NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 203
Submitted by Norman Giller
I just hope Tottenham are wider awake than me when they go to Leicester tomorrow for a difficult match at the King Power stadium. I am on Australian time, and from the sluggish way some of the Spurs players performed on Saturday I wondered if – like me – they had been staying up to watch the Ashes cricket from Down Under.
It is becoming an increasing cause for concern that Tottenham struggle to pick a way through parked-bus defences. Once West Brom had pinched an unexpected lead in the fourth minute, they built a human fortress around their penalty area and – apart from Harry Kane’s almost inevitable equaliser – there were few signs of Spurs creating desperately required goals.
Our guru Paul H. Smith records the grim match details here, sharing my disappointment in Christian Eriksen’s lack of involvement at critical moments. I am a huge fan of the slightly built schemer, but since his World Cup qualifier hat-trick against Ireland in Dublin he seems to have lost vital energy.
To be or not to be played against Leicester? That is the question for this prince of Denmark who is often the king of Tottenham. He looks to me like a player whose limbs require a rest. Spurs need him to have his batteries fully charged.
My depression at the dropping of two points – and deepened by England’s mauling in the Brisbane Test – was compounded when I read so many scathing comments aimed online at Mauricio Pochettino.
There was a Forum actually calling for his head, and I got involved in a best of three falls with a twit on Twitter, who described him as being a hopeless tactician … this, the man who plotted the downfall of Real Madrid and has steered Spurs through to the second phase of the Champions’ League as leaders of a Group of Death that became the Group of Glory.
If the cretins trying to chase Pochettino out succeed they should be named and shamed. He does not always get it right, but in my opinion is far superior to any overseas manager Spurs have had. It would be madness to drive him away when he is still in the foundation-laying phase of his philosophy.
Those calling for his head reveal not only their ignorance but a negative attitude that is damaging to the very soul of Spurs. It is contagious and their pessimism spreads like poison.
As that team of Nomads from down the road overtook Tottenham yesterday, I felt the need to repeat my mantra: “If you are true supporters you will get behind Pochettino and the team, not in their way.”
If you are looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a Spurs disciple, look no further than a book called Glory Glory Lane. It is the glorious and occasionally gory history of White Hart Lane, tracing the ups, the downs, the excitement and extraordinary events of the stadium’s 118-year history from first kick to last.
As we prepare to move into a tomorrow’s world state-of-the-art stadium, it is important not to forget the foundation of the club that was laid at the old White Hart Lane.
The players, the personalities, the performances and the proud achievements are all captured in this lavishly illustrated book lovingly written by journalist and long-time Spurs fanatic Mike Donovan.
Introduced by Spurs legends Terry Dyson and Alan Mullery, the book takes you on a journey down memory (White Hart) Lane, and is must reading for those who were there and also the younger generation who are keen to have a good grasp of the club’s history.
Beautifully produced by Pitch Publishing, Glory Glory Lane costs £24.99, and is available from all good bookshops.
And if you would one day like to write a Spurs book of your own, let me show you how to get it published without breaking the bank. My latest book – No. 105 from my quill – is called How to Self Publish, and you can get it direct from me for just £8.50 plus p&p at http://www.normangillerbooks.com.
It is the ideal stocking filler for that person you know has a book in them … maybe you.
WEEK 16 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 16th question of the 2017-18 SOQL season:
Who scored 33 goals for Tottenham in 138 League games and won 62 international caps. To which French club did he move from Spurs in 1989?
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 Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who was signed by Juande Ramos. He continues to pull off blinding saves for Watford and is warmly remembered by Tottenham fans, despite his occasional howlers.
First name drawn from the correct answers is Tim Harvey, from Hitchin, who has been a Spurs supporter since the mid-60s. I will send Tim 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).
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
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