The Only Way to go Tottenham!
The JimmyG2 Column.
Oh come on! You didn't actually expect us to do it the easy way by beating W.Ham, maintaining our perfect home and clean sheets record so we could sit back and enjoy the rest of the weekend did you? Where's the fun in that?
You know what they say: if you don't score when you are on top you are likely not to win. And we did just that. Early chances went begging and as we faded in the second half it was ours to lose and we lost.
After the first half hour it was literally not our finest hour. We saw more of the ball but did little with it. They wanted it more and did more with it. Even then Lloris was mostly a spectator.
W.Ham will dine out on this for...ever I'm afraid. Even if they go bankrupt and get relegated three seasons running into the National league they will always have their very own 'Paris': first scorers and winners at NWHL to remember.
Geoffrey says we were so bad we were lucky to lose. But you know Geoffrey, he exaggerates; but he's not always wrong. We were patchy in the first half and jaded in the second.We deserved exactly what we got.
Eriksen probed and Son and Moura's flames flickered for a while. Dele was caught on the ball more times in this game than in a whole season when he was the Golden Boy of English football. There is something not quite right with him.
Rose put in his usual shift but he lacks the guile and vision for the midfield role and is more effective from full back. Gareth Bale's cautionary tale of left backism prevents too much dogmatism on this topic.
Arnautovic having sat out most of the game, only 7 touches in the first half, provided a clever cross which Antonio slammed home to win the game, evading the attentions of both Toby and Sanchez.
Pelegrini has won as many games against Spurs as Guardiola and it is not Antonio's first winner against us. At least Jack Wilshire didn't get on to make our misery complete.
We still had 20 minutes to get a goal but we had both Llorente and forgotten man Janssen on at the end and it all looked rather desperate. In fact Janssen might have scored twice but this was not a day for fairy-tales.
We have lost 17 games in all competitions this season, our most since 2008-09 (19) and have lost six of our past 10 league games (W3 D1), as many defeats as we suffered in their previous 28 (W22). (BBC)
That we are where we are is a credit to the bad form of all our rivals who have done as badly or slightly worse than us. Pochettino is very down and no doubt so are the team in the build up to Ajax and the final two 'must wins'.
We weren't that good in the first half and we steadily got worse until we conceded the goal on 69 minutes and then we bucked up of course. Too little too late.
But the story had a cliffhanger ending with all our rivals for top four still to play. And your prayers, friends, have been answered. Arsenal didn't just lose they got thrashed by Leicester on Sunday afternoon.
And Utd. and Chelsea drew later in what Ole GS called a 'must win' game. 'If we can keep our heads when all about us others are losing theirs'. Thanks Rudyard I think that about sums it up. The key word here is 'if'.
But 'must win' is an exercise in hyperbole. Win only one of of our two remaining games or even at a pinch draw them both and top four is safe even if our three rivals win both of their remaining games. I've done the Math.**
As of tonight we are assured of a Europa place, hey don't shoot the messenger; but third is still on. Oh and the Champions' League of course.
Keeping a clean sheet at home might be our best hope to progress. We will be missing Son but you never know Janssen might start and score a couple. It's a funny old game.
For what it's worth I don't think we will beat Ajax though it might be close, but we will secure third with ease. Pipe down Geoffrey.
**I've done the math.
If we win one (73 points) of our two 'must win remaining games
or draw both (72 points) then only Chelsea can pip us for 3rd
if they win both of their remaining games (74)
Arsenal...... (72 points) lose on goal difference (9 currently) even if they win both.
Man. Utd... (71 points) done for even if they win both.
Footnote 1)....Highly unlikely that all our rivals win both
Footnote 2)... Highly unlikely that we don't get minimum 2 points from ours.
Footnote 3)...I failed O level Maths twice.
Jimmy's Video Spot.
Don't re-live the agony. Chill with Bill Evans and Miles Davies 'Blue on Green from the 1959 album 'Kind of Blue'.
The first modern Jazz record I ever bought (from Sidney Scarborough's in Hull when I was a student). Still got it but bought the CD recently. One has to move with the times. 'Alexa'
Captures the mood beautifully.
But I've got 'Stairway to Heaven' lined up for the later games and/or the CL final.