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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 345) (21.12.20)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 345
Submitted by Norman Giller

Santa Jose must deliver League Cup present

Jingle balls, Jingle balls,
Jingle all the way
It’s not fun to ride
On José’s One-pony sleigh

My doctor (and friend) rang me yesterday to see if I was having any side-effect reaction to the first of my two-stage Covid vaccination. ‘No,’ I told him, ‘but I’ve been left with bad side effects by Spurs.’

Let’s not mince words. That was a shocking show by Tottenham yesterday against a Leicester team that produced the perfect team performance. It was not just a bad day at the office; several of the Spurs players did not even show up for work.

But in a way I was relieved by the 2-0 defeat, reported with brutal honesty HERE by our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith. I think we can already grimly say there is no way Spurs are going to challenge Liverpool for the title.

It means we do not have to chew our nails through every match, desperate for points to keep in the championship race. Relax, friends. From being top of the table a week ago, we are now fifth. I would love to have to eat my pessimistic words deep into this season, but I think my Mystic Meg instincts will be proved correct. The team sitting top of the table at Christmas usually goes on to take the title, and it’s Jurgen Klopp’s side that is sitting pretty at the moment.

The difference a week makes! I was convinced we were going to make this a season when we made a serious challenge for the Premier League crown. But the pressure is off us. Jose Mourinho has said all along we are just a pony against thoroughbreds. Yesterday, Tottenham played more like colts (I was careful how I typed that).

The match somehow captured the mood of many of us in the Tier 4 areas. Spurs were in lock down, and the team looked as miserable as we feel.

We desperately need a pick-me-up from Wednesday’s League Cup quarter-final at Stoke. It will be fascinating to see the team Jose selects, because suddenly he will realise that this competition is one of his better bets for silverware. A thumping victory would be a nice present from Santa Jose and his Lilywhite helpers.

I will be amazed if Serge Aurier plays. Jose will surely want to punish him for his stupid barging challenge that handed Leicester a game-changing penalty on a plate. The enigmatic Frenchman has had an excellent run of form, but you always feel a rash moment is not far away.

Sorry to be so downbeat at the start of this alleged season of good cheer. On behalf of webmaster Paul and myself, please have as good a Christmas as possible in the circumstances. Things can only get better. COYS!


Many of you comment on how you like to see the upcoming fixtures, so I will list them here every week as we tick off the matches on the way (fingers crossed) to silverware in what is the Centenary of the 1921 FA Cup win, the Platinum celebration of the 1951 Push and Run title, the Diamond Jubilee of the 1961 Double Year, the Ruby anniversary of Ricky’s ‘Goal of the Century’ in the 1981 FA Cup final triumph, and, of course, the Pearl anniversary of the last time Spurs won the FA Cup in 1991.

These are the fixtures facing Spurs to the end of January …


Wed  23 Dec Stoke     (away, 5.30, League Cup quarter-final)
Sun  27 Dec Wolves    (away, 7.15, Premier League)
Wed  30 Dec Fulham    (home, 6.00, Premier League)
Sat   2 Jan Leeds United (home, 12.30, Premier League)
Sun  10 Jan Marine    (away, 5.00, FA Cup 3rd round)
Wed  13 Jan Aston Villa (away, 8.15, Premier League)
Sun  12 Jan Sheff United (away, 2.00, Premier League)
Thur 28 Jan Liverpool (home, 8.00, Premier League)


Spurs Odyssey Trivia Quiz League

The 16th week of season seven of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Which striker moved to West Ham from Spurs in 2004 and for which nation did he score 15 goals in 75 internationals?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL16@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: Which Bethnal Green-born midfielder played in Sweden and Holland and came on as a substitute for Spurs in an FA Cup final, and which club did he join from Tottenham?

The answer: Garry Brooke, who moved on to Norwich City after his substitute appearance in place of Ricky Villa in the 1981 FA Cup final, first match. He was unlucky to be injured in a car smash that interrupted his career.

For those of you who like a challenge, my Jumbo Sports prize crossword is in The Times over Christmas for the 36th consecutive year. It appears in the paper and in their online edition.

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

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