NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 263
Submitted by Norman Giller
Pass the oxygen cylinder. I needed a whiff of fresh air to help me handle the 28 hours in the rarified atmosphere of second place in the Premier League, while reduced to hoping for victories by not only the Arsenal but – tonight – our other nemesis, West Ham! Yes, a funny old game.
Of course, the Gunners did us no favours with their defeat at the Etihad, and I would not put my house or even a rocking horse on the Hammers beating League leaders Liverpool this evening, even with home advantage.
Since the hard-earned victory over Newcastle - described HERE by our guru Paul H- Smith - I have been playing the dangerous game of guessing our upcoming results. On paper things seem manageable until the visits to, gulp, Liverpool on March 31 and then Man City on April 20. I wonder what will be resting on those two mega encounters? Both six-pointer games with bells on.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Mauricio Pochettino continually warns against counting chickens (or even cockerels) and is a believer in the old football maxim of taking one game at a time.
The Poch is not a happy man having to play Leicester on Sunday to satisfy the great god of television. With the crucial Champions’ League challenge against Dortmund on the Wednesday, he would much rather it was a Saturday fixture.
“The twenty-four hours makes such a beeg, beeg difference,” he says in his engaging Spanish accent. “Dortmund will have an extra day of rest. We ask too much of our players.”
We have definitely been asking too much of Son Heung-min. The Asian Assassin with the sunshine smile ran through the ice of Wembley to deflate the tyres of the double-parked Geordie bus.
His winning goal came in the 83rd minute, the ninth time this season that full-of-character Spurs have snatched victory in the last ten minutes. And you wonder why I am looking older than my years. I am going to start a campaign for Tottenham to carry a health warning.
After his efforts in the Asian Cup and then goal-scoring performances against Watford and Newcastle, Sonny has run himself to the edge of exhaustion.
It’s largely thanks to him that Tottenham are still strongly in the Premier League title race despite having their two key players – Our Harry and Dele – sidelined.
What an ambassador Sonny is for South Korea, not only with his skill, pace and technique but with his attitude and friendly demeanour. There have been few overseas players to match him for carving a place in the hearts of Tottenham fans.
He will be hugely welcome at our new state-of-the-art stadium. When? We should find out this week, and the whisper is that it will be a March homecoming.
One thing’s for sure, the drop in attendances prove that the Wembley love affair is over. The pipes of N17 are calling Spurs back home.
Question No 25 in this 2018-19 SOQL season:
Who has won five international caps, was sent off four times while playing for Tottenham and which club did he join before returning to Spurs?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL25@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 Islington-born defender played in both legs of a Uefa Cup final for Spurs, and which London club did he join after appearing in more than 300 matches for Tottenham?
Yes, Terry ‘Meathook’ Naylor, who did not get the plaudits he deserved for his loyalty before moving on to The Valley with Charlton Athletic. All the top-of-the-table leaders – more than 60 of you – got that one right. The end-of-season tie breaker is going to be interesting!
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. See you back here same time, same place next week. Keep the faith. COYS!
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