NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 258
Submitted by Norman Giller
Let’s kick off 2019 the way we want Spurs to play throughout the New Year – with positivity, pride and passion. We must put Saturday’s defeat by Wolves down as a blip, one of those bumps in the road that should not be allowed to overshadow what has so far been a spectacular journey.
As our guru Paul H. Smith reports here, Tottenham ran out of gas after resting on the laurels of a magnificent Harry Kane goal. On their second-half showing, Wolves deserved their victory but 3-1 flattered them just as much as it flattened Spurs.
Liverpool go into 2019 red-hot favourites for the Premier League title, but Spurs must continue to think they can catch them. We should be buoyed by the fact we are fighting on three other cup fronts, with the Champions’ League, League Cup and FA Cup still on the agenda.
One unexpected defeat must not derail us. Manager Mauricio Pochettino was understandably tense and unsmiling in his after-match interview and stressed that concentration must be on what’s to come, not on what has gone.
We had been spoilt by the 11 goals scored in the last two back to back matches against Bournemouth and Everton. But as Mauricio pointed out: “The players are not machines. They ran out of energy, and while tired played with their hearts rather than their heads. We have had a very good run in recent weeks and to keep that level is difficult.”
The good news, of course, is that Manchester United will now lose interest in Pochettino (it’s a weak attempt at a joke). Happy New Year!
It all seemed so sparkling in the first-half when Harry Kane celebrated his MBE award with a cracking goal from his ‘weaker’ left foot. But credit Wolves for not folding, and throughout the second-half they looked the team most likely to score as Spurs ran out of ideas and initiative.
Harry’s goal and a questionable booking for an alleged dive kept him in the headlines, and his award of an MBE is a wonderful personal achievement. But he knows that the honours that really count come in the shape of silverware for the team. Let’s be positive and believe it can happen in 2019.
Tottenham have been showing bucketloads of character this season, and they must reach down into their reserves of fitness and stamina to try to produce a victory in Cardiff tomorrow.
Already we know that if Spurs want to maintain a challenge for the Premier League title they cannot afford to drop points at any time. As the Scousers will repeatedly tell us: “Mind the gap.” It’s going to be fascinating to see what business is done during the transfer window. I am assured by somebody closer to the club than me that two major purchases are close to completion.
Paul Smith and I wish all the Spurs Odyssey family a happy New Year that brings you all you wish for … in particular, silverware for Harry and Spurs! That would be an honour for all of us.
Question No 20 in this 2018-19 SOQL season:
Which London-born player won back-to-back FA Cup winners’ medals with Tottenham before moving to Charlton, and which number shirt did he wear in both finals (including the replays)?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL20@normangillerbooks.com. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.
This year’s prizes for the champion: A framed Harry Kane autographed picture, two books from my Spurs collection with autographs from Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay, and (most precious of all) a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion.
Last week I asked: Which West Ham-born player scored 20 goals for England in 57 appearances, and against which team was he sent off while playing for Tottenham in a Boxing Day Premier League match?
As I expected, virtually every one of the regular contestants were on the ball with prolific goal scorer Jermaine Defoe and it was against Aston Villa that he was sent off in a Boxing Day match.
Please keep a check on your scores. I will be trusting you to count your points as I do not have faith in my email server.
Thank you for taking part. Have a wonderful 2019. See you back here same time, same place next week. Keep the faith. COYS!
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