NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 109
Submitted by Norman Giller
In Pochettino we must trust.
So the FA Cup adventure continues against Crystal Palace, and how many of us instantly had the name Emmanuel Adebayor on our tongues as yesterday’s fifth round draw pitched us at home against the Eagles? “Oh boy, it’s Adebayor!” or words to that effect.
I am confident that even with the Wandering Mercenary in the Palace attack, Spurs can repeat the victory they enjoyed in the Premier League recently, with the magical Alli goal still warming our memory.
I bet the Tottenham defenders were on their mobiles to each other the moment the draw was made. They know that a fully-charged Adebayor is a handful for any defence, but he can also appear lazy and anchored by disenchantment.
He will be looking to make a salute in the direction of Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy, and it would be the two-finger type rather than the military version he used to throw to Tim Sherwood.
Adebayor will be striving to be as rampant at the Lane as Donald Trump will be in the Iowa polls tonight. But Spurs will be building a wall to keep him out (sorry about the metaphors but I am a boring US election junkie). (Note from ed: No, Norm, you’re just boring).(Real note from ed: I didn't write the previous note from ed!)
Meantime, all Tottenham thoughts and concentration must be on the Premier League as they continue their assault on three fronts.
Norwich City at Carrow Road tomorrow, followed by Watford at home and then the mighty challenge against Man City at the Etihad on Valentine’s Day are three vital dates in the Tottenham calendar.
Then it will be off to Fiorentina in the Europa League in Florence on February 18. If we come back from Tuscany still blazing across three fronts then the incentive to pulverise Palace will be even higher.
We will be looking to trump Adebayor. Sorry.
The transfer window remains open until 11pm, but not a sniff of any movement from Spurs. This signals that Admiral Pochettino is happy with his crew. All is ship shape.
So once again the In-the-Knows have wasted their typing and our time with tittle tattle that has amounted to precisely nothing, turning gossip into fact and passing on dud information.
We looking in from the outside feel almost unanimously that Spurs need a back-up striker to Our Harry Kane, but those on the inside – Mauricio and his training team – clearly feel they have the necessary scorers who can step into the Kane boots if he is injured or suspended. I think on the whole they just might know more than we who are mere spectators.
By the time the window shuts, we will know if Last-minute Levy has kept his chequebook closed ready for the big splash on our state of the art stadium.
In Pochettino we must trust.
The Grim Reaper has been sweeping up heroes in unmerciful style so far this year, and it was so sad that we lost dear Peter Baker last week.
Peter was a quiet, unassuming man, who was totally committed and professional in everything that he did. He was a stylish, upright full-back with a no-nonsense tackle in an era when the game revolved around physical contact. Another planet.
He never claimed the credit he deserved for continually covering for the adventurous Danny Blanchflower, who used to leave acres of space behind him that Peter patrolled with a willing spirit.
He reached 84, but had been in poor health since returning home after running a furniture business in South Africa, and his last couple of years were lost in a maze of dementia. The wonderful Tottenham Tribute Trust did their best to help him …. which is why profits from my Tottenham-themed books go to the Trust (https://www.justgiving.com/thettt)
You can find a beautifully composed obituary to Peter here, written by queen of sportswriters and Spurs disciple Julie Welch (http://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/jan/29/peter-baker)
There is not a true Tottenham supporter who cannot recite: Brown, Baker, Henry, Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay, Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson (Medwin), the great history-carving Double team.
With Peter’s passing, there are now only a handful of that golden generation left: Maurice Norman (81, frail and living in Norfolk), Les Allen (78, father of Clive who has had hospital treatment), Terry Dyson (a sprightly 81-year-old who still gets along to the Lane when he can), Terry Medwin (81, and living in South Wales where he recently celebrated his Diamond Wedding), and Cliffie Jones (a regular at home games and remarkably fit-looking for a man who will be 81 next Monday).
Long may these yesterday’s heroes reign.
SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE, Week 26
Week TWENTY-SIX of our Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, and most of you were on the ball with last week’s teaser: “I played 67 first-team games for Tottenham and won 82 international caps, including in three World Cup final tournaments. Who am I and with which club did I make the first of my Premier League record 310 successive appearances?”
Most of you correctly gave the right player, US international goalkeeper Brad Friedel. But several named Liverpool as the club, which is where he first established himself. His remarkable 310-match record started at Blackburn, continued at Aston Villa and concluded at Tottenham. A wonderful advertisement for his sport and his country, I would rather see the intelligent and dignified Brad in the White House than Donald Trump!
This week’s teaser: “Born in Macclesfield, I scored 12 goals in 73 Premier League games for Tottenham and have netted 22 goals in 42 international matches. Who am I and with which London club did I net 10 League goals in the 2000-01 season?”
You get two points for identifying the player, and a bonus point for naming the club with which he scored 10 goals in the 2000-01 season.
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.
If you believe you have maximum points from the 25 questions to date, please confirm it with me.
Email your answers, please, to SOQL26@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 Des White of Dublin. I will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to Des, who has been a Spurs follower since 1958, Bill Nicholson’s first year as manager.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
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