The Blog that's not always wrong.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Surprise, surprise.

 Tango Time.
Federico and Mrs Pochettino lead the new training sessions.
 The JimmyG2 Column.
And so back to Sheffield with a narrow lead which may not quite be enough. Largely the result of a combination of our own lack of creativity and pace and an opposition with a limited game plan which was very well executed.

A performance out of the Victor Sylvester training manual. Too much slow slow and not enough quick. Get some of them upbeat Latin American rhythms and passion in Mauricio. Get Erik and Federico to teach them the Tango.

We resorted to the long ball from the first minute and stuck with it despite it not having any sign of success.If there's one thing that a team from the third tier are qualified to deal with it's the long ball.

In the end Soldado on for Captain Ade pulled one down from out of the sky and induced a fortuitous penalty. Townsend who doesn't lack confidence stepped up and made it four in a row. Otherwise I'm not certain we would have taken a lead for the second leg next week.

Our second half kick-off summed it up. We took seven passes to get out of our half and then lumped it upfield where it disappeared into the massed ranks of the Sheffield defence.

Individually Stambouili, Vertonghen and Dier had decent games and Townsend was dangerous in the way that a firework thrown over the fence into a school playground might be. Unfocused comes to mind but he was virtually our only threat.

The red carpet treatment for Ade was pragmatic but didn't work and  was an appeasement too far. Kane was played out of position to accommodate him and he was lucky not to be sent off for a Rugby style hand off.

But the Pochettino bandwagon  rolls on with last minute winners now our speciality. Napoleon who knew a thing or two about winning once commented to his Generals that he had plenty of clever ones but he liked them lucky too.

Mauricio might side with Tina Turner as she so nearly once sang: 'What's luck got to do with it? Mauricio will pinpoint fitness and intensive training and the high press as the reason for our late winners.

He will rightly ask if is it lucky to have a player of the quality of Christian Eriksen (22) in the side. Although he had nothing to do with his purchase he has become under Pochettino the keystone of our play.

 However 'subdued' sums up his performance on Wednesday night. But after Sunderland he has eight league goals level with Kane including four winners and three of them late late late.

 He has been a slow maturing, late vintage, a bit of an acquired taste but six points out of the ten we have accumulated from last minute winners are down to him.

His progress at Spurs brings to mind that of Modric (29). The fans were dubious for the first season but both gradually became or are becoming key elements in our upward progress. A playmaker with added goals.

Double high intensive training sessions may go some way to explaining our happy knack of winning games late. Though I doubt it explains very much over the short term.

Perhaps if we stick with the same manager or the same training regimes for the next ten years then you may see a gradual build up of fitness. Fat chance of that at Tottenham as we all know.

 Perhaps it's attitude and belief. 88 minutes? Plenty of time lads. Give it Christian. This again is down to the manager to an extent. Pressing high up certainly seems to work (see HK video) although we don't all do it consistently yet.

But Eriksen along with another no frills player Harry Kane are at the heart of the Spurs progress. The Dane now runs further and has more touches than any other player on the pitch or at times the Premiership. His understated style has gradually won over the fans. The late winners help.

Sunderland like Sheffield came looking for for a draw and both all but got it. The referee  and linesman combined to rule Vertonghen off-side from his own half to deny us a 3- win.

The alleged Arsenal connections of both are a conspiracy too far for me. Probably just had an accumulator and had us down for 2-1. Jan's other goal has been awarded to O'Shea. Not that it matters to us but I bet it does to him.

Against Sunderland a glaring miss by the usually reliable Fletcher and a late world class save by Hugo once again, gave us the game at 2-1. A third of all our Premiership games have been won with this score.

Against Sheffield Vorm was untroubled by anything resembling a shot or a cross. But Davies was  harassed all night by Campbell-Pryce  but nobody though to help him out.

And between the two Capital 1 Cup legs a visit by Leicester who prop up the Premiership in the FA Cup in what looks on paper as an eminently winnable game

Apart from Chadli  everyone is available  so a chance to rest one or two. If we don't win this by more than the odd goal I will be very surprised. Not on TV anywhere so no streams available.

Not that much surprises me about Spurs. We win games we could lose and lose those we should win. But to be fair was ever thus. But surprise surprise, almost February and we're still fighting on all fronts.

Kyle Naughton:
The exodus begins: gone to Swansea for £5million which will just about pay Adebayor's wages for  another year. Filled in at left back when we needed him without complaint and a reasonable right back when required.

Probably not good enough, too hesitant going forward, but its a good deal all round. Lennon to Hull is the latest hot tip but of course we never comment. It would of course pay for Ade to see out his contract.

Jimmys' Video Spot:
Latest video of The Boy Kane. Not quite my favourite all time Spurs player yet but at 21 he's got plenty of time Left foot, right foot, head. Lovely.
 You can add a nought to that valuation. Saved us a minimum of £20 million so far. New contract? Give the boy whatever he wants.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

What's going on at Spurs?

Sunderland result?
Your guess is as good as hers. Probably.
The JimmyG2 Column.

Tottenham get more Tottenhamesque by the day. We all but thrash league leaders Chelsea, Tottenham style 5-3 naturally, then lose to relegation battlers Crystal Palace.

We scratch a draw with Burnley in the cup then give them a two goal start within the first ten minutes of the replay and recover to all but thrash them too.

Kaboul is made captain, then cast into the outer darkness, nearly transferred to Besitkas, Tottenham style the deal falls through on the odd million here or here.

But he returns and is nowhere in sight for the first goal and then goes three rounds on the pitch with SuperJan and anyone else within range.

White Hart Lane has now becomes a fortress: we are unbeaten at home in eight. The much maligned Andros Townsend is the clear MOM for the replay. The four goals are scored by different players three of whom are outward bound if we can get bids.

Soldado can't score to save his career, contrives to miss from 4yds but is eerily backed by a sympathetic Tottenham crowd and then supplies two assists.

The ball into the six yard box for Rose is the kind of ball he is crying out for himself and a diagram of its trajectory and the movements of the players defies the laws of physics.

It would take a brave man to discern any clear pattern in Pochettino's progress but progress it undoubtedly seems to be. We are still fighting on all fronts and hovering just outside the top echelons of the Premiership.

Whether because of our own strengths or the weaknesses of others is a moot point. But as each tortuous week progresses, three steps forward two steps back, he buys himself a little more time. He looks almost certain to complete his first season, at the moment.

Which Spurs team will turn up and how will they perform from half to half or even minute to minute is anybody's guess. It's a match crying out to be won but then so was Palace and the first round tie against Burnley.

There are tougher matches on paper than these, Chelsea comes to mind. And there you have it. We scoff at the odds on paper and go our own way, in our own time in our own style.TotNam style

 Players that are performing well are prone to the odd brainstorm: Fazio comes to mind. And players performing badly like Paulinho and Townsend can play blinders.

Chiriches is a candidate for A&E at any time; Rose goes AWOL at the drop of a hat; Paulinho is favourite for the most disappointing Brazilian International ever to play in the Premiership and Stambouli (Capoue:edit) a long lapsed member of the Magnificent Seven.

Yet all four played very well at times last night and were on the score sheet. It's the kind of event that leads William Hill, Billy Ladbrokes and Tommy Coral to rope themselves together and throw themselves off  Beachy Head.

Sometimes we concede in record time, occasionally Harry Kane comes out of the traps like a startled greyhound and at others Christian waits until injury time to clinch victory. All very unpredictable and wearing on the nerves.

So like Jermaine Jenas we remain predictably unpredictable but with a little more consistency we could have been more than just contenders.

The intriguing possibility of Jermain Defoe playing against us on Saturday rears its head. The high line should make him largely ineffective and it might inspire Roberto to pop a couple in if he plays.

The myth of the returning hero suggests he will get at least a hat trick. So 4-3 Spurs it is.

Transfer Window.
Now as you know we don't comment on rumours unless we actually started them ourselves. No ITK's reputations were damaged in the writing of this blog. But as far as I can tell at least 10 of our current squad are due to be sold.

Coming in is anyone near the end of their contract throughout Europe and the known world. And one or two from uncharted territories in Antarctica, Equatorial Africa and yet to be discovered islands in the Pacific.

Hopefully we will only sign someone to carry Harry Kane's bag from the coach if we can get shot of Adebayor who seems to have had a strop with a manager too far.

Reasons to be cheerful.
Bright spot so far, apart from the Boy Kane without whom we would be languishing in mid-table or worse is the appearance of another Academy hopeful Josh Onoma.

 He joins Harry Winks as another graduate to feature in the first team squad this season. With Milos Veljkovic recalled from Middlesborough where he was well liked and Alex Pritchard and Tom Carroll doing well on loan can my dream of an all Academy team be far away. I said dream.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
All Tottenham's goals from last season. I know, I know I spoil you. As we gear up for the second half  of the season a 5 minute slot to inspire us all. It's compulsory viewing for the squad every night on Pochettino's instructions. You lucky people.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Can Spurs fans tell what it is yet?

 Can you tell what it is yet?
The JimmyG2 Column.
'Can you tell what it is yet?' As Rolf Harris used to say as he busied himself in front of a half drawn cartoon. That was before they locked him up for sexual offenses rather than for producing awful records
(Two little Boys: Tie me kangaroo down sport. ( I rest my case)

It's something like that with the slowly emerging butterfly of Mauricio's Spurs. It's a transitional slow burn that he has undertaken. Always a risk with a trigger happy boss but with Lady Luck riding shotgun he might just get away with it.

The pressing has been a little intermittent and the final formation like Rolf's cartoons more than a little indistinct.  Another week began with yet another 2-1 win, not that the score  matters; a win is a win.

Though Musings has always maintained that playing well over an extended period will net you more goals and more points than playing poorly.

You remember 'playing well' I assume. Passing to someone in the same colour shirt, moving in anticipation of a return pass, shooting below a height of eight feet, and generally nurturing the basics.

The win against bottom of the league Leicester and they are bottom of the league for a variety of reasons can be filed under many headings. 'Thank God for Hugo' is one; 'Harry Kane early goal' and 'Eriksen pops up with another late winner' is another.

The gap between those two events is less than memorable. It was hard to find anything positive on which to build any optimism for the New Year. But we were level with Arsenal in 7th and still fighting on all fronts. 

Now I love winning and challenging for honours as much as the next man but at Spurs we have always expected a degree of quality and entertainment along the way. We were making the weaker teams look better than they deserve.

Against both Leicester and Burnley, two teams vying for relegation and therefor showing some spirit and fight and making the most of their limited talents, we finally prevailed.

 Mauricio would have us believe due to our superior levels of fitness. Late goals which used to be our Achilles heel are now our best friend so he might have a point or three.

Initially against Man.Utd we gave them too much room and respect. This was not the 'Yanited' of old and when we finally woke up to this fact we gave them a game. By then but for Hugo they could have been out of sight.

In the end we might just have nicked it. Kane's run and Mason's overlap for the reverse pass which Ryan should have have buried was a thing of beauty and a joy forever which deserved to win any game.

A half each and keepers to the fore it was a fair result. Positives? Andros mostly played well and got two decent shots on target. Chiriches wasn't a disaster and cleared bravely off the line.

 Fazio and Verts dealt with almost everything but were susceptible to the simple ball over the top. But for Hugo the boy Kane would have been man of the match.

As for the rest including playmaker Eriksen it was hit and miss and for some like Stambouli and Chadli it was mainly miss. Dembele and Lamela could have been on earlier as we pressed for the win.

But that was all BC (Before Chelsea)' What a difference a day makes, just twenty four little hours' as the old song has it. At the moment it looks more like an Emperor than a Cabbage White emerging in the post match euphoria of a wonderful win against the top of the league.

An unexpectedly welcome win and another step on Harry Kane's march into the England squad. Five goals against one of the best teams and allegedly one of the best keepers in the league.

Kane and Chadli were outstanding and Terry's and Jose's faces were worth the entrance money. Terry didn't even smile when he scored. (see video)

Pochettino was strong and dignified and Mourinho was blathering on about penalties not given which would have changed the game.

Cahill could have had two separate reds for his tackles on Rose and Kane and had already picked up a yellow. We were as lax in defence for their goals as we were brilliant on the attack for ours.

A season changing performance a 'yes we can' moment to take into 2015. And it's no good telling JimmyG2 not to get carried away. Loving it and savoring it all.

Not because it was a great one off performance but because it might just be the start of something good. A song for every occasion at the Musings.

A victory made all the sweeter because we were one down and of the all the Premiership teams this is the one I want to beat: racist fans and billionaire owner included.

Danny's brave crucial goal; Andros confident penalty; Chadli emerging from his own shadow; Verts almost smiling and bonding with Fazio like twins reunited after separation at birth.

Lets hear it for the Academy Boys. Five started and three of them were on the score sheet.

Go on admit it, you were still worried on 86 minutes when Terry made it 5-3 and your heart sank when you saw who was standing over the ball for the penalty.

A positive goal difference at last; just two wins from relegation safety; above Arsenal and W.Ham; two points from the Champions' League places. 

A real team effort despite individual errors.  Can't wait for the DVD. Champions' League beckons. Do we dare to do? After this all things are possible. I think Mauricio might have earned himself a little more time.

Chelsea first goal:
Costa clearly offside in the first phase but doesn't touch the ball even though he tries and is in Hugo's line of vision. Onside for the second phase. Oscar does well to sort his feet out.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
 Nearly ten minutes of Tottenham beating Chelsea. Defence coaches look away now. Hazard was a pest for them all match but not quite as much as Harry Kane was for us. Strong for the first, skilful for his second. No apologies for the commentary, better than the English one whatever language he was speaking.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Spurs duo team up.

 The cockerel basks in the sunset glow of a successful week.
The JimmyG2 Column.
Another week and suddenly the clouds break and a shaft of sunlight bursts through. With more banana skins around than the Chimpanzee house at Whipsnade we picked our way tentatively to the end of a successful week.

Mauricio seems to be getting things clearer in his own head and in the heads of the players. Harry Kane increasingly our talisman sets the example by his effort and scores goals too. Watch and learn Roberto.

Eriksen  is settling into the playmaker role. The back five are more settled and the return of Kyle Walker gives us pace and width. The injury to Mason may disrupt things for a while and Bentaleb needs a rest.

He gave the ball away from the kick off on Saturday and never quite recovered. Stambouli looks favourite to step up against Leicester on Boxing day.

Corners turned perhaps. Last week began with a late win at Everton and so did this week at Swansea. After Everton it was mainly downhill, not quite thrashed by Chelsea and ending with the disappointing draw with Palace.

This week has been much more positive with the sweet revenge on Newcastle and some delightful football and a circumspect win at home against a surprisingly positive Burnley side.

We are still still in all competitions and 6th. equal on points with Arsenal in the league. Most people would have taken that at this stage of the Pochettino evolution. In the League Cup we are a two legged tie against Sheffield United away from Wembley.

Shades of Juande Ramos. We successfully avoided Liverpool and Chelsea in the semi final draw despite the best efforts of Graham Souness. Conspiracy Theorist? Moi? (See Video)

 But we seem to be perpetually hovering on the edge of meltdown; flirting continually with disaster and generally giving our more nervous fans, which includes me, the colleywobbles. 89th. minute? Don't look away yet.

 At Swansea Kane and Eriksen were the bright spots  and of course Lloris who defied the elusive Boney when he should have scored. Davies is still improving and will give Rose more than a run for his money.

Eriksen  is challenging Chadli as our top Premiership scorer  and needs to be in a position where he can hurt the opposition more. Kane's early goal settled everyone's nerves but we might easily have been down at halftime.

We played well for 20minutes ceded control to a lively Swansea, rode our luck and re-emerged to clinch victory after some sustained pressure for the last 20. Double training, lady luck, Pochittino's influence starting to bear fruit. All or none of the above.

Even Soldado scored within two minutes of replacing Kane and might have had a second.The boy Kane presses his claims at a more senior level with another strike.

 Chadli rubbed salt into Newcastle's wounds with a goal in the first minute of the second half. However did they manage to beat us in the league? But that was then. Is this another false dawn or has a corner been turned.

Burnley told us a little more. It was a faltering performance against a side we should have beaten easily. Another Kane early goal following clever wing play by Chadli should have opened the floodgates.

But we made heavy weather of it and ran out 2-1 winners again. The good news is that Lamela opened his Premiership account with a fine winning goal cutting in from the right and setting up Kane for a tap in which he missed.

The bad news is that Mason was carried off with an ankle injury. Walker continued his rehabilitation and it looks as though he and Lamela might make a good pairing. Lamela cutting in leaves space for Kyle to overlap. Early days but the hope is all.

Jimmy's Video Spot.
The Capital One Cup draw. Jamie Redknapp gets the Souness death stare for not following instructions and pairing Chelsea with Liverpool.
'Not like that you fool, how I showed you.' Jamie wisely avoids eye contact.

Apologies for the foul language but thanks to Joel anyway.

Like the football Fazio and Vertonghen are not wholly convincing and nor are the midfield youngsters Mason and Bentaleb lately. Soldado is playing like a man who suspects that his number is up. Lamela continues to work hard and disappoint.

Results though continue to paper over the cracks which is more than enough for the moment

Monday, 8 December 2014

Spurs launch exciting new initiative.

 Plenty to clutch at.
The JimmyG2 Column.
Clinging to the top half by our fingernails while W.Ham go third and Newcastle beat Chelsea. I mention these two teams because a few weeks ago both Pardew and Sam were tipped for the chop. Now both teams are in the top seven.

Where will it all end? Spurs go from bad to even more worser. A week that started encouragingly with a comeback win against  Everton and included a fine performance by Harry Kane and a winning goal from Soldado fizzled out with a whimper.

Midweek we managed to not be absolutely thrashed by Chelsea and we almost drew first blood with a Harry Kane header which struck the crossbar in the opening minutes. But after the first quarter of an hour we hardly troubled them.

Apparently we had 70% possession in the second half but that's the Mourinho way. 2-0 up they were never going to expose themselves and contained us and scored another when Remy put Vertonghen on his backside to score.

Against Crystal Palace at home we  looked a spent force especially the Academy three. Football these days is more a squad than a team game and Mauricio should have used his players more sparingly.

In the end we were fortunate to hold onto a point. We started so slowly that latecomers might have thought that the kick off had been delayed. At home to Palace  Hugo was MOM which tells its own story.

The first 20 minutes were straight out of the AVB's autobiography' Possession: my way'. It wasn't until the final 15 minutes that we played with any pace or energy which seems the wrong way round to me.

 Lennon should have started or been on much earlier to give us width. After all it worked against Everton.

 Let's clutch at a few straws: Take the positives as they say. Fazio and Vertonghen look like an effective pairing in the making. Davies had a decent game again but every little breeze seemed to whisper ' Lloris'.

Now most of us suspected that this season of 'Transition 5' was not going to be good. Little did we think that it might be actually bad. But unless we get some gel and pretty soon we might slip even lower. We have the worst goal difference in the top half.

6th was acceptable as Pochettino and the dozen or so previous signings adapted to the new systems. I don't know what Daniel's cut off point is but bottom half at the start of 2015 might be pushing his limits. He wouldn't would he?

There are some straws to clutch at and the Everton game gave us hope. Eriksen, Davies and Soldado are threatening to come good; Lamela still flatters to deceive but at least makes an effort and young hopeful Yedlin is due at Xmas from America.

Kyle Walker is due to return soon but there is no respite in the fixture list with Europa and Cup games offering Mauricio little space for single, let alone double, training sessions.

The Palace game leaves us feeling a little flat although they are not a poor side. In Bolasie they had as good a player as any on the pitch  and they recently beat Liverpool in style.

We were resigned to two steps forward, one step back this season but progress has been much more faltering. One step forward three steps back especially at home.

15 games in is too soon to be getting in wrist slitting or manager sacking mode but we need more consistent evidence that the team is absorbing and buying into the Head Coach's methods and approach.

I'm booking myself in on the Santa Claus Stadium tour so as to catch the ear of the venerable gentleman. There's only one thing on my list: A Soldado hat trick by Boxing Day. He might have had one against Palace.

 At least he was getting into the right places. That's it Jimmy: clutch them straws: seize them positives. Build that boat.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
In 1947 Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic, all 5000 miles of it, in a balsa wood boat. So the straws might come in handy. Though maybe not this season.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Distinguished visitor brings new hope to Spurs.

Spotted on the High Rd.. around teatime on Sunday
The JimmyG2 Column
Father Xmas is alive and well and was last seen kicking a ball about on White Hart Lane: reindeer, sleigh; big sacks and everything. Xmas has come early. Enjoy it while you can.

 Just when you thought you were too old for the man with whiskers who is normally dressed in red. Not this year though. Presents gift wrapped for everyone at no extra charge.

First unwrapped was a midfield of our very own Academicians  Mason and Bentaleb playing ahead of a whole host of expensive imports. The latter our personal gift from Timothy for which much thanks. Actually a leftover present from last Xmas.

Pochettino enhanced his reputation for encouraging new talent against the opinion many others both inside and outside White Hart Lane. Not only did the team selection  prove to be right but crucially the motivation and the game plan was too.

Second out of the sack was another of our very own, Harry Kane, by popular acclaim the MOM for his endeavor and inspiration. He was instrumental in both goals and ran himself into the ground pressing from the front in a manner to gladden Mauricio's heart.

He ran further than anybody else on the pitch. I love that boy and we have championed his cause for the last couple of years. This bandwagon is getting seriously overloaded now though. Lineker is yet another Johnny- Come- Lately.

Third was a winning goal set up by by a newly inspired Lennon for Senor Roberto Soldado. The relief all round the ground and on the pitch was wondrous to behold. I nearly cried. He's on top of my Xmas tree after scoring a cracker.

Soldado, Kane and Lennon in one flowing move. That's three sets of knocker,s if you'll pardon the expression, silenced at one go.Well quietened anyway for the time being.

The extended love for Soldado in the face of so much scoring failure  is a rare and beautiful thing at Tottenham. He's clearly a gifted footballer and his record at Valencia speaks for itself.

 But it has been his attitude, his dignity under trying circumstances and professionalism that has won everybody over. It is a latitude not extended to everyone at Spurs. We want goals from our strikers no matter how much link play they perform.

The fans responded to the increased pace and positivity of the team in style and can take some of the credit for yet another comeback. The levels of both play and noise were significantly raised.

I don't know what Pochettino threatened the players with, extra training on Xmas day perhaps, but even Eriksen did his defensive share, protecting Davies from the threat of Coleman. As well as orchestrating the attack and scoring the equaliser following a fine run and shot by Boy Wonder Kane.

 If Christian had been an Academy boy I might have voted him MOM but charity begins at home. Even Vertonghen seemed to be enjoying himself which is like having a gold, frankincense and myrrh stuffing for the turkey

Lennon put in his usual defensive stint and little was seen of the attacking threat of Baines. Mauricio had got all the angles covered.

The final parcel to unwrap was the football.  The best performance by Spurs home or away since the days of Harry. The fans of possession football may marvel at our success with so little of the ball (39%)

Possession for a purpose is the new catchphrase. Having the ball in the right places and doing something with it. Everton played most of their football in front of our defensive shield and Lloris was well protected.

Chiriches has at least one Walkeresque moment per game but you just hope it won't be fatal. Hugo bailed him out after an under-hit back pass. Otherwise his cavalier spirit is effective. He's a better right back than Dier.

So that's three of the last four games won from a goal down. Our sixth concession of a goal in the first 15 minutes. Can we try scoring first preferably in the first five. It must be easier lads surely.

Figgy pudding all round and don't spare the brandy butter.

Question: Your thoughts welcomed:

Fined £20,000 for failing to control our players: 3 red cards with only a third of the season gone: 5 Yellows against Everton. Is this a welcome show of spirit and aggression or an outbreak of indiscipline?

Chelsea tomorrow.
It's a pity we don't have a whole week to savour this performance but we will take on Chelsea in midweek with renewed spirit. Expectations are not high against the champions elect but I'm going for a dogged draw. Hugo MOM.

Pitch invasions:
I quote from a Mr.O.Wilde. spokesman for the UEFA Disciplinary Committee.
To allow one pitch invasion may be regarded as unfortunate;
to allow two looks like carelessness;
to allow three is rank incompetence and heads will roll.

Roberto Martinez.
An uncharacteristically churlish response from the Everton manager. He's usually quite generous. Before the game he was talking us up for Champions' League so he obviously fancied their chances.

After the game the disappointment of going a goal up early and then losing to the better team clearly threw him off balance. He had the look of a man fearing it was all slipping away from him.

Jimmy's Video Spot:
Best highlights and goals I could find. No soundtrack so you can't hear the chants of 'yiddo' when Soldado scores. Kane pounces; Lennon leads the charge, and Roberto slots it home as if  he does it every week.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Kaboul captaincy in the balance?

 Thoroughly prepare wall before papering.
Use only the best materials.
(Jimmy's household hints)

The JimmyG2 Column

Mauricio waits two Premiership seasons for a comeback win and then, like buses, two come along together. Late winners too. The double training which has allegedly upset the senior staff would appear to be working.

We used to be last ten minute bottlers but not these days. If that ain't progress then I'm a Big-Eared Hopping Mouse but not quite as extinct. Three of our last four Premiership goals have been scored with just ten minutes to go.

The delegation led by captain Kaboul and first lieutenant Adabeyor were sent away by 'I'm in charge here Pochettino' with a flea in their ear and were banished from the pitch and the bench into the posh seats.

I can tell you're impressed with all this inside knowledge. So I give due recognition to a trusted friend whose Aunt works in the Winchmore Hill Sainsburys. Till 17 since you ask.
But her next door neighbour is a cleaner at the one at our new stadium site and heard it all from Mrs Pochettino as she did her weekly shop when picking up her husband after double training. Has the ring of truth, no?

I use the term 'new stadium' loosely. Why we didn't offer Archway the steel fabrication contract I will never know.

 If this insurrection gives the manager an excuse to reverse his error on the captaincy then all well and good. Lennon was part of the protest group as our most senior player after the departure of Dawson  but made the bench due to injuries elsewhere.

 He came on as sub, his proper role against tiring opposition, and put in a decent cameo performance. As did Vlad widely tipped to be going to Italy along with Paulinho. He still puts your heart in your mouth but not as frequently as he does at Centre Back.

In fact he did well and was part of our second half surge, engineered by Eriksen who scored and assisted with a delightful free kick which came back off the post to be snapped up by Harry 'always in the right place' Kane.

The width offered by Aaran and Vlad stretched the ten men of Hull and Pochettino got that one right. What the point of Paulinho was I'm not sure. Perhaps a reward for not questioning  his training programme.

My Sainsbury's contacts had nothing to say on this point. I have been banned from two Spurs sites for questioning the accuracy and motivation of alleged  ITK  but I offer these insights in good faith. Please yourselves.

All this followed a doubtful red card for Ramirez for a Beckamesquely petulant foul on Vertonghen. Technically a  correct decision but harsh on Hull. Vertonghen has form for over-reacting but cannot be held culpable here whatever Brucie says.

Livermore scored following some slack defending but my MOM was Michael 'I told you live to regret selling me' Dawson. He had a point to prove and proved it.

In fact Lamela had our only shot on target in the first 50 minute. But give the boys some credit we showed some spirit eventually and dominated possession even when Hull were pressing. Even some of the football as the game went on was pleasing.

Ben Arfa should have put the game out of sight but both Kane and Soldado missed easy chances. Well easy one would have thought for highly paid professionals. I'd miss them for half the money.

Let's not hear any more moaning about referees they need to be wined and dined not abused.The man in black is our friend. Repeat: the man in black is our friend even if he's in a tasteful shade of lilac.

We were one down after a quarter of an hour and though I offered a mild expletive not suitable for a family friendly blog I found the I didn't really care. Not because I thought we would rally and win but because it seemed par for the course lately.

Crisis? Disaster? Bring it on. Without the red card I doubt we would have won and the win papers over the cracks for a bit longer.Actually papering over the cracks is not an easy skill to master.

So we stumble on but we will hopefully find our feet soon and not fall flat on our faces. The Transfer Window looms but I would rather Mauricio slapped this lot into shape than disrupt the squad too much.

Mason played well and I like Soldado and Kane playing off each other. At centre half it's Vertonghen and A.N.Other. Dier needs to be given a go. On Sunday's performance there's not much to choose between Davis and Rose.

And so the pieces slowly, too slowly fall into place. If I were confident that Pochettino would be given time I would be less edgy about our faltering progress.

I wouldn't claim that its all coming together nicely as my builder is fond of saying but if winning when playing poorly is the mark of a top team we are world beaters.

We may be 10th but we are level with Arsenal and 2 points off fourth. If we can get it together by Xmas we have an unexpected chance of achieving something. I'm not sure what.

Jimmy's Video Spot:Kyle Walker.
I know, I know 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'. But we have missed his flair and energy. Always capable of a breakdown in football intelligence but also capable of quickening the pulsein a proper Tottenham way. I for one have missed him.