NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 106
Submitted by Norman Giller
Love you Madley!
When (okay, if) Tottenham win the FA Cup at Wembley this year we must all remember to give a grateful nod in the direction of referee Bobby Madley. His decision to award an 88th minute penalty from which Harry Kane powered an equaliser against Leicester was like a late gift-wrapped Christmas present.
You must have blue and white glitter in your eyes if you could not see there is no way Leicester’s on-loan-from-Swansea winger Nathan Dyer was guilty of INTENTIONAL handball during a tussle with stand-in skipper Danny Rose.
If that had been given against Spurs, Mr Madley would have needed the Samaritans to soothe him following what would have been an explosion of Tottenham anger. But, thank goodness, the dubious decision was in favour of Spurs and gave Our Harry Kane the chance to step up to the penalty spot and blast the 50th goal of his meteoric Tottenham career.
It was a dramatic climax to a thrilling game that had a deja vu feel about it following last season’s battle with Leicester at the Lane, when they got away with a smash-and-grab victory.
This was a loose performance by what was virtually Tottenham’s second team against Leicester City reserves. For old traditionalists like me it was sad to see both clubs treating the proud history of the FA Cup with some contempt.
It was obvious from the team selections that managers Pochettino and Ranieri put much more importance on Wednesday’s Premier League showdown. Clearly, they do not have FA Cup sentiment in their soul.
Our Sports Odyssey guru Paul Smith captures the thrills and spills of the match here (Leicester FA Cup match report), but he must have thought he was reporting a repeat of last season’s match until that hugely contentious penalty.
Pochettino had to send on big guns Kane and Alli, forced to change his mind about keeping them fresh for Wednesday, when Leicester will be at full strength apart from their shock man Jamie Vardy, who is having emergency repairs.
Tottenham and Leicester are back to square one, with two matches that can make or break their seasons.
Meantime, I am madly enamoured with Mr Madley.
A few weeks back I came in for heavy criticism for daring to suggest that Mauricio Pochettino could be a target for Real Madrid.
Now, much worse, the rumour mongers are out in force predicting he is being lined up as successor to the arrogant Dutchman Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford.
I stick by my original story that Mauricio would only be persuaded to leave White Hart Lane for his dream job at the Bernabeu, which has at least temporarily been filled by that man of many moods, Zinedine Zidane.
I trust Mauricio would say ‘no’ to United, but remain convinced he would say ‘si’ to Real if they came calling, which is now – thank goodness – a long way off.
Mauricio has forged a strong bond with Daniel Levy, and during a meeting last week with Lane Legends led by Ossie Ardiles said he would sing a duet with the Spurs chairman if Tottenham win the FA Cup.
He was inspired to make this promise when he heard the Ardiles version of Ossie’s Dream. Let’s hope Pochettino is on his way to Wemb-er-ley … with Tottenham – not Man United!
Dan ’n' Mauricio. Eat your heart out Chas ’n’ Dave.
SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE, Week 23
Week TWENTY-THREE of our Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, and most of you were spot on with last 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?”
Yes, our England international No 2, Kyle Walker. I deliberately featured him so that I could give him a pat on the back for silencing the jeerers with his consistent performances, marred only by the occasional lapse of concentration.
This week’s teaser: “I scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 FA Cup quarter-final victory at Maine Road in the 90s. Who am I, and which of my Tottenham team-mates missed a penalty in that match?”
You get two points for identifying the player, and a bonus point for naming who missed from the penalty spot.
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 SOQL23@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 Frank Hurst of Colchester. I will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to Frank, who has been a Spurs supporter since seeing Jimmy Greaves make his debut with a hat-trick against Blackpool in 1961.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
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