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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 349) (18.01.21)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 349
Submitted by Norman Giller

The Jury returns its verdict on Ndombele

The Jury were out on Tottenham Hotspur’s record signing Tanguy Ndombele but have now returned a unanimous verdict that any case against him should be dismissed. This followed his gem of a goal yesterday against Sheffield United that could have come out of the golf bag of Tiger Woods.

It was a hook-cum-chip shot from the tightest of angles that looped into the United net as if hit with a lofted club rather than Ndombele’s right foot.

The goal capped a brilliant individual performance by the enigmatic Frenchman, who has struggled to settle to the pace and demands of the Premier League since his arrival from Lyon last year for a cool £56m.

Now we can look to him growing in stature and confidence, and he has the skill and stealth to develop into a midfield marshal in the mould of Modric and Eriksen. He is a different style player to those two pass masters but can be equally influential.

His stunning, subtle strike suddenly eased Tottenham jitters after bottom-of-the-table United had threatened a fight back with a goal etched from nothing. Spurs had been coasting along with a 2-0 lead provided by a rare Aurier header and a typical assassin’s goal from deadeye Harry Kane. He is now just one off Bobby Smith’s 208-goal collection for Spurs, which is the second highest total behind the 266 target set by the one and only Jimmy Greaves MBE.

When United pulled a goal back after being totally outplayed, we Tottenham disciples started to lose our faith. There were ten minutes on line when suddenly the keyboard warriors were back in control and turning their guns on Tottenham as if attacking the Capitol building. They remembered the points frittered away in draws that should have been wins against Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Wolves and Fulham and were into full panic mode as if it was going to happen again.

Then, as reported HERE by our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H Smith, Ndombele produced his magical moment that deserved to be witnessed by a roaring full house.

There are those who considered it a fluke, but I agree with the expert pundits who are convinced Ndombele meant it. No less a person than Our Harry, who knows a thing or three about scoring goals, was among those who saw it as a thing of beauty. “Tanguy’s goal was incredible,“ he enthused. “The technique he had to flick that ball back over the keeper was truly special.”

Now all concentration is on next Monday’s awkward fourth round FA Cup tie at Wycombe – Covid allowing – before the little matter three days later of Liverpool’s visit to Tottenham. It will be back to UEFA Cup action next month and Manchester City await in the League Cup final at Wembley on April 25.

Spurs continue to fight on four fronts. We are ‘Biden our time’ in the hope of being sworn in as presidential silverware winners . Stay safe, COYS!


All sorts of rumours were swirling around the absence of both Dele Alli and Harry Winks in Sheffield yesterday. Mourinho is giving nothing away but the talk continues of Dele being on his way to join Covid-hit Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint Germain, and Valencia remain interested in signing Winks.

I just hope Mourinho knows what he’s doing with Dele. Let’s not forget that he is the man who allowed Kevin de Bruyne to move from Chelsea. He has developed into one of the world’s great players with Manchester City. There is a vast army of Dele worshippers who would never forgive Jose if he lets their hero go.

We continue to 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.


Mon  25 Jan Wycombe Wanderers  (away, FA Cup 4th Rd, 7.45)
Thur 28 Jan Liverpool (home, 8.00, Premier League)
Sun  31 Jan Brighton  (away, 2.00, Premier League)


Spurs Odyssey Trivia Quiz League

The 20th week of season seven of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Which Enfield-born player won an FA Cup winners’ medal as an unused substitute in 1987, a second medal in 1991 and which team did he join from Spurs in 1994?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL20@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 won 24 caps for a country that was not of his birth, and which manager signed him from Lens?

The answer: The enigmatic Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who was signed by Martin Jol. ‘Benny’ was French born but played for Cameroon.

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

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