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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 156) (02.01.17)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 156
Submitted by Norman Giller

Kane and Able Alli give 2017 the kick of life

If TV choirmaster Gareth Malone ever wanted to find a choir to sing football chants (“what a good idea, Norm”), he would surely turn to the travelling Tottenham army for his lead voices. Like the Spurs team, they kicked off 2017 with a rousing victory at Vicarage Road yesterday.

Let’s face it, Watford were a bigger shower than the rain that soaked the teams but the job still had to be done, and Spurs took them apart in sweet rather than savage style. The 1-4 scoreline might easily have been 1-8, and Hugo Lloris and his defensive team-mates were kicking themselves over conceding that comedy-of-errors last minute goal.

Our Harry Kane celebrated his century of Premier League games with two burgled goals, each time using the underrated Trippier as his accomplice. That gives him 59 goals, equal to what Thierry Henry achieved in his first 100 PL matches. Harry the Cockerel had easily drawn the sting of Harry the Hornet.

Only the crossbar stood between Dele Alli and a New Year’s Day hat-trick as he continues to build a reputation as a goal thief. He is among the leading young poachers in Europe, and those of us who watch him regularly know he has missed more than he has scored. But being in the right place is key, and he is a natural positional player.

Lots more to come from these two Tottenham likely lads, and you will find their latest adventure captured here by our webmaster Paul Smith. (Watford 1 Spurs 4 - match report)

What a way to kick off 2017 but now comes the REAL test as Chelsea invade “old” White Hart Lane for the last time. They are looking to extend their incredible victory run to a record 14 successive matches, and Pochettino’s Pups must be ready to snap at their heels to stop them.

It seems crazy to say it with the echo of the New Year bells still in our ears, but if Chelsea win this one that is goodbye to any distant hopes Spurs have of snatching the title this season, and John Terry can prepare himself to receive the trophy in May.

Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen are certain to be back in defence despite the excellent deputising yesterday by Trippier and Wimmer, and it will be fascinating to see if Pochettino again plays three at the back, which is the current Chelsea style. This could be a game decided by the daring and desire of both sets of full-backs. Wing backs would be a more accurate description.

The Tottenham choir will need to be in the best possible voice, and for the sake of our season let’s hope we are all singing victory songs on Wednesday night.

Happy New Year!


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, week 20

The Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

This week’s mystery player:

“I followed my father as a Spurs first-team player and appeared in more than 100 League and cup matches before joining a Midlands club in 2003. Who am I and for which club did I sign from Tottenham?”

Email your answers, please, to SOQL20@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 week.

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 19th teaser was:

“My middle name is Harcourt and I had a German mother. I made my League debut for Spurs in 1968 and scored 13 goals in 24 international appearances. Which Swiss club did I join when leaving Tottenham?”

Yes, the golden oldie Martin Chivers, who moved to Servette in Switzerland after his goal-gorged service to Spurs. Big Chiv was awesome at his peak and would have won more England caps but for a severe knee injury. There were two seasons when he was as powerful and productive as any centre-forward in the world.

First name drawn at random from the correct answers is John Pummell of Benfleet in Essex, who claims he has been “Spurs mad” since the FA Cup winning season of 1967. I will be emailing him a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books.

As regular contestants will know, the SOQL 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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