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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 399) (04.04.22)

NORMAN GILLERíS SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 399
Submitted by Norman Giller

Time to cheer on ex-Gunner Patrick Vieira!

Crystal Palace support will be swollen tonight by the good wishes of thousands of Tottenham fans. We will be urging a victory over that other North London lot playing at Selhurst Park for points that would lift them above Spurs into the coveted fourth spot in the Premier League.

Following Tottenham's emphatic 5-1 trouncing of Newcastle, everything in the run-in to the end of the season is bound up with Arsenal's last furlong gallop.

These are the Premier League games facing both clubs, first Tottenham:-

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).

The Gunners' final fixtures (most to be confirmed) look slightly harder on paper:-

Crystal Palace (away, tonight, 8.00)
Brighton (home, this Saturday, 3.00)
Southampton (away, Saturday April 16, 3.00)
Chelsea (home, Wednesday, April 20, 7.45)
Manchester United (home, Saturday April 23,12.30)
West Ham (away, Sunday May 1, 4.00)
Leeds United (home, Saturday May 7, 3.00)
Newcastle United (away, Sunday May 15, 3.00)
Everton (home, Sunday May 22, 4.00)

Missing from both fixture lists, of course, is the delayed North London derby that was postponed from January 16 because of a reported case of covid among the Arsenal players. It has been suggested that the Premier League are pressing for the game to be played in the penultimate week of the season. No truth in the rumour that tin hats will be supplied.

The victory over Newcastle is reported HERE by our guru Paul H. Smith, and his facts and figures do not feature Harry Kane as a goal scorer. But he quite rightly got the Man of the Match honours thanks to his procession of penetrating passes that paralysed the Newcastle defence.

Harry has become Bobby Smith and Glenn Hoddle rolled into one. He is not a Greavsie, who was a twinkle toes player. As a goal scorer, Kane packs the sort of power with which the mighty Smith detonated defences in the Glory Glory 1960s.

His passing from the midfield base that he often takes is in the Hoddle class for invention and accuracy. There can be no higher praise.

I am convinced he is inspired by his recently retired NFL quarterback hero Tom Brady as he sprays his passes with a vision that cannot be taught. Our Harry is a natural.

In my 70+ years watching Spurs I cannot recall a match in which THREE full-backs scored for Tottenham, and it is all down to the tactical nous of Antonio Conte that Ben Davies, Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal netted a goal each in a performance that revealed Spurs might have come to the boil at just the right time to steal that crucial fourth place.

Let's hope Palace can help Tottenham with a victory at Selhurst Park this evening. It's not too often that we have cheered on former Highbury hero Patrick Vieira!

By the way, have I mentioned that my official biography of The One and Only Jimmy Greaves is now available direct from me at www.normangillerbooks.com, signed and with the bonus of a photo card featuring the signatures of Jimmy and Steve Perryman? I will be making donations to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes. I am getting lots of orders, but not from my Spurs Odyssey followers. Your support will be appreciated.

Stay safe and sane.

COYS!


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2021-22

The 31st week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Who came on as a late substitute for David Ginola in a League Cup final victory, and against which team did he win his 12th and last cap for England in a 7-1 victory?

Please email your answer to me at soqleague@gmail.com and make the subject heading Quiz Week 31. 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 (which has been long listed for the Football Book of the Year) 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 30: 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?

Jimmy Robertson, who scored the first goal in the 2-1 1967 FA Cup final victory over Chelsea before being exchanged for Arsenal's David Jenkins. It was like swapping a Ferrari for a Skoda!

See you back here same time, same place next Monday. COYS!

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