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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 72) (18.05.15)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 72
Submitted by Norman Giller

Norman Giller writes for Spurs Odyssey

The Captains' Table

As the good ship Azura steams from Rome to Sardinia, I don’t know if I’m on my aft or my elbow while I work out the leaders approaching the last lap of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League.

How appropriate that the penultimate week of the competition coincides with revealing my Captains’ Table as I cruise around the Med. Here in 5-4-3-2-1 order are my five top Tottenham Premier League skippers, which will have many of you wanting me to be thrown overboard:

5. ROBBIE KEANE, the Irish goal gourmet who led with enthusiasm and energy, inspiring his team-mates with his wholehearted effort.

4. MICHAEL DAWSON, not the prettiest of players but a leader who gave blood, sweat and tears for the team and would never admit defeat.

3. SOL CAMPBELL, reviled by many because he joined the enemy, but you have to admit he was an exceptional footballer and captain.

2. GARY MABBUTT, an inspirational player and personality on and off the field and a born leader of men.

1. LEDLEY KING, who motivated by example and lifted the efforts of his team-mates by the sheer excellence of his play.

There were many nominations for the choice of an overseas captain, including Luka Modric, Hugo Lloris, Edgar Davids, Gus Poyet and Rafael van der Vaart. But the majority of you agreed with my choice – Jurgen Klinsmann, skipper of Germany for four years and a truly inspiring player who gave every ounce of effort, even when diving for the team!

Several of you came up with a permutation of my players, but only two of you collected a maximum 20 points by agreeing with my order, both long-time supporters: Kevin Hill (Hoddesdon, Herts) and Tony Nightingill (Gerrards Cross, Bucks).

Last week’s leader, David Guthrie, would have had another 20-points jackpot but for naming VDV as his overseas captain – “a whisker ahead of Jurgen the German.” He scored 15 points, which lifts his total to 130 – keeping him just ahead of a chasing pack that includes New York-based Edward Benson, Glen Scarcliffe, Andy Stratford, Harry Miller, and Roger Turner.

Early leader Ian Landeryou is in a group breathing down their necks, along with Dickie Baldwin, Naushad ‘Shubes’ Ali, Leslie Sullivan, Jim Sherring, Eric Church, Eric Appleby, Ian McOwens and this week’s maximum scorers Kevin Hill and Tony Nightingill.

If I had made this a vote rather than a competition, the most popular 1-2-3-4-5 order was:

Ledley King
Gary Mabbutt
Robbie Keane
Michael Dawson
Hugo Lloris

Now for the final, title-deciding challenge (“Prepare to walk the gangplank, Giller”):

Name in 1-2-3-4-5 order of merit the five best buys Tottenham made with the Gareth Bale money. You will get three points for each one that agrees with mine, plus a five-point bonus if in the same order. For another five-point bonus select the one current Premier League player you would have bought with all of the money. All you’ve got to do is agree with me. Good luck!

Email your 1-2-3-4-5 selections and your dream player, please, to SOQL20@normangillerbooks.com

Don’t forget to add your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs. Even if you have put the details in past entries, please remember to include them again.

Also, tell me how many points you have collected to date. I have your points on record, but want to make sure you agree with my tally. Most regulars are on at least 110 points.

As I am sure you will not want me to interrupt my cruise, I will again organise an automated reply to acknowledge receipt of your entry.

Look out next Monday for the crowning of the first Spurs Odyssey Quiz League champion.

The closing time for entries is midnight on Friday, May 22.

Remember, the final decision on all matters to do with the SOQL 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 winner of the League will get a huge, personally autographed photograph of the one and only 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’s manager, the entrepreneurial Terry Baker, is kindly providing the exclusive signed photograph.

The latest news on Our Jimmy is that he will be spending up to 12 weeks in hospital while striving to recover as fully as possible from his stroke. And Terry Baker has to have another couple of major facial operations as he battles skin cancer

I have nicknamed the pair of them The Gruesome Twosome. You have to laugh, or you would cry.

I know all Spurs Odyssey followers will wish them both well … and count our blessings.


I demand some credit for Tottenham’s 2-0 victory on Saturday that has almost certainly condemned Hull to the hell of relegation.

I watched the match in a bar just outside Vatican City, and my hail Marys clearly inspired Spurs after a lack-lustre, goalless first-half (coming from an agnostic, it was temporary faith for which I will no doubt be punished somewhere down the line).

At least the second-half goals from Chadli and Danny ‘The Red’ Rose punctured the daft theory that Spurs are deliberately trying to avoid the Europa League next season.

It will provide important income (nearly enough to pay Adebayor’s wages), and vital experience and action for the fringe players in the first-team squad. Plus it offers another possible route into the Champions’ League.

You should have heard the reactions of the Italian fans watching the match, purring at the grace and skill Erik Lamela flourished to set up Chadli’s goal. They would happily take him back into Serie A.

I will be back in England’s green and pleasant land for Tottenham’s final League match of the season against Everton on Saturday. Then it will be a fascinating summer of comings and goings, and as I leave Italy I suspect Lamela could be heading back out here. The Italians near Vatican City are praying that it happens.

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

Now then, where’s the captain to invite me to his table … and I wonder if Spurs will cruise to victory at Goodison?

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

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