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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 208) (08.01.18)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 208
Submitted by Norman Giller

Rifleman Jan has a left foot that shouts points mean prizes

I am writing this from a dungeon of despair after being flattened by Aussie Flu. It’s surely a coincidence that I have been watching every ball of the torturous tour Down Under. Please excuse me if I ramble, but I am in the middle of a jungle fever and am struggling to control my thoughts (I am expecting a “Nobody will notice, Ed” insert here).

The fever hit me during Tottenham’s struggle against determined, disciplined West Ham, when a disappointing draw meant Spurs just failed to be the only team that took maximum points over the Christmas/New Year period.

To hang on to reality I continued my marathon Test watching/listening vigil and unleashed a Twitter barrage when I made no sense whatsoever (yes, okay, nobody noticed). I wondered if I had drifted off into a fantasy dream when I saw people actually supporting a ‘Poch Out’ thread, but this was more to do with people’s idiocy rather than my ‘flu.

If this small, myopic lynch mob drive Pochettino out, that will be it for me. I will retire to smell the roses, provided I beat this Aussie bug (anybody else had it? How long does it last? I had the flu jab but apparently it did not make me immune to this strain. I did warn you I might ramble).

I brightened considerably yesterday when Our Harry struck two goals and Jan Vertonghen produced a rare rifle shot from his armoury to silence the Spurs fans who had moaned and groaned throughout the goalless first-half.

More of the same please, Jan. That magical left foot is helping to collect points at both ends of the pitch and has now helped push us through to the fourth round of magnetic FA Cup. As Edmonton-born Bruce Forsyth used to say: “Points mean prizes." (You can get a proper report of the match HERE from our ever reliable Paul H. Smith)

So Tottenham have cleared the first fence in the football Grand National that is the FA Cup. We wait to see in tonight’s draw what the next hurdle is. The fact that the team from down the road will not be going into the hat was better than any medicine.

One thing’s for sure, Harry Kane wants to be part of it. He has a keen sense of FA Cup history and I understand that he demanded that he play for one hour against Wimbledon, although Pochettino wanted him to take a well-earned rest.

You won’t catch Harry bragging about it, but he will be keen to join the list of just 12 players who have scored in every round of the FA Cup. Reaching down into my old Judge files (anybody remember The Judge of The Sun …. wonder whatever happened to him, perhaps he died of Aussie Flu, or more likely got Googled) the Dazzling Dozen are:

Archie Hunter Aston Villa, winners 1887)
Sandy Brown (Spurs, winners 1901, when they were in the Southern League)
Harry Hampton (Aston Villa, winners 1905)
Harold Blackmore (Bolton, winners 1929)
Ellis Rimmer (Sheffield Wednesday, winners 1935)
Frank O’Donnell (Preston, runners-up 1937)
Stan Mortensen (Blackpool, runners-up 1948)
Jackie Milburn (Newcastle, winners 1951)
Nat Lofthouse (Bolton, runners-up 1953)
Charlie Wayman (Preston, runners-up 1954)
Jeff Astle (West Brom, winners 1968)
Peter Osgood (Chelsea, winners 1970)

Now excuse me while I swim off in a pool of perspiration. Wishing you all a HEALTHY 2018.


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

WEEK 21 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 21st question of the 2017-18 SOQL season:

Who won 15 Under-21 caps and then 29 full caps for his country? From which club did he join Spurs in 2005?

Please email your answers by Friday’s midnight deadline to: soql21@normangillerbooks.com.

Keep a check on your points score, because I can never rely on my server that often loses emails in the ether. You will receive an automated response from me

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.

Question 20 was: Who played 115 international matches, was signed by Ossie Ardiles and scored in a 1-0 day after New Year’s Day victory against the Arsenal at White Hart Lane? Which club did he move on to in 1995? Several of you were misled by the number of caps and “dived” in with Jurgen Klinsmann.

But more than 60 of you came up with the correct answer: Gheorghe Popescu, the clever Romanian who moved swiftly on to Barcelona. But in many ways he was too clever by half. In 2014 he was given a three-year jail sentence for money laundering and tax evasion in the murky football transfer market.

First name drawn from the correct answers: Edinburgh-based, Tottenham-born Bill McGregor, who has supported Spurs “since the great days of Bill Brown, Dave Mackay and dear John White”. 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).

Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week (if I’m still alive). COYS!

The "Giller Index" - listing all Norman's articles for Spurs Odyssey

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