The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Spurs Welcome Break

 Lift-off. We have Lift-off.

.

The JimmyG2 Column.

.

 I did suggest that the return leg against Wolfsberger, like the first leg, would provide us with at least some temporary cheer. For how long and how much remains to be seen. It didn't help lift us for the West Ham game and it may not give us the lift needed for the Burnley game and beyond.

Few of tonight's starters will start on Sunday . A routine win against a team of Championship level at the very best is ill preparation even for our next three Premier League Games against teams in the bottom half of the table (Burnley, Crystal Palace) and another against Fulham who are under relegation pressure

So let's not get carried away but take the positives where we can. Dele started and starred with a spectacular goal, two assists and plenty of graft, all part of a very good night's work. Not quite the old Dele but a passable imitation at least. (See video)

Vinicius grabbed another couple to bring his tally up to nine goals (6 in the Europa and 3 in the FA Cup and 3 assists. Bale got some welcome minutes and set up by Dele scored a beauty: 3 youngsters (Marcel Lavinier, Nile John and Dane Scarlett) got invaluable game time.

Dane Scarlett got an assist for Vinicius 2nd on 83 minutes within 2 minutes of coming on. It made him the first 16 yr. old to assist a Europa League goal since Kylian Mbappe for Monaco under Thomas Touchel against us in 2015. A name to conjure with.

José was more than generous in his assessment of his potential and fulsome in his praise for the return hopefully of the real Dele Anything Giroud can do.... But can he do it on a Sunday afternoon against Burnley? I hope he gets the chance.

He was prominent in the positively Pochettinoesque press, putting out fires before they had even started along with Vinicious and Bergwijn. Hart had virtually nothing to do until the second half when he was forced into a routine  save or two.

The ref got a bit card happy late on but ignored a clear foul by Dier in the box. He was fortunate not to get a red card and concede a penalty. Doherty was uninspiring but got an assist for Dele's classic. Vinicius should have had a hat-trick but under-hit his shot after rounding the keeper and it was cleared.

I though Winks and Sissoko had decent games apart from Moussa's usual miscontrols, but both drove forward to back up the press. This performance was just as good as it needed to be. Lamela and Dele stood out, the defence wasn't really tested.

The centre back pairing against Burnley will be interesting as both Dier and Toby played 90 minutes here. Tanganga and Sanchez probably not as both need a senior partner. Barnes and Wood can be a real problem as Burnley push up the league.

We edged possession but had 18 shots with 8 on target. Pellets (6 shots 3 on target) like most professional clubs at this level had one or two decent and experienced players but their defence was poor against a talented attack and they barely functioned as a cohesive team.

Even in the context of Wolfsberger's  lowly status an 8-1 aggregate is still impressive. We are the first English team to score  4 goals in each leg of a European tie since Newcastle 25yrs ago. Credit to Mourinho we played some attractive football, went on the offensive and the youngsters got more than a mere token minute.

It was a welcome break from the rigours of the Premier League, key players rested, others stepping up but it could be the last one we get this season as games follow with increasing frequency and importance.

 It will obviously get much harder from here and our luck of the draw has reached its end. We are in the last 16 for the first time since 2015/2016 when we were knocked out by that man Tuchel then Manager of Borussia Dortmund.

Winning the Europa looks to be our only route into next years CL and would be two birds with one stone, a trophy and back at the highest level but I wouldn't advise holding your breath.

The draw for the last 16 is this Friday at 12pm GMT. There is no seeding or country protections now. Games will be played on the 11th.and 18th. of March.

And our draw is: Dinamo Zagreb v Tottenham Hotspur . *First leg at Home to avoid the Arsenal clash.. Could have been a lot worse. * To be Confirmed.

Tottenham last met Dinamo Zagreb in the old Uefa Cup on 6 November 2008. It was an easy win for Spurs, who won 4-0 courtesy of a Darren Bent hat-trick and a goal from Tom Huddlestone. (From the Guardian)

Complete draw.

  • Ajax v Young Boys
  • Dynamo Kyiv v Villarreal
  • Roma v Shaktar Donestsk
  • Olympiakos v Arsenal
  • Dinamo Zagreb v Tottenham
  • Manchester United v AC Milan
  • Slavia Prague v Rangers
  • Granada v Molde

Next Up

Premier League. Home to Burnley this Sunday 28th. February at 2pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Any excuse to show off my favourite Spurs player of recent years. Smiling, working hard, that goal and two assists. Love him.Welcome back the real Dele Alli. Poorly edited but the best I could find .Needs another Eriksen to play with but remember him and Harry Kane were a pretty useful combination once.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Crisis? What Crisis? Josés Lord Nelson Moment.

Got it?
.

.The Jimmy G2 Column.

.

The Scene: The end of the last training session before the West Ham match.

José Mourinho addresses the squad.

''Listen up  boys. This is  the game plan for the match against West Ham on Sunday.

We're gonna give them the first half. Play as if you couldn't care less and lull them into a sense of false security. They'll walk straight into our trap like lambs to the slaughter. Just make sure you keep it to to only one goal down.

Take it easy and keep plenty in reserve. It's all about the second half. No Plan B? I'll show them.

Half Time back in the dressing room

Brilliant lads its working a treat. Giving them a goal in the first 5 minutes was brilliant Hugo. Now Lamela, I'm taking you off as you played well. That's bound to confuse them. And Balesy and Doc you're both off form so I'm putting you on straight after half time to distract them.

While Moysey is still working it out we'll have hit them where it hurts..

After the Match.

Unlucky boys, it almost worked. Just one or two little wrinkles to iron out before we try it again. You forgot the Blanchflower ploy: 'Equalise before the other team score'. Never mind, losing 2-1 is not the end of the world just the end of our Top Four hopes.

They don't call me The special One for nothing; its actually 15 million a year. Trophies? I've got loads, so it must be you lot. Anyway as this didn't work against West Ham we'll try something different next week: like playing the second half first.

OK  you can take the tactics board down now the Press have gone.The Mighty Mourinho, no plan B. Pffft!''

*****************************************************************

Even José admits that Top Four is 'difficult' although still mathematically possible after a terrible run but that his tactics are second to none  and he stands by them (See Tactics Board above) Well he would say that wouldn't he. If he doesn't back himself nobody will.

Fortunately Arsenal were playing City otherwise we might be propping up the top half of the table but we remain in 9th. We dominated possession and had 20 shots but only two on target in each half the same as West Ham overasll. As José often preaches, possession isn't everything.

Had we played for the full 90 minutes instead of just the second half we might have done better. Lamela was bright and set up HK for an early chance. Bale came on for the second half and gave us a reminder of his former glory particularly a rising left foot  drive that clipped the bar.

He assisted the Moura near post headed goal and looked fit enough to play a bigger part  for the rest of the season. Dele too arrived for the last 15 minutes and took up some good positions but was flimsy on the ball. Doherty came on at half time with Bale but again failed to impress.

Son was largely ineffective again; Harry was surprisingly wasteful; Dier is not the man he used to be but perhaps he never was; Reguilón was a little wild but he can at least cross the ball.; Tanguy isn't as effective so far back; Vinicius might have helped when we were chasing a goal. 

West Ham scored within 5 minutes of each half and defended resolutely. We did not. José says we have problems that he can't resolve but 'we are not in crisis'. His Lord Nelson moment; putting the telescope to the wrong eye. 

Our 5th defeat in the Premier League in six games. If it looks like a crisis, sounds like a crisis, it's a crisis José. But remember he's still beating Moyesy 15 victories to one. Let's keep a sense of proportion.

He was sacked from Chelsea when they lost their 9th. league game. One to go José, one to go. It was a miserable way to celebrate your half century of Spurs games but as Donald J Trump memorably remarked as Coronavirus deaths soared. 'It's under control: it is what it is'.

Newspaper reports of José's sacking after the weekend are like reports of Mark Twain's death, 'greatly exaggerated'. I think he will survive until the end of the season, the fat lady hasn't gargled or cleared her throat ye and then the fun begins.

He is certainly safe until after the Carabao Cup Final at the end of April and by then it will probably be too late wherever we are in the league.

When it eventually happens I would prefer a long term rebuild under a bright young manager, Potter say, or a big explosive Vesuvian eruption with somebody like Bielsa. At least it would be fun while it lasted. We need a Director of Football for continuity and a clear-out of the famed 'dead wood'

Harry, Son and Dele might leave if we don't achieve anything this year and Lloris, Toby and Dier are fast approaching their sell-by date. One of Moura, Bergwijn or Lamela could  profitably go.

Now not all in one window you understand.We have the Stadium, the Training ground. our Tradition History and Reputation and now we need a team worthy of the same.

 9 points off Top Four even with a game in hand over all the top six is dispiriting even with '3 'easier' games against Burnley, Fulham and Crystal Palace to come next and a possible spirit raiser against Wolfsberger in midweek.

 But I wouldn't bet on Spurs to deliver anything at the moment. Now if Amazon did football teams.

Next Up.

Europa league: Home to Wolfsberger on Wednesday 24th February at 5pm.

Premier League: Home to Burnley on Sunday 24th. February at 2pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Just for you José a medley of Portuguese folk music for when chatting to Dier in your native tongue loses its charms. Probably the only reason he's in the team these days.

 I am reliable informed that this is a very good example. And don't forget Spurs fans:

Um homem sem paciência é como uma lâmpada sem azeite: as they say in Portugal:' A man without patience is a lamp without oil. Should get us through the next few weeks with any luck..

And 'demitido' is a handy Portuguese word to have on standby. It means 'sacked'.

 

 

Friday, 19 February 2021

Spurs Test Positive.

 

 
Spurs and Queen, alive in Budapest.
.
The JimmyG2 Column 
.

The patient is showing signs of life after Dr. Mourinho tried bloodletting and leeches to suck the life- blood from the team. On a convalescent trip to Hungary on Thursday everyone was delighted with the lively performance revealed.

Some parts seemed restored and functioned very well. (Dele Bale and Lloris). Some whose smooth running were being questioned demonstrated their effectiveness (Moura and Vinicius). We're definitely in the recuperation phase.

The good doctor pronounced himself pleased and confirmed that the patient was on its way to a full recovery after recent setbacks. A welcome tonic in anybody's book. Rest cures are out however as we have further tests on Sunday which may reveal more.

We have been placed in the recovery position while further aid is summoned.Enough of this fanciful nonsense Jimmy what actually happened? People don't pay good money for this stuff. (Editor)

So we beat Wolfsberger (Pellets WAC) an Austrian team decamped to the Puskas stadium in Budapest, Hungary for the first leg of the round of 16 tie of the Europa Cup.We won 4-1 although the game was not as clear cut as the scoreline suggests.

We took our chances well and they struck the bar twice after we had conceded a penalty for a clumsy foul by Sissoko. before the hour mark.We went in at half time 3-0 up and after half an hour were cruising. Hugo made two fine.

If he had not then the game might have become a lot more interesting than most fans would have liked. Complications might have set in. Dele and Bale started, Harry Kane stayed at home, Son led the line and the emphasis in the first half was press and attack.

Bale fed by Doherty set up Son who scored with a diving header, anything Harry K. can do, and then scored himself with a Bale classic from his Golden Hits album : chop back inside onto his left and score with a beauty slammed into the corner.

Less than half an hour gone 2-0 up. Pellets WAC took their medicine like men and continued to press. Moura added a third before half time finally ending an enterprising run by putting the ball into the net rather than losing it to an opponent.

3-0 up, just what the doctor ordered. 'Game over' you might think but remember West Ham, I bet they do.We ill-advisedly tried to play out from the back via Sissoko  a poor touch and a penalty conceded. 3-1, Game on. and it could have been worse but for Hugo.

We mislaid the prescription in the second half and needed a repeat from the Doctor. Lamela arrived and gave us a shot in the arm but it wasn't until almost the end that Vinicius delivered the final dose to make it a tie-winning score-line.

'One foot in the next round' as The doctor put it. A positive test but in a good way.

I'm not counting my chickens but this was encouraging, the patient clearly responded to new stimuli and showed signs of coming back to life. A repeat prescription next Wednesday could be on the cards. Before then West Ham will provide a sterner health check.

Next Up.

Premier League: Away to West Ham on Sunday 21st. February at 12pm.

Europa League: Home to Wolfsberger on Wednesday 24th. February at 5pm. (Return Leg round of 16) 

Jimmy's Video Spot.

José post Wolfsberger. Gets his digs in but on the whole sounded pleased. Sort of. Bale might start against West Ham, Hmm, Dele did well, we should have scored more, the ref was biased but.... Looked and sounded a bit rough.  

Monday, 15 February 2021

Bale Hints At Return.

 

Steady Gareth. We're gonna need more than a hint.
.

The JimmyG2 Column.

.

Another day another worrying tale. Manchester City are a very good team made increasingly more than the sum of its parts by  a clear game plan, flexibly applied and ruthlessly executed. We, in all these respects, are not and it showed

Whether they achieve greatness this season in their pursuit of the fourfold path to glory remains to be seen.We can frustrate them in one of the legs in this journey but there are few indicators on yesterday's showing that we can or will.

Pep hasn't by any means made silk purses out of sows ears, more like designer handbags from expensive materials. Take John Stones, and at one stage City wished you would. Now a solid important mainstay in the City defence, or Zinchenko or even our once very own Kyle Walker.

All good players but playing now to the best of their potential in a flexible but clearly understood formation. City don't panic, they take their time, they don't give the ball away, they are controlled and controlling. Pep. is a man with a well honed plan.

Of course it might all have been so different: if Harry Kane's free kick had gone in instead of coming back off the post with Ederson beaten. Or if Hojbjerg had been just a little more careful and not conceded another very harsh penalty for the second game running.

When your lucks out you're out of luck. But as Tina Turner once almost sang: ' What's Luck got to do with it? Good teams don't rely on it; strugglers depend on it and we're in that category at the moment.

Overall they beat us on every statistic by some margin: goals, possession, shots, shots on target and corners. In fact we played better than of late in some ways. Tanganga stepped up and played well particularly against Sterling who was to roast Davies constantly when he switched wings. José took notice

We are down to 9th though still strangely within reach of top four. But there are now four teams between us and Liverpool and it only takes one of them find form and go on a run for us to be out of the running fot top four places.

But with Everton losing to Fulham and Utd. drawing at West Brom this strange season continues and another chink of light appears above us. Next week's game at West Ham and the postponed tie against Aston Villa are both crucial with Arsenal just below us.

Dier and Sanchez kept it under control for the most part and committed no major blunders. Sanchez was caught out by a route one Edison clearance for Gundogan's second, turned inside out and slipping at the crucial moment. 

But the whole defence was slipshod in its clearances, ceding possession too often to the City midfield. Our weakest component was Lloris who might have saved all three goals including the penalty. He made one or two competent stops later but by then the die was cast.

It prevented a defeat becoming a rout to the relief of many Spurs supporters. Lamela and Moura made the occasional early foray but usually gave the ball away. Ndombele  too flared occasionally but  City denied him the oxygen of space and there was always another man or three to cut him off.

Harry put himself about but with little support and Son is not playing with his usual exuberance. Bale had a 20 minute cameo with some dazzling footwork and a shot on goal. But can he do it on a rainy Tuesday night in Stoke for 90 minutes?'

Do we even want him to. We could just keep him as a special occasion favourite toy and then wrap him up carefully until the next big occasion. He's never going to recapture his glory days I'm afraid,  but there was just a hint of a return to form.

So not as bad as we feared but not as good as we hoped.  Success is an ever increasingly rewarding virtuous circle. You attract better players who can adapt better to the Manager's game plans which in turn leads to further success and the signing of better players.

We are on the other side of this cycle at the moment not having 'fixed the roof when the sun was shining' under Pochettino. Keeping hold of Kane and Son who are central to Mourinho's counter attacking policy is our first priority which will become increasingly more difficult the longer success eludes us.

We have conceded 8 goals in the last two games, the most Mourinho has conceded in a two game period in the whole of his managerial career and we have lost four of our last five Premiership games. Only Southampton who have lost their last six have fared worse.

City and Gundogan are on a roll. He has scored 11 goals in 12 games and City have taken 41/ 45 points since we last met. Ignore the writing on the wall at your peril but this result was clearly written in the stars as well and we did little to challenge it.

Jose made a point of praising the players ‘commitment, effort and togetherness’ which was a decent effort to find a little bit of comfort and positivity. He took heart from  the first half performance ahead of the Carabao final. He sounds as relieved as I was.

The top half of the table is still very tight with 6 points covering 7 teams outside the top three. So its touch and go for all those aspiring for Premier League honours this season and anything can happen and probably will. Amazingly we are still in it.

At this stage I prefer points on the board than games in hand. West Ham can go 6 points clear of us before our game on Sunday with a win over Sheffield Utd. tonight but we would have a game in hand.

Next Up.

Europa league: Away to Wolfsberger on Thursday 18th. February at 7.55 pm. (At the Puskas Arena  Budapest)

Wolfsberger are also called RZ Pellets WAC for sponsorship reasons.

Premier League: Away to West Ham on Sunday 21st. February at 12.00 noon.

Jimmy's Video Spot

We won't waste too much time on this. Harry's free kick, the City goals and Bale's hint of areturn to form.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Like The Curate's Egg: Good In Parts.

 

 
Right Reverend Host. I'm afraid you've got a bad egg Mr. Jones 
 Timid Curate. Oh no My Lord. Parts of it are excellent. 
.
The JimmyG2 Column.
.
 
The irony of this George du Maurier Cartoon from' Punch' in 1895 is that a bad egg that is good in parts is not good at all. The Curates politeness prevents him having to admit that the egg is rotten to his superior. I feel the same about last night's game against Everton.
 
Amongst all the praise and delight: Cup Classic, maybe; Nine goal thriller certainly, though to me more of a Horror Movie than a Thriller, memorable, unfortunately for years to come, which all hides the uncomfortable truth that we lost and are out of the FA Cup mainly through individual errors.
 
You can't blame the manager for that though his later substitutions when trying to win the game in extra time, Sissoko and Winks, were baffling and it was Winks error that led to the 9th. and final goal.
 
Joe Hart also had played the previous two Cup games but Lloris was chosen ahead of him for this one a decision which rebounded on us. The back line overall was not impressive and I suspect Dier and Rodon will start against City and Aurier too if fit.
 
We scored after 4 minutes and starting with Son, Lamela, Moura and Bergwijn was certainly a clear statement of intent. This was what many Spurs Fans had been calling for including me but with some reservations about Son up front and Moura and Bergwijn starting together.

Anyway what could possibly go wrong. Front foot, early goal, attacking mind-set all undone in seven first half minutes just before half time. Lloris was at fault for the first, parrying a fierce Calvert-Lewin shot into the net. A Richarlison strike across Lloris into the corner put them ahead.
 
An accidental trip by Hojbjerg followed and Gylfi Sigurdson put away the penalty with ease. 3-1 down from a position of dominance before half time. Olson had already made several saves to keep Son, Moura and Lamela at bay and it was Lamela that scored with the last kick of the half.
 
Half time and 3-2 down and a pause for breath to contemplate just how this had happened. It was the usual story of sparkling attack when let off the leash and a porous defence failing to close down, all compounded by individual errors.
 
Sanchez repeated his scoring trick from a Son corner and we were level before the hour. Cue the arrival of Harry Kane and the departure of Calvert-Lewis with a groin strain. The force was now with us but Richarlison lashed a 4th. past Lloris from a narrow angle.
 
Harry duly scored with a diving header from a delightful Son cross and we were all level again with 10 minutes to go to extra time. The coup de grace was administered by Bertrand on as a late substitute allowed to escape by Sanchez who beat Lloris from a narrow angle as Richarlison had done.

Everton saw out the remaining extra time with comparative ease. Gylfi scored the penalty and had three assists to his name and I can't remember now why we let him go. Not good enough I expect.We dominated with 29 shots and 15 corners all of which caused Everton some problems.

This was more' gung ho' than mere positive attacking play but we could easily have been 3 up before they struck back. I expect José was alarmed and will revert to the ultra defensive play-book starting on Saturday against City. In his opinion the best team lost. It happens.
 
We struck first but never quite recovered from their 3 goal blitz and were playing catch-up most of the game.This win will give Everton, our Premier League rivals, a point ahead and a game in hand a boost for the run-in.

The penalty was harsh for an accidental coming together and some of the refereeing decisions were a little random but it was our own errors that had the most effect and we have no-one to blame but ourselves.

It looks as if Dele has finally blown it and Bale mysteriously injured again may be in the last chance saloon when and if he recovers. Winks was awful when he came on  and Vinicius wasn't used until extra time even with Kane not starting.
 
Hojbjerg had a poor game his worst for some time and Ndombele never quite recovered from an early knock by Tom Davies who played well throughout. So another entry in the Spurs Book of Woe and Opportunities Spurned. One cup down and two to go.

A 'Great game for the neutrals' no doubt but I'm not a neutral and nor are you. Disastrous night all round for our  trophy hopes and our reputation and José's too. Nine goals doth not a classic make, it was ours for the taking and we dropped it.
 
Curious fact.
Davison Sanchez only other goal for Spurs came on the same day (10th, February) exactly two years ago. Shame his brace didn't prove to be the winners. 

Next Up.
Premier League: Man.City away on Saturday 13th.February at 5.30 pm.

Europa League: Away to away to Wolfsberger on Thursday 18th. February at 7.55 pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Nine goal thriller indeed. Some good football and basic errors from both sides. Tough watch knowing the result.
 Sigurdsson was brilliant for them and Lamela for us. Son's corners were remarkably consistent and dangerous.
It's football Jim but not as we've come know it.
 
This positivity not happen again any time soon but I hope the frailties of our current defence don't put off José from giving it another go in the near future.

 

Monday, 8 February 2021

Big Sam's Advice to José Mourinho.

 

   'We've got to start winning games and we won't do that

 by keeping on losing'

The Art of football management in a nut-shell.

.The JimmyG2 Column.

. Moment of truth? Not really: turning point in the season? Probably not, but it was our first win in four and cause for a quiet beer if not the popping of champagne corks. We beat West Brom 2-0 at a canter, 'hands down' as they say at Epsom.

If it had been Chelsea, or Liverpool then I would have been at the head of the revels instead of just cheering from the sidelines. West Brom are going down, Big Sam or not. If Spurs hadn't played on the front foot there wouldn't  have been a game at all.

Sam Allardyce analysed West Brom's predicament with masterful acumen. ' We've got to start winning games and we won't do that by keeping on losing'. He wasn't England Manager for nothing, if only briefly.

This was a more attacking and positive performance, and the three points are most welcome. We are still in 8th. after only 3 teams in the top 8 won at the weekend (City, Chelsea and ourselves). We are 4 points off Liverpool in 4th. with a game in hand.

Lamela starting and Ndombele and Hojbjerg in midfield and the sudden return of HK were all most welcome. Harry  set up by a Peirre-Emile through ball scored the first with style and precision Within minutes  Moura released Son after a typical mazy run and he scored the second.

It took us almost an hour to break them down but were patient and apart from a good save by Lloris from a close range header by Diagne they threatened very little although he had two more goals disallowed for offside. Close but no cigar.

Hojbjerg ran the show and I think there must be a notice in the dressing room which states 'All attacks must start with Pierre-Emile'. Aurier was bright and at no stage left the Stadium before the end. Toby and Sanchez started in central defence and  under little pressure did fine.

Kane's finishing was a little rusty in the first half and he might have had a hat-trick. Son was much revived by HK's return and they both scored in the same game for the 6th. time this season. Harry is level on goals with Bobby Smith and only Greavsie is ahead of him in the all time Tottenham scoring list.

City thumped Liverpool at Anfield and are 5 points ahead of Utd. with a game in hand. It looks as if the title is theirs to lose. They might go easy on us in the Carabao final in the circumstances. It's a one off occasion so anything can happen, but probably won't.

The general relief at this routine victory over a very poor side is an indication of how low our expectations have fallen since the start of the season or even since Xmas. Fans are beginning to assess what would constitute success for Mourinho's first season.

A cup, any cup will do and top six and the Europa again would seem to be the minimum requirement. We are still in 3 Cups and the final of the Carabao but against an increasingly formidable City. Our lowly league position is retrievable but requires a rapid upturn in form and hopefully approach.

Gareth Bale seemingly unperturbed on the sidelines had the further ignominy of watching Dane Scarlett (16) Spurs youngest ever Premiership debutant make a token appearance in the 90th. minute. Bale was himself a young hopeful once so good luck to Dane. 

Clearly a character straight out of the Mills and Boon recommended heroes  list. Perhaps his Mum was an avid reader. Never mind Gareth we'll keep a welcome here at Tottenham, we'll keep a welcome down the Lane.

Harry Kane.

Spurs statistics without Harry on the pitch are disturbing. The fact that he was missing for the last two games which we lost is indication enough although level of opposition has to be taken into account. He has reached the 20 goal mark for each of the past 7 seasons.

With Harry over the past 7 seasons our win % is 56: without him it is just 41. Our goals per game drops from 1.9 to 1.2 when he is not playing. Son and Mourinho both agreed on his impact and once again he was risked after injuries to both ankles just two weeks ago.

My heart sank every time he was tackled or fell to the floor but we both survived to face another day. God bless you Harry Kane. 

Next Up.Tough week.

FA Cup 5th. Round: Away to Everton this Wednesday 10th. February  at 8.15.pm.

Premier league: Away to Manchester City on Saturday 13th. February at 5.30.pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Not much in the match highlights frame today, so were over to the José's After Match Press conference-

A more relaxed and almost smiley José. I think he means 'commitment' not 'compromise' but we know where he's coming from. Soft questions and polite respect today and José stays calm but serious.


Friday, 5 February 2021

Spurs Left with Little Choice.

 

 What you are looking at there is the bottom half of the table.

,

The JimmyG2 Column

.  

Top at Xmas, 8th at the beginning of February, time to pull the ripcord on the Mourinho experimental test jump before our Easter present is a trip to the bottom half of the table. Things are not looking up, even if we are so far.

Our 3rd consecutive defeat, for the first time for nearly a decade and Mourinho's first ever back to back home losses.

Chelsea have been in the doldrums too but took the precaution of sacking their Manager 3 games ago and have been rewarded in their subsequent games with 7/9 points and three clean sheets. New manager bounce? We are close to having little choice.

Their appointment of Lampard was based on sentiment, nostalgia and hope. Ours of Mourinho was based on hard nosed ambition, commercial aspirations and promises, but neither choice has worked out well.

But apart from all that Mrs. Lincoln how was the match?

Before the match the short straw competition in the dressing room for this weeks fall guy was won by Dier who hacked at Werner whilst lying on the ground to concede the penalty, his 4th since the restart in June and the only goal of the game. 

Aurier restored to the fold looked on admiringly and had as good a game as any. A low bar admittedly.We ceded them the first half and donated a goal. We played as if we were defending a narrow lead but overlooked the fact that it was Chelsea that had scored.

The second half was better though it could hardly have been worse. Chelsea dominated the game and were quicker to and sharper on the ball. Vinicius could have levelled at the end but headed wide which might mark the beginning of the end for his Spurs career.

It would have been a gross miscarriage of justice if we had shared the points and though Chelsea had 18 shots to our seven both keepers had only one save to make: Lloris from Mount and Mendy from Lamela. Without Kane we and especially Son look  ragged and unfocused.

We have lost four of the five matches we have played without HK. Dier made another serious error apart from the penalty. a pass back to Lloris which was seriously overhit which Hugo headed clear almost into the path of  Mount who had a good game finding space and driving forward.

Mourinho questioned the penalty but Dier had three goes at hacking the ball clear and eventually Werner went over. Jorginho put the ball into the net for his 8th. penalty this season without his usual hop step and jump routine which has failed him three times recently. 

Chelsea lost Thiago Silva early and fortunately lacked any cutting edge or it could all have been much worse. We deserved nothing and got exactly that. 'To dare is to do' but there was neither here. We are neither winning nor being entertained at the moment.

A couple of last ditch tackles, an occasional sortie by Son or Bergwijn, a flash of quality from Ndombele, and a brief lively cameo by Lamela was all we had to offer over 90 minutes and Jose didn't even bother with the third substitute with Bale looking on.

José clearly planning ahead for  the weekend game against West Brom. which pits the Mighty Mourinho against Big Sam. You can't help but fear the worst.

The irony of it all is that Thomas Tuchel was revealed in 2016 when Dortmund played Spurs under Pochettino as a boyhood Spurs fan through the romance of the name Tottenham Hotspur and the German connection with Jurgen Klinsmann.

No worries Thomas we've all been there.Touché Herr Tuchel. Don't look down boys there's all sorts of nasty things down there. It might get worse before it gets better, if it ever does.

Next Up

Premier League: At home to West. Brom. this Sunday 7th. February in the early kick off at 12pm.

FA Cup. Away to Everton next Wednesday 10th. February at 8.pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Highlights and goals. Brief and to the point. Aurier features, and Eric Dier of course but not in a good way in his case.