NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 13
Submitted by Norman Giller
So, the next stop on what has become Tim Sherwood’s farewell tour is The Hawthorns on Saturday. I wonder if he will now start to get the full support and encouragement he deserves from the lynch mob, who have got their way – exactly as they did with Harry and AVB.
Spurs Odyssey regulars, fed on a diet of dignity and style by website founder Paul Smith, tend to be the more balanced type of Lilywhite supporter. The sneerers and the whiners prefer to populate other forums, keeping up a continual barrage of criticism that is unfounded and unfair.
Let’s look at the facts: Tim Sherwood inherited a team of passing strangers, not one of whom he brought into the club.
Within hours of his appointment the snipers were out, complaining that he had no managerial experience and had achieved nothing to warrant him taking over from the hounded-out AVB.
They conveniently overlooked the fact that the two most successful managers in the club’s history – Bill Nicholson and Keith Burkinshaw – were both coaches promoted from within.
Today’s keyboard rottweilers would have savaged both of them in their first seasons, when Bill’s team finished 18th and Keith’s side was relegated.
They conveniently overlooked the fact that Sherwood skippered the Premiership winning Blackburn Rovers team, but many of them have deluded themselves into thinking they know more about the game and tactics than this man who is steeped in football.
His critics thrashed around for evidence that he was the wrong man for the job, and stumbled on the fact he had supported Arsenal when he was a kid. Wow! Line him up against the wall and shoot him.
You think Bill Shankly supported Liverpool? Do you know that Matt Busby played for Manchester City? You think Bill Nick was supporting Spurs when growing up in Scarborough? I bet a good percentage of Tottenham fans did not start out with Spurs as their first love.
When Sherwood sensibly reinstated the enigmatic Adebayor and Spurs went on a winning spree under him his critics were forced to take a lower profile. But thumping defeats by exceptional teams above them in the table again lit the touchpaper to their venomous attacks.
‘Dim Tim’ they started to call him, not giving a second’s thought to the fact it just might be THEY who are dim by shooting at the man charged with trying to bring stability and success to the club.
What on earth happened to a thing called support? Why not leave it to the opposition fans to fire the criticism?
On Monday, Sky News leaked the news/gossip that Tim has been told his services will not be required after the end of this season. I nearly exploded with laughter after the 5-1 slamming of Sunderland when Sky’s profound pundit Gary Neville described the attacks on Sherwood as ‘media terrorism.’
The terrorists were lurking in Neville’s own newsroom, and it is they who gave Sherwood’s army of critics a field day for their vile abuse that was made to look stupid by the slaughter of Sunderland. “He’s lost the dressing-room,” they thundered. All the evidence on the pitch suggested the opposite – that the players were ready to run through walls for him. The wonderful camera shot of Ade and Tim saluting each other spoke a million words about the dressing-room spirit. But, of course, the Sherwood detractors know better.
I am not showing 20/20 hindsight vision. In my blog here last week I wrote that this is Sherwood’s swansong and that it’s the worst kept secret that Louis van Gaal is on his way in.
There’s every chance that Tim will take over from another ex-Spur at Norwich now that poor old Chris Hughton has got the not so bootiful boot.
Let’s give Tim a good send-off by fully supporting him through his final few matches in charge, starting at West Brom on Saturday.
Don’t be dim, cheer for Tim.
Calling all true supporters with Spurs in their soul. With Father's Day in mind on June 15, I am publishing a limited edition of a book called Danny Blanchflower, This WAS His Life.
As I reminded you last week, he walked away from Eamonn Andrews and his This Is Your Life book. I was a member of the Life scriptwriting team for 14 years, and will be telling the true story about Danny's life and career and quoting for the first time from the actual script for the show-that-never-was.
Danny tragically died of Alzheimer's without knowledge of what he achieved as a footballer and writer. I will again be making a donation to the Tottenham Tribute Trust, who do so much to help our old heroes who have become lost in a fog of dementia.
For everybody who orders the book, I will be sending a personally signed message (which I hope does not devalue the book).
You can order the book here: www.normangillerbooks.com … or you could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask me to put a copy on one side. I promise to respond.
I hope you will support this great cause and enjoy the book I have written about the most interesting, intelligent, talkative and artistic footballer I ever knew: Danny Boy, arguably the most influential player ever to wear the Lilywhite shirt.
THE GILLER TEASER
Each week here in my Spurs Odyssey home I test your knowledge of Spurs. Most of you were correct with last week’s answer to the question: Who scored a hat-trick for Spurs at Roker Park in March 1997?
It was, of course, Steffen Iversen, the Norwegian raider who scored 36 goals in 144 League matches for Tottenham.
The first name chosen at random from the correct entries is Joan Bracewell, of Harlow, who wins a signed hard-back copy of Bill Nicholson Revisited that she has asked me to send to her Spurs-fanatic father.
This week’s teaser, with Saturday’s League game against West Brom in mind: Which former Spurs skipper later played for Chelsea and West Brom, and won six England caps under Bobby Robson?
A signed Bill Nicholson Revisited book (one of the few remaining hardback versions) to the sender of the correct answer whose name is randomly drawn first. Email your answer please to email@example.com
The book is now available in paperback, with profits going to the Tottenham Tribute Trust: www.normangillerbooks.com
Thank you for joining me.
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