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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 275) (29.04.19)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 275
Submitted by Norman Giller

Who will be Spurs Odyssey Quiz King No 5?

Here we are on the eve of one of the most vital matches in Tottenham Hotspur history, all of us suffering Champions’ League jitters. To take your minds off the Ajax assignment I am claiming your undivided attention for the decisive and divisive Spurs Odyssey Quiz League tiebreak decider.

This is when I fall out with you all, because it is really only my opinion that matters. You just have to try to agree with it to take the esteemed SOQL title.

Let’s not dwell on Saturday’s depressing defeat by a West Ham team that deserved to become the first ever away winners at the new Lane, as reported here in suitably funereal fashion by our long-suffering guru Paul H. Smith.

There are more than 50 of you within shooting distance of the SOQL crown, currently resting on the wise head of two-times winner David Guthrie. He is – of course – among those who have maximum points going into the final lap, and has proved himself clairvoyant in reading my mind..

Also included among the usual suspects is 2017 champion Edward Benson, New York-based, Southgate-raised lawyer. He is on premier points as he tries to regain the title he wrested from 2016 title holder and fellow legal eagle Glen Scarcliffe. They feature in the above blog heading with King David.

There is again just one lady in with a chance of the title, and trying to become our Quiz Queen – Emily Hadjinicolaou, BSc FIA, from Reigate in Surrey, where she has taken over the Tottenham-supporting baton from her father, who used to follow Spurs in the 1950s from his homeland of Cyprus. Emily, a season ticket holder who always talks sense about the game when submitting her answers each week, has an impressive grasp of Tottenham history.

Spurs Odyssey founder Paul H. Smith and I would like to thank Emily and all you other splendid people who regularly compete in our weekly challenge. Without you, I’d be talking to myself (true, nothing new).

Among those in the running for the title this year and who have scored 90 or more points:

Shuban Naushad Ali (Enfield)
Ian Banfield (Bushey, Herts)
Edward Benson (Westchester, New York, former champion)
Eric Church (Tunbridge Wells)
Graeme Chandler (Leicestershire)
Avi Chaudhuri (Walthamstow)
Roy Davies (Shrewsbury)
Trevor Dawson (Beeston, Notts)
Graham Eyre (Australia, via Broxbourne)
Jonathan Fellows (Shenstone, Staffs)
Kevin Field (Lincolnshire)
Alex Gaffarena (Wandsworth)
Jonathan Goddard (Kettering)
David Guthrie (Wokingham, Berks, reigning champion)
Emily Hadjinicolaou (Reigate)
Carson Heatley (Heckmondwike, W. Yorks)
Christen Knudsen (Norway)
Ian Landeryou (Laindon, Essex)
Gerard Laverty (Northern Ireland)
Peter Lawton (Haifa, Israel)
Jim Logan (South Croydon)
Clifton Melvin (Chalfont St Giles, Bucks)
Michael McDowell (Glengormley, Antrim)
Ivan McOwens (Cyprus via Southend)
Tony Nightingill (Gerards Cross)
David Pope (Leytonstone)
Bob Reilly (Ware, Herts)
John Saunders (Southend)
Jim Sherring (Stevenage)
Leslie Sullivan (Hoxton)
Roger Turner (Cyprus)
Andy Tyzzer (Shenstone, Staffs)
John Wiseman (Austria)
Endre Zsoldos (Hungary)

To try to separate you all and come up with the 2019 champion we arrive at the dreaded tiebreak teaser. This is not so much a test of your knowledge as your opinion. Or more accurately MY opinion!

The winner this season will get a framed Harry Kane autographed picture, two books from my Spurs collection with autographs from Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay, and (most precious of all) a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion.

To break the log jam at the top of the table, I am inviting you to be manager for the day and select a team from overseas-born players who have appeared for Spurs in Premier League matches since and including the year 2000.

Please select your team in goalkeeper-4-4-2 formation, plus THREE outfield British-born substitutes who have played Premier League football for Spurs since 2000. Also, please name your captain – which will only be taken into account if there is a dead heat.

You get three points for every selection that agrees with a player in my team, plus five points each for picking the same three substitutes as me. That’s 48 points in total, which will be added to your season score … in most cases in the list above, that is 108. Could there really be somebody out there who scores a maximum 156 points? Watch this space.

Just to make it clear, ‘overseas’ born does not include the Republic of Ireland (sorry, Robbie Keane!), and only consider players who have appeared for Tottenham in a minimum 75 League and cup matches.

The contestant with most points who gets closest to my team plus choice of substitutes takes the crown. If more than one agrees with me – and also choice of captain – then we would have another tie-breaker if their points tally is equal.

Remember, you are selecting from overseas-born players who have appeared in Premier League matches for Tottenham since and including 2000, plus three British-born players as substitutes. Formation is 4-4-2 and name your captain.

You have until midnight on Friday to get your choices to me. Email your selections, please, to SOQLTEAM@normangillerbooks.com.Give your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs. Good luck!

I am the sole adjudicator, and will not enter into correspondence with anybody who wants to dispute my selection (welcome to the Trump-era of justice!). Yes, I will build a wall to shut out anybody who disagrees with me.

Enjoy it. This is just for fun, while cementing the shared love and admiration for all things Tottenham.

I will announce the winner in my next Spurs Odyssey blog … hopefully one that is rejoicing in Tottenham being closer to clinching a top four place in the Premier League and with one foot in the Champions’ League final.

Last week’s question:

Who played 200 times for Tottenham, was signed by Martin Jol before joining QPR on loan, and with which country (not of his birth) did he win 24 caps?

A maximum three points in the SOQL table to those who answered Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who played for the Cameroon although he was born in France.

Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week, hopefully with the name of our 2018-19 SOQL champion! COYS!

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

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