The Blog that's not always wrong.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Wheel of Fortune favours Spurs


Turn wheel turn. Our number is coming up.
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The Jimmy G2 column.
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I remember a song from the early 50's by Kay Starr. This was before sex was invented in the 60's and The Beatles put paid to all that sentimental ballad stuff and before Spurs did the Double.

 Oh, wheel of fortune
I'm hoping somehow
If you ever smile on me
Please let it be now.

Amen to that, and the Wheel is taking us closer to the top where we hope it will suffer a breakdown and stick there for several years like several others lately.

Meanwhile as it spins Spurs maintain their progress on all fronts. A great week for club and country and for our International players most of whom will be going to Russia.

Eriksen scored for Denmark again; Harry captained England and like Eriksen on Saturday scored  the winner; Jan was MOM against Bournemouth and became the most capped player for Belgium (97).

Chelsea and Arsenal beaten; Man Utd. and Liverpool drawing; clear in third and Real Madrid and Liverpool to come next week. Happy Days indeed and everything in our own hands. Spin, wheel spin.

We thumped Huddersfield despite only playing for half an hour. We shut up shop at 3-0 and still managed another. Sissoko's first goal; a couple for HK and Davies added another in his bid for the Spurs Golden Boot.

All this with nearly half the team injured or banned and Harry finally running out of steam on Saturday. But this a squad effort. Harry Winks starting for England and Spurs and acquitting himself well if a little cautiously.

New signing Sanchez is more than a little raw but even younger than Winks and only two months older than Dele. Vertonghen is benefiting from the left back golden glow and Dele is steadily improving.

Kevin N'Koudou got a hospital pass late on from Sissoko in a four on one break and drawing the short straw was last seen on his way to    er... the hospital.

At least Dele won't be under the spotlight in Madrid as he's banned for this one. Real are not on top form at the moment but have enough firepower to cause us problems. A draw would do, away from home.

They struggled to beat lowly Getafe on Saturday and only a very late Ronaldo goal saw them through. They have played 8 won 5 drawn 2 and lost 1 so far and are in third place 5 points behind Barcelona.

I fear Isco who is on top form for club and country and is hard to pick up and stop. But they have plenty of firepower and I'd take a draw (4/1 with the bookmakers) right now.

Although as Kay nearly says to the wheel:
If you ever smile on me: 
Please let it be now.
 Let the arrow point at me
 on Tuesday at the Bernabeu.

Nobody could accuse us of playing scintillating or extravagant football yet. It's all a bit ponderous but it's getting the job done in the face of Wembley hoodoos at every level. And Real Madrid should know that our away form is pretty damn good

 A gap is opening between us and the pack. Arsenal,  Liverpool and Chelsea are currently struggling in our wake and we are only one point below our tally from last year. Above us only the Moneybags Manchesters: Turn wheel turn.

With Liverpool and Man.Utd in the Premiership slotted between the away and home fixtures against Real by the beginning of next month we should have a clearer view of where we are heading. Point arrow point.

Best wishes to the boys and all those fans traveling to Madrid. Stay safe.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
The last time we played Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the Champions' League.

Lest we forget. Some of theirs are still there; some of ours have become theirs; None of ours are still with us.

Crouchy only made two tackles in his whole career and was sent off before half-time. Not Gomes finest hour. Both still going strong though





Thursday, 12 October 2017

Danny Lee Rose: The Real Story

 Eh Ma, isn't that our our Danny, Superleftback?
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The Greg Meyer Column.
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October 12 2017 … Spurs Legend Birthday.
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 Daniel Lee Rose  … The Real Story.
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“ A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  

                                                                                      W. Shakespeare  Romeo and Juliet  circa 1596.
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Bill Shakespeare , reputedly a keen football fan , died 401 years ago. His memory lives on and indeed grows ever larger.
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However another synonymous with the aforementioned flower, one Daniel Lee Rose, is in danger of fading from the average football fans memory. Danny Rose last featured for Spurs on January 31 in a drawn game with Sunderland.
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Thereafter a short term knee injury has blossomed into a diagnosis of Mr. Invisible. Conspiracy theories as to his whereabouts, indeed his very existence have circulated with regularity as follows.
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The Abduction by Aliens Theory.
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No concrete proof of this theory has yet to be advanced. But given the nature of the matter highly unlikely your extraterrestrials  are going to leave a calling card, let alone a goodbye note.
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Tottenham Hotspur FC have hardly been an encyclopedia of information as to any news on Danny.
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Mauricio Pochettino’s standard line has been  “He is some weeks away.’ Away but where. Hmm.
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The Lord Lucan Theory.
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Lord Richard John Bingham, Seventh Earl of Lucan, killed the family nanny on November 7 1974 fleeing at real Rose style pace. He has never been seen since.
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A multitude of theories as to his fate include departing for deepest and darkest Africa, accidentally drowning himself and migrating to sunny Australia.
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As to Danny Rose, no nanny at Chez Rose and by all reports an excellent swimmer. As well Barbados is his chosen holiday destination.
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Whilst Danny’s excellent attempt thus far of invisibility has been impressive the Lord Lucan theory much like the suggested drowning does not hold up well.
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The “It’s All About the Money “ Theory.
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True there is that famous, perhaps infamous, interview regards Spurs pay structure needing drastic overhaul. The allied moving to Manchester United mutterings did not go down with one Senor Pochettino. Has Danny burnt his bridges such that reality has stepped in a la Kyle Walker style.
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Fearing his plunge from Mauricio’s favoured “son” to want away mercenary would dampen anyone’s recovery. Let alone a wish to appear in public.
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 Rumours still abound as to his departure in January.
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The Kent Pub Theory.

A knee injury failing to recover the gentle way required surgical intervention. Plenty of time to brood and look on as your teammates play for glory and get second.
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A jet heeled player with the ability to take on and beat the opposition. Not in plentiful supply at Spurs. A former winger who through astute coaching found out how to defend. On his day the premier left full back in the Premier.
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Rumours filtering through with the occasional pic indicate he is running about Hotspur Way.
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A fit and flying Danny Rose takes Spurs a step closer to the Title.
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Cheers … and happy 37th birthday to Ledley Brenton King … Greg Meyer.    coys.
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Editors note. The 'Real' Story is an unfortunate linguistic coincidence.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Just in case you've forgotten. The Joke that Davies is no Danny Rose has worn a bit thin but still has a little more tread to burn.


Spurs Friendly Pub 5 minutes Walk from the Bernabeu.

Spurs friendly Pub within 5 minutes walk of the Bernabeu.

An excellent bar to assemble in before the game and to meet up in later.

My daughter Liz the Manager of the Irish Rover which some of you will already know
extends her usual warm welcome to Spurs fans next week.

Special Football deals:
Excellent Burgers,chips and a pint 10 Euros (Heineken): 10.50 (Guinness)

Bucket of 5 Amstels on ice for 12 Euros.

Heineken is 5euros a pint and Guinness is 5.50 which is not bad for Madrid and this area.

Kitchen will be open until 1am on Match day and the bar until 3or 4am.as usual.

There will be some English speaking staff on duty.

Directions.
Opposite the Stadium across the Castellana. (six lanes: wait for the green lights)
Down the side of the Ministry of Defence.
Over the first traffic lights and the Irish Rover is in the corner of the square on the left,
5 minutes walk max.

Spanish food available.
Menu del Dia from 12pm for 9.50 Euros before 1.30 and 10.50 Euros after.

Plenty of screens and an atrium entry bar for smokers and screens and a terrace upstairs.


Stay safe. I wouldn't mention Catalonia or display any support for them in Madrid. Tensions are running high in Spain and the police are not noted for their good humour and tolerarance especially towards football fans. 

Remember Seville!




Thursday, 28 September 2017

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry.

2017 and Harry Just get Better and Better.
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 The JimmyG2 Column.
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 The Harry Kane Tribute Edition.
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Sorry that headline should have read 'Harry, Harry, Harry' as our boy clocked up his first Champions' League hat-trick. Messi and Ronaldo have each scored seven but at 24 he's got plenty of time.

Gareth Bale scored our only other one seven years ago against Internazionale in 2010. He was only 21 at the time but hasn't managed another one since. I'm pretty sure Harry will.

As Elizabeth Barrett Browning once asked: How do I love you? Let me count the ways. Harry's stats are simply amazing? World Class? No question. And Tuesday night was another master-class.

He has now scored six trebles in 2017 and 11 goals in seven games this month. His nearest rivals are Aguerro and Lukaku 10 goals adrift in this calendar year. Where would we be without him? Don't answer that.

Although others stepped up when he was out for a couple of months last year but he still won the Golden Boot for the second year running. And that included the usual August famine.

We had four shots on goal and Harry scored three times. If he had been on the other side they certainly would have won but unlike HK they couldn't finish. Their keeper didn't got a hand on any of them.

Elderweireld's through ball supplied Harry's first, taken on his left foot and slipped past the keeper as he advanced. Sissoko's pull back onto his right foot was the second and Trippier supplied the cross for Harry's headed third.

The perfect hat-trick scored in style but without fuss. Game over although it could have been different. Camargo's fierce angled shot struck the crossbar with Hugo beaten at 0-0

He was forced to make two smart saves after the break at 1-0 and nearly scored an own goal with a wild clearance off  Sanchez, the ball rebounding just wide.

Details, details. I am brimful of positivity: Sissoko shaping up; young Winks looking for all the world like Dembele's replacement,seven players out, yet another away win; Aurier not even carded and staying on his feet.

Onomah and Winks my midfield Academy dream is still on as Josh is doing well at Villa so the reports say. He scored again at the weekend.

Llorente doing a job; Pochettino showing some in-game flexibility though Trippier starting on the left was again a waste as his cross from the right for Harry's third showed. He always cuts back on the other side.

Son and N'Koudou were lively but loose and it wasn't generally a scintillating performance except from you know who who even supplied the pass for Trippier's run.

Anyway top of the group, level on points and goals with some Spanish team and still everything to play for. Wanyama close they say, Verts available again.

Rose unfortunately has clearly been captured by aliens and is being held for ransom in a spaceship hovering over the earth probably over Manchester. 100 million they say.

But we didn't do too badly with the 'bare bones' this week and if Mauricio sticks to square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes we should continue to progress.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Three guesses. Got it in one. Only one shot of Toby's ball for the first but I could watch re-runs of Harry's goals all day. In fact I nearly have in the blog edit. Happy Days.



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Sunday, 24 September 2017

The fighting spirit of....Carabao!


From milk sops to empowerment. Let's give it a go.
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The JimmyG2 Column 
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Another week another blog. Disappointing start against Swansea, a ground out progress against Barnsley in the Carabao Cup* in midweek and a very pleasing if slightly nail nibbling finish at The Taxpayers Stadium yesterday.

We continue to dominate all the statistics in these games but despite Harry's efforts seem to struggle just a little achieving one of the main objects of the game: nestling the ball in the Onion Bag.

Frustrating start at the weekend; just enough in mid-week to avoid the looming banana skin and a satisfying revenge for last season at West Ham. Back to 4th same as this stage last year.

Partly thanks to our old colleague Chris Hughton at Brighton who pricked Newcastle's winning run balloon with a composed performance on the South coast. We wish him well.

'Can you see what it is yet?' as the disgraced Rolf Harris used to say. After 6 games the shape of the season is still only a blurred outline. We are still in contact with the leaders but there's only 32 games to go. Don't panic!

But after 3 consecutive away wins we are obviously hoping that our away form will compensate for Wembley. That's a big ask and our home form must improve if we are to make top four.

Dele was given the opportunity and challenge against Barnsley to contribute more and rose to the occasion with a  composed finish following good movement from a cross by Kieran Trippier.

I am not a fan of Trippiers and his famed crossing is hit and miss at best. When Aurier gets his head together he will almost certainly be first choice. Meanwhile KWP waits in the wings for his chance.

Harry's first goal against W.Ham encapsulates everything that is good about Spurs at the moment. Dele's movement; Eriksen's vision; and Harry's improvised finish from a cross by the Boy Wonder is the current attacking essence of Spurs.

Dele is under scrutiny at the moment with rumours again of interest at Real Madrid. This is, to put it politely, nonsense and when linked with the return of Bale becomes total rubbish.

Some say that Dele is not even good enough for Spurs which gives you some idea of how little his unpredictable talent can be quantified. He's gifted but young and is an essential part of our attacking triumvirate.

Coupled with a sound defence in which Toby is playing a more equal part with the rise of Jan; the improvement of Davies and the arrival of Sanchez we are good to go.

It was good to see Harry Winks showing more of his usual appetite and the cameo by Llorente was most enjoyable. It didn't take him long to get into the London derby spirit.

I am still not convinced by Sissoko though he is improving and with the absence of Wanyama and the worrying situation with Dembele he has to step up. Onomah might have been a good option but too late now.

If West Brom. had beaten  Arsenal tonight by six goals then we would have dropped to fifth but I wasn't really that worried. Come on the Baggies. Always liked 'em. Do us a favour Mr.Pulis.

*Carabao Cup

You may remember the Carabao Cup in its original form if you are old enough as simply the League Cup until it's transformation in the 80's to the Milk Cup (remember the Milk Marketing board?))

 Then consumerism took over with the Littlewood's Cup and then the Rumbelow's in the early 90's. But the poisoned chalice did for them unlike Coca Cola which went from strength to strength on its back.

Significantly alcohol replaced soft drinks at the end of the Millenium when Worthington and Carling spurred on by this added product  lustre took us through the Millenium and beyond..

Unimpressed by the sight of these marketing success it was sponsorless for a few years until Carabao energy drinks struck a three year deal in 2017.  Pretty much a sign of the times and there is a social history to be written here.

But from Milk, to Shopping, to  Beer and Soft drinks to specifically an alleged 'health' product  is an interesting and possibly telling progression around the history of the past 50 years.

In the meantime I quote from their website:
“Carabao” is an energy drink that was inspired by the fighting spirit of an individual. It is more than a global energy drink, it is the empowerment to accomplish personal goals.

'Carabao symbolizes the spirit of individuals who fight for the cause they believe in. Not by force, but with determination, hence the slogan: The Fighting Spirit of Carabao”

Whatever. However as we're in it I want us to want to win it. Not a top priority unless you value silverware above everything else  but a harmless detour on the way to greater things.

Next up just the Champions' League away to Apoel but after Barnsley who cares? We all do obviously. Let's inject some of the Carabao fighting spirit on Tuesday.(edit)

Mauricio says the fact that we have seven seniors players out including Eriksen, Vertonghen and Dele banned is not an excuse. We'll see. An opportunity for someone or two.

Serge Aurier.
Booked for several fouls for the first yellow and then another for a crude and unnecessary tackle on Carroll who bought the foul miles from goal. Needs to calm down just a little and stay on his feet. 

 Jimmy's Video spot:
All the goals and build up here. Aurier brain fart. 3-0 up and coasting but 'All's Well that Ends Well' as the man said. Eriksen's overhead flick to Verts for the second is lovely too and Dele's run once again.

The three Musketeers strike again and again and again.

 
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Sunday, 17 September 2017

Grounds for Optimism

Hoodoo Dragon only half dead I'm afraid.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 I had this pretty piece all ready in my head after the Borussia Dortmund win at Wembley  in the week in the Champions' league. A nagging doubt and second thoughts stopped me from posting it born of a long devotion to Tottenham.

You know the stuff: brilliant tactical Managership; fine performance; Dragons slain; myths put to bed; onwards and upwards; Harry world class; didn't miss Dele; defining week; blah blah blah.

Definite grounds for optimism, Wembley included at this point. but like politics a week is a long time and anything can happen. Actually 4 days in this case

Now of course all this is true and yet and yet. I am now puzzled over team selection and tactics against Swansea who we beat 5-0 last year at the Lane and 3-1 away and a little angry over the way we played.

But poor decisions and the crossbar and some excellent keeping by Fabiansky were the difference between a win and a draw. But in the minds of the Press the Wembley Hoodoo lives on at least in the Premiership.

We used the first half as a warm up for the real thing and Swansea had time to hone and perfect their game plan. I'm not sure that their bus won't require towing away: more broken down than parked.

Against Borussia Dortmund we looked prepared and as if we knew what we were doing, pressing higher in the second half . Against Swansea we didn't look at at all sure about anything. 

Sissoko starting is never a good sign though he played as well as some. Trippier at left back is a stretch; bringing on Llorente and then ignoring him was just silly.

Six defenders at times against a team that didn't come to play is a waste. Resting players that could have been given next week off and not making full use of substitutes only Mauricio can explain.

So did we underestimate Swansea and not play at full pace and at full strength after a fine performance in midweek? Were we complacent? Did Mauricio overthink things? Were we just unlucky?

Some or all of the above? It was certainly an opportunity missed in so many ways and the slumbering Wembley Hoodoo Dragon lives on to breath fire for another day.

In the final analysis Trippier and Sissoko are not good enough, though Keiran is more effective on the right and Sissoko through the middle. Dele is not quite with us currently though not as bad as some are making out.

Aurier was good against Dortmund and lively in his limited appearance yesterday. Sanchez was excellent midweek but a bit ragged marking shadows on Saturday. Kane was inspired in the CL and unlucky against Swansea.

Son was lively in both games. He scored from a narrow angle against Dortmund but his attempt to do the same against Swansea was well saved. Eriksen shoulders the full burden of creativity when Dele is not quite fully on his game.

We are certainly better against teams that come to play. But our build up is too slow and we still lack movement and invention in the final third. Harry's hard work can't do everything.

Swansea's defence was packed and effective but Dortmund's was not in the same class as its attack. An unfortunate blip certainly but whether it is more than this or signs of a worrying trend remains to be seen.

We started slowly last year too and it won't be until at least ten games before we can make any assessment but we are already points and goal difference down, 1 point above Arsenal but one below below Newcastle.

With Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all drawing the damage is not quite as bad as it could have been. But the 'Manchesters' are striding away in some style.

It's been the Tottenham way for decades: two steps forward: one step back, and it certainly feels like it this week after a fine start at away to Everton and then a home win against Dortmund.

Is it just the fact that is not White Hart Lane and that a move to any new venue would have unsettled us. Has it come just at the wrong moment after our wonderful record last year.

Watch this...........space. On the bright side we didn't lose, kept a clean sheet and we're still fifth.

Jimmy's Video spot:
 Serge Aurier: Welcome to Spurs.

Victor and Serge will compete for the 'Tough Guy Challenge' and probably for the 'Yellow and Red Card Stakes' too. But the boy has made an impressive start.


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Limited selection choices at Tottenham

Someone's taken out all the soft centres.
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The Jimmy G2 Column.
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But anyway I'm keeping faith with the Danish pastry: the thinking man's confectionery.

So the Top of the Bill event fizzled out in embarrassment as the home town contenders failed to turn up. Spurs won without breaking sweat for their second away victory and another clean sheet.

Perhaps we could play all our home games away. Oh I forgot we already do. Apart from the first 20 minutes which were scrappy we dominated once again and could and should have won by more.

Dele missed the proverbial sitter, Sissoko should have scored and Harry scored a couple, one lucky, one superb and missed a couple too. 7 points out of 12, only one less than last year and sitting in fifth again.

Rumours of our demise have been much exaggerated. Ben Davies reborn after a decent run of games in Danny Rose's absence vied with Eriksen for MOM. This formation suits him and encourages him to go forward.

What exactly is the formation? 3331/3511/ 3421 or whatever. Answers on a foolscap sheet. But essentially it's fluid and suits our current squad.

New boy Sanchez looked mean and sensibly played it safe alongside Verts and Toby at the back although they and Hugo were barely troubled. One shot on target by Everton tells the story.

Sissoko starting in his more natural position in central midfield surprised everyone by being not at all bad apart from straying offside when it mattered and  displaying his poor touch and inability to score when well placed.

But he cleared a path through the undergrowth for Eriksen  who used the time and space  positively once again. Harry did his September thing, Dier played better too and only Dele was a little sloppy.

Rooney got frustrated chasing shadows and took it out on Dele but was ignored: not even a defiant gesture from New England to the ghost of Old England.

Dembele was presumably rested for The Champions' League fixture against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday and was hardly noticed when he eventually came on. But by then Everton were mentally back in the dressing room.

So Mauricio. called it right and the Transfer Window wasn't quite so bad after all. Aurier might make an appearance on Wednesday and even Llorente either alongside or ahead of Harry with Dele still suspended.

We have options all over the place and Spurs once famed soft centre is looking pretty hard and crunchy these days and that's without Wanyama.

Seen and Heard:
Spurs last 4 away: beat Leicester 6-1, Hull 7-1, Newcastle 2-0, Everton 3-0. +16 is top flight's best goal diff over 4 away games since the century before last. Not even I remember that. 


Jimmy's Video Spot.
Welcome to Tottenham Fernando Llorente. Welcome indeedy.You wanted experience this boys got it. World Cup winner with Spain.

At 30 doesn't quite fit our normal profile. But scored 15 in 33 appearances for Swansea last year. Needs early game time and could perhaps play alongside.

In case you were wondering Vincent Janssen has gone to Fenerbache on loan having turned down a permanent move to Brighton. He's still ours and we wish him all the best.


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Incoming: Transfer Rumour Free Zone Exclusive.


I'm with Aesop.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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So it's all true. We are jinxed at Wembley and Harry Kane can't score in August. We are all doomed I tell you. Doomed. If  matches were only 85 minutes long we'd be jostling for top.

The Hoodoo Fairy not only visited the Home dressing room to plant her seeds of doubt in the player's minds especially Harry's  but popped into the Away teams as well to tell them to hang in there and all would be well.

Well that's how we played anyway: no pace, passion or belief from the start. Even when Dele scored what should have been the winner he couldn't find the energy to celebrate.

Burnley were inspired by playing at Wembley but also playing against a top team. All teams want our feather in their caps. Even Chelsea parked the bus. It's a tribute of sorts I suppose.

But we had enough of the ball and chances to win both. Do they have any awards for the slowest build up in football like they did for slow bicycle races that I remember from my youth?

The team is in need of a pacemaker as well as another playmaker to help Eriksen.. Only Son has real pace from the starting squad yesterday and he was mainly motion but no notion as he sometimes is.

Lloris redeemed himself with a couple of sharp saves and a sweeper keeper tackle, otherwise meltdown would have been all over the fan-sites. Other than Verts everyone was a couple of  degrees south of meh.

Dele played OK but Erikesen amd Dembele didn't approach the heights of last week and when Eriksen is quiet Spurs are quiet. Heaton thwarted Harry on more than a couple of occasions.

Trippier went frequently AWOL but Sissoko at least gave a decent impression of a footballer. We were mainly pedestrian and uninspiring. But no-one could accuse us of ever being fast out of the blocks lately

Points from first three games from Season 2010/11:

17/18 - 4/9
16/17 - 5/9
15/16 - 3/9
14/15 - 6/9
13/14 - 6/9
12/13 - 2/9
11/12 - 3/9
          10/11 - 4/9          
(Thanks to Danners9 on Spurs Community)

Whether this is because we rarely get our buying done early and get a full pre-season with a whole squad I don't know but it's nothing new and not a cause of major despair. Yet.

 4 from the 9 points available is bang average for us over the last eight years. It would be so calming to win the first three but we have surely learned to live with it.

After all we drew with a team that beat Champion's Chelsea and outplayed the team that thumped us 5-1. So victory may well go to the brave (To dare is to do or whatever after all) but the race is not always won by the swiftest (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

Just as well really as we don't have anyone with that explosive burst of pace to get them clear. But  there's another 48 hrs of the Transfer window left yet: plenty of time in Dan Levy's never too late world.

As Cryff once said: “You play football with your head, and your legs are there to help you.” and the Wembley thing is all in the mind and the papers. Clear your heads boys and let the ball and your legs do the talking.

It's not WHL certainly and the atmosphere is different but the pitch is the same size as most in the Premiership. Soon, very soon, I hope, the place will become a fortress. 

Musings got its fingers burned last time with transfer speculation so we're not going there again especially after Sancho's change of heart. Incomings may be likely but we are waiting for the cardboard cutout. 

Did we get one for Davinson? Perhaps a group photo at the end of the window, or is this a tactical change by Mauricio. Another profit on the window looks likely. More income than incoming.

Rose and Lamela might add the vital pace and be like new signings. If they both stay!

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Davinson Sanchez:
This one's done, he even played two minutes, Not sure why. Strong, quick, good in the air and from Ajax. What's not to like. Will he score more than anyone else in the back four? Worth a punt.

 So good they show everything at least twice. Most humiliating? Not sure what that's all about.


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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Curses, Jinxes, Hoodoo's: Hot Rumours and Hot Facts.

 Mauricio on the Poop deck and Spurs going down fighting.
Not HMS Victory unfortunately
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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 A significant day and opportunity at our new temporary home but not at this stage of the season a defining one. Except perhaps in the minds of the the more extreme fans.

Harry could have put the August curse to rest but didn't. Though at this stage he's not worried. He has been Golden Boot winner for two years running without finding the net until September.

He must be a fair bet to score on Sunday at home to  Burnley though, curses, jinxes and hoodoos notwithstanding

He had a record eight shots against Chelsea and hit the post with a fine drive as he did against Newcastle so you can't say he's not trying. That's 34 shots in eight August games. What we need is a penalty.

Another chance to break the Wembley jinx in the Premiership came and went. Against Champions Chelsea which makes the defeat all the more frustrating but there are easier games to come.We will play much worse and win.

We dominated the game but not the Chelsea makeshift defence, We had more shots and corners and 68% possession. Luiz in midfield out Wanyama'd Victor who played poorly, losing or miscontrolling the ball too often.

The only superiority Chelsea had over was on fouls as usual. They are perhaps more ruthless and street-wise than us and a little less naive. Are we cursed, jinxed or hoodooed against Chelsea?

I would have taken the draw before, during (and after) the game at this stage of the season.

Crucially it was  Luiz that mugged Wanyama in the build up to the winning goal with two minutes to go. The ball out to him from Lloris is a frequent manouevre but he was further out than normal and being closed down.

Hugo compounded his error by allowing a shot from Alonso to go under his body at the near post. De Gea and many other keepers would have kicked it away.

Earlier Alonso had scored from a brilliant free kick. We didn't even get on the score-sheet as Batshuayi scored an own goal.  We pressed well for the 20 minutes before and 30 minutes after half time.

The first 25 minutes was choppy water and Morata missed what should have been an easy chance for him, heading wide unmarked from six yards in the first five minutes.

We lacked speed of thought and movement in the final third and Mauricio should have hauled off Victor who looked off the pace and his game and replaced him with Winks or Son much earlier.

I'm still on the 'pissed off/disappointed spectrum at the moment but there are plenty of positives. 'To dare is to do'  after all and I prefer Spurs to go down fighting with guns blazing than playing the percentages game.

But the time for 'daring' and 'doing' was from the kick off as well as in the last ten minutes. We set up much too negatively against a team with its own missing key players: Dembele, Dier and Wanyama together is defensive overkill.

Too many cannon balls: not enough close quarter grappling arms, rapiers and pikes. The easy way on Sunday was to win the game, for Harry to score, settle some old scores and set fair for the League and beyond.

But as we know that is not the Spurs way and we will have to wait a little longer for the smoke to clear before the path  is fully revealed. Until then we wait to step up from a mere 'ship of the line' to flagship HMS Victory

Meanwhile the battle of Hugo's reputation will continue. Best in the Premiership? Probably not. Faultless?  Which keeper is ? He has a problem with distribution but not crucially on Sunday. Several were slow to respond.

Trival Pursuits.
When was the last time that we lost to two goals from a left back? Or any full back?

Hot Rumours.
By the time you read this 17yr.old Jadon Sancho might have signed from Man. City for 3 million. Or not as the case may be. 'Sancho' you fools, not 'Sanchez'.

Although Davison Sanchez has already signed from Ajax, for a club record of 40ish million and now confirmed, with Aurier from PSG imminent and Sesssegnon and Barkley for the last day. Add an Argentinian keeper from Southampton.

 The log-jam has moved and Daniel is asking for the return of his credit card as soon as his wallet is found. Mr.President you are spoiling us. Where will we put them all?

Hot Fact.
Kyle Walker Peters has signed a new Contract until 20/20. Perfect vision from Spurs.

Jimmy'sVideo Spot.
A week to go and no videos of actual signings to hand but there will be next time, so here's Moussa Dembele back to something like fitness and form. Fan favourite and MOM against Chelsea.

More skills and strength than goals and assists but credit where credit is due and five minutes of strong meat. The 'Warrior' indeed.


Friday, 18 August 2017

It's All kicked Off.


A smooth take off but there could be turbulence ahead.

The JimmyG2 Column. 
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Tables stowed, window blinds open, arm-rests down and seat-belts fastened: here we go; here we go. At last we're up and running or rather up and flying after Newcastle.

As you can tell I've just flown back from holiday. Watched first game in a vast pub with more screens than fans but very decent beer and smoked salmon sandwiches to not exactly die for but to sustain serious injury for at least.

So it's all kicked off. Away from home for the opener; revenge calmly extracted; a clean sheet, another Academician not only selected but doing well; Erikson on form with two assists and good signs nearly everywhere.

Newcastle were innocuous and had the cheek to jeer  Sissoko after pocketing our 30 million. Insult to injury comes to mind. Dele having done very little made one of his instinctive runs to convert an Erikson cross and the rest is history.

Even Davies, clearly bored at full back ventured into the penalty area and got on the end of a snappy, Dele, Harry and Christian exchange to score. That's two in two games.

Had it not been August Harry might have had a couple but could only hit the keeper and a post. If they had gone in we would be top of the league but it's a bit  early, don't you think, to get over-excited about that.

Many made Kyle Walker Peters the MOM especially the Press who love a talking up point and the boy played well. But MOM I think not although he might be some day soon.

Eriksen announced his presence early this season with two assists and an excellent overall performance on Sunday and in pre-season and was clearly MOM. Sorry Kyle but your day will come.

Dembele verged on the imperious and if he can stay injury free will make a major contribution this season. His midfield partner Dier was clearly saving himself for better things and hardly registered.

Lloris kept awake but wasn't really required but he might be busier on Sunday. Verts and Toby went through the motions but like Hugo were barely tested. In fact it was a stroll in St.James Park.

Pre-season brings to mind our first victory this season at Wembley against Juventus (edit). Kane and Eriksen scored and Juventus didn't and this went some way to obliterate the loss to Man City from the collective memory.

Another game referred to as a 'meaningless' friendly but that's only if you lose. We took some good things from the game and they will stand us in good stead this season.

 Even the other Moussa didn't have a poor game which is a big step forward. KWP went some way to erase the hurt of of Kyle Walker's sale.

They were wasteful when chances occurred but Harry and Sissoko hit the woodwork and there was evidence of slick interplay between Kane, Dele and Eriksen again which will hopefully be a feature this season.

Lloris was sound and Trippier crossed beautifully first time for Harry's headed opener. He's out for a month but with the arrival of KWP and the flexibility of Dier do we need to splash unnecessary cash?

The arrival of Ajax centre half, young gifted and quick, Sanchez gives us necessary back up if Wimmer goes to W.Brom. We've got 90 million in hand so far, less whatever we paid for Davison Sanchez.

On the other hand I read six weeks ago that Barkley was a 'done deal' and it may yet be but I doubt it
at the current prices and wages.

So no Wembley jinx for Sunday, no trouble in the camp after Danny Rose's outspokenness and rehabilitation, signings signed; so bring it on Mr. Conte. (1-1 Spurs)

Jimmy's Video Spot.
The tenth academy player  to make his debut under Mauricio. Does the simple things quickly. We may get a clearer view if he starts against Chelsea.

 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Money to waste and time to spare.

80 million spare cash and plenty of time.





 The JimmyG2 Column.
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Involved in quality competition and we are just about holding our own. Eriksen has settled early; Vincent has scored from a N'Koudou assist; more youngsters are blooded and so far unbowed. Proper football returns.

These games are being disparagingly referred to as pointless 'friendlies' by some. But Danni Alves reaction to being tormented by N'Koudou and Jese's hack on Dele were far from friendly.

It's not the Champions' league by any shot but it is a good opportunity for the established players to get up to speed and for the youngsters and fringers to lay out their wares and state their claims.

Dele and Harry Kane are still a bit Ibiza Beachy but Harry  reacted well and got fired up when he was denied a clear penalty against Roma's Fazio. Rings a bell though somewhat dimly.

We got the rub of the green when PSG shot themselves in the head and had their keeper sent off soon after half time. Against ten men we were calm controlled and ran out easy winners. (4-2).

Not so against Roma where the referee spoilt the game and gave them a silly penalty against Cameron Carter Vickers for a ball to hand moment early on and then denied us an even more blatant one.

However Roma were slicker than us and without Eriksen in the first half we looked a little pedestrian. They won following a foul on CCV in extra time. (3-2)

Several youngsters and own grown appeared and were several shades of competent. CCV got the most criticism but he's still young (19) and playing in the most difficult position for the inexperienced.

Josh Onomah who seems to be next in line to step up was played out of position again but to me has all the makings. Ashley-Booth is well liked and looks talented and Walker-Peters  played pretty well.

The Academy are only taking on applicants with double barrelled names currently but 20yr Anthony Georgiou popped up surprisingly after a season or two of injuries and made a good impression against Roma.

Highlight off the pitch was Mauricio being sent off but not going because he apologised and said to the ref. 'Come on nobody can understand what we're saying in Spanish, let it go'. And he did.

'Soft words turneth away wrath' as they say. He also scored a wonder goal in training and was dignified in comments about Conte's out of order questioning of our ambition.

When your playing a hand stacked with stolen oil money a little humility wouldn't go amiss. Mauricio is the man! However all this is by way of distraction from the final game of the Champions' Cup in America.

We were well beaten by Man. City who out-pressed us. Correction: they pressed and we didn't. 3-0 and it could easily have been more: much more. Not sure that anyone except the keepers deserve a mention in dispatches.

Dele had a couple of half chances; Harry Kane blazed a decent one over; N'Koudou looked lively; Trippier put in a couple of decent crosses; Eriksen went close from a free kick. Other than that it was mainly City.

Kompany roughed up Dele and this might be a feature this season. As long as he keeps calm and they take their eyes off  Christian we might prosper.

City look strong, especially with Walker at full back. (Editor: Leave it Jimmy that ship has sailed) and a host of shiny expensive talents old and new. Jesus missed a tap in and Aguero hit both posts. De Bryne was buzzin'.

If they can blend and accept that some will only have walk-on parts then they might be the team this season. No need for us to panic just yet: the season doesn't start for two weeks and the transfer window goes on for another four.

Levy continues to plough his lonely furrow and some fans will blame him personally if we don't win the Premiership; the CL and a couple of Cups this season for want of more depth to the squad.

He will probably throw them a sop in the end but his latest last minute buy, Sissoko at 30 million, is not a good augury. Put it in the envelope marked 'Youth Development, Academy and Contingencies' Mr.L.

But Jones's advice of 'Don't panic' from 'Dad's Army' seem apt, and that's where I am. Next up Juventus at the weekend and more will no doubt be revealed.

We won't be signing Neymar at 197 million crisp ones I can confirm or Barkley at 120 thousand a week either. And you can quote me on that. 'Musings' is ITK.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
You can see where the squad get their passion from. He'd be like a new signing along with Erik and Danny. It's only a training session Mauricio. But that's the point.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

He's Thinking It Over.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.
Live with it.

The Jimmy G2 Column.
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The garage is now neat and tidy with a floor you could eat off and holidays are completed leaving the whole family knackered and sunburned. What's not to like?

So we arrive at that magical moment in between seasons when something actually happens after much useless ITK; aimless speculation; pointless wondering and vague hopefulness.

Not all good or unexpected news though: Kyle Walker has left the Stadium, to City for in excess of £50 million. The worst kept secret since Mummy was seen kissing Santa Claus.

I always liked the boy, moments of misjudgement and all and predicted on Musings that he would make us some money eventually though not all that much by today's values.

He was a longstanding member of the team, the life and soul of the party and his going might just give others pause for thought. He's just had two good seasons and however you look at it Kieran Trippier he's not as good taken all round.

He has a different skill set to Kyle but you can´t teach pace and speed of recovery, nor crossing accuracy in Kyle's case unfortunately but I think we are at a dangerous moment as far as squad retention goes.

Some would say that if anybody is going better Kyle than any other first team regular. In the end it depends on what we do with the approaching 70/80 million. that's accumulating.

Though money doesn't seem to burn holes in Daniel's pockets as it does with Mrs Jimmy G2. I'm a dead man in the unlikely event that she ever  reads this blog.

You can't keep a player that doesn't want to play for whatever reason and Mauricio will hold firm on that. Two or three promising youngster to blood would suit me and the integration of established old youngsters too.

I wouldn't protest too much if we spent some of it, but not most, on Barkley. He's young enough and has enough talent for Pochettino to hone. Sessingnon would be my preferred incomer, new contract at Fulham or not.

Barkley hasn't gone on Everton's pre-season tour and only has one year left on his contract but DL won't be interested at 50 million. So he's listening to his favourite song by Banks 'The Waiting Game' the key line of which is 'I'm Thinking it over'.

If he runs to form he will leave it to the last minute and run the risk of losing him but you can't teach an old dog new tricks so they say.

Once again we've been linked to roughly several hundred players young and old worldwide and one or two dead or retired which is why we at Musings don't bother with transfer rumours or alleged ITK.

We must keep the rest of the squad which is on an upward trend and will improve as they play together for another season under the best manager over the last two season in the Premiership. Keeping him  is crucial too.

The boys are returning to training in dribs and drabs including Lamela and one or two youngsters have been added to the US tour Party. N'jie and Fazio have gone to pastures new.

 Trippier signing a new 5yr. deal is the hottest actual news I can offer you. Pretty predictable after the transfer of Kyle.

Theresa is still in office but not in power as she quells daily Ministerial mutinies. No such problems at Spurs where all is under firm control. Mutiny? I dare ya.

I will post again when the USA trip starts with some real football news, good news hopefully. In the meantime get that garage cleaned up, and stock up on factor 30. Otherwise now' t much happening really.

Jimmy's Video Spot: Kyle Walker:

Welcome to City! The (only) One that Got Away (so far). Bold, strong, quick, 8 years a Spur, 183 appearances and 4 goals. Personally I wish him well anyway.

5 minutes of positivity but this video is not the whole story and I hope that City get some of the other side. But this is a tribute after all.

Posted by a Real Madrid supporter and what do they know.


Thursday, 15 June 2017

All Sorts Going On.

We just can't see it.
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The JimmyG2Column.
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Politics may be stuck in The Doldrums, an equatorial region of the Atlantic with calms, sudden storms, and light unpredictable winds but not football at Spurs.
 
Theresa set off in full sail and has ended up clinging to a rock for several days awaiting rescue by the DUP and survives because 'There is no alternative'. No such problem at White Hart Lane, New or Old.
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Josh Onomah has been reborn as the new Dembele rediscovered at the Under 20 World Cup and CCV too; Edwards is still lurking in the wings; KWP is out there somewhere and Winks and Lamela will be like new signings.

Erik says 'Hi' and 'thanks' and with Son breaking his arm we wish them both speedy recoveries. As well as we did whether we would have done even better with Erik as an option last season seems a no brainer to me.

Transfer Window? What transfer window? Apparently some fans are floating the 'we need an older, experienced, winner'  boat but we got very close to the beach without him and the wrong man could capsize the craft.

Actually Sissoko is a storm warning of what can go seriously wrong in pursuit of this mythical beast. New players must fit into the crew and be able to row in unison. No Billy Big Rowlocks need apply.(Sorry)

Daniel has been seen recently on a flight to China: flogging Sissoko? Drumming up Sponsorship? Selling the club? Or brushing up on his famed Chow Mein recipe at the horse's mouth. Your call.

In a recently published player values article which I hope D.L hasn't seen, selling just half the team could almost pay for the New Stadium entirely. But then how would we then fulfill next seasons fixtures? 

Dele tops the list at 155.000 million just ahead of HK. But Dier at 85 million and Gareth Bale at 59 million perhaps gives us pause for thought on the whole venture.

I wouldn't swap either of them for twice that but then that sort of decision is well above my pay grade especially as an unpaid blogger. The values are all according to some algorhithmic formula which doesn't surprise me at all.

The only player almost definitely possibly leaving is Kyle Walker maybe. But this rumour was started by Kierran so and may not be quite on the money. He would be a sad loss in many ways including football. City have offered loose change so far.

Harry Kane captained England and scored a last minute equaliser to save his side from the ultimate indignity: losing to Scotland. That boy is a phenomenal force of nature and worth every penny of the alleged 154 Million.

He put two past Hugo on Tuesday night in the France friendly too. I don't call that at all friendly but I expect they will laugh about it later. Varane was sent off for clipping our Dele and Kane put the penalty straight down the middle.

The fixtures are out and will need some studying in depth before I can conclude that the Computer has been nobbled again. At the moment the only observation I can safely make is that all teams play each other twice, home and away.

But as Eric Morecombe once said to Andre Previn: 'I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order' We have an early chance to expunge the memory of that 5-1 defeat at Newcastle
in the opening fixture.

And then we 'welcome' Chelsea to Wembley in our first Home, sort of, game. No Doldrums round here. Next up holidays and clearing out the garage in no particular order.

So that was the week that was, just as long in football as in politics just seems longer in the latter.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
If this isn't the new Dembele my name is Michael Caine. Blew my bloody doors right off in the Under 20 World Cup. Needs to take this level of effort, strength and confidence into the full squad next season.

A big step up but you can see why Mauricio has been nurturing him.

Will we see Harry Winks and Josh starting a Premiership game together this season?
That would be another 50 million saved Mr.L.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Spurs have problems.

Now that was just silly Hull.
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 The JimmyG2 Column.
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So anyway in this dream I had we won the league, Hugo got the Golden Gauntlets, Arsenal were relegated and we beat W. Ham easily. I woke up just before the Champions' League final finished but we were 3 up with minutes to go.

And you know what?  We have achieved almost everything else. Harry Kane 7 goals and two hat-tricks in the last two games won the Golden Boot.  Three players on 20 goals or more.

86 points which would have assured us of the title in 13 of the 20 years of the Premiership. Highest scoring  attack; meanest defence; team spirit; good football and lessons learned from last year.

And all achieved without stellar marquee signings and eye watering wages. Just some of our own, youth and experience bought in under the radar and for peanuts. Except Sissoko but he's the exception that tests the rule.

And without key players for parts of the season. Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Danny Rose for a couple of months; Erik Lamela for most of the season.

 But you know all this. However progress with the youngest squad in the Premiership deserves saluting. Third last year after an end of season meltdown; second this with ruthless determination, flair and skill. Next? Who knows.

The last two games showed how we have moved on under Mauricio's steely eye. Thirteen goals from all over the squad: Son and Dele, Toby, Victor, and Ben all getting in on the Kane act.

In the final game last year we lost 5-1 to a Newcastle already relegated. This year we cruelly knocked seven past newly relegated Hull when they had the temerity to score at 3-0 and rob Hugo of the Golden Gloves.

It's a shame in a way because I lived in Hull and the surrounding area for more than a decade and they have bought quite a few of our surplus players. They are my third favourite team after Spurs and Real Madrid. 

But poking a wasp's nests with a stick is not advised. Their goal followed slack play by Jan. Dele and Davies had already guilty of some dithering but we cleared our heads and came back fighting.

Our home form this season is better than the Double year, but it's the away form that has let us down. The last time we only lost four games in a season was over a hundred years ago.

Harry Kane, our talisman, and three season wonder, scored as many goals in the League as Sunderland and two more than Middlesbrough and that was with 2 months out. But you know all this.

What I'm trying to say is that we have had a fantastic season, playing generally the right Spurs way, you know passing and moving, and improving under Mauricio as he himself has improved.

He has been a credit to the club, a gentleman at all times, a class act in every way and performed with dignity both pre-match, post-match and during the match. Long may it last.

The Tottenham Dictionary has been revised. Out go 'Spursy' along with 'bottlers', 'soft centre' and 'lack of mental toughness'. In come a lot of words meaning very good to watch. Suggestions welcome

 Dele remains a delight; Harry a phenomenon; Eriksen pure poetry; Son a human pin ball; Wanyama a revelation and Sissoko currently a disappointment.

No I know we haven't won anything yet except for the respect of the footballing world which is a good solid basis on which to build. Not on Sky and in the papers naturally but that's only to be expected.

We have made WHL a fortress and must now turn to Wembley and make it work for us against visiting sides. It's not pitch size that will be the problem but unfamiliarity and atmosphere.

It's more a matter of perception and we have just the Manager to impose some clear thinking. Most of our team will embrace the extra yards available and Dele, Erikson,  Harry and Son will be even harder to pin down.

 I have a dream. Spurs have problems no doubt; keeping the team together; squaring the Wembley circle; Carefully exanding the squad; sorting out our priorities and probably more more. But we can do this.

 That rumbling sound is either WHL being torn down or me snoring.

Jimmy's Video Spot. 
Hat-trick for Harry, goals from all over the team. Lovely ball from Dier to Trippier. A fitting end to a superb season. Pity about their goal but let's not be greedy.


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Spurs master plan revealed to cope with Wembley move.

 Another way of getting an extra 25.000 into the Lane.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Wonderful day; wonderful game; wonderful result; wonderful crowd and I am full of wonder at what it means; where we are and what the future holds.

It couldn't have been scripted better apart from the rain and the old War Horse Rooney, an old man against men and boys scoring the last goal at The Lane.

But Harry Kane scored his 49th. home goal , his first against United. and what proved to be the crucial winner to secure second place. 3rd. last year; 2nd. this. 3-2-1 liftoff.

Wanyama's headed opener from a Davies cross was a collector's item but Harry's deft flick from an Erikson free kick for the second was straight out of the Tottenham play book.

De Gea's 'What the Hell am I supposed to do about that and where are you all' gesture after the first goal spoke volumes. They turned up only fleetingly.

Nothing 'Spursy' to see here; no slip-ups on this historic day; Dele at his good humoured will of the wisp best; Wanyama and Dier strong; the Belgium centre backs sound; everyone contributing; no weak links.

Unbeaten at home for the current season; second place signed sealed and delivered. Manchester United our first opponents 118 years ago and 'bete noir' over the recent years beaten. Who said the fixture computer has no soul.

We played well from the start and showed clear intent and determination. That we scored early in both halves is a tribute to Pochettino's motivational powers. We were up for this without a doubt.

Their pace nearly undid us on a couple of occasions but we dared to squeeze the play with a high line and reaped the rewards. 'Audere percipere fructum' as the Romans have it and Musings suggestion for a new motto.

'To dare is to do' has always seemed a bit cryptic, even gnomic. to me. But this team assembled at a fraction of the cost of their opponents and others and probably worth nearly as much currently understands what it means.

We seem to have stumbled on a winning formula after years of experimentation with Managers and bought in 'Stars'. Grow your own, buy in young potential, add a dash of experienced under the radar bargains, train 'em up and let 'em loose.

It certainly leaves financial space to pay for for a new Stadium and Training ground and shows vision for the future which as we all know is very bright.

So a great day that will live long in the memories of fans and former stars alike. We've always had great players but rarely a great team. This team far exceeds the sum of its parts and that's due to Mauricio.



 Who planned that?

The calls will begin even from Spurs fans even as they enjoy the benefits of the current parsimonious approach to splash some cash. Keeping our current squad by raising the wage levels would be the most effective way.

With Winks, Rose and Lamela yet to return from long term injuries and Edwards and others waiting in the wings we are not short of talented players if we can hold on to them all.

Mahrez, Zaha and Barkley are confidently rumoured to be on their way in but Musings prefers to wait until the cardboard cut-out of the Manager with his right arm on their shoulder appears.

Walker and Rose are the favourites to leave but why sell the two best full backs in Europe just at the point of success, especially to rivals. Anyway we'll see but perhaps not for a month or three.

The songs have barely faded away and the tears hardly dry before the old stadium is being cleared and the new one rising in it's stead.  In the meantime we have to make a Wembley of our own.

 This cardboard replica puzzle just needs scaling up.

'Musings' suggests we build a full size Wembley replica out of cardboard, or 3D print one at the training ground and play on it every day until August.

But allegedly prestigious Corporate fund raisers are already set in place to Hong Kong less than a week after the end of the season and America later. Nothing more than wage slaves our boys. But what a wage.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Nothing fancy: Just the Managers; the teams; the fans; White Hart Lane and the goals for the Archives.


Monday, 8 May 2017

Spurs cancel contract.

 
Mauricio sold our shares in that place months ago.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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And so we quickly return to the land of lack of mental strength, Spursy and putting things in glass receptacles after our visit to the London Stadium and the defeat by W.Ham. Don't mention the 'B' word

Well that didn't take long did it. We played poorly agreed but in the light of our recent form and progress over two years  it's clutching at straws as an explanation.

Captain Hugo does us a disservice after 9 straight wins and the usurping of Arsenal after 22 years
by pouring petrol on the old 'mental strength' diversion.

Spurs comfort blanket; the Management, Manager, player all purpose cop out over many decades to excuse failure to invest at the appropriate time and excuse poor performances.

Recently this has morphed into the feeble 'Spursy' joke. Somehow this fatal flaw seeps into the bloodstream all players signing at The Lane and gets into their DNA.

For once very few of our team played well. But our record stands any scrutiny over the last two seasons. We cut the Chelsea lead from 13 points in mid March and a win would have taken us to within one.

Not the sign of a team which lacks 'mentality'. We have kept Chelsea honest and if they lose on Monday as some predict it will be because the pressure we have exerted has relaxed with the W.Ham defeat.

Winning the league was never on after Xmas and 'Musings' said so some games ago. Not coming second is just as unlikely. We would have to lose our three remaining games and the chasing pack win all theirs.

With Arsenal beating Man.Utd and Liverpool drawing against Southampton only Man.City can overtake us so third is a given even if we lose our remaining three games.

At West Ham we got our tactics wrong, the Dier Wanyama midfield axis lacks creative dynamism Three at the back seems to free up our midfielders more and Mauricio got his substitutions wrong.

Dembele is not a sound choice at 1-0 down. N'koudou might have threatened more than Janssen. Swapping Trippier for Walker seemed like a waste at the time.

Vertoghen was one of the better players on the night and his substitution I assume was down to injury. This has been another crucial factor over the season for us coming up just short.

The build up was too slow. They cancelled out our attack with blanket defence and grabbed a goal.
Nothing to do with complacency and what's in our heads.

Blame the W.Ham curse, the big pitch, Friday night, the weather, the ref, tiredness or whatever and I am gutted that it was W:Ham that did for us on this one.

But we are going to come second to a moneybags team, doing it 'our way' and this was a blip. If it were 'mentality' then we wouldn't be where we are.

We have failed to build teams in the past and lacked any kind of vision which Pochettino has brought. We have chopped and changed Managers and when we have bought good players sold them carelessly.

The lack of 'mentality' if anywhere has been at the very top of the club not in the heads of the Manager and players. Now we have a settled 'project' with a  clear aims and affordable strategies and a young Manager still learning on the job.

At W.Ham we were sluggish, Erikson and Dele flickered from time to time and the full backs got forward but to no appreciable effect. Harry Kane and Son will have to read the match reports to see if they did anything.

Lloris kept it respectable after Toby, not quite at his best again, decided to go on a run starting from his own penalty spot.We were desperate for a point Toby but not that desperate.

Now we have to resolve important matters before next season. Wage structure; our attitude and approach to Europe; how to make Wembley and the New White Hart Lane a fortress or at the very least a lockable gun cabinet..

Not losing The Last Game At The  Lane next weekend will preserve our proud home record and secure second. But anything Arsenal can do we can do better. Let's go on our way to Wembley in style.

No longer available at the Spurs Shop.
The cosy comfort blanket bearing the 'Spursy' legend available in blue and white. Slow sales over the past season have rendered this item out of stock. The supply contract has been cancelled. Sorry.

To be replaced by
'Essence de Pochettino' parfum. The Spurs Shop could make a fortune selling bottles of that.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
You want bottling? Here is a fully automated water bottling plant in action. Not to be confused with a rare poor performance by Tottenham Hotspur.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

No Place Like Home Sweet Home.

Cheer up lads. It might never happen.
Oh it just did.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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Spurs have at last aligned themselves with the Stars, Destiny and the March of Time. I'm not one for cliches but I feel the Hand of History on my shoulder today.

 Let it be recorded that on the last day of April 2017 Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal in the last NLD at the Old White Hart Lane to ensure that we will finish above them for the first time in over two decades.

We still have a desperate gamblers outside chance of catching Chelsea to win the Premiership but I'm not that desperate or a gambler and for the moment content with second. Progress is all. Next season is another country.

We played like a team built and developed over time by an inspirational Manager. They did not. If Dele and Eriksen had put away their chances we would have gone in at half-time 2-0 up.

If Cech hadn't been on top form it could have been 6-0 at the end. As it was Dele surrounded by red shirts who showed greater alertness and desire to score the opener after neat footwork by Cristian Eriksen.

Within minutes Harry Kane had won and scored a penalty to finish the job. The rest is truly history. St.Totteringham day cancelled for this and hopefully many more seasons. For ever? Never say For ever.

Our ninth consecutive win on a day that Arsenal, who are currently on their longest non-winning run against us (6), never came close or looked likely to halt. We were a team: they were a loose collection of individuals.

Wanyama and Verts were outstanding. Jan stepping up and out of Toby's considerable shadow once again. Eriksen went under the radar but his influence was telling.

All this excitement should have happened a year ago. But as we have reached the four games to go mark let's not dwell on it. We have learned, improved, got the t-shirt and moved on.

I am proud of the team, the squad,the manager, the club for their achievements and attitude. Inspired by the thought that they can only get better if they stay together. Every one of them with no exceptions.

Most of them could double their wages at another club next season but take one brick out of a wall and the whole thing might collapse. It's not the moment to even think about this.

Champions' League again; the New White Hart Lane to come after a year at Wembley should fulfill most of their ambitions. It's not always about the money.

Spurs rank first in the Premier League this season for:
shots per home game (19.94); shots on target per home game (7.78); chances created (15.0) and fewest goals conceded per home game.

Oh yes and best goal difference, highest goals scored and least conceded overall in the Premiership.
What's not to stay for ?

This proud record and achievement must be taken into our new temporary home. Whether the move to Wembley will prove a disaster or an inspiration remains to be seen. But attitude is everything.

I suspect the former but the truth will hopefully be somewhere in between. Pochettino needs to get into their heads on this one. No other team will have played at Wembley as often as us after all.

The game itself was a disappointment. Not exactly a fight to the death of rutting stags in season now was it. More like a formal changing of the guard. Arsenal seemed to know their place.

Apparently Ozil showed more passion in leaving his stud marks on a door in the changing rooms over a drug test than he did in the whole of the game. Sanchez body language seemed to suggest, ' Adios amigos'.

The sight of Giroud's tongue and embarrassed grin after another miscontrol or failed attempt said it all. Only Ramsey really seemed to want it and had their best attempt well saved by Hugo.

So the baton is passed. A win here may just have saved Arsene's bacon so we might unfortunately have done them a favour but their final position will tell all. Europa looks much more likely than the CL.

Arsenal's move to their new stadium hovered over them financially for a decade but we have found a new way after much experimentation over several decades. 

Youth and emerging talent under a Manager that will give it a chance; investment in the Academy and the training ground sets us up for Lilywhite future.

We have struck gold in Dele, both Harrys, Eriksen, Wanyama, Dier, Toby, Dembele, Rose, Walker and Jan. And made silk purses out of others.
 
We need to mine the same vein again. The balance and spirit of the current squad must not be threatened by careless transfers at ridiculous fees and disruptive wages. And I know Daniel agrees.

W.Ham on Friday will tell us more. Draw and CL qualification is assured; the dreaded four games to go banana  skin will have been side-stepped, Kyle Walker's situation will be clearer. If he plays he stays in my view.

All our players will come under pressure and some re-adjustment of our wage scales might be necessary but so far nearly all of them have signed new contracts. Keeping Mauricio is crucial.

Thanks for the Memories White Hart Lane. This one will stay in the mind for a long time.We are going away next week after Man.Utd but we'll be back quite soon and just next door, close to home sweet home.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Had to have it on the blog for the sake of the archives. Not that you'll mind. Dele and Harry scoring; great shots of  White Hart Lane as a backdrop to the start of The New Gap. Happy Days.


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Spurs to Kill Two Birds with One Stone.

Plenty of these at Spurs this year.
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The JimmyG2 Column.
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It's simple: win on Sunday and they can't catch us even though they have 5 games to go, draw and it's theoretically touch and go; losing doesn't merit consideration.

Not that finishing above Arsenal is our main priority. If Chelsea slip up there would be only one point between us but there is nothing quite as satisfying as killing two birds with one stone.

Last night we ground out a win against form team Crystal Palace, apart from us that is, on their own ground. If it was Man.Utd or another of the Sky elite it would be a sign of a good team.

Doesn't apply to us though. The BBC report didn't even mention that we lost Dembele to injury at half time. Only that Palace  ' lost influential defender Mamadou Sakho' ten minutes later.

Am I getting paranoid you ask. Nope. Been paranoid for years, just getting worse as the pressure mounts. I think it goes with the Spurs territory in the new Premiership era.

8 wins in a row and on the last occasion we did that, over 50  years ago, we won the league. We have already bettered our best Premiership points total with 5 games to go. Nothing can go wrong now Shirley.

Yes we all know it can but if we don't believe then how can you expect the boys to do so. The bounce back at Palace albeit initially subdued after the Cup semi-final on Sunday was gratifying and possibly very significant.

To be fair Palace weren't up to much and Lloris was our unused keeper. They talked up Benteke and he won a few headers but nowhere near goal and nobody picked up the second ball.

Zaha and Townsend twinkled intermittently and if we bought Wilfred for anything close to the Sissoko fee I wouldn't complain too much. The rest were pretty ordinary despite their recent good results in our cause.

Zaha has caught the eye lately and Mauricio is allegedly a fan. He has improved his work rate, and defended well at times last night. If Lamela is going he might well find a role.

Sissoko came on for Dembele and was given a specific 'Help Kyle Walker' assignment and did exactly that. Kyle was having one of his nightmare flashback performances.

The other Moussa and Eriksen filed a claim for the corner flag territory for the last ten minutes and helped see the game out. Son on for Wanyama who was lucky not to be sent off livened things up as usual.

The first half performance was not encouraging but the arrival of Son and Sissoko and tactical changes at the back changed the situation. They retreated and we upped the pace but it was Eriksen who made the difference.

Both with his performance and his fine goal, once again from well outside the area. Verts won the Belgian best player contest against Benteke and even Toby but Christian took all the plaudits and ran the game in the second half.

Sam will blame the injury to Sakho and the ref's failure to send off Wanyama for a second yellow card foul on Townsend. But his team looked happy to take a draw and put little pressure on us.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
Alan Smith like 'The Musings' is not always wrong. He calls this one spot on. 'Just when you want a bit of quality'.  

Christian in acres of space. Harry circling with the ball as if waiting for permission to land and then wham! the only goal of the game.