NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 224
Submitted by Norman Giller
As we wait for tonight’s Premier League match against Watford – nervously, a little neurotically and still numbed by the FA Cup semi-final exit – we can focus on the last lap of the great Spurs Odyssey Quiz League title race.
At the last count, there were more than 40 contenders separated by just a handful of points in the chase for the crown, and there are many others on their heels.
Included among the usual suspects is reigning champion Edward Benson, New York-based, Southgate-raised lawyer. He is going head to head in defence of his championship against 2016-17 title holder Glen Scarcliffe, and inaugural winner David Guthrie, each with an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Tottenham Hotspur. All three champs are featured in our blog heading.
There is just one lady in with a chance of the title – Emily Hadjinicolaou, BSc FIA, from Reigate in Surrey, where she has taken over the Tottenham-supporting baton from her father, who used to follow Spurs in the 1950s from his homeland of Cyprus. Emily, a season ticket holder who always talks sense about the game when submitting her answers each week, has an impressive grasp of Tottenham history.
Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith and I would like to thank Emily and all you other splendid people who regularly compete in our weekly challenge. Without you, I’d be talking to myself (par for the course)!
Among those in the running for the title this year:
Shuban Naushad Ali (Enfield)
Ian Banfield (Bushey, Herts)
Edward Benson (Westchester, New York, Champion)
Gavin Brown (Aylesbury, Bucks)
Eric Church (Tunbridge Wells)
Graeme Chandler (Leicestershire)
Avi Chaudhuri (Walthamstow)
Roy Davies (Shrewsbury)
Trevor Dawson (Beeston, Notts)
Graham Eyre (Australia, via Broxbourne)
Jonathan Fellows (Shenstone, Staffs)
Kevin Field (Lincolnshire)
Alex Gaffarena (Wandsworth)
Jonathan Goddard (Kettering)
David Guthrie (Wokingham, Berks, 2015-16 champion)
Emily Hadjinicolaou (Reigate)
Michael Hawkins (Los Angeles)
Carson Heatley (Heckmondwike, W. Yorks)
Christen Knudsen (Norway)
Ian Landeryou (Laindon, Essex)
Peter Lane (Baldock)
Gerard Laverty (Northern Ireland)
Peter Lawton (Haifa, Israel)
Jim Logan (South Croydon)
Clifton Melvin (Chalfont St Giles, Bucks)
Michael McDowell (Glengormley, Antrim)
Ivan McOwens (Cyprus via Southend)
Ian Miller (Hong Kong)
Tony Nightingill (Gerards Cross)
David Pope (Leytonstone)
Bob Reilly (Ware, Herts)
Robert Rockett (Cookham, Berks)
John Saunders (Southend)
Glen Scarcliffe (Hampstead, 2016-17 champion)
Jim Sherring (Stevenage)
Leslie Sullivan (Hoxton)
Richard Taunton (Guildford)
Daniel Taylor (Israel, via Palmers Green)
Roger Turner (Cyprus)
Andy Tyzzer (Shenstone, Staffs)
Steve Uglow (Salisbury)
Stephen Walker (Belfast)
John Wiseman (Austria)
Endre Zsoldos (Hungary)
To try to separate you all and come up with the 2018 champion we arrive at the dreaded tiebreak teaser. This is not so much a test of your knowledge as your opinion. Or more accurately MY opinion!
The winner this season will get a framed certificate proclaiming him (or her, Emily!) the Spurs Odyssey Quiz Champion, plus a no-longer-in-print autographed GOALS book by Spurs idol Jimmy Greaves and another collectors’ item from my Greavsie collection: Football’s Greatest Entertainers, including a signed card by Jimmy and Tottenham’s Mr Loyalty, Steve Perryman.
To break the log jam at the top of the table, I am inviting you to be manager for the day and select a team from British-born players who have appeared for Spurs in Premier League matches since and including the year 2000.
Please select your team in goalkeeper-4-4-2 formation, plus TWO outfield foreign-born substitutes from the current squad. Also, please name your captain – which will only be taken into account if there is a dead heat.
You get three points for every selection that agrees with a player in my team, plus five points each for picking the same two substitutes as me. That’s 43 points in total, which will be added to your season score … in most cases in the list above, that is 108. Could there really be somebody out there who scores a maximum 151 points? Watch this space.
Just to make it clear, ‘British’ means British and does not include the Republic of Ireland (sorry, Robbie Keane!)
The contestant with most points who gets closest to my team plus choice of substitutes takes the crown. If more than one agrees with me – and also choice of captain – then we would have another tie-breaker if their points tally is equal.
Remember, you are selecting from British-born players who have appeared in Premier League matches for Tottenham since and including 2000, plus two outfield foreign footballers from the current squad as substitutes. Formation is 4-4-2 and name your captain.
You have until midnight on Friday to get your choices to me. Email your selections, please, to soqlTEAM@normangillerbooks.com. Give your name, the district where you live and how long you’ve supported Spurs. Deadline is midnight on Friday. Good luck!
I am the sole adjudicator, and will not enter into correspondence with anybody who wants to dispute my selection (welcome to the Trump-era of justice!). Yes, I will build a wall to shut out anybody who disagrees with me.
Enjoy it. This is just for fun, while cementing the shared love and admiration for all things Tottenham.
I will announce the winner in my next Spurs Odyssey blog … hopefully one that is rejoicing in Tottenham being closer to clinching a top four place in the Premier League before the final game of the season against Leicester City at Wembley on May 13.
Last week’s week’s question:
Who got a third place medal in the 2014 World Cup finals just weeks before joining Spurs? Against which team did he make his Spurs Premier League debut as a substitute in a 4-3 victory?
A maximum three points in the SOQL table to those who answered goalkeeper Michel Vorm, who came on for injured Hugo Lloris in the 4-3 victory over Leicester City. He was in the Dutch squad that finished third in the 2014 World Cup finals.
First name drawn at random from the correct answers is Ian Cook, originally from Hackney who now lives in the Canary Islands and continues to follow a Spurs team he first saw play in 1962. I will be emailing Ian a screen version of one of my Tottenham-themed books.
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
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