Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 132 - 11.07.16)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 132) (11.07.16)

Submitted by Norman Giller

The Managing Game (8) - Jack Tresadern

Norman Giller writes for Spurs Odyssey I bet Mauricio Pochettino would like to ban all talk of the Euro championships as Tottenham prepare for their warm-up matches Down Under in Australia. Hugo Lloris is the latest Spurs player to come out of the tournament with a bruised heart following last night’s devastating defeat by Portugal in the final in Paris.

Poor Hugo, who had no chance with the rifled extra-time Eder shot that won the trophy, looked a broken man as he led his team-mates up the steps at the Stade de France to collect the unexpected and unwelcome runners-up medals. I will resist the temptation to say they looked moth eaten.

Hugo's agony comes soon after the confidence-crippling experiences Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Alli Dele and Harry Kane collectively suffered in England’s humiliating defeat by Iceland.

On top of that, our Belgium contingent got caught up in the Welsh whirlwind, and key defender Jan Vertonghen limped into the Tottenham treatment room with damaged ankle ligaments that will sideline him for the opening matches of the season.

All Pochettino’s energy on the trip to Australia will be focused on lifting the morale of his players ready for a demanding season that has the European Champions League challenge at the top of the agenda.

The whisper is that Mauricio is preparing to experiment with a bold 4-3-1-2 formation on the Australian tour, with Dutch striker Vincent Janssen paired with Our Harry Kane in a two-pronged assault force, supported by Dele Alli in the pocket behind them, and Eric Dier and Kenyan newcomer Victor Wanyama giving protection and support to playmaker Christian Eriksen.

There will be skilled back-up on the bench from Erik Lamela and Moussa Dembele, who misses the start of the Premier League season because of suspension following his out of character attempted eye gouging in that fairly lively match at Chelsea.

Strong rumours suggest Spurs are also in the hunt for Bayern Munich forward Mario Gotze and Newcastle attacking midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, and have made inquiries about Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi

But usual rules apply: don’t believe a word of it until you see them wearing the Lilywhite shirt. Many of the transfer stories are triggered by agents looking for a cut from big money moves, and are then taken up by know-nowt couch scouts who scatter rumours like confetti.

Last personal word on the Euros: I found it depressing that there were so few fresh tactical ideas, and in general the emphasis was more on stopping than scoring goals. Where have all the game’s thinkers gone? No doubt to the Premier League, where the world’s top coaches have been drawn like, uh, moths to the flame.

Let’s lead boldly from the front like Lewis Hamilton, or take a leaf out of Andy Murray’s book and go all out for winning volleys.

New balls please.

Six Spurs Odyssey readers accepted my invitation to buy an autographed copy of my 101st book – July 30 1966 Football’s Longest Day – at the post-free price of just £10.

In case you want to join the rush to buy the ‘must-read’ book, I will keep the special offer going for another week. Kindly order it by clicking on the Spurs Odyssey link at the bottom of the page on my website:

You can see an edited version of a recent BBCtv interview I gave about the book here: Even if I say it myself, I don’t look bad for an old hack in need of a preservation order.

End of sales pitch from a hungry writer.

We reach manager number eight as I continue my history odyssey on the men who have carried the baton as boss at White Hart Lane. You can almost hear choruses of I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles …

Spurs' eighth manager - Jack Tresadern


Born Leytonstone, East London 26 September 1890
Died Tonbridge, Kent 25 December 1959
Appointed 1 July 1935; Resigned 20 April 1938


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JACK TRESADERN, who had claret and blue West Ham blood, was next to accept what had become like a poisoned chalice as Spurs manager. He took over after a brief interlude during which the celebrated Wally Hardinge was dragged almost kicking and screaming into the Tottenham hot seat following the abrupt and acrimonious departure of Percy Smith.

Wally, content in his no-pressure role as trainer, made it clear that he only wanted the job in a caretaker capacity. He was granted his wish and lasted only a few months in the job, sadly overseeing the inevitable demotion of the team to the Second Division in 1935 bang at the bottom of the table.

Here’s a cracking trivia question for those of you who like to puzzle people. Can you name the six footballers who have been on the Arsenal playing staff and managed Spurs? Remember to couch the question in that way.

Look away if you don't want the answer immediately: 1. Billy Minter; 2. Wally Hardinge (caretaker manager); 3. Joe Hulme; 4. Terry Neill; 5. George Graham; 6. Clive Allen (who had one game in charge before Harry Redknapp took over, and was bought and sold by Arsenal without playing a single League game). Not a lot of people know that. Ok, not a lot of people want to know that. Moving swiftly on …

Hardinge was capped by England at cricket and football, and during a long, distinguished career as a Kent batsman doubled as a footballer in the winter months with a cluster of clubs including Sheffield United and six seasons with Arsenal, either side of the First World War. He was a member of the Tottenham training staff throughout much of the 1930s, including his short, reluctant stay in the manager’s chair.

Tresadern arrived as the new permanent manager for the start of the 1935-36 season. He had been an accomplished midfield player with West Ham, playing in the famous first 'White Horse' FA Cup final at Wembley and notching up more than 250 appearances. Known to the Upton Park fans as ‘the Little Atom’, he won two England caps and was considered one of the most skilled and competitive mifield players of his generation.

Nearly always bowler hatted, Jack looked more suited to manage a bank than a football club. He was in charge at Northampton Town and Crystal Palace before being invited to take over at Spurs. It must have seemed a good idea at the time, but after a promising start it became obvious that he was a good jockey on the wrong horse.

Tresadern failed to get on with the players and soon fell out with the directors, who were continually trying to tinker with the team after a reasonable first season, when Spurs finished fifth in the Second Division..

The following season Spurs dropped back to tenth and Tresadern could almost hear the knives being sharpened, and when he heard on the gossip vine that Peter McWilliam had been approached about returning to his old job he immediately accepted an offer to manage Plymouth Argyle, leaving Tottenham with less than fond memories. It was a classic case of jumping before he was pushed.

I interviewed Tresadern in my previous life as sports editor of the local West Ham newspaper, the Stratford Express. This was in the mid-1950s when he was managing non-League Tonbridge but still idolised at Upton Park. This is what he told me about his stay at Tottenham:

”They were my unhappiest years in football, and I always kicked myself that I gave up an enjoyable job at Crystal Palace to move to Spurs The players were set in their ways and did not want to take on new ideas, and the directors did not really need me there because they wanted to manage the team themselves. It was clear they were getting ready to sack me, and so I saved them the trouble and resigned. Not a time I like to reflect on.”

Jack was still in charge at Tonbridge when he died on Christmas Day 1959, aged 69.

He is in the West Ham Hall of Fame, but gets few mentions in Spurs history books. Peter McWilliam duly returned to manage the club in 1938, and immediately started promoting young players from the Northfleet nursery he had set up, including a disciplined and dedicated right-half called Bill Nicholson.

For the second time, the McWilliam team-building plans were interrupted by the horrors of war. He kept going until 1942 but then retired and moved to his wife’s hometown of Redcar, where he passed on in 1951 aged 72.

The faithful club secretary Arthur Turner took the helm again before the arrival of Tottenham’s first post-war manager … a red-blooded Gooner!. That is next week’s gruesome chapter.


As we patiently wait for the third Spurs Odyssey Quiz League to kick off at the start of next season, I am challenging you each week to a teaser test of your knowledge of Tottenham players, ancient and modern. Last week’s teaser:

“I am a current League manager, won 53 international caps and played more than 300 games for Tottenham. Who am I and which team did I join from Spurs?”

This, of course, was diligent defender Chris Hughton, who moved on to his local West Ham club after dedicated service to Tottenham. Capped 53 times by the Republic of Ireland, he served ten managers in a coaching capacity at Spurs before being shown the door in the wake of the departing Martin Jol. He is now in charge at Brighton after adventures at Newcastle and Norwich, and went close to steering the South Coast club to the Premier League last season.

First name drawn: Terry Jackson, a Tottenham disciple since his schoolboy days in Stamford Hill in the 1960s and now following the club fortunes from Canada. I will be sending Terry a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books.

This week’s teaser: “I have won 65 international caps, played for five years in Holland and started my English career with Fulham. Who am I and what number Spurs shirt did I wear last season?”

Please email your answer by midnight on Friday to You will receive an automated acknowledgement.

Don’t forget to add your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs.

Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!

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