NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 98
Submitted by Norman Giller
Un pour tous, et tous pour un
My kneejerk reaction to Friday’s abominable atrocities in Paris was that we should cancel the friendly with France at Wembley tomorrow. But once commonsense replaced blind anger I came to the conclusion that it’s right that the ball must keep rolling, otherwise the terrorists have won.
To quote Alexandre Dumas and his Four Musketeers, “Un pour tous, et tous pour un.” One for all, and all for one. I would love to see the two teams intermingle for the playing of the national anthems, shoulder to shoulder in an expression of solidarity.
I wanted to reach out and hug our Hugo Lloris on Saturday when I spotted the French captain at the Stade de France on TV, looking bemused and confused as he stood among a crowd of spectators after the match against Germany had been abandoned.
Something I do not want to see tomorrow is Our Harry Kane testing clubmate Hugo with his stinging shots. Instead I would prefer to see him resting on the bench. We are asking too much of have-a-go Harry, the type who needs to be tied down to stop him wanting to get on the pitch. We must protect him from his own burning enthusiasm.
Hands up whose chest swelled when Spurs had FOUR players on the pitch against Spain? Yes, I see a forest of hands.
We have such good times to look forward to from Pochettino’s Pups: 22-year-old Harry, Eric Dier, 21, Dele Alli, 20, and the ‘old man’ of the quartet, 25-year-old Kyle Walker. We also have England internationals Danny Rose, Ryan Mason and Andros Townsend in our squad. Then there are the likes of Alex Pritchard and Tom Carroll knocking at Roy Hodgson’s door.
As I said here last week, something very special is happening at Tottenham. I just hope nobody rocks the boat, and that Daniel Levy is big and bold enough to tell anybody hunting Kane to (being polite here) get lost.
The derby against Slaven Bilic’s West Ham on Sunday has all the makings of a classic, with Hammers now back to playing the passing game that is a shared tradition with Tottenham.
My personal congratulations to Eric Dier on his long dreamt of England debut. I have followed his progress for several years because of my friendship with his late grandfather Ted Croker, who was a distinguished secretary of the Football Association – a role that would now be described as chief executive.
Ted was a true gentleman who wanted only the best for English football. His wartime injuries following a crash when an RAF pilot blunted his ambitions to become a major power as a footballer. He was out of the old school, respectful, disciplined and decent. His brother, Peter, played in Charlton’s 1947 FA Cup winning team as a defender.
Grandson Eric has taken on the Croker dream and it is no coincidence that Tottenham’s recent improvement has dovetailed with his exceptional performances as a midfield anchorman.
Yes there’s something special happening at Tottenham, and Diehard Dier is right at the heart of it. Granddad Ted would be so proud.
For those of you kindly considering purchasing a signed copy of my 100th book (Headlines Deadlines All My Life) you need to order it here: www.normangillerbooks.com I will send a personal reply to everybody who supports me.
My old mate Ricky Tomlinson says in the introduction: “Anybody who can mention knowing Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves, Eric Morecambe, Muhammad Ali, Sean Connery and the Kray twins in the same breath deserves to have his story heard.”
Your support will be greatly appreciated, both by me and my bank manager. I am publishing the book myself and that is a frightening challenge to the wallet. But I am sure you will help save me from the bankruptcy court!
SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE, Week 15
Week FIFTEEN of our Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, and there are more than 40 of you bunched up in joint first place, including defending champion David Guthrie. But I will be sorting you out late in the season with some wicked tiebreak questions. You have been warned.
Most of you found last week’s question a doddle:: “I appeared in 218 League games for Spurs after playing in Germany and Sweden and won 97 international caps. Who am I and against which side did I win an FA Cup final winners’ medal with Tottenham at Wembley?”
Yes, Erik the Viking Thorstvedt, who was the reliable last line of defence against Nottingham Forest in the 1991 FA Cup final. How many of us shared Gazza’s tears when he was carried off!
Who am I?: “When I joined Spurs in 1995 I was the second most expensive player in the club’s history, and I scored 13 goals in 106 League games. I was born in Suffolk but played my two international matches for which team?”
You get two points for identifying the player, and a bonus point for naming the nation with which he won his two caps.
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 SOQL15@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 Eric Johnstone, of Edinburgh. I will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to Eric, who has been a Spurs supporter since his student days in London in the 1970s.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
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