NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 307
Submitted by Norman Giller
Private note to José Mourinho: I have found the ideal attack leader for you. He stands 6ft 9in – taller than Crouchie – and has battering-ram power and a good tactical brain. I give you Tyson Fury, WBC world heavyweight champion fresh from his seven round demolition of ‘the unbeatable hardest puncher in history,’ Deontay Wilder.
I am jesting, of course, but my suggestion underlines how desperate Tottenham are for a big, commanding target man, while we await the return of ‘Our Harry’ Kane, which looks like being delayed until next season.
Actually, Spurs could get Tyson Fury in a manner of speaking. His much-awaited showdown with Anthony Joshua might be staged at the new Lane if the money-soaked Saudis do not steal it.
I can bore for Britain on boxing (“We would much rather you bore us about Spurs,” – Ed.). I have watched, listened to, reported on, publicised as a PR every world heavyweight title fight in which a British boxer has participated since the 1950 championship contest between Yorkshireman Bruce Woodcock and American Lee Savold at London’s White City (‘Battling Barman’ Lee won on a cut eye stoppage in the fourth round).
It is without hesitation that I say Fury’s phenomenal performance against Wilder in Las Vegas was the greatest display by any Brit in a world heavyweight championship fight. How ironic that it should come just a few hours after the pathetically punchless performance from Tottenham at Chelsea.
I just cannot understand why Mourinho does not put his trust in young Troy Parrott, who could give shape and a spearhead to the attack. At the moment it is almost like watching the Seven Dwarves in a panto.
Our guru Paul H. Smith has the misfortune of having to describe the sorry mess against Chelsea HERE. His report packs a lot more punch than the Tottenham forwards, who found it all a Stamford Bridge too far.
VAR, of course, was again the big talking point, when Giovani Lo Celso was in my opinion lucky to get away with what appeared to be a reckless and dangerous stamp on the leg of Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta.
I could not believe it when the VAR verdict was that no further action need be taken by referee Michael Oliver. Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, a witness from just yards away from the incident, was left fuming, while José hid behind that old shield of saying he did not see it.
Everybody got on with the game, knowing that it would be an after-match talking point. Then, mind blowingly, they announced while the game was still in progress that they had made a “human error” and that Lo Celso should have been red carded.
What on earth were those dunderheads at Stockley Park – the VAR headquarters – thinking of, making what could have been an incendiary statement while the Stamford Bridge spectators were still cheering on the teams in a tense atmosphere.
They should have kept their traps shut until long after the final whistle. Just suppose Tottenham had forced an equaliser in their late flurry of attacks? There could easily have been crowd trouble as the Stockley Park confession went viral on line.
The dynamic duo, Greavsie and Smithy
While watching the game my mind kept drifting to the birthday boys Jimmy Greaves (80 last Thursday) and his old side kick, the late, great Bobby Smith (who would have been 87 on the day of the match). Both had started their careers at Chelsea before becoming a devastating double act at the Lane.
How Tottenham could have done with their dual goal power against a Chelsea defence that looked less than confident the rare times Spurs shook off their negativity and attacked.
I had a birthday breakfast with Jimmy and his doting son, Danny, and I conveyed to him the love that was generated by the crowd at the new Lane before Wednesday’s Champions’ League match against a superbly organised Leipzig side (not a herr out of place).
Once again, I was overawed by the magnificent stadium. Those people who continually knock Daniel Levy are talking out of their behinds, most of them unable to organise a loft conversion. I have reported football matches from around the world and have rarely been in a ground to match it. Be proud!
The witty Jimmy Greaves of old would have said: “Now all we need is a Spurs team fit to play in it.”
Jimmy is the subject of a BT documentary called ‘Greavsie’, which I highly recommend for anybody with Spurs in their soul. I am privileged to play a role in telling the story, but don’t let that put you off. I think our guru Paul H. Smith will confirm that it is worth watching. (Ed:- yes indeed!) It’s a masterpiece by producer/director Tom Boswell and his BT crew.
Greavsie was nowhere near the size of Tyson Fury but always gave Tottenham penalty area punch. Seconds out for Sunday’s must-win home date with Wolves. The gloves are off.
Question No 30 in this 2019-20 SOQL season:
Who won 34 England caps, joined Spurs from West Ham and which manager sold him to Man United?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL30@normangillerbooks.com.
Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.
The rules are the same as in previous seasons. I ask a two-pronged question with three points at stake. In the closing weeks of the competition I break the logjam of all-knowing Spurs-history experts with a tie-breaking poser that is based on opinion rather than fact.
Last week’s SOQL question: Who has won 62 international caps, was signed by Mauricio Pochettino and against which team did he score two goals for Tottenham in a 7-0 victory?
The answer: Serge Aurier, who scored those two goals in the cup game against Tranmere Rovers. I just wish spectators would encourage Aurier, rather than suck the confidence from him with their barracking and negativity. All of us need a pat on the back at some time.
This year’s prizes for the champion: a Harry Kane framed and signed photo, two books from my Spurs collection with autographs from Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay, and, most important of all, a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion.
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!
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