The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Stadium No Compensation

The Future is dazzlingly bright
But hasn't quite arrived yet.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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I have a sign over my computer which reads: 'Do not blog when you are angry, tired, hungry, sad or drunk' and it has stood me in good stead over the years  and enhanced my well established reputation for balance and fairness.

Occasionally though for health and safety reasons it pays to explode in the white heat of  frustration, to get it out there early. Perspective can do funny things to the reality of now.

The question is when does a blip become an ongoing disaster?  When does a 'bad day at the office' become an application for bankruptcy? When does an occasional arrhythmic heartbeat turn a medical emergency, paramedics, ambulances, defibrillators and all?

You get the drift: if it looks like a crisis; sounds like a crisis; walks like a crisis it probably isn't a duck. The question is where are Spurs on this panorama at this moment after the loss to Southampton.

One point from twelve and Liverpool away up next is not a good place to be for a team that only  a month ago was being talked up, at last, as genuine contenders for everything except the Champions League.

Oh the irony: now that's all we have left after progressing to the quarter finals. Perversity thy name is Tottenham Hotspur. Simples: win it and our travails in the Premiership are sidestepped. However the cure is worse than the disease.

What do want me to say about the loss to Southampton? We were good in the first half especially with the return of Dele Alli. Harry scored one and missed three and it should have been wrapped up by half time.

Southampton were very poor but credit to them and their Manager in the second half they changed personnel, tactics and attitude. We  on the other hand were complacent bordering on arrogant and deserved what we got. Nothing.

Dele looked a class above but was totally spent before the hour mark but wasn't subbed until the 82nd.minute. Mauricio clearly testing him to destruction We held out until the 70 minute mark but then conceded an untidy goal which eventually bobbled its way into the net

Four defenders looked on as the ball found its way across  goal. Rose in a world of his own opted not to deal with it and Valery just about scored. coming in behind him. So the proverbial game of two halves.

The second was a scorching free kick by Ward-Prowse after a so called 'professional' foul by Kyle Walker Peters just outside the area. I so wanted KWP to take his chance and nail down his place but he couldn't find a hammer.

He was in good company though and this was a dispiriting loss after I have tried so hard to talk up our chances to keep everybody's spirits up on here and in the world generally. The three week gap does us, the fans, no favours before the Liverpool game.

The squad are all going for some intensive and yet relaxing warmish weather training in Spain. It may allow wounds to heal and minds to refocus wherever their minds are currently. We are now in a dog fight for 4th. and we have only ourselves to blame.

 Moura started but apart from pace gives us little. He seems to have little awareness of the players around him. Eriksen showed some nice touches in the first half but went AWOL later.

Sanchez was nervy and Vertonghen seemed unworried whether we won or lost. Without Winks the midfield was ponderous and Sissoko is in danger of lapsing into his former pantomime villain's role.
'Oh yes he is'

Mauricio banished to the stands for two matches looked down in dismay but his substitutions were too late to affect the game and afterwards he seemed more put out than me.

With Chelsea forcing a draw in extra time  and Arsenal halting Man. Utd progress things are not as bad as they might have been. Beat Liverpool in three weeks and the world would look much brighter. But it's not looking likely at the moment.

It's all getting a little claustrophobic below City and Liverpool with four points covering the next four places between us and Chelsea with Arsenal now just a point behind us in 4th after puncturing Ole Gunnar Solskjær's balloon.

At least the three week gap gives us a little breathing space and only Harry Kane should turn out for England with Dier, Dele, Trippier and Winks all recovering or recently returned from injury. Some hopes.

I am downgrading my 3rd. place forecast from probable to possible. But if the fact that it is now Arsenal in 4th having cut our lead from 10 points to 1 doesn't focus our minds and inspire us then I don't know what will.

Our brand new state of the art stadium and the Europa on Thursdays would be a disappointing combination but it's not too late to do something about it. We are still the top London team with 8 to go.

Good football without a state of the art stadium is acceptable but without good football a spanking new stadium is no compensation.

Some Good News.
Zidane has returned to Real Madrid and Ole is a shoo in at Man.Utd so Mauricio is safe with us for another season.

New Stadium:
From the Official Site:

If the two scheduled test events are successful then the following applies.

If Brighton win their FA Cup quarter-final match on Sunday 17th March we shall play Crystal Palace on Wednesday 3rd April and Brighton on 23rd/24th April.

If Brighton lose their FA Cup quarter-final match on Sunday 17th March we shall play Brighton on 6th/7th April (subject to Champions League scheduling) and Crystal Palace on 23rd/24th April.

Told you, it's April, fingers crossed.Sill a few 'ifs', 'subject to's' and 'buts' in there but looking good. Another inspirational factor? How many do we need? Champion's league; new stadium, finishing above Arsenal Chelsea and Man.Utd

Jimmy's Video Spot.
'Lest we forget'. Stadiums, Schmadiums. Takes your mind off the football anyway. Come on you Spurs, please.


Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Spurs Build 'Beautiful' Wall.


We built a beautiful wall
and Mexico are going to pay for it.
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 The JimmyG2 Column. 
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Straight out of the Donald Trump playbook on Tuesday night. We built a wall, a beautiful wall and Mexico are going to pay for it. Well not the last part obviously but we built one, and it was beautiful and Borussia couldn't find a way through it, over it or round it.

Who knew we had such artisanal skills. With Mauricio the Architect and Jan and Hugo the Master Builders we withstood the Dortmund siege and repelled whatever they threw at us.

And they threw some stuff  in the first half it must be admitted. But the wall stood firm and every brick played its part. Even Serge's section didn't crumble. I fully expect us to receive the 'Wall of the Year Award' ahead of The Donald.

We came out from behind the ramparts only occasionally especially in the first half when Dortmund pressed and we defended deep. Son had one sortie but it came to nothing after a push from behind by Wolfe.

However Kane set up by an incisive through ball by Sissoko had his one chance and took it in style just after half time. The foreign hordes crumbled and even Sancho a star in the first leg was rarely seen.

Sometimes our defensive walls are more like sandcastles struggling against the incoming tide. But not on Tuesday night. This one and Spurs are built of sterner stuff. The writing on the wall said ' Do your damnedest'.

And the moving finger having writ moves on to the next round. The draw will be made on March 15 after the last 16 games are completed. The wall, or 'barrier' may be needed again but has been put into storage for now.

Anything Pink Floyd can do we can do better and we can build it again if necessary now the prototype has proved so successful. An unexpected night of pride after the first 3 games of the early stages when we had one point from the first 3 games.

A lot of fuss was made of the Dortmund yellow wall terrace which we are adopting for the new stadium but it was blown away by the Lillywhite version. As they discovered scaling walls is very tiring.

Harry Kane's goal made him Tottenham's leading European goalscorer (24) .I'm not sure now why I was so worried, we were 3-0 up at effectively half time and that's our 4th. consecutive win over Dortmund.

Can we play you every week? (Editor. Don't push it Jimmy.)

Kane is only the second Englishman to score at least five goals in multiple Champions' League campaigns after Steven Gerrard, who did so in 2007-08 and 2008-09. (BBC)

But I was worried and so were you: admit it. An early goal for which they strove would have seen me behind the sofa again. On the half hour mark and again on the hour they pressed hard.

But once again we didn't 'bottle' it  and we go through to the last 8. Last time we went out to Real Madrid but they lost to Ajax so history won't repeat itself.

We have nothing to prove to ourselves or to others so I really don't mind who we draw. There's no easy teams at this stage including us. Bring it on whoever you are.

Walls generally have had a very bad press, bridges fare much better but as the Chinese found they can be useful in certain situations and last night was one of them.

Robert Frost wrote: 'Something there is that doesn't love a wall,' and you can add Borussia Dortmand fans to that whatever they might say. 

Two Match Ban for Mauricio for improper conduct. Lost it, apologised and behaved with dignity afterwards. Daniel is going to pay the 10.000 pound fine. I'm joking, I'm joking.


Injuries
Dier back and looking well. No information about Winks but didn't seem too bad. Just need Dele back now.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Harry Kane. Well why not? The Golden Age continues. left foot; right foot, headers; ricochets; tap-ins; shots from distance and a newly found skill assists at every level.

Will we ever see his like again?

Monday, 4 March 2019

Important Announcement.

The End Of the World.
Postponed until further notice.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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There follows an important public announcement for all Spurs supporters: ''The End of the World has been postponed; Armageddon is hereby cancelled; mass suicide is now deemed unnecessary. It is safe to come out onto the streets again.''

We didn't lose three in a row this week; we are still 4 points ahead of Arsenal in third place. The title race is over, but you knew that after Burnley or even before. But what an eventful afternoon.

Man.Utd snuck into fourth, 3 points back but with an inferior goal average and Chelsea will be two points back if they win both their games in hand. A loss against Arsenal would have been a devastating blow.

We have kept out heads above water and only went down twice and not for the fatal third time. We were, at the end, waving not drowning. Every game will play out to this same scenario until the end of the season. Happy Days!.       

We were lucky overall although Arsenal didn't play that well and relief was my main reaction at the end. Some draws feel like a loss: this one felt like a win.

The game hinged on two penalties and two errors by Davison Sanchez, though Aubameyang bought Arsenal's penalty in he last minute which Lloris saved.

So who are the bottlers here? We were 'resilient' and came back a little fortunately having been behind to a self inflicted goal for over an hour. Kane was offside when he was fouled but he certainly didn't bottle his penalty.

Lacazette missed two good chances and Leno made two brilliant saves in close succession to deny Eriksen and then Sissoko. So if there were any 'bottlers' it certainly wasn't us.. We hung in and live to fight another day.

The whole game lacked consistent quality and without Winks and Dele and with Eriksen subdued once again we were increasingly reliant on long balls easily repelled  even  by Arsenal's somewhat doubtful defence.

A simple error by Sanchez had allowed Lacazette to open up the whole of the green space in our half to Ramsey early in the game, there was no cover and he scored with 'aplomb' as all the best sports writers say. The rest of the game was catch up.

Trippier got forward and gave us width but little resulted from his possession. Rose thought he was Roy of the Rovers especially when he moved into the midfield in the second half. Unfortunately
we found out he wasn't. 

With Wanyama clearly struggling it was left to Sissoko to step up. And he certainly did. What a transformation from the player of last season. Much more confident on the ball and playing to his strengths.

Apart from Sanchez errors, the defence came under little sustained pressure. Son seems disorientated by the return of Harry Kane but in the end the boys did just enough to avoid the devastation that a loss would have produced.

A goalless draw or narrow defeat against BVB on tomorrow will mean progress in the Champions' League and then we can compose ourselves for Southampton next weekend and the Merry-Go-Round begins again.

An early goal tomorrow will either settle the nerves or cause panic on the streets and cause the cancellation of the announcement above. Only nine more Premiership games to go. Can you stand the heat?

If Eriksen can locate his current whereabouts; if Dele, Dier and and Winks are fit we might see the return of proper football. It's long overdue.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Man of the Moment, stepping up when we really need someone. Most recent video I could find from just before Xmas. Moussa Sissoko.

Sorry man for all the criticism I heaped on you last year and the year before. You came good and done good.


Thursday, 28 February 2019

Tottenham Fans Can Relax, It's Only Temporary.

We are suffering now.
But like life it's only temporary. 
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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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Some of my favourite words apply here. Take'debacle' for a start in which Lloris and Trippier have a starring role, particularly Lloris, nut-megged for the first and failing to take charge for the second.

As a 15 year old in the 50's I was taught never to pass back between the posts and 'when in doubt hoof it out'. What have we achieved in the meantime in pursuit of the God 'Progress'?

'The Vicissitudes' of life' is another applicable favourite. Injuries, including the loss of Eriksen who was clearly listening to the Real/ Barcelona Copa del Rey sem-final on discrete headphones for most of the clash with Chelsea.

The Stadium that didn't roar; the pre-season that never was; the signings that didn't arrive all add up to the tale of woe and thrice woe that Tottenham's season is in danger becoming.

The first time in 5 years that we have failed to get a shot on target if you ignore Harry Winks' effort that beat Caballero and hit the bar. Payback for Higuain's effort that hit the post in the first half.

We resisted Chelsea's opening surge and coped but without threatening for the rest of the half. And then the 'fiasco' (there's another) erupted. Alderweireld covering Davies allowed Pedro inside and he scored from close range.

Toby, and Sanchez had done OK until this point which is a bit like saying he had led a blameless life until he murdered his Mother and was executed.

Worse was to come towards the end when Trippier and Lloris conspired to turn mere defeat into shameful ignomy.( there's another).A headed flick on by Giroud caused inexplicable confusion and the rest as they say is best forgotten.

Our record against Chelsea at the Bridge is dreadful, one win in 33 games it is alleged. A third consecutive loss against Arsenal on Saturday doesn't bear contemplating. It would reduce the gap between us to 1 point down  from 10 not long ago.

A draw would suffice as a temporary holding measure and allow us to regroup and refocus for the 9 remaining games. Without something positive to grasp our season could self combust.

Although all our nearest rivals did well last night, some winning handsomely, we are still 4 points ahead of Arsenal, 5 ahead of Man.Utd and 7 up on Chelsea who have a game in hand. Normally we wouldn't be worried.

It would be unfair to deny the 'doomsters their moment in the sun and there is no avoiding the fact that a total eclipse is on the cards if we lose to Arsenal. A win and the sun bursts forth in all its glory. A spirited performance reverses the death spiral.
 
Now I am Internationally famous for finding nuggets of gold in the trash can of defeat but I am struggling on this one. Just before half time we got more control, pressed harder and temporarily stemmed the flow.

Several players were OK including Trippier who saw off Hazard with the help of Sissoko but several went AWOL including Son, Lloris and Eriksen. Davies was his normal average self and what is the point of Moura.

We are desperately short of creativity when Eriksen is elsewhere in his head and Dele is a big miss. Harry Kane needs managing as he seems to play when he likes, where he likes.

Winks gave his usual honest performance but it's a team game and he had little help from those ahead of him. We bolstered Sarri and Chelsea's confidence at precisely the wrong moment possibly to our own detriment.

Third is still on and progress in the Champions' league probable next week. All is not yet lost but Saturday's NLD is even more crucial than usual. Sort it Mauricio; come back Dele all is forgiven.

And as Kurt Cobain said in his suicide note: 'It is better to burn out than fade away. Let's feel the burn Tottenham starting on Saturday.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
I'm sparing you the Highlights of the Chelsea game because I'm a nice person. Here is something to make you feel better.

'Nirvana' which is the state we will achieve if we beat Arsenal, performing 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. Listen to this and shape up. Things could be much worse.


Monday, 25 February 2019

What's Our Excuse?


Come in Number One your time is up.*
What do you mean 'No'?

The JimmyG2 Column.
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 The no-draw run goes on. The certificate will be have pride of place in the NWHL trophy cabinet e if nothing else is won this season. And it is certainly looking slightly bleaker on the Premiership front.

The Champions' League is still on but that's for another week. Before then we have  some challenging games starting on Wednesday against Chelsea and Arsenal at the weekend in the Premiership.

It's all bubbling up nicely. Burnley was a bridge too far so let's hope the Bridge is not a bridge too far too. Burnley or some similar mishap was bound to happen. Since Wolves we have had four wins and a good performance and victory against Dortmund.

So we have had lots of chances to 'bottle' it and stared them all down. 'Losing' is not the same as 'bottling'. You didn't really think we were going to win every game did you. Nobody else does why should we.

But that doesn't mean we have to adopt and enhance the pundits and media agenda. They do the bottling story for money: what's Spur's fans excuse.

This was a collective failure and the blame should be fairly shared. Some were arguably worse than others but it's a team game. Aurier, Sissoko,Son, Eriksen and Foyth will bear the brunt of the brick-bats for tepid play or error strewn performances.

But apart from Harry Kane who else deserves the plaudits? With Harry back Son seemed to take the day off. Foyth and Aurier were apparently 'targeted' and didn't disappoint as they both seem to have a built in clanger or two in their basic make-up.

Again the build-up was painfully slow and though the wing backs got forward the final ball was poor. The last time Kyle Walker Peters played he made three assists so the fact that he is being ignored seems very strange.

Even Trippier might have had a point to prove against his old colleagues. and why was the more physical and robust Sanchez given the day off. So many questions and so few answers..

Both Foyth and Rose need to keep it simpler. They both overplay and ignore the obvious. Not a Cardinal Sin in the Grand Scheme it can be a positive fault but there's a time and a place for everything.

Saturday against an in form Burnley was neither the time nor the place.

Harry Kane started and played the whole game and his selection was at least justified by the goal and the brilliant save by Heaton from his shot from distance but he didn't do a lot else and seemed to throw our winning team out of joint.

But as in previous seasons we had won many games without him and we seemed to enjoy a collective away-day in every sense of the word. Sissoko reverted to his former self and was left on when Harry Winks was sacrificed.

Thereafter there was no control and little industry in midfield. Starting Foyth against the two Burnley Bruisers might have worked if Toby had been on his game. We were hesitant and failed to grab the game by the scruff of their neck.

So to put it bluntly we were poor and the subs and initial team were ill conceived. Mauricio obviously doesn't have the benefit of my 20/20 hindsight but he can be a very stubborn man.

This was at worst only a Mini-Meltdown, we dominated all the stats and both Eriksen and Lamela fluffed chances at the end and we won't be the only ones in the top six to falter before the end of the season.

With Man.Utd. and Liverpool drawing the damage is not  quite terminal. Liverpool were pretty poor and do not look obvious  Premiership winners, but we have a tough week in theory against Chelsea and Arsenal.

In fact the Oscar award for 'Best Bottlers' might yet go to Liverpool or even the England Rugby Union or cricket squads. There are signs that the press are cooling towards our success in this category as Liverpool come up increasingly short in the title race.

They were only being polite in pretending that we were in with a chance anyway and now they have much bigger fish to fry. As the man nearly said 'If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and the press are blaming it on you'.

Chelsea's 120 minute saga in the Carabao Cup final might play into our hands too. An energy sapping and dispiriting loss to Man. City on penalties and a 'sensational bust up between Kepa Arrizabalaga and Sarri might give us an edge.

Neither the young keeper nor the Manager might be still in place by Wednesday which uncertainty might help to give us more focus than we showed at Burnley. A draw in both this week's games would not be disastrous in terms of the top four in any case.

Temporarily after the weekend 'alarums and excursions' the heat is directed elsewhere. Back in the cool shade under the radar again.

Stadium.
The word on the street is 'April'.

Trivial Pursuit Teaser. 
Apart from Arrizabalaga what other word has 5 'A's in it. Answer next week. No prizes.

* You wouldn't get away with this on Mablethorpe's Boating Lake let alone at a Caraboa Cup Final at Wembley. A high power motor boat would soon tow you in.

Latest news
Mauricio charged by FA for confonting Dean after the Burnley game. He's already apologised so the only question is how big is the fine. Unless he pleads first offense or takes the 5th..

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Let's turn form the everyday inconsequential temporary trivialities of football and concentrate on the essentials of life and death. I know, I know football is much more important.

A longish and heartwarming post recovery interview with Glenn Hoddle. Feel the love.


Saturday, 16 February 2019

This One Could Run and Run

I don't think so. This one could run and run.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well would you 'Adam and Eve it?'. We nicely clear the decks for a determined assault on the Premiership title and then virtually seal our passage into the last 8 of the Champions' League.

Borussia Dortmund need to win by four clear goals in the second leg, after a scintillating second half display at Wembley. 'Scintillating' Now there's a word I've  not used very often this season.


Banana skins? We eat them.

But the Tottenham Palace of Varieties presented an All Star Show and Party: ringmaster Mauricio Pochettino; featuring Christian E the Magician with  Moussa Sissoko as the Strong Man, Fire Eater and Sword Swallower ably assisted by The Boy Wonder, Harry Winks.

Things got off to a slow start and our German visitors consumed more than their fair share of the warm beer and stale canapes on offer. Events were to liven up considerably later with the closing fireworks.

Lucas Moura  arrived early but his party piece misfired and dampened his enthusiasm and he sat out the festivities for the most part. Party Poppers became party poopers at the start.

Lloris performed the scene from Macaulay's  'Horatio on the Bridge' ( 'They shall not pass') for the benefit of an enthusiastic audience just before the intermission and the scene was set for a Gala performance

Llorente popped in just before the curtain fell and revealed that his reputation for being one step a head of the crowd was not misplaced. 'For One Night Only' stage managed increasingly by Christian Eriksen deserves an extended run.

Star turn was SuperJan the Left Foot Wizard who not only helped himself to the plaudits but helped Heung-Min Son achieve his death defying 11 from 12 stunt. 

The Management are hoping that this show will run and run and a second performance has already been booked for a fortnight's time in Germany. Locations for repeat performances are uncertain after that. Watch this space.

We lived on my fingernails in the first half with nervy displays in the back chorus line; Foyth, Sanchez, Aurier and even Toby. Young. Wonderkid Sancho was living up to his reputation in the wings for Dortmund, temporarily anyway.

But enough of this nonsense:

We were hesitant before half time with a slow build up, misplaced passes and players caught on the ball but Mauricio sorted it all out at half time, and we dominated the midfield at last and freed SuperJan to reprise his Left Flank Tribute Act.

Son scored within three minutes of the restart to settle the nerves and our usual late blitz blew them away. We pressed harder and more quickly and they seemed bemused and disorientated.

 Borussia Dortmund seemed content to take a 1-0 loss back to their intense 80.000fans and the 'yellow wall'. They put the cart before the horse in that case.

Llorente in a cameo performance cleared from a corner at one end and then scored with a glancing header from an Eriksen corner to add insult to injury to Borussia's Champions' League hopes.

They had a clear edge in a disorganised first half performance by Spurs but were outplayed and outscored in a rampant second half. By the end the clear 5 point leaders of the Bundesliga were reduced to flickering shadows.

The archetypal 'Game of Two Halves' without a doubt but we discovered something about ourselves in the second half, something more than just fitness and organisation, something more intangible which involved team spirit and dedication.

In the replay both teams will have key players back but the quarter finals beckon if Spurs remain calm and resolute.Who would have thought it? Well me obviously. Nothing like a win going into the long break before Burnley.

In Son's last 12 appearances he has scored 11 goals and made five assists. Will Harry Kane become the understudy on his return to fitness? No me neither.

Yet another opportunity to bottle it which we er......bottled.

Toby Alderweireld New Contract.
Insiders claim he has twice refused a contract which does treble his wages to 150.000 per week. Spurs will not deal on the grounds that his agent moved the goalposts after agreeing.

Musings say 'pay the man'. We are a better team visibly and statistically with him on board and if he is only being paid 50.000 currently this is a disgrace. He plays fair on the pitch and agents' shenanigans are irrelevant.

Nose: face. in our view.

Stadium. What Stadium?

Signings Who needs them?.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
I love this clip. Calm build up for the first and a super strike. Incisive play for the second. And a reminder that Dele is on his way back. Nice play from Sissoko too.

Monday, 11 February 2019

The Good; the Bad and the Ugly.


 Clint Eriksen/ Christian Eastwood.
Well have you ever seen them together?
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The JimmyG2 column.
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Ugly win: beautiful three points.We took our chances and rode our luck. Fortune smiled upon us even if Michael Oliver did not. Apparently Leicester, a more than 'robust' team, didn't commit a foul until the 52nd. minute.

We won a game we perhaps could easily have lost but as we have found to our cost in the past if you create chances and don't take them you are doomed to fail. Doomed I tell you.Thank the Gods of Football, and Hugo Lloris and move on.

Leicester had more shots and more on target than us, more corners and more clear cut chances and the game centred on two penalty decisions: one given and saved and one not.

Son was booked for simulation following clear contact by Maguire. It's the perennial catch 22. Don't go down and you simply won't get the penalty. Go down and you might get a yellow. The over reaction to Son by Maguire was a clear diversionary tactic.

The other penalty saga after at worst a clumsy challenge by Jan on Maddison summed up Leicester's afternoon and led to a rare penalty save by Hugo. Maddison was primed to take it but he has already missed two this season.

Vardy ready to come on and pumped up with adrenaline and a sense of injustice after being left out of the starting line-up took over and put it well within Hugo's grasp who guessed right. Justice all round.

Two minutes later Eriksen who had already assisted Davison Sanchez' first goal for Spurs on half an hour scored a beauty from outside the area again following a lay-off by Llorente.  Game over on the hour.

Er.. well not quite Leicester were playing some good approach play and at last Vardy converted a chance. Pressing for the equaliser was their undoing. Sissoko swept a ball up the line to set the 'Simulation One' free and he sprinted away to score confidently.

Hugo was outstanding; Winks and Sissoko battled man and boyfully in midfield but Skipp was a little overwhelmed although his interception led to our second and vital goal. Leicester's new signing 21 yr.old Tielemans was a key player.

Game over; game on, game over. Three points to Spurs and we remain contenders at least in our own estimation. Another 'bottling' opportunity spurned. Is ''resilience' the new 'mental strength'?

Who needs our two key players Kane and Dele? Well we do for the run in and the Champions' League. But with Son buzzing and Christian Eriksen with 11 assists better than most even when he's not on song we are more than holding our own.

Spurs goals and assists this season.

Total (Combined - Name - Goals - Assists) All competitions.
26 - Harry Kane - 20 - 6
23 - Heung-Min Son - 15 - 8
18 - Christian Eriksen - 7 - 11
12 - Dele Alli - 7 - 5

10 - Erik Lamela - 6 - 4
10 - Fernando Llorente - 6 - 4
9 - Lucas Moura - 8 - 1
5 - Kieran Trippier - 1 - 4
4 - Serge Aurier - 2 - 2
3 - Kyle Walker-Peters - 0 - 3
3 - Danny Rose - 0 - 3
2 - Eric Dier - 2 - 0
2 - Oliver Skipp - 0 - 2
2 - Davinson Sanchez - 1 - 1
2 - Moussa Sissoko - 0 - 2
and 6 more with a single goal or assist.
Llorente charging up the chart, Son making hay in Harry Kane's absence and Eriksen assisting for free.

(Courtesy of Carpediem991 and Spurs Community)

Sonny now has ten goals in 11 games. Eriksen in his five years with us leads the Premiership in goals from outside the area and we are joint leaders with Arsenal for the bookings for simulation trophy.(4)

We switch to the CL on Wednesday after a less than generous rest at 'home' in the first leg to Borussia Dortmund. I wouldn't be surprised if we won it, they are struggling with injuries and not in top form. There that's jinxed it.

So the Good was the result; the Ugly was the manner in which we achieved it and the Bad? Can't think of anything except referee Michael Oliver but three points is always the Path to Forgiveness.. 

Stadium. Mauricio hints that we might not play our first game at NWHL until next season. Cheesed off at the news?

Well apparently the famed 'Cheese Room Experience' was only a PR guff anyway. It's gonna get worse before it gets better. But you know that.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Mauricio playing his cards cannily ahead of Borussia Dortmund. Dier, Moura, Foyth and Lamela probably all available and rested. Scrappy stuff from Spurs but 3 goals is a good return from this performance. Fourth win in a row.
 

t

Monday, 4 February 2019

Spurs Looking Up

Haway Lads! Zero Hours and Minimum Wage. Best I can do.
Don't be giving Daniel ideas Man.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Getting nose-bleeds now aren't we as Spurs continue to defy gravity, the pundits, even some of our supporters and soar into the dizzy heights of second place no matter how temporary it proved to be.

The recent fixtures have been kind, agreed, and things will get tougher later this month no doubt but in the spirit of  young Winks: 'Bring it on'. At last I understand what 'Audere es facere' actually means.

Although it's times like these that bring to mind the Doctor's advice I once received that in view of my age and state of health Spurs were not the ideal team for me to support: much too much excitement, hope and disappointment.

He suggested a well run team that these days don't threaten to promise great things like Derby or Nottingham Forest. Derby did get promotion to the Premiership but went straight down again. I'll bear it in mind Doc.

Our third late victory in a row  over a limited, well organised  resolute Newcastle side. It took a goal-keeping error by Duprovka from Son but  Lamela and Eriksen come close three times before that and Moura and Llorente both missed  good headed chances.

We have already scored more headed goals than any other team but unfortunately we were unable to add to our tally. Son however made it nine goals in his last ten appearances as he once again stepped up to minimize the impact of Harry Kane's absence.

Another occasion when we needed to win to maintain our challenge to the top two and once again we did the business without flinching. Rondon hit the post with a header but was well marshaled overall by Sanchez.

Curiously we put plenty of crosses in when Moura was leading the line and not so many when Llorente was on. But they both missed anyway. Moura is better on the wing where he has space to run into.

The other Harry once again made his mark in another energetic and effective display. But this was a determined team performance with everyone except Lucas Moura playing well. Llorente assisted again by laying off to Son for the goal.

Mike Ashley was there  taking time off from buying up what remains of the High Street to judge the lack of progress of one of his previous purchases. It is not true that the Newcastle players are on minimum wages and zero hours contracts.

Jan was a revelation as a  virtual  left winger and despite his lack of pace beat his fullback and put in several crosses that on another day might have led to goals.

Sissoko playing to orders filled in the gaps, Toby led the charges out from the back, Eriksen was increasingly influential as the game went on twice denied by goal-line saves by out-field players.

Mauricio is not ruling out a continuing challenge for the title, so why would I? Neither Liverpool or City are nailed on in my view. We are 5 points off the top; 2 points off second and seven clear of Chelsea. And, not that it matters, 10 points ahead of Arsenal.

If Guardiola thinks that there is plenty of time for City to overhaul Liverpool then that must put us in with considerably more than half a chance. The same amount of chance that City give or take a couple of points.

''And now they can feel the hot breath of the challengers on their necks''. Commentator after the failure of Liverpool to get 3 points against W.Ham on Monday night. That's us folks.

In fact Liverpool bore no resemblance to a team worthy of winning the Premiership and on clear cut chances W.Ham should have won it.

Signings. That ship hit the iceberg days ago.

Stadium. Rumors now homing in on the Brighton game on 6th April.

Harry Kane/ Dele Alli Return.
Both sooner than expected which is good news for the London Derbies and possibly BVB.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
No. Why? Never: Mauricio telling it like it is.


 

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Spurs Cutting It Fine.

The JimmyG2 Column


Your Correspondent with 11 minutes to go.

My whole life flashed before me when Fernando missed a sitter with his knee. But all was not lost as Son leveled the score with a sort of assist from the man himself.



Your correspondent with three minutes to go.

Fernando Llorente once again who wins it with a
header from a Danny Rose cross.

Mauricio says it is 'important to smile again' and Musings agrees.
One of the many reasons to like Heung-min Son.

We definitely deserved it but it was a damned close run thing. But you can do a lot in ten minutes: even rescue a reputation.

Son not exactly fresh but back from the Asia games was the key here showing a surprising energy and class to pose an intermittent threat and score the vital equaliser late in the game.

Llorente played the full match and justified Mauricio's faith in him by converting the first really accurate cross by Danny Rose into the far corner of Ben Fosters' goal with seconds, well minutes, to go.

It looked at one point as if Spurs despite a storming second half would fail to capitalise on the failures of City and Chelsea. Pundits and the media need once again revise their agendas and bottle factories amend their forward orders.

Top of the Table looks like this after 24 games ( only14 to go)

Position................Goal difference...........Points.
(1) Liverpool..................41........................61
(2) Man. City................  44........................56.
(3) The Mighty Spurs.....26........................54

(4) Chelsea.....................17........................47
(6) Man.Utd...................13.........................45.

Ten points to Wolves in 7th. the best of the rest.

On the last day of the Transfer Window Daniel Levy may have toyed with a token signing but looking at that chart you question why he would bother. The worst of the injury crisis is probably over, only Dele and Kane fully missing.

I say 'only' but why sign permanent, expensive replacements for a temporary crisis at this time of year? We play first and if  we beat Newcastle on Saturday we will be 2nd. (second) for at least 24hrs and possibly more Not too shabby all things considered.

Cathcart reprised his 'Lets all make Tottenham suffer' agenda bundling in a goal following an error of judgement by Lloris and weak defending again by Sanchez. Other than this the defence was solid, The substitution at half time of Moura for Aurier was astute.

Moura's direct running unsettled the Watford defence and he was fouled frequently. Aurier brings little to the attacking wing back role and first Sissoko filled in for him and then Trippier.

We dominated the second half with wave after wave of attacks and I was remarkably calm as it seemed likely that we would eventually score at least once. Winks was busy again especially in the second half.

I have written to the FA requesting that we be allowed to play our second halves first. I will pass on any reply that I receive. We have been behind at half-time five times recently so it would certainly be helpful.

Only Eriksen whose dead ball kicking was poor looked under par although with him it is difficult to tell as his style is so understated and his best work is done usually undercover.

 Alderweireld and Vertonghen were mainly untroubled especially as we increasingly pushed them back. Jan got a rest for Lamela but he failed to impose himself on the game. In the end it didn't matter and I mean the end.

A vital win and a show of spirit and resilience by the boys and good judgement by Mauricio.  Rose was prominent, getting forward well, drawing double cover and crossing poorly except for the one that counted.

Signings. Don't be silly.

Stadium. See Signings.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Time-wasting in extra time with Spurs 2-1 up. Not Time Waster-in -Chief, Ben Foster, obviously but our very own ball-boy who has been watching and learning. He upsets Success and tips the wink to Rose.

If he gets suspended Musings will initiate a petition to the Queen for his reinstatement. The ball-boy not Success who should have been booked.

Edin Hazard was once sent off for kicking a  Swansea ball-boy. Just saying.


Monday, 28 January 2019

No Signings to Shield Pochettino from the Heat.


Mauricio, not yesterday, but in happier times.
We're going to concentrate on the League.
Makes good sense considering.
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The JimmyG2 column.
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Not one of my favourite poets but his lines will act as a summary of  our our recent performances.:

And when Spurs were good, they were very, very good,
But when they were bad, they were horrid.
(With thanks to the HWL estate for permission to publish this version of his poem)

He died in 1882 funnily enough. At least he had rhythm, rhyme and reason which is a lot more than we did on Sunday against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.

This diversion into the byways of 19th. Century poetry is just a way of putting off the depressing, evil moment when I have to turn to our weekend performance.

The Crystal Palace blazed and burned in 1936. nearly a hundred years after it was built for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Nearly a hundred years later  Tottenham burned too but not in a blaze of Glory.

OK,OK I'm getting there. We were horrid. They didn't even have to play that well to beat us.The 'Bring Back Andros, All Is Forgiven' Campaign gathers pace.

We played as if we were defending a two goal lead from the start. Unfortunately we hadn't got one. Three at the back and two defensive midfielders was total mega overkill and predictably killed the game especially ours.

The build up from the back was painful to watch with Sanchez the main offender. Without Winks and Eriksen or even Sissoko all rested or recovering there was no semblance of co-ordinated positive play.

Even so we had a score of shots but only 4 on target and a dozen corners but failed to capitalise on any of them. Palace defended stoutly and were not drawn out by our retaining the ball in defence.

Pochettino's priorities were clear and his after match comments confirmed it. In our current situation with more troops in the Field Hospital than available for the Front Line cups are not at the forefront of his mind.
Mauricio's version of the 'concentrate on the league' cliche. Not that we have much choice and his words may well come back to haunt him. He says he prefers a small squad and the Fates have handed him just that.

Qualification for the Champions League is our focus and I don't disagree. It's not so much losing it's the manner in which we lose that hurts.  With a depleted squad, fighting on four fronts was a couple of fronts too far.

To lose one cup game in four days may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness, as Oscar Wilde nearly said. We were horrid. Positives? Very few I'm afraid and I've got International Awards for digging positives out.

 Foyth at least looked like a footballer most of the time when few others managed it.. Lamela made a difference when he came on at half time. Skipp tried hard to fan the positive flames but single-handed he was fighting a losing battle.

 At least he showed for the ball and tried to make things happen, not always very successfully but very few others stood up to be counted. 

KWP playing on his wrong side gave away the silly penalty which undid much of his good work. But he cut back onto his good (only?) foot every time and didn't give Llorente a single cross to make a hash of. 

Moura and N'Koudou? Least said soonest mended. Sanchez and Vertonghen were painfully slow in the build up and Sanchez at fault for the opening goal. Gazza is proving to be as hopeless at penalties as his mentor and could have done better for the first goal.

Trippier, ah Keiran. Our first penalty miss apart from shootouts for a while. Actually he played OK, got forward consistently and even put in a couple of crosses. The penalty just before half time forever defines his contribution though.

Why did he take it? Well Dier and Moura failed on Thursday; Eriksen and Lamela who scored weren't on the pitch. Still a good question in the light of the attempt. Anyone but Trippier from now on.

There was no link up between midfield and the so called 'attack' until Lamela arrived. You see now exactly what Dele and Eriksen do. Our injuries finally crippled us and on this occasion too many back-ups failed. 

We had chances apart from the penalty which N'Koudou and Llorente shunned but in no way did we deserve other than what we got. Zilch. We don't often fail to score but we did on Sunday.

Slack defending gifted an early goal to Conor Wickham who has hardly played for over two years let alone scored and Kyle Walker Peters' handball completed the job.

So what does it all mean? Let's not go into full wrist slash mode. With Eriksen, Winks, Sissoko and Lamela and possibly Rose and Wanyama  all available to start on Wednesday against Watford our top three challenge is still on track.

Especially if Toby and Jan start at the back. Goal scoring is the problem. We can't always depend on Harry Winks can we. Son too has returned and could play a part. The fixture list is kind for the next three games all at home at least.

Of course it's possible it might all fall apart and that the much bemoaned failure to buy in some fresh blood will come back to bite us in the rear. I don't think so as long as no more injuries occur to key players and injured players make good progress.

Plenty of room in there for optimism to be thwarted and hopes to fall between the cracks but let's not go there yet.

Transfer Nonsense.
Our only two hot predictions aren't coming. Malcolm now wants to sign for Arsenal and Rabiot for Liverpool. But that's from The Sun so don't despair yet.

Jimmy's Video spot.
The Debate. Always liked J.J. They don't call me 'The Lame Ducks Helpline' for nothing. Mauricio's 'Project' is under pressure but with Daniel's support will certainlysurvive. Mauricio's face tells all.

He's feeling the heat but staying in the kitchen.


Saturday, 26 January 2019

A Very Tricky Problem for Spurs to Resolve

Person up people. I'm with this Greek guy. 
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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I feel like the old Music Hall warm-up turn. Nobody has come to see me and I am just getting in the way of the sob-fest main act we are all desperate to see. Some anyway, maybe most. Get your sponsored free tissues at the door.

The latest in a growing line of semi-final defeats and the third running under Mauricio. This must prove something, must have a cause and a reason. It must be down to a fault you can put your finger on. Somebody's got to take the rap.

Lack of investment comes to mind, apart from the billion spent on stadium and training facilities. The perennial lack of killer instinct, mental strength, not to say 'bottling' (I told you not to say 'bottling' tschk, boom).

If only we'd spent 3, 4, 5 hundred million. Chelsea having just sold their last but one International striker, played the other one and had another sitting in the stands. Only a late registration prevented his appearance.

They have cornered the market on loan players and have some 60 (sixty) players out on loan. The Wonga of the Football world, Loan Sharks Anonymous.We all hate Abramovich's Chelsea why would aim to emulate them.

I say it again: I am proud to be a Spurs supporter; I am delighted with our current approach;The two Carabao Cup finalists are two of the most seriously money addicted junkies in the Premiership and I don't want to be like them.

That's not winning trophies as I understand it. It's buying them and I want no part of it. Any day now FA will introduce 'Buy one, get one free'. 'You're supporting the right team then' I hear you say.

So be it. Losing in a penalty shoot-out in a Cup semi final is no disgrace after we had fought our way back from 2-0 down and a poor first half where we were second best in every way.

And it has nothing to do with mentality. This two legged tie was lost in the first leg when even with all our attacking 'stars' available we played poorly and took too small a margin to Chelsea for the second leg.

By then the squad was even more depleted. Dier bravely tried to re-enact the Battle of the Bridge but was clearly not fully fighting fit. He went awol during the game but unfortunately turned up for the shoot-out.

If you feel the tears drying up add Davies and Sissoko to the injury list, groin and knee respectively. Actually Davies did us a favour because it led to the introduction of Rose. He and Winks were prominent in the fight -back.

If history is your thing you might recall that in past years we would have won this tie on away goals. But they changed the rules for this competition. Now that's 'Spursy' but hardly Spur's fault.

Remember how we missed out on Champions' League one year because Chelsea won it. I seem to remember Messi hit the post from a penalty.. Clear anti-Spurs agenda. They changed the rules after.

And don't even mention pasta based pre-match  luncheons.
 
So if you came here for a wallow in self pity, a depression masterclass; a woe is me thrice woe  cry-in then you are in the wrong place. But you know that. You've come for comfort and re-enthusing. 

Perhaps Spurs fans would prefer us to go out earlier in the cups to avoid the heartbreak and hope. You know what they say about hope. Perhaps we could go back to languishing in mid table as we did for most of my Spurs supporting life.

Then all that tension and heartbreak wouldn't even come into the equation. No ambition, no disappointment, no anguish, no pain, just tedium and lack of hope.

But even if we had gone through and beat City in the final it wouldn't have counted from fans and pundits alike. The goal-posts would be quickly moved: Micky Mouse Cup and all that: it's the FA Cup that counts, or the Champions' League or the Premiership.

The moving goal-post problem is a tricky one and very difficult for Tottenham to resolve, especially if our own fans join in and give the oxygen of publicity to a pundit and media driven agenda.

Stop me if I've told you this before: the apocryphal moving the goalposts tale of  Jermaine Jenas. I've been telling this story for so long that I can't remember if I read it, was told it, or made it up myself . I wouldn't put it past me.

Anyway JJ had had a brilliant game: scored three; headed two off the line; replaced the injured goalkeeper and saved two penalties. Old Spurs fan to his mate as they left the ground. ''Ah yes, all very well..... but can he do it every week?'' You'll see.

Enjoy the moment, leave the future to itself, we are the victims of our own success and have raised premature expectations. We are ahead of the curve and trophies will come as a result of consistently playing well.

''We are such stuff as dreams are made on''  as little known Spurs fan Will the Bard once said. Keep dreaming my fellow fans.

Musings Mystery Corner (New Feature)
Why isn't Kevin Walker Peters getting more game time? Why replace Wild Bill Walker with Crazy as a Box of Snakes Serge Aurier when we have KWP?  He's been MOM in three of his four appearance.

Answers on a  postcard.

Transfer nonsense. Nothing new to report today. (Rabiot from PSG for 20 million is old news and in The Sun anyway) But like buses three will be along in a minute.

Next up: Crystal Palace, Sunday at 4pm. with or without Zaha. Blimey so soon I'd better get this posted. Another chance to raise or dash hopes.It's OK we got this.

Heung-min Son on his way back but knackered and jet-lagged so won't play this weekend. But welcome back anyway Sonny.

Stadium: Looking increasingly like next season. Expect an announcement any year soon

Jimmy's Video Spot.
'Vamos' Fernando. The High spot of the night: the goal that led to penalties, the low spot. Pleased for the boy and delighted that Mauricio played him.

Another delightful team goal. Lamela, Eriksen, Winks, Rose, Llorente: Goal!!


Monday, 21 January 2019

Levy Takes Out The Cheque-book.

Spurs backroom staff.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Who'd be a sports-writer? Half time and 19th. placed Fulham leading contenders on 4 fronts 3rd. placed Tottenham by an own goal scored by Great White Hope and Harry Kane understudy Fernando Llorente.

Imagine a smoke filled Reporters' room; disheveled men licking stubby pencils, green eye shades;. Does 'Spursy' have an 'e' in it Geoff? Has 'bottlers' got two 't's'?  I know, I know I'm stuck in a 1940's B movie.

'Bloody Winks. I'll have to start all over again with my match report for 'The Fake News Agenda Weekly'. What we going with Sub: Tottenham struggle without Kane? Or 'More injury woe for Spurs'.

No. Lets stick with 'City, United, and Liverpool win again as Sterling, Rashford and Salah score'. Or  'Pochettino still favourite for United.Managership'.

Anyway as fine a team goal as I've seen all season. We left it a bit late for the winner and Fulham helped us  gifting the ball to Eriksen for a pin point cross and a blindside run by Dele for the equaliser.

But who cares? As Benjamin Franklin said after signing the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 'We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately.' I'm up for departing in good company.

Daniel Levy had the cheque-book out at half time but gratefully put it away again as an Academy Boy came up with the goods. Winks playing well, running non stop in Sissoko mode , playing his part in the winning goal and scoring it too.
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Harry Winks v Fulham....Match Rank

Passes............................102........1st.
Passes in opp. half........72......... .1st.
Possessions won........... 11......... 1st.
Shots on target.............. 2...........1st.
Goals..............................1....... = 1st 


and 62 of the 102 passes were positive. (Courtesy cider spurs (Spurs Community) and MOTD.)

 Damned lies, Fake News and statistics clearly. Can't think now why he isn't my MOM. Sorry Danny but he is OOOOwn.

The crucial takeaway from the game however was the hamstring injury to Dele with 5 minutes to go which could put him out for at a month. Make that two under Musings' Injury Guidelines.

We are going to miss him even with Dier,  probably Moura and possibly Sissoko back for Chelsea on Thursday. N'Koudou in a very brief  but effective cameo staked a claim too. Lucas and George could have a sprint off for a starting place.

A game of two halves again, but aren't they all. We were fortunate to be only a goal behind at half time even if we did score it. Hugo's early save from Babel ( yes that Babel) was crucial.

We controlled and played better in the second half. Sanchez who was all over the place early on responded well to the challenge of Mitrovich, the proverbial 'handful', and the back three dominated after the break.

We deserved to win in the end and playing last again on a weekend when all but Chelsea won we once more eschewed 'bottling', two 't's', and are for the moment safe in third with Chelsea now 4 points behind and Utd. and Arsenal 7.

What can possibly go wrong? The gap between 6th. and 7th. (Utd and Watford) is now 11 points so Europa League next year is virtually nailed on. Our goal difference is better than everyone except City and Liverpool.

Eriksen and Dele were quietly effective and Harry Winks more busily so. Llorente was awful and Lamela ineffective. Danny Rose a force of nature on the left was my MOM. Trippier  was careless and disappointing again.

So there you have it. We scored all three goals and gained all three points. My favourite Uncle, another ubiquitous Harry, a back street Fulham boy, was a huge Fulham fan. He died recently but he was a very nice man and I know he will forgive us.

Transfer Rumour (You couldn't make it up category)
Andy Carroll to Spurs for a mere 2 million. I know Llorente was bad but even an injured Kane would be better than either or both frankly.

Stadium. No news is not necessarily good news.

Jimmy's Video Spot

Best I could find. Doesn't actually show the superb build up to Winks' winner where virtually every member of the team touched the ball before N'Koudou's searching cross and Winks' second Premiership goal.

Fulham had chances,   but Ranieri thought them naive not to keep the ball and settle for a point at the end. He's not wrong, Uncle Harry probably agrees but thanks anyway. A good time for Pochettino's first ever victory over Ranieri.



Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Spurs Choose Their Moment.

  Six pairs, assorted sizes guaranteed football shooting boots.
Invoice to THFC.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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How the ..in Heaven's name did we lose that. That's me remembering just in time that this a Family Blog. Put another way: how in Heaven's name did we not win that. Such an important game to win or not to lose.

Not because it ultimately affects the top three but it gives succor to the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer myth; the Manchester United myths and our own sorry myths about our attitude and record in the crucial games.
 
Unlike Chelsea where we played poorly and won, this time we played well for most of the time and lost. When their keeper is MOM it tells a pretty accurate story. 11 shots on target saved in the 2nd. half.

But it was not so much brilliant goalkeeping as poor finishing from Dele and Kane in particular, chances that they would normally bury. 3 or 4 goals would have been fair and a draw the lowest of our expectations. But we don't do draws.

More worrying than the result were the injuries to Sissoko and Kane which at the time of writing is not clear how serious they are. Looks like Winks and Skipp in midfield then, or a major rejig of the entire defence.

A win would have more or less cemented the Top Four and opened up gaps with the rest. With Arsenal and Chelsea losing the damage to our top three hopes was not so severe but Utd are now level on points with Arsenal and rampant.

The post Mourinho Joy-Fest continues and we could have been in instrumental in raining on their parade and curbing their enthusiasm. At least it puts Ole in pole position in the next Utd.  Manager stakes.

No of course we we didn't throw the game to achieve this outcome. That's far too deep into conspiracy theory for me. He's not going: end of.

An unnecessary, poor, cross-field pass by Trippier cut out by Lingard led to the only goal of the match. A fine sweeping ball by Pogba to Rashford and a great finish. Not the first error by Trippier in the current campaign.

Lloris might have done better by advancing a step or two towards Rashford to narrow the angle a little more. He got a hand to it but could not keep it out. De Gea on the other foot got something to every one of our efforts.

Let's not dwell on it. We played well for the second half with Dele, Eriksen and later Lamela setting up chances We dominated shots and possession but came away empty handed. I was angry at the end and grumpy now, but it happens.

We certainly chose our moment to mislay our shooting boots.That new kit-man will have to go.

I wouldn't go as far as Mauricio to say it was our best football in his time at Spurs but to go down a minute before half time and then come out with some spirited and creative football you can see where he is coming from.

Darren Fletcher puts it all down to Ole's 'Master Plan'. Employing a keeper with big feet presumably.

The next few  Premiership games are eminently winnable (Fulham, Watford, Newcastle, Leicester) if we can find a dozen or so fit men and/or boys to take to the field. I hope Mauricio has kept his boots well dubbined.

With a whole week before the next game I am keeping to my blogging rule of not posting when I am  angry, tired, depressed, hungry, disappointed or drunk or any or all of the above. It's a wonder under the circumstances that I ever post at all.

I am much better today, thank you. Even the cat made a cautious re-appearance and I of course apologised to Mrs.JimmyG2 for the language. She said she hardly noticed. She's a real trouper.

Good News: It's only Fulham.

Bad News: Where to start. Son away for at least 3 games. Harry out for a minimum of a month. Sissoko not fully assessed yet but probably a couple of weeks.

Musings Rule of Thumb: Always double the original prediction.

Update on Bad News 
Harry out for two months now. I'm going to post this today before it gets any worse. We coped before but this time Son is missing. Step up chaps.

Especially you Senor Fernando.
'Can you hear the drums Fernando
I could hear the distant drums
And sounds of bugle calls were coming from afar'
(Abba)
 
Drums and Bugle calls just for you.

Unless we buy or loan someone of course. Some misfit from Barcelona is in the frame (Malcolm 21) Musings Likelihood Rating 3/10

Stadium. Nothing new to see here, move on.
Transfer Window. Open. But see 'Stadium'. Unless we short term panic buy. Not advised but remember Sissoko was a last minute panic buy.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Let's change the focus. David De Gea v Spurs.  One man wall. Are you watching Donald? He's still got the same gloves he had when he first started because he doesn't bloody well use his hands very often.


 

Thursday, 10 January 2019

January Signing a Sop to Disgruntled Fans.

 Don't shoot the Messenger.
What did I say?
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Never in the field of football conflict have so many played so poorly and won with fewer chances. Bad as we were though Chelsea  hardly laid a glove on us. This was our third successive win over them.

Let's hear it then for Harry Kane (MBE) an old fashioned warrior playing to the whistle and for VAR overruling correctly what would have been normally an offside decision. Harry's sixth goal in as many games.

Kepa Arrizabalaga had obviously not done his homework. Harry nearly always puts it to the keeper's right.  He seemed to anticipate a shot down the middle. and failed to put right the results of his wild tackle.

Chelsea won on all of the statistics: Possession 58%; shots 17/6; shots on target 5/4; corners 7/2, hit the woodwork twice and had the best player, Hazard. But we won on the only statistic that matters: goals scored.

A worrying watch with the outcome not at all certain. A game we would have lost in the not so distant past. The defense turned up especially Paolo, Danny and Toby but the attack seemed to have taken the night off.

Son (head already in Asia); Eriksen (head already in Madrid) and Dele (playing deeper) hardly threatened; the midfield were firefighting as the match went on but Toby's precise ball over the top and Harry's astute movement won the day. And VAR of course.

That's 'one season wonder' Harry's 20th for the season and he has now scored in all four competitions. Sissoko put himself about to good effect, Rose gave us another dimension on the left.

But there was little co-ordination between the midfield and the attacking players. Their high press disrupted and hurried our play but fortunately left them vulnerable on that one occasion.

Erik Lamela came on and was booked almost immediately. Amazingly he has never been sent off for us unlike his Manager who was sent off often in his career. Skipp replaced Winks and was trusted to see us out safely.

If Hazard was more of a team player rather than just individually brilliant; if Giroud had been on from the start or Harry Kane (MBE) had changed sides the result might have been different.

I think that Hazard would be of more interest to Real Madrid than Eriksen as a replacement for Isco. They like a bit of flash and show at Real. Eriksen is more Modric, unfussy and efficient but with the same vision thing.

My feeling is that Eriksen will sign a new contract and stay, as will Pochettino. If either leave the project stalls for at least a season or two, new stadium or not. I'm betting on Toby staying with us too though this could all be wishful thinking.

Wishful thinking? Who me?

Another giant step for Spurs towards a trophy which might help keep any malcontents in order. Next up liddle old Man.Utd.on Sunday. It falls to us the task of popping Solskjaer's bubble. We can do this.

Stadium update:
More apologies from DL, more rumours and reports about prototype fire alarm panels  all point to a mid March opening. Maybe. But I told you that weeks ago. Don't Shoot the Messenger. No news can be good news but some news is just plain bad news.

Transfers.
I wouldn't be surprised to see at least one in January as a sop to 'compensate' fans for the Stadium 'disappointment' and to convince Eriksen and Alderweireld to stay Rabiot is back on the radar.

Jimmy's Video spot:
Here's my compensation. Makes your collies wobble. Lovely 3 minute gem from TommyW on Spurs Community. Thanks. It will open you know. Trust me. All this will be forgiven if not forgotten.



Sunday, 6 January 2019

Spurs Pass Another Milestone.

The Tranmere squad leave the ground
 after FA 3rd. Round Cup-tie against Spurs.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Well we made a game of it, for them, with the early misses by Moura and Son but sympathy ran out at half time and we employed The Crusher for the second half.

It was the kind of result you always expect in these unequal contests but rarely achieve. Our biggest away win in the Whole Glorious History of Tottenham Hotspur.

The Crusher was probably a bit of overkill  but it was the second team 'Wot won it'. Milestones fly by every half mile at the moment: best start; most Academy on pitch simultaneously; fewest draws; most away wins; least spent; most away goals........

Harry Kane MBE came on for a guest appearance, smiled, waved to the crowd, showed his medal, scored and generally stole the show. On that pitch with some of the Tranmere 'heavies' it could have been a risk too far.

Mauricio explained that it was to give the opposition and their fans the opportunity to witness a football 'icon' and was simply the right thing to do. Don't you just love that man.

Dele (22) captain for the night, showing the utmost respect for the pitch which was even worse than Wembley, played at a studied half pace and under Eriksen's strict gaze from the support bench ran the show from start to finish.

Definitely the proverbial game of two halves with everyone except Moura shaping up for the second half, but his kind of skitterng speed-skating style was probably the biggest casualty of the conditions.

Skipp, without his mentor Winks who as a senior now was given the night off, eventually showed a much broader range of passing including an incisive through ball to set up Llorente for his second goal.

Aurier was a little wild as usual but doubled his Tottenham goal tally with a couple. The first which sent us in at half time ahead was a super-strike the second more mundane but he was well placed in a very attacking position to score.

At the end we had several of our own on display, too numerous to count. If some of them make it as well as Skipp that's another 100 million saved. And both central defenders 22 or under. Love it. Youth and our own.

Tranmere's old pro's tried to rough us up occasionally but their promise talked up by pundits and media failed to materialise. Too old, too slow too fat and too respectful a lot of the time to make much impression on the night.

In among Llorente's second hat trick in the cup, Aurier got a second and Son always a lively threat scored a nicely taken goal. Two assists and his 7th. goal in six games. Spurs have scored 33 goals in the last 34 days.

Once again our ratio of shots on target was better. (17 shots/12 on target) and allowed us to make better use of our possession advantage (72%) Credit to Tranmere they didn't park the bus but were penned in anyway.

Neithe of the two new, newcomers (Eyoma and Marsh) looked phased in the short cameos. Taking their cue from WKP and Skipp no doubt and their inspiration from Winks and 'icon' Harry Kane they all have high hopes.

I forget sometimes that these Academy graduates have had 10 years or more of intensive coaching at the club, have played 100's of competitive games and sometimes made dozens of foreign trips and appearances in International matches.

Good luck to them and all who sail with them. If we can produce one successful graduate every couple of years for ourselves or any other professional club the Academy runs for free.  

Our next match is the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea on Tuesday night. Get some rest boys and then go again. Lovin' it all.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
All the goals and both the misses. A goal fest: enjoy.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Spurs Disruption Over.

Normal service resumed at Cardiff.
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The JimmyG2 Column. 
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3 points, clean sheet, Boxing Day woes banished, fine start to 2019 and a terrible game after the first 26 minutes in which Cardiff played their full part. 3-0 game over but the regulations prevented us from leaving the pitch.

So we stayed and 'managed' the game. This consists of a slow motion motion loop: Hugo to Kierran; Kierran to Davison; Davison to Toby; Toby to Davison; Davison to probably Hugo or back to Toby; pass forward only if you have to.

Medical attention was required by several spectators from both clubs struck down by clinical boredom and several others remembered they had to be urgently elsewhere at half time.

But I hear you cry 'three points is three points' and this is undoubtedly true. Moreover nowhere on the tickets does it say or even imply that there is any obligation to entertain for a specific period.

So no injuries, very little energy expended; a fine performance from Christian Eriksen; three goals from three of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; another assist from Harry Kane and Mauricio's team selection vindicated.

As it says in the Gospel according to Saint Poch: 'Them as letteth us down shall be charged with getting us back up again'' and they did. Rose for Davies was the only change from the last team of last year.

The only real disappointment for me was Dele who played again as if he had other things on his mind and seemed angry with himself when subbed late on. He was a crucial half a second late at everything.

Fittingly they contributed our first goal, off Harry's knee after a goalmouth mix-up within two minutes of the start. They had no time to park the bus and the visitors, team, management and fans breathed a collective sigh of relief.

2019 started well and threatens to be a very good year. Ten minutes later Erikson scored delightfully from the edge of the area and within half an hour. Son, with his 8th goal in 9 games put matters beyond doubt.

The last hour was tedium personified, Toby and Davison controlled the pace; Skipp got another 15 minutes; Llorente got a farewell, allegedly, 5 minutes and Sissoko, showing all his recent strengths and weaknesses, had another good game.

Opinions vary on Winks who I thought played well, always showing for the ball and busying himself in the engine room, polishing the copper fittings, swabbing the floor and oiling the moving parts. But I'm biased as he is one OOOO.

I believe though that being schooled at our Academy gives our own an extra dimension in terms of loyalty and application, they kiss the badge with genuine pride. He's not as good as Modric or Carrick but nor were they at 22.

Rose was a marked improvement on Davies and made a couple of saving headers at the back post ahead of Paterson. He often ignores the 'keep it tight' message and sets off downfield regardless. God bless you Tiny Dan.

Trippier didn't overly impress going forward or back. KWP, Foyth, Gazzaniga and Skipp might get the nod against Tranmere on Friday. Lamela might return from wherever he is currently; Dele might find his form and Harry Kane might hit the net thrice to go ahead in the Golden Boot stakes.

None of the players currently injured are available for Friday though Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela are all back in training.Victor Wanyama is still recovering.

We continued the trend of having fewer shots but more on target though Sissoko obviously missed the intensive shooting practice sessions. The low card (1 Bamba) and foul count (12: 6 each) indicates the lack of intensity on this occasion.

But a stroll down the docks and an easy win was just what Spurs needed and as you all say, 'A win, is a win' and is worth 3 points whether it was an exciting game or not. It wasn't.

Top of the Table
After yesterday's games the table looks like this

..... team........... P.....GD....Points
1) Liverpool.....20....40......54
2) Tottenham....21....25......48
3) Man.City......20....38......47
4).Chelsea........21.....22.....44
5) Arsenal........21.....15.....41 
6) Man.Utd.... .21.....11.....38

Liverpool and City play tonight: 
Scenarios.

A) If Liverpool win they are out of sight but we stay second.
B) If City win we go third but keep in touch with both.
C) If  they draw we go third but keep in touch with both.
Hmm. Anything but a Liverpool win obviously, I think.

Glenn is recovering after leaving hospital. HNY and GWS.

 Clickbait Watch.....Spurs to make move for Hazard.(Various sites)

Neil Warnock is obviously not familiar with the Brer Rabbit stories or our record at Wembley.. When captured by Mr Fox Brer Rabbit says  that he can punish him in any way he likes except throwing him in the terrible Briar Patch.

So of ourse Mr Fox decides to do just that and throws him in the Briar Patch....where Brer Rabbit was born.
'Oh no anywhere but Wembley Brother Warnock'.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
It's in foreign because the spoilsports at the FA or Sky or wherever don't take them down after 24hrs.
Harry Kane does brilliantly  in the build-up for the first though the actual 'strike' is a bit fortunate.

He has 6 assists for the season so far. He's never got more than 7 in a full season.

All over 25 minutes in. I'm old school and like us to play positively for the full 90 minutes + extra time. Bring the subs on early if we need to rest  someone.