NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 54
Submitted by Norman Giller
Don't boo your own
If I live to be a hundred (well on my way) I will never ever understand how Spurs fans can boo and jeer Spurs players. For me, the deserved but nail-biting 2-1 victory over Sunderland was scarred by Emmanuel Adebayor’s unfriendly reception when he replaced goal-constipated Bobby Soldado on the hour.
I know it was only a small section of the Tottenham supporters who booed his appearance as if he was Nigel Farage gate-crashing the Tory Party Conference. But for me it is an almost traitorous act to jeer your own player.
Yes, he earns too much. Yes, he often sulks and struts when he should be sweating for the team. Yes, he is usually more moody than magnificent. And yes he recently had a pop at those fans that have been less than welcoming.
But while he is wearing a Spurs shirt he is part of the Spurs team. The quickest way to spread sourness and negativity through a club is to turn on the players. The people criticising and cat-calling from the safety of their seats become the enemy within.
Rant over. Sorry, just wanted to get it off my Spurs-swollen chest. My message: if you’ve got nothing good to say or shout about your own players, say or shout nowt. It’s called supporting your team.
The only memories that I will take from Saturday’s game all centre on the hectic closing minutes. Of course, Christian Eriksen’s happy-habit late goal, yet another Superman save from Hugo ‘Boss’ Lloris, and then the-goal-that-was-and-then-wasn’t by Jan Vertonghen in what was a crazy climax to an otherwise fairly ordinary match.
The referee’s assistant who flagged it off-side clearly needs to go to SpecSavers. It is wrong to blame referee Chris Foy. He was too busy sprinting to keep up with the play to judge exactly where Jan was when he received the ball. That was the job of the linesman, who got himself so wrapped up in spotting there was only one Sunderland player in his eye-line that he forgot to check Jan was still in his own half when Danny Rose released the ball.
Imagine if it had still been 1-1 and that goal had been turned down. This just might have been an obituary on the officials.
Just suppose a single goal makes a difference in the final count at season’s end. Can we have our goal back, please!
Something that nobody has reported … Jan Vertonghen, more one-footed than Long John Silver, put the ball into the net twice with his RIGHT foot, which he usually only uses for standing on.
Now it’s best foot forward for the FA Cup fourth round home tie against Leicester City as Spurs continue to battle on all four fronts. There’s something in the air that smells a lot like optimism, despite the Arse putting City to the sword at the Etihad yesterday to drop an anchor of annoyance on our weekend.
Let’s cheer on every one of our players as we go into the 37th match of this action-packed season at the Lane on Saturday, with Double year glory-glory massaging the memories of those of us of a certain age that recall the 60-61 FA Cup final victory over Leicester. And if you hear a Spurs fan booing a Spurs player, just say to him: “That is like booing yourself, you idiot.”
Huge thanks to two regular Spurs Odyssey visitors who have generously supported my books-for-the-Tottenham-Trust campaign – Hong Kong-based Ian Miller and Berkshire Lilywhite David Guthrie.
Both are steeped in Spurs post-war history, and appreciate that the heroes of their boyhood are hitting difficult times in their old age. Remember, they were not cushioned by huge wages during their playing careers.
All profits from my Tottenham-themed books go to the Tottenham Tribute Trust and you can see the evidence here: https://www.justgiving.com/thettt
If there is anybody out there organising a Tottenham event, I can let you have FREE Danny Blanchflower books to raffle or sell, on the understanding that the main percentage of profits go to the Trust. If you are interested and can help this great cause, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can follow the lead of Ian Miller and David Guthrie by ordering Spurs books from me at www.normangillerbooks.com All profits to the Trust, that does such a great and unheralded job helping our heroes from back in the Glory-Glory days.
THE SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE
We are now coming up to our third week of the League, and followers from two more countries (South Africa and Argentina) have joined supporters taking part from all points, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malta, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Slovakia and right across Europe.
You swamped me with correct answers to last week’s questions: For three points, identify the player who started his career with West Ham, played more than 300 matches for Spurs and scored 23 League goals. For a bonus extra point: Which club did he move to in 1993?
Yes, it was Paul Allen, who later became a Saint with Southampton. Paul was such an energetic, honest player giving his all for the team that we tended to overlook his skill factor that was very high, as you would expect with his Allen lineage!
First name drawn is Eric Church, from Tunbridge Wells, a Tottenham fan since the early 1950s who can trace his family connections to his Granddad following Spurs back in the 1890s. I will be emailing Eric a screen version of my Bill Nicholson Revisited book.
Eric is one of more than 100 contestants sharing top place in the League. I have some tie-breaker ideas up my sleeve that will break the log jam in the weeks ahead. Meantime, please keep joining in because I like your company. I always try to send a personal reply.
It is not too late to join in the fun. I will find a way of working out averages so that Spurs fans can join in despite missing the start, but obviously those who take part every week have the best chance of winning what will be a suitable prize. Remember the old adage, it’s not the winning that matters so much as the taking part.
This week’s challenge is triggered by the upcoming FA Cup tie with Leicester City: For three points, Who scored two goals in the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Sunderland at White Hart Lane in 1961, and – for a bonus point – what number shirt did he wear in the Final at Wembley?
Email your answers please to SOQL3@normangillerbooks.com Give your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs. I will respond.
A screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to the sender of the first correct answers drawn at random.
Thanks for your company. COYS
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