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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 296) (09.12.19)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 296
Submitted by Norman Giller

Sonny measured alongside legend Jimmy Greaves

When people recall Son Heung-min’s wonder goal against Burnley they will remember exactly where they were and what they were doing. I was at a seasonal family gathering trying hard not to know what was happening in the match and blissfully unaware of the magic being conjured at the new Lane.

Later, all alone, I watched a recorded stream of the game and stood and wildly applauded the Son sprint and finish that was out of a schoolboy dream. Our guru Paul H. Smith records the momentous moment HERE, and I am so envious of him and all the spectators who were there to watch it live. “You lucky people!” (Tommy Trinder, circa 1960).

I have since been asked a dozen times whether my old mate Jimmy Greaves ever ran as far for a goal, and I can safely say not that sort of distance. Many of us saw him pick up balls in his own half and set off on jinking solo runs, but never from that deep. It was not his habit to go anywhere near his own penalty area!

He scored quite a few long-running goals (particularly when on young legs with Chelsea), but Son’s 80-yard gallop beat him by a distance.

The difference was that when Jimmy went on his runs he usually had a wall of defenders in front of him, while Son was chased by six Burnley players like in one of those old western movies when the posse are in pursuit of a galloping outlaw.

Son did his impersonation of Usain Bolt and finished with Greavsie-like accuracy, although Jimmy being Jimmy he would probably have elected to go round the goalkeeper before passing the ball into the net.

The fact that we are (literally) measuring Sonny alongside the Lane Legend that is Jimmy Greaves speaks volumes for the Asian ball artist whose fame and adulation in South Korea is off the compass. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, Everybody who comes into contact with him remarks about what a wonderful ambassador he is for his country.

· All angles footage of Sonny's goal against Burnley - watch now | Tottenham Hotspur

His epic goal will go down as one of the greatest ever scored by a Tottenham player (up there with the Ricky Villa classic), and Our Harry Kane led the bow-the-knee tributes. I loved the thoughtful gesture of José Mourinho, who took the match ball off Sonny and presented it to Troy Parrott to remind him of his Premier League debut. The sort of off-the-wall touch that makes José, yes, special.

In this election week, my vote for No 10 would be Harry Kane. His goals collection is phenomenal and he helped himself to two crackers of his own against a Burnley rearguard that was about as open as Andy Ruiz’s defence in his return championship fight with Anthony Joshua (what a boxing masterclass … hit and not be hit, a good motto for Mourinho’s Tottenham ... and on the subject of boxing, AJ’s next title fight could be at the new Lane).

It will be interesting to see José’s selection against Bayern on Wednesday in a match when defeat will not be a disaster. I expect Kane to be among those rested but a certain starter is Moussa Sissoko, whose sudden appetite for goal scoring could make him the complete player. To think there were a mob of Spurs supporters trying to jeer him out of the team just a few months back. They then switched their hate attack to Serge Aurier and he is gradually winning them over. I am always baffled that any so-called supporter can turn on a player in his own team.

After Bayern comes this run-in to the New Year …


Sunday Dec 15      v. Wolves (away, 2.00pm)
Sunday Dec 22.     v. Chelsea (home, 4.30pm)
Boxing Day         v. Brighton (home, 12.30pm)
Saturday Dec 28    v. Norwich City (away, 5.30pm)
New Year’s Day     v. Southampton (away, 3.00pm)

I am sure that Mourinho will take the FA Cup more seriously than Pochettino. It is the best bet for silverware this season and we should hurdle over Middlesbrough into the fourth round (famous last words!)..

José knows how to win the FA Cup. Let’s hope that he brings his Midas touch to Tottenham. 1991 seems a long, long time ago.

With my 20/20 vision I am forecasting Spurs kicking off the New Year in the top six. We have left the hardest away fences behind us and can now start the long run for home. Sonny has shown how to do the long run successfully!


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

Question No 19 in this 2019-20 SOQL season:

Who came on as a substitute in the 2014 Champions’ League final, and with which Premier League side was he a loan player before joining Tottenham?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL19@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 SOQL question: Who won 42 caps, had two spells at Spurs and on which ground was he sent off while playing for Tottenham in a Champions’ League quarter-final?

The answer: Peter Crouch, who sensationally got his marching orders after two yellow cards after just 14 minutes against Real Madrid in the Bernebeu.

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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