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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 350) (26.01.21)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 350
Submitted by Norman Giller

Birthday Boy Jose wants his present against Liverpool

Jose Mourinho’s birthday cake with 58 candles will light up his day, but the present he wants above all others is the belated gift of three points against Liverpool on Thursday. He had to send on the big guns to put down Wycombe’s FA Cup challenge last night, and I just hope they have saved some ammunition for the Merseysiders.

They left a lot of empty shells at Adams Park, where I counted six clear-cut chances missed before they finally got the fifth round visit to Everton wrapped up with a late burst of gunfire that brought three late goals.

It would not be Spurs if they didn’t have us biting our nails for much of the match, but the final 4-1 result was a fair reflection of the dominant second-half performance. Wycombe fought valiantly but to be honest they were often outclassed.

As our guru Paul H Smith reports HERE, there was much to be pleased about after a nervous first-half. Wycombe, as expected, played with a burning team spirit but were too disjointed in attack to concern Spurs after they had taken an unexpected 25th minute lead.

It was Gareth Bale who calmed Tottenham jitters with a hook-shot equaliser in first-half injury time. This was the high spot for the Welshman who is slowly, slowly finding touches of his old magic. He desperately needs pitch time but he appears to have only a peripheral role in Mourinho’s first-team plans.

Just imagine if he could get his old mojo back. That would mean FOUR world-class players in the front five, with Tanguy Ndombele now cementing himself into Tottenham legend. Seeing him operate with Kane and Son is a sight to behold.

He followed last week’s wonder goal with some Fred Astaire footwork before he found the net for a second time last night, and now that his confidence has returned after his battle with Covid he is looking worth every penny of his club record £56m fee.

Harry Winks quite rightly got the man of the match nod for a superb all-round performance, topped by his perfectly placed left foot shot for Tottenham’s crucial second goal. It quietened gossip that he could soon be moving, but the volume increases when the topic switches to Dele Alli.

Mauricio Pochettino continues to battle Covid, and a reunion with Dele could prove his best tonic. Plenty of Spurs fans would be sick to see him go.

This is the 350th blog in which I have bombarded you with my rusty views. Thank you dear readers (okay, reader) for sticking with me and enjoying my Spurs Odyssey, brought to you each week courtesy of webmaster Paul.

And how about this for a birthday coincidence: Bill ‘Mr Spurs’ Nicholson was born on this day in 1919 … Senhor Mourinho’s birthday. A coincidence, or what!

Please stay safe, and root for Jose to get his belated birthday present against Liverpool on Thursday. We want Jose’s candles to keep burning as Spurs continue to battle across four fronts. Exciting, surreal times. COYS!


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.

These are the fixtures facing Spurs to the end of February (try not to feel too exhausted reading them!) …


Thur 28 Jan Liverpool (home, 8.00, Premier League)
Sun  31 Jan Brighton  (away, 2.00, Premier League)
Thur 04 Feb Chelsea   (home, 8.00, Premier League)
Sun  07 Feb West Brom (home, TBC,  Premier League)
Wed  10 Feb Everton   (away, TBC,  FA Cup 5th round)
Sat  13 Feb Man City  (away, 5,30), Premier League)
Thu  18 Feb Wolfsberger(away, 5.55, Europa League, 1st leg)
Sun  21 Feb West Ham  (away, TBC,  Premier League)
Wed  24 Feb Wolfsberger(home, 5.00, Europa League, 2nd leg)
Sun  28 Feb Burnley   (home, 2.00, Premier League) 


Spurs Odyssey Trivia Quiz League

The 21st week of season seven of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Which Swedish-born former Spurs skipper won 61 caps and in which country did he play his early football before joining Charlton as an apprentice in 1978?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL21@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 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?

The answer: Steve Sedgley, who joined Ipswich from Spurs. Crafty me … he was a non-playing sub for Coventry in the best-forgotten 1987 FA Cup Final

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

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