NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 403
Submitted by Norman Giller
So I interrupted my internet viewing of tractors yesterday to concentrate on the race for fourth-place in the Premier League, and the only thing we now know for sure is that it's going to go down to the wire. A pornographic finish. Sorry, I mean photographic.
We cannot knock Tottenham, because they did their job against Leicester with an emphatic victory that is described in detail HERE by Paul H. Smith, who predicted 3-1 in his preview. I usually call him our guru. Perhaps Mystic Meg would be more appropriate.
Our 'Ginger from Sweden' Dejan Kulusevski was a revelation when he substituted for the frustrated Lucas Moura, who just could not pick up the Tottenham tempo. It was only when the young Swede – 22 last week – took over that we started to see Spurs creating the chances that have been noticeable by their absence from the previous two matches.
'Kulu' did enough in his 35 minutes on the pitch to challenge two-goal Heung-min Son for the man of the match vote. But the Careering Korean clinched that honour with his belting second goal. His 20-yard shot flew into the net off his 'weaker' left boot that was working with the accuracy of Ronnie O'Sullivan's cue.
Yet the players who most grabbed my attention were Cristian Romero and Eric Dier at the heart of the defence. It is this pair of iron men who could swing the crucial North London Derby Tottenham's way on May 12.
Romero is a beast of a centre-half who has arguably developed into the most dependable defender in the Premier League. His consistency is bringing the best out of Dier, who must surely be back on Gareth Southgate's radar for the upcoming World Cup finals in Qatar.
I am convinced that Romero and Dier will be able to stifle the Arsenal attack if the Gunners play like they did against West Ham yesterday. They delivered a bits and pieces performance that earned them a fortunate 2-1 victory and elevation over Tottenham into that precious fourth spot.
Glory be if we can get a point at Liverpool this weekend as preparation for a match that can already be billed as one of the most vital North London Derbies in history. But let's be honest, there is little real hope of us getting anything at Anfield where Tottenham rarely get even a share of the spoils.
Meantime, I will cross my fingers and go back to looking at tractors on line. Or maybe that's too distracting.
(Ed: 'Norman, kindly leave the page …')
Stay safe and sane. COYS!
Here I am reunited with my old chum Cliff Jones, the Welsh Wing Wizard
REMEMBERING THE GLORY DAYS WITH CLIFF JONES
Cliff Jones and I were reunited on the hugely popular Spurs Show at The Albany in Great Portland Street last week when we recalled the highlights of the historic Double season of 1960-61, gulp, sixty-one years ago. You can hear our reminiscences refereed by the redoubtable Mike Leigh HERE: https://play.acast.com/s/the-spurs-show.
Welsh Wing Wizard Jones was in great shape, and looked as if he could have played with the current Tottenham team that he watches regularly as a distinguished club ambassador. Terry Dyson was also meant to be on the programme, but pulled out at the last minute because of mild covid. Wishing you a swift recovery, Terry, on behalf of all Spurs Odyssey followers.
Later, I had the spotlight to myself when discussing my latest book, the official biography of The One and Only Jimmy Greaves. You can get a signed copy of the book direct from me, post-free, at www.normangillerbooks.com . Ends commercial.
The 35th week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Which current Premier League footballer has won 35 caps, moved from Spurs to Spain, and who was the captain of the side against which he scored in the 2018 World Cup semi-final?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com and make the subject heading Quiz Week 35. 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 34: 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?
Eric Dier, who wore the No 15 shirt in the Champions League final squad. (Ed:- Eric captained the Everton U-18 side against Spurs in this August 2011 game, as reported by the late Ray Lo).
See you back here same time, same place next Monday. COYS!
Top of page | Spurs Odyssey Home Page