NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 86
Submitted by Norman Giller
Be positive and progressive Pochettino!
From Arthur Rowe, down through Bill Nicholson, Keith Burkinshaw and nearly up to date with Harry Redknapp, the creed for managers of successful Tottenham sides has always been the simple instruction: “Give it and go.”
The current Tottenham players are remembering the “give” it bit … but are forgetting to go!
Time and again during prolonged possession at Leicester on Saturday, they were delivering the ball to a team-mate but then not going for the return pass.
The result was that too many passes were being played square, and little progress was being made. Suddenly we are back to the Sideways Spurs of the AVB era, taking the easy way out rather than looking to play balls that put pressure on the opposition.
Those of us who can go back to the Glory-Glory days will recall that Tottenham’s success was built on the three Ps: Precision … Pace … Penetration.
PRECISION passing, which from Eddie Baily, then Danny Blanchflower, down through Glenn Hoddle and more recently Luka Modric was always deadly accurate.
PACE from the likes of Sonny Walters and Les Medley, jet-heeled Cliffie Jones, Aaron Lennon and, of course, Gareth Bale. You must have at least one sprinter who can dent a defence. At the moment Kyle Walker is the one Mr Quick-fit, but his starting blocks are way back.
PENETRATION from dynamic finishers like Len ‘The Duke’ Duquemin, Jimmy ‘Old King Goal’ Greaves, Martin Chivers, and more recently Jermain Defoe. For all their possession against Leicester, Tottenham rarely looked as if they were going to penetrate beyond the edge of the penalty area.
We unearthed a jewel last season in Harry Kane, but now seem to have put him on a starvation diet. As good as he is, ‘Our Harry’ cannot do anything without the ball. He must feel like Jeremy Corbyn, with all the fans on his side but no support from his team-mates.
If Spurs fail to conquer Everton at the Lane on Saturday evening, I fear Mauricio Pochettino is going to find the small minority of supporters already turning against him growing into a lynch mob.
His way to shut them up is to go back to good old Tottenham basics, and that means “give it and go” and the three Ps: Precision, Pace, Penetration.
More Ps … Be Positive and Progressive Pochettino.
Playing Harry without somebody riding shotgun alongside him will not hurt Everton, who gave a good account of themselves against in-form Manchester City yesterday, despite the 2-0 loss.
I just hope Spurs chew up the Toffeemen, for Pochettino’s sake. I want to still see him in charge at Christmas.
Time for me to reveal the count of players with whom Spurs have been linked by the ‘In the Knows’ on line during this summer transfer window … roll on the drums … it stands at 67!
Spaniards, South Americans, Germans, Italians, Frenchmen, Africans, Eastern Europeans, the occasional Arab, several Dutchmen … you name them, the ITKs have claimed they are coming to White Hart Lane.
As we approach the transfer window deadline how many of those have been signed? Uh, not one.
The Lane contacts I trust – and who were on the ball with the news that Bobby Soldado was moving back to La Liga despite denials from the Poch – tell me that efforts are still being made to sign Saido Berahino from West Brom to partner lonely HK, and Mauricio continues to hanker after midfield powerhouse Victor Wanyama from his old Southampton hunting ground.
He already has Clinton Njie from Lyon waiting in the wings, so to speak, and if Daniel ‘Last Minute’ Levy releases the funds then Spurs could be strengthened with players who can help restore those three Ps: Precision, Pace and Penetration.
But don’t believe any of the transfer rumours until you see the players wearing a Spurs shirt.
Only Last Minute Levy really knows what is happening.
SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE, Week 3
Week THREE of our new Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, and most of you are doing better than the Tottenham team and collected three points last week by correctly answering this teaser: “I won a League Cup final medal at Wembley wearing the No 11 Tottenham shirt against a team then in the Third Division. Who am I … and which club did I join from Spurs in 1976?”
Yes, it was dear Jimmy Neighbour, who was taken from us all too early in 2009 at the age of just 58. He was beautifully composed on the ball as an old-style winger, and was in the winning League Cup final team against Aston Villa and later played for Norwich before moving back to London with West Ham.
This week’s challenge: “I was born in Sweden, played in two World Cups and captained Tottenham in an FA Cup final at Wembley. Who am I and with which club did I win nine successive League titles?”
You get two points for identifying the former Tottenham player and a bonus point for naming the club with which he won nine successive League titles.
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 SOQL3@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.
First name drawn at random from the correct answers last week is Harry Thomson, from Bath. I will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to Harry, who tells me he first saw Spurs play when Jimmy Neighbour made his debut against Stoke at the Lane in 1970.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
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