NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 33
Submitted by Norman Giller
The King is gunged, long live the King.
Top o’ the morning to you! On the day Daniel Levy sportingly took a bucket of ice water for charity, Harry Redknapp had a barrel of dung dropped on him by his old Spurs club.
It will not have escaped Harry’s memory that not so long ago he had stood in a similar spot to where Levy got his soaking while David Bentley mischievously tipped a bucket of water over him.
This was in a moment of triumph, but yesterday’s experience was a public humiliation for the former Tottenham manager, and it signalled the official start of the Mauricio Pochettino era at White Hart Lane.
The King is gunged, long live the King.
It is a rare moment for Spurs bloggers to be able to report from the top of the mountain. As I look out here from the summit of the Premier League I see – to quote legendary Yiddish songwriter Irving Berlin – “Blue Skies, nothing but Blue Skies from now on.”
But then – because I am an old git up to my ears in years of broken promises – I surrender to a splash of reality. My ice bucket moment.
Let’s analyse the season so far:
Game one, a streaky last-minute victory against an ordinary West Ham team at Upton Park. Neutrals considered the Hammers unlucky to lose and the knowledgeable Ruud Gullit went on national TV to denigrate two of Tottenham’s major players in Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela.
Game two, a hugely unimpressive 2-1 win over Championship-class AEL Limassol in Cyprus. That is unfinished business, with the second leg at the Lane on Thursday.
Game three – yesterday – a blindingly brilliant 4-0 thumping of Queen’s Park Rangers. The football at times made the hair stand up on the back of the necks of Tottenham supporters … while making Harry Redknapp and his new coach Glenn Hoddle want to tear out their hair.
We will tell our grandchildren about the 48 passes that led to Nacer Chadli’s second goal, a Premier League record that will (deliberate pun) pass into Tottenham folklore.
It was a match in which Erik Lamela at last showed us what he is about, a player of pace, trickery, determination and not a little arrogance. Coco the Clown with bells on.
Eric Dier again proved that he is a wise old man in young man’s boots. What a lovely headache for the Poch, deciding what to do with him now that Kyle Naughton has served his suspension.
Chadli produced the best performance of his Tottenham career so far and was rewarded with his two well-taken goals, Danny Rose shut up his moan-a-lot critics with another polished display, and the energetic Capoue in midfield completely snuffed out loudmouth Joey ‘The Jaw’ Barton.
Adebayor missed a hat-trick of chances as he reminded us why Rio Ferdinand is now very much an ex-England player, while behind him Eriksen and Lamela went together like bacon and eggs – making a nonsense of Gullit’s Match of the Day grilling.
I have nothing but glowing things to say about every member of the Tottenham team, but then the reality check comes back to haunt and taunt me.
There have been just two Premier League games played, both against mediocre opposition. In fact, Rangers – Passing Strangers – were even worse than mediocre. They were hopeless, and Harry, Glenn and Joe Jordan have miracles to perform if they are going to keep them at the top table.
As dear old Bill Shankly used to say, the championship is a marathon, not a sprint.
And talking of Shanks reminds me that Liverpool are next on the Premier League menu. Now if Tottenham can do a job on them as well I will shake off the chains of reality and start to truly believe that Spurs are title contenders.
But if Daniel Levy can be seen smiling and laughing in public then anything is possible.
We are all walking round with smiles on our faces today. Well done, Dan.
Let’s see more of your private face in public. And let’s all hope Spurs can stay at the top.
It’s nice here, nothing but blue skies.
Farewell then, Michael Dawson, thou good and faithful servant. I have said before here in my Spurs Odyssey home that he has been unfairly treated by a minority of supporters unable to recognise that his enthusiasm and energy is as important to a team as the skill and composure of other players.
He is ready to take his big heart to Hull, who are beginning to adopt the look of a Spurs second team.
Daws played 237 League matches for Spurs and gave blood, sweat and tears. He was not the most elegant of players, but he never once came off the pitch with a dry shirt and gave his all for the cause.
Good luck, Michael, and enjoy teaming up again with Tom ‘The Thud’ Huddleston and Jake Livermore. Those of us who appreciated your dedication and determination will be quietly supporting you in your new home.
A lionheart joins the Tigers.
THE GILLER TEASER
Each week here in my Spurs Odyssey home I test your knowledge of Tottenham. Last week I asked: Who was the Channel Islander who scored 37 League goals for Spurs before joining Manchester City?
Most of you were spot on with your answer, Chris Jones. He came to the Lane from his Jersey home and had a winning partnership with John Duncan before having to live in the shadow of Steve Archibald and Garth Crooks.
The Jones boy followed in the footsteps of Push and Run legend Len ‘The Duke’ Duquemin, a Guernsey man who helped Chris settle in at Tottenham when he first arrived. There are those of a certain age who will tell you that the Duke was one of the greatest strikers ever to pull on the Lilywhite shirt. Chris, in all honesty, was not in his class, but played with pride and passion and will be remembered with warmth by any Spurs fans that had the pleasure of watching him play.
The first name chosen at random from the correct entries: George Watson, of Eastbourne, who wins an autographed copy of Lane of Dreams.
You can get a copy of Lane of Dreams, Bill Nicholson Revisited, Tottenham The Managing Game or Danny Blanchflower This WAS His Life delivered RIGHT NOW to your screen. Send me an email to email@example.com and I will reply with a FREE file. If you like it, all I ask in return is a donation to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes who have hit difficult times. If you have Spurs in your soul, you will want to support this great cause. Thank you.
My thanks to Gerard Colhoun of Londonerry for his generous donation of £30 to the Tottenham Tribute Trust in return for my books on Danny Blanchflower and Bill Nicholson. That’s a great gesture from a true supporter who wants to help our old heroes who have hit troubled times.
This week’s teaser features another Tottenham golden oldie: Who joined Tottenham from Blackburn Rovers, played exactly 300 League games for Spurs and won 44 internationals caps? He later played for Seattle Sounders.
I have another copy of my best-selling Lane of Dreams book – including the autographs of Jimmy Greaves and Steve Perryman – for the sender of the correct answer whose name is randomly drawn first. Email your answer please to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like a paperback copy of Bill Nicholson Revisited or a hard-back version of Danny Blanchflower This WAS His Life, please go to www.normangillerbooks.com. A donation goes to the Tottenham Tribute Trust
Thanks for your company. COYS!
The "Giller Index" - listing all Norman's articles for Spurs Odyssey
Top of page | Spurs Odyssey Home Page