NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 143
Submitted by Norman Giller
This old codger will not sleep soundly until Pochettino and his Sonshine Boys – and the faithful travelling Spurs supporters – are back home safely from tomorrow’s Championship League assignment in Moscow.
It is no secret that CSKA is a breeding ground for the hooligan vermin that continue to poison the Russian game. They are a small minority, but can cause mayhem with their dedication to mindless violence.
If you are travelling to Moscow please be careful, and follow the advice not to advertise your affinity to Tottenham with tell-tale replica shirts and blue and white scarves. It is so sad to have to write such warning words, but anybody who witnessed the Russian thugs in action during the recent Euro 2016 championships will know they are evil in their intent and indiscriminate about who they target.
Tottenham go to Moscow on a high after their Son-Inspired victory at Middlesbrough. It is 51 years since Spurs made such a startling start to the season, and I was on Press Box duty when they were last second in the table at this stage of a campaign. This was in the 1965-66 season that suddenly went wonky when legendary striker Jimmy Greaves was carted off to hospital suffering from a severe strain of hepatitis.
Latest news on Greavsie after his vicious stroke is that he continues to battle for a decent quality of life, but is confined to a wheelchair and is doing his best to recover his speech.
We rabbited yesterday, mainly with me doing the talking, which is tough on Jim because I can waffle for Britain. He and I agreed it was appalling the way Paul Gascoigne was dragged through the courts for an alleged racist joke that deserved a rap on the knuckles rather than the humiliation of the full weight of the law. The world’s gone potty.
With the present PC brigade in charge, Jimmy would have been sent to the Tower for some of his caustic comments on stage that were purely humorous and never ever malicious.
Jimmy was without question the greatest British goal scorer I ever clapped eyes on, and I wonder how many he would have scored against a pedestrian Middlesbrough defence on Saturday.
Tottenham played some magnificent first-half football on their way to a commanding 2-0 half-time lead, fully recorded HERE by webmaster Paul Smith. But Spurs being Spurs, they made us sweat through the second-half during which it was confirmed that the jury must remain out on newcomers Janssen and Sissoko.
Thank goodness Son is playing out of his skin, otherwise who else was going to turn Tottenham’s territorial advantage into goals?
We will be much clearer about the sort of season we are going to have after tomorrow’s match in Moscow, followed by Sunday’s huge showdown with title favourites and League leaders Man City.
It will be fascinating to see Poch’s team, with Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele presumably fit for selection. Squad rotation will become all important with a rush of games coming up before the first North London Derby. Note these for your diary:
Tomorrow: CSKA v Tottenham (Champions League)
Sun 2 Oct: Home v Man City
Sat 15 Oct: At West Brom
Tue 18 Oct: To Germany for Bayer Leverkusen (Champions League)
Sat 22 Oct: At Bournemouth
Tue 25 Oct: At Anfield for Liverpool (EFL Cup)
Sat 29 Oct: Home to champions Leicester
Wed 2 Nov: Wembley for Bayer Leverkusen (Champions League)
Sun 6 Nov: Arsenal at the Emirates
Little time to breathe. I wonder how we will be feeling after the last of the Autumn leaves have fallen?
Hopefully fully prepared for a winter offensive on the major trophies.
Come on the Sonshine Boys.
And now for something completely different. You can have my 102nd book delivered direct to your screen for just £2.99. It is a novel about a war hero’s two lives and is a story of love, lust, war, peace, class warfare and, above all, revenge. Hope you will support this hungry writer by ordering direct from me A Blaze of Lives here: http://www.normangillerbooks.com/a-blaze-of-lives/4554925859.
Ends commercial. Thank you.
Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, week 7
This week’s mystery player will hopefully have you running in circles:
“I have won 26 international caps, played in a World Cup qualifier earlier this month, and have so far made 103 Premier League appearances in total. Who am I and with which Danish club was I a youth team player?”
Email your answers, please, to SOQL7@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 sixth teaser was:
“I was an FA Cup winner in 1967 and later captained a League Cup and Uefa Cup-winning Spurs team. Who am I and from which London club did I join Tottenham?”
Yes, of course, that wonderful warrior Alan Mullery, who at first struggled to fill the big boots of Danny Blanchflower when he arrived from Fulham in 1964. But the man with the giant heart became a Lane Legend who could be mentioned in the same breath as Blanchflower and the mighty Mackay.
First name drawn at random from the correct answers is Jack Naylor from Cumbria via Hammersmith, who has been a Spurs supporter since he saw Alan Mullery leading Tottenham to the Uefa Cup in 1972, including scoring the winning goal in the second leg of the final against Wolves. I will be emailing Jack 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!
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