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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 302) (20.01.20)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 302
Submitted by Norman Giller

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We can safely say that the next two matches (Norwich at home in the Premier League on Wednesday, then at Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday) will savage or salvage Tottenham’s season.

Anything less than three points against the “Canaries” and we can kiss goodbye to chances of a top four place before the final shots of the campaign.

Defeat at St Mary’s - where Spurs lost in the League on New Year’s Day - will end hopes of desperately required silverware.

The supreme optimists among you will point out that we are still in the Champions League, but anybody who expects us to go one better than last season needs book a session on a psychiatrist’s couch.

Saturday’s sterile goalless draw at Watford sucked all expectation and confidence from many supporters. Where on earth has all that free-flowing football that lit up Mauricio Pochettino’s peak years gone? Our guru Paul H Smith had to sit through it (Ed:- STAND!) on our behalf and reports HERE on the feeble fare. Not an assignment I envied, Paul.

I wonder what goes on in Jose Mourinho’s mind as he looks on from the touchline? He came thinking he was taking over a team of thoroughbreds and finds that his inherited players are, largely, performing more like carthorses.

Where there was confidence, there is now doubt, where there was decisive action is now indecision. The lights have suddenly been turned off and nobody’s at home. Mourinho is going to have to earn his considerable corn to turn things around without a huge upheaval. Still the Special one? The jury is out.

The team screams out for a big central striker who can give the side shape, purpose and presence in the penalty area, and a target man for the midfielders to find. Our Harry Kane cannot be the saviour, because he may not kick a ball again this season. Are we really a one-man team, as Tottenham’s detractors have been claiming since the Hurrikane first blew in?

Let’s face facts, a club of Tottenham’s size and ambition should not have just one attack leader. I keep on (ok, parroting) about Troy Parrott. Perhaps let him get among the Canaries on Wednesday? Feathers would surely fly.

I have given up trying to fathom what Tottenham are doing in this January transfer window. It’s obvious they need a striker and also a playmaker to replace disenchanted Christian Eriksen (who appears headed for Inter Milan in a move shrouded in mystery).

Rumours persist that Tottenham’s zillionaire owner Joe Lewis is preparing to relinquish the reins as he approaches his 83rd birthday next month. The owners of Google are the latest to be linked with a takeover. I will believe it when I can Google it.


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

Question No 25 in this 2019-20 SOQL season:

Which former Tottenham captain was selected for the 2010 World Cup finals and which rival Premier League player did he belatedly replace in the international squad?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL25@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 five England caps, was an FA Cup winner with Spurs, played for Liverpool and Man City, and with which London club did he start his career?

The answer: Paul Walsh, who started his career with Charlton Athletic in The Valley before reaching the sunny uplands with Tottenham :-)

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 recently departed 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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