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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 68) (20.04.15)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 68
Submitted by Norman Giller

Norman Giller writes for Spurs Odyssey

Spurs Odyssey Quiz League decider!

Now that Tottenham have taken goals to Newcastle and picked up three precious points, we can get down to the vital business of deciding our Spurs Odyssey Quiz League championship.

The situation as it stands is that FIFTY-THREE of you are currently sharing top place in the table with 66 points each. This is how I hope to break the deadlock …

I challenge you to select a team of five British-born Tottenham players who have represented Spurs since 1960. Each one MUST have played a minimum of 200 League matches for the club. That rules out talented players such as Paul Gascoigne, Martin Peters and Gareth Bale. For the purposes of this question I am counting Northern Ireland footballers as British.

You need to select one goalkeeper and four out-field players – a team for a make-believe five-a-side match. It should be balanced and featuring the cream of Tottenham players from the last 55 years. Don’t forget the team needs to defend as well as attack!

Finally, please pick one foreign-born substitute who must have played a minimum 200 League matches for the club. That rules out such talented players as Jurgen Klinsmann, David Ginola and Luka Modric.

I have selected my all-star Spurs team for a fantasy five-a-side match, plus the foreign-born substitute and have locked it away so that only I know the line-up.

You get three points for each player that agrees with my selection, plus a bonus five points if you select the same foreign-born substitute as me. That means there are a maximum 20 points to be earned.

I know this is not so much a quiz question as a matter of opinion, but it will test your knowledge of great Tottenham players and will give you some pleasant moments shuffling through your memories.

Make sure that each player wore the Lilywhite shirt in at least 200 League matches. It means your selection will have loyal as well as talented Tottenham servants.

Hopefully this will break the logjam, and I will come up with another tiebreaker next week to really shake things up.

Email your selection, please, to SOQL16@normangillerbooks.com. Add your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs. Also, please tell me how many points you have collected to date. Many of you have the full 66 points.

I have done my best to email everybody who has taken part in the Quiz, which I think is some sort of record. The best you usually get is an impersonal computerised response. It’s been good getting to know you all, and I thank Spurs Odyssey grand master Paul Smith for this prestigious platform.

The closing time for entries is midnight on Friday, April 24. I will give an analysis of your teams here at my Spurs Odyssey base next Monday. Enjoy!

And by the way, the final decision is mine and in the case of any disputes I will just thumb my nose! Let’s keep this friendly. It’s a fun game, not war.

The eventual winner of the League 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.

Jimmy rang me on Saturday to wish me a happy birthday (I have now joined him in the 75 club), and when I told him I was offering his autographed photo as first prize he shot back with typical Greavsie wit: “And the second prize is TWO autographed pictures.”

I congratulated him on his decision to accept induction into the Tottenham Hall of Fame, and he said: “It is going to be a proud and emotional night for me. My days at Spurs were the summertime of my life.”

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: http://jimmygreaves.net/2015/03/three-great-spurs-legends-all-in-one-evening-300415-exeter-city-fc/

Most of you were again correct with the answers to last week’s questions: 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 the Goal of the Season in a sixth round FA Cup tie?

Yes, it was the delectable David Ginola who scored his spectacular sixth round FA Cup tie goal against Barnsley in 1999. In full flow, there were few better sights than Ginola, but I felt he tended to decorate rather than decide many games.

First name drawn from the senders of the correct answers is Ian Landeryou, of Laindon in Essex. He has supported Spurs since 1958, the year in which Bill Nicholson took over as manager at the start of a golden era. I will be emailing Ian a screen version of my Bill Nicholson Revisited book.

You can order a traditional printed Bill Nicholson Revisited book from www.normangillerbooks.com, with all profits going to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes who have hit difficult times. Please give a great cause your support.


Yesterday’s comfortable 3-1 victory against neurotic Newcastle keeps Spurs in with an extremely distant chance of a fourth place, but more likely a return to the well-trodden ground of the Europa Cup.

I disagree with the Glenn Hoddle camp that says Tottenham would be better off without the tournament.

Spurs have a big enough squad to take it on board, and they can use it not only as a means of considerable income but also to give experience and competitive action to the fringe members of the team.

There is the added carrot that the winners will be awarded an automatic place in the Champions’ League. I go along with the Bill Nicholson mantra: “If you’re not in Europe you’re nothing!” That was a no-nonsense statement from the first British manager to lift a major European trophy.

Who can forget the memorable nights when Spurs twice won the Uefa Cup before it became a League competition? I can clearly see on my memory screen skipper Alan Mullery cuddling the trophy like a baby and fighting his way through the avenues of fans on a lone victory lap of the Lane, with all the others returning to the dressing-room, beaten by the vast cheering, celebrating supporters in 1972.

And how many of you go moist eyed thinking back to the night Tony Parks made his sensational winning save to clinch victory in the penalty shoot-out with Anderlecht in 1984? Happy days.

I just hope that head honcho Mauricio Pochettino is given the opportunity to select his own players in what promises to be a hectic summer transfer market of comings and (mainly) goings. He has done well with an inherited squad, and now deserves the chance to bring in the players he knows will make his philosophy work.

While our attention was on the satisfying action at Newcastle and Our Harry was reaching the 30-goal mark in something near record time, Spurs old boy Tim Sherwood was guiding Aston Villa to the FA Cup final.

You have to be mean-spirited not to wish Tim luck at Wembley in May, particularly as we will be rooting for a Villa victory over the Woolwich Nomads.

Know-nowts on line, spreading rumours about him as fact, have generated most of the hatred aimed at Tim. Whenever I challenge them they back off and admit they’ve never met him or know of his record in football before he joined Spurs (he was a driving, fiercely competitive captain of Blackburn’s Premier League winning team). They just pass on the slanderous stories they read as if they are purveyors of the truth.

Yes, Tim often forgets to put his brain in gear before sounding off, but those who actually know him will confirm he has the potential to become one of the most inspirational and motivating forces in the game.

Tim has the knack of getting the best out of players, and has a finely tuned tactical brain. Talk to the likes of Kane, Mason, Bentaleb and (now at Villa) Benteke about him and they will tell you he is a master at getting people to play to their peak. Or you can continue to listen to those Bloggers who write with secondhand knowledge, and never ever get to meet the people they are kicking below the belt.

Sherwood could easily be lifting the FA Cup next month. A pity it is not for Tottenham.

Thank you for your company. Same time, same place next week. COYS!

The "Giller Index" - listing all Norman's articles for Spurs Odyssey

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