NORMAN GILLERíS SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 423
Submitted by Norman Giller
Those tiny-minded Brentford fans who jeered and sneered at Our Harry Kane on Boxing Day did Spurs a favour. Their pathetic chants of 'you let your country down' gave Aitch the inspiration to lead yet another Tottenham fight back, after they had continued their worrying habit of surrendering the first half to the opposition. Carry on like this, and they will become a registered charity.
You can read Paul H. Smith's match facts HERE, but whatever way you paint it there is no question that Spurs have a self-inflicted problem with their first-half attitude. The chilling fact is that this was a ninth straight game in which they have conceded the first goal.
Tottenham must get out of this crazy custom before the back-to-back matches against Arsenal and Man City next month. We don't need a weather forecaster to warn us it could be a long, cold January.
Let's warm ourselves on facts and stats about the extraordinary Kane. His brilliantly headed goal that brought Tottenham back into the game at 2-1 was his record tenth scored in a Boxing Day Premier League fixture. That is what you call an ever-present.
This, don't forget, just 16 days after his agonising penalty miss in the World Cup quarter-final against France (and clubmate Hugo Lloris). It was Harry's 13th Premier League goal of this season, moving him within just four of the club record held by The Master, Jimmy Greaves.
The always persistent Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg assured a point, with a deft finish after a low cross by Dejan Kulusevski had been deflected into his path. The Galloping Dane is a key and enthusiastic presence in the Spurs midfield.
Tottenham were unquestionably the team most likely to win in the last half hour, and I just could not understand how referee David Coote and VAR each missed the push on Kane that sent him tumbling in the penalty area. Now a spot-kick by Aitch would have been fairly interesting.
I hope I don't spoil your half-time enjoyment against Aston Villa at the Tottenham Stadium on New Year's Day, this Sunday, when I am the half-time guest of that outstanding club announcer Paul Coyte. We will be discussing the mighty Maurice Norman, the gentle giant who recently departed this mortal coil after a long battle with Alzheimer's.
A sobering way to kick off 2023. Happy New Year, my friends.
Week 17 of our ninth year of Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenges:
Which former Danish League player has won 77 international caps, has scored six goals for Tottenham and which number squad shirt does he wear for Spurs?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com with Quiz Week 17 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 16: Which former Spurs captain was a World Cup winner, won 67 caps, scored 20 international goals, and with which Yorkshire club did he finish his career as player-coach and then, briefly, manager?
Answer: Yes, Martin Peters and Sheffield United. As with Maurice Norman, we lost the magnificent Martin to the ex-footballer's curse of Alzheimer's.
See you back here next Monday, 2023. COYS!
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