NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 401
Submitted by Norman Giller
Apologies for making this yet another self-centred Spurs Odyssey blog, but I feel that as this is my (gulp) 82nd birthday I am entitled to a little ego massaging to help me through the minefield of misery caused by that shocking performance against Brighton.
You will be delighted, I am sure, to know that My 70 Years of Spurs has been mentioned in dispatches for Football Book of the Year, and I am sworn to secrecy about a second of my books that is short listed for another award.
Devotees of The Office will no doubt think I am doing a David Brent impersonation as I try to brush off the disappointment of Tottenham's defeat by wallowing in my own glory.
This is always a memorable time of the year for me, not only because it marks my entry into this mortal coil but – as all Spurs disciples will know – it is the anniversary week of when Spurs clinched the League championship on their way to the historic Double in 1960-61.
I will be recalling the highlights of that season along with fellow octogenarians Cliff Jones and Terry Dyson on the popular Spurs Show podcast on Tuesday week. I wonder what we will be saying about the match at Brentford this Saturday when Tottenham come face to face with our old chum, the Miracle Man, Christian Eriksen?
Nobody expected the Danish prince of football to play another game when he dramatically collapsed with a cardiac arrest in Denmark’s Euro 2020 opener. But his form for the Bees since his startling comeback has the football world buzzing (the old ones are the best). He is on a six month contract at Brentford and Spurs are among the clubs wondering whether to bid for his skilled services that made him a huge favourite with Tottenham fans.
Christian has to decide whether to stay with the Bees or seek a new challenge, possibly with the team he helped collect a runners-up medal in the Champions League under the baton of Mauricio Pochettino. I am not going to be the twerp who says of the Danish prince, To Bees or not to Bees? That is the question …
Antonio Conte knows Eriksen better than most and would be very happy to have him boosting the Tottenham squad … IF we make it into next season's Champions League by finishing in that elusive fourth spot.
Along with all other Tottenham supporters, I was in despair when Brighton completed their North London double on Saturday afternoon. Yet by the time the day was through our hopes of finishing fourth were suddenly strengthened as the Gooners crashed against Southampton.
Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith tells HERE the story of how Brighton rocked us (yes, the old ones …), and he shares my concern that Manchester United seem to have picked up the pace for the run-in.
After the way we were pecked to defeat by the Seagulls, I have little confidence in our ability to make a strong finish and each of the following games suddenly looks like a mountain to me …
Brentford (away, Saturday April 23, 5.30)
Leicester (home, Sunday May 1, 2.00)
Liverpool (away, Saturday May 7, 7.45)
Arsenal (home, Thursday May 12, 7.45)
Burnley (home, Sunday May 15, 12.00)
Norwich City (away, Sunday May 22, 4.00)
I just hope Tottenham manage to make an old man happy (but I won't hold my breath).
You can join in my little birthday celebration by visiting this short video (https://youtu.be/6ovS41zbhPA. A smile is guaranteed.
Stay safe and sane.
The 33rd week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Which midfielder won 44 caps, scored a last-minute winning goal in a final at Wembley and which manager signed him for Spurs after Euro96?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com and make the subject heading Quiz Week 33. 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 32: Which defender won 30 international caps, played 92 times for Tottenham until a broken leg ended his top-flight career, and from which team did he join Spurs?
Jimmy Holmes, the stylish, disciplined Irish international full-back who joined Spurs from Coventry City before having the cruel luck to break a leg while playing for the Republic of Ireland in a European championship match against Bulgaria in 1980.
See you back here same time, same place next Monday. COYS!
Top of page | Spurs Odyssey Home Page