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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 363) (26.04.21)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 363
Submitted by Norman Giller

My 70 years of Spurs

What a day on which to have to submit the final chapter of my book – ‘My 70 Years of Spurs’ – in the wake of what was, let’s be honest, an embarrassing performance by Tottenham in yesterday’s Carabao Cup Final.

If Manchester City had led 5-0 at half-time it would not have flattered them. Spurs slightly improved in the second-half but were still strictly second best. It was without question the most depressing display I have witnessed from any Tottenham team across more than 18 major finals in which I have watched them. You can make out a case that French defender Aymeric Laporte should have been shown a red card for a second bookable foul before he headed the winning goal in the 82nd minute from a Kevin de Bruyne fee-kick.

But searching for excuses would paper over an appalling show by a team lacking confidence, cohesion and conviction. I was honestly as despondent at the end as when Spurs lost the 1987 FA Cup final against Coventry. Believe me, that’s down in the dungeon of despair.

Our guru Paul H. Smith, wise and lucky man, put his Grandad duties ahead of the final, so our guest reporter Declan Mulcahy has the thankless task of recording the match details HERE. You will have to look hard to find any evidence of Tottenham in the game as an attacking force.

I wondered what Harry Kane was thinking as he watched his former Spurs team-mate Kyle Walker climb the Wembley steps to collect his seventh major award since leaving Tottenham in 2017. How many goals would Harry have scored had he been playing for the City slickers?

Sonny was inconsolable as he knelt on the unforgiving Wembley turf crying his eyes out. It’s a cruel old game.

So there was to be no fairytale for Ryan Mason. I lay no blame at the door of the 29-year-old stand-in manager. I am sure the performance would have been just as disjointed and desperate if the recently jettisoned José Mourinho had still been in charge. It was under his management that everything started to come apart at the seams. Let’s face it, something is rotten in the state of Spurs.

I am normally positive and upbeat with my outlook, but I truly worry about where Spurs are going from here. We got a taste of the mood running through the club when the 2,000 Tottenham fans allowed into Wembley managed to make themselves heard with ‘Levy Out … Levy Out’ chants.

Daniel Levy and billionaire owner Joe Lewis are not going to be forgiven for being prepared to sell the soul of Spurs in the quickly aborted European Super League coup.

The esteemed Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust had an extraordinary 90% support for a statement that read:

‘We call for the immediate resignation of the Executive Board of Tottenham Hotspur Foot-ball Club, and for the owners to work with us to appoint a new Board that has elected and accountable fan representation on it. That representation must make key decisions about the running of the Club dependent upon fan approval, and we would expect to see that made a legal requirement across the game.’

Ouch, that’s powerful stuff.

I was astonished and astounded that men as bright and worldly as Lewis and Levy could not see the ESL plan was unworkable in the form in which it was presented, tossed on an unsuspecting football world like a hand grenade.

To me, it showed a mixture of arrogance and ignorance. It was arrogant of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ to even begin to think they could set up their elitist League without all the other clubs in Europe not protesting, and it was ignorant that they did not think their project through.

There is, in my opinion, a way to get an international Super League off the launching pad, starting with having the supporters and players on board and making it a pyramid from which the bottom clubs at least have a hope of one day emerging at the top. But the selfish, pompous ESL project was still born because it was so poorly conceived and constructed by some of the wealthiest men in the world.

They were not going to allow relegation and I wonder how long it would have taken for the powerful Yanks in the movement to have pressed for an end to drawn matches?

Levy quite rightly took heavy criticism. An intelligent, Cambridge-educated man with an honours degree in land management, he parted company with his judgement and lost everybody’s confidence over the way he took our beloved Tottenham Hotspur to the cliff edge of a catastrophe. It was even worse than that idea he once had of doing a Woolwich Arsenal in reverse and moving the club to Stratford.

I have always in the past defended the ‘L’ men – Lewis and Levy – but their part in the breakaway league scam was a (Stamford) bridge too far, and their stance has wrecked my confidence in their ability to run the club with the supporters as their priority.

My stand against them has, of course, cost me any chance of having my book sold through the Spurs’ super stores, so I am relying on word of mouth to get it into the hands of true supporters.

I hope you will spread the message and also please order the post-free book direct from me at https://www.normangillerbooks.com/blank-page or at https://py.pl/sEaYj.

A donation for every book sold will be made to the Tottenham Tribute Trust who look after our old heroes that missed the gravy train. In this time of galloping greed, they are the people we should care about. Lane Legend Steve Perryman provides the introduction. How Spurs could have done with his sort of inspiring, driving leadership on the pitch yesterday! http://www.tottenhamtt.org/ I am sure Levy will be adopting a bunker mentality while continuing his search for a new manager. No 1 choice Julian Nagelsmann was all set to accept the challenge until Bayern Munich made it clear they wanted him. http://www.tottenhamtt.org/ For the record, there are now just five matches left in this suddenly depressing season.


Sun  02 May Sheffield United (home, 7.15, Premier League)
Sat  08 May Leeds United (away, 12.30, Premier League)
Wed  12 May Wolves     (home, TBA, Premier League)
Sat  15 May Aston Villa(home, TBA, Premier League)
Sun  23 May Leicester City (away, 4.00, Premier League)

Try to keep the faith. COYS!


Spurs Odyssey Trivia Quiz League

The 34th 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 99 points. I will be “sorting you out” next month with my killer tie break challenge. Meantime, this week’s question is:

Who played in the 1986 World Cup finals and from which London club did he join Tottenham in 1987?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL34@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 has won 75 caps, is 34 today and what Tottenham squad number does he wear?

The answer: Goalkeeper Joe Hart, who wears the No 12 jersey.

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

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