NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 105
Submitted by Norman Giller
There's something about Alli
There’s something about Dele Alli that makes you wonder if he has been here before. He is like one of those child prodigies who give the impression they are revisiting Planet Earth. Everything about him is out of the old school. His positioning, his touch, his passing and his finishing are that of a player who has been there, done that. He’s 19, for goodness sake!
How on earth did all the scouts miss this diamond of a prospect when he was parading his talent at Milton Keynes? Tottenham getting him for £5-million was one of the steals of the century. The Hatton Garden mob would have been envious.
The point-plundering goal he scored against Everton yesterday was no fluke. We regular Spurs watchers knew the second Toby (Haircut) Alderweireld shaped to pass what was coming. It was almost a carbon copy of the goal they manufactured together against West Brom.
The young man with the old head on his shoulders turned a quarter chance into a whole goal, and gave Tottenham the equaliser they so thoroughly deserved in a first-half in which they were clearly the superior side. Harry Kane and Ben Davies rattled the woodwork, and the Spurs supporters managed to make Goodison sound like White Hart Lane. A neutral might have wondered which was the home side.
There was an old saying that Spurs “never lose when Lennon scores.” (Ed:- That remains a fact too!) Thankfully that stood up yesterday after the old Tottenham warrior neatly put away his only chance of the match. This was after Everton had been under the cosh for 20 minutes against a Tottenham team playing to the peak of their power and efficiency.
The second half deteriorated into a slog as both teams tired after setting a pulsating pace for the first hour, and in the final analysis Everton just about deserved their point. Once again the Tottenham Triangle of Lloris, Alderweireld and Vertonghen held firm, although Jan will hate the action replay that shows him apparently avoiding Lennon’s goal-bound shot. He will, I am sure, claim he was trying not to block Hugo’s view.
It is the next two games that could make or break Tottenham's season, back to back against shock side Leicester City who will be without their hungry goal poacher Jamie Vardy.
On Sunday it’s the third round of the FA Cup, and it will be fascinating to see if Mauricio Pochettino picks his strongest side. I thought Harry Kane looked drained at the end of yesterday’s battle with Everton. Would Mauricio consider resting him and giving Son a start, with Josh Onomah and Harry Winks included in the line-up?
Then, just three days later, Leicester are back at the Lane for a Premier League showdown that is vital to both clubs. Defeat for the Foxes would puncture their magnificent bid for the championship, while a victory for them would almost certainly mean Tottenham would have to concentrate on a top four finish rather than distant dreams of the title.
It is going to be heart-pumping time. Thank goodness we have young Alli to calm down old gits like me.
It’s transfer window time and the In The Knows are out in force telling us which players Spurs are buying. Last transfer window they ‘sold’ us 54 players who did not arrive.
Often it is the case that a new arrival upsets the rhythm and harmony of a team, and I believe Mauricio when he says he is not that bothered about bringing in new blood.
But I would like to see support for the overworked Kane, even though that would mean Daniel Levy dipping into a treasure chest that is earmarked for the hugely expensive state-of-the-art ground that is coming our way.
One thing’s for sure, Daniel will want to sell players to buy one and so we could see another exodus of our over-staffed midfield.
But a friendly word of warning: Don’t believe the transfer stories you read on line until the player involved is photographed in a Spurs shirt. Too many In the Knows actually know nowt and turn gossip into fact.
Happy window watching!
SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE, Week 22
Week TWENTY-TWO of our Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, and most of you were on the ball with last 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?”
Yes, the elegant Martin Peters, who wound down his League career as player-coach at Sheffield United. I slipped the question in because I was amazed recently to discover that many people could not name who scored England’s ‘other’ goal in the 1966 World Cup final to go with the two-and-a-half from his then West Ham team-mate Geoff Hurst.
This week’s teaser: “I was the youngest ever Sheffield United player to appear at Wembley and have won 13 international caps. Who am I and what number Spurs shirt do I wear?”
You get two points for identifying the player, and a bonus point for giving his correct club shirt number.
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 SOQL22@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 Henry Jackson of Finchley. I will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to Henry, who first saw Spurs play in the 1967 FA Cup final against Chelsea.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week, sandwiched between the two Leicester City games. COYS!
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