The Blog that's not always wrong.

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.