NORMAN GILLERíS SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 398
Submitted by Norman Giller
Just as Spurs literally get a spring in their step with back to back victories along comes another International break to threaten to stifle the sudden consistency under excitable Antonio Conte's stewardship.
The irritating interruption comes just as Tottenham start to find the rhythm and ruthlessness that we have not seen since the peak days of the Pochettino reign.
The chase for the crucial fourth place in the Premier League is coming to an exciting climax, and the great scriptwriter in the sky is working on a scenario that puts everything on the delayed North London Derby as the decider.
"It was very unfair that Arsenal were allowed to call off our match in February," the passionate Italian says. "Now it could become a very vital match which was not the case when it should have been played."
All the signs against an exhausted looking West Ham side are that Conte is beginning to inspire the sort of football that will make Tottenham a powerhouse force, as Declan Mulcahy reports HERE.
We know that in the paradise pairing of Harry Kane and two-goal Son Heung-min we have one of the most devastating combinations in the game, but there are promising partnerships breaking out all over the pitch.
Energetic Eric Dier and Cristian Romero have something special going at the heart of the defence, Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg balance each other perfectly in midfield, and the finally settled Matt Doherty is sparking the runs of left footed Dejan Kulusevski, the ginger magician from Sweden.
Kulusevski is quickly developing into a club legend, helped in no small measure by his well publicised relationship with a beautiful member of the Swedish women's football team. Everybody is willing his loan deal with Juventus to be made a permanent transfer.
We now hold our breath as our star players, including Harry, Sonny and 'Kulu' go into international action. It is vital that we have each of them firing on all cylinders for the run-in to the end of the season, starting with a visit from Newcastle on Sunday April 3 at 4.30.
The rest of the remaining Premier League matches:
Aston Villa (away, Saturday April 9, 5.30)
Brighton (home, Saturday April 16, 12.30)
Brentford (away, Saturday April 23, 5.30) TBC
Leicester (home, Saturday April 30, 3.00) TBC
Liverpool (away, Saturday May 7, 3.00)TBC
Burnley (home, Sunday May 15, 3.00)TBC
Norwich City (away, Sunday May 22, 4.00).
Oh yes, and there's a little matter of the postponed home match with Arsenal to be fitted in. That could have everything riding on it. Fasten your safety belts.
See you here on Monday April 4. I am taking an international break while concentrating on selling my One and Only Jimmy Greaves book. I have mentioned that you can get it direct from me at www.normangillerbooks.com. The things we hungry writers have to do to earn a crust :-) Stay safe and sane.
The 30th week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Who played one international match for Scotland, scored an FA Cup final goal for Tottenham and which team did he join from Spurs in a swap deal?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com and make the subject heading Quiz Week 30. 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 Ė 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. Thatís when I become as popular as Sol Campbell in an Arsenal shirt.
This yearís 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 29: 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?
Erik Lamela, who scored the first hat-trick of his career against Monaco.
See you back here same time, same place on Monday. COYS!
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