NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 402
Submitted by Norman Giller
Being topical with my punchlines, Tottenham need the spirit and savagery of Tyson Fury on the frantic run-in to the end of this surreal season. That Exocet right uppercut the Gypsy King delivered to detach Dillian Whyte from his senses is a guide to the aggression that Spurs must show for the final five matches.
I am not, of course, suggesting violence but a change of attitude. Missing from Tottenham's goalless game at Brentford was the intensity and desire we expected to see after that dreadful defeat by Brighton.
It makes no sense that a team parading the power and panache of Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski could not manage a shot on target for the second successive match. Somebody needs shooting.
Dear Bill Nicholson used to say: "I don't want any players coming off at the final whistle with dry shirts."
Well several Tottenham jerseys were far from wringing wet at the end of a game in which Spurs were for long periods literally cornered by the Bees, who thankfully lacked the killer sting.
Christian Eriksen – our departed Danish prince now making his miraculous comeback with Brentford – took 12 corners with his educated right foot, as our Spurs guru Paul H. Smith reports HERE. It was a mix of luck, disciplined defending and feeble finishing that prevented the West London club from converting any of the Scandinavian schemer's corners into goals.
Eriksen will be able to take his pick of which club to join at the end of his six-month contract, and the strong gossip is that he will choose Manchester United under the guidance of their new manager Erik ten Hag. Spurs are interested, but I will be surprised if the Dane wants to climb the same mountain where he was given a rough ride from some vociferous Tottenham fans in his last couple of months in a Lilywhite shirt.
There is also a whisper that director of football Fabio Paratici is zeroing in on Torino duo Gleison Bremer and Wilfried Singo for a combined fee of £42million, and former Arsenal forward Serge Gnabry is apparently attracting Spurs interest at Bayern Munich.
And while we're talking gossip, the tom toms are beating loudly with stories that Mauricio Pochettino is about to be axed by PSG and favourite to take over from him, one Antonio Conte. That, of course, would open the door for a return to Tottenham for Pochettino, who had set his sights on the Old Trafford job.
But this is the stuff of supposition and all plans are on hold until Tottenham's race for fourth spot is decided. Just to remind you, these are the matches that stand between Spurs and a place in the Champions League next season …
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)
Spurs must play every game with, let's call it, FURY.
Stay safe and sane.
Terry Dyson (left) and Cliff Jones at the double
DYSON AND JONES AT THE DOUBLE
I will be mixing with Tottenham royalty tomorrow when I appear live with Lane Legends Cliff Jones and Terry Dyson on the hugely popular Spurs Show, broadcast on line and across the ether from The Albany in Great Portland Street.
We will be discussing the 61st anniversary of the Double, in which Cliff and Terry played key roles … and my official biography of Jimmy Greaves in which I played a walk-on part. We will be up to our knees in memories. Please try to lend us your ears.
You can get a signed copy of The One and Only Jimmy Greaves book direct from me, post-free, at www.normangillerbooks.com
The 34th week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Who has won 45 caps, had a loan spell with Everton while with a Portuguese club, and what number shirt did he wear when coming on as a substitute in the 2019 Champions League final?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com and make the subject heading Quiz Week 34. 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 33: 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?
Allan Nielsen, signed by Gerry Francis and scorer of the late-late winner for Spurs in the 1999 League Cup Final against Leicester.
See you back here same time, same place next Monday. COYS!
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