The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Investigations Under Way

 

 Surely they mean HARRoY of the Rovers.

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The JimmyG2 Column.

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Amazingly its still too early to say whether José will deliver on the promise implicit by his appointment of trophies and success. The options for a trophy have slowly dwindled down to the Carabao Cup Final where we meet City this month. A runners-up medal definitely won't cut it in the Trophy stakes.

Success as defined by Champions' League participation is still theoretically on although declining the opportunity to go fourth after Chelsea were thumped by West Brom. is a set back. Newcastle, whose manager is almost as unpopular as ours, again proving our nemesis.

The appearance together of Rodon and Sanchez as our youthful centre half pairing gave cheer to many, except for the Sanchez part of the equation but both require experienced wet-nursing at the moment. With Dier out of favour, Davies injured and Toby recovering from 3 games in a week Jose had limited choices.

Tanganga fluffed the audition at full back and Reguilón looked unfit and barely ready to return. Jose selected Ndombele as this weeks scapegoat although apart from HK he usually looks the man most likely to. One or two incisive passes proved his point.

Letting Newcastle score first was a doubtful tactic although Harry scored twice to put us in the driving seat. But the equaliser  always seemed imminent and they had 22 shots with only 41% possession to our 11. 

Fittingly for the  sub text of the story Joe Willock an Arsenal loanee scored in the 85th. minute but seasoned Spurs fans had written that script in their heads long before. With 8 games to go the denouement has not been finalised but the early rough drafts are not hopeful.

I have been rejecting for years the argument that there is something in the Tottenham Hotspur DNA which affects all Spurs players over the last generation and robs them of the mental strength necessary to win a trophy. Something 'Spursy' about Spurs.

But I am coming round though there are still some other avenues to explore. Firstly, that there is a debilitating agent in the Tottenham High Road water supply which eventually saps the clubs will to achieve and ambitions. This explains the sudden deterioration in José after years of success.

Secondly that there is a cursed ingredient. in the special fertiliser mix used by the groundsman at the Stadium and the training ground. Both these theories are being examined by the relevant authorities and I will report back later when the investigations are complete.

'Leave it with us JimmyG We'll be in touch' I was assured by a very helpful man at the Tottenham and Enfield Water Board.

In the meantime all is not lost as our run-in is easier than most although I have said this before and the game against  Newcastle hovering on the very edge of the R zone was to be the start of our push for the top four.'The best laid plans of Mice and Men' and all that.

Lloris stood firm behind a flaky back four making one wonderful double save from Dwight Gayle though he had little chance with  either goal. Rodon was certainly the pick at the back but hasn't the experience to both carry Sanchez and fulfil his own commitments. Each of the back four made avoidable errors.

This was only Newcastle's second win in 19 Premier league games and Spurs expectations were high at the start but hopes were dashed by the end. We conceded an even later equaliser in the first fixture at home. That one could definitely  be the water supply or the fertiliser.

Harry was everywhere as usual scoring twice and hitting the post after heading clear from a corner and legging it to the other end of the pitch.. His first was a defensive error but the second was a fine strike assisted by Ndombele.

He seemed to take Newcastle's opener personally, a fine cross-field ball by Longstaff to an unmarked Joelinton who has only scored once in the Premiership all season, against Spùrs wouldn't you know) but you already know how that one goes. He beat Hugo at the near post on the half hour.

He had already been offered a sight at goal by Sanchez with a careless header but blazed it straight at Lloris. Hugo had already made a fine double save from Dwight Gayle who should have scored. The writing was on the wall but until the last five minutes the 'moving finger having writ moved on'.

What on earth we will do without our Harry if as ever increasingly rumoured he departs for Trophville I have no idea. He leads both the Premiership goals and the assists and is having his best season since  since 2017/8with 8 games to come.

We have failed to win six Premier league games when winning at half time and have dropped 15 points from leading positions, 4 of them against Newcastle and 11 of them in the last ten minutes. We lead the Premiership field in all these categories.

Generally speaking the players took the rap from José and in particular Tanguy Ndombele, not for the first time and  had been economical with la Verité about players availability and fitness on occasions recently. (Toby for example)

Son came on for Vinicius for the second half but was clearly not up to speed. Lamela arrived on the hour to replace Moura but was wasteful. Bale came on just in time to blaze a free kick over the bar before the final whistle. I had to laugh at the level of expectation. 

At least it stopped Harry from trying to batter his way through yet another wall. Someone should tell him.

There were moments of good football, Hojbjerg probed tidily and Lo Celso and Ndombele had some good moments in midfield, Reguilón got forward to cross well in the second half but we were increasingly the more passive side and Newcastle looked to get the ball forward more quickly.

Lo Celso made a welcome return but didn't affect things too much. Hojbjerg, Danish player of the season, was solid again but individuals made mistakes as José said and individuals did good things without the semblance of a co-ordinated team effort for most of the time.

We were careless bordering on sloppy  out of defence and lethargic and lacking urgency overall. Vinicius lacks a bit of quality but allowing Harry to do his Roy of the Rovers act, the here and everywhere man, and still scoring goals seemed to be working up to half time.

On Monday night Everton stumbled to a draw but West Ham without Rice for the next month held their nerve to fight off a rearguard action by Wolves. 4th place is a dog fight between 3 London teams (Chelsea us and West Ham) and  Liverpool and Everton.

These are desperate times which might get worse. We face Utd who came from behind to win against Brighton next Sunday. That's the way to do it Mr. Mourinho. It's still neither fun to watch nor effective. The worst of all possible worlds.

We won't know until the Cup Final whether the trophy pledge has been fulfilled and until the end of the season for any evaluation of success. Don't expect José to be  going anywhere before then. If there had been crowds of fans in this season he would almost certainly have been long gone.

Guns and Roses: And a heads up for those tired of football, and therefore life presumably, as Samuel Johnson nearly said  the 'Guns and Roses' postponed concerts are back on for next year. Something to look forward to.1st. and 2nd of July 2022.

Next Up. Premier League:Manchester United at Home on Sunday 11th. April at 4.30 pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

José's Press Conference, much more intriguing than the game. Strong defensive showing by the Manager and the introduction of the concept of 'instability'. Not quite sure what he means. 'Mistakes?'.

The first goal was a direct result of failures to clear by Tanganga and Sanchez. The second was a real mess and Willock more alert than we were.


Monday, 22 March 2021

The End of the World Postponed

 

 Can you come back in 3 weeks time?

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The JimmyG2 column.

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Tottenham fans will be relieved to hear that the widely predicted End of The World has been postponed following last minute emergency measures put in place by the Special One and approved by shadowy 'eminence gris' DL

These measures consisted of the inclusion of hitherto forgotten or misplaced team members, Vinicius, Tanganga and Rodon, and the exclusion of disruptive selfish dressing room elements, possibly Winks, Dele and Dier and their agents  with the help of the Press.

Always look down the back of the sofa before embarking on expensive replacements. There could be several Academy lads down there too. Scarlett and Devine were on the bench on Sunday as a warning to those who think themselves irreplaceable.

Along with playing on the front foot, closing down and not sitting on slender leads but rather in true Spurs traditional style José has bowed to the inevitable and given tradition and the players their head. The return of Lo Celso will help and we are awaiting the return of Son.

But the skies have cleared and the Future is Bright after the 2-0 win away to Aston Villa at the end of a disastrous week in the Premier League and the Europa. So those were not earthquakes, tsunamis or apocalyptic visions we saw but Spurs fans celebratory fireworks.

In truth  a slowly sinking Villa with a  Grealish shaped hole where the creativity department used to be should be were ideal opponents to put smiles back on our faces. They even donated a totally gratuitous penalty to the cause which was thrashed in by HK.

They have only scored 3 goals in their last six games with one win whilst Grealish has been away and are currently propping up the top half of the table. So in our 48th.game, more than any club in all 5 European senior leagues we found just a little more belief to see us through.

Whether this will last beyond the break remains to be seen. Both of our goals were the result of errors by The Villa defence and neither side seriously troubled the opposition keepers.

The first goal on half hour was courtesy of a poor ball out by the usually reliable Martinez which Moura seized on. He exchanged passes with Kane to set up Vinicius for a Combined Brazilian Allstars tap in for his first Premiership goal.

His explosion of joy, or anger at his exclusion thus far revealed his pent up emotion. Yes all the hard work had been done for him, and Lo Celso was there to score if he had gone AWOL but he had made the ground and was waiting.

The experiment of Harry dropping deeper and allowing Vinicius to front the line might well continue especially if Dele is now 'persona non grata'. Harry can do the creative link up as well as anyone. Villa didn't have a shot on or off target in the first half.

The back line settled in and Rodon was quietly effective. This was our 5th. centre-back combination of the season so far. Alderwiereld and Aurier were both ill so they can be omitted from the 'dissidents' group for the time being, until the smoke clears.

Winks and Doherty weren't in the squad and Bale, Dele and Dier were unused subs. Moura was very lively and more effective than usual. Davies replaced Reguilón on the hour following a foot injury, Lamela was suspended and Sissoka made his usual late. mopping up appearance on 80 minutes.

With no pressure apart from the Carabao Final to distract us we can  concentrate on qualifying for top four with this  'Friends of José' core squad. We are amazingly still within touching distance of Champions' League in this Covid disrupted season.

We are 6th, three (edit) points behind Chelsea and a point behind West Ham who suffered an embarrassing collapse against Arsenal from 3-0 up to draw 3-3. Tell us about it, we share your pain though this was an ideal result for us. My money is still on 5th.

As José said it's all very well performing well after such humiliation and shock but can they do it every week until the end of the season.Which reminds me of an apocryphal Jermaine Jenas story. Stop me if I've told you this before.

JJ played a blinder. A hat-trick;  left foot, right foot and a diving header. At 3-2 he replaced the injured keeper and in extra time saved a penalty. Later in the pub a group of typical Spurs fans discussed the game.

''Yon JJ played very well''.

His old gnarled companion sucked his teeth and said.

''Aye but can he do it every week.'' Think on't José we're a hard lot to please.

Villa had the ball as much as us but not quite in dangerous areas and when they shots were frequently blocked or passed harmlessly wide. Mourinho put our success down to attitude rather than tactics but I think that is a bit of a stretch.

This renewed zeal and refined game plan is hopefully not just one-off and can be maintained throughout  the run-in. José certainly expects no less (see video) But the End of The World has been temporarily postponed and not cancelled. Hang on to your hats.


Next Up.

Premier League: Away to Newcastle on Sunday 4th. April at 2.05 pm.

 

Jimmy's Video Spot.

What went on off the field was probably more interesting and important than what  went on on the field. José talks a lot of hogwash some of the time but this was more than just self justification.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Just Hanging By A Thread.

 
Mr Levy will see you all now.

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The Jimmy G2 Column.

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 I don't think it will be anywhere near strong enough. Oh you mean Spurs hopes for saving their season, sorry. If it depends on beating City in the final of the Carabao or even winning a few of the ten remaining games in the Premiership then its a very thin thread indeed.

What a week and there's still Villa with a rested and restored Jack Grealish to come at Villa Park on Sunday to possibly compound our woes. I expect you multi seasoned fans can remember weeks as bad if not worse.

The wheels came off spectacularly in deepest Croatia and we are  marooned, propped up on bricks in the Capital with no clear route back to hope and glory as we were promised on the appointment of the Special One.

Usually losing to Arsenal is sufficient in itself to plunge us into despair but humiliation in the Europa and the end to yet another of our hopes to enter the portals of Trophy Heaven was a cross one too many to bear.. We are fast running out of options in this respect.

Players or Manager? More than little of chicken and egg.  Captain Hugo says players and hints at dark dealings behind the scenes but keepers inhabit their own little world and are not so much exposed to the vagaries of new Managers or old ones for that matter.

José waxed lyrical in praise of Dinamo and not a little philosophical about our shortcomings. but it definitely wasn't him so I leave you to draw your own conclusions. He was positively Churchillian on the qualities of the opposition.

''They left sweat, energy, blood (on the beaches). In the end they left even tears of happiness. Very humble and committed. I have to praise them''.

''We on the other hand didn't bring to the game not only the basics of football but the basics of life, respect to our jobs and to give everything''.

Dinamo Zagreb lost their Manager Zoran Mamic between the two legs sent to prison for fraud. You can see my line of thought here. Well it worked wonders for them and these are desperate times.

Mislav Orsic hat-trick (see video) was worthy of winning any game let alone a recovery from 2-0 down in the first leg on a  dark, cold Thursday night in Croatia. Two fine strikes and the culmination of a skilfully worked team goal to which we could find no reply.
 
Harry might have saved the whole show in the closing period with a hat-trick of his own but Livakovic decided to have an inspired half hour as keepers sometimes do and thwarted him at every turn.
Sanchez was lost without Toby and confused by the return of Dier. The Winks, Sissoko pivot in midfield is seldom effective and Lucas Moura was in eyes closed, head down mode. The substitutes Bale and Ndombele had very little impact but Reguilón and especially Lo Celso gave us some hope.
 
The ruse of Hojbjerg getting a yellow in the first leg to rule him out for the second but make him available for the next round backfired and it serves everybody right. he was sorely missed on Thursday. What happened to 'take it one game at a time?
 
But as at Arsenal it was all too little, too late. A single goal would have sent us through but we didn't set about scoring one until the match was almost over. Was it them pesky players disobeying orders yet again or had they got that attitude from the Manager? We didn't deserve it either way.
 
It's all well above my pay grade. Am I angry? Just a little. Am I sad and disappointed.'Yeah definitely' as Harry himself might say. Will I get over it and live to blog another day. Absolutely. So I'll see you next week. 'God willing' as my old Mum used to say.
 
Irony of the week: Eric Dier has been recalled to the England squad.

Next Up
Premier League: away to Aston Villa on Sunday 21st. March at 7.30 pm. 
Europa..Oh sorry. it would have been Villareal if you're still interested.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Credit paid where credit due. Orsic is only 28 and valued at under 10 million so when Vinny goes back I expect to see the Croatian signed forthwith. We have a good history with Croatians.

Several defenders available for all the goals but generally just fannying around and watching in admiration. As well they might. José says he warned them about him so it's obviously not down to him.
 
 

Monday, 15 March 2021

Mourinho and Spurs. The Big Bang

 

José, the Unstoppable Force meets Spurs the Immoveable Object.

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The JimmyG2 Column.

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José the Master Tactician is simply too clever for me. This was all counter intuitive stuff. Play your most attacking formation and then double bluff them by not bothering to press even though they have proved vulnerable at the back to a high press.

Ignore the overload down the left hand flank, with Tierney and Smith-Rowe and play your weakest defender against them with no protection from Bale. All very predictable but clearly with some underlying game plan at work which never clearly emerged.

A game that had everything except the desired result. A 'Rabona' to put us ahead ahead; a deflected Premiership first for Odegaard for the equaliser; a contentious penalty for the Arsenal winner; Smith-Rowe and Cedric struck the woodwork as Harry did later when we finally woke up.

An early worrying hamstring injury to Son; a second yellow for 'Rabona' hero Lamela; a good performance by Sanchez until he conceded the penalty; a poor performances by Ndombele  and Bale who were both substituted around the hour mark.

This was a personal triumph for Arteta who dropped his captain and most potent threat for a disciplinary offence (late match arrival) and was rewarded by a good team performance and a win in the NLD. It was our opportunity to make up ground on Chelsea, Everton (and West Ham) and we flunked it.

On the back of five wins achieved by playing on the front foot we chose a team to continue the pattern and then didn't bother. Arsenal deserved the win and faced with a chance to breathe down the necks on the teams above us we failed to apply the recent winning formula.

The injury to Son was a self inflicted wound. He has been looking jaded for weeks. Well he'll get a well earned rest now and Harry and Hojbjerg may well go the same way unless we spread the load more evenly. It's a squad game these days

Vinicius, Dele, Tanganga, Berwijn, Rodon and others have been criminally under-used, all sacrificed on the altar of Mourinho's ego. The usually financially cautious Daniel Levy placed a huge bet on a short priced favourite and lost and the only beneficiary is laughing all the way to the bank.

When an unstoppable force like Mourinho meets the immoveable object which is Spurs then the outcome is always  unpredictable but is rarely satisfactory to all parties and in this case to none. JimmyG2's BIG BANG theory.

The Lamela 'Rabona' will hopefully outlive the memory of his silly second yellow and surprisingly his first ever red but he and Lucas were  two of the few that stood up to be counted. Arsenal were not that good but we compounded their advantage by not pressing and ignoring what threats they posed.

Sanchez and Toby did well until Sanchez reckless tackle on Lacazette for a danger that had passed. Reguilón made the effort and Lloris was blameless for a deflected goal and a penalty. Bale and Ndombele should have been off at half-time if not sooner.

Doherty is taking plenty of unfair stick for the overload down his side but he was not responsible for the team selection or the tactics. He frequently had two or three players to mark with no protection at all. There were multiple solutions to this problem.

Harry, who else, almost salvaged some pride and a point with a well struck late free kick which hit the post and Sanchez goal-bound follow up was headed clear by Gabriel. But we didn't deserve it after a lame performance and Managerial ineptitude.

This result may revive Arsenal's season and sink our own but it is no more than we deserve. It may also revive Arteta's faltering career but he was bold before the game and effective during it. A game to forget if we ever can.

If things pan out badly after this I am prepared to take a step back and for us to rebuild with a younger progressive Manager. Pay off Mourinho and re-invest. Exciting times ahead once José goes. An expensive quick-fix that looks like coming  unstuck.

And some good news: Skipp, Sessegnon andTanganga  all called up for the England squad for the European Under-21 Championship group stages. 'Look to the future now, its only just begun'. (Slade)

Next Up:

Europa League: Away to Dinamo Zagreb next Thursday 18th. March at 7.55 pm.

Premier League:Away to Aston Villa on Sunday 21st. March at 7.30 pm.

Then time to reflect during the International break.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 

Lamela's goal (who needs a right foot) and sending off. Bale's only contribution  (the assist for the assist for the assist)  the Toby deflected goal and the penalty.

Friday, 12 March 2021

What Harry Kane Did.

 

Next!
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The JimmyG2 Column.

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We've got one foot in the......last 8 of the Europa which should give us enough leverage in the away leg.(Sorry) Why they switched our fixture I'll never know. There ain't no people so what does it matter. Rules is rules mate more than my jobsworth to apply any common sense.

Harry saw us through with a well taken goal in each half. I don't think he was MOM because he did no more than we expect. Two goals is par from HK and no assists either. The boy is getting slack. Where would be without him? Deep in trouble that's where.

I'm in a reasonably jocund frame of mind because it's all going exceedingly well. Five consecutive wins equals our best run under José and with Arsenal on the chopping block on Sunday things could be even better. (Editor: Don't jinx it Jimmy. I've warned you before.)

What has Harry Kane ever done for us? Well he has scored more goals over several seasons than anyone else.

Yes but apart from more goals? Well he supplies more assists too.

Yes but apart from more goals and assists? Well he drops deep and acts as a playmaker.

Yes but apart from goals and assists and playmaking? Well he regularly defends from corners and free kicks.

Yes but apart from goals, assists, playmaking and defending? Well he is our talisman and inspiration.

Yes but apart from goals , assists, playmaking and defending, being a talisman and an inspiration? He's one of our own.

Well why didn't you say that in the first place?

And as José says everyone wants to play on Sunday and Harry won't let little things (like injuries) stand in his way. What are the rules about playing on crutches I wonder.

As for the game against Dinamo Zagreb it was a bit of a let-down. They had a very early chance following a loose pass by Ndombele but it was tamely hit by Olsic and the moment passed. Another opportunity fizzled out similarly later and that was it.

Lamela was outstanding in the first half hitting the post after a determined run which set up the first goal for HK. For the second Harry seized on a defensive error to nutmeg the defender and score in the corner of the goal. But what has Harry... Oh sorry we've done that.

Sanchez played well after a run of games but the defence was not under real pressure.  Aurier took the opportunity to make advances down the right. Dier survived his re-introduction without alarms. Davies made an excellent clearance at the back post.

Son looked again in need of a rest if not a damn good holiday. But then don't we all. The clean sheet was vital in the home leg and an early goal next week will present them with a veritable Everest to climb.

Ndombele was denied a clear penalty as Dinamo got increasingly exasperated with his trickery. Eventually their game plan became 'If you can't beat 'em, hack 'em' and they committed fouls increasingly clocking up 20 in total.

Tanguy succumbed eventually to repeated kicks and Harry went off with a sore knee following some rough treatment. His ice pack was precautionary I hope. We should probably have scored more Vinicios and Bergwijn had chances but two should be plenty.

Dele started but wasn't over-impressive. Bale came on and was lively but made little impact. A pack of substitutions arrived just after the hour (Bergwijn, Lucas and Bale) but only HK's second goal from an Aurier cross was forthcoming.

Hojbjerg came on for the sole purpose of getting a yellow card in order to miss the away leg now that the tie was more or less safe rather than miss out on the next round. I hope it all goes to plan.A cynical ploy in my view but not surprising under José

So another front foot attacking display against opponents who may have an impressive record in Croatia (21 times Champions) but like cheap wine it doesn't travel well. They have a reputation for counter-attacking football but  they had little opportunity as we dominated the game.

The combination of our current reputation, our glorious History, Bale Kane and Son, José Mourinho, the best Stadium in the World and the fact that they have never won in England was enough to plant the seed of doubt in their minds from the start.

We've had a series of weaker opponents in the Premier League and the Europa so this attacking philosophy may be just a temporary tactic but against a team in 10th. next up, it should go on a little longer. In any case it was a good way to celebrate Dan Levy's 20 years.

Next Up.

Premier League: Away to Arsenal this Sunday 14th. March at 4.30pm.-

Europa league: Last 16 second leg. Away to Dinamo Zagreb next Thursday at 7.55 pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Shout out for 'our Erik' currently injury free  who has been playing well. Nothing more recent than this from last April but highlights his ability to run with the ball and sometimes to make a telling pass. My preferred  choice above Moura and Bergwijn and might start on Sunday. Oh well perhaps not.

 

Monday, 8 March 2021

Spurs Foot Back On The Pedal.

Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more. George S. Patton
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/george-s-patton-quotes

  Sport is War by other means.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Colonel George S. Patton gave the half time talk in the match against Crystal Palace, which is impressive as he died after a very successful military career in 1945. But he was certainly there in spirit  after we conceded a last minute goal before half time to go in all square at 1-1.

How dare they!This was the worst thing that Palace could do and we punished them for their presumption with George's words ringing in our ears:  ' Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.'.

Now there's reams of stuff about attack and defence in life and war and by implication football. from the early proverb 'Attack is the best form of defence' to the more sophisticated Sun Tzu (no relation to our own S.Korean warrior) who addresses the matter frequently.

'As long as you attack them, they cannot find the time to attack you.' which was true of the Palace game in the second half. In fact they had few shots after scoring and none on target. Colonel George agrees 'In case of doubt, attack'

José came round to it eventually unless the boys just ignored him in the second half. ' “Attack is the secret of defence; defence is the planning of an attack.”After all there is little point in assembling the best attack in the World and a flaky defence and not playing to their strengths and weaknesses.

And so the boys were given carte blanch to pulverise Palace after Sun Tzu won the furious half time argument.(Sun not Son) Kane was magnificent assisting Bale twice in the first half and then scoring twice himself in the second.

A rare double not achieved at Spurs since Jurgen Klinsmann against Wimbledon over 20 years ago.

Son set up HK for his second which just survived the ordeal by VAR.(Son not Sun) VAR was invented by Sun Tzu as a back-up when water torture proved ineffective. 

Harry and Son Heung-min thus became the leading scoring combination ever in a season with 14 goals.overtaking Shearer and Sutton (13). Lampard and Drogba's all time record is next in their sights. (36 goals)

Lucas running like the wind caught Milovojevic on the ball as Palace tried to play out to release HK and he swiftly set up Gareth for his first. Milovojevic made amends by crossing for Benteke's equalising header as we stopped pressing and relaxed when ahead.

José was persuaded by the combined forces of the attack squad to give the boys their head and we basically ran riot for the second half. Doherty will claim an assist for HK's first though all he did was pass to Harry for a 20yd.curler into the corner.

Reguilón made the left flank his own. Sanchez and Toby were sound though they both went missing for the goal and were not under sustained pressure. Hojbjerg and Winks kept the midfield clear of mines tidily. Hugo completed the Le Monde' crossword without interruption in the second half.

Lamela arrived with 20 minutes to go and set about his business as usual. Zaha got the whole of the second half and was entertaining but had little support. We should have signed him years  ago. He's imbued with the spirit of Spurs Arsenal fan though he may be.

Dele was saved for Thursday, Vinicius stretched his legs for ten minutes and Sissoko was gainfully employed for 20 minutes enforcing the midfield. All in all a well managed second half romp.

Our third consecutive Premiership win and if we can keep our heads when all about us others are losing theirs, even City, we might just make Top Four. Up to 6th. above Liverpool and West Ham and 5 points off Chelsea in 4th. who are going strongbut we have a game in hand.

Everton one point ahead are our next objective a point ahead and same games played. Our goal difference might help in the final accounts. I'm still predicting 5th. and I'm not always wrong.

Daniel Levy: clocks up 20 years as Spurs CEO, Article here. (BB.(https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/56300543) Done a good job in every way except perhaps renewing the team at crucial moments but it is hard from the outside to pin the blame.

Goals Galore: 100 up this season. Only Bayern Munich are ahead with106

Premier League – 46
UEFA Europa League (qualifiers and competition proper) – 35
FA Cup – 13
Carabao Cup – 6

From the Official Site which has more records achieved and more threatened though we've played more matches than anybody else.

Harry Kane has been directly involved in 40 goals in 36 games this season in all competitions (24 goals and 16 assists) the most in the Premier League.

Next Up:

Europa League. Home to Dynamo Zagreb this Thursday 11th. March at 8pm. (Fixture reversed, don't ask)

Premier League: Away to Arsenal on Sunday 14th. March at 4.30pm. 

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Four delightful unselfish team goals with Kane, Bale, Son and Moura in the spotlight. Delightful chip by Lamela at the heart of Kane's second. Head tennis for Bale's brave second. Harry's first an outrageous first time effort. First goal a credit to Moura's persistence.


Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more. George S. Patton
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/george-s-patton-quotes

Friday, 5 March 2021

Wake Up Call for Dream Team

 

 
 'You lucky people' was the comedian Tommy Trinder's catch phrase.

He was Fulham Chairmen for 15 years from 1959 to 1976.

I think we can guess what he would have said after Thursday's game.


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The JimmyG2 Column.

The dream team started against Fulham, well the front 6 anyway, and ended up heading for a nightmare. Burnley was the Old Spurs: Fulham was the new Spurs, untidy, disjointed, second best to a side fighting relegation but we won and all is forgiven no doubt.

BASK is the latest acronym for Bale, Alli,Son and Kane and that's fine as long as it doesn't deteriorate into GASH,(Gareth, Alli, Son and Harry). It won't I'm sure but they could have done better on this occasion. Bale was hardly mentioned in the reports

We resisted Fulham's early pressure and settled to some decent football largely involving Dele, Son and HK. Bale was curiously distant from the game. Dele scored, turning in a return pass from Son after some good build up play. It was eventually awarded as an own goal by Tocsin Adarabioyo.

Son set up Harry for a clear headed chance which he fluffed then Dele set up Son for a far post header which he misplaced. Harry had another chance created by Lamela later but the keeper  Areola saved bravely. And that was about it. Own goal and 1-0 up.

Fulham continued to dominate Anderson and Reed were the standout players and Lookman was a dangerous presence.They eventually equalised after a poor clearance by Sanchez, Josh Maja finding the corner of the net with a shot on the turn on 64 minutes. This was disallowed for a 'handball' in the build up. (See video) Spurs breathed again somewhat fortunately.

The rule is a nonsense and has been amended from June 1st* That doesn't help Fulham in their attempt to avoid relegation however. The fact that we suffered similar injustice when Dier was penalised against Newcastle and Moura against Sheffield Utd. is a non argument..

Three wrong decisions does not make any single one of them right.

So three wins in a week; 9 goals scored and three clean sheets. Our first back to back wins since November and 1 point off Liverpool and 5 off Top Four with a game in hand against all those above us except Everton and West Ham.

It could be much worse after our recent run but nobody is consistent apart from City. Chelsea are looking ominous under Touchel, all the rest have stumbled apart from Liverpool who have plunged headlong into a deep pit.

We withstood the Fulham pressure but only just and it might have been less if we had attempted to pass the ball out of the penalty area rather than hoofing it constantly to no-one in particular. As the game went on our passing and team play got progressively worse.

By the end we were hanging on and in my view were fortunate to take the 3 points. Lloris made a fine save from an Anderson header and Fulham were very wasteful on the chances that fell their way. A draw would not have been unfair result.

Pundits and Press seemed to think we played well. We did in short bursts but not well enough for long enough. But we won so who cares. I do because if we are to fulfil our promise under Mourinho we need to play better for longer. We almost capitulated on Sunday dropping deeper and clearing the ball aimlessly.

As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said of the little girl 'When we were good we were very very good but when we were bad we were horrid' (From an old Nursery Rhyme).

Dele and Bale were subbed on 67 minutes and Ndombele who had struggled to get into the game just after. Sissoko came on to stiffen the defence and Moura and Lamela. Erik was bright, Lucas was not and Moussa was Moussa.

The second string-full back pairing (Doherty and Davies) are nowhere near as effective as the first string (Aurier and Reguilón))as you would expect. Sanchez is panicky under pressure and was fortunate to get away with his hasty clearance.

Next Up:

Premier League. Home to Crystal Palace this Sunday 7th. March at 7:15.

Europa Quarter Finals: Home to Dynamo Zagreb on Thursday 11th. March at 8pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Fulham's disallowed goal.* IFAB have clarified the distinction between deliberate and accidental handball amongst changes to come in from June 1st. We'll see if it helps.

Internation Football Association Board: ‘accidental’ handball by an attacking player (or team-mate) is only penalised if it occurs ‘immediately’ before a goal or clear goal-scoring opportunity.

More work for Pundits, Bloggers and probably Lawyers..
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