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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 306) (17.02.20)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 306
Submitted by Norman Giller

Sir Jimmy could show Spurs how to find the net

Once again, I am instructing my lawyers to consider a case against Tottenham for putting years on me. I could call thousands of witnesses in support. That was a brutal, blood-pressure-raising watch at Villa Park yesterday, and I had aged considerably before Sonny wrapped up three precious points with his dramatic last-minute winner.

I suggest that José Mourinho orders all his forwards to sit down tomorrow evening and watch the Greavsie film documentary on BT Sport to see how easy it is to put the ball into the net.

Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith records the number of chances Spurs made and missed against Villa HERE. Greavsie (or more realistically, Harry Kane) would have filled his boots.

This was one of the stranger games in Mourinho’s so-far brief encounter at Tottenham. Spurs might have scored six or seven goals, yet at the same time Villa – particularly in the first half – could have bulged the net several times.

I can imagine José having nightmares when he puts his starkly shaven head on the pillow at night. He has never before had a defence that gives away goals like a registered charity.

Even the ever-reliable Toby Alderweireld played like a man in a trance to gift Villa their first goal, and it was as if all the defenders were suddenly stuck to the ground with concrete boots as the struggling Midlands club were allowed to make it 2-2 from a corner.

Toby celebrated the birth of his new son by making amends for his own goal with a gem, swivelling and shooting into the net like a Rolls Royce of a forward. This made it Toby 1, Toby 1. Then, in an eventful end to the frantic first half, Son Heung-min bundled the ball into the net for his 50th Premier League goal after his penalty had been saved.

It was all an overture leading up to the grand finale, with Sonny gleefully scoring a goal clumsily presented to him by Villa after Spurs had squandered a succession of gilt-edged chances.

It all underlined yet again how much Spurs are missing the potent golden boots of Our Harry Kane.

Next it’s Champions’ League time when Leipzig are the visitors to the new Lane on Wednesday, before a ‘special’ showdown for José against his old Chelsea crew at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

If Spurs can win those two games, I might consider dropping my case against them for causing unnecessary anguish.

The jury is out.


Just a reminder that Jimmy Greaves - the Lane Legend of Legends – is 80 on Thursday. For years we have been campaigning for him to get a knighthood. Now the Daily Mail have put their muscle behind the crusade. You can sign their petition to the government here: https://www.change.org/p/uk-government-give-england-hero-jimmy-greaves-the-gong-he-deserves?recruited_by_id=92641424-7a05-4d98-baa4-e7233d31f950.

As a mate of Jimmy’s for more than 50 years, I am privileged to play a part in the BT tribute to mark the great man’s milestone. It is being shown at 10.30 tomorrow evening. Spoiler alert: You will need a tissue handy! It is an emotional rollercoaster and includes many of his greatest goals and footage that will make you laugh, cry, cheer and groan. It’s a masterpiece by producer/director Tom Boswell and his BT crew.

Jimmy’s agent and old road show side-kick Terry Baker is organising a special big screen showing at Stevenage Football Club on the great man’s birthday. All proceeds will go to Jimmy to help with his medical costs, which includes four visits every day by carers. You can get full details from terry@a1sportingspeakers.com or call him direct on 07973 387294.

Meantime, let me remind you that I have composed a song in a personal tribute to my old pal, a close friend for more than half a century with whom I have written 20 books. The song is my revenge on Jim for always telling people that my piano playing suggested I went to the Les Dawson School of Music. As usual, he was bang on target. You can see and hear what he means here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF8R5izjUJs&t=16s

Apologies to music lovers everywhere. Yes, it’s a funny old game.

See you at Stevenage, I hope.


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

Question No 29 in this 2019-20 SOQL season:

Who has won 62 international caps, was signed by Mauricio Pochettino and against which team did he score two goals for Tottenham in a 7-0 victory?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL29@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 41 international caps, joined Tottenham from Leeds United in 2004 and against which team did he score his one and only Premier League goal?

The answer: Paul Robinson, who scored his only Premier League goal with a wind-assisted 90-yard free-kick that went first bounce over the head of Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster and into the net. The fact that it was a goalie scoring threw several of you. Sorry!

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.

See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!

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