NORMAN GILLERíS SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 435
Submitted by Norman Giller
Every negative charge that Antonio Conte made in his suicidal 'resignation' rant was proved justified as Tottenham carelessly threw away two precious points last night at relegation-threatened Everton.
Spurs put years on me that I cannot spare with a stuttering performance that reduced all their fans to nervous wrecks. Even though the draw lifted them back into fourth place, on this form few of us have any confidence they will stay in an automatic Champions League position.
Interim manager Cristian Stellini sounded like an echo of his old boss when he stated the obvious: 'We need to improve and control the game better.'
Tottenham lost their heads and their lead after Harry Kane had put them in front with a powerful and precisely placed penalty against his England team-mate Jordan Pickford in the 68th minute.
Eleven minutes earlier I was saddened to see our idolised Harry going down as if punched by Anthony Joshua after Everton's Mali international Abdoulaye Doucoure had pushed a hand into his face. The red card decision was right because no footballer should ever raise his hands, but Harry will want to forget the theatrical part he played in the dismissal.
Once Harry had given Tottenham the lead from the penalty spot the stage was set for Spurs to underline their supremacy against Everton's ten men. Instead, they for some unfathomable reason went into their shell and allowed the Merseysiders to dictate play.
As Michael Keane scored a scorching 90th minute goal against tame Tottenham, you could almost hear Conte saying: "I told you so Ö.' as he counted his compensation payment.
Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith gives the full gory match details HERE, including a description of Lucas Moura's moment of madness. His uncharacteristic lunging tackle led to an inevitable red card and gave Everton the motivation to go all out for their deserved equaliser.
In my 70+ years following Tottenham, I have rarely known the club so split over the way it is being run. But all the moaning and groaning is helping nobody and I just wish everybody would bury their prejudices and protests and get behind the team in the crucial run-in period.
I wonder what we will be saying at the end of April? After visits from Brighton and Bournemouth, there are six-pointers against Newcastle and Man United followed, on April 30, by an intriguing match against Liverpool at Anfield.
Hopefully not more Merseyside misery!
Following the international break, week 29 of our ninth year of Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenges:
Who won 74 caps for his country, joined Spurs in 2005, scored his only Tottenham goal against Wigan and which manager signed him?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com with Quiz Week 29 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 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.
Week 28: Which Yorkshireman played just one match for England, won back to back Second and First Division winners' medals and what number shirt did he generally wear throughout his playing career with Tottenham?
Answer: The Master of White Hart Lane Bill Nicholson, who wore the No 4 Tottenham shirt for the Push and Run champions.
See you back here next Monday. COYS!
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