NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 95
Submitted by Norman Giller
Real test coming for Pochettino's pioneers
Our Harry Kane got to take the beach ball home from Bournemouth, but the bucket and spade went to Cherries goalkeeper Artur Boruc who dug a hole for himself, threw himself in … and missed.
Addled Artur had one of those games of which nightmares are made, and the more sensitive spectators hid their gaze in embarrassment as he handed Spurs their three points on a plate.
It could so easily have been seven or eight to Tottenham after Bournemouth’s instant first minute goal, which had as much to do with careless defending as deft finishing by Matt Ritchie.
From then on, it was downhill all the way for the seasiders who gave a new meaning to self-destruction. It is difficult to see how much-liked Bournemouth can stay in the Premier League, ravaged by injuries and producing poor performances like this.
Harry Kane will never get an easier hat-trick, but he deserved a change of luck after a season that has so far made us wonder whose black cat had crossed his path.
What I love about Harry – and I know I am repeating myself – is that not once has the lad let his head go down. He has chased, harried, huffed and puffed and given good enough performances to warrant his place in the team even without finding the net. It is no coincidence that his return to scoring form has come at the same time as Christian Eriksen has started to purr again, and for me the Dainty Dane stole the man of the match accolade even from our hat-trick hero.
Okay, now comes the real test for Pochettino’s Pioneers, who are poised to break new ground if they can come through the upcoming minefield month unscathed.
Just look what is waiting for them in November:
Monday, November 2: home to Aston Villa, minus manager Tim Sherwood. His departure was greeted with undisguised delight by a minority of Spurs fans, who for some reason felt it necessary to gloat over his sacking. They should take a close look at themselves and ask what they have ever achieved in the game. Tim was a magnificent leader of the Blackburn team that won the Premier League title, was hindered by injuries when playing for Spurs and is the man who laid the foundation for the success Pochettino is ready (we hope) to enjoy. Villa sold his best players under his nose and did not let him buy those he knew could do a job for him. Tim eats and breathes the game and will make an impact somewhere, sometime, somehow. Just watch.
Thursday, November 5: home to Anderlecht, hopefully making up for that disappointing defeat in Belgium last week. Yes, we want to see fireworks on this Guy Fawkes night, with the Anderlecht defence put under pressure rather than facing Sideways Spurs as in Brussels.
Sunday, November 8: down the road at the Emirates for a North London Derby showdown with the Woolwich Nomads, who have had a great couple of weeks on the domestic and European stages. We still feel the bruises from the League Cup defeat. Three Premier League points would be the perfect revenge.
Sunday, November 22: home to West Ham for the second of three London derbies in this challenging month. Hammers, like the Arsenal, have got off to a flier, and Tottenham will need to be on their toes to match their smart passing game rather than the long ball artillery fired during the Sam Allardyce reign.
Thursday, November 26: back to the Europa League and the long haul to Azerbaijan for a return date with Qarabag. I’m already feeling tired and I’m just typing the facts.
Sunday, November 29: home to the not-so-special Mourinho’s Chelsea, and when it’s over we shall have a much better idea of what lies in wait for Tottenham this season.
Meantime, let’s bask in the warmth of yesterday’s sunshine show at Bournemouth. I wonder what our mood will be at the end of November?
A note for your diary for any Spurs Odyssey regulars who can get to Essex with ease: Dave and Jan Threadgold, mine hosts of The Angel in Bradford Street, Braintree, are running a Support Greavsie night this Saturday evening, with all proceeds of a raffle going to help pay for Jimmy’s on-going physiotherapy treatment.
The Lane Legend is still confined to bed, and is due to soon go to London for extensive therapy to try to get some movement back in his limbs. Can I just make the point that all the help pouring Jimmy’s way has never been requested by the Greaves family – and certainly not by Jimmy.
But it is greatly appreciated, and shows what big hearts Spurs followers have. On behalf of the Greaves family, a sincere thank you, particularly to the Tottenham Tribute Trust, who do such a great, unheralded job quietly helping our old heroes.
Please support the Trust here: https://www.justgiving.com/thettt/
For those of you kindly considering purchasing my 100th book (Headlines Deadlines All My Life) you need to order it here NOW if you want a personally signed copy: www.normangillerbooks.com
I shall be spending a day at the printer’s tomorrow when the book rolls off the presses, and that is when I will be signing copies … hopefully one with YOUR name on it!
SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE, Week 12
Week TWELVE of our Spurs Odyssey Quiz League (where are the weeks rushing to?). Yes, you did get shirty with me over last week’s teaser: “Take the shirt number worn by Gazza in the 1991 FA Cup final, add Ricky Villa’s 1981 shirt number in the first match against Man City at Wembley, multiply by Michael Dawson’s shirt number in the 2009 League Cup final and then add the club record number of League goals Greavsie scored for Spurs. What is the total, and for a bonus point who wore the number 39 shirt in Tottenham’s 2008 League Cup winning team?”
Some of you had to have a couple of goes at it, but eventually most came up with the nice round number 500 and the No 39 of Jonathan Woodgate. The shirt numbers were eight for Gazza, six for Villa, 20 for Daws and 220 League goals by Greavsie.
Let me get back in your good books (then you might buy my book!). This week’s teaser:
“I cost Tottenham £2-million and played only 23 League matches in a Spurs shirt before moving to Fulham. Liverpool was among my early clubs and I won nine England caps. Who am I and from which club did I join Spurs.”
You get two points for identifying the player, and a bonus point for naming the club that sold him to Spurs.
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 SOQL12@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 Vic Cooper of Barnet. I will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to Vic, who has been a Spurs supporter since the mid-60s.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
The "Giller Index" - listing all Norman's articles for Spurs Odyssey
Top of page | Spurs Odyssey Home Page