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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 140) (05.09.16)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 140
Submitted by Norman Giller

Jury is out on Sissoko

Thank goodness the transfer window is closed and England’s first World Cup qualifier in Slovakia is done and dusted, with the Spurs contingent coming through intact but without covering themselves in glory. Now, please, can we have our game back?

To have an international break so early in the season is mind-numbingly stupid, and anybody with common sense will I am sure agree that the summer transfer window should be shut before a ball is kicked in the new Premier League campaign.

Fifa’s international fixture planners could not organise an orgy in a brothel (mind you, when you consider the other scandals they have been involved in perhaps I under-estimate them).

Mauricio Pochettino will be counting his band of international players back in tomorrow, hoping there is nothing more to mend than a few bruised egos. Now he can get on with the vital business of finding the rhythm and zip that has been missing from the first three matches of this season of huge challenges.

He must decide how quickly to merge the newcomers into his side without upsetting the team spirit that has been a key factor since he arrived as our new messiah.

A bow of the knee to the Pochettino/Levy axis for the business they did in the window: Wanyama and Janssen have already won approval, and the arrival of winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou from Marseille and Spanish Under-21 goalkeeper Pau Lopez considerably strengthens the squad. Another newcomer is a gem for the future, Colombian youth international Juan Pablo Gonzalez Velasco.

Notice somebody I have not mentioned? Yes, the most exciting yet controversial signing of them all from Newcastle, French enigma Moussa Sissoko.

The jury is out on Sissoko, who looked worth every penny of £30m during the Euro championships but judged by his up-and-down performances with Newcastle he is hugely over priced.

No less a man than France and Tottenham skipper Hugo (The Boss) Lloris played a big role in persuading Sissoko that Spurs was the right club for him, and what’s good enough for the highly intelligent, inspiring goalkeeper is good enough for me.

Let’s welcome Sissoko with open arms, not the sort of vitriol that has scarred many of the comments on line since Spurs made him a late-late transfer deadline day capture. The time to judge the French midfield marshall is at the end of the season. For 30 million smackers, he should be helping to put silverware in the Tottenham cabinet.

There will now be two Moussas in the Spurs dressing-room, with the dancing Belgian Dembele finishing his suspension after Saturday’s match at Stoke. Two Moussas – should the plural be mice? And to identify them perhaps one could be called Mickey?

I know I know … I will kindly leave the page,


If you are in the mood to help a hungry writer, I am offering two books for the price of one: July 30 1966 Football’s Longest Day and Headlines Deadlines All My Life, my 100th book and the story of my life as a sportswriter. They are now both available post-free and for the price of one at http://www.normangillerbooks.com/july-30-1966/4591562026.

Ends commercial. Thank you.


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, week 4

The return of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

This week’s mystery player:

“I played 32 times for my country and during 15 years on Tottenham’s books lifted the Second and First Division trophies as captain. Who am I and which number shirt did I usually wear for Spurs?”

Email your answers, please, to SOQL4@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. Deadline is midnight on Friday.

Please keep a check on your points tally, because the contestant topping the SOQL table at the end of the season will receive a framed certificate announcing the winner as the 2016-17 Spurs Odyssey Quiz League champion. And the first three in the final table will win an autographed, hardback copy of my Bill Nicholson Revisited tribute book, PLUS a souvenir card signed by Spurs legends Jimmy Greaves and Steve Perryman.

The third teaser was:

“I have won 59 international caps and have scored four goals for Spurs since arriving at the Lane in 2015. Who am I … and against which country did I play in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals?”

Yes, of course, the player fast becoming a Lane legend, Toby Alderweireld, who played for Belgium against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals. I would rate him in the six top Tottenham signings since the launch of the Premier League.

First name drawn at random from the correct answers is Roger Hart from Northampton, who has been a Spurs supporter since the 70s. I will be emailing Roger a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books.

As regular contestants will know, the League table is decided on facts up until the final weeks of the season. Then I introduce tie breaks based on opinions, which is when I lose friends and fail to influence people with my views.

But please remember, it is just for fun and helps us all refresh our knowledge on the history and the heroes of our great club.

Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!

The "Giller Index" - listing all Norman's articles for Spurs Odyssey

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