NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 17
Submitted by Norman Giller
The decision I had to make at the weekend was: Frank Sinatra Junior singing and talking about his Dad, or Tottenham taking on Big Sam’s West Ham at Upton Park.
Frankly (geddit?), it was no race. I shocked a few Lane diehards by saying I would take music before modern football any day of the week.
Football often disappoints. Music never lets me down.
I detest the commercialisation of the people’s game, the mercenaries who are here to just take the money and run (and often not shoot), and the owners who have their eyes more on the stock market than the League table.
It continues to astonish me that people will pay £50-plus to watch a match. By the time you add their fare or petrol money and a meal and a drink they are going through as much as I get in my weekly pension.
I recorded the West Ham/Spurs match and went to ridiculous lengths to make sure I did not hear the result, including covering my ears during the intermission in the Sinatra gig at Ronnie Scott’s incase I overheard anybody discussing football.
Incidentally, I went to the same East End school as Ronnie Scott when he was known as Ronnie Schatt. Wonder why he changed his name?
It was around midnight when I finally sat down and watched the match all on my own. I hope I did not wake my neighbours with my shouting at the screen when Paulino and Adebayor chickened out while facing Downing’s free-kick. I bet many Tim haters blamed Sherwood for that (he never ever ducked anything on the field of play).
The recording has now been wiped, but I cannot get the misery of the match out of my mind. I went to bed heavy of heart and convinced the anti-Tim brigade will now get their way and have him removed before the summer is very old.
Hugo Lloris was the only Tottenham player who could walk out of Upton Park with his head held high. If he can be persuaded to stay, he will soon be up there with Pat Jennings and Ted Ditchburn to complete a trinity of legendary Spurs goalkeepers.
As Sinatra would sing: “I Get A Kick Out of You …” followed by (we hope) “The Best Is Yet to Come.”
I WILL not add my voice to the growing calls for ENIC to get out of town. It would be complete turmoil if they were to quit with the long-awaited new stadium not just on the horizon but around the corner.
I have seen the plans for the new White Hart Lane and they are exciting and ambitious. The scheme comes wrapped in huge commercial contracts but that is the only way to pull off such a bold project.
Only when Tottenham get a stadium that houses 55,000 spectators will they be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the true giants of Europe.
While working to a 35k capacity, Spurs are continually punching above their weight and sixth place in the Premier League is about their limit.
It amuses me to see bloggers who earn peanuts telling billionaire Joe Lewis and his righthand man Daniel Levy – who has a first class honours degree from Cambridge University – how to conduct their business.
It’s a bit like those amateur armchair coaches telling managers what tactics to use, without having any real knowledge of the players that they see once a week on the pitch.
I think the future of the club is in safe hands off the pitch. It is getting the football management right that is proving hardest of all, and whoever is in the hot seat does not get the necessary support from the know-it-alls.
Harry was chased out after a 4-5-4 finish. AVB was still finding his way when he was set upon by the lynch mob. Now it’s Tim’s turn in the torture chamber, even though he inherited the team and did not bring in one of the players.
Be patient with ENIC and you will soon have a home to be proud of, and income that could attract the best players. But it is not going to happen overnight. Lewis and Levy, better the devils you know. Think of the good things they bring to the club.
It is easy and shallow to shout ENIC out. Think back to the 80s when the club nearly went under because of bad business management. You prefer those days?
As Sinatra would sing: “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative …”
THE GILLER TEASER
Each week here in my Spurs Odyssey home I test your knowledge of Tottenham. I managed to trick a few of you last week when I asked: Which former Barcelona striker scored a hat-trick for Spurs against West Ham on April Fool’s Day 1992?
Yes, it was that crisp finisher Gary Lineker, but some came up with Steve Archibald, who also played for Barcelona in the 80s.
The first name chosen at random from the correct entries is John Davies of Woking, who wins a signed hard-back copy of Bill Nicholson Revisited.
This week’s teaser, with the final League game against Aston Villa in mind: Who played for Barnsley and Villa before lifting trophies for Tottenham? Back of the class if you get it wrong!
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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