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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 225) (07.05.18)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 225
Submitted by Norman Giller

Old King David regains crown as Spurs sweat

As we wait anxiously for Spurs to cement their place in next season’s Champions League following the sickening and dramatic defeat at The Hawthorns, let’s bow the knee to our 2018 Spurs Odyssey Quiz King.

Arise ‘Spur’ David Guthrie, who regains the title that he captured in the inaugural year of 2015.

Amazingly, ‘King David’ – from Wokingham in Berkshire – was the only one of more than seventy Spurs Odyssey Quiz League competitors who agreed man-for-man with my selection of a team of British-born players who have appeared for the Lilywhites since the start of the Millennium. He reads me like a book.

This was the winning selection, in 4-4-2 formation:

Paul Robinson; Kyle Walker, Ledley King (capt), Sol Campbell, Danny Rose;Darren Anderton, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Gareth Bale; Jermain Defoe, Harry Kane

Two foreign substitutes from the current squad:-

Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen.

I was torn between playing Jermain Defoe or Teddy Sheringham as striking partner for must-choice Harry Kane, but then I got to remembering how Teddy liked to come from deep positions to pull defences apart with his deceptive changes of pace and precise passing. I considered playing him in midfield, but decided I preferred the inventive Dele Alli.

I picked Eric Dier as the midfield anchorman, with Darren Anderton and Gareth Bale giving the team width, pace and skill on both flanks. Anybody who recalls the radar-accurate way ‘Sick Note’ Anderton used to cross the ball will know he would have provided a bucketful of goals for Kane and Defoe.

And it was no brainer to select the hugely impressive Gareth Bale, with rumours strengthening that he could be on his way back to Tottenham. Fingers crossed.

Nearly all of you agreed with my choice of goalkeeper Paul Robinson, with Ian Walker his only serious challenger.

The back four of Walker, King, Campbell and Rose was the most popular combination, although some of you could not bring yourself to select the controversial Campbell.

To my mind, he is one of the few England players to get near the class and consistency of Bobby Moore and would be an automatic choice in my Spurs team. All I was interested in was picking the best players, and Campbell definitely comes into that category.

I invited you to become manager for the day, and that should have divorced you from any personal feelings about who to play. What Campbell elected to do in this free world of ours when deciding to join another North London club should not have come into your calculations.

A dozen of you missed the title by a whisker, each agreeing with all but one of my selections. Players who got a lot of support included Michael Carrick, Michael Dawson, Jonathan Woodgate, Scott Parker, Aaron Lennon, Jamie Redknapp and Jermaine Jenas.

Several of you selected Stephen Carr at right-back, forgetting that he was Eire born, and Luka Modric popped up on quite a few of your substitute benches while I hope I made it clear that the subs had to come from the current squad......

The one lady who was in the running – Emily Hadjinicolaou, BSc FIA, from Reigate in Surrey – was among those who decided to ignore Sol Campbell in favour of big-hearted Michael Dawson.

Edward Benson, 2017 champion, went close to forcing a play-off for the title with a team identical to mine, apart from Michael Carrick for Darren Anderton in midfield.

Gareth Bale, Ledley King and Harry Kane, were the only three players who got into everybody’s team, and Ledley collected 90 per cent of the votes as captain. What a player he was! Just imagine if he’d had two good knees.

At the final count it was David Guthrie who was the only contestant to score a maximum 151 points for the season. He wins a framed certificate proclaiming him the 2018 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, including a signed card by Jimmy and Tottenham’s Mr Loyalty, Steve Perryman.

This week’s totally trivial question, just for fun:

Who has been the only player to have won a League championship medal with Tottenham NOT born in the United Kingdom?

Please email your answer to me at author@normangillerbooks.com. Deadline: midnight this Friday.No prize, just the satisfaction of being right!

You will have noticed that I have made little reference to Saturday’s calamity at West Brom. Our guru Paul H. Smith does enough explaining and exploding for both of us here in his match report. I saw it as a freak result written in the stars, particularly with ex-Spur Jake Livermore scrambling in the overtime winner.

I felt like King Canute on line as I tried to hold back the tide of pessimism and defeatism that swept in with tsunami force. This sort of suicidal mood is contagious, and we must keep our heads up and our confidence high as we go into the final two matches against Newcastle on Wednesday and then Leicester City on Sunday.

Come on, let’s be positive. Summon up the Dave Mackay spirit, not the Lord Sugar cynicism. COYS!

Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week.

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

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