NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 427
Submitted by Norman Giller
I was asked on social media last night how Jimmy Greaves would have reacted to 'Our Harry' Kane equalling his all-time Spurs record with goal number 266 at Fulham. Greavsie, I promise, would have been the first to congratulate a player he greatly admired.
There was not an envious bone in Jimmy's body, and even after a stroke that left him unable to properly express himself he made it clear that he wanted Harry to take over as Tottenham's top marksman.
He managed to convey his wishes when he met Harry at Tottenham's new training headquarters, and Aitch told him what a privilege it was to greet the footballing legend.
Kane comes from a Spurs-biased family (who try not to mention the fact that he started his football life as a youth player with the Ars-cough-enal), and are fully aware of where Greavsie stands in the parthenon of goal-scoring gods.
Harry now and Jimmy then were as alike in style as grass and granite, but had in common the unique gift of being able to score goals from out of nowhere.
Jimmy preferred to pass the ball into the net, while Harry – as he showed against Fulham last night – likes to see the net bulge. That's my sofa view above of his record-equalling goal. How I would loved to have seen them playing together.
Kane and Greavsie would have been perfect partners for each other.
I will whisper it quietly that Jimmy also scored 132 goals for Chelsea, nine for AC Milan and 13 in his wind-down season with West Ham. His 357 First Division goals is a record that will never be beaten, because that division no longer exists.
While we are celebrating Harry drawing level with Greavsie with his 199th Premier League goal, let us not forget that opening half-hour against Fulham when Spurs played like passing strangers. Along with the thousands held up on the District Line, Tottenham's players turned up late for the match.
Our guru Paul H. Smith gives his account of the match HERE, and will vouch for the fact that Spurs will be in trouble if they play at Preston in the FA Cup on Saturday like they did for the first 30 minutes against Fulham.
The only thing missing from Harry's football collection is silverware, and the FA Cup has particular appeal as we reach the halfway stage of this marathon season. If Spurs can get through an awkward fourth round tie at Deepdale, then anything is possible.
Antonio Conte, excited and emotional even by his standards, revealed afterwards that Kane had played with a fever. ‘We must try very hard to win a trophy for Harry, he said. ‘He deserves it.’ And so do all the long-suffering Spurs support-ers! That would send all our temperatures soaring.
Note to Harry: Jimmy loved playing against Preston and once scored five goals in a match for Chelsea – at Deepdale. Just saying …
Week 21 of our ninth year of Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenges:
Which defender has 40 caps, plays for a top four Premier League side and from which Lancashire club did he join Tottenham in 2015?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com with Quiz Week 21 as the subject heading. Deadline midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who participate, taking time off from writing my next book: The G-Men, an intimate close-up of Greavsie and Gilzean.
The rules are the same as in previous 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 lose the few friends that I have. But, hey, it's fun. Please join in.
This year’s 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 … Week 20: Which Edmonton-born right-back spent nearly ten years with Spurs including his apprenticeship, and against which team did he play in both legs of a Uefa Cup Final before joining Millwall?
Answer: Good old reliable Ray Evans, who played in both legs of the best-forgotten Uefa Cup final against Feyenoord in 1974 that ended with a minority of Spurs fans disgracing the club with their behaviour in the losing second leg in Rotterdam.
See you back here next Monday. COYS!
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