NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 393
Submitted by Norman Giller
It was hardly a pre-Valentine's Day Massacre by Wolves yesterday … but it certainly felt like it, particularly for Antonio Conte. This was the first time in 12 years of management that he had lost three consecutive League games.
And it gets worse. If Spurs lose against runaway leaders Man City at the Etihad on Saturday it will be the first time in 18 years that Tottenham have been beaten in four successive League matches. Who's your money on? Few of us can have faith that Spurs will master the City slickers.
The great Bill Nicholson must be turning in his grave at stats like that. In his Glory-Glory days that sort of run of defeats was unheard of and would have been considered unacceptable.
There's talk that ENIC turned down a three billion pounds take-over bid from an American consortium, but on the back to back showings against Southampton and then Wolves that greatly over-values Tottenham's worth.
Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith gives the grim match details here, and there is no hiding the fact that loose goalkeeping by the usually reliable Hugo Lloris started the rot against Wolves.
The only positive note after Spurs had been booed off the end of the first embarrassingly bad 45 minutes is that they improved in the second-half. But the damage had been done and confidence eroded by that shocking first-half display that must have had chairman Daniel Levy tearing his hair out (a deliberate fake-news metaphor).
Let's be fair and say that Wolves were excellent. Raul Jimenez gave a world class performance and 19-year-old Lee Cundle – making his first Premier League start – looked a wonderful prospect. Spurs had nobody in their defence with the composure and control of Conor Coady. The sooner Eric Dier is back to bring stability alongside Romero the better.
Spurs got a spanking – just as they did against the Saints four days earlier. Conte must now urgently perform wonders to restore Tottenham's belief in themselves. There were a lot of lowered heads as they came off at the end to more boos from those spectators who had remained for the last rites.
The supreme optimism of those of us who thought Tottenham would win their games in hand and camp in the top four has been shattered, and those who talk of this being the year for Spurs to lift the FA Cup are ignoring the minor fact that Man City, Liverpool and our nemesis Chelsea are still in the tournament.
Sorry to be so downbeat. A win at the Emirates will quickly change our moods.
We should not hold our breath.
The past is a more pleasant place to be than the present, and with that I bring to your attention my official, authorised biography of The One and Only Jimmy Greaves. I am now taking orders for the in-depth book I have written on my pal of 64 years, including personal glimpses never revealed before. You will find full details at www.normangillerbooks.com.
I hope you will support me, knowing that for every book I sell a donation will go to the Tottenham Tribute Trust, to help our old heroes. I would appreciate you pre-ordering direct from me. You get the book post-free and with a special, exclusive souvenir photo card featuring the autographs of Jimmy and Steve 'Skip' Perryman.
For the first time, Irene Greaves has lent her name to a book on her late husband and gave me permission to write it "provided it is warts 'n' all and does not give Jim the treacle treatment. He would want it to be the truth about his remarkable life."
I have done my best. Now I ask you to do me the privilege of buying it. Thank you.
The 25th week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Who played in the 2018 World Cup finals while with an Italian club, has won 47 international caps and which number squad shirt does he wear with Spurs?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com and make the subject heading Quiz Week 25. 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 24: Which Scouser joined Tottenham three years after collecting an FA Cup runners-up medal with Fulham, and which club did he join from Spurs in 1983?
Yes it was the lanky, stylish John Lacy, who later moved on to Crystal Palace. A lot of people did not realise he was a Scouser (and also a Bsc). He was with Bobby Moore and Alan Mullery in the Fulham team beaten by West Ham in the 1975 FA Cup final.
See you back here same time, same place on Monday. COYS!
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