NORMAN GILLERíS SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 415
Submitted by Norman Giller
It is never easy to stomach defeat by that other lot from North London, but there is no question that Arsenal were the better team on Saturday, even before Spurs were down to ten men. Now everybody must keep their nerve, with a strong challenge certain to come from Eintracht in Frankfurt on Tuesday.
The Tottenham team, and skipper Hugo Lloris in particular, were getting torn to shreds on social media after the 3-1 loss. It was a feeble fumble from the Frenchman that let Gabriel Jesus in for a crucial goal that turned the game Arsenal's way.
The on-line demands for Hugo's head bordered on the hysterical, with every one of his savage critics blindly forgetting how many times his stunning saves have kept Tottenham in games.
France's World Cup winning captain inexplicably dropped the ball after stopping a Bukayo Saka strike and then presenting a goal on a plate to Jesus, who has been a great import from Manchester City.
As our guru Paul H. Smith reports HERE, Spurs had battled back into the match after an opening 20 minute battering had produced a spectacular opening goal from Thomas Partey. One-eyed Tottenham fans complained that he should not have been on the pitch for an incident in his private life that has yet to be proven in a court of law. Odd people around.
Those critics who scoff at Harry Kane's regular goals from the penalty spot were thankfully quiet as he hammered an equaliser after Richarlison had been fouled by the over exuberant Gabriel. That takes real nerve, concentration and accuracy. If I wanted somebody to take a penalty to save my life, I would choose Coolhand Kane.
The mistake by Lloris put Arsenal back on top, and then the real turning point of the match when Emerson Royal recklessly put his studs into the lower leg of Martinelli. For me, this was a red card all day long yet there were plenty of biased Spurs fans hurling insults at the referee.
I wonder what they would have said if the tackle had been on a Tottenham player?
The bottom line is that Tottenham were beaten by a better side on the day. We will judge our chances of winning silverware under Conte by the way everybody reacts to this set-back. We need to be positive, patient and purposeful. The three Ps. Over to you, Antonio.
There is a long, long way to go in this season and Arsenal have to come to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the second half of the North London Derby on January 14. That will be interesting.
I wonder who will be in goal for Spurs? I bet it's Hugo Lloris. Merdre, leave the man alone.
Week nine of our ninth year of Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenges:
Which former Spurs skipper had a spell with Portsmouth before returning to Tottenham, and against which club did he score an injury-time goal to force a 4-4 draw in a Premier League match?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com with Quiz Week 9 as the subject heading. Deadline midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.
The rules are the same as in previous 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 lose the few friends that I have. But, hey, it's fun. Please join in.
This yearís prizes for the champion will be announced later in the season, but most important of all, they will include a framed certificate announcing the winner as 2023 SOQL champion.
Last week Ö Week 8: Who won 21 England caps, played 384 times for Tottenham in all competitions and what number shirt did he wear in a League Cup final victory over Chelsea?
Aaron Lennon, who wore the No 25 shirt against Chelsea. Three of the players in that 2008 squad won 21 England caps, but I failed to confuse all but a handful of you. Naughty Norm.
See you back here next Monday, same time, same place. COYS!
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