The Blog that's not always wrong.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Window Gazing.

I've just seen the Tottenham fixture list.

There's nothing to complain about.

I suggest you look a little harder Sir.

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The JimmyG2 Column.

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 Fixtures

The fixture list was published earlier today Thursday 16th. June.

There will be 15 weekends before a break on November 12th for the World Cup. Resuming on Boxing Day and then finishing on May 28th. 

Another strange season for breaks and delays and usually the fixture list gives plenty of room for conspiracy theories and speculation.

First Six. Starting August 8th.

Southampton (H): Chelsea (A): Wolves (Home) Nottm Forest (A) West ham (A) Fulham (H)

Last 4 

Crystal Palace (H): Aston Villa (H): Brentford (H) Leeds (A)

All fixtures subject to revision (Covid, TV, weather,) Season ends 28th, May.

Nothing there to frighten watered, fed and safely tethered horses but no doubt plenty of details to bicker over or even discuss.

UEFA Champions League schedule

Sept 6/7 MD 1
Sept 13/14 MD 2
Oct 4/5 MD 3
Oct 11/12 MD 4
Oct 25/26 MD 5
Nov 1/2 MD 6

 OS has a run-down on key fixtures, London derbies, promoted teams etc.

Full list at the end.

 Mauricio Pochettino is to leave Paris St-Germain following talks with the club at the end of last week. Sacked by mutual consent I think they call it.

PSG are still to make a formal announcement but it is understood the former Tottenham manager, 50, will not serve the final year of his contract.

Speculation is rife:

a) who will replace him (Zidane, Mourinho early leaders) b) where he will go (Spain, Eng, Man Utd.) Personally I'm glad he's out of that particular mad-house, At least he's won a trophy.

The OS has a day by day log of who is playing whom, where and when and who did what to whom. Just to pick out Sonny's 100 cap for S. Korea which he celebrated with a goal from a free kick.

 Although his dad says he's not World Class yet. Cheers dad. With Dad's like that...

Troy Parrott helped Republic of Ireland light up the Aviva Stadium in Dublin with a goal and assist in a 3-0 win in the UEFA Nations League against Scotland on Saturday. 

There are plenty of suitors for his services on loan next season. At 20 perhaps his best option

England

It was a night to forget for England and skipper Harry Kane as Hungary ran out 4-0 winners in the UEFA Nations League at Molyneux. England's worst Home defeat since before even I was born. He hit the bar with a header but no cigar. They were booed off but Harry remains very loyal to Southgate. Forgotten it all already.

Shake-ups in the backroom staff. (Neither confirmed yet)

Former Bolton Wanderers defender Gretar Steinsson is reportedly set to be named as performance director at Tottenham Hotspur from Everton where he was head of recruitment and development.

We are also said to be close to appointing former Manchester City coach Simon Davies to a senior academy position.  After 9 years at City he joined Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht and was thought to be joining him at Burnley.

Incoming?

Tottenham have agreed a £25 million (30m with add-ons) fee with Brighton for Mali midfielder Yves Bissouma, (25).  Medical completed and all paperwork in order on Thursday 16th. Champions' League was a crucial factor for him.

Could be announced today but probably not. Video next time.

Tottenham have completed the signing of Josh Keeley  (19) from St Patrick’s Athletic, He arrives in the wake of five goalkeepers being released across various age ranks*. The teenager represents the Republic of Ireland at Under-19 level, 

* Information has reached me from a Spurs Youth Watcher that this may not be accurate. Only 2 out. No details yet. 

More welcome 'Promise'. There will be life after Antonio,  trust me.

Gareth Bale. We still maintain an interest along with Newcastle and Aston Villa in the boy who will want plenty of playing time now that Wales have qualified for the World Cup. Long-shot I would say.

Christian Eriksen.

Says Champions' League not  important to him amid rumours that Man, Utd. have made an offer. Just as well then. Looking more unlikely by the day that he will come to Spurs.

Outgoings

 No firm news on Lo Celso at Villareal. or on Tanguy Ndombele though the feeling is he may be hard to shift even at a heavy loss. His reputation precedes him.

But hey it's only the middle of June. 

Full Fixture list 2022/2023

06/08/202215:00Tottenham v Southampton
13/08/202215:00Chelsea v Tottenham
20/08/202215:00Tottenham v Wolverhampton
27/08/202215:00Nottingham Forest v Tottenham
30/08/202219:45West Ham v Tottenham  
03/09/202215:00Tottenham v Fulham
10/09/202215:00Manchester City v Tottenham
17/09/202215:00Tottenham v Leicester
01/10/202215:00Arsenal v Tottenham
08/10/202215:00Brighton v Tottenham
15/10/202215:00Tottenham v Everton
19/10/202220:00Manchester United v Tottenham
22/10/202215:00Tottenham v Newcastle
29/10/202215:00Bournemouth v Tottenham
05/11/202215:00Tottenham v Liverpool
12/11/202215:00Tottenham v Leeds
26/12/202215:00Brentford v Tottenham
31/12/202215:00Tottenham v Aston Villa
02/01/202315:00Crystal Palace v Tottenham
14/01/202315:00Tottenham v Arsenal
21/01/202315:00Fulham v Tottenham
04/02/202315:00Tottenham v Manchester City
11/02/202315:00Leicester v Tottenham
18/02/202315:00Tottenham v West Ham
25/02/202315:00Tottenham v Chelsea
04/03/202315:00Wolverhampton v Tottenham
11/03/202315:00Tottenham v Nottingham Forest
18/03/202315:00Southampton v Tottenham
01/04/202315:00Everton v Tottenham
08/04/202315:00Tottenham v Brighton
15/04/202315:00Tottenham v Bournemouth
22/04/202315:00Newcastle v Tottenham
25/04/202319:45Tottenham v Manchester United
29/04/202315:00Liverpool v Tottenham
06/05/202315:00Tottenham v Crystal Palace
13/05/202315:00Aston Villa v Tottenham
20/05/202315:00Tottenham v Brentford
28/05/202316:00Leeds v Tottenham   
    

Jimmy's Video Spot

All Spurs goals this season (69)

Premier League Goalscorers; 

Son 23 (shares Golden Boot with Mo Salah)

Kane 17.. Kulusevski 5/ Bergwijn 3

2 Doheryt, Hojbjerg, Moura, Reguilon, Sanchez 

1, Dele, Davies, NDombele, Romero, Emerson


Saturday, 11 June 2022

Window opens. Where are we?

 

 
On the Beach? Not yet for most of the boys.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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So over a week into June and where are we? Time to pause and take stock.

10th. June. The summer transfer window is officially open! Spurs have until 23:00 BST on Thursday, 1 September to add to their squad,

The story so far

 Incoming (or in-staying)

Conte is staying and there is no sign of  Harry Kane going anywhere other than N.17.  Ivan Perišić an experienced, flexible and hard working Croatian has signed.

Fraser Forster is now officially done, on a 2yr deal. Once again experience over promise.

With your permission I include 21 yr.old, highly rated Djed Spence from Middlesborough after a successful loan at Forest who won promotion to the Premier League. 20 million is the fee and is 99.9% done. So what can possibly go wrong.

Just to rebalance the promise/ experience equation, and give Emerson Royal nightmares.

Outgoing. 

From the OS. ''We have reached agreement with Celtic for the permanent transfer of Cameron Carter-Vickers.''

This next  one just about scrapes in as genuine news. The experienced Andy Scoulding is set to leave Rangers, where he is Chief Scout to join Tottenham. It's not clear what role he is to perform at Spurs but it is not as part of the recruitment team.

Berwijn says he wants to move back to Ajax and Moura says he wants to stay. I think Conte will be happy with both of those.

Actual Action.

Harry scored the equaliser in England's draw with Germany in the UEFA Nations League from a penalty which he earned and took advantage of. Another milestone, his 50th for England. His 53rd career penalty goal.

In doing so, he leapfrogged Sir Bobby Charlton's tally of 49 and moved into second place behind Wayne Rooney in the country's all-time goalscoring list.

Rooney scored 53 goals in his 120 caps over 15 years (2003-2018). Harry has reached his half-century in 71 appearances since his debut goal against Lithuania in March, 2015.

Almost as many goals in more or less half the time and half the games.There are no signs that he won't make it.

Spurs have now provided more players and goals for England than any other club. In another record-breaking moment for Harry, that penalty took us clear of Manchester Utd 253 to 252.

Not many people knew that. 

We'll draw a line under the two games in which we lost to Hungary and got a late draw with Germany. 'Not classics' according to the pundits. I only saw the highlights.

3 of our Proud Boys (no, not those Proud Boys), Joe Rodon, Ben Davies and  Gareth Bale got Wales to the World Cup for  the first time in 64 years. (long before they were born) Davies was heroic by all accounts. 

We'll gloss over the fact that it was at the expense of Ukraine who every non-Welshperson in the World was willing to go through.

The rest at the moment is in the swirling mists of rumour, gossip, hearsay, speculation, guesswork and general nonsense, none of which we do at Musings unless it's especially juicy. Obviously.

The OS has a full list of the whereabouts and football activities of the squad during June. Not many lounging on the beach yet.

Plenty more announcements to come I'm guessing in the 10 or so weeks ahead before the Window closes.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

This one's safely in the bag. Ivan Perisic. All 19 goals and assists for Inter 20/21. Meets up with Antonio Conte once more. Harry is going to love playing with this boy. Another shrewd signing.


Saturday, 28 May 2022

Tis The (Pre) Season To Be Merry


 Is it plugged in?

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The JimmyG2 Column.

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Headline news (That's actual news)

Antonio Conte agrees to stay as our Manager after talks on ambitions, targets, backing, a new 'State of the Art office chair and other sundry items with Paratici in Turin.

I think that the 150 million pledge from Joe Lewis and getting into the Champions' League may have influenced his decision, but that's just me.

Incoming. (These are rumours and targets)

Targets include Ivan Perisic, a Croatian, who plays in midfield for the National team and has played across the front line in Italy. He has played for Conte before at Inter and we certainly like Croatians.

 At 33 he's not our usual profile but Conte likes experience rather than promise. He could fill the left hand wing-back role.

A deal is allegedly close, the offer is 5 million over two years. Chelsea were in the frame but Perisic  has opted to rejoin his former Manager in pursuit of honours at Tottenham. Trophies even, 

Alessandro Bestoni is another target from Inter. He plays centre- back for the National team and at 23 is a real prospect. Another out of Conte's contacts but he won't be cheap' even though Inter have a possible replacement in Gleisson Bremer from Torino. 

Spence  (the England Under-21 full-back on loan at Nottingham Forest from Middlesbrough), is another rumoured target and I stress 'rumoured'. A new Kane deal is a priority and the return of Eriksen would be welcome.

Many, many other possibles circling in the Interweb ether but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

And don't forgat Romero (24) 50 million,  and Kulsevski  (22) 30 million, already here but on loans which need completion. 'Cheap at twice the Price' as my Granny used to say. Or was it, ' Cheap at half the price'? I forget.

Fraser Forster (34) is poised to become Tottenham’s first summer signing when his contract runs out at Southampton in a month.

Outgoing

Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Bryan Gil, Steven Bergwijn and Joe Rodon are  thought to be jostling in the door marked 'Exit'  but again curb your enthusiasm. Other youngsters may go out on loan including Shane Scarlett who has just signed a new contract and Alfie Devine. 

I wouldn't be surprised to see Reguilón with one-way ticket back to Madrid.

I'm not so sure about Rodon and Gil, but bet wisely.- No mentions currently of Bale or Moura or Troy Parrott. I wouldn't be surprised to see Doherty, and Emerson listed despite their improvement in the second part of the season. 

Harry Kane Exhibition

Family photos, personal items and sporting memorabilia to go on display at Museum of London  on Saturday 21 May until December 2022, with free entry. 'Wot no Trophies?'

Zeynep Kuşsan, the curator of 'Harry Kane: I Want to Play Football', said: “We wanted to celebrate Harry’s story and document his career but also take the grassroots element of his journey through football and bring it to the exhibition.

Kuşsan said Kane’s story was inspirational: “He’s a local Londoner, born in Leytonstone and raised in Chingford and all through grassroots clubs, there is this message of hope within the exhibition.”

 Pre-Season Matches confirmed. (Actual news)

Our pre-season schedule begins with a tour of Korea, where we will play exhibition matches against Team K League (Wednesday 13 July) and Sevilla (Saturday 16 July) in the Coupang Play Series.

Having returned to the UK, we will then travel north to face Scottish side Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday 23 July.

We go to Israel in pre-season to compete in the I-Tech Cup against Italian side AS Roma. ''Ah Mr. Mourinho, I presume''

The exhibition match will take place on Saturday 30 July at the 30,780-capacity Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa (kick-off TBC) and will conclude our preparations for the 2022/23 season.

 Spursplay. A new service.

 All of these pre-season fixtures will be broadcast live on SPURSPLAY globally, with the exception of the Korean tour matches for those supporters based in Asia.

Sign up by registering your email address on the main site. Updates as to what it means to follow when I find out myself. 

The Crystal ball gazer: Mrs Jimmy says that's just how I looked when we first met. I can see the attraction.Well it was the 60's

Jimmy's Video Spot. 

Lovely Stuff.   All Son's Premiership goal this season and the Golden Boot is in the bag.

Monday, 23 May 2022

Will They Stay Or Will They go?


Cometh the hour.

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The Jimmy G2 Column.

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I think they say that all bad things come to an end. They can be forgiven if not forgotten if the lessons are learned. Spurs end the season on a high.

Whatever could go wrong did not go wrong for the last game of the season at Norwich. A game we had to at least draw for an unlikely Champions' League place next season. Unlikely, at least, when Antonio Conte replaced Nuno Espirito Santo in November.

We were 8th. and struggling. We had lost  5 of our previous 7 games including a pathetic display against Utd. where we went down 3-0. Drawing at Anfield with Liverpool and beating Arsenal at Home were key in the final run-in.

Scoring 5 without conceding was the cherry on the icing on the gâteaux. A touch of overkill perhaps but if you've got it, flaunt it. And currently we've got it.

It was more than a gentle reminder to those that were fearful of us blowing it on the final day of the season that this is the new page in the Tottenham story. So much to applaud, so much to relish, so much to enjoy.

The demise of 'Spursy', if only temporarily, is warmly welcomed.

Son's double after being thwarted twice by Krul  gave him a share with Mo.Salah of the Golden Boot after a fantastic season and without a penalty in his tally. The clean sheet gave Hugo his best shut-out season in the Premiership.

The game plan towards the end was not just to score but to set up Son to score and challenge for the Golden Boot. Kulusevski turned down a virtual open goal to this end and nearly twisted his knee in the process.. In the end Son took matters into his own hand.

So a day to savour but not quite a Trophy whatever Antonio says. But Champions' League qualification today and an actual trophy tomorrow, or perhaps the day after.  We saw a controlled build up and some exhilarating play from midfield and up front.

It is clear that Conte is the key. A time-served genuine high achiever, he has shared not only his enthusiasm and his infectious passion, but imposed his vision and shape upon the whole team. And almost all have benefited.

Now that we have two other goalscorers, Kane has been freed up to drop deeper and utilise his passing skills. as well as scoring 17 goals on his own account. Sanchez replacing the injured Romero has slotted in alongside Dier and Davies.

All 3  have settled into clear playing roles and prospered. Sessegnon replacing the injured Reguilón has benefitted from more playing time. The much maligned Emerson Royal has come good too in a clearly defined role after the unfortunate loss of Doherty who had made good progress under Conte.

Betabcur increasingly takes the weight of midfield link and got two assists this week as he broke forward. His impact has dragged Hojbjerg along too. Kulusevski has been a revelation and is my signing of the Millenium.

A disciplined, strong, hard-working addition with 8 assists and 5 goals on his account in only 18 games. At only 22 he could be a key figure for some years to come. His second goal illustrates his all round ability and strengths.

Under Conte the pattern has been clear and the players have had to buy in or check out after months, if not years, of drift. All the Remainers have benefited individually, and at least 4 have hopefully become Leavers.

Conte, though alone and agitated on the touchline, celebrates with all his coaching staff. Mourinho did not and it was clearly mainly about him. If this loyalty to and from the coach can continue Spurs look set fair to prosper.

His consistent game plan and insistent application of discipline and effort has saved or re-launched the careers of several players. Certainly Davies and Dier, Doherty, Sess, Emerson and Sanchez too. We have overcome injuries and illness to prosper. 

Conte says that '' I was lucky to find this group of players'' What a very nice man. I'm sure it's mutual Mr.C and the luck is mostly ours.

I note that Harry Winks came on for Betancur for 20 miniute and the sky didn't fall. In fact we scored another goal and didn't concede. I think he might stay as Conte trusts him. Add him to the possible Remainer list.

This was another fine all round team performance but I choose Betancur as MOM for his emerging role as key man in midfield although were several contenders for the coveted award. 

Krul gifted us a goal with a careless ball out under pressure which Betancur seized on and quickly fed Kane who headed home. Dier almost put us in trouble with a sloppy clearance but apart from that all was sound and trouble free.

Norwich didn't manage a shot on target from their 9 attempts. We had 19 attempts with 13 on target and 5 goals. A measure of the gulf between us. An ideal final day opponent when so much was riding on the result.

Harry Kane is the only other potential leaver apart from Antonio himself but now that we are in the Champions League they are both almost certain to stay.

Lucas and Bergwijn along with Winks got slightly longer than their usual cameos. and Lucas got a neat assist for Son's first. Despite being 3-0 up on the hour no youth were treated to an appearance and I hope we remedy this next season.

Pleased and proud to be a Spurs supporter today. I would have been proud whatever had happened but it's nice to be pleased as well.

Summer wish list. Eriksen and more opportunities for youngsters. Could save us millions.

Match details.

Goals: Spurs – Kulusevski 16, 64, Kane 32, Son 70, 75.

Yellow cards: Norwich – Byram, Normann, Springett; Spurs - Son.

Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Royal (Bergwijn 73), Bentancur (Winks 73), Hojbjerg, Sessegnon, Kulusevski (Lucas 68), Kane, Son. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Rodon, Craig, White, Devine, Scarlett

Next Up. 

The Beach and Pre-season. (Details and reports  as and when)

Wednesday 13th. July (Kick Off time tbc

We will face Team K League – a selection of the best players from Korea’s professional league – in the first match of our pre-season tour of Korea this summer,

 From the Official Site

 Jimmy's Video Spot

The goals and build up. What else? 5 beauties. I know it was only Norwich but we have been known to fail at key moments. Oh yes we have.


Monday, 16 May 2022

Spurs Fans Wouldn't Want It Any Other way.

 

 

 
Just say 'Thankyou'

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The Jimmy G2 Column

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A soft penalty in the 9th, minute of added time in the first half  took us into the final Champions' League position ahead of Arsenal with our final game next Sunday against Norwich.

Antonio judged it 200% a penalty which is a tribute to his loyalty and enthusiasm if not his mathematical acumen. I would say it was on the mushy side of soft, bordering on the squishy but you just can't argue with VAR.

The law may be an ass in this case but unless we stick to the rules the rest is chaos. But then I would say that wouldn't I. We've all seen them not given.

If Arsenal fail to beat Newcastle tonight it's well and truly down to the wire but it is in any case. The dropped point against Liverpool has left the whole edifice hanging over the precipice.

We will have to play better away to the already relegated Norwich, than we played at home to Burnley still fighting for their Premiership status.

We weren't very good but just good enough. Although the further away from the game the more churlish I feel about being so hyper-critical of the performance. These 4 hour matches will never catch on.

The early kick-off caught the Football Gods off guard and by the time they had finished their after dinner Sunday nap we were home and dry. I'm not sure at what point my watched stopped but it was well into the second half as Burnley came increasingly into the game.

Barnes hit the post with Lloris beaten. Son was denied twice by Pope as the Golden Boots tap-danced before his very eyes. The lively Cornet had drawn an excellent save from Hugo in the first half before we had got a firm grip on the game.

Perhaps the realisation of the possibility, clear to the fans from the start, that we might not win had confirmed our already yawn inducing approach. Carefully does it.

Otherwise nothing much happened. We didn't seem to have the drive to push forward consistently but dug deep into whatever reserves we had to run out winners. A full week's match rest now should see us in a different mood for the final game which we may have to win to qualify for the CL.

As Antonio said :“Don’t forget we played [three] days ago in a tough game against Arsenal, and before that in Anfield against Liverpool, In this kind of game you spend a lot of energy, not only in the physical aspect but in the mental aspect.”

I know I have, but only in the latter. My dissatisfaction with our performance is probably a reflection of my own tension, like the boos that that accompanied the first of the Sess./ Son short corners. 

It reminds me of Danny Blanchflower's reflection that we need to go out and beat the opposition not wait for them (and the crowd) to die of boredom. Patience is not a known fan virtue.

When Lennon came on alongside a 9ft 4'' centre-forward, I had a clear vision of how the draw would evolve: Aaron would skin Davies for old time's sake and Wout Weghorst would climb higher than the Golden Cockerel to score in the last minute with a fine header.

But despite injuries and illness to key players and general end of season exhaustion and lethargy we prevailed. You could say we controlled the game but it was tedious stuff at times and we shredded most of the fans nerves with the slow pace and negative build up.

We continued to dominate, possession (69%), shots (14//7) shots on target(6/1) and corners(5/2)  but only because Burnley allowed us to do so for most of the first half.  They slowly seeped back into the game.

There was some early pressure from Spurs: a Kane header which beat Pope but was cleared; a Moura run and an Emerson shot from distance well saved by Pope, but it faded until the VAR turn-round gave Harry yet another chance. Pope didn't move for this one.  

Joe Rodon appeared for the second time in a week; Moura started ahead of Kulusevski, who was not well enough to start, and caused them problems early in the game. Sanchez in again for the injured Romero was not quite as impressive as last time.

Sessegnon grows with each game and once again squared nicely for  efforts by both Son and Harry Kane and is a candidate for MOM. along with his fellow wing-back Emerson. What a difference a few games make. 

Sonnny took a while to get into the game and Harry was all over the place, but not in a good way, especially his shooting. Betancur needs to improve this aspect of his game. Otherwise everone was OK to good and we got away with it.

Some commentators thought Burnley deserved a point but it was our inability to take our chances and Pop's quality that kept them in the game. Our penalty was out of the blue, but Lloris only had one save to make and a few catches. 

Nobody actually played badly and once again 'team effort' and a 'canny' manager topped the rating charts. So we maintained our 'unlikely' bid for Top Four, spoiled Burnley's attempt to salvage their Premiership status and kept the fans hanging on for another week.

But we wouldn't want it any other way.

Match details.

Goal: Spurs – Kane 45+8 (pen).

Yellow cards: Spurs – Lucas, Lloris, Kulusevski; Burnley – Roberts, Pope.

Attendance: 61,729.

 Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Royal (Rodon 90), Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Sessegnon, Lucas (Kulusevski 79), Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Austin, Craig, White, Winks, Bergwijn, Scarlett.
 

Next Up./ Last Up

Last but certainly not least. The game upon which everything could hang and probably will.

Away to Norwich on Sunday 22nd. May at 4pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

From Spurs TV the extended highlights. Looks more exciting than I remember  especially if you cut out all the passing along the back line. A gritty performance. Covers the penalty incident well.

 

Friday, 13 May 2022

Que Sera Sera,. What Will Be, Will Be.

  The new Zen garden at the training ground is having an effect.

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The JimmyG2 Column.

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 It wasn't until we were 3-0 up with 50 minutes to go that I began to get nervous. In the days running up to the game against Arsenal I had adopted a relaxed, laid back, Zen like demeanour. I even absorbed the news of Romero's hip problem without outward sign of inner turmoil.

I smiled when Cedric gave away a completely unnecessary penalty with a push on Son at a corner (22 mins). I smiled again when Harry sent Ramsdale the wrong way by putting it into the opposite corner than his usual one.

When Holding was sent off before half time (33 mins) for two  deliberate fouls on Son I was impressively impassive and realised that they had targeted Son as part of a destructive game plan 'a la Aston Villa'. They continued to out-foul us to the end.

In the meantime, Sanchez filled in for the injured Romero almost seamlessly; Harry scored another before half time and Son repaid Arsenal's close attention by scoring the 'Home and Dry' third barely 2 minutes into the second half.

Now the worry beads came out. We were going to win and remain in the 2 horse chase for 4th. We couldn't mess this up could we? In the event we coasted, Arsenal were conspicuous by their absence and concentrated on adding  to their yellow card collection.

Xhaka who has an argument with his shaving mirror most mornings was booked well into added time and for the life of me I didn't see why. There were 4 other yellow cards including Holdings double, one for holding if you will.

Moura and Berwijn got a full 20 minute run out but to little effect and even the lesser spotted Welsh centre back  Joe Rodon got 10 minutes in place of  Davies. This was a measure of how assured about the result Conte was. Early subs are not usually his thing.

The appearance of Rodon as back up to Sanchez confirms reports that we have seen the last of Romero until pre-season which is certainly bad news but not as bad as we might have feared after Arsenal.

Son was disgusted at being replaced by Berwijn as he saw it as a deliberate attempt to sabotage his Golden Boot challenge on Salah and he remains a goal behind. Conte had calmed him down by the end.

The Greater Good and all that.

So Arsenal's dubious postponement of the original fixture backfired and before a capacity crowd at fever pitch at times, were blown away with 50 minutes to go. Credit the fans as 12th. man.

Arsenal got together only spasmodically, Nketia tested Lloris just before the break; Davies blocked a Saka shot and Hugo held a shot from  Odengaard. Arteta said a great game had been spoiled, and I agree.

But it was your indisciplined defence that spoilt it, not as he implied, the referee who was either brave or intimidated by the capacity crowd. The penalty was for an offence often ignored by referees.(see Video) We were calm and disciplined and controlled the game completely. 

As Karma teaches us:

Quotes about Love karma (37 quotes)

For a NLD there was minimal excitement and apart from Arsenal's ill-judged attempt to rough things up there was little to remain in the memory, apart from the score. We sustained no further injuries, and the sight of Gabriel nursing a hamstring may be a further cause of Arsenal struggling in the run-in.

Plaudits to Conte and the team for a great all round effort after a nervy first ten minutes. Kane possibly shaded it from Son for MOM but the back line was relaxed, and the wing-backs were almost as good as last time out.

Lloris spilled one early on but recovered, Betancur and Hojbjerg were busily effective and the front 3 were headache inducing from early in the game. But Arsenal auto destructed in some style for which much thanks.

Son shrugged off the attempted assaults on him to tidy up with a goal from close range after Kane was played in by Sanchez. Betancur got the assist from a Son corner as Harry risked life and limb to head in at the base of the far post.

Kulusevsky first contribution, cutting inside onto his favoured left foot and crossing, caused havoc at the back post and led to the penalty. Son set up by Sessegnon fluffed his chance to go level with Salah and Emerson should have scored with a header from a fine ball by Kane which was well saved by Ramsdale. But 3 was more than enough.

Kane added to his reputation as the King of the Lane and of the NLD; Romero was hardly missed as Dier stepped up which augers well for the run-in. The team will be on a high for next week's fixtures.

Arsenal's game against Newcastle on Monday is probably critical. But now I'm really worried as neither Burnley nor Norwich will be as out of sorts as Arsenal. And Arsenal cannot be as ineffectual as they were against us.

I need to recapture the stone-faced Dier look and generate the same calm as he does. But he doesn't have to just sit and watch as we do.

(The title of this piece comes from an Italian ballad introduced into England by Doris Day in the Hitchcock film 'The man who knew too much'  in 1956) About the same time as Italian 'bum freezer' jackets with narrow lapels and winkle pickers arrived. Antonio will know.

Match details.

Goals: Spurs – Kane 22 (pen), 37, Son 47.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Davies; Arsenal Holding, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Xhaka.

Red card: Arsenal - Holding.

Attendance: 62,027.

 Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Sanchez, Dier, Davies (Rodon 82), Royal, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Sessegnon, Kulusevski (Lucas 72) Son (Bergwijn 72), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Craig, White, Winks, Devine, Scarlett.

Next Up. Our 2 remaining  fixtures.

Premier League.

 Home to Burnley this Sunday 15th May at 12.pm.

Away to Norwich on the following Sunday 22nd May at 4pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 

The goals and the fouls.

Arsenal's claim that Holding's block on Son was legitimate is nonsense. Neither player was within yards of the ball. Whether it was an elbow or a shoulder is irrelevant. It was Holding's 4th. foul on our boy in the first half hour.


Sunday, 8 May 2022

Best Not To Make a Fuss

 

 
To sleep, perchance to dream.

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The JimmyG2 Column.

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Best not to make too much fuss over the Liverpool result or people will think we weren't expecting to win. Liverpool concede few goals at Anfield and we almost scored two. A battling, rearguard action draw at Anfield which did neither team any good was the late night feature on Saturday.

 It leaves us in exactly the same position as if we had lost. But reputation, stature, honour and character are all. We still have to beat Arsenal on Thursday and better their other results, assuming they beat Leeds on Sunday afternoon.

(2 up in under ten minutes and with Leeds down to ten men in under the first half hour I was not holding my breath. Eventually they won 2-1 unconvincingly) At home on Thursday in the right frame of mind we should overcome. Time to Dream.

 Spurs supporters  can be well pleased with the performance and the successful enactment of Conte's cunning plan to relinquish territory and possession (63/ 37%). It was deployed by Tottenham with commendable application to defend as if our CL `place was at stake and then hit them on the break.   

We were under the leadership of  the formidable Romero who asks and gives no quarter and clearly inspires his fellow defenders by example. Lloris in fact was little troubled and most incoming was blocked, one way or another.

Ironically we could and perhaps should have won it at the end when Hojbjerg declined an offer from a Winks' cross to head us into pole position in the Champions' league chase but chose to head the ball back across the goal in the vague direction of Harry Kane.

Liverpool pressed vigorously from the start but were profligate with their shooting, 22 shots with only 3 on target. We managed the same tally with only 5 shots all game.Their goal by Diaz was in fact a heavily deflected attempt from outside the area. 

Liverpool drop precious few points at Anfield and did so here for the first time since October in a draw with that pesky Tottenham Hotspur who have now come through their four league meetings with Liverpool and Manchester City undefeated this season. 

But best not to make a fuss as theoretically we are in it, whatever it is, to win it or at least come 4th.  The game plan suited both sides and so it played out from the start. Van Dijk hit the bar from a corner and Hojbjerg hit the post with Alison struggling.

Otherwise, apart from the goals, goalmouth action was limited. Eventually Kane whose touch at first was erratic, controlled a high ball out of defence by Emerson, fed Sess on the wing who immediately squared the ball to Son for a tap-in to put us ahead. Time to Dream,

This was Son's 20th. goal of the season for the very first time and with Salah goaless he crept ever closer to the leader for the Golden boot. His previous best was 17 goals and he is having a wonderful season.

He had taken time to get into the game but did it in style and in the best way. Betancur had been careless with his passing and our ball out of defence was somewhat random increasing the pressure as Liverpool flooded forward.

We survived the initial Sunami and diverted the floodwaters into safer channels. Apart from the back 3 a word or three must be said about our much maligned wing- backs. Both Sess and Emerson had their best games for Spurs

With Reguilon injured and Doherty out for the rest of the season both stepped up at a crucial moment and were involved in the build-up for Son's opener. The assist will do Sess. the world of good for the upcoming NLD. Time to Dream.

The point gained at Anfield guarantees us 5th. and there is so much disappointment which augers well for the rest of the season. We have started to dream. Conte has organised and prepared Spurs well for the big games. Now for the little ones which count as well unfortunately.

Match details:

Goals: Spurs – Son 56; Liverpool – Diaz 74.

Yellow cards: Liverpool – Tsimikas, Fabinho, Keita; Spurs – Davies, Sessegnon.

 

Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Romero, Dier, Davies, Royal, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Sessegnon (Sanchez 78), Kulusevski (Winks 85), Son (Bergwijn 90+1), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Rodon, Craig, White, Lucas, Scarlett.

Next Up.

Premier League. This Thursday  12th. May Home to Arsenal at 7.45pm.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Brief highlights. Moral victory to us but still worth only1 point. Our goal was beautifully worked, theirs was a deflected goal that wasn't even going in. Own goal by the luckless Betancur then.

 The boys did very well and it gives us hope for the future under Antonio Conte hopefully who sounds more than pleased. Time to Dream.