NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 352
Submitted by Norman Giller
Our Harry Kane will have been leaping around his Essex mansion as his idol Tom Brady – the Man With the Golden Arm – won his record seventh Super Bowl by leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory during the night.
Earlier in the day, Harry had inspired Tottenham to a much-needed three points against woeful West Brom at the eerily deserted new Lane stadium. Now NFL disciple Aitch wants to get the Brady Midas touch with Spurs.
It’s an exaggeration to call Tottenham a one-man team, but without Kane they are half the side. Everybody grew in confidence and self belief yesterday when we got the surprise news that he was playing in the High Noon showdown with struggling Albion.
Nobody was more delighted to have his side-kick back after injury than Son Heung-min, the careering Korean who (continuing the Kane maths) is twice the player when he has Harry as a plundering partner. Harry played a part in his vital second goal with an unorthodox chest assist to the galloping Lucas Moura. Even Harry’s gridiron hero Brady would not have come up with that pass.
And – one more multiplication – Jose Mourinho is twice the manager when he knows he can put Harry’s name on his team-sheet.
The Mourinho lynch mob, angrily stalking the social network and blogs and vlogs, could stand down after the 2-0 victory over relegation-haunted Albion, reported HERE by our guru Paul H. Smith.
But they will be back baying for Jose’s blood if Spurs make an FA Cup exit at Goodison on Wednesday. That is an even-money match, and could easily go to a Russian roulette penalty shoot out.
We have to balance our satisfaction at yesterday’s victory with the admission that West Brom are one of the Premier League’s most ineffective teams. They are devoid of artistry and accuracy, and rarely disturbed the Tottenham defence.
Harry might easily have had a first-half hat-trick before scoring his 208th goal for Spurs, which brings him level with the old warhorse Bobby Smith, who did something Harry (and all his current team-mates) have failed to do. He collected medals with Tottenham: League Championship, two FA Cup winners’ and the European Cup Winners’ awards; almost a Brady bunch.
Now it’s “just” 58 goals for Harry to catch the No 1 maestro, Jimmy Greaves, who later this month (February 20) celebrates his 81st birthday against all the odds after surviving a stroke that doctors say would have killed most people.
Kane’s goal yesterday was laid on a plate for him by a superb through ball from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who has quickly made himself an automatic choice for the team. He rides shotgun in midfield, mixing physicality and skill into a winning cocktail. The Dane worked wonderfully in tandem with lively Erik Lamela yesterday, their energy helping lift Tottenham out of the doldrums after three confidence-shaking Premier League defeats in a row.
Spurs are still not out of the running for a top-four finish and remain involved on three cup fronts. Provided they play positively, there is every chance that Tottenham will be in the mix at the end of this surreal season despite being written off by most keyboard warriors.
Too early to be calling for Mourinho’s head, particularly with Our Harry fit again. Let’s hope he can inspire Brady-style buccaneering success, starting at Everton on Wednesday.
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 this month (try not to feel too exhausted reading them!) …
Wed 10 Feb Everton (away, 8.15, 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, 12.00, Premier League)
Wed 24 Feb Wolfsberger(home, 5.00, Europa League, 2nd leg)
Sun 28 Feb Burnley (home, 2.00, Premier League)
The 23rd 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: Who was born in Edmonton, played for Vicenza and Torino between two spells for Spurs and which number shirt did he wear as a member of the first British team ever to win a major European trophy?
The answer: Tony Marchi, who elegantly filled injured Dave Mackay’s No 6 shirt in the 1963 European Cup Winners’ Cup final victory over Atletico Madrid. Tony is four months younger than the oldest surviving Spur Terry Medwin (88), with Maurice Norman (86), Terry Dyson (86) and Cliff Jones (85 yesterday) also still with us from the golden generation.
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!