NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 338
Submitted by Norman Giller
I have been on an emotional rollercoaster, with the passing of my old mate Nobby Stiles followed by confirmation that his Man United and England team-mate Sir Bobby Charlton has dementia. All this as we approach another depressing lockdown. Then, suddenly, I am lifted off the floor and up to Cloud nine by a goal from Golden Balls Gareth Bale. Where’s Greavsie to say, “It’s a funny old game”?
Tottenham were making out another case for me to sue them for mental torture when Gareth’s header triggered a win they just about deserved. Brave, battling Brighton would not have been flattered by the reward of a point.
Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith gives his view of the match here, recording Tottenham’s remarkable climb to second in the Premier League table. Shsh, not a word about being title contenders. We have not yet even got within kicking distance of Christmas, so please anchor the optimism. As if I would get carried away with such crazy thoughts.
I am writing a book about My Seventy Years of Spurs, so it would be very fitting to have a silverware chapter as a finale, but I am not going to mention it here for fear of jinxing the team!
Last night’s victory was a curate’s egg performance, very good in parts but with worrying moments that must have given manager Jose Mourinho indigestion. The victory justified his decision to leave out five of the players who were made to look twerps in Antwerp on Thursday. I just hope he does not give up on Dele Alli, and finds a way to get his mojo working again.
VAR – dear frustrating, aggravating VAR – worked for and against Spurs. The tangle that gave Harry Kane his penalty was borderline and could easily have been judged a free-kick to the Seagulls. The Brighton equaliser to my eyes should have been ruled out because of an obvious foul on the splendid Hojbjerg.
Referee Graham Scott took so long viewing the incident on the pitch-side monitor that I thought he had tuned into Gone With the Wind. He finally decided Brighton’s Solly March had played the ball rather than the man, and awarded a hugely controversial goal. Frankly, I did give a damn. He should have gone to SpecSavers.
Then Gareth Bale came off the bench to head a glorious winner from an inch-perfect centre from the enterprising Sergio Reguilon A Real deal goal. It was just like the good old days and we all celebrated as if we were Joe Biden supporters welcoming a White House victory. Trump that for a sign off! Stay safe.
The ninth week of season seven of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Which Essex-born player appeared in more than 100 League and Cup games for Spurs before being forced to retire at just 26, and what number shirt did he wear in the 1971 League Cup final?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL9@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 collected two FA Cup winners’ medals with Spurs, played his early football in Norway and against which team did he score a Uefa Cup final goal?
The answer: Paul ‘Maxie’ Miller, who scored in the Uefa Cup final against Anderlecht. He and Graham Roberts were hard and uncompromising together at the heart of the Spurs defence. I wonder what VAR would have made of some of their tackles?
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!
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