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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 299) (30.12.19)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 299
Submitted by Norman Giller

Bale for Eriksen just might be a Real swap

All Tottenham eyes will be on the transfer window with 2020 vision as we move into the New Year and the start of what could be the roaring, soaring ‘twenties. Could the comings and goings include a swap of Christian Eriksen for the former White Hart Lane idol Gareth Bale?

My contacts in Spain tell me José Mourinho has discussed the possibility with the Welshman’s agent Jonathan Barnett, but Tottenham and Real Madrid dismiss the rumour as fake news. We shall see.

I won’t hold my breath, but the thought of Bale and Son Heung-min running either side of Harry Kane certainly makes the mouth water. Gareth apparently preferred a move to Old Trafford until he heard Mourinho had pitched his tent at Tottenham. I recall that José was first to come in for young Bale when he was in charge at the Bernabeu.

One thing’s for sure, Spurs need a shake-up if they are to at last end the long silverware drought. The scrambled victory over Brighton and the seat-of-the-pants draw with Norwich City did little to improve the confidence of the supporters and, more importantly, the players.

The performances of the almost certainly departing Eriksen and the fairly newly arrived Tanguy Ndombele were the few things to admire at Carrow Road, where the Canaries very nearly choked the Cockerel.

José has yet to put his stamp on the club. It is almost unheard of for a Mourinho team (pre-Man United) to be giving away goals like a charity organisation, and we can expect to see a much-needed tightening of the defence in the coming weeks.

It could be at the cost of spectator excitement, but if it means ultimately collecting a trophy I think most Spurs disciples will accept a big dose of defensive discipline. At the moment they are making the sort of elementary errors you see from kids in the playground.

Our guru Paul H. Smith cannot disguise his frustration as he describes the two gift-wrapped Norwich goals HERE, and it would have been a third but for the hairsbreadth offside verdict from VAR.

The video technology was introduced to end not start controversy, but it is having the opposite effect to what was intended. I am sure major changes will come for next season, with the attacking team being given more scope on off-side decisions and the paying spectators being better informed.

Our Prince of Denmark Eriksen showed against Norwich just why Real Madrid would be happy to have him as their latest galáctico. If Tottenham do not release him in this January transfer window he will be a free agent at the end of the season. Money talks in football and is the only language that the likes of Tottenham owner Joe Lewis understands. As an affluent billionaire he is very fluent in money talk.

Old Joe, from my neck of the woods in Bow (born above an East End pub), is 83 on February 5 and I am convinced he and his ENIC partners will be looking for new owners of Spurs early in the new decade. He is banking on Mourinho making them attractive to a consortium, probably of USA businessmen. Like I say, here come the roaring ‘twenties.

On behalf of Paul H. Smith and I, we wish you a wonderful 2020, kicking off with three points at Southampton on New Year’s Day at the start of the ‘twenties Odyssey. Fasten your safety belts. It could be a bumpy ride.


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

Question No 22 in this 2019-20 SOQL season:

Who scored 48 goals in 78 internationals, joined Tottenham from a German club and which national side did he captain from 2006 to 2010?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL22@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 joined Tottenham from his local club Leeds, won a League Cup final against Chelsea, played 21 times for England and which club did he move to from White Hart Lane?

The answer: Aaron Lennon, who took his jet boots to Everton from Tottenham. His current club is Burnley and on his last visit to the Lane he was given the sort of reception only heroes can earn.

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. Happy New Year. COYS!

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