NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 332
Submitted by Norman Giller
Hands up who is licking their lips at the prospect of Gareth Bale joining Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in a three-pronged Tottenham attack following yesterday’s dismantling of Southampton? Up go a forest of hands.
Yet at 46 minutes I was comparing the Tottenham performance with their opening shocker against Everton. Then Sonny ran on to a pass from Kane ("Haitch," he calls him) to start a devastating double act that can be mentioned in the same breath as the fabled G-Men, Greavsie and Gilzean.
Kane’s silver plate service to Sonny was in the same majestic class of old pass master Glenn Hoddle, who purred in the television studio like a cat enjoying the cream.
The deliveries from scorer-turned-schemer Kane were stunning in their accuracy and timing. He might (as Jose Mourinho mischievously suggested) have shared Man of the Match honours with four-goal Sonny, particularly as he helped himself to the fifth goal – the third time he had put the ball into the net but on this occasion without the interference of VAR.
It has to be said that Southampton made it much easier for Tottenham with their suicidal tactics, pressing so high upfield that Sonny and Kane were almost given the freedom of the last third of the pitch. Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith captures the game of two contrasting halves here.
No Premier League player has ever before had four assists from the same player while scoring four goals. Nearest I can think to anybody equalling or beating it in a Lilywhite shirt is Tommy ‘the Charmer’ Harmer, who had a foot in eight of the goals (plus scoring one himself) when Tottenham famously beat Everton 10-4 in Bill Nicholson’s first match as manager back in October 1958.
What exciting times these are for Tottenham fans, but how sad we can’t gather and welcome our hero home to the wondrous new ground that has sprung up since he was last with us.
I hope Spurs fans get it into their heads that this is not the lithe, lightning-fast Bale who left us in 2013 for the greener grass of Madrid.
He is now injury prone and will have to be treated like a thoroughbred racehorse. The experienced Mourinho will know how to get the best out of Gareth and we must all be patient as we wait for him to regain full match fitness.
I am not going to be the one who boastfully mentions that I was first with the news that Bale was off to Madrid seven years ago, and also led the way in revealing he was on his way back. As if I would shout that from the rooftops!
This is what I Tweeted more than a month ago:
Spurs are going to need all hands on deck as they wrestle with a ridiculous fixture logjam, continuing at Orient tomorrow in the League Cup. Few of the those who appeared at Southampton will play at Brisbane Road.
One player definitely making an appearance will be Dele Alli. All eyes will be on whether he joins the squad for Thursday’s Europa League match in Macedonia, and then if he makes the team for Sunday’s Premier League date with Newcastle United.
Alli has been linked with a move to Paris St Germain and Man Utd. I also hear that Roma are keen to re-sign Erik Lamela.
It makes sense that Spurs must sell to help pay for the loan of Bale and the purchase of highly regarded Real left-back Sergio Reguilon.
But Dele Alli is a diamond of a player and I think most of us would prefer to see him continuing as a Tottenham thoroughbred.
Wouldn’t it be something to see him operating in skilled support of the Supreme Three Son, Kane and Bale. Fasten your safety belts!
Talking of the Orient match tomorrow reminds me of Justin Edinburgh (above), a fine football man and a terrific human being. The Coronavirus has wrecked plans for Spurs and Orient fans to celebrate the life of Justin, who sadly passed away last June at the age of just 49 while manager of the Os.
He was a disciplined and determined defender for Tottenham for nearly ten seasons from 1990, making more than 200 League appearances and always giving 100 per cent from his left-back position.
As supporters can’t be at the ground for a collection, the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust and Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust are asking followers of both clubs to make a donation to the Justin Ediburgh Foundation in his memory.
His family are setting up a charity in Justin’s memory to benefit health and wellbeing causes.
This is the link for you to make any donation that you can afford: https://justgiving.com/crowdfunding/justinedinburgh3
Thank you. RIP Justin.
The third week of season seven of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Who won 61 international caps, played for Spurs against his former club in a League Cup final and with which club did he start his League playing career in 1965?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL3@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 – two for identifying the player and one for the supplementary question. 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. That’s when I become as popular as Donald Trump at a war vets’ gathering.
This year’s prizes for the champion: a Harry Kane framed and signed photo two, books from my Greavsie 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.
Last week’s SOQL question: Who has won 21 international caps, played 114 times in all competitions for Tottenham and with which club did he gain promotion to the Premier League in 2014 before joining Spurs the following year?
The answer: Kieran Trippier and Burnley.
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!
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