NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 286
Submitted by Norman Giller
There will be Spurs supporters willing to crowd fund me to hire lawyers to sue Tottenham for putting years on us. Saturday’s courage-carved ten-man win over Southampton was at the cost of an ageing process that left us nervous wrecks.
And, friends, a warning: it won’t be any easier tomorrow when Bayern Munich are the visitors to our space-age new home, as Spurs continue their European adventure that took us to the Champions’ League final just four months ago.
The defeats by Newcastle, Leicester and, embarrassingly, Colchester United have crippled our confidence, and it was absolutely vital that Southampton were conquered.
The last thing we wanted was club captain Hugo Lloris gifting Saints a goal that was right out of the Chamber of Horrors, or – more appropriately – Les Miserables, written of course by another Hugo. Only the Frenchman (an intellectual from a family of lawyers and bankers) knew what he was up to when he appeared to be trying a Cruyff turn on his goal line. It went horribly wrong and suddenly the Saints had cancelled out Ndombele’s 24th minute goal. Our Jacques Cousteau had become Inspector Clouseau.
It was magnanimous of manager Mauricio Pochettino to take the blame, but Hugo is an honest man and he knows the blunder was entirely of his own making. It had Lloris written all over it in capital letters, and was the ninth time one of his moments of madness had cost Spurs a Premier League goal. No wonder we all lose our breath when the ball is played back to our eccentric sweeper keeper. Truly, a flawed genius.
As our guru Paul H. Smith reports HERE, Harry Kane restored the lead with a beautifully composed team goal after the red card departure of Aurier. I am fervently hoping the battling attitude the players collectively showed was an early turning point in our season.
Spurs dug deep for their 2-1 victory, helped in no small way by world-class saves from Lloris that showed him in his true light. Clouseau back to Cousteau. I just wish the cat-like goalkeeper would keep his thinking head on and not have those crazy losses of concentration that gives us all kittens. (Copyright on this belongs to hilarious comedian Bob ‘The Cat’ Bevan, who as a former goalkeeper got the nickname ‘The Cat’ because he continually gave his defenders kittens).
Lloris – who would be ‘L’Chat’ – could learn about consistency from the VIP spectator Steve Perryman, who across a club record 854 appearances always gave total concentration and commitment. Can it really be 50 years since Bill Nicholson introduced me to “young Steve, a diamond of a prospect.” It was unusual hyperbole from Bill, who wanted to feed 17-year-old Steve with confidence at a time when Spurs were losing their way in the old First Division.
Now we have a 21st century Perryman carving his name with pride at the new Lane, Harry Winks, who improves with every outing. He pleased the old master with a performance right out of the Perryman school, playing with drive, determination and revealing flashes of individual skill that will impress England manager Gareth Southgate.
Let me finish my ramblings with a broadside at those moronic, so-called Spurs supporters who were spreading malicious and scandalous gossip on line before the match against Southampton.
They were posting as fact disgraceful gossip about Tottenham players and their wives. Apart from walking the minefield of the libel and slander laws, this minority pocket of myopic fans are enemies within. Their manufactured stories – ‘fake news’ in the modern jargon – spread like poison and could affect the morale of the club.
If you read the gossip either ignore it or put the perpetrators in their place.
Please get behind the team, not in its way. Tottenham have got enough on their plate with Bayern Munich coming to the new Lane tomorrow.
Sur tes orteils, Hugo l’chat!
Question No 9 in this 2019-20 SOQL season:
Who played in the World Cup finals of 2014 and 2018, won the domestic ‘double' in Spain, and against which team did he back heel a last-minute winner for Spurs in an away 2013 Premier League match?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL9@normangillerbooks.com. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.
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 eighth SOQL question of the season: Which Suffolk-born player joined Spurs from Newcastle in 1995, and for which national football team was he a player and coach?
The answer: Ruel Fox, who played for and coached Monserrat. I didn’t catch out any of our regular quizzers on this one. There are more than sixty of you sharing first place in the SOQL table!
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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