NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 7
Submitted by Norman Giller(25.02.14)
Let’s not throw the towel in just yet.
Tim Sherwood’s brief managerial career could crash in flames before March is out, or if he gets the luck he deserves he can silence the army of critics who have been calling for his head almost from the moment he was promoted in place of the axed AVB.
He is nobody’s fool and knows full well that his head will be on the chopping block if Tottenham fail to make that fourth spot, or at the very least stay where they are in fifth.
The depressing defeat at Norwich on Sunday was the worst possible scenario for Tim, coming off a below-par performance in the Ukraine.
That can be wiped out on Thursday when Dnipro come to White Hart Lane, hopefully to feel the heat of an old-style Glory Glory European night. I am confident that Spurs can wipe out the one-goal hangover from the first leg and advance to the last 16.
But we all know that the Europa match is just a sideshow to the Premier League business. Just look at the March agenda:
Sunday, home to Cardiff … at Chelski on the 8th … home to the Woolwich Nomads on the 16th … hosts to Southampton on the 23rd … then, probably the biggest match of the season to date, playing Liverpool at Anfield on the 30th at the end of a month that could leaves us all as mad as March hares.
Tim is taking brutal attacks on the social media, and it’s hardly a state secret that Dan Levy has been courting Dutch master Louis van Gaal as a possible future Spurs manager.
This old hack is determined to stay loyal and supportive to Sherwood, and I hope Spurs Odyssey regulars show their customary balance and patience and get behind Tim, not in his way.
Levy is ruthless in the way he machine guns managers, but I would ask him to take on board the fact that Sherwood is playing with a team he inherited. He did not spend a penny of the £90 million that has gone into replacing Gareth Bale.
It’s hardly his fault that, for example, the hugely expensive Soldado cannot hit a barn door from five yards. I make it that he has missed at least ten sitters since he arrived from Spain. It’s torture to watch, because he is so obviously a class act but seems almost allergic to English nets.
The most worrying news coming to me from my White Hart Lane contacts is that Jan Vertonghen is getting restless, and that his representatives are putting feelers out in Barcelona and Madrid.
I see him as a long-term Spurs captain, a player of quality and maturity. He is ambitious for Champions League football, and will have a better idea at the end of March his chances of experiencing it with Tottenham.
I am realistic enough to accept that the odds of Spurs getting that top four spot are suddenly huge, but let’s not throw the towel in just yet.
Give Tim and his team every ounce of your support as we march into March.
Then there’s the little matter of the Easter programme. It’s a tough old game.
I TOOK time out on Monday to quietly remember my dear old friend Bobby Moore, a pal from back in the 1950s when we were both serving our apprenticeships – him sharpening his passes, me my pencils.
It was the 21st anniversary of Bobby’s sad defeat by bowel cancer, and if you can bear watching as well as reading me I pay a small tribute here: ?http://vgtips.co.uk/bobby-moore-remembered-21-years/ …
Bobby came so close to joining Spurs. Bill Nicholson was desperate to get him, but West Ham knew that once he had led England to the World Cup they dare not let him move to London rivals, and they made him one of the highest paid players in the land.
Can you imagine a central defence of Moore and Mike England? That would have been sheer perfection.
Greavsie and Mooro were the best of friends, and Jimmy always wanted him on his side.
He got his wish, but – as Spurs fans of a certain age will recall with deep pain – it was by Jimmy moving to the Hammers as the makeweight in a then British record £200,000 deal that brought Martin Peters to the Lane.
We are talking 44 years ago. And it still hurts.
THE GILLER TEASER
Each week here in my Spurs Odyssey home I test your knowledge of Spurs. I caught quite a few of you out last week when I asked against which team did Jimmy Greaves score his first goal in a First Division match at White Hart Lane.
It was, of course, against Tottenham, when he made his dazzling debut for Chelsea as a 17-year-old kid in August 1957.
Several of you went for his debut match for Spurs against Blackpool after his £99,999 transfer from AC Milan.
The first name chosen at random from the correct entries is Patrick Murphy of Warwick, who wins a signed copy of Bill Nicholson Revisited.
This week’s teaser:
Which manager signed Tim Sherwood from Blackburn Rovers as a player for Tottenham in 1999?
A signed Bill Nicholson Revisited book to the sender of the correct answer whose name is randomly drawn first. Email your answer please to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are among those unlucky not to win the Bill Nicholson Revisited book, perhaps you will consider ordering a copy from www.normangillerbooks.com A fiver for every book sold goes to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help old heroes who have hit hard times.
Thank you for joining me.
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