NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 440
Submitted by Norman Giller
There's a little rascal inside me who would like Tottenham to fail in their move for Julian Nagelsmann as their next manager. They could then appoint stand-in Ryan Mason as permanent boss. This would give him the chance he deserves to show exactly what he can do long term in the way of motivating a team that desperately needs consistency to go with its undoubted class.
Ryan – Spurs through and through – has a proven Tottenham pedigree, and the allegiance of the Spurs players, in particular Harry Kane. They are very close off the pitch, and he could be just the man to persuade one of Tottenham's greatest players of all time that he should see out his golden career with the club where he is a living legend.
Tottenham's greatest days have been with former players who have Spurs in their DNA. I give you Arthur Rowe and Bill Nicholson, the only managers who have lifted the League title for Tottenham. Both bled Lilywhite blood.
Adding to Mason's suitability for the job is that he has as his No 2 Matt Wells, another product of the Tottenham Academy whose promising playing career was cut short by injury. Like Ryan, he was forced to stop playing and they both switched to coaching with enthusiasm, energy and lots of knowledge of how Tottenham traditionally like to play the game.
Matt also happens to be the grandson of Tottenham's old Welsh wing wizard Cliff Jones, a dear pal of mine who is always enthusing about Matt's intelligence and grasp of the game.
But all this meandering is just supposition, because nobody knows for sure what Daniel Levy is planning. As I understand it, Nagelsmann remains favourite for the job of taking Tottenham into the next phase, but he is a very strong-minded character who just might not fancy any restrictions that Daniel might want to put on him.
The obvious side step would be to give the reins to Mason and Wells, two young men who know better than most what makes Tottenham tick. They would come free, compared with the estimated £10-million it could cost to bring in Nagelsmann from Germany. We shall see.
It was fascinating on Saturday seeing Ryan and 'King' Harry Kane getting the better of Palace manager Roy Hodgson, the old war horse who while England manager gave both Mason and Kane their first starts in international football.
Our battle-hardened guru Paul H. Smith shares his eyewitness account of the Coronation Day victory over Palace HERE. It was a nip-and-tuck affair that left this old hack feeling, uh, much older as if I had been crowned.
Yet again I found myself lauding Our Harry Kane. This was not only for his 100th home Premier League goal and his record tenth headed score of the season, but even more so for the way he was back in defence to clear virtually off the line when Palace were threatening to steal at least a point. What energy the man has.
It was a performance that had Ryan Mason purring after the match. Like all those of us with Spurs in our soul, he loves Harry Kane. More important, Harry Kane is an equal admirer of his and recognises a kindred spirit who gives his all to football.
What good full-time manager material!
Now, for the three final matches …
v. Aston Villa (a) Saturday 3pm
v. Brentford (h) Saturday May 20 12.30pm
v. Leeds United (a) Sunday May 28 4.30pm
Can Tottenham make it into 'the Thursday' League? Put your money on Mason and Wells (oh yes, and 'King' Harry Kane) to manage it.
Week 34 of our ninth year of Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenges and the final teaser before next week's dreaded tie breaker …
Who won 26 international caps, collected an FA Cup winners' medal with Tottenham, later managed Newcastle United and with which club did he wind down his playing career?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com with Quiz Week 34 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. Next week I break the logjam of you all-knowing Spurs-history experts with a tie-breaking poser that is based on opinion rather than fact. This is 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 signed copies of my biographies on Jimmy Greaves and Bobby Smith plus – I promise this is a treat – my hilarious boxing book, The Man Who Put A Curse on Muhammad Ali, including a photo card signed for me by Ali on the night of his world title defence against Yorkshire lionheart Richard Dunn.
But most important of all, the prizes will include a framed certificate announcing the winner as 2023 SOQL champion. A word of warning, previous champions David Guthrie (going for a hat-trick of titles), Peter Lawton in Israel, Graham Eyre from Down Under and our only female champion Emily Hadjinicolaou are among an army of you jostling for the lead.
Week 33: Which player scored in an FA Cup final, was a member of the 1986 World Cup finals squad and who signed him for Spurs from Brighton?
Answer: Gary Stevens and Keith Burkinshaw, another very successful 'accidental' Spurs manager.
See you back here next Monday for the crucial SOQL challenge. COYS!
Top of page | Spurs Odyssey Home Page