NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 289
Submitted by Norman Giller
Our beloved guru Paul H. Smith quite properly bans political prattle on this sensible website, but I need to point out that I was on Saturday’s London march while Spurs were taking on bottom of the table Watford at the new Lane. I wonder if there were any more like me shuffling along while tuned in to John Motson’s radio commentary on Talk Sport?
Hilary Benn was giving it full welly on the Westminster stage at the climax of the march when I heard in my iPhone earpiece my old mate Motty shouting that Dele Alli had/hadn’t/had equalised in the confused closing moments. Mr Benn appreciated my sudden cheer when it was confirmed as a goal.
Webmaster Paul gives a full report of the mistake-riddled match here. It should carry a government health warning, and I can give assurance that my march was a much more satisfying experience (“Enough of the politics – Ed”).
We must be grateful for the crumb of a point and now turn all attention and energy to tomorrow’s Champions’ League match against Crvena zvezda, which to my silver-top generation translates as Red Star Belgrade. They were always an exceptional side in the old days of Yugoslavia before the split that spawned Serbia.
Shell-shocked Spurs will have their hands full against the Serb league leaders, who have lost only one domestic match this season.
I watched a filleted Match of the Day version of the Watford game, and was delighted to see Dele Alli featured as showing a return to form. He has now made a conscious decision to concentrate totally on his football and wind down his commercial interests. It is football that has given him his platform and his public prominence, and he is displaying wisdom to give the game his full focus.
What horrified me were the stats that exposed the number of careless passes from Spurs that gave possession to their opponents. Pochettino’s well publicised push-and-press philosophy demands accuracy to go with the intensity. Could it be that rival coaches have worked it out that if you outnumber Spurs in midfield their engine room fails to function?
It is essential that Spurs tighten up against Red Star and then in their next two Premier League matches on Merseyside, first against Liverpool on Sunday and then at Goodison on the following Wednesday.
If not, the anticipated march to glory will become the march of gloom.
Question No 12 in this 2019-20 SOQL season:
Who has won 23 international caps, joined Spurs from Ajax and against which team did he score his only Premier League goal for Tottenham in 2019?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL12@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 eleventh SOQL question: Which former Tottenham captain won four England caps, was in the 2010 World Cup finals squad, and which of his former clubs did he return to in 2018?
The answer: Michael Dawson, the huge-hearted central defender who has returned to his original club Nottingham Forest. Daws was adored at Tottenham and we could definitely do with his contagious spirit in what are suddenly worrying times.
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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