NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 285
Submitted by Norman Giller
Perhaps we should be topical and turn to the Supreme Court to sort out football’s current controversy over VAR! It has been introduced to improve football and to remove arguments and disputes. Sadly, it is having the opposite effect.
The judging system is in its infancy, but if it is to grow up and become a permanent part of the game they must quickly iron out its faults.
Yes, Son looked just millimetres off side during the build-up to Aurier firing the ‘goal’ that would have put Spurs into a commanding 2-0 lead on Saturday. But there was no way of assessing Son’s exact position before the goal-bound shot was launched.
In an instance like this, they must make the call in favour of the attacking side. And I would have said the same had it been Leicester scoring the goal that never was.
And adding to the Palace of VARities is the contentious issue of handballs. Gareth Bale scored what seemed a fantastic goal for Real Madrid against PSG in Paris, but the magical moment was wiped out because the ball brushed his hand.
The simple way around this is to restore the word ‘intentional’ to the law. Rather than wasting time magnifying footage to see whether the ball touched the hand, the VAR officials should be concentrating on whether there was a deliberate propulsion of the ball.
It’s a nonsense that VAR has become the talking point after many matches rather than the football. In a previous life as a day-to-day football reporter I constantly campaigned for TV replays to be used to settle disputed moments, but perhaps my judgement should be scrutinised.
VAR has mostly been favourable to Tottenham since its introduction, but it must work fairly for both sides at all times. It must be right and put things beyond argument, rather than igniting controversy. Otherwise we will have to introduce Var II to pass judgement on VAR i (I am joking, I think),
Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith gets drawn into the VAR topic here in his match report from the King Power stadium, where there were moments when Leicester looked as polished a side as won the League title against all the odds. I don’t think too many teams will go as close as Spurs to winning on Leicester territory this season.
The worry is that Spurs seem to have forgotten how to win in the League away from home, and we have to go back to January for the last time they took all three points.
This is growing into a complex, but I don’t expect any away blues tomorrow in the League Cup match at Colchester, where Pochettino is certain to play Tottenham’s third choice combination.
This is how the fixture frenzy continues …
v. Colchester United (a) FLC Tomorrow, 7.45
v. Southampton (h) PL Saturday September 28, 3.00
v. Bayern Munich (h) CL Tuesday October 1, 8.00
v. Brighton (a) PL Saturday October 5, 12.30
Spare a thought for somebody like me who is ultra political and all-sports mad. I am exhausted from a weekend of World Cup rugby, cheering Essex on to their last-ball t20 title victory, watching the Labour Party pull themselves apart at their conference, and, of course, worrying myself silly through Tottenham’s ordeal at Leicester.
Yet I come away from it all with a smile at the memory of Harry Kane’s extraordinary falling-over goal. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, adding to the legend of Our Harry. Yes, a funny old game.
Question No 8 in this 2019-20 SOQL season:
Which Suffolk-born player joined Spurs from Newcastle in 1995, and for which national football team was he a player and coach?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL8@normangillerbooks.com. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part. So far, I have caught few of you out.
The rules are the same as in previous seasons. I ask a two-pronged question with three points at stake. In the closing weeks of the competition I break the logjam of all-knowing Spurs-history experts with a tie-breaking poser that is based on opinion rather than fact.
Last week’s seventh SOQL question of the season: Who has played international football for two nations, scored one of the best goals in the 2018 World Cup finals against Japan, and from which Dutch club did he join Spurs?
The answer: Nacer Chadli, who joined Tottenham from Twente in Holland.He came on as a substitute for Belgium to score a cracking 2018 World Cup goal against Japan.
This year’s prizes for the champion: a Harry Kane framed and signed photo, two books from my Spurs collection with autographs from Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay, and, most important of all, a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion.
You will be better informed if you buy my SHOOTING SPURS book that features every player who has scored 50 or more goals for Tottenham since the club was formed in 1882, with special in-depth features on Jimmy Greaves and Harry Kane, plus focus on exceptional managers John Cameron, Arthur Rowe, Bill Nicholson and current master, Mauricio Pochettino.
Cliff ‘159 goals’ Jones has provided the introduction, and profits go to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes who missed the gravy train and now have to pay medical and care bills.
It costs just £9.99 and I will send a signed copy to anybody buying direct from me at www.normangillerbooks.com. There is also a screen version for £4.99.
I hope you will support this great cause.
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!
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