The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Spotlight and pressure on Toby again.

 No sign of them here.
The JimmyG2 Column.
We made the journey down to South Wales under tricky weather and road conditions only to find on arrival that Swansea hadn't bothered to turn up. They made only fleeting appearances for a few minutes at the start of each half.

Eriksen and Lamela quickly took stock of the situation and decided to finish it off early but FA rules insist that the whole 90 minutes must be completed even when only one team is playing.

With no Lloris, Dele, Wanyama, Dembele, Kane or Alderweireld, who was on the bench, in the starting eleven and everybody's favourite scapegoat Sissoko in full kit at kick off you might say we offered them a sporting chance.

But they have relegation fish to fry and declined the offer. Clamors for our strongest eleven to demonstrate our intention to 'win something' this year other than hearts and minds were ignored by Mauricio and the naysayers were offered a hostage to fortune.

In the event his tactical assessment was confirmed, Alderweireld was ignored and Sissoko played well enough to frustrate his critics. Some made him MOM but that was extending charity a step too far.

His strength was showcased and his technical limitations obscured. He saw plenty of the ball and took up some good positions. His best performance by some way for Spurs and Mauricio's continuing trust was duly repaid.

However Eriksen stole the show, running the game and scoring two fine goals aided and abetted by Lamela who fired home with his other foot from the edge of the area and also assisted Eriksen's opener.

Chelsea missed more than trick when they had Christian on trial in his teens and decided he was not for them. More like the contents of the Magic Circle store cupboard than a trick but we're not complaining.

 (As reported in The Guardian. Like us they are not always wrong)

Jan marshaled the back line with his customary solidity, and the rest of the defence were sound if uninspiring. In the event sound was all they had to be. Sanchez had a couple of iffy moments but a decent all round team performance.

Dier could have been on the score-sheet twice and Vorm made an excellent and important double save when the tie was still in the balance. Moura was lively but a little head down and he's probably better on the right.

So on to the semi's against Manchester United. We have been allocated the away dressing room as they came out of the hat first which clearly negates the home advantage protests. Whatever happened to the Wembley hoodoo.

In fact this is most unfair on the boys to be allocated the away dressing room on their own home ground on a technicality and should we lose this would be grounds for lodging an objection. But we won't so no harm done.

Our 'Musings' on the spot reporter informs us that the away dressing room does not have named, individually wrapped soap and the communal bath is only supplied with giant bottles of shampoo and conditioner to share.

This is certainly not enough to distract a fully focused, more balanced, deeper squad. Step away from the Jumbo Shower Gel Dispenser Dele, your gonna hurt someone with that.

Toby was on the bench but didn't play. Some took this as a good sign; others as a  bad one. He has the possibility of a couple of games for Belgium during the break so there was no need to to risk him.

Conspiracy theorists think that this was a form of humiliation by Mauricio and shows that he is leaving us in the Summer. Probably the same ones that concluded that Rose was off in January.

Seemed to me like a good sign of increasing fitness. The attractions of playing for Spurs may not include silly money but the prospects of playing for a club on the rise with a stable management cannot be over-emphasised.

United and Chelsea are both unsettled clubs at the moment and likely to lose key players and their managers at the end of the season. Stick with us Toby you know it makes sense or go abroad and we'll get the silly money to re-invest.

Jimmy's Video spot.
Toby Alderweireld:
'Lest we forget'. Several minutes of quality. Skill, vision, anticipation and staying on your feet.
'Ultimate' is a stretch but he is pretty damn good.

I hope he stays if only to assist the development of Sanchez, Foyth, and Cameron Carter-Vickers who could return to the squad for next season after a loan spell at Ipswich.

But he is 29 and we still have Jan. My preference is to keep him if possible.

Contract talks seem to have stalled but with all that extra Stadium and TV income there must be some flexibility in the system Shirley.


Little Boxy Bird said...

There is no easy answer to the Toby imbroglio. He wants Virgil money and the bald midget won't play. He defends Uncle Joe's billions with the tenacity of a pitbull. I would like to see a more balanced approach than Levy's "profit first, team second" blueprint, but am not holding my breath. End result will be Toby and Rose out ... but will it also be Dele and the Dane? That is a doomsday scenario.

c b waters said...

Rose didn't contribute much last season, or for most of this (owing to injury and moaning), while Toby hasn't contributed much this season (again owing to injury and digging his heels in over signing a new contract). Both have been wonderful players for us, as was Walker, and I'd love to have all three, at their 2016/17 peak, playing for us right now .. but Toby and Rosie have soiled their reputations as well as their own sense of purpose with our club. If they had taken their 'I'm worth more' stance from a position of strength and recent contributions to the cause ..instead of long term injury and distracted whining ..then I'd be praying for Levy to accommodate them at the Kane/Lloris level, with a view to all our best players getting more than £100k pw as we enter our new stadium and look to compete with the world's best clubs. But right now, I couldn't care less if Toby and Rosie went, especially if we could get around £100m for them both. It's because I believe in Poch and the players we've got now, and the players he can develop and/or purchase through Levy. Toby, Walker and Rose became better and more high profile players under Poch's a pity they never recognised that fact in their pursuit of more gold.

hiano said...

With Champions League qualification, higher revenue from Wembley and our new stadium, tv rights, sponsorships, etc, etc, I don't see why we can't afford to raise (aye, even double) our wage ceiling. Harry (Kane, that is) should be getting 200k if we want to keep him and Hugo, Jan, Eriksen, Mousa and (yes) Toby should be in the 150k bracket. Sonny and Dele shouldn't be too far behind (125k?). The success we will continue to enjoy by retaining these players will adequately pay for our new stadium. We should think far.

JimmyG2 said...

Thanks all.
The reasonably expressed but contradictory views illustrate the problem.
Firstly let me say that I believe that money is ruining the game now and will continue to do so. Top wages are an embarrassing disgrace.
But as we progress further into the ranks of the elite which we are doing we will come increasingly face to face with the problem. I start from the position that players should pay Tottenham for the privilege of playing but that boat has sunk already.
I admire the way we are developing the squad and creating club loyalty even if it is for the wrong scrooge-like reasonson Levy's part
We already have world class players arguably being underpaid and credit Mauricio to an extent with fostering that spirit and loyalty.
But it probably can't last much longer.
Pay them or let them go and re-invest the money. It creates instability but it may be the only way.
Not quite the selling club of old but
something approaching.
A difficult discussion because with the alleged bonuses we don't really know what our players are earning and how they fit into the global wage structure.

hiano said...

You're right, JimmyG2, that we have differing views. Although, probably like you, I've seen the days of Greavsie & Co, I still feel we need to move on with the times rather than moan about how the times have moved. The new stadium is the clearest indication that we want to be with the Man Us and Man Cities of the the footballing world. We cannot do this without paying Man U and Man C wages or at least try to come close to paying them. "The game is about glory" - we see and hear this every time we attend a home game. How are we going to achieve glory in this day and age without splashing out some money? Do we keep producing thoroughbreds for other people's stables? What message will that send? Especially to probably the best trainer we've had since Bill Nick?

JimmyG2 said...

We have done very well with our alternative strategy but crunch time is acoming I fear.
perhaps winning the cup will keep the wolves from the door for another season.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say but Toby is gone. Poch is fiercely loyal to his players but once you cross him your're done. Just ask Walker or Townsend

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