number of legitimate goals as City. The VAR disallowed goal is another matter entirely. Lightening struck twice and City were well and truly frazzled again.

Spurs saved by the rules; Hugo; dogged and sometimes fortunate defending and our ability to score a couple against definitely not the best defence in the league.

I would have taken a point before the game and that's exactly what we got even though as in the Villa game we did it in our own inimitable way and could count ourselves lucky to finish on even terms, eventually.

We will fall foul of a VAR decision before long and possibly quite soon. So we can bank that one and try not to be too outraged when the positions are reversed.

City were impressive but we dug in and kept them out. We were outplayed but not outscored and had Dele and Son missing and new players not yet quite up to speed.

Hugo and the back line played pretty well considering the quality they faced. Lucas and Erik seemed to have discovered the useful knack of scoring goals when we need them.

On this showing we are not going to win the league or even challenge but if the team settles and shows continuing grit as it usually does these days we have enough quality to secure yet another top four.

And a CUP perhaps.

We haven't won a Premier League away game since January and lost our last six in a row away from home at the end of last season. Defeat at City would have equalled our worst run since 2000 and the days of George Graham. (BBC)

Last season, we lost four of our five away games against established top six opponents and had also taken just four points from our previous nine games at Manchester City's ground.

So that's progress no matter how it was achieved. We were outplayed but not outscored and will take this improvement into the games ahead. It's still a funny old game but with technological knobs on.

Poor refereeing and linesmen’s decisions often spoil the game but VAR will introduce it's own quirks, oddities and delays. It will spot transgressions which the referee does not and could not see.

But it's the same for everyone and strictly speaking it's fairer in the purest sense. We have benefited hugely twice, both against City and we will share their pain quite soon no doubt.

They tried and almost succeeded in overwhelming us 'early doors', scored a fine goal, pressed and harassed and looked runaway winners. But this is the New Spurs, not quite like the old Spurs.

Lamela equalised within minutes of Sterling's headed opener and Moura headed in from a corner within seconds of coming on to wipe out Aguero's close finish. De Bruyne was outstanding and assisted both City's goals.

So positives to take away but City are the best that foreign money can buy and there is no shame to be second best to them especially when you sneak away with a draw.

Newcastle up next currently nestling in the bottom three at NWHL on Sunday.

The New Stadium.
Aims to:
1) Excite the fans
2) Inspire the players.
3) Intimidate the opposition.

I did the Tour and took in the Tottenham Experience and I am certain it achieves all three. So impressive. Why would anyone want to leave, Christian?

My thanks to Guadalupe, Mitchell and Ross who squeezed us onto a Stadium Tour at the last moment and Vince who was our tour guide. Fantastic.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Giovanni Lo Celso, the 'Argentinian Magician' as he's known, qualifies for a video now that he's signed and made an appearance. Only five minutes but that's more than enough.

Is he at long last the midfielder that can tackle and pass? Looks like it from the videos. Tanguy Ndombele might fit the bill too. Here's hoping, especially if Christian leaves.


Monday, 12 August 2019

Spurs not giving up.



 The key (ring) to success.

Tottenham have won 37 Premier League games
 after finding themselves behind at half-time - 
more than any other side.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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I got the final score correct on the prediction website I frequent but not the scorers or the order of scoring or the time. In other words I thought we would win but not quite in the way that we did..

But I've seen that film before, except in true Hollywood style in the remake they've changed the ending to a happier one. We rode off into the sunset with the girl and the bags of gold across our saddle in front of a near capacity crowd.

Ndembele scored the vital equaliser on his Premiership debut and performed increasingly well. Harry Kane despite it being August scored two in the last 5 minutes to bring home the bacon in style.

Job done in our own inimitable way: an increasingly dominant performance apart from 30 seconds after 9 minutes when McGinn also scored a first Premiership goal from a harmless looking long ball by Mings that caught everybody out especially Sanchez and Rose.

It would be tempting to insist that we had enjoyed complete domination with 70% possession but in fact Villa acquitted themselves well for the first half as we struggled to find an effective formation and until they ran out of belief and energy.

We managed only 1 shot on target in the first half but had wracked up 31 shots in total and 7 on target and 3 goals by the end. 3 goals in the final 17 minutes pays tribute to Mauricio insistence on fitness and application.

We waited until the 73rd. minute to catch up soon after arrival of Christian Eriksen whose career path is still unclear. This was the key change and I hope he stays but the European window runs for another three weeks.

Whatever his attitude may be, his composure and skill is a vital component to our smooth running. He enables others to do their job and concentrate on what they do best while he keeps the pistons greased and the tank topped up and the play progressing...

It was clear by the end that we had them by the throat and in the last few minutes Kane exploited their tiredness and negativity with two well taken goals; one from Sissoko's driving run and the other from a typical Lamela intervention.

He lost the ball but recovered to pinch Grealish's pocket as he dwelt on the ball on the edge of the area and Harry profited from the resulting pinball episode in the Villa defence.

So a crucial 3 points after emphatic wins for Liverpool and City In general we had more shots than either of them but less on target and fewer goals. Sometimes we shoot when we should pass and pass when we should shoot.

Sissoko fails on both count because sometimes you can't tell which he's attempting. He may be the biggest loser  when both Lo Celso and Ndombele are up and running especially if Eriksen stays. He has the heart and spirit and strength but not the technical ability at this level.

He came back from the down and outs last season and played a key role in our success in our hour of need but there are more skillful midfielders available now who might be just as strong on the ball.

Eriksen was only on for 30 minutes and Kevin Walker-Peters played the full 90 and was outstanding throughout so he gets the nod for MOM. Not for the first time.

Transfer window.
We did pretty well on our likelihood assessments. Bagged 3 as forecast. Bruno Fernandes  though disappeared from the face of the earth blocked by the owner of Sporting Lisbon out of spite allegedly. Dybala a non starter, image rights, whatever.

What we said:
Incoming
Dybala  (65million and 300.000 a week (1/10 as he's Argentinian)
Sessegnon. Scott Parker says 'No' but talks stuttering on, maybe a loan or two the other way (6/10)
Coutinho. Offered to all and sundry. Wages and Fee? (0/10) We are the favourites apparently.
Lo Celso.  But clocks a'ticking..(7/10)
Bruno Fernandes. See above...(6/10)''


Aurier is still possibly on his way out and Christian and Toby are still with us, so far, as forecast. Apparently Juventus have already enquired about acquiring Eriksen on a free next Summer.


Next up.
Away to City in the late Saturday KO. They have started where they finished last season with a 5-0 thumping of West Ham and a Sterling hat-trick. I'd take a draw now. I didn't get where I am today with false heroics.


Jan Vertonghen.
Mauricio says he was dropped from the squad for 'tactical reasons'. To the bench perhaps, maybe, possibly but not from the squad. At the moment we don't know any better but eventually the truth will out. If he's not in the squad for City that will tell us more.

Tactical fouls.
Are ruining the game. Action should be taken. 15 minute sin bin sentences with no substitutions allowed during the period would stop it . Red cards would stop it more quickly. It's anti-football and becoming more prevalent.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Welcome indeed.  Fine start for Monsieur Ndombele once he settled and Christian came on to help. Here's his you tube video which was obviously key to his signing. You get the general idea: strong direct and tricky

I can see him picking up injuries though with such a committed running and tackling style.


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Wednesday, 7 August 2019

'I Don't Believe It'



 I'm with Mr. Meldrew.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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A pretty useful pre-season done and dusted and nothing now between us and the Premiership title. Well, not that much anyway. Plenty to be pleased with of and some promising performances to 'muse' upon.

We lost our final friendly on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Inter Milan but gave a good account of ourselves especially in the first half where we knocked them completely off their game. Lamela and Kyle Walker Peters caught the eye.

We defended and covered as a team and attacked at speed with some clever quick passing. Their equaliser was slickly done and we were lucky when a shot hit the inside of the post and bounced across the goal and out.

On the whole the fringe players and youngsters have shown up well. Tanganga in particular. Kevin-George Nkoudou has impressed in his brief appearances. New boy Ndombele will be useful when he is fit and settled.

Eriksen missed a second penalty in a week and looks out of sorts. He is clearly trying to get all the Spurs fans to hate him so that he can leave without regrets on either side. He's already half way there with many fans.

Son and Lucas showed some good skill and pace. In the physical absence of Dele and the mental absence of Eriksen, our two creative players, we might struggle against the better teams.

Son and Foyth are suspended, Dele (hamstring again!) and Foyth (ankle) are out for 'weeks', and the current treatment room gang are still probably out for the opener against newly promoted Aston Villa on Saturday at home.( KO BST 5:30)

Dier and Aurier are back in training once again but without a pre-season they will have to wait their turn. We are getting to the stage when any signing will do for the fans; bad or indifferent but a new face.

I think Lo Celso and Fernandes will come in on Thursday which would make this a decent window but neither will start if Mauricio runs to true form. He likes to look every player in the eye on the training ground before selection.

Both are linked to Utd but that is probably the usual agents' shenanigans. Troy Parrott is being talked up as back-up/understudy to Harry Kane so it looks as if Llorente will not be re-signing.

We will have a clearer picture when we see the squad on Saturday but I will be surprised if Troy is not named among them especially with Dele and Son missing. He might even get a few minutes along with Skipp.

Even Ndombele might have to wait until the second half at the earliest but I'm guessing at: Lloris, KWP,  Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Ndombele  Moura, Lamela, Kane, which the eagle-eyed will spot is the team that started against Inter-Milan.

The next date in your diary is the end of the Transfer Window on Thursday at 5 p.m. when it will be Hel Lo Celso to the tune of Hello Dolly. There is a mere 15 million between the clubs' valuations so a deal easily brokered by Mr. Levy you would have thought.

No well perhaps not. They want 65 million and we've offered 50. No problem financially with the extra couple of thousand seats now permitted at the NWHL.

The La Liga window doesn't end until the 2nd. September so still time for Real to change their minds on Christian but I can't see it myself.

'Yids'
The perennial 'Yids' word controversy returns via a questionnaire from the club. I don't sing it or chant it or stand up if I hate Arsenal because that's not why I go. But I defend the right of Spurs fans to use the word 'Yids' if they so desire.

I don't believe it encourages others to use it in an Anti-Semitic way, in fact just the opposite. In popular parlance it's called getting your retaliation in first, or a as Danny Blanchflower once said
''Equalising before the other team score''

Yids calling themselves 'Yids' or non yids chanting in sympathy with Yids and our historical base and history is anti anti-semitic. I'm from a Jewish background and I wouldn't chant it for aesthetic reasons but I defend the right of Spurs fans so to do.

It's a pre-emptive strike against anti-semitism and a call to collective virtual arms. I have no idea why the topic has come round again. It seems like an itch the club has to scratch from time to time. No doubt you will have your own opinion.

COYY

Stop Press
Transfer window closing and things are getting hectic and a bit silly. Latest links with the JmmyG2 likelihood rating in brackets.

Incoming
Dybala  (65million and 300.000 a week (1/10 as he's Argentinian)
Sessegnon. Scott Parker says 'No' but talks stuttering on, maybe a loan or two the other way (6/10)
Coutinho. Offered to all and sundry. Wages and Fee? (0/10) We are the favourites apparently.
Lo Celso.  But clocks a'ticking..(7/10)
Bruno Fernandes. See above...(6/10)

Outgoing 
Aurier. Back to France. To lose one right back may be regarded as misfortune.  To lose 2 smacks of carelessness.(5/10).
Eriksen not going to Utd. He prefers the weather and life-style in Spain. This one I believe (9/10) I told you he wouldn't be going anywhere several blogs ago. Or Toby either. Fingers crossed.

And many more rumours too numerous to mention. But the Fat Lady is currently having a lie down in her undies so plenty of time in Levy world.

Overall: 'I don't believe it.' Well not much of it. Better get the presses rolling before 'Events dear boy ' overtake us. It's that time of year.

A home fixture against a newly promoted club to start our assault on the Premiership. What could possibly go wrong.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Some footage from pre-season where Japhet Tanganga emerges as a real prospect in a position we may need cover for.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Players and Cups Incoming.


Now that's what I call a trophy.
Nobody else will but who cares.
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The Jimmy G2 Column..
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Apologies in advance if this is just a tiny bit triumphalist but we did win something and won a penalty shoot-out with a decent sprinkling of youth and fringe players who all got game time in a proper pre-season work out.

We won a cup. No less than the 'prestigious' Audi Cup beating Real Madrid and Bayern Munich on penalties at their own ground. Not a bad start in the build up to the new season. Of course it doesn't count in the wider world. Nothing that's exclusively on ITV4 ever would.

But whatever the rest of the world thinks  I'm counting it if only as a morale booster and tribute to the team especially for the youngsters who stepped up throughout the tournament and in the penalty shoot-out.

We are going to shout it from the roof-tops but very quietly so as not to set the neighbours and the Media off again. It will keep the 'Bottler Brigade' quiet for a while. Probably not long though.
 .
It should improve the temper of a somewhat grumpy pre-season Mauricio. I''m not sure whether he's peeved at Levy for lack of signings or generally disgruntled with the whole  post match Press Conference obligation or just life itself.

They are traps for the unwary and are used for trouble-making, click-bait  headlines. The questions are often repetitive and agenda based and Mauricio is more astute than the average Sports journalist even in his second language.

Anyway signings possibly 2 are on the way. I can feel it in me water even though I am not in favour of signing anyone that could unnecessarily block our youngsters who have done us proud or disrupt the harmony of the team.

Harry Kane got the only goal against an underwhelming Real Madrid side from an error by Marcelo. Erik Lamela and Christian scored against Bayern who finished strongly to force a draw and a penalty shoot-out.

It's very difficult to judge team performances with so many changes and substitutions but winning as Mauricio says is always better than losing and individuals stood out at times Skipp, Tanganga, Rose,and Lamela, all had their moments.

Generally though these were solid team performances and it was good to see the team press for the opening 30 minutes of the Madrid game.

Take a bow then  Harvey White*, Oliver Skipp*, George Marsh, Jack Roles, Japhet Tanganga and Troy Parrott* and honourable mention to Alfie Whiteman who kept the keeping gloves warm but did not play.

*All Post Millennials which makes the future positively blinding.

Other fringe and older players  Anthony Georgio (22), Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (24) also played Remember also that Juan Foyth  is only 21. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. No update news at the moment and he's suspended for the opening 2 games along with Son anyway.

Davison Sanchez, Dele and Harry Winks are only 23 and Kyle (edit) Walker Peters who may get more game time in Foyth's absence is 22. The gnarled old veterans Dier. Kane , Eriksen and Ben Davies are all only just in their prime.

Danny, Toby, Jan, Moussa and Hugo are the true veterans that give the squad gravitas and experience but the current blend and the camaraderie of the squad seems to be working well as all the youngsters attest.

Of the usual suspects only Dier, Davies, Aurier, Carter Vickers and Wanyama were missing due to injury or illness or rehabilitation.

I'm having some of my old tattoos removed: 'Enic out' and 'Not a brick' are the first to go. I'm having 'Don't block the Academy Boys' scrawled across my forehead. You have to move with the times.

I have no restraints on going full bore optimistic as Geoffrey's on holiday. He's on a week long coach tour of the  Industrial Wastelands of the North of England before the season starts. I've had a card:

 Wish you were here Jim.

That should put him the right frame of mind for the new season start against Aston Villa on Saturday week.

Next up: Sunday against Inter Milan at the NWHL Stadium. KO 3 pm BST as the International Champions' Cup resumes. Don't worry, shout it quietly this one won't count either.

Rumour of the week.
Phillipe Coutinho to replace Christian Eriksen if he leaves. Should break even on that deal. What am I saying! Not good enough for Barcelona; not good enough for Spurs.

The Penalty shoot-out.
My moment of the Tournament  was  Nkoudous (edit) trickery to beat the fullback and then the driven cross for Lamela's finish, but the penalty shoot-out was harrowingly brilliant.

Nerves of steel these youngsters. Which old fuddy-duddy said 'Youth is wasted on the young'? Eriksen didn't beat the first man again.
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Sunday, 28 July 2019

Fancy That. Spurs Comings and Goings..

 
Listen very, very carefully and keep smiling.
Leave and you're a dead man.
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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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Just got back from holiday. I left Geoffrey in charge. Did much happen? Not according to his scrawled note stuck to the fridge with a Tottenham Cockerel magnet. 'Going down the Pub, nothing happening'.

Au contraire mon ami. We signed a couple; sold a couple; won a game; lost a game and Christian and Toby are still with us at the time of writing. Winks and Skipp started a game together in midfield and Mauricio is delighted with the way things are going.

If Mauricio is happy, generally speaking I'm happy but with the usual reservations and opt-outs obviously. He even apologised for the 'robustness' of our play against Utd. That's a first.

A dozen youngsters have appeared at various times and Harry scored a wonder-goal to beat Juventus. Erik Lamela and Lucas have also got on the scoresheet and Irish teenage sensation (it says here)Troy Parrott is Harry Kane's doppleganger.

Geoffrey says they look nothing like each other but I explained it was in a figurative sense not literally a 'look-alike'. 

We copped for 320 million for an 8 year shirt deal with AIA which is about the current going rate. Not quite sure how Utd. made it into the International Champions' Cup though. Clearly running on 100% proof pure nostalgi.

Next up Real Madrid in the Audi Cup on Tuesday. They were thrashed  7-3 by Atleti where Diego Costa scored 4 and then got sent off. Real seem to be in a complete mess currently though they did at least manage to beat Arsenal.

Gareth Bale won't be returning to Spurs, any claim we had on him was removed in his last contract. But Levy offered him 200.000 a week and all the Lava Bread and Welsh Rarebit he (and his family) could eat.

He's going to somewhere in China on a rumoured 1 million a week. He had trouble learning Spanish so let's hope all his playmates and handlers speak English.

With no proper competitive football I am steadily being sucked into the Rumour Mill. Help!

The usual speculation is rife about possible unlikely signings; Paulo Dybala from Juventus for 80 million is one of the more extreme and some sobering speculation about Danny Rose going back to Leeds or forward to Juventus or PSG or Newcastle or Everton.

You can see why we don't bother. You couldn't make it up. But obviously someone does.

The Lo Celso saga and Sessengnon brothers pursuit continues. But why take luke-warm  analysis from me when you can get the real souped-up, red-bloodied Rumour News daily in the Sun.

I'm looking forward to the new season and will continue to relish our contiued progress especially of  our own. I can't see us doing worse than last year and we might even win something to shut the nay-sayers up.

Not that it will of course they will just move the goalposts and berate us about something else. Perhaps another Champions' League Final is a stretch. 

Josh Onomah and Marcus Edwards seem to have reached the end of the line at Spurs and Kyle Walker Peters at 22 may have hit the buffers too though he is currently on tour and playing. He is our only available right back so may get a reprieve.

There is video available of Japhet Tanganga's pre-season performances. He captains our Youth team and has been with Spurs for 10 years. Only 20 and Hackney born he is attracting the attention of youth team followers.

Like Oliver Skipp he could be another of our own that Mauricio keeps close rather than sending them out on loan though it didn't do Harry Kane any harm.

Trippier and Janssen have definitely gone and Llorente's fate is uncertain as he may re-sign on lower terms. Good luck to all who leave.

Well Fancy that: New Feature.
Only those who live in the South East are lucky enough to be able to pick up a Tottenham Cake from Greggs. This is a light sponge tray bake with raspberry and coconut icing on top.

It's reportedly called a Tottenham Cake because it was first created in Tottenham in north London by a Quaker in the 1800s as a cheap treat for local children.

So that's 'All the News that's Fit to Print' as the New York Times says, for the moment. Catch you all later.

Stop Press: Paulo Dybala is not coming after all.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Just for posterity you understand and so that I will always have it close by. It woz Kane wot won it. Several youngsters in shot and warm words about Troy, though by a fellow Irishman admittedly.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

The Good news or the Bad News first?

Writing an advert for a new Picture Editor
as we speak.
.
The JimmyG2 'Feelgood' Column.
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Updates on Spurs news and stuff.

Well the Good news is that currently there's no Bad News. So I had better get this posted pronto in case Harry gets divorced and Christian leaves for Real Madrid.

Harry Kane got  married.
Lovely stuff. 'Harry Kane has married his childhood sweetheart Kate Goodland in a lavish ceremony. The England captain and Tottenham Hotspur striker shared the first images of the happy couple on social media after the pair exchanged vows at an exotic resort '

Moving on before we turn into 'Hello' .

Davison Sanchez
Played well for Columbia who beat Argentina and won their three group stage matches. Knocked out by Chile on penalties in the Quarter Final. 

Juan Foyth 
Part of the Argentina squad in the Copa America. Thinks basically that you learn by your mistakes. I'm saying nothing but wish him well this season  especially if Toby leaves.

Argentina got through to the Semi Final but were beaten by Brazil.

Serge Aurier .
Part of the Ivory Coast team with 40 caps and occasional captaincy. They beat Zambia 4-1 when he supplied an assist for the second goal but picked up a hamstring injury.

Victor Wanyama 
Captained Kenya to a second win in the group stages of the African Cup of Nations but failed to make the knockout stages after mixed results.

Oliver Skipp.
Lovely piece in the OS. Fine young man another product of Welwyn Garden City. But he will be much more famous than Shredded Wheat. Trust me. Another 40 million saved.  

The success of one of our own  is my constant dream, sometimes it's a delusion and occasionally a nightmare but I will continue to hope, despite the health warning, until it actually kills me.

He says nice things about his fellow Spurs: 'Looking back on an eventful 2018/19 campaign, the rising star explained how he’s grateful to our senior central midfielders for acting as mentors – fellow Academy graduate ‘Winksy’ in particular' ( From the OS)


Signings. 
Musings doesn't do transfer speculation and there's plenty of that, life's too short, but we do do signings. 

Like buses you wait for two years and then two come along at once. Both signed sealed and delivered.

Jack Clarke.
A young'un, 18yr. old Jack Clarke (with an 'e') signed from Leeds and going back to Svengali Bielsa's Leeds to be kept warm until next season.

 Very much tuned in to Spurs new status:

“Ever since I’ve been growing up, I’ve seen Tottenham playing in the Premier League, they’ve always been there or thereabouts, pushing, being a top side. It’s one of the biggest clubs in England, if not the world, and I’m just delighted to be a part of it.”


I think I could take to this boy.


Tanguy Ndombele.
Only 22 but highly rated rising French star.You Tube proven, a midfield beast that can pass, dribble and chew gum all at the same time. Liking him already.

Company for Moussa in midfield. Viva La France. Video next time. Dread to think what David Pleat will make of his name. (Tingly Nobody or even Tangy Dumbbell?)

Between times
Been watching the ICC World Cricket Fest to while away the hours until pre-season. Not a fan of the short over game but slow pitches and good bowling have turned the 'Bish Bash Bosh' scenario into a more interesting watch. 

No more signings, leavings or divorces on the horizon so I'm going to quit while I am ahead and post this today.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Dele.
My goal of the season: the movement; the control; the skill; the nonchalance including a fine Harry Kane assist and against Arsenal too.. What's not to like? Dele, Harry and Spurs at their best.