NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 248
Submitted by Norman Giller
I promise not to make this a political blog (our guru Paul Smith would quickly squash that notion), but I need to point out that I was on the People’s March in London as Tottenham were continuing their march up the table with their 1-0 victory at West Ham.
My plan was to march until two-thirty and then get to the London Stadium for the match, but that idea went out of the window when so many people turned up to vote with their feet that we were an hour behind schedule.
I then tried to avoid all mention of the result, preparing to watch a stream of the match that had been recorded for me at home.
But sod’s law took over when I got on a train jam packed with West Ham fans moaning and groaning about the game, and I quickly knew that Tottenham had continued their winning streak.
Paul Smith gives the match details here, where you can read how Spurs won ugly … but they won and that in itself was beautiful to my ears as I listened to Hammers supporters complaining they had been robbed.
I felt like a spy in the enemy camp while hearing how Hugo Lloris had saved at least three certain goals and that the referee should have given West Ham a couple of penalties. Just like Tottenham fans, they can be very one eyed!
There was unanimous but grudging praise for the inventive play of the magician Erik Lamela, who continues his march to full fitness after a nightmare on the operating table.
"If we’d had him playing for us, we’d have won in a canter," was one compliment from a claret and blue blooded fan, who acknowledged that the Argentine’s imaginative contribution had made all the difference.
I suppressed the urge to point out that Tottenham had been missing five key players: Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, one of the few players who can challenge Lamela’s claim to be the King of the Nutmegs.
It will be fascinating to see who is available as Spurs go into a tough period that takes in Wednesday’s vital European match against PSV, a Wembley Premier League game against the magnificent Manchester City side and – just 48 hours later – a League Cup encounter with old local rivals West Ham.
All this while waiting for the unveiling of our new home.
Take it from a veteran, just keep marching forward one step at a time.
But then there will be some who consider me as mad as a March hare
Question No 10 in this 2018-19 SOQL season:
Which Surrey-born midfielder played 335 first-team games for Tottenham and what number shirt did he wear the last time Spurs won an FA Cup final?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL10@normangillerbooks.com. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.
This year’s prizes for the champion: two books from my Spurs collection with autographs from Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay, and a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion.
There will also be a special bonus prize that I will announce later in the season. I promise it’s a collector’s item for anybody who follows the mighty Spurs.
Last week I asked: Who was the first major signing for Tottenham by André Villas-Boas, and through which English academy did he come before joining a club in the Bundesliga?
Three points to all those of you who said Gylfi Sigurdsson who started his English career in the unlikely football outpost of Reading. Technically gifted, Siggy would fit perfectly into Pochettino’s philosophy.
Please keep a check on your scores. I will be trusting you to count your points as I do not have faith in my email server.
Thank you for taking part. See you back here same time, same place next week. Keep the faith. COYS!
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