The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Spurs Plans Taking Shape.

Right let's rake through this lot.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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OK it's that *Haruspication* moment, the examination of the entrails, to reveal the past present and future. We lost the Final in somewhat bizarre fashion even for Spurs but as we got there in similar style we can't really complain.

20 seconds in and we conceded a penalty that changed the game plan for both sides. 20 seconds! It certainly hit Moussa's hand but deliberate? Probably not. I've seen 'em not given especially in the opening minute.

We could and should have equalised before they scored their second as we pressed later, or better still equalised before they scored as Danny Blanchflower once advised.

Alison was the busier keeper and Moura, Dele, Eriksen and Son might all have evened it up. But History records that we didn't.

Overall it was a poor game with misplaced passes and lack of control by both teams. They abandoned their pressing game and fast breaks for a much more defensive posture with long balls down the flanks their main weapon.

We were challenged to come out and play and though we came out we didn't successfully play. There were some nice moments especially as the second half progressed but we never quite got the ball under control and final passes were often poor.

The entrails reveal the answers to the  key questions of the day: should Harry Kane have started? Probably not or should have been subbed for Moura much sooner. Not that it was ever a topic for debate. We all knew he would  and he did his best but contributed only sporadically.

Was it a penalty? Taking everything into account it probably was and we would have been incandescent if it was the other way round and not given. Thank you entrails.

Son threatened at times but didn't deliver; Dele was largely peripheral and cut a dejected figure out on the wide left. Eriksen beavered away increasingly but failed to ruffle the Liverpool back four with much  incisivicity.

Harry Winks justified his selection and unless feeling the strain I have no idea why he was subbed. Consistently sharp, positive and as effective as any other. I made him the Spurs MOM.

Congratulations to Kopp and Liverpool and perhaps we can lose one: win one next year as Liverpool did. They almost chased City down for the title. On the day they didn't deserve to win but overall it's a fitting end to their season.

As Harry Winks said: 'Spurs could learn from Liverpool’s experiences when they bounced back so well to win the Champions League having lost last year’s final against Real Madrid in Kiev'.

On my end of 'term' Bucket List a Champions' League Final appearance, didn't even feature. We are well ahead of the curve and if Pochettino stays, which I feel sure he will,the next five years could be just as exciting as the last.

So what do the entrails reveal of the present and future? Firstly that we should  'Keep calm and carry on'. Despite all the dire predictions, the present policy of favouring youth and our own and building a cohesive squad has paid dividends.

To abandon this now would be an unnecessary knee jerk. Never change Horses, Managers, and Projects in midstream as the age old sages warn. Buy 'em young and train 'em up the Mauricio and Tottenham way.

Hugo agrees: 'we now cannot throw everything in the bin after a Champions League final defeat'

Splurging the money resulting from the famed Annual Bonfire of the Dead Wood is not a viable option.. Firstly this annual event always gets rained on. The fire barely lit splutters and dies.

Remember this lot? The result of the last splurge with the Bale money.

 Remember this lot?
The Magnificent Seven

Paulinho,  £17m (Corinthians), Christian Eriksen (Ajax £11.5m), Roberto Soldado (Valencia £26m), Nacer Chadli (FC Twente £6m), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse £8.6m), Vlad Chiriches (Steaua Bucharest £8.5m) and Erik Lamela (Roma £30m).

All but two have moved on and to be fair some have made a success elsewhere. (Paulinho and Capoue certainly).

A cool 100 million, though we did get Christian who might well be worth what we paid for the whole job lot, and after 6 years of faithful service too. Lamela almost justified his record money signing but injuries have severely restricted his career and value.

So the Magnificent One and a Half then. New players sometimes take time to settle especially if new to the Premiership. Moura and Sissoko have taken a couple of years to come good. So keeping calm is (are) my watchword(s).

My plan. Pay the money and keep Eriksen and Toby; buy all or some of the talented youngsters around: Wan Bassaka, Sessegnon, Brookes, Maddison, Tielemans, make your own list. Sell two or three peripherals (Trippier, Davies,Aurier, Dier make another list of your own) to offset the cost.

A wholesale clear-out and buy in would be detrimental to the close knit club solidarity and trust which has served us well and an insult to the achievements and advances already made.

Stadium receipts and Champions' League money will further offset the costs. Maintain our current plans and of course the Main Man. Spend thriftily not because we risk destabilizing the club financially but because wild spending will destabilize the squad.

It's all in the entrails I tell you. *Consult your witch doctor*.

At The Match.
How was it for you?
We lost, Brothers and Sisters, and I was there. Not a great game, the early penalty was decisive, neither team played well but we had more chances, shots and possession.

I had a good seat with a face value of 450 Euros which normally you would pay a 100 Euros for. What a rip-off: not that I paid. Pre-match 'entertainment' was naff in the extreme though the 'firework, light show was good.

A hell of a lot of fuss involving dozens of assistants for a ten minute pre match display. Better to have let the fans have their head, voices and enthusiasm. Many had paid through the nose to get there and deserved better.

Not overly-impressed by the Stadium, very much concrete on concrete but good visibility all round. Easy access except the police kept several thousand of us penned up in the heat awaiting ticket and security checks.

Fan behavior in and around the stadium, Madrid and the Irish Rover pretty good; only one incident confirmed of 'unprovoked' police brutality and only one eye witness report of injury to an old Liverpool guy who fell down the stairs at the Irish Rover and had to be persuaded to go to hospital for stitches.

Pleased to be there for the occasion if not for the actual game and the result. Daughter Liz (Irish Rover) send greetings and thanks to all who booked or turned up there. ' Still can't sing, but well behaved as usual'. All are welcome back.

Time wasting by Liverpool from almost the start was a poor show by the CL winners. Not what I expected from them or anyone at this level. Only about an hour actually played. Street wise possibly but the referee should have taken action.

God these grapes are sour.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Mauricio:Talented, honest, straight, calm, handsome, multilingual and supportive even in defeat. Much to admire A performance of dignity by the Manager although his face tells the story of the pain.


Key words: calm, reflect and bet clever as they say, build, we are in a different place. Please stay Mauricio you are the cornerstone of everything we have achieved and hope to achieve.

I have supported the Project whole-heartedly and spoken for many minutes on this topic without hesitation, repetition or deviation, well maybe not the middle one..
 

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of what you say, though this so-called 'project' is running out of steam quick. But if all we sign are young players with potential to be trained up, we'll NEVER truly compete - NEVER. That model would suit Enic/Levy down to the ground, as long as Arsenal, Chelsea and Utd continue to falter and we can scrape into the top 4.
Brian Howes

JimmyG2 said...

Brian Howes.
There will be a little natural churn his summer but don't hrow the baby out with the bathwater.
Never ompete? Did I not just attend the final of the Champions' League and watch Spurs or was that all a dream?.
We are doing it another way and it's working.

Anonymous said...

It depends what you mean by 'compete'. We're nowhere near competing for the league title - the one trophy I've always wanted and the one trophy that truly shows you're the best. Regular top 4 is great, better than it's been in my near four decades following Spurs. But we must at least try to push on, aim higher, or else what's the point? The difference in hard cash between winning and not is small enough for me to fear Enic aren't that bothered - Liverpool got about £8m more than us for Champs League. Does anyone truly believe Enic will invest the millions we need with margins like that? I just want Spurs to have a real go for the first time in my life, and I'd love to be proved wrong on everything I've said. And just a note on the Champs Final: Incredible as it was to get there, please, please don't let it paint over the massive cracks that are now appearing. People like me get slagged off for being anti-Spurs etc - I honestly feel the exact opposite is true. Unquestioning, happy-clappy, flag-waving worshipping of Levy and his new building is what I'd call anti-Spurs.
Brian Howes

Garbonza said...

People are dreaming if they think Spurs will "bounce back" for next year's Champions final just because Liverpool did. The same circumstances will never arise again. Besides, Liverpool in an uncharacteristically weak display, gave Spurs their chances and they weren't taken. How many times in 60 years do these chances come along for a team like Spurs? -- once so far.

Anonymous said...

football is obsessed with transfers.
some fans just want us to try and buy it. if it fails they can just say the club should have not bought those players.
Tottenham are developing and soon will be able to compete not because they are going for it, but because their situation will allow for bringing in top players.
consistency is the key and trying to improve where possible.

Adrian Bell (MVP) said...

Well stuff me. I'll be a happy clapper any day if the alternative is to be a moaner who can't even see the positive when they're literally swimming in it.

Back in the day there were arguments about which approach makes more sense. Nowadays, since so many studies have been performed it's not even up for grabs. Moaners get exactly what they expect - and generally speaking, so do the happy clappers. Sure, keeping a positive outlook can be very demanding. Wallowing in negativity (self-pity) is easy. There's a correlation there if you notice.

I love Mo Po's action when we came away from the Etihad. He grabbed his cojones - and it took both hands. That's what it takes. Not whingeing and moaning like those with no courage to push for better. I'm just so glad we have such a manager. I'd love it if more supporters had the courage he has. We all know it's not easy - particularly with our history - but that won't change until we do. Let's grab our cojones with both hands and show we have the courage to take a different course. Show that we have the corage to create a new and different future.

The alternative is to revert to being Spursy - as our opponents love to think of us. Of course. It suits them. Does it suit us? Are we prepared to do and be what it takes to change that? Poch certainly is.

COYS!!

Adrian Bell (MVP) said...

Let me just add a "Thank you" again to Jimmy for producing this new blog post. Excellent work again, as usual.

Never easy after a loss of such an important game. Nevertheless he's given us a great post of real perspective - positive but also honest.

Let me also add a nod to the recent response - that was not visible before my previous reply - to say that I agree wholeheartedly. Transfers are part of the game but they aren't the whole of the game. Lesser managers rely on them very heavily. Poch shows his greatness by showing that he understands that revamping the team regularly doesn't make for a settled and continually progressing squad. We have that now and we've managed that same approach over four or five years now. Absolutely not an easy task.

It gives me great heart to see we have a manager that understands that and is building on what we have rather than continually trying to throw away and start again anew. Anyone heard of babies and bathwater? We did so well BECAUSE, not in spite of, Poch's insistence on the right players, or no players, coming in. Yes, we fared badly because of a horrible run of injuries during the season. Undoubtedly this is related to his strong belief that country sides are very important and we had so many players playing in the World Cup last Summer. Consider what this side - our Spurs side - could have achieved had things fallen slightly differently. Who knows what we can achieve next season?

Why shouldn't we expect to get to the ECL final again next year? Remember that last season saw us go out to two offside goals from Juve away from home - one of which was after a free-kick that was awarded after Davinson Sanchez very clearly decided NOT to make the tackle that might have led to it. They got to the final only to play a team we'd already drawn with and beaten that same season. Yes. Of course we can win the UEFA Champion's League.

COYS!!

Anonymous said...

That was never a penalty in a million years. UEFA has torn down the prem's common sense approach towards awarding handballs and taken a leak on its ashes - which was to not award them unless it's quite obviously deliberate, especially if the ball is kicked from a short distance. UEFA has done this by resurrecting the long-dead consideration of natural vs. unnatural position of the defender's hand. Even if they insist on pursuing this flawed logic, part of defending is staying organized and communicating with your teammates. Sissoko was pointing for someone to mark an open runner, while Mane was standing still and did not look like he was going to shoot at all. In that sense, Sissoko's hand was in a perfectly natural position given the circumstances.

The position of a player's hand should only be factored in / considered as a way of assessing whether a handball was intentional or not. Sissoko's handball was quite obviously not deliberate since it hit his chest first and was unexpectedly flicked up by Mane (as Sissoko was lowering his arm after pointing). So considering the position of the hand was completely unnecessary and yielded an irrelevant answer.

Phil_Filipino said...

We're in the Champions league for four years running after decades without. We lose the final but so did Liverpool last year and look a them. Things have never been better in the Premiership years for our beloved club. There's never been a better time to be an half full of water rather than half empty.

BriDruid said...

Totally bummed by how many Spurs "fans" still want Levy to by aging stars on the downhill side of their careers when the proof of a development approach is staring them in the face. This team is better than any previous Tottenham team and is still developing. Add Lo Celso Ndombele and 2 Sessegnons and we'll be set for the next step. Need to try to keep Eriksen and Alderweireld and try to get Kane to play first for Tottenham and 2nd for Southgate and the football association. International football hurts the clubs who pay the players. make no mistake - Playing for England is not playing for Country. It's filling the coffers of the FA parasites.

Unknown said...

Win lose or draw IM TOTTENHAM TILL I DIE

Unknown said...

Win lose or draw IM TOTTENHAM TILL I DIE

JimmyG2 said...

Where to start? Bemoaners on one side: Happy Clappers on the other. You all know which side I'm on.My glass is always brimming over. But I try to call it as I see it.
Perspective, people and patience and belief.
If it ain't broke....
The last five years have been a success and a joy. Of course it's all about to collapse and always is but the plates are still spinning.
It was a penalty based on the current rules. The current rules are a nonsense.
Transfers are not only an obsession they are a deadly disease.
Musings doesn't do transfers. Well only to mock the afflicted.

Thanks all.If you want to be identified just put your name at the end like this: JimmyG2

Anonymous said...

So I'm a 'moaner' and 'negative'? I'd say that longing for a better, more competitive Spurs is rather positive. Of course it's not all about transfers, but we need to strengthen or get left behind. The time to do it would have been after the 16/17 86-point season, when I'd say 2 quality additions would have really pushed us on. Hey ho. Now we need at least 4, and that's before Toby and Eriksen jump ship. A similar thing happened in 11/12. A win away at City in January 2012 would have put us two points behind them (anyone remember Defoe's last-minute miss when it was 2-2?). That transfer window was a real chance to push on, have a go. And what did we do? Got in Saha and Nelsen for free. What a statement of intent that was.

As for all this nurturing of youngsters, beyond Kane and Winks it's pretty slim pickings. I guess you could throw in Dele, Dier and, going back a bit, Rose as they were all bought young, but all three have regressed/failed to progress in recent seasons.

As for Poch. What makes any of you here so convinced he'll still be with us come August? My hunch is he's sick of it and could leave this summer with his stock still high, with so many saying how great he's done with such budgetary constraints. Again, I hope I'm wrong. And again, I know I'll be slagged off for predicting something I dread could well come true.

Look, we're all Spurs fans, and it boils down to what you want. I'm beyond desperate to win the league, or at least try to. And trying to doesn't mean ruining the club/squad like some have suggested here. It just means throwing a few players of real, ready-to-go quality into the mix.
Brian Howes

Cheshuntboy said...

Don't take it to heart, Mr Howes - posting on this site very often feels like stumbling onto a voodoo ceremony just as the cockerel is being sacrificed - it's all about blind faith, and there's no place for reason or perception. Still, it beats work.

JimmyG2 said...

Cheshuntboy.
Relieved to see you're still with us. I feared the worst after Saturday's dissappointment.
The Cockeral Sir is far from being sacrificed. It's living the high life on highest quality Champions' LeagueL alfalfa meal with added Top Four nutrients and strutting his stuff with the best in the world.

Ignore him Brian 'Its being so cheerful as keeps him going' (Mona Lott ITMA)

Welcome all. If I had any money I'd bet on Poch staying.

Adrian Bell (MVP) said...

@CB.
Now who's being disrespectful simply due to differences of opinion ;-)

@Anonymous (That was never a penalty in a million years).
While I agree on balance it probably shouldn't have been, as Jimmy says, it can legitimately be considered to be so within the wording of the laws as they stand.

Personally, I have far more instances of dodgy refereeing over the season that hurt us to worry about before I think about that one. Right or wrong it was at the very most borderline.

@Jimmy.
Admiration for keeping both types of followers generally happy, in spite of your own clearly illustrated leanings.

@Anonymous (So I'm a 'moaner' and 'negative'?).
Generally speaking I'd have to say yes. Wanting better is fine. Demanding it be done only one way and moaning that the current management don't follow your specific approach is a long way less than helpful.

Most people in football, and particularly at Spurs where we've already started to do things differently, realise that the old approach of simply buying in ready-made stars is a recipe for catastrophic collapse unless you're one of the very few clubs that can afford to continue to do so. Moaning that Levy & Poch are too stupid to realise the old and trusted ways are still best frankly shows you as a moaner and negative.

How many clubs in recent years have we seen collapse following that approach? The frequency is increasing. The rate of increase of player costs (Transfer as well as wages.) in recent years has been extraordinary and is only continuing to grow. Even massive clubs like Leeds & Aston Villa, with very large levels of support still, and big grounds, are having to start again from a seriously retrograde position. Frankly I find it impossible to credit that there are still people who love the club (and I'm convinced all here do actually love Spurs) who want us to take that enormously risky path which at the very most promises a chance to end up in a position relative to our finances. That would be regularly top six or similar. Where would the money come from to finance such an approach?

The alternative could be considered risky also. Well, maybe that might have been true five years ago. Considering our last four years I can't imagine why anyone would still have any doubt that it can work. It has been working reliably for all that time without even one season of exception. If the management of the club now reverted to that sad and tired old approach I'd have to consider them fit for the asylum. There's literally nothing to recommend it.

COYS!!

JimmyG2 said...

Sorry 'cockerel'
And Brian what about KWP who was criminally underused. Oliver Skipp shaping up well.
The Two harrys have paid for the Academy into the next century. Come on man.

I don't do the Tottenham till I die thing. It's too close for comfort. Supporting Spurs for 60 yearsand haven't enjoyed it so much since 1961/2

Anonymous said...

I wasn't going to respond again but feel I must. Adrian Bell - where did I say this 'one way of doing things' and 'old and trusted way' stuff? And I never said anyone was stupid, especially Poch. He knows what we need (at least he should) and I'm sure he'd snap them up in a heartbeat if he could. And I suppose it's about time someone mentioned that old chestnut that is Leeds United. The level of finances at the upper end of the Prem now are a world apart from when Leeds imploded and gave the likes of Seth Johnson a £37k-a-week contract (now there's one thing I would call stupid).

I'd love us to have a starting XI of home-grown world beaters, but that'll never happen. It has to be a blend, working towards the today as well as the tomorrow - otherwise that tomorrow never comes to nothing.

We finished above Liverpool in 8 of the 9 seasons prior to this one. I hate giving that lot any credit - where I come from I've been surrounded by their arrogance and blind sense of narcissistic entitlement all my life - but they acted and bought well at the top end of the market and blended it with what they already had. Plus they built a huge new stand at little disruption to their stadium/fans and at a fraction of the cost of our new home - if I told you how I'd have preferred a massive new west stand (say 24,000 seats) that would have turned WHL into a 54,000 home, then I hate to think what some of you would say. The new ground may well prove the making of us at some stage - though it hasn't gone so well for Arsenal - but as I'm a 'negative moaner' I seriously doubt it.

Just one other point about Mr Levy. Now I know it could all be agent-inspired and insider media manipulation, but if our leader reckons he can ask way over £100m for Eriksen, then how come he's been paying him way less than the likes of Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for years?

Anyway, I don't want to argue. But if anybody here can truly, hand-on-heart, say that Enic/Levy's No1 priority in everything they do at THFC is to try to win at football, then argue I will. It is a football club after all, so what other priorities should there be?
Brian Howes

Cheshuntboy said...

Why have you been hiding your light under a bushell, Mr Howes? You tell it like it is, and politely but firmly put the high priest of Baal in his place - now that we're all LBGT, will it be okay to have your babies?

Anonymous said...

Cheshuntboy,

Ah, I promised myself to give up on the baby-making game after the birth of my second little one eight years back. I found the whole business a tad traumatic if I'm being honest. That said, so moved am I by your kind words in what has otherwise been a wave of disdain washing over my opinions, please allow me the time to consider your proposition and get back to you. And I haven't been hiding as such, it's just that we only just got the internet in my part of North Wales. Cheers mate

Little Boxy Bird said...

Tremendous stuff, one and all. I like the cut of Mr Howes' jib, and particularly this line: "if anybody here can truly, hand-on-heart, say that Enic/Levy's No1 priority in everything they do at THFC is to try to win at football, then argue I will". I'll cheer that to the echo. However, I also abide with the Dudesque philosophy of Mr G2, and at the end of this crazy season, I can say I pretty much enjoyed the whole debacle. Thanks for the amusings, Jimmy.

Adrian Bell (MVP) said...

@Brian.
Firstly, apologies for failing to notice you'd signed your earlier message.

Like you I suspect continuing without being argumentative is a very good way to proceed so I'll try that. A bit rusty but will try. However I also want to do you the basic courtesy of responding to your points if I may. Call me on any I've missed.

Sorry if I put words into your mouth about calling Poch stupid. That was based on your comments about needing some high-end transfers in spite of Poch's declared desire to get from within as much as possible. Your example of Liverpool is quite true, and inspired in a way. Of all the top clubs Liverpool have brought in a great new manager and also a fantastic new centre-back in Virgil van Dyke. I don't see his overall approach as too reliant on bringing in expensive new players but he certainly filled in his gaps very well - in spite of such a high spend (I'm also referring here to Allison who was a decent buy too). I see that situation as very much the exception but I must say it's a great example for your thinking.

To answer why Eriksen is paid so much less than others well below him in value at other clubs - that's two-fold.
Firstly we do so for all our players at the moment. Not to such an extreme level of course, but they all start lower down the tree and often get good opportunities to work their way up. The second, and possibly more important point of course, is that Eriksen has refused to sign any of the number of contracts that have been put before him recently. Thus he's on a package that was believed suitable three or four seasons ago. We know how it works at Spurs. If a player is not getting replacement contracts every couple of years at least then something is going on. I very much doubt this particular situation is down to Daniel Levy baulking at the new terms asked for. It has all the signs of Eriksen looking elsewhere and not wanting to be held to ransom by the club with a new contract. From what's reported as his demands (Last time they were reported.) I doubt Poch would want to see him leave and Levy supports Poch in most things (In spite of much nonsense that's reported by lazy journalists).

As for Enic's #1 priority I would say with confidence that they see success at football as very closely tied in to financial success. I believe Daniel is still a massive fan but very much doubt that he would make decisions he felt would lose him money. That's the point for me. Unless we can play the long game and realise that ultimately growing the club for continued success is a far better approach than putting all our eggs in the basket for the next season (Sorry to bugger up that metaphor so badly. It's late-night.), then we're doomed to continue repeating the history of our less successful years.

I believe Levy has seen the writing on the wall and looked to find a different way forward. From what I can see of the last four or five seasons it seems clear to me that he's found treasure. Relatively speaking we're far advanced from where we were just five seasons ago.

And, for what it's worth, if Poch leaves over the Summer you can visit my house and ridicule me to your heart's content. It won't happen. It would be contrary to everything he's shown himself to be. Quote me freely. If I'm wrong then I'm so far wrong as to be an idiot and a fool.

Anyway, have fun resisting the raging hoardes of scousers in your neck of the woods. You're an example to the locals of a far better way.

@CB.
Loved your comments. Rarely agree but frequently amused nevertheless. -High priest of Baal ;-)
I'm sure you and Brian were made for each other.

@Jimmy.
Love the TTID comment. Now that's perspective :-D

@LBB.
So nice to converse with someone who knows where to put their apostrophes ('). Rare as rocking-horse manure so don't ever think it goes by unnoticed.

@All here.
COYS!!

JimmyG2 said...

Wnderful! A full cast turn out for an end of the season curtain call.And some quality Auditioners for starring roles Quite happy to hold your coats while you sort it out between you.
I get my say at the beginning.

Little Boxy Bird.
'Amusings' Wish I'd thought of that.

Cb,and Brian make a formidable team.
Might have to up our game AB.
ISee the England fans in Portugal couldn't maintain the high standards set by the Liverpool and Tottenham fans in Madrid.

Adrian Bell (MVP) said...

Much as I respect Gareth and his approach and management of the England team, I suspect he made a poor call to exclude all Spurs and Liverpool players from the starting line-up.

Of course it's easy to say from the side, and he's the man with the responsibility so all credit to him, but for me the first half showed a very poor Netherlands side up against a frustratingly poor England side. So many instances of the ball being given away under no pressure. Hard to watch when we know what's possible from the full squad. My thinking was that these two sides (Spurs & Liverpool) were the only ones with recent competitive games under their belts. Gareth, who largely does very well in my opinion, seems to have disagreed.

Worse was to come after half time. We started to dominate strongly with the simple introduction of only one of the better players (TBF the Shitty players did well enough first half but were let down by their colleagues from other sides IMHO.) in the second half, yet they managed to score a decent goal with very little threat from a set-piece. Good goal, but against the run of play. Obviously wouldn't have happened if Dumfries had been properly disciplined for two very late challenges in the first half. Typically, the first England player to warrant a booking got one straight away. Dumfries' first challenge was cynical and borderline red on the basis that there was absolutely no attempt to challenge for the ball which had gone almost a second before. No card was forthcoming. A game-changer no less than the Liverpool penalty on Saturday.

We continued to threaten more in spite of a number of questionable decisions (How HK was considered to have fouled van Dyke when simply holding his ground is just one example of poor decision-making. Unfortunately all too common during this game). Ultimately though, Stones, a generally reliable player so let's not make a pariah of him, gave away two very poor goals to hand them the game.

In my opinion totally against the run of play, but if you give goals away I suspect we can't complain too much. I don't agree with Southgate's choices on the day - but I absolutely support his right and responsibility to make those choices. We didn't really do much to earn our own goal and, though it was against the run of play, the only decent goal of the whole bunch was for The Netherlands (Their first). All others were examples of taking good advantage of very poor play. We gave them more than they gave us. Shame, but on the day our team, while threatening much more, was far more generous, and that was the difference.

If I'm honest, I felt the support was pretty decent. Possibly not as wholehearted as the ECL final, but we made the more noise I believe. Much as I'm a fan of Southgate's approach, I feel his decisions probably let us down on the day. Nevertheless, I'm very happy to continue to support him going forward. I feel he's a manager that learns and progresses. This one was a learning occasion :-(

ExCrowlandRDnowLA said...

Good post, I also think Gareth should have played the ECL guys.

And, as we now seem to be moving into an “end of term” feeling on the blog, I’d like to add my two cents and retract a sentiment I put out earlier on the team management. First, congrats to Jimmy G2 for the excellent service, second – kudos all round to the lads for best season since the halcyon Danny Blanchflower days, despite all the challenges of lack of transfers, playing away from home, the Stadium delays and being ravaged by injuries.

The England match yesterday, was a bit reminiscent of the ECL final, in terms of subpar performances but being an England supporter is just like being a Spurs supporter – you have to develop a thick skin. Who would have guessed we’d be sunk in the ECL by a bogus penalty and Liverpool’s subsequent parking of the bus? The overall trend is upwards. And the only modification I’d make to the Churchililan quote is to change the word “perhaps” to DEFINATELY … but it is definitely the end of the beginning. So onwards and upwards we’ve got lots more to look forward to.

My retraction relates to my inference (in an earlier post) that Daniel Levy was on an ego trip that has impeded our progress. I’ve finally come to my senses and done a 180 degrees on that. I’d rather not have it any other way – other teams are discouraged from tapping up our players (although it still happens) and we rarely get taken for a ride.

Now all I have to look forward to for the next few months is irritating biased anti-Spurs punditry from the likes of the ESPN shower (Morena, Burley, Nichols et al) and others on this side of the pond. But like I said – you have to develop a thick skin.



JimmyG2 said...

Adriam Bell
MRS jIMMYG2's birthday so missed the game. You are now the Spurs (A)musings official England correspondant.Not a fan of Stones dallies too much on the ball. Like Gareth's attitude but not convinced of his ability at this level.

ExCrowlandRDnowLA
Thanks and generally agree. Will continue to blog as and when but will take time now to refill the ink-pot and sharpen the quill ready for the next stage.

Cheshuntboy said...

I remember reading Jimmy Greaves's 1962 autobiography (he was all of 22 at the time!), 'A Funny Thing Happened on my Way to Spurs', in which he suggested that international football was on its last legs, and clubs competing across borders, CL style, was the future. I wish he'd been right, because England under Southgate are abysmal, with a tiny pool of players to choose from (and I've quite seriously never heard of several people who've been capped in the last couple of years), and a playing style so dull and unimaginative that AVB would be proud of it. Last year's World Cup produced the worst England performances I can remember (whatever the results, all based on penalties or free kicks), and I'd be very happy for the curtain to be brought down on the whole corrupt business (2022 WC in Qatar, anyone?), especially as it would leave Spurs with the permanent record for most players capped by England (although it certainly isn't the source of pride it once was). Just thought you wouldn't want to miss my take on the matter!

JimmyG2 said...

Cheshuntboy.
Well we almost agree for once. I only watch England games for the Spurs players which is why I didn't mind missing the Holland game. But don't tell Mrs JimmyG2.

Adrian Bell (MVP) said...

Corruption in FIFA & UEFA CB? We're not agreeing on something wholeheartedly are we? I'd better check ;-)
Comfortable enough not actually disagreeing but this is a whole new chapter.
I can't even disagree that the football looked pretty pedestrian on the day. I won't go as far as saying I don't like Southgate for manager. I'm not as big a fan as I am of Poch but we do sometimes disagree on the best approach.
Not overly impressed again today, but I always like to consider how it would be if the ref were fair (Sorry Jimmy. Don't mean to carp and moan but today was appalling). So, I try to imagine how we would have seen the game had the penalty been awarded, as obviously it should, and the goal allowed to stand, as obviously it should. I don't believe we'd have been too disappointed with the play. There was enough in there to reflect the dominance throughout the game. One set piece and one goal from open play. Both earned. Frankly, but for the foul on Stering it probably would have been two from open play.
How both incidents were determined by VAR (& the ref after review for the goal) to have been anything but a pen followed by a goal does rather beggar belief. Sterling fell very awkwardly as he was forcefully pushed at a point below his centre of gravity. That's a very dangerous challenge and rightly warrants yellow cards. Well, let's ignore that for now - the ref certainly did.
The disallowed goal was even more bizarre. Dele (I believe) went up for a header and the defender was not in a position to challenge him, having been caught totally wrong-footed. All he could do was to dive into him. Considering contact was made around the lower chest level and the ball was headed high on the forehead, there was no valid challenge even attempted. The defender subsequently fell to the floor and stayed down while the goal was dispatched by Wilson. After VAR the ref actually reviewed the footage. Said footage being as clear as you'll ever want to see. Nevertheless the goal was disallowed. I think I mentioned earlier that the ref was appalling.
We managed to win in the end though.I suspect it would have been considered a dominant victory had it played out the right way. I'm happy enough with that. Pickford was pretty good in goal and scored a great pen too. All the first five pens were put away but JP made what was actually a very good save to clinch third spot.

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