NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 371
Submitted by Norman Giller
Promise not to laugh, but I dreamt last night that Tottenham had gone top of the Premier League with three wins out of three matches and without conceding a single goal, the only team with a 100 per cent record. Even more bizarre, Arsenal were stuck at the bottom of the table with no points and no goals from their three opening matches.
(Note from Spurs Odyssey webmaster Paul H. Smith, it’s not a dream, Norm, it’s fact as you can read in my report on our game with Watford HERE …)
As you will know from my latest book (shameless plug alert …) ‘My 70 Years of Spurs’ I have been following the Lilywhites across seven decades, and I have never experienced a situation like this.
Tottenham top of the table is nothing new, of course, but I have never known that other team from North London to be in such a state. I have looked long and hard through my records and cannot find an instance where Spurs are top of the table and Arsenal bottom without scoring a single goal.
I used to ghost Billy Wright’s columns for the Daily Express during what were bleak times at Highbury in the 1960s, but I’ve seen nothing to equal their dismal start to this season. How ironic that ‘One-Nil to the Arsenal’ has suddenly become – don’t laugh – one-nil to the Tottenham.
It makes the Spurs journey to the summit all the more significant. The crazy thing is that they have not yet even started playing anywhere near their best.
Let’s be realistic and concede that Spurs were lucky to get all three points at Wolves, and yesterday’s performance against Watford can be rated as competent rather than sensational.
But it is all doing wonders for the confidence and new manager Nuno Espirito Santo has already won over legions of Tottenham fans with his drive and demeanour. He Is fitting the Napoleon bill … ‘I prefer lucky generals to able ones,’
The defence has been rock solid, and without the two departed Belgians Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez are starting to cement a formidable partnership at the heart of the defence and my man of the match yesterday was the ball-winning Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who rides shotgun in midfield alongside the raw but promising Oliver Skipp.
Early days I know, but we go into the international break with a spring in our step – particularly England skipper Harry Kane. I said here last week that he would have more fences to mend than a Texas cowboy if his move to City fell through.
Well, the welcome ‘home’ he got yesterday must have made him feel he has already claimed back much of the support he lost during the tortured saga with Manchester City.
Anybody who follows me on social media will know I also took terrible stick from the keyboard warriors, even though I was 100 per cent right with all my reporting right up until City accepted that Daniel Levy had pulled up the draw bridge.
Levy is the most maligned chairman on line, but even his sternest critics had to accept that he played a blinder in seeing off the Arab owners of City, which must have gone down well in the Jewish homes of Levy and zillionaire owner Joe Lewis.
Harry went off on his family holiday in Bermuda convinced that he would be coming back to play for City. I wonder how many of those who carry the #ENICOut #Levy Out hashtags will concede that Levy and Lewis boldly won the day for Tottenham?
Exciting times as new Director of Football Fabio Paratici expects to usher in two new players before tomorrow’s transfer window deadline.
League leaders Spurs – what a lovely phrase – face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on their return to action on Saturday September 11, and cross swords with old Arsenal adversary Patrick Viera. I bet he can’t believe what’s happening at his old club. Neither can I. I must be dreaming.
The third week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Which Yorkshireman captained Tottenham, won four England caps and from which club did he join Spurs in 2005?
Please email your answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and make the subject heading Quiz Week 3. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will do my best to respond to all who take part.
The rules are the same as in the previous seven 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. That’s when I become as popular as Sol Campbell in an Arsenal shirt.
This year’s prizes for the champion: A rare out-of-print book 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 2022. Plus a signed copy of My 70 Years of Spurs book and a special bonus prize that I will an-nounce later in the season.
Answer to question 2: “Which FA Cup-winning Belgian-born player won 13 inter-national caps, signed for Spurs from Everton and which London team did he join in 1993?”
Pat Van Den Hauwe, who moved to Millwall from Tottenham. He won 13 caps with Wales despite not having a drop of Welsh blood.
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!
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