NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 297
Submitted by Norman Giller
I promise not to talk politics (“You’d better not, Ed”) apart from saying that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Manager José Mourinho have one thing in common: both will be judged purely on results.
Yesterday’s dramatic victory at Molineux means Mourinho has so far got everybody’s popularity vote at Tottenham, particularly if his team can keep conjuring three points from a game in which they look second best.
Our guru Paul H. Smith gives his eyewitness account of the last-gasp goal that lifts Tottenham into a challenging fifth place in the Premier League table HERE, and it did not escape his attention that it was a precision-placed corner from Christian Eriksen that Jan (Superman) Vertonghen guided into the Wolves net with an Exocet header.
Eriksen was invisible in last week’s humbling defeat in Munich, but it was his perfect delivery when coming on as a late substitute that set up Jan’s rare, vital goal against a Wolves team that had been dictating the pace and pattern of the game.
What’s to be done with our Danish Prince? I think it’s obvious he has made up his mind that his future lies elsewhere, perhaps as a skilled assistant to Ronaldo at Juventus.
Thanks to the Bosman ruling, he is free to make a transfer to any club of his choice at the end of a Tottenham contract that he is winding down. Will Spurs salvage some cash by selling him in the January transfer window?
If they do, it means they must shell out for a replacement and you can bet your boots that Mourinho has somebody special in mind. But, are you listening Mr Levy, it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg.
José did not try to disguise his delight at Tottenham’s triumph. “This was a big, big, big victory for us,” he said, using Donald Trump speak. “Wolves are an excellent side and we had to show tremendous character to beat them.”
Moura (the Moura the Merrier) had lifted spirits with a magnificent opening goal in the seventh minute, but you would have to be as miserly as Scrooge not to admit that Wolves thoroughly deserved their eventual equaliser. The Tottenham defence had bent and buckled like a socialist in a Workington whirlwind (“Enough of the politics, Ed”).
That’s two Premier League away victories since Mourinho arrived after the miserable winless run that stretched back to January under Pochettino. As I said, we will judge José by results. So far, so good.
Now brace yourselves for a challenging Christmas-to-New-Year programme that kicks off with a home date on Sunday against the Chelsea club carved into Mourinho’s heart. José against Frank Lampard at the new Lane is a contest nobody could have predicted at the start of this eventful season. Yes, a funny old game.
These are the games that will dictate our Christmas mood and decide whether it’s something other than the Christmas turkey that needs stuffing …
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)
Then the start of the FA Cup adventure against Middlesbrough before a mouthwatering home Premier League match against runaway leaders Liverpool.
As a certain Boris Johnson might say, let’s make sure we’re oven ready!
Question No 20 in this 2019-20 SOQL season:
Who scored an FA cup final goal for Spurs, won one international cap, played for Tottenham and Arsenal, and from which club did he arrive at White Hart Lane in 1964?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL20@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 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?
The answer: Toby Alderweireld, who joined Tottenham during a loan spell with Southampton. I would class him as one of the finest defenders ever to pull on a Spurs shirt.
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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