NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 197
Submitted by Norman Giller
I was compelled to Tweet to moaning and groaning Spurs fans during Saturday’s battle with Bournemouth: “Don't create a crisis that does not exist. Negativity is contagious.”
To read the online comments you would have thought Spurs were in the relegation race, and the criticism aimed at Harry Kane and Dele Alli in particular went way below the belt.
Yes, he had an unproductive game, and even Our Harry was off the boil. But let’s give credit to Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe for coming up with suffocating tactics that meant Spurs had to sweat buckets for their first Premier League win at Wembley.
They made their penalty area about as inviting as Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom to a Hollywood starlet (Ed note: I know you like to be topical, Norm, but this is a bit OTT) (Real Ed note:- Norman wrote the Ed note!).
Our travelling guru Paul H. Smith gives his eyewitness account HERE, but speaking as a sofa representative I was disappointed with the reaction of supporters who came across on the social network as if they were the enemy.
People often say that it does not matter what is said on the Internet because it does not influence the play. What it DOES do is set a tone, a mood that can spread like a California forest fire.
I have been a background figure in the company of the Tottenham players and can assure you they quietly drink in every word on line. They are young men of their time and smart phones and iPads are a must accessory.
Alli, for example, is a regular Twitter tweeter. He has more than 400,000 followers, and he will know better than anybody that the trolls were taking swipes at him on Saturday. (For the record, Harry Kane has the little matter of 1.1 million on his Twitter trail.)
Third in the table, breathing down the necks of Man United and now winners at Wembley, Tottenham should be in buoyant mood heading for tomorrow’s gigantic match against Real Madrid at the Bernebeu.
Yet there was an anchor of anxiety that was almost tangible before Bournemouth’s brave challenge had been extinguished, thanks to the clinical finishing of Christian Eriksen and the goliath goalkeeping of Hugo Lloris.
I know I am preaching to the converted here at the home of Spurs Odyssey, but we really must do more to silence the pessimists who take pot-shots at the team and the club owners at every opportunity. You can bet your boots none of them have played the game at a decent level, and are probably pretty useless at their own jobs.
Criticism is fine, provided it is constructive. Destroying players for the sake of it is unacceptably low and cowardly.
To go back to my old mantra: “Let’s get behind the team, not in its way.”
I understand from my man in Madrid that there’s little chance of Gareth Bale playing against his old Spurs team-mates tomorrow or in the Wembley showdown. There is deep concern about his recurring calf injuries. His latest problem is the 12th calf-caused lay-off since he made the move to Spain.
The odds are on him eventually returning to the Premier League, with Manchester United always the favourite landing place. But his fitness complications could put all plans on hold. The dreamers among us would one day like to see him back in a Lilywhite shirt.
He is without doubt one of the greatest British footballers of modern times, and his likely absence plus the suspension of Dele robs the Real-Tottenham contest of some of its majesty.
For all those going out to Madrid, safe journey. Hopefully you will return home with winning smiles on your faces. And perhaps the trolls will be left with nothing but positive things to say.
WEEK 10 of the Sports Odyssey Quiz League 2017-18. The rules are simple: I ask one Tottenham-related question for which a right answer earns you two points, and then a related teaser that can bring you an extra point.
The questions are always easy, provided you know the answers!
The winner this season will get a framed certificate proclaiming him (or her) the Spurs Odyssey Quiz Champion, plus a no-longer-in-print autographed GOALS book by Spurs idol Jimmy Greaves and another collectors’ item from my Greavsie collection: Football’s Greatest Entertainers, signed by Jimmy and Tottenham’s Mr Loyalty, Steve Perryman.
Now here comes the tenth question of the 2017-18 SOQL season:
Who has won 53 international caps and signed for Spurs on transfer deadline day 2016? Against which team did he score his first goal for Tottenham in a 4-0 victory?
Please email your answers by Friday’s midnight deadline to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep a check on your points score, because I can never rely on my server that often loses emails in the ether.
I test you with Spurs questions until the last few weeks of the season, when I introduce the dreaded tiebreaker teasers that call for your opinion as much as your knowledge.
But please remember, we are all in this just for fun, with the common bond of admiring all things Tottenham.
Answer to last week’s question was Jürgen Klinsmann, who scored those relegation-beating four goals against Wimbledon.
First name drawn from the correct answers was Matt Jones, from Clacton but currently working in Jersey. He has been a Spurs supporter since the mid-70s. I will send Matt a screen version of my Spurs ’67 book (I have now sold all copies, and the book raised £4,000 for the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes. Thank you all those Spurs Odyssey followers who gave their support. Have you thought of writing a book yourself? My latest book, ‘How to SELF Publish’ is now going to press. The perfect present for that person you know has a book in them, perhaps you! Full details at http://www.normangillerbooks.com.).
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
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