NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 144
Submitted by Norman Giller
This is officially the best start Tottenham have made to a season since the record-creating 11 victories that launched the historic Double campaign of 1960-61. Those of us who were around at the time will confirm that we are getting the same tingles and good vibes as back then when Bill Nicholson ruled the world.
Okay, we do not have players as majestic as Blanchflower, as mighty as Mackay or as mesmerising as John White, but there is something about Pochettino’s team that is extra special.
I am continually asked how they compare with the Super Spurs of the ‘sixties. Sorry, but until they get silverware in the trophy cabinet they cannot claim the same status. But their potential is immense.
The win over League leaders Manchester City yesterday was performed with a panache and a passion that only the very best teams can produce, and the value of the victory increases when you take into account that Spurs achieved it without key men Harry Kane and Mousa Dembele.
Our webmaster Paul Smith paints a full picture of the match here, and I am just adding my sketched thoughts to support Paul’s opinion that this was one of the most satisfying victories since the the Glory-Glory days when Tottenham reigned supreme.
It is far too early in the season for anybody to be trumpeting about Spurs being possible champions, but what we can say for sure is that no team is going to be better on the eye in the title race.
The first-half showing against City was just breath-taking and the 2-0 half-time lead was nothing less than Spurs deserved. There was not a single weakness as City buckled and bent under a hurricane of attacks. This was the Pochettino pressing game played to perfection.
When master tactician Pep Guardiola steadied the holed City ship in the second-half, Belgian buddies Toby and Vert became an unbeatable double barrier, while ahead of them Victor Wanyama was a powerhouse in the Mackay mould. I cannot give him higher praise.
What a personal triumph for Generalissimo Pochettino to get one over his old rival Guardiola. Both have tremendous respect for each other after their years of battling on the pitch as players and then as coaches in love with the Beautiful Game. The football Man City and Tottenham are playing this season is a credit to the pair of them, and we are privileged to have them in the Premier League.
A huge factor in Tottenham’s success under Pochettino has been the team spirit on which you can warm your hands, so we were all disappointed and surprised to see Lamela and Son arguing over who should take the penalty after Dele Alli had been sent tumbling.
Pochettino has played down the controversy, and is happy to see his players being hungry to take spot-kick responsibility. But I bet in private he will give them a rap on the knuckles and tell them never to show such petulance in public again.
We go into the international break hoping that the interruption does not interfere with the team’s rhythm. These are the matches they will come back to leading up to the great North London Derby that is certain to have extra significance this season …
Sat 15 Oct: At West Brom
Tue 18 Oct: To Germany for Bayer Leverkusen (Champions League)
Sat 22 Oct: At Bournemouth
Tues 25 Oct: Liverpool away (EFL Cup)
Sat 29 Oct: Home to champions Leicester
Wed 2 Nov: Wembley for Bayer Leverkusen (Champions League)
Sun 6 Nov: Arsenal at the Emirates
Whisper it, but Spurs just might be top of the table by the time they go to the Emirates next month.
The time to start shouting is if they are at the summit at the end of the season.
Then, and only then, can you start comparing them with Bill Nick’s Double team. Meantime, I will continue to give it up for my old heroes. COYS!
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Ends commercial. Thank you.
Spurs Odyssey Quiz League, week 8
This week’s mystery player:
“I was born in Watford and followed my Dad as an international, but we played for different countries. Who am I and which club did I join in 2001 after playing 280 League games for Spurs?”
Email your answers, please, to SOQL8@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. Deadline is midnight on Friday.
Please keep a check on your points tally, because the contestant topping the SOQL table at the end of the season will receive a framed certificate announcing the winner as the 2016-17 Spurs Odyssey Quiz League champion. And the first three in the final table will win an autographed, hardback copy of my Bill Nicholson Revisited tribute book, PLUS a souvenir card signed by Spurs legends Jimmy Greaves and Steve Perryman.
The seventh teaser was:
“I have won 26 international caps, played in a World Cup qualifier earlier this month, and have so far made 103 Premier League appearances in total. Who am I and with which Danish club was I a youth team player?”
Oh dear, this one stumped many of you who fell for the Danish red herring. The answer is Ben Davies, the Welsh international who lived in Denmark when he was a teenager because his Dad worked out there. He was a youth player with Viborg FF.
First name drawn at random from the correct answers is John A. Lloyd from Neath, who has been a Spurs supporter since the FA Cup winning year of 1981. I will be emailing John a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books.
As regular contestants will know, the League table is decided on facts up until the final weeks of the season. Then I introduce tie breaks based on opinions, which is when I lose friends and fail to influence people with my views.
But please remember, it is just for fun and helps us all refresh our knowledge on the history and the heroes of our great club.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
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