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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 69) (27.04.15)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 69
Submitted by Norman Giller

Norman Giller writes for Spurs Odyssey

Now pick a 5-a-side team of foreign players!

First of all, congratulations to ‘Our Harry’ Kane from all at Spurs Odyssey on his PFA Young Footballer of the Year award. Richly deserved, and onwards and upwards to THE Player of the Year next season!

Now down to business. Tottenham supporters world-wide are going to want to lynch me when they see my fantasy five-a-side team for the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League tie-breaker, particularly the “foreign-born” substitute.

This is the side I selected after much soul searching, and losing sleep when pitching out long-time heroes:


                    Pat Jennings
              Ledley King     Dave Mackay
                    Glenn Hoddle  
                    Jimmy Greaves

For my substitute I plumped for Dubliner Robbie Keane, who in his two spells with Spurs scored 93 goals in 239 League appearances.

That means the 99% of you who selected the artistic Argentine Ossie Ardiles as your substitute miss out on the five-point bonus.

Entries have come from as far and wide as the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, India and Hungary … but only one of all those who have taken part agreed entirely with my selection. This probably proves that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

There were three points for each choice that tallied with mine, plus five points for naming the same substitute as me. Take a bow Ian Landeryou, of Laindon in Essex, who collected a full 20 points.

A dedicated supporter since 1958, Ian goes to the top of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League table, with 86 points. Several of you are on his heels on 81 points and a lot more are jostling in joint third place on 78 points.

If I had made this a vote rather than a competition, the most popular combination was:


                    Pat Jennings
           Steve Perryman     Dave Mackay
                    Glenn Hoddle   
                    Jimmy Greaves

Ossie Ardiles was the runaway most popular selection as the ‘foreign-born’ substitute, with only five of you agreeing with my choice of Robbie Keane. I just wanted a goal scorer as my bench man to send into the fantasy game.

I thought long and hard as to which players to select at the back, and gave Ledley King the nod over Steve Perryman because of his physical presence. Would you have fancied trying to get past Dave Mackay and Ledley King? Ouch.

Many of you selected Double skipper Danny Blanchflower, but the fact that he was galloping towards 30 before he established himself at the Lane weighed against him when I made my final selection.

Other players well supported included Teddy Sheringham, Gary Mabbut, Alan Mullery, Alan Gilzean, Mike England, Cyril Knowles, Martin Peters, Martin Chivers and Cliff Jones.

Ok, that’s the easy one over and done with. But our League table remains as jammed as the M25 on a Friday evening. Now a second tie-breaker that will cost you sleep and, possibly, our friendship.

I challenge you to select a team of five FOREIGN-born Tottenham players who have represented Spurs since the launch of the Premier League in 1992. Each one MUST have played a minimum 50 League matches for the club.

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 overseas players who have played for Spurs in the Premier League. Don’t forget the team needs to defend as well as attack!

Finally, please pick one BRITISH-born substitute who must have played a minimum 200 Premier League matches for the club. That rules out the great Gareth Bale. Why should I make it easy for you!

I have selected my all-star overseas team for a fantasy five-a-side match, plus the British-born substitute and have locked it away so that only I know the line-up. And just so you know, my team does NOT include Robbie Keane.

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

Email your selection, please, to SOQL17@normangillerbooks.com Don’t forget to add your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs. Also, tell me how many points you have collected to date.

The closing time for entries is midnight on Friday, May 1. I will give an analysis of your teams here at my Spurs Odyssey base next Monday. Enjoy!

And remember, the final decision is mine and regardless of any arguments you might put up I will not change my mind! 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.

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/

And a reminder that Spurs-themed books are available at www.normangillerbooks.com. ALL profits to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help any of our old heroes who have hit difficult times.


Southampton midfield dynamo Sadio Mané is a clever, eye-catching footballer on Tottenham’s radar, but I think he should have been arrested on Saturday for impersonating Olympic diver Tom Daley.

At least three times sad Sadio went down around the penalty area without any contact being made, and I would liked to have seen the referee show him at least a yellow card for simulation

I would say the same if it had been a Tottenham player trying to cheat his way to a penalty.

Diving is a cancer that must be eradicated from the game. Premier League footballers are role models for thousands of youngsters, and they have a responsibility to play the Beautiful Game with honesty and integrity.

I thought the 2-2 draw was just about the right outcome of a match in which Spurs failed to make the most of their extra possession.

Don’t worry that there were a couple of spats between Spurs team-mates. That means they at least care about what is happening on the pitch. Those of a certain age will have witnessed born leaders like Danny Blanchflower and Dave Mackay giving tongue-lashings to any team-mates who fell below Tottenham standards. Smouldering anger unleashed for the team can be a motivational force.

This weekend’s home match against Manchester City will be a good barometer as to exactly where we stand under the baton of Pochettino. I think he has done a passable job with an inherited squad.

The big test will come next season when, hopefully, our head honcho has imported some of his target players to make his much-publicised philosophy work.

Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!

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

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