NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 358
Submitted by Norman Giller
A week from hell ended with Spurs lifting hopes that they could yet salvage pride – and perhaps even a prize – from this surreal season that has challenged not only our loyalty but also our sanity.
After being sent into a dungeon of despair by the defeats at the Emirates and in Zagreb, Tottenham go into the business end of the season suddenly with a Champions’ League place just about in their sights … and the League Cup final is a one-off match in which anything could happen. Yes, the opponents are mighty Manchester City, but Spurs know all about how to play at Wembley!
Lovely Lucas Moura – everybody likes the bubbling Brazilian – was quite rightly named Man of the Match for his high-octane performance at Villa Park last night, but it was the team attitude that really took the eye.
Where there was confusion and chaos in Zagreb, there was command and commitment against a Villa team (thank goodness) without their influential general, Jack Grealish. Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith captures the match action HERE, and records that if Villa had had their shooting boots on Tottenham could have been in trouble before Vinnie’s tap-in goal settled nerves. Winning ugly can be beautiful!
Harry Kane’s confidently converted penalty – his 17th goal of the season and fourth spot-kick – was deserved reward for yet another superb all-rounder’s performance. He really has matured into the complete footballer, and the 266-goal record set by the one and only Jimmy Greaves continues to be a reducing target.
We now have an international break in which to catch our breath (unless you are one of the Spurs players answering their country’s call).
No doubt while Harry is on England duty talk will once again turn to whether he will still be a Tottenham player next season. There is continual gossip linking him with moves to Manchester United or a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at PSG.
And there are stories circulating that it is all set up for Jose Mourinho to be replaced next season by Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, who has the nickname 'Baby Mourinho’. At 33, he is younger than my oldest grandson. Yikes!
So much depends on how Spurs fare in the final run-in. Newcastle, Manchester United and Everton are Tottenham’s opponents before they take on Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on April 25
I sense that Spurs must be competing in Europe next season to hang on to Harry, who at 27 is right at his peak, not only for goal power but for earning power.
Let’s face it, every game now to the end of the season will be like a cup final … and the big prize will be hanging on to Our Harry. Otherwise there could be a Kane Mutiny.
Keep the faith. 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 April and following the international break:
Sun 04 Apl Newcastle (away, 2.05pm, Premier League)
Sun 11 Apl Man United (home, 4.30pm, Premier League)
Sat 17 Apl Everton (away, TBC, Premier League)
Sun 25 Apl Man City (Wembley, 4pm, League Cup final)
The 29th week of season seven of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge. A quick call-over: There are still more than 40 of you jostling for first place, including two-times champion David Guthrie, 2019 title holder from Down Under Graham Eyre and reigning Quiz Queen Emily Hadjinicolaou. All of you have got every question right and have each amassed a maximum 84 points. I will be “sorting you out” in May with my killer tie break challenge. Meantime, this week’s question is:
Who has won 53 England caps, started his career with his local Yorkshire club and which of his team-mates was signed along with him by Tottenham on the same day?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL29@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 Surrey-born player won 28 Scottish caps, played in a League Cup final for Tottenham and from which club did he join Spurs in 2000?
The answer: Goalkeeper Neil Sullivan, who wombled to Tottenham from Wimbledon.
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!
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