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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 160) (30.01.17)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 160
Submitted by Norman Giller

Pochettino catches magic of the cup

You must be as heartless as Donald Trump not to feel sorry for Wycombe Wanderers after their last-gasp defeat by Tottenham in Saturday’s seven-goal thriller at the Lane.

They deserved to be included in tonight’s fifth round draw for a replay that would have given them a much-needed cash bonanza. Instead Wycombe had to look on as Tottenham drew an all-London derby with Fulham. Spurs fans will be hoping for a repeat of the 4-0 victory at the Cottage in in the fifth round in February 2007, when Robbie Keane and Berbatov helped themselves to two goals each for Martin Jol's team. (Ed:- and not a repeat of our 4-0 fourth round defeat on January 30th 2011!)

Congratulations to the Wanderers for the spirit in which they accepted their cruelly scripted loss. They can all – players, management, fans – hold their heads high (but they would much rather still have their noses in the trough!).

Conversely, well done Tottenham in yet again showing they have character in spades. These days they can always be counted on to dig deep, and our webmaster Paul Smith captures the thrills and spills of their survival battle here.

With so many FA Cup shocks at the week-end, with favourites tumbling like ninepins, punters are looking elsewhere for their fun and players are gambling on slots at top online casinos.

How times change. Mauricio Pochettino made nine changes going into a game that Spurs were understandably confident they would win at the first time of asking.

I am writing a book on Tottenham’s 1967 FA Cup triumph, when Bill Nicholson used just 13 players all the way from third round to victory over Chelsea in the first Cockney Cup final against Chelsea.

It is a completely different game now, of course, but ‘Sir’ Bill always believed in selecting his strongest side at all times. Back then the FA Cup was considered almost on a par with the League championship.

Judging by Pochettino’s reaction to the dramatic victory over Wycombe, I think even he has now been caught up in the magic of the world’s oldest cup competition. He hung the title “heroes” on the Wycombe players, and showed how to be gracious in victory.

I will be surprised if he rests too many first-choice players in the fifth round tie at Craven Cottage, with the Wembley Arch (rather than the Twin Towers) almost in sight. You cannot begin to compare today’s Tottenham team with the Glory Glory side of the ‘sixties until they get silverware in the trophy cabinet.

Bill Nick captured the Double, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and won three FA Cup finals in just seven years in the swinging ‘sixties.

I am hoping YOU will share your memories of that eventful 1966-67 season with me. It is all in a good cause, with profits from the book going to the Tottenham Tribute Trust, the charity that quietly helps our old heroes who have hit difficult times.

Don’t forget, anybody who played before the Premier League gold mine was excavated missed the big-money days. Now in old age, they need help to meet medical bills.

Please email me your memories of ’67 – or perhaps recollections passed on to you by loved ones no longer with us – to spurs67@normangillerbooks.com

Many of you are no doubt too young to remember it, after all it was 50 years ago. But I bet you know somebody who does! Please help me help a good cause.

You may wish to pay tribute to any of the players who were triumphant in that 1967 final. Perhaps the team line-up will trigger a memory or three: Pat Jennings, Joe Kinnear, Cyril Knowles, Alan Mullery, Mike England, Dave Mackay, Jimmy Robertson, Jimmy Greaves, Alan Gilzean, Terry Venables, Frank Saul. Cliff Jones was substitute and Phil Beal was the other regular, who missed the final because of a broken arm.

Even if you were not around when the final was played, I am sure you will have been inspired by stories about that season. I promise to reply to anybody who sends me a memory for the book.

I look forward to hearing from you.


As we prepare to return our focus to the Premier League title race at Sunderland tomorrow, greetings to our new friends at Yorkshire Spurs, Tottenham’s 150th official supporters’ club. Their members will be out in force at the Stadium of Light.

Anybody who knows their Spurs history will quickly acknowledge the club owes a lot to that good old Yorkshire grit and leadership qualities.

Proof? Well, for starters, how about Scarborough-born Bill Nicholson and ex-Barnsley miner Keith Burkinshaw, arguably the two greatest managers in the club’s history (no argument at all on Bill Nick, and Keith would have a lot of support).

Then Yorkshire terrier players that come easily to mind: Terry Dyson, Cyril Knowles, Tony Galvin, Michael Dawson and bulldozing Bobby Smith, although a boundary change later put his Lingdale birth place into Durham.

And today? Eh bah gum, are there a better pair of club full-backs in Europe than Sheffield’s Kyle Walker and Doncaster daredevil Danny Rose? I don’t think so.

Greg Alcock, a founder member of Yorkshire Spurs despite his Essex background, tells me that the inaugural meeting of the club will take place at The Pit, 9 Merrion Street, Leeds LS1 6PQ on Thursday February 16. That, of course, is the night Tottenham play Gent in Belgium and their Uefa League match will be shown on a huge wall screen.

You will be assured of a warm welcome, and can keep up to date with the Yorkshire Spurs plans at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/721040151390773/

If you want to find the official Spurs Supporters’ club closest to you, full contact details are here at the omniscient Tottenham Hotspur website: http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/supporters-club/club-finder/


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, week 24

The Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, week 24

This week’s mystery player:

“Born in Nottingham, I have won four England caps and scored eight goals in 144 Premier League games for Tottenham. From which League club did I join Spurs in 2005?

Email your answers, please, to SOQL24@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 23rd teaser was:

“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?”

A maximum three points in the SOQL table to those who answered Scott Parker, who started his tour of London clubs with Charlton Athletic. I wish he had got to Tottenham earlier. He is a born leader and will, I predict, be a leading coach/manager before Brexit is completed (mind you, that could give him years!).

First name drawn at random from the correct answers is Don Marshall, a Spurs disciple since his days in Barnet in the early ‘60s and still following avidly from his adopted home of Toronto in Canada. I will be emailing Don 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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