Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 277) (13.05.19)
NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 277 Submitted by Norman Giller
So here I am sitting in the tomorrow’s world Tottenham media centre an hour after the 2-2 draw with Everton and trying to put the 2018-19 season into some sort of perspective. It is up there with the best in the 61 years I have been reporting on the fortunes – the ups, the downs, the glory and the grief – of Spurs.
Of course, if they go and beat warm favourites Liverpool in the Champions’ League final in Madrid on June 1 it will be elevated to the very best of seasons, not only in my three score years of chronicling their adventures but in the history of the club since their formation in 1882.
I have just watched the Spurs family – manager Mauricio, the players and their toddlers, the training staff – running a pride parade around the pitch, and I have hugged and reminisced with golden oldie heroes Steve Perryman and Cliff Jones.
The three of us agreed that this is an exceptional Tottenham team, that the new stadium is beyond belief and the best is yet to come, provided Daniel Levy gives Pochettino vital financial support in the transfer market. If Daniel does not meet Mauricio’s demands we just might be losing the finest young coach in the modern football world. I don’t think Levy is likely to allow that to happen. Despite what some of his critics think, he is a very bright man and knows what is right for the club. Only a fool would let Mauricio move on. Levy is not a fool.
I am yet to read our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith’s match report, but I feel sure he will agree with the assessment of Steve, Cliff and this old hack that Everton were good value for their point against a Tottenham team that looked drained by its recent historic achievement.
When sitting in the press box I have to show neutrality, but if you think I am really neutral have a look at how I reacted to Tottenham’s astonishing dam buster victory in Amsterdam on wonderful Wednesday …
My apologies to music lovers. The late great sportswriter Arthur Hopcraft – a brilliant observer of the Beautiful Game – once wrote that football can make a person look as foolish as alcohol. He made the observation when describing how a fan draped himself over the bonnet of his car while he was driving out of the Old Trafford car park, kissing the windscreen and weeping. Sitting alongside Arthur in the passenger’s seat, one George Best.
I wanted to kiss and cuddle Lucas Moura after his fantastic hat-trick against Ajax. Yes, I would have acted just like that fan on Arthur’s bonnet. That’s what football does to you.
Professor Pochettino described all his players as superheroes at his conference after the Everton match, and everybody was still singing Moura’s praises. We then all bowed the knee to our Sonny for winning both the Player of the Year and Goal of the Season awards. I had him neck and neck with the at times majestic Sissoko, and Moura’s hat-trick will go down in Spurs legend as one of the most startling performances in Tottenham history.
If Spurs win in Madrid, I will be prepared to make myself look a fool with my celebrations. Be warned, I might even sing another song. Come On You Spurs!
You will be relieved to know that I shall be taking a breather during the summer and will not bore you again until the build-up to next season (although I might demand some space to shout from the rooftops if Spurs beat Liverpool in the Champions’ League final in Madrid!).
All of you were right with your entries for last week’s Tottenham teaser: It was Cliff Jones, whose Uncle Bryn was a pre-war star with the Arsenal. Both Cliff and his Uncle were bought for for what were then British record fees. No keeping up with these Joneses.
See you back here in August, when the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League kicks off again, and you will all be trying to wrest the title off our new champion Down Under, Graham Eyre.
Meantime, have a great summer and let’s hope we have something extraordinary to celebrate(and sing about) when all roads lead to Madrid.