NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 206
Submitted by Norman Giller
If you are looking for Christmas cheer, I suggest you do not accompany me through the following dirge. I feel as bruised and battered as an England batsman after a weekend in which I have suffered Test match blues on top of Tottenham’s thrashing at the Etihad.
Stupidly, I have not missed a ball of this Ashes series, and being in the depths of sleep deprivation is not the best condition in which to watch Spurs play the finest British team I have seen in the modern game.
It is is unheard of that a club has virtually won the Premier League by Christmas, but they might as well hand the trophy to Manchester City right now.
Our guru – the ‘stupidly optimistic’ Paul Smith – provides the grim details of the way City toyed with Tottenham here. Suffice to say Christian Eriksen’s late goal gave a very flattering look to the scoreline. It might easily have been 8-1 to the Light Blues as the Dark Blues almost sunk without trace.
Mauricio Pochettino will be wondering and worrying as to why so many of his players did not show up for the biggest Premier League challenge of the season.
Even worse for me than the defeat was the barrage of criticism that dwarfed all attempts at a balanced view of the game on the social media.
There is a lynch mob out there calling for Pochettino and/or Daniel Levy. to be hung from the nearest crossbar. They cannot seem to get into their thick heads that this is a very special City side that will be dishing out many more hidings before the season is over.
Pochettino is comfortably the most inventive and inspiring overseas manager Tottenham have ever had, and the small but growing army of fans calling for his head had better be very careful what they wish for.
Those people going down the road of saying City have bought their success are following a dodgy trail. Anybody who knows their Tottenham history will confirm that Spurs were once known as chequebook champions, back in the days when the legendary Bill Nicholson five times set British transfer records.
It’s one thing buying the best players, but the trick is in making the jigsaw fit together. The maestro Pep Guardiola has achieved it at the Etihad in a style that reminds us of the super teams he produced at Barcelona and Bayern. The man is a football magician.
Let’s go into the Christmas programme with positivity. We are still challengers for the major prize of the Champions League, the FA Cup is beckoning and we remain very much in the mix for a top four place.
As with the cricket, we have got to take a fresh guard and start again.
With those thoughts to warm us I wish you the best of Christmases and share with you the online card I have prepared for my family and friends (my next blog will be available over the New Year weekend).
WEEK 19 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 19th question of the 2017-18 SOQL season:
Which England international striker started his career with Chelsea and scored Christmas Day goals for Spurs against Everton (1956) and West Ham (1958)? To which League club was he sold in 1964?
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 Gerry Francis, who guided Tottenham to the 1995 FA Cup semi-final and a Manchester City style 4-1 hammering by Everton!
First name drawn from the correct answers: Jim Connolly, of Belfast, who has followed Spurs since the glory-glory days of Danny Blanchflower and the Double team. I will send Jim 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 on Monday week. Merry Christmas! COYS!
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