NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 202
Submitted by Norman Giller
Let’s give Tottenham credit for leading the way into the new driverless car era. Mauricio Pochettino took a driverless team to the Emirates, and it crashed while being overtaken by an Arsenal side that had the accelerator flat to the floor.
Christian Eriksen, looking jaded after his hat-trick heroics for Denmark in Dublin, was continually stuck in a midfield traffic jam, while the much maligned Mesut Ozil was always in the driving seat for the Gooners.
Ozil can be mean, moody and sometimes magnificent. A pity for Spurs that the magnificent Ozil turned up for this NLD, while several Tottenham players – by their own high standards – were absent.
Yes, the first Arsenal goal followed a free-kick that should not have been given, and the second might have been marginally off-side. But you must be wearing a Lilywhite blindfold if you cannot concede that Arsenal deserved their victory.
Pochettino’s footballing philosophy is based on his players being supremely fit, but to most eyewitnesses Harry Kane and Dele Alli both looked out of sorts and off the pace, a view shared HERE by our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith.
Kane and Alli were at less than full throttle, Eriksen was a prisoner in midfield and Toby Alderweireld is still nursing his injury on the sidelines. You do not have to think too deeply to fathom why Tottenham were not firing on all cylinders. They were not only driverless, but also punchless and at times clueless. This was a game to quickly forget for anybody with blue and white blood.
Tottenham’s statistics against their five major rivals in the Premier League make for worrying reading. Hopefully confidence can be rebuilt with the next domestic matches against West Brom, Leicester, Watford, Stoke and Brighton before the huge away challenge against runaway leaders Manchester City on December 16.
I will be very surprised if Pochettino plays a full-strength team in Dortmund tomorrow. It will be interesting to see if Danny Rose is even on the bench as stories gather strength that he is on his way to Old Trafford in January.
Mauricio must feel like Philip Hammond juggling with his budget as he tries to get his football economics right. It was just a few short months ago that a Tottenham team that was really flying owed much of their success to the full-back pairing of Yorkshire terriers Kyle Walker and Rose.
Walker has gone and is already a cornerstone of the exceptional Man City team. Nothing has been admitted publicly, but you do not have to be Mystic Meg to forecast that Rose will soon be on the red side of Manchester.
That is not the way to build a team that will win silverware. Spurs must budget to keep their best players … and their manager.
WEEK 15 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 15th question of the 2017-18 SOQL season:
Which current Premier League player won a Dutch championship medal with PSV before joining Tottenham, and played in the Bundesliga while on loan? Who was the manager that brought him to White Hart Lane in 2008?
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 Justin Edinburgh, who saw red against Leicester City in the 1999 League Cup final after some ham acting from the elegant, sophisticated Robbie Savage. Justin reluctantly went into the record books as the last player sent off at the old Wembley.
First name drawn from the correct answers is Bill Tattersall, of Chesterfield, who has followed Spurs since his schoolboy days in Edmonton in the 1960s. I will send Bill 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’ has now gone to press. `it is 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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