The Blog that's not always wrong.

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.
 

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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.