NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 346
Submitted by Norman Giller
I so wanted my final communique of this surreal year to be upbeat. My plan was to look forward with optimism and hope to a 2021 that brings us the traditional chance of silverware, with the magic ‘one’ in the season. But sorry to have to confess that I was depressed by the Spurs performance against Wolves last night.
On paper, a draw at Molineux has to be considered satisfactory. But on the pitch it was as hard and tiresome to watch as Donald Trump trying to stay in the White House.
An instant goal inside the first minute set Tottenham up for a no-holds-barred crack at Wolves, but all-out attack is not on the menu under the cautious management of Jose Mourinho. His mantra is ‘what we have we hold’ . He wants to do the near impossible, win games without having the ball.
It must break the hearts of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min not to have the freedom to break down defensive barriers with their electric pace and powerhouse finishing. They are suddenly like hungry lions feeding off scraps.
We all know it is just not the Spurs way. I wonder how the Tottenham fans would react if they were allowed at the grounds to witness the negativity?
Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith gives his armchair view of the 1-1 draw at Wolves HERE. I do not envy him having to report such frustrating fare. Tanguy Ndombele’s goal after 57 seconds made us all feel we had a treat to look forward to, but that was as good as it got.
In a reasonable first half, I thought Ndombele was the most enterprising of the Tottenham players and showing why he was so highly rated before coming to Spurs. But he was the first player hauled off by Mourinho in a nerve-wracking second-half, so what do I know?
We got a taste of management Mourinho style when he hung Dele Alli in public for losing the ball in midfield against Stoke in the Carabao Cup. It was definitely a clumsy moment from Alli, but he did not deserve such a tongue lashing from his manager. In my opinion, his crushing criticism should have been confined to the privacy of the dressing-room.
It makes me think Jose is softening us up for the sale of Dele, who was football’s golden boy alongside Harry Kane in the Pochettino era. Would Mauricio want to take Alli with him to PSG? It is just one of the many rumours doing the rounds as we approach the January transfer window.
Strongest whisper is that RB Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer is on his way to Tottenham, with the sale of Dele more than covering the £45m fee.
Who am I to knock Mourinho, whose 20 trophies should stifle any hint of condemnation? But Spurs have always played with a smile rather than a snarl. We want our game back.
Oh, and by the way, I don’t like the green away strip. Am I getting too shirty?
Happiest of happy New Years, and let’s hope it is marked with a trophy won in true Spurs style . And let’s go out with a bang against Fulham on Wednesday. I wonder what Tottenham old boy Scotty Parker will make of Jose’s Spurs?
Like the rest of us, he just might see them as passing strangers.
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 30 Dec Fulham (home, 6.00, Premier League)
Sat 02 Jan Leeds United (home, 12.30, Premier League)
Tue 05 Jan Brentford (home, 7.45, League Cup semi-final)
Sun 10 Jan Marine (away, 5.00, FA Cup 3rd round)
Wed 13 Jan Aston Villa (away, 8.15, Premier League)
Sun 17 Jan Sheff United (away, 2.00, Premier League)
Thur 28 Jan Liverpool (home, 8.00, Premier League)
The 17th week of season seven of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
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 striker moved to West Ham from Spurs in 2004 and for which nation did he score 15 goals in 75 internationals?
The answer: Serhiy ‘Sergei’ Rebrov and the Ukraine. Buying him without his sidekick Shevchenko was like Laurel without Hardy.
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!