NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 99
Submitted by Norman Giller
Spurs could have a Real problem
Sorry, my friends, but I am about to rain on the parade after that ruthless demolition of West Ham yesterday. Look over your shoulder to make sure we are not being overheard, and let me whisper in your shell-like: “I fear we could be in danger of losing Mauricio Pochettino to Real Madrid.”
We desperately want Real to come out of their slump, otherwise the money-no-object bosses at the Bernabeu will quickly eject manager Rafa Benitez. You do not have to be Mystic Meg to work out that man of the moment, Mauricio, will be near the top of their shopping list as a replacement.
He has never made any secret of the fact that Real Madrid is the team he would ultimately like to manage, and is on record as describing them as the greatest club in the world.
Real is the one team that could tempt him away from Tottenham, where he is building super-manager status. I apologise for bringing this up in the wake of Sunday’s hammering of the Hammers, but it is wise to have our eyes and ears open as we approach a critical period in the history of Spurs.
There are a gang of us who gather on a Facebook page to discuss the Tottenham performances, and the only disagreement we had yesterday was over Jamie Redknapp’s choice of Harry Kane as the Man of the Match.
We were delighted to see the so-called One Season Wonder plunder two more goals, and he might easily have had at least two more. But the majority in our discussion group thought Dembele should have got the award. (Ed:- At the time of writing, Dembele leads the Spurs Odyssey vote)He appears to have shaken off what used to be occasional lethargy and was a powerhouse against West Ham.
There was also support for Belgian central defender partners Alderweireld and Vertonghen, who go together like bacon and eggs. Eric Dier was another who had supporters singing his praises for his calm and collected anchor work in midfield.
My vote would have gone to the Little Danish Dictator Christian Eriksen, who had two assists and continually prompted and propelled the attack with his width of the pitch patrolling. His beautifully delivered corner for Toby’s headed goal proved yet again that he has one of the most accurate right boots in the Premier League.
It is a barometer of this as an exceptional team performance that there are so many candidates for man of the match. After fairly even opening exchanges, Spurs stepped on the accelerator and ran a well organised West Ham team into dizzy disarray with their impressive and imposing high-pressing game. The final result could have been 8-2.
I am sure Pochettino will rest as many of his major players as possible from the marathon trip to play Qarabag in the Europa League on Thursday. He will want his team as fresh as possible for the third London derby in a month against stuttering Chelsea on Sunday. They are like a wounded lion and will take a lot of taming.
We need Generalissimo Pochettino to lead the Tottenham troops. It is his tactical planning and motivational powers that have brought order, drive and ambition to Spurs.
Let’s hope Daniel Levy is ready to pull up the drawbridge if Real try to make another of their raids. But don’t forget, managing Madrid is a Pochettino dream, as playing for them was for Gareth Bale. And we know what happened there.
Just 31 shopping days to Christmas! I hope I can tempt you with one of my books, a perfect present for a Dad, a Granddad or even yourself. Please remember that the profits from any of my Tottenham-themed books go to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes who have hit difficult times.
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 16
Week SIXTEEN of our Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, and several of you admitted to having problems with last week’s question: “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?”
It was Ruel Fox, but what gave you problems was the international team for which he played. It was, of course, the mighty footballing nation of Montserrat.
This week’s teaser: “I started my Tottenham first-team career when George Graham was manager, played 21 times for England and captained a winning Spurs team at Wembley in a Carling Cup final. Who am I and against which team did I once score a Premier League goal in just 10 seconds?”
You get two points for identifying the player, and a bonus point for naming the team against which he scored his instant goal.
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 SOQL16@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 Brian Jones, of Whitstable. I will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to Brian, who has been a Spurs supporter since the golden Double year of 1961.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week for my 100th Spurs Odyssey blog! COYS!
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