NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 397
Submitted by Norman Giller
Sometimes you have to take it on the chin … bow the knee … accept that you are in the presence of genius …. This all comes to mind as the exceptional performance from Cristiano Ronaldo sinks in.
He was the simple and sensational difference between the two teams at Old Trafford on Saturday, and it reminded me of the glory days when people would ask what else Jimmy Greaves had done apart from score a hat-trick.
You just have to shrug and get on with the rest of your life, and feel privileged that you were a witness to one of the all-time great footballers turning it on before your very eyes.
Take Ronaldo out of the equation, and Tottenham were worth at least a point – probably all three – against a Man United side blowing hot and cold just like our Spurs side, as Declan Mulcahy reports HERE as our eyes and ears in temporary place of our guru Paul H. Smith.
It greatly amused me to see the couch coaches criticising Eric Dier for ducking as Ronaldo's Exocet headed for the net for his first goal. They would, of course, have bravely stood there and taken it in the face,
Ronaldo is on another planet when in this mood. Accept it, applaud it, appreciate it.
Antonio Conte complained about Tottenham's lack of game management after they twice came from behind, but came to the conclusion of all fair-minded people that it was that man Ronaldo who won the match on his own, 'Cristiano and Messi are the two best players in the world in this era,' he said. 'Before it was Maradona and Pele. But in this era it is Messi and Ronaldo.'
The know-alls on line who dumped on Tottenham for their loose defensive play have to hold up their hands and concede that no defence in the world can keep out Ronaldo when he has made up his mind to score. He is in a class of his own.
Now it's off to Brighton on Wednesday and points are still worth fighting for. There are dates ahead with West Ham and Arsenal and anything can happen with crisis club Chelsea. It's hard to see how they can fulfil their fixtures as the government quite rightly pulls the plug on Russian owner Abramovich.
To hear their supporters chanting his name at Norwich in midweek was about as low as it gets in the current climate. What on earth is it with some people that they cannot weigh the difference between right and wrong, or judge decency and humanity? I know that Spurs Odyssey website owner Paul H. Smith frowns on me me using it as a political platform, but there comes a time when we all have to stand up and be counted.
Perhaps the most vicious and vociferous of our anti-ENIC supporters might shut up for a while as they take on board the better-the-devil-you-know scenario. Down the line, watch the Newcastle ownership issue also boil to the surface.
Football has to have a conscience or more clubs will face the sort of consequences that are crippling Chelsea. Mixing politics and football will always be a poisonous cocktail.
Just as a matter of record, it was 52 years ago this week (March 16 1970) that Jimmy Greaves joined West Ham from Tottenham as a £54,000 makeweight in football's first £200,000 transfer that saw Martin Peters coming to the Lane from Upton Park.
It is all recorded in my authorised The One And Only Jimmy Greaves biography. Perhaps I have mentioned that you can get it direct from me at www.normangillerbooks.com.
Jimmy is one of the few British players who can be mentioned in the same breath as the great Ronaldo. There can be no higher praise.
The 29th week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Which ex-Spurs player has won 25 caps, came to the Lane from an Italian club in 2013 and against which team did he score the first hat-trick of his career in a home Europa League match?
Please email your answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and make the subject heading Quiz Week 29. 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 28: Who started his career at The Den, won 51 international caps and from which club did he join Tottenham for a second time?
Terry Sheringham, who returned to West Ham from Manchester United.
See you back here same time, same place on Monday. COYS!
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