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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 334) (05.10.20)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 334
Submitted by Norman Giller

Lamela lament as Spurs hit United for six

I have been watching Man United/Tottenham duels for more than 70 years, and witnessed many classics. But none have matched the jolting shock of yesterday’s result that could be measured on the Richter Scale.

My thought as Harry Kane completed the 6-1 rout from the penalty spot was, ‘How many more would it have been had Jose Mourinho been able to send on Gareth Bale?’ We have that treat to come once the international break is done and dusted. The return of the Prodigal Son is likely to be against West Ham on Sunday week. Book your seat in front of the TV sets. Son-Kane-Bale! I cannot wait.

And then there’s the Brazilian bomber Carlos Vinicius still to be unveiled. His name sounds awfully like Coronavirus, and it is rival defences that are going to feel infected.

I cannot help feeling I have wandered into some sort of Lewis Carroll tale. After two shut-down summer transfer windows, Spurs have splashed the cash for six players at a time when there are no crowds to pay the piper. I have faith in the business acumen of Daniel Levy and accept that he knows what he’s doing. (A lot of the money could be recovered with just the sale of Dele to PSG or Man United).

But I wonder what Mauricio Pochettino must think as he watches the influx of players. He always found the Levy cheque book under lock and key. Perhaps he will get a close-up view of the new players if he replaces Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford, one of my Twitter thoughts that quickly took root as United were hit for six by Spurs.

A major concern when Mourinho took over the reins from Pochettino was that he was too defence-minded for Tottenham tastes. He has been gleefully shoving that theory down all our throats with 20 goals in the little matter of eight days!

Our guru Paul H. Smith tries to keep his elation under control as he reports the latest massacre here, quietly regretting that the games have all been behind closed doors. What we would all have given to be at Old Trafford for the dismantling of United.

It even outshone the famous 5-1 victory over Man United in 1965 (and THAT Greavsie goal) for sheer precision and potency. I repeat that Kane and Son are the new G-men, certainly making more than an initial impact. What effect when Bale is added to the mix? Treble dynamite.

We have to admit that this United team are a shadow of the great Red Devils from the past. Their defenders played as if following social distancing on as well as off the pitch, and the Tottenham team – with Our Harry just pipping Sonny (Ed: could be the other way round on our survey yet to be concluded)as man of the match – made the most of the acres of space they were allowed.

I was particularly delighted for the much-maligned Serge Aurier, whose deserved goal was celebrated with genuine warmth by his team-mates. They clearly rate him much higher than some keyboard warriors, who, of course, know everything. I also want to give a merit mention to Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who quietly bossed the midfield and gave pace and power to the engine room.

One incident spoiled it for me, the theatrical reaction from Erik Lamela that led to the sending off of Anthony Martial. Goodness knows what the VAR officials were doing. It should have been a yellow card each, and a severe telling off to Lamela for going down to a light slap as if he had been hit by Tyson Fury.

I could not help wondering what Iron Man Dave Mackay would have made of it. We don’t want to see that sort of cheating (for that is what it is) on our football pitches, and certainly not from a player wearing the Lilywhite shirt. I would rather Tottenham lose matches than resort to those insidious tactics.

Much more deserving of red was the vicious chop by Luke Shaw on Moura. VAR officials need to find consistency.

But let’s not scar and sour our celebrations of yesterday’s astonishing victory with me moaning and groaning.

Let’s instead go out on a trumpeted repeat of yesterday’s scoreline. Are you ready? Manchester United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 6.

(As I am typing my blog, Villa have just thrashed Liverpool 7-2. The world’s gone mad. Yes, I have wandered into a Lewis Carroll tale).


Spurs Odyssey Trivia Quiz League

The fifth week of season seven of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Which Tottenham defender captained England three times while winning 32 caps, and which club did he steer to the League championship as manager?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL5@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.

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 captains his national team, started his senior career with Hamburg, and against which side did he score his first hat-trick for Spurs in an FA Cup tie?

The answer: Son Heung-min, who scored his hat-trick against Millwall and almost added another one yesterday. I rate Sonny one of the finest forwards ever to pull on a Lilywhite shirt, and with his sunny smile he lights up our world. What a wonderful ambassador for South Korea. No wonder he is rated the most popular sportsman in the whole of Asia. Spurs are so lucky to have him on their books.

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

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