NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 38
Submitted by Norman Giller
A huge result for all of us!
It’s incredible what a draw at the Emirates can do. This morning I feel as spring-heeled as if I lifted the Ryder Cup, enjoyed a stag-night drink with George Clooney, and defected to UKip. If we’d picked up all three points I think I’d be purring down the phone to Her Majesty and having a drink with Mrs Clooney.
Seriously, that was a huge result for Mauricio and the boys; for ALL of us.
A defeat could have led to rumblings of civil war, but now we can all pull together and concentrate hard on trying to grab at least fourth place in the Premier League.
The biggest thing to come out of Saturday’s proud performance is that we now know that Younes Kaboul has grown into a true leader, who wears the captain’s armband like a badge of honour.
I remember Harry the Redknapp telling me yonks ago: “Younes is a slow developer, but will become a vital cog in our team. He has a heart as big as his head and is good to have around the dressing-room.”
He and his fellow Frenchman Hugo Lloris were tres formidable against the Gooners, and without Kaboul’s headed clearances and interceptions and Hugo’s safe hands I might have been writing this blog with a much heavier heart.
Going into the game we were all concerned about what was happening at the heart of the defence, but the Kaboul-Vertonghen partnership looked rock solid and I am sure Mauricio will persevere with it.
Danny Rose was not far behind in the man of the match ratings, yet there were still critics sniping at him after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s face-saving equaliser. “Rose gave him the freedom of the penalty area. What a dummy,” was one Tweet.
Anybody who has listened to the pros in the game will know that the first rule for a full-back is to sit at the far post once the player he is marking has roamed during an all-out attack. Danny did exactly that and it was hardly his fault that the ball was deflected into the path of the Ox, who had been kept relatively quiet by Danny’s disciplined defending.
I still worry that we do not have enough attacking ammunition, but Nacer Chadli is proving consistent in nipping in for goals that matter. Surely, Mr Levy, a goal-scoring forward will be shipped in during the January transfer window? Surely (I know, don’t call you Shirley).
Fussy refereeing threatened to ruin a keenly fought derby and Chadli’s booking during the goal celebrations – for putting a hand to his ear in answer to Arsenal barracking – was the silliest card of the season so far.
Those of us who have lived through the derbies of the old days featuring brutal-force tacklers like Dave Mackay, Peter Storey, Graham Roberts and Tony Adams shook our heads in wonder as the referee produced cards like a demented Paul Daniels. There were nine bookings in what by old NLD standards was a meaty rather than malicious contest.
The more I see of Pochettino’s tactics and demeanour the more I like the cut of his jib, which is a deliberate naval metaphor as he steadies and steers the boat through rough waters.
That was a bold call to select Ryan Mason, because the keyboard warriors would have eaten him alive if it had not worked out. I think Loan Ranger Mason is home for good and will become a considerable midfield force as he grows with confidence.
Now for the Europa League game against Besiktas before Mauricio tests himself against his old Southampton team now under the guidance of former Dutch football master Ronnie Koeman. Then another monster match at Manchester City.
It’s never easy.
Somebody somewhere has been telling porkies about the alleged ownership bid from secretive American investment group Cain Hoy.
According to Spurs there was no truth in the stories about a possible takeover. So why did Cain Hoy feel it necessary to release the following statement? –
'On 12 September 2014, having previously approached Tottenham Hotspur with a proposal, Cain Hoy Enterprises, LLC ('Cain Hoy') confirmed that it was at the preliminary stages of assessing a cash offer for Tottenham Hotspur.
'Cain Hoy has subsequently terminated its assessment and accordingly is no longer considering making an offer for Tottenham Hotspur.'
But they have left the door open for a possible future deal, with this addition to their statement:
'As a consequence of this announcement, Cain Hoy will, except with the consent of the takeover panel, be bound by the restrictions on making an offer for Tottenham Hotspur contained in Rule 2.8 of the UK Takeover Code for six months from the date of this announcement.
'However, Cain Hoy reserves the right to make an offer in the circumstances set out in Note 2 of Rule 2.8 of the UK Takeover Code.'
It’s all financial world gobbledygook that could have come out of the Michael Douglas Wall Street film, but there’s no doubt in my mind that ENIC owner Joe Lewis would willingly sell if he could find somebody willing to part with £1-billion. Joe is coming up 78 and I am sure he does not fancy the off-field hassle facing Spurs over the next few years.
Wise investors will stand back and see what progress is made with the stadium-rebuilding plans before coming in with any proper bids.
One of Cain Hoy’s main driving forces is Todd Boehly, co-owner of baseball team LA Dodgers and President of the powerful investment fund Guggenheim Capital.
Stories circulating on the other side of the Pond are that the group wants a foothold in an English stadium to host international series NFL matches and even a future London franchise. London Monarchs played at the Lane on a regular basis in 1995 and 1996, and the ground was the home for a Tottenham baseball team in 1906 to 1908.
Will we in the future see Yankee Doodle Hotspur?
THE GILLER TEASER
Each week here in my Spurs Odyssey home I test your knowledge of Tottenham. Last week I asked: Who joined Spurs as an apprentice in 1963, played in midfield in Tottenham’s 1973 League Cup winning team at Wembley and scored 49 goals in 331 League games for the club?
Most of you got this one right: John Pratt, arguably the most undervalued player in Tottenham’s history. Hackney boy John was playing when my day job was as a football reporter, and I could never understand the stick he used to take from Spurs fans that continually barracked and booed him as if he was a member of the opposition.
John would be the first to admit he was not the most skillful of players, but few could match his work rate and enthusiasm. The fact that he scored 49 goals while mostly being played as a midfield anchorman is proof of his industry and input. I think there are a lot of middle-aged supporters out there who owe John a collective apology for the way they treated him. He had the character to ignore the boo boys and got on with the job of doing his best for the team. John Pratt, I bow the knee to you.
The first name chosen at random from the correct entries: George Mann, of Plymouth, who wins an autographed copy of Lane of Dreams.
This week’s teaser: Who played for Crystal Palace and QPR before joining Spurs, collected an FA Cup final medal in 1982 and won 20 international caps, including in the 1986 World Cup finals?
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
Alternatively you can have either of the books delivered right NOW to your computer screen for NOTHING. If you like it, just please make a donation to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes. Please email me at email@example.com. Thank you
Thanks for your company. COYS!
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