The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Good outcome for a poor team. Poor outcome for a good one.

Don't miss the chance to tour the famous Gdansk Shipyards.
The JimmyG2 Column.
We got there by the ends of our much chewed fingernails, 'finger chewing good' and we don't even have to wait to see if Chelsea beat Arsenal in the FA Cup. We can watch it cheering for Chelsea out of choice not necessity although we avoid the qualifiers if Chelsea win.

We are in Pot 1 and Gdansk in Northern Poland is on the tour itinerary. If Arsenal win the Cup they go into the Group stage and Spurs embark on their journey with a behind closed doors one legged tie on Sept 17th in the 2nd Qualifying round.

The following week, (Sept.24th.) sees the 3rd Qualifying round and a week later (Oct 1st) the play-offs. All the qualifiers are one legged. Even Spurs at their 'Spursiest' should be able to beat one legged opponents but one wonders how on earth they qualified.

If Chelsea win, Spurs go straight into the Group Stages (Oct.22nd.) and Wolves would take our place in the second qualifying round. Got all that?  Come on Chelsea, but I had already decided to give them my support for other reasons.
Arsenal would be out in the cold for another year.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. How does this league outcome rate overall? Well it's a good outcome for a poor team and a poor outcome for a good team. You choose.The only solace is that it's more than we might have hoped for at the restart and credit Mourinho for that.

It's our 11th. consecutive season finishing in the top 6. after managing it only twice in the previous 17 seasons.

The performance against Palace was pretty poor with few players living up to their reputations, Harry (5 goals in the last 3 games) Kane), Moura, again, Lo Celso and back to form Toby excepted. The rest were distinctly and unremarkably average except Sissoko who was dreadful.

But, but, but we're on our way to a tour of Europe's lesser known destinations and under Mourinho have improved in league position and hopes for the future if not in playing style which was exactly what Mourinho was appointed for

He does exactly what it says on the tin. though I hope somebody checked the 'sell by' and the 'best before' dates as well before we get too carried away in our assessments. He'll do for now. Hopefully short term football pain for long term gain.

Well maybe, we haven't opened the tin yet and are unsure what exactly we might find. I don't think he'll stay long enough to get us silverware, he won't get the resources he requires and he has problems with some of the resources he already has.

Dier returned at the expense of the improving Sanchez and did OK. Dele re-appeared but made little impact on the match. Lo Celso who was playing pretty well and was instrumental in Harry's sharp opener, winning the ball and setting him up with a fine pass but was strangely substituted.

 Sissoko's hamstring injury has come too late in the season to require a team re-jig. Since his purple patch a couple of seasons ago he has lost all confidence and competence in the basic skills and plays like a frightened rabbit caught in the headlights.

Aurier got up close and personal with Zaha and prevented him from doing too much damage. Why is Zaha still at Palace? He deserves better, not that we could afford him now. Dier returned from his ban and slotted in nicely enough.

Aurier didn't dare venture too far from Zaha and Davies is too clumsy defensively and too slow going forward to compensate. Sessegnon must be absolutely hopeless in training not to be able to replace him. Winks didn't draw much attention to himself which is probably a positive for him.

So taken all round I am not overly impressed with the 'new normal' Tottenham. We conceded a sloppy goal from a goalmouth mix up from another corner won by Scott Dann who almost scored late on with another header.

They were more inventive than us and had more shots and corners. Overall they gave more than they received .
It was a close run thing in the league and but for Harry Kane we wouldn't have got a sniff at Europe.

Season Review stats.
Some telling stats from SUIYHA on 'Spurs Community' which I redistribute with his permission.

Our worst finish for 6 years and the first time in that period we have failed to reach the last 4 in any competition.

We got 12 points fewer than last year and 59 is our worst since the 2 in eight season and Harry Redknapp's arrival.

The goal difference of +14 is half of last seasons, and our lowest in 5 seasons.

Our goal tally of 61 scored is the lowest likewise in 5 seasons and 47 conceded is the most over the same period.

A mere 8 clean sheets is the lowest in the past 13 years and our 4th lowest in 28 Premiership seasons.

Our Home record of 39 points is the 3rd. best in the League. (Behind Liverpool and City)
but our away record of just 4 wins is less than half the the previous 2 seasons.

Mourinho promises modest improvement, just winning the Europa for now and that will certainly keep most people quiet except the 'Never Joses' obviously.

Next Up
Not quite clear yet but the mists will clear after the Cup Final, but it will definitely be in the Europa.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Premiership Goal of the Season for Son, our third against Burnley, a rare goal by Moussa Sissoko and Harry Kane showing the way. once again.


Anonymous said...

You might think that the whole Restart may be an outlier and therefore reserve judgement. That's just a suggestion, but it is your platform and I'm in a charitable mood. Damning Mourinho with faint praise summarises what you just served up, but I would recommend that middle-aged fans like you are wedded a little too tightly to style over substance. You could say that it is The Tottenham Way, whatever that is.

JimmyG2 said...

Guilty as charged M'lud. And I am knocking on 80 so I accept 'middle-aged' with pleasure.
The Tottenham Way is “The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.”
I'm sure you know this quote from serial winner Danny Blanchflower.

hibberni said...

Disappointed that we ran out of steam once Lo Celso was subbed.
More 2019/20 seasonal stats:
Serge 5th...most tackles
Sonny 5th...most assists
My transfer wish list:
Pierre Hojbjerg
Max Aarons
Erik Lamela
Dele Ali

JimmyG2 said...

Don't agree about you OUT selection but you know that.
That Double 'j' in Hojbjerg is going to catch lots of people out. Bergwijn's only got 1 and that's bad enough

Anonymous said...

That Blanchflower quote should be put away, given a decent burial or a funeral pyre, because it is millstone that has held back Spurs for a very long time. I'm sick of it. It defines the entitlement that runs through the club, whereby we think we don't have to earn wins. What's more pertinent is the Shankly riposte.

Little Boxy Bird said...

I'll bite, what was the Shankly riposte?

JimmyG2 said...

Playing attractive, entertaining, stylish football does not preclude other desirable traits. The double winning team included not only Blanchflower but Dave Mackay the midfield beast we have sought but never quite found ever since.

Little Boxy Bird
Football is not just a matter of life and death.....It's much more important possibly.
Brilliant hyperbole but again doesn't preclude Blanchflower's attitude.

What Mourinho's arrival might give the players is confidence and focus.

Anonymous said...

That wasn't the comment. He called us The Drury Lane Fan Dancers, which was spot on. We hunted glory through cups, which was fine while there wasn't the money there is now. Fans of a certain vintage don't get that bit.

JimmyG2 said...

Thanks. Like the description. Not entirely sure I get your point about money so perhaps that proves your point.

Anonymous said...

Before the premier league, there wasn't the TV money and the European Cup was only open to champions.Our mindset and the mental entitlement has held us back. Shankly's comment is basically the same as Ferguson's, pointing to a profound lack of steel in the club. Pochettino made giant steps in bringing the club forward, but was too wedded to his philosophy when he needed to be more pragmatic. The problem is that a generation of players have played the best football in England, but with nothing to show for it. Now I don't have any issue with that as a fan, because the greatest team that walked the earth was the Brazil 1982 team and they didn't win. I hope that Mourinho can get the team over the line in terms of honours, because I think that Pochettino's unwillingness to bend may have been his undoing for the players.
The point is I want the club to now shake free of that bloody Blanchflower albatross.

Anonymous said...

The embodiment of what is misunderstood from the Blanchflower saying is Ginola. His expulsion from the France team is due to the qualities held in disdain by Shankly. I'm fed up of players like that. What the team needs more than anything is a Dave Mackay, grabbing a game like Brenner was grabbed.

Anonymous said...

Bremner as in Billy, not as how predictive text would have it! Also, Ginola was expelled, as in past tense.

JimmyG2 said...

Appreciate your passion and belief but a team playing good football over time will win things if that's your priority. It's not lack of steel but lack of consistently good football that's let us down.
Liverpool serial winners lately are also currently top of the fair play league. The two things are not mutually exclusive.

Cheshuntboy said...

Certainly agree that there's more than just steel missing from the club's DNA, otherwise we'd surely have experienced real success (trophies!) under Pochettino, whose casual attitude to the football black arts was always evident.
From calling Alli's occasional nastiness 'naughty', Kane, Alli and Lamela's diving a legitimate tactic, and seeming reluctance to condemn the dirtiest performance by one side in the history of the PL (the so-called 'Battle of the Bridge', in which four of Spurs' nine yellows could easily have been reds), Pochettino was clearly not a disciple of 'the Spurs way', but his fans didn't seem to mind (and neither would I if we'd actually won something).
Even with such an un-Corinthian attitude, Pochettino's team fell at all the big hurdles, and couldn't really plead bad luck in any of the finals, semis, or crunch league games, because we didn't turn-up to any of them, offering neither steel nor quality, with the CL Final marking the nadir.
Maybe Mourinho can make the difference, but I don't believe he really understood what he was taking-on, and agree that he probably won't be at Spurs long enough to win anything, which would leave us where we were a year ago: in a mess!

hibberni said...

Well we did reach a CL final and were challenging for a PL title at one point but I'm convinced that what let us down was Pochettino's failure to penalise his favourites for under performance.
He got too close to the players; annual trips to Barcelona & big evening meals out for example.
Now the players have to react to a different 'animal'. I don't believe it's the José of the past but a José that still retains it's claws.
Most of our seasoned players have reacted to the change in management style, a few have not.
I don't expect much movement in the transfer market but I do expect José to continue to build from the back.
That said I don't expect us to continue to concede 70% possession to the opposition;
we're still in a transition period but (I hope) not for all of next season.
Yep, I know the club's beens in transition for the last 30+ years but the new stadium has been designed to generate money outside of football and, but for current circumstances, would be doing so at this moment.
So, we've arrived at a point with which we're all familiar; a new season, a new manager, some new players, hopefully some new arrivals...what's not too like?

JimmyG2 said...

'Transition to greatness' as Trump puts it. Lets hope so. I've never bought into the mental weakness, DNA theory, something in the water supply theory about Spurs. It makes no logical sense. We've had tough players and tough Managers, we've played some good football on and off but it's never quite come together to offset the spending power of other teams.

Little Boxy Bird said...

I agree with this, sadly: Pochettino's team fell at all the big hurdles, and couldn't really plead bad luck in any of the finals, semis, or crunch league games, because we didn't turn-up to any of them, offering neither steel nor quality, with the CL Final marking the nadir."
Thanks, Chester.

JimmyG2 said...

But as Cheshuntboy says `'So, we've arrived at a point with which we're all familiar; a new season, a new manager, some new players, hopefully some new arrivals...what's not too like?' Exciting innit? Proper Tottenham that fella.

hibberni said...

Well, if anyone had any doubts as to the competence of English referees then surely yesterday's FA Cup Final has brought home the depths to which said competence has plummeted..laughable free kicks & yellow cards from Taylor...keep an eye out for the diving antics of Pepe next season!

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