Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 379) (25.10.21)
NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 379 Submitted by Norman Giller
I worry about what has happened to the soul and spirit of Spurs, I really do. It was not just the defeat at West Ham yesterday that has triggered my mood of despondency. There is something enveloping the club like one of those old London fogs and nobody seems to be able to see the right way forward.
Just one example: We said goodbye on Friday to the one and only Jimmy Greaves, and guess what: there was not a single Spurs official at the funeral.
I know the club will say things like it was a private family affair and that Jimmy’s former team-mates were out in force representing the club.
But this was an occasion when Daniel Levy or one of his directors should have insisted on being present to say a final fond farewell to one of the greatest players ever to pull on the Lilywhite shirt.
I had the privilege of delivering the eulogy on behalf of Jimmy’s army of friends, former team-mates, television colleagues and nationwide fans, and I was astonished there was no official presence.
Among the army of Jimmy’s former team-mates paying their respects was flying Welsh winger Cliff Jones, who told me tearfully: “I loved that man. He was not only the greatest British goal scorer of all time but was a smashing bloke who always brought a smile to your face the moment he was in your company. Jim saved my life, you know. Like him years ago, I got lost in the bottle and he pointed me towards Alcoholics Anonymous and but for his advice I would have drunk myself to death. I hero worshipped the b Ed:- Newsnow rules require me to insert "something that rhymes with rugger".”
Cliff laughed loudest when, at Jimmy's mischievous request, he went out to Lonnie Donegan singing, 'Have a drink on me …’
I will be discussing Jimmy and the current mood at Tottenham tomorrow with Mr Spurs Steve Perryman on his popular Podcast, that you can easily find on line (Spoiler alert: I might even be mentioning my latest books!).
Steve, one of the contingent of old Tottenham players who paid their last respects to Greavsie, is as mystified as I am by the lack of spirit in the current team. How they could do with a motivator like Perryman, who always gave blood, sweat and tears for the Badge in a club record 854 matches.
Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith gives his view of Tottenham’s downfall at West Ham HERE, and must be getting fed up reporting London derby defeats. That’s four already this season. Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner that I hate London so!
I said before a ball was kicked that this was the match in which we could measure just how far we are behind the Top Three, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City. The answer, my friends, is a street. A very long street.
Harry Kane is still not firing on all cylinders, and that means Spurs have lost one of the main sparking plugs that made Tottenham a formidable force in the “good old” days of Pochettino.
What angers an old Spurs watcher like me is that I don’t see anybody really caring and hurting as points are frittered away under a manager who appears like a rabbit caught in the headlights. I am fluent in body language, and Nuno does not look like a man in control.
Sorry to pass my morose mood on to you. I think losing Jimmy – my mate of 64 years – has hit me harder than I expected. I need Tottenham to give me a lift, but instead they have dragged me down.
Perhaps a victory in the League Cup at Burnley on Wednesday and then adding to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s woes against Man United on Saturday will pep me up. Perhaps. But I won’t hold my breath.
The 11th week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Which East Ender won two FA Cup winners’ medals with Tottenham and in which country did he play on loan before later joining Charlton Athletic?
Please email your answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and make the subject heading Quiz Week 11. 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 now very special Greavsie collection with autographs from the late, great Jimmy Greaves, Dave Mackay and Steve Perryman, 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, the Eighty At Eighty book that I have written in harness with Sir Geoff Hurst, still the only man to score a World Cup final hat-trick.
Answer to question No 10: Who has won 15 caps, played in the 2010 World Cup finals and against which club did he score in his Spurs debut in 2009?
Sebastien Bassong, who scored a debut goal against Liverpool in 2009 to help Spurs to a rare victory. Imagine that today!
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!