The Blog that's not always wrong.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Turn Up for Tottenham.


Europa Conference League trophy.
That's the Trophy if we win it
 as well as entry into the Europa League the following season.
The JimmyG2 Column.
Now there's a proper turn-up. Spurs actually turned-up when it mattered launching themselves into Europe and wrecking Arsenal's and Leicester's  world domination hopes at a stroke. An unfortunate side effect was to cement  Chelsea into the same Top Four as last year.

But you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs so, so be it. This is perhaps Tottenham's new role; barely hanging on by our finger-tips to European Glory ourselves but wrecking the dreams of others as we go. 

Many Spurs fans bemoan our involvement in this new Europa Conference competition but apart from such entitled snobbery there are no down sides to our participation. I am sure the new Manager will agree. It's a  chance to come to grips with the wider squad as part of his pre-season planning.

And a chance to blood some youth and youngsters as part of his 'getting to know you' routines before the competition proper even starts. Trophies are not my agenda but it's yet another one we can fail to hold aloft but the experience could be invaluable.

Anyway the die is cast and we will see what happens. At least the final game of a distraught season gave us just a little hope to take us through the close season. The game hinged late on when Schmeichel under duress from Sanchez at a corner punched the ball into his own net for the second equaliser.

They needed to win and lost their shape an ideal situation for Bale to snatch a couple of goals in what is probably his farewell game. Harry Kane  had scored the first equaliser with a sharp finish which won him the Golden Boot for the 3rd. time ahead of Salah.

He assisted the first Bale goal with minutes to go which ensured him of the Playmaker of the Season award too. Will we ever produce his like again? Good luck HK. whichever part of Manchester you end up in, though staying at Spurs is an option too despite a Gentleman's Agreement. Is Daniel Levy a gentleman I wonder?

Leicester had gone ahead twice with penalties earned/bought and scored by Vardy. The first following carelessness by Toby who tripped him and the second when he grappled with Sanchez but who exactly initiated the grappling is open to question.

But we didn't sulk or retire to our tents and played more on the front foot. Doherty who had a good game and Reguilón got forward  and Winks, I have to tell you played well. About time you might say but he has it in him despite rumours to the contrary. 

Dele started his 5th consecutive game but didn't have the impact I hoped. Son was a little more in evidence. Bale can be world class when he is in the mood. Sanchez like Aurier, always has a mistake in him. 

Several players may have played their last game for Spurs: Bale, Kane, Son, Dele, Toby, Vinicius, Dier and Sissoko amongst them. This is the perennial Bonfire of the Dead Wood which is often deemed  imminent but which never quite catches fire.. The new Manager will obviously want a say.

Ryan Mason. A word on Ryan. He should never have been tasked with this role given his personal involvement with several of the squad and he won't continue. He did well under the circumstances,.

He mastered 'Manager- speak' capably but some of his decisions were inevitably naive and unsuccessful. Nevertheless he deserves credit for stepping in at a fraught moment in the club's history.and behaving with calm and dignity. He clearly has the makings but needs to gain experience elsewhere.

But this was at least a  more positive note on which to end a dreadful season.

Your Guide to the Europa Conference League:  It's a very tangled undergrowth but I will attempt to clear a path. It's on Thursdays and runs throughout the season.

We enter in the Play-offs round (there are 3 qualifying rounds prior to this but we leap over them.)  The draw for this round will be on the 2nd August after the qualifying teams have been sorted.

It will be a two legged affair on the 19th. and 26th. August a week after the Premier league begins on the weekend of the 14th August. 

The group stages begin on the 16th. September.

The eight group winners automatically go through to the last 16. Additional knockout round play-offs will then be played before the round of 16 between the eight group runners-up and the third-ranked teams of the Europa League groups.  

The knockout play-offs begin on Feb 17th/24th,  

 The first round of 16 is on March 10th/17th.

The final is on May 25th in Albania at the Tirana National Stadium (Capacity 21.690)

 Book early to avoid disappointment.

This means if we reached the Europa Conference League final, we will play an additional 15 games, or 17 games if we finish second in our group.

Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France all get one team, while Scotland, Portugal, Netherlands, Russia and Belgium get two.(184 teams in all at the start)

Among the teams already qualified are Vitesse, Basel, AEK Athens, Rubin Kazan, BATE Borisov and Rosenborg. and Tottenham Hotspur. There are plenty more teams which you've never heard of and which are difficult to pronounce. but we're in it so let's win it.

(With thanks to Col_M from Spurs Community)

 Website if you want to check the fine detail for yourself:

End of Season Awards.

Best Player. Harry Kane

Most disappointing player. Tanguy Ndombele.

Big hopes for next year: Oliver Skipp/ Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy

Big hope for the future: Joe Rodon

Most exciting newcomer: Serge Reguilón. (One or two blips to iron out before next season)

Servant that did his best and didn't let us down but seems to have reached the end of the line. Toby Alderweireld. (if he stays could have a big effect on the youngsters.)

 Looking ahead. 

I think someone dropped the Crystal Ball. Your guess is as good as mine, probably better. The new Manager is key to setting a new agenda and on incomers and out goers. Whatever happens I am up for a re-build, it's time once again and I hope it focusses on youth and some of our own, they go the extra mile.

Silliest Rumour of the week.

Mauricio Pochettino to return to Spurs ahead of the 21/22 Season. (Daily Express and others)

 Next Up Nothing on Spurs website for friendlies or pre-season yet.

Jimmy's Video Spot.

Twice behind we gained  control as Leicester faltered. Even conceding two penalties, one at least doubtful, didn't faze us. Schmeichel untypically let one through his legs and conceded an own goal for another.

Bale went on the rampage to clinch the game. Too little too late for this season but let's take comfort and inspiration. where we can.


Sealy1946 said...

Well said JG2. And thank you for your assiduity and insight all season. As ever, you were not always wrong!

I don't know if we will be hearing from you before August but if not, have a good summer and we will see what next year brings.


JimmyG2 said...

I'll be back to welcome the new Manager and to look at pre-season.
I'm aiming to be even more 'not always wrong' this year than ever before. Stay safe

Unknown said...

Thanks for another season of insight and gentle humour, Jimmy. I'll be back for more, but probably from behind the couch with whitened knuckles. Enjoy the summer break -- cheers from the sunburnt country.

Ashley Collie said...

As the French say, Plus ca change...and Sealy, I never knew assiduity (not assiduousness) was a word, good one, although being the journalist I am, I did double-check. PS The more they stay the same. But we'll always have Dele's overhead, Lamela's rabona, Bale's hattrick, Harry and Sonny on song early on, and all the faux pas, of which there were many! Happy Summer, lads! Thanks for the craic or hwyl!

JimmyG2 said...

You're all very welcome.
Seems to be a growing crowd behind the sofa.
You realise that if we win the Europa Conference that it won't count.
Plenty of 'hwyl' but not so much 'craic' at Spurs these days.
More likely to be Potter than Pochettino I fear but whatever, bring it on. More grist to the Musings mill.

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