NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 395
Submitted by Norman Giller
Kane and Son … or The G-Men, Jimmy Greaves and Alan Gilzean? That was the debate I found myself being drawn into as Tottenham took reckless Leeds apart and put the final nail in Marcelo Bielsa's coffin.
In the flush of victory, it was easy for today's generation to claim there has not been a striking partnership to match the one being flourished by Our Harry and Sonny. They have no greater admirer than me, but I absolutely refuse to use their success to dent the reputation and feats of the G-Men.
For those not around to have seen them at their peak (you need to be way over 50), they were devastating together. I called them Nureyev and Nijinsky on grass, as they danced a pas de deux while destroying defences with a sort of ballet with bullets.
There were no statisticians around back then counting and measuring, so we have no idea of just how many goals they combined on. But it was a hell of a lot, and certainly matched the record Premier League 37 that Kane and Son can now boast.
But could Aitch and the careering Korean have been as prolific on the ploughed fields that the G-men had to usually operate on, and with the likes of 'Bites Yer Legs' Hunter and Chopper Harris allowed to kick them up in the air?
Kane and Son – particularly Harry – are world class footballers, and I would support them in any argument as to who are the finest striking partners around today … but I will always stick up for our old heroes (which is why I have written an authorised biography about The One and Only Jimmy Greaves … www.normangillerbooks.com. Ends plug!).
I have been trying to think of any player from the past who can be likened to Harry, and my choice to illustrate just how good he has become is Sir Bobby Charlton. After a long run as a winger and then inside-forward, the Man United idol dropped back as a midfield schemer coming through to hit bombshell shots.
Some of Harry's passes against Leeds – the one that set up the fourth goal for Sonny as a prime example – were right out of the Charlton manual. I cannot give higher praise. Last week I described him as being Hoddle and Greaves rolled into one. The fact that I am reaching out for footballing gods from the past shows just how highly I rate Our Harry … but never at the expense of our old heroes. He understands and respects football history and would not want the couch coaches diminishing the past.
You can read further eulogy from our guru Paul H. Smith HERE in his eyewitness account of the at times crazy match against careless but exciting Leeds. Bielsa, the idol of many managers including Mauricio Pochettino, was sacked after the match, paying the price for his gung-ho tactics that had just casual acquaintance with defence.
It might easily have been a 4-3 finish. Paul points up the impact of newcomer Dejan Kulusevski, and as he scored the second goal of his infant Spurs career you could almost hear Antonio Conte singing, 'You can bring Rose with the turned-up nose, but don't bring Kulu … I'll bring him myself.' (Note from Ed, 'Norm, you are the only one who heard that in your wild imagination').
Kulusevski,a Swede with Macedonian heritage, is one of that rare breed who is very much left footed but likes to attack from the right. He could grow into a considerable force so that we may be talking of the Terrible Threesome of Harry, Sonny and Kulu rather than just Kane and Son.
Unfortunately, I have to introduce the sad stat that Harry and Sonny have not won a domestic prize between them, which is ridiculous when you weigh up their golden talent. Perhaps they can pro-gress to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and possible silverware at the expense of Middlesbrough tomorrow. Perhaps. Nothing is ever certain with Tottenham … ask Man City and Burnley, and the continually contradictory Conte!
The 27th week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Who has won 146 caps, captained his country in a World Cup final and which squad number did he wear when playing for Spurs?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com and make the subject heading Quiz Week 27. 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 26: Who won 30 caps, was in the Double squad, scored two goals in his Tottenham debut and which number shirt did he wear when Spurs retained the FA Cup?
Terry Medwin, who played on the right wing wearing the No 7 shirt, with the other Welsh wizard Cliff Jones switching to the left and the No 11 shirt in the 1962 FA Cup final against Burnley. The two Terrys – Medwin and Dyson – were friendly rivals throughout their Tottenham days. Medwin was the better technician but Dyson had more devil in his play. Both were great Tottenham stalwarts and are still with us today, along with Cliffie Jones. They don't make wingers like this talented trio any more.
See you back here same time, same place on Monday. COYS!
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