NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 220
Submitted by Norman Giller
I have waited 28 years to type the sentence: Tottenham conquered Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Does it get any better than this?
Most of the Spurs players were not even born the last time Tottenham came away from Chelsea with a victory. I honestly believe a defeat yesterday would have caused deep psychological damage that could have wrecked this exceptional season.
The last time Spurs won at the Bridge was Saturday February 10 1990, the day Nelson Mandela walked free from prison. If Chelsea had got out of jail yesterday after Tottenham had gone 3-1 clear I think we would all have been in need of treatment for shell shock.
Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith gives the glorious details of the long-awaited victory HERE, but there are four players to whom I want to give special merit mention:
HUGO LLORIS, whose rare mistake gifted Chelsea a first-half lead that had all of us shaking at the knees. A lesser man might have gone to pieces over the enormity of his error, but Hugo is a class act. He held himself together and was a formidable last line of defence when Chelsea raised their game in those desperate last 20 minutes.
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN, our Danish Prince whose exhilarating performance – and sublime goal – underlined that he is now one of the finest attack architects in Europe. Only a true artist could have fashioned that dipping shot that brought Spurs level, and the pass that helped create the crucial third goal deserved to be captured in oils rather than merely on camera. A Christian made it a very Happy Easter,
DELE ALLI, who truly came of age in this match when he was under the microscope of the nation’s football followers feeding on gossip and innuendo that he was on the slide. It was his 100th Premier League appearance, and the sneerers and the snipers were suggesting he had already gone past his peak. The way he turned Eric Dier’s 30-yard pass into Tottenham’s second goal was a thing of beauty, and his match-clinching third was the sort of knock out blow that even ‘AJ’ Joshua couldn’t find at the weekend.
DAVISON SANCHEZ, a challenger to even the untouchable Eriksen for man-of-the-match honours. He continues to evolve into the double of Ledley King and his form lessens the worry of possibly losing Toby Alderweireld in the summer.
Okay, that’s the first fence cleared in this Grand National of an April. A reminder of the rest of the course:
Saturday April 7 (ko 3pm): Stoke City away. Paul Lambert has got them much better organised and anybody who saw them beaten 3-0 by that other North London club yesterday will confirm that they were the superior side until a questionable penalty gave the Gooners an undeserved lead.
Saturday April 14 (ko 7.45pm): Manchester City at Wembley. Champions elect, and no bigger scalp!
Tuesday April 17 (ko 7.45pm): Brighton away, with old Spurs hero Chris Hughton certain to have his bright team going flat out to flatten the club that treated him so appallingly at the end of his coaching contract at the Lane.
Saturday April 21 (ko 5.15pm): Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final, with Spurs in the “away” Wembley dressing-room. All this Pochettino team is lacking is silverware to prove that they are a very special squad. The FA Cup is the only hope left this season of going to the new stadium with something to show off in an empty cabinet.
Monday April 30 (ko 8pm): Watford at home, by which time we will know whether it’s been a month of unbounded joy.
Tottenham got the month off to the best possible start yesterday, and it was Chelsea who were left looking April fools. Now we know there is no such thing as a Bridge too far for a Spurs side that is playing some of the best football in its history.
WEEK 33 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, if you’re sitting comfortably, here comes the 33rd question of the 2017-18 SOQL season:
Which Spurs player was born in 1992, has won 36 international caps and was an Olympic silver medalist? What number Tottenham shirt does he wear?
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. You will (hopefully) receive a response from me.
I test you with Spurs questions until the last few weeks of the season, when I introduce the fiendish 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 32 was: Who managed the last Tottenham team to win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and with which club did he win his two England caps as a player?
Yes, of course, it was ‘El Tel’ Terry Venables, who won his two England caps in 1964 while skipper of Chelsea and two years before joining Spurs (The answer if the question was asked today would be Mauricio Pochettino!).
First name drawn from the correct answers: Arthur Davis, a Spurs supporter from Walsall, a dedicated Spurs disciple since the Jimmy Greaves golden years of the 1960s. I will send Arthur 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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