NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 85
Submitted by Norman Giller
Keep calm. There’s a long, long way to go.
The season (not counting injury time) is just 180 minutes old, and already many Spurs supporters are struggling on the verge of Ulcer Road. If the Tottenham players start to panic like their followers then there are Richter Scale explosions ahead.
It is my personal view – and not one to be attached to Spurs Odyssey – that Spurs fans are among the biggest moaners and groaners in the Premier League. Many of them turn on their own players with a vengeance that makes them seem like their worst enemy. What sort of support is that? Save the brutal criticism for the opposition, rather than destroying the confidence of your own players.
Following the destruction of Bentaleb last week, Erik Lamela is the latest to get ‘the treatment’. His under-par performance when coming on as substitute on Saturday attracted the sort of vicious attacks that made him seem like Jimmy Savile.
Here are just a few of the critiques posted on Twitter, minus the vile language …
“ … a waste of space …”
“… a woman in a man’s body …”
“… useless bag of excrement …”
“… one of the worst players ever to wear a Spurs shirt …”
“… my granny is a better player …”
“… should not be allowed into the ground …”
Just a minor point that I would like to make in his defence: he came into the match cold in the 64th minute for just 26 minutes.
And all that hatred was poured on him in that short spell. He did not concede the penalty or allow Diouf to head the Stoke equalizer, but the couch coaches were on the loose like rabid dogs and Lamela became their target.
I just hope they set the same standards of perfection for themselves at their place of work.
I have seen Lamela perform wonders on foreign fields, and know that he is exceptionally gifted. He has struggled to impose himself on the game in England, but does not deserve the sort of burning-oil ridicule he received from his own supporters on Saturday.
So I am giving some of it back to his critics for him. Get a grip and learn how to support your team, not get in its way. If the perpetual knockers are dishing out this sort of punishment after just two games, what will they be like by Christmas if Spurs are doing less than well?
I can imagine Paul Smith, our faithful Spurs Odyssey guru, throwing up his hands at my attack on Tottenham’s fans, but of course they are not Odyssey followers. We have far too much dignity and restraint!
Seriously, it is plain ridiculous for such vicious criticism being made after just two games. And I notice a few of the lynch mob (who got rid of Harry and AVB) are already on the march against Pochettino.
Goodness knows what they would have been saying and baying if Spurs had lost to Stoke, after seemingly having all three points in the safe.
Keep calm. There’s a long, long way to go.
I have said it from the day that Hugo Lloris was appointed captain, a goalkeeper should not skipper a side.
This young Spurs team is so obviously lacking in leadership, and Hugo has his hands full (sometimes literally) trying to keep the ball out of his net.
The five greatest Tottenham captains in my long lifetime all had one thing in common, the ability to lift and motivate by getting to the point on the pitch where their guidance was most needed.
Ron Burgess, Danny Blanchflower, Dave Mackay, Steve Perryman and Alan Mullery were always there on the spot to give their team-mates support and the occasional rollocking when necessary.
Hugo, a magnificent goalkeeper, inspires by example but is trapped in his penalty area. If there is a problem out in midfield he cannot sort it out
As heads went down on Saturday, it screamed out for a Spurs player with a brandished fist and well-chosen words to galvanise them.
Poor old Hugo was too busy trying to stop Stoke turning a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 victory.
Now that would really have let the player-biting dogs off the leash.
Another Ps on Bobby Soldado: We now know we cannot believe everything Mauricio Pochettino tells us. As Spurs Odyssey regulars will confirm, I was convinced two weeks ago that Bobby was off home to Spain, but I began to doubt my contacts at the Lane when the manager stated clearly that there was a place for the Spaniard in his squad. My original information was correct and Bobby is now back in La Liga with Villarreal. We wish Bobby better luck than he enjoyed with Spurs … and we will wonder when Mauricio is speaking with a forked tongue.
SPURS ODYSSEY QUIZ LEAGUE, Week 2
Week two of our new Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, and scores of you were correct with last week’s teaser, collecting three points: “I joined Tottenham from Bolton, scored 9 goals in 172 League games for Spurs and played in the famous FA Cup tie at Old Trafford when we won with Glenn Hoddle taking over in goal! Who am I … and which London club did I join from Spurs in 1981?”
Yes, it was Don McAllister, the tough-tackling defender who played a prominent part in bringing Spurs back to the top table after a relegation season that still hurts after all these years. Don moved to Charlton, and later started a new life in Australia, where he became hugely successful in the insurance business.
This week’s challenge: “I won a League Cup final medal at Wembley wearing the No 11 Tottenham shirt against a team then in the Third Division. Who am I … and which club did I join from Spurs in 1976?”
You get two points for identifying the former Tottenham player and a bonus point for naming the club he joined from Spurs.
Keep a check on your points tally, because the contestant topping the SOQL table at the end of the season will receive a huge, personally autographed photograph of Spurs legend Jimmy Greaves, plus a signed, framed certificate announcing the winner as the 2015-16 Spurs Odyssey Quiz League champion.
Email your answers, please, to SOQL2@normangillerbooks.com. Give your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs. I will respond, and will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to the sender of the first all-correct answer drawn at random.
First name drawn at random from the correct answers last week is Joan Benton, from Newmarket. I will email a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books to Joan, who started supporting Spurs with her late husband, Jim, in the early 1960s.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
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