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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 159) (23.01.17)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 159
Submitted by Norman Giller

Hugo can hold up his head and hands

Phew! Well, we got away with that one. Anybody who thinks we deserved to leave the Etihad with more than a point needs to book a visit to SpecSavers for a correction to one-eyed glasses. Perhaps you could borrow a pair from President Trump, who magically manages to see things that are not even there.

What the hectic game against Manchester City underlined is that there is 24-carat character running through the Tottenham team. It was not that long ago that Spurs would have waved the white flag of surrender under the sustained attack, but this Pochettino side has what Mauricio would describe as cojones grande.

Spurs refused to give in and for their spirit alone were worth a point plundered from the depths of desperation. The goals from Alli and Son (I almost typed Tiptoe and Son) were the reward for courage in the face of an onslaught. A grateful nod in the direction of referee Andre Marriner for managing to miss that blatant push from Kyle Walker on Raheem Sterling. I think that even the Ancient Mariner would have spotted that one.

The way we then punished City with the first goal moments later provided in a nutshell why the Beautiful Game will always have us in its grip. It is dramatic, unpredictable theatre that even the Bard of Stratford could not have imagined.

Honest Hugo Lloris would hold up his usually safe hands and admit that he was at fault with both City goals, and modesty would prevent him adding that he also prevented several others – as confirmed here in our webmaster Paul Smith’s balanced match report.

Hold your head high, mon ami. You remain the Premier League’s premier goalkeeper.

I am still buried in 1967 as I write my personal memories of the year Miracle Man Dave Mackay led Bill Nicholson’s Tottenham to a third FA Cup final victory in seven years. This, of course, was in the first ‘Cockney Cup Final’ against Tommy Docherty’s Chelsea, and I have Alan Gilzean and Chopper Harris on board to introduce the reconstruction of that historic match.

Profits will be going to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help any of our old heroes who have hit troubled times, so I trust (ha ha ha) you will give your support.

It is going to be a book of two halves, with hopefully YOU helping me write the second-half by contributing your personal memories of that season, or perhaps a story involving a loved one who is no longer here to share what were magic moments (If you can remember Perry Como’s hit with that song then you will definitely be on my wavelength).

I will give full details of how to take a walk down memory Lane with me here next week. Meantime, our concentration has to be on this season’s FA Cup and Saturday’s fourth round challenge from Wycombe Wanderers.

It looks easy-peasy on paper, but the road to Wembley is littered with the scalps of clubs that took these sort of matches for granted and finished up victims of giant killings.

Mauricio is certain to field what he would consider his second-string team, and it will be interesting to see which player takes over the captain’s armband from a rested Lloris.

Now excuse me, I am returning to 1967 and am currently writing the chapter that includes how a schoolboy was ‘bribed’ to join Spurs with three tickets for he and his parents to watch the final from the Wembley stands. His name, Steve Perryman. Happy days.


Please note that I was contacted last week by a Yorkshire-based Spurs supporter telling me about a Tottenham-linked website. I have managed to delete your email. Please contact me again so that I can give you a proper response. Another senior moment. Doh!


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, week 23

The Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, week 23

This week’s mystery player:

“I have won 18 caps and played 63 League and cup matches for Tottenham between 2011 and 2013. Which was the first of the five London clubs for which I have appeared?”

Email your answers, please, to SOQL23@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 22nd teaser was:

“Capped 23 times, I played in the 1962 World Cup finals and won a League championship medal with Spurs and also a couple of FA Cup winners’ medals. Who am I, and what number shirt did I wear in my two FA Cup final appearances?”

A maximum three points in the SOQL table to those who answered Maurice Norman, who filled the No 5 Tottenham shirt in the FA Cup final triumphs of 1961 and 1962. Dear old Monty might easily have been England’s centre-half in the 1966 World Cup final but for breaking a leg in a meaningless friendly against a Hungarian Select X1 in the autumn of 1965. The Norfolk ‘Swedebasher’ is still with us and is on his way to 83 on May 8. Thank you all those who submitted answers and had to put up with an automated response. Be patient with me while I am battling with my book. I can no longer multi-task!

First name drawn at random from the correct answers is Keith Sims, from Great Yarmouth who has followed Spurs since watching them win the Cup in 1981 with THAT goal from Ricky Villa. I will be emailing Keith 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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