NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 104
Submitted by Norman Giller
What a way to end the year!
What a way to end the year! I am having to be scraped off the ceiling to write my last Spurs Odyssey blog of 2015, following that heart-stopping victory at Watford yesterday. Go-on-my-Son nutmegging Gomes in the 90th minute with a magical back flick was the stuff of dreams. Whoever Up There writes the script has sure got some imagination.
As these excitedly chosen words leave my computer, Tottenham are sitting third in the Premier League table with a distinct chance of challenging for the championship. This is not the usual hope and hype. This is fact.
Just look at our first six games of the New Year:
Sunday, January 3: Everton away
Sunday, January 10: Leicester City home (FA Cup third round)
Wednesday, January 13: Leicester City home (Premier League)
Saturday, January 16: Sunderland home
Saturday, January 23: Crystal Palace away
Tuesday, February 2: Norwich City away
On paper it does not look too daunting, but it all has to be done on the pitch. Those back-to-back games against Leicester could make or break our season.
If Spurs can ‘do a Liverpool’ on Leicester, there is every reason for us to dream of silverware this season.
Those who follow my ramblings regularly know that I am usually anchored by caution, but I honestly feel that this Tottenham team can achieve something special a year ahead of its time.
Pochettino’s Pups are playing with a confidence and spirit that suggests something big is around the corner, and they are being helped by the fact that they are one of the few teams in this topsy-turvy season showing consistent class.
Spurs fed on their good fortune against a physical Watford team that did not take prisoners, and the Poch plan of playing Eric Dier as a third central defender worked well despite several scares and an untidy goal by the powerful and persistent Ighalo.
Erik Lamela ended his up-and-down year on a high with that neatly taken first goal at Vicarage Road, and the hip-high tackle on him brought Aké a disputed (but to my eyes deserved) red card.
As is so often the case, it was the ten man team that became the more dominant and Spurs survived several anxious moments before that late-late winner from Son just moments after goal-line technology had ruled against Watford.
Here comes the Son. And here comes 2016. Enjoy!
Highlight of my holiday was a Christmas Day telephone conversation with Jimmy Greaves in which he was the most lucid he has been since his violent stroke. Just a month ago he struggled to make himself understood on the phone, but he is showing signs of responding to his daily rehabilitation treatment.
Jimmy was alert enough to be looking forward to the first Test in South Africa. His loving family are playing everything low key, so it is not for me to talk about his condition. They are just grateful for everybody's support, and are prepared for what is going to be a long and slow road to some sort of recovery.
Tottenham’s all-time king of goal scorers knows there is a lot of love out there for him and his family appreciate all that is being done to get him some quality of life. Thank you.
There are still tickets left for his special benefit night where a dozen old Tottenham heroes will be sharing their memories of playing with or hero worshipping the great man.
You can find out more about the gala night here: https://www.facebook.com/jimmygreavesofficial/posts/926455984107152
SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE, Week 21
Week TWENTY-ONE of our Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, and several of you struggled with last week’s teaser: “I scored two goals in my full Spurs debut in a Boxing Day match at White Hart Lane that finished 4-4. Who am I, and which club did I join from Tottenham in 1985?”
The answer: Garry Brooke, who left Spurs for Norwich in 1985 after recovering from a serious car crash that left him with life-threatening injuries. He later became an inspirational youth coach and often turned out for the Tottenham vets.
This week’s teaser: “I played 67 international matches, scored in a World Cup final and netted 46 goals in 189 League matches for Tottenham. Who am I and with which club did I end my career as player-coach?”
You get two points for identifying the player, and a bonus point for naming the club with which he finished his career.
Keep a check on your points tally, because the contestant topping the SOQL table at the end of the season will receive a huge, personally autographed photograph of Spurs legend Jimmy Greaves, plus a signed, framed certificate announcing the winner as the 2015-16 Spurs Odyssey Quiz League champion.
Email your answers, please, to SOQL21@normangillerbooks.com . Give your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs. I will respond, and will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to the sender of the first all-correct answer drawn at random. Closing date for entries: midnight this Friday.
First name drawn at random from the correct answers last week is Don Taylor, of Cambridge. I will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to Cheshunt-born Don, who has been a Spurs supporter since the mid-60s.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. From Paul Smith and all of us at Spurs Odyssey we wish you a a happy and successful 2016 … and hopefully a trophy coming to Tottenham. COYS!
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