NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 67
Submitted by Norman Giller
Challenge to Levy - publish the Tottenham manifesto!
Here’s a challenge to Daniel Levy to publish the Tottenham manifesto in this week of political pronouncements by the main parties. Trouble is we’re all in a peed-off rather than party mood after that appalling performance against Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa.
On the economy, I’d like ENIC to tell us exactly what their plans are now they have won their courtroom battle to remove the one remaining barrier to the building of a new stadium. Are they staying around to see the £450m project through, or are the stories I hear true about Levy’s Godfather Joe Lewis still wanting to sell up as he gallops towards his 80s?
On health, could Levy assure us that Mauricio Pochettino has a long life to look forward to in the manager’s chair, or is he planning one of his emergency operations and yet another management transplant?
On immigration, are there plans to bring in yet more foreign players, or has the Harry Kane success story convinced him that homegrown talent is the way forward?
On pensions, are the club going to continue to pay huge weekly wages to players who hardly see any action away from the training pitch, or are they going to pension them off in a massive summer clear-out?
At this moment in time, few Spurs supporters would vote for ENIC to continue in power at Tottenham. There is something cold and clinical about the company, and there is not the old warmth emanating from a club that used to generate a family atmosphere.
Long gone are the days when I could wander into the club, get a welcoming cup of char from Bill Nicholson’s secretary Barbara Wallace and chat to the players like pals rather than great untouchables living in an ivory tower.
All is geared to big business and fleecing every possible penny out of the long-suffering and incredibly loyal fans. I hate the commercial creed of the club, with everything geared towards profit. The general staff are wonderful, and give 100 per cent to their work despite many of them earning peanuts. They deserve to be paid properly.
The way the club has gone along with the American-driven StubHub ticket-selling system is, for me, little short of treachery. It proves the club has lost its heart when it cannot put its supporters ahead of what in my opinion is just a camouflaged ticket-spivving scheme.
I had better own up to vested interest that lies at the root my Victor Meldrew moan about the club. They have refused to stock my Spurs-themed books, even though every penny of profit goes to the Tottenham Tribute Trust, which helps our old heroes who have hit difficult times. These were the players who ran themselves into the ground for the club before the gravy-train days. They are now paying the price for their efforts, with the ex-footballers’ nightmare of dementia and painful limbs. They are worthy of us putting our hands in our pockets.
You can help these old boys by buying my books at www.normangillerbooks.com or making donations direct to the Trust at https://www.justgiving.com/thettt Not a penny goes into my pocket.
Meantime, as we move towards an election ENIC continue to squeeze what they can out of the supporters.
It makes me cross.
Daniel Levy was conspicuous by his absence as Tottenham were vanquished by Tim Sherwood’s Villa. Perhaps he guessed Tim was going to pinch the points.
I thought it was petty of Tottenham the way they did their best to ignore Sherwood, as if airbrushing him out of the club’s history despite his record of 59% of victories when in charge.
There was barely a mention of him in the programme, no photograph and not the usual warm broadcast welcome that usually goes to returning ex-Spurs servants.
Just a little bit of me was pleased for Tim, who has taken unmerciful stick on line from Tottenham supporters feeding on gossip rather than fact. They all have an opinion on him without really knowing a thing about the man apart from the lies that are passed on as truth.
Every time I challenge one of his critics they always have to confess they have little knowledge of his football background. Few saw him as a fiercely competitive skipper of Blackburn, without whose midfield input they would not have won the Premiership back in 1995.
He was a captain who had the sort of driving leadership qualities woefully missing from the current Spurs side. By the time he joined Tottenham he was on tired legs, and when he had a public fall out with Glenn Hoddle few knew his side of the argument. So all the hatred from the know-nothings was piled on Tim.
He has always been somebody who shoots from the lip, but his opinions are couched in honesty. And I have rarely come across anybody as eaten up with tactics, yet his critics point out that he has not got a piece of paper saying he is a qualified coach. He knows more about the game than most Fifa-blessed coaches that I have come across, and he clearly out-thought Pochettino on Saturday.
Tim has the knack of being able to motivate players. He brought the best out of the enigmatic Adebayor – for which I salute him – and now he has Benteke playing out of his skin for Villa. Can Mauricio match him in the man-motivating department? We shall see.
Those who saw Tim’s Match of the Day interview will have witnessed the real Tim Sherwood, passionate, talkative, wise and humourous. If anybody was entitled to gloat it was Tim, but for once he bit his tongue and was magnanimous in victory.
If I was Daniel Levy – and thank the Lord I’m not – I would still have had Harry Redknapp in charge at the Lane, bringing Tim Sherwood along as his successor.
Don’t suppose I will get many votes, either!
THE SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE
We are now into week 15 of the League. The winner at the end of the season will get a huge, personally autographed photograph of Jimmy Greaves holding the FA Cup in 1967, plus a signed, framed certificate announcing you (if you’re the winner) as the inaugural Spurs Odyssey Quiz League champion.
The entrepreneurial Terry Baker is kindly providing the exclusive signed photograph, and he reminds me that Jimmy will be teaming up with Steve ‘Mr Loyalty’ Perryman and his old side kick Alan Gilzean at a Legends Night in Exeter on April 30. Full details here:
Many of you are on a maximum 62 points for the questions asked to date, and NEXT WEEK there will be a tiebreaker introduced that will stretch your minds and knowledge.
Most of you were again correct with the answers to last week’s questions: For three points, which Spurs striker was shown the red card in a Boxing Day match against Aston Villa, and for a bonus point from which club did he sign for Tottenham the second time around?
Yes, it was Jermain Defoe who rejoined Tottenham from Portsmouth. I would still have had him at Spurs. He is the ideal gunslinger to have on the bench in emergency.
First name drawn from the senders of the correct answers is Jim Jewers, of Basingstoke. He has supported Spurs since the great Double season of 1960-61. What a good place to start! I will be emailing Jim a screen version of my Bill Nicholson Revisited book.
This week’s challenge is triggered by Sunday’s visit to Newcastle: For three points, who played exactly 100 League games for Spurs after joining from Newcastle and then moving on to Aston Villa, and for a bonus point against which team did he score Tottenham's Goal of the Season in a sixth round FA Cup tie?
Email your answers please to SOQL15@normangillerbooks.com Add your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs. I will do my best to respond.
A screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to the sender of the first correct answers drawn at random.
Tottenham Tribute Trust by buying one of my books (all profits to the Trust to help our old heroes), please go here: www.normangillerbooks.com Or, from the same website, you can buy my Muhammad Ali Book (The Ali Files) and help a hungry writer! Full details on my Ali Files book here:
Thanks for your company. COYS
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