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About JimCT

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  1. JimCT

    Come on you Spurs!

    This puts pressure on the stadium tests. Getting it open for the Palace match mid-March (or the BHA one, if Palace win their FA Cup draw) is the milestone. Reportedly, the EPL are setting a limit of they want Spurs to play at least 5 matches this season, or delay until next season. The Met don't want a mid-week first match, or the Arsenal derby. The prospect of a quarter-final UCL match in the new stadium should be proper incentive.
  2. JimCT

    Come on you Spurs!

    "In Poch We Trust" https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/champions-league-spurs-deliver-45-minutes-of-pure-magic-to-put-quarter-finals-in-sight-5pqlcpqtk Champions League: Spurs deliver 45 minutes of pure magic to put quarter-finals in sight Henry Winter, Chief Football Writer February 14 2019, 12:00am, The Times The man-of-the-match award was presented to Jan Vertonghen for his immense performance here, creating the first, scoring the second and helping subdue Jadon Sancho. But the honours could also have been handed to his manager, Mauricio Pochettino, who turned the flow of not just this game, but this tie. This was a night of “Super Jan” and a super manager. Tottenham Hotspur now travel hopefully to Signal Iduna Park on March 5, knowing that if they score once, Dortmund require five. Such is the confident mood Pochettino has instilled in his side, and the clever tactics, that few would doubt their ability to score in Germany. Pochettino is proving a remarkable alchemist. Time after time, Spurs fans look at his teamsheet before kick-off, occasionally perplexed, wondering how they will line up, what the manager’s thinking is, and so often leave laughing at any doubts. He shaped Spurs in a 3-4-1-2 formation here. He had Spurs playing a high line in the first half, potentially risky with Sancho’s pace and liking for balls over the top. He fielded one of the smaller attacks in Spurs’ history, Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min. And it all worked, certainly in the second half, not with a change of system but with a change of mood. Pochettino sorted that. “In Poch we trust,” is a familiar mantra among Spurs supporters. And among his players. It is a sign of Pochettino’s man-management skills that he can get a 31-year-old defender to play so effectively as a left wing back. Even given Vertonghen’s history in the left-back role with Belgium, it was a challenge but one he passed with sumptuous ease, providing the perfect cross for Son’s opener, and scoring his first Champions League goal with an unstoppable finish from Serge Aurier’s cross, wing backs in total harmony. Before the game, Pochettino had talked to his players about wing backs attacking the far post and it worked after the break. Vertonghen and Aurier seemed higher up the pitch in the second half, with chalk on their boots, stretching Dortmund while Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko dominated the centre. Pochettino’s impact on this side was seen in their response in the second half. A few minutes in his company, listening to their leader, and they were transformed. There were tweaks, Toby Alderweireld and Vertonghen getting closer to Sancho, stopping him before he built up steam. There was a change of attitude, Pochettino encouraging them to be more decisive and incisive. He is very good at quelling concerns, and changing moods. There were fears in pre-season over whether Spurs should have bought more, and Pochettino simply voiced his satisfaction with what he had. There were concerns more recently over how Spurs would cope without the injured Harry Kane, who had scored seven goals in seven games, and the dynamic Dele Alli. Spurs did go out of the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, but the Champions League and Premier League were always Pochettino’s priorities. He stayed calm. He has kept Spurs in the hunt for both. They are five points off the top in the Premier League and hurtling towards the last eight in Europe’s elite competition. Few managers husband their resources as adroitly as Pochettino. He has strengthened Spurs’ resolve so that they do not become downcast at a disappointing first half. They withstood Dortmund’s early challenge. Sancho, being watched by Gareth Southgate, demonstrated for 45 minutes why he is becoming established in the England squad. The Londoner blessed with so much pace, balance and remarkably mature decision-making for an 18-year-old was on the right, having to deal with Vertonghen’s ventures from wing back, but always quick to attack, whipping in a couple of threatening crosses before the break. Sancho’s combination with Achraf Hakimi, a real bundle of overlapping intent on loan from Real Madrid, was one of the features of the opening half. Christian Pulisic, who will play for Chelsea next season, was over on the left, stretching Spurs, causing Aurier problems, before fading, and it was impossible to judge him on this performance. The half closed with Dortmund going close, and only Hugo Lloris kept the scores level. First he pushed away Thomas Delaney’s shot and somehow scrambled to his right to push Dan-Axel Zagadou’s header away from Sancho’s expert cross. Pochettino kept them steady, kept them focused and sent them out in the second half full of belief, and whipping in balls from the wide area to catch Dortmund out. Tottenham were suddenly far more adventurous. One moment Son was chatting to Dortmund’s captain, Mario Götze, as the teams prepared to restart, and 67 seconds later he was scoring. Dortmund knew all about Son’s menace from his Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen days, let alone footage of his recent displays for Spurs and his goalscoring performance against them in the group stage in 2017. He had scored eight goals against them in 11 matches in all competitions, and was about to add his ninth. Spurs’ hungrier pressing game saw them target Hakimi, gaining possession and Christian Eriksen taking over. Moura found Vertonghen on the touchline. The Belgian’s cross was weighted to clear Zagadou and fell for Son, who had stolen in. Son connected with a lovely right-footed finish, steering past Roman Burki, causing mass celebration among the Spurs faithful. Sadly, there was a brief exchange of missiles between fans behind Lloris’s goal. Stewards could be seen taking a flag pole out which looked like it had been thrown from the away section. Spurs were unrecognisable from the first half. They looked heavyweight European campaigners, convinced they were heading far in the competition. Eriksen drove in a couple of corners from the right that ended with some rather wild finishing from Moura. Eriksen was told to pause at one point, and the fans became slightly restless, wondering why he was not getting on with the game but the Spanish referee, Antonio Mateu Lahoz, was waiting for VAR to check on a supposed earlier hand-ball by Delaney. It was all very confusing for the 71,214 fans. They were not as bemused as Dortmund’s defence. Spurs’ pressure brought a deserved second seven minutes from time, and it was an all wing-back double act. Aurier crossed from the right, and there was Vertonghen slamming the ball past Burki. “Super Jan” ran away, doing the “Super Man” celebration, as if opening his shirt. The camaraderie that Pochettino has overseen in the Spurs dressing room was seen in the way Son took such delight in being able to do his special celebration with Vertonghen. Pochettino smiled. He’s magic, you know. He waved his wand again. He sent Fernando Llorente on for Moura and the substitute scored with his first touch, heading in Eriksen’s corner 146 seconds after arriving. Son departed to a standing ovation, a nice touch by Pochettino to allow the fans to shower love on their South Korean. But the final song was one of praise to Pochettino.
  3. JimCT

    Come on you Spurs!

    this IS a LEAGUE, not a cup And Poch was not wrong. When that game was played and they'd just lost Alli, it was widely written that their top-4 finish was in jeopardy. United were playing better, Chelsea was on a roll - "Tottenham is looking down, not up" "Tottenham hearing footsteps", yada yada yada. The math is quite simple. The number I heard on one broadcast was that the club gets $70 million for making it to UCL KO stage (and presumably more for quarter finals ), but only $7mm for Cup final. Here'a one article for reference. $2.3 billion for the 32 UCL participants in total, vs $654 million for Europa League (with 48 group stage teams). https://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=2562033.html One component of that prize money distribution is a 10-year ranking, found here. Spurs are only 25th, so they get 8 shares @ €1.108 each, versus Real Madrid at 32 shares Actually, Spurs will get more, as the ranking for distribution I expect is based on clubs actually getting the money, while that table is everyone - so CFC and Arsenal get dropped, and I expect others as well, but I can't be bothered to work it all out now. And next years 10-years ranking will have Spurs climb as their "blank value" for 2009/10 comes out while their good result for 2018/19 goes in. So yes, top-4 and that UCL money pool is more important to the long-term performance of the club on the field IF you have to prioritize. Barring injury, Spurs would have competed to win this year. But once Kane and Alli went down, and with Son away, it was "emergency stations" and "defend the homeland" time. Look at Arsenal, with bupkus to spend per their coach, and a squad that needs a remake. Missing UCL 2 years running, and likely this year barring an unlikely Europa League backdoor, is going to ruin them, because they don't know how to manage under FFP if they don't have the UCL revenue. Oh, and the Ozil contract debacle will be the final coffin nail. Chelski missed last year, and likely this year (again barring the Europa League backdoor). They already had the FFP sword hanging over them - I expect significant sales of the loan army to make the numbers work (the Pulisic purchase won't help, a Hazard sale will, financially - but not on the field)
  4. JimCT

    Come on you Spurs!

    Apparently he's played left back for the national team, but in a back 4. Never the wing back he was today. But highly regarded for technical skill, and he showed it, didn't he? If I had posted in advance Toby - Sanchez - Foyth as a back 3, plus Jan and Serge as wings, winks and Sissoko anchoring the midfield, people would have said unkind things, and predicted a disaster. Not the 3-0 domination that ensued. Squad's too small, not good enough, Spurs aren't mentally tough - blah blah blah. Give them their due today.
  5. JimCT

    Come on you Spurs!

    Great 2d half, class performance
  6. JimCT

    Barcelona fans

    a present for you - https://www.newyorker.com/recommends/read/the-barcelona-legacy-a-history-of-soccers-soul-and-success “The Barcelona Legacy,” a History of Soccer’s Soul and Success By Anakwa Dwamena February 11, 2019 For Josep (Pep) Guardiola, the winningest soccer coach of the past decade, the most successful soccer tactics are simple: “Take the ball, pass the ball, take the ball, pass the ball.” His team, Manchester City, won last season’s English Premier League—where the dominant style of play is to kick and rush—with a record twenty-eight thousand passes, a hundred points, and five games to spare. This follows the passing records he broke during stints in Germany and Spain. He who controls the passing game, it would seem, controls the outcome. In “The Barcelona Legacy,” the soccer historian Jonathan Wilson goes as far back as the first international soccer game, between Scotland and England, in 1872, to trace the evolution of this playing style. It pops up as the Netherlands’ mesmerizing “Total Football” of the 1974 World Cup, which was said to reflect the Dutch values of manipulating and conserving space; and a more recent variant is the “tiki-taka” of the F.C. Barcelona team, led by Guardiola, which won fourteen out of a possible nineteen trophies in four seasons. The center of Wilson’s narrative is set in the Catalonia of the nineteen-nineties, where a number of coaches and players (including the adolescent Guardiola) began to refine the Dutch style. In that Eden, the golden rule was that success flowed from the beauty of the game rather than from its results. Or as the Spanish coach Juan Manuel (Juanma) Lillo puts it, “The birth rate goes up. Is that enriching? No. But the process that led to that? Now that’s enriching. Fulfillment comes from the process.” Barcelona’s success became an argument for the rule. But, just as Satan is the most engaging character in “Paradise Lost,” the mischievous Portuguese coach José Mourinho, who was an assistant coach and friend to Guardiola in Catalonia, is the book’s charming foil. Mourinho, who’s achieved huge success coaching Chelsea, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid, has no regard for the golden rule: results are the only beauty he cares to behold. The dramatization of the rivalry between him and Guardiola—first in Spain and then in England—supplies a study of beauty and competition that complements Wilson’s historical retelling and gives fans a keen, thrilling insight into the philosophy of the game.
  7. JimCT

    The Manchester United thread

    ref certainly not covered with glory - now United without Pogba for the 2d leg
  8. JimCT

    Gordon Banks RIP

    with some additional footage
  9. JimCT

    The OFFICIAL 2018-19 Men's NCAA Basketball Thread

    From the Duke-UVA game
  10. JimCT

    Come on you Spurs!

  11. JimCT

    Come on you Spurs!

  12. JimCT

    Come on you Spurs!

    Michael Oliver is robbing Spurs blind.
  13. JimCT

    Come on you Spurs!

    Should have been a PK, without a doubt.
  14. JimCT

    The Official 2018/19 Premier League Thread

    Brighton was robbed by the ref today.