Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 447 - 28.08.23)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 447) (28.08.23)

Submitted by Norman Giller

Maddison gardens a midfield harvest for the new Spurs

Spurs 'Father' Bill Nicholson described it to me years ago as "the heart of the team." I call it the engine room. I'm talking of course about the midfield. And suddenly, with the arrival of James Maddison and the revival of Yves Bissouma, Spurs are ticking again.

Every exceptional Tottenham team has had a great heart beat: That man Nicholson, Welsh colossus Ronnie Burgess and pass master Eddie Baily in the push-and-run days ... Skipper Danny Blanchflower, The Ghost John White and dynamic Dave Mackay in the Double team ... Alan 'The Tank' Mullery, Terry Venables and later the majestic Martin Peters ... perpetual motion Steve Perryman, Glenn 'God' Hoddle and Argentine ace Ossie Ardiles in the cup-collecting 80s ...We've seen some brilliant midfield players at Tottenham; let's not forget Rafael Van der Vart. Moussa Dembele, Luka Modric, Christian Eriksen and, of course, the magical Paul Gascoigne.

You cannot have a great team without a great midfield, and all the signs are that Maddison, Bissouma and Pape Sarr are going to develop into a formidable trio and remember that Rodrigo Bentancur will soon be back from his injury-forced layoff and Olly Skip is on hand to play the anchor role if needed.

The most impressive revelation is the classy contribution from Maddison, who was outstanding against Bournemouth despite being restricted to just one training session after getting a nasty knock against Manchester United in the previous game.

He has vital confidence - almost arrogance - to go with his talent, and he will believe that his first goal on Saturday will be the first of many, a memorable moment captured HERE by our guru Paul H. Smith.

I would not be corny enough to say that Maddison gardens a midfield harvest for the new Spurs, but all the signs are that - as our fans were chanting on Saturday - we have got our Tottenham back. And to add to the promising news, it looks as if we have found a Jan/Toby-type central defensive partnership in Romero and Van de Ven, and Vicario appears to have safe hands. All in the Maddison garden is lovely ('Enough with the Maddison 'jokes' - Ed).

What we need now is for our front three Sonny, Kulusevski and - in particular - Richarlison to find top gear, hopefully startlng at Fulham tomorrow in the League Cup. If we go out, remember that we only have the Premier League and FA Cup left.

Have you noticed that those keyboard warriors who sneered at the Angelos Postecoglou appointment as 'Levy going for the cheap option from the farmer's league' are lying low? I'm confident that this team will grow into an exceptional Spurs side in our best traditions. Believe!

I know I am keeping one foot in the past, but I would not be human if I did not at least wonder what Harry Kane would have achieved with that service from Maddison at Bournemouth. A hat-trick, I reckon. Sorry, won't mention Harry again (until the next time).

Meantime, birthday boy Angelos - 58 yesterday - is building on his reputation as Soccer's Socrates with his philosophical sayings, the Man with the Golden Tongue. I particularly liked this one, which captures his determination and desire:

"Just get it into your heads, mates: we never stop, we never stop. We'll stop at half-time, and then at the end of the game when we celebrate. But during the game we don't stop."

I'll stop there, mate.


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2023-24

Week four of season nine of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Who has won 67 caps, was the youngest player to appear for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, and from which club did he join Spurs in 2020?

Please email your answer to me at and make the subject heading Quiz Week 4. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will do my best to respond to all who take part.

The rules are the same as in the previous eight 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 become as popular as Sol Campbell in an Arsenal shirt.

This year's main prize will be a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion 2024, plus three signed books to be revealed at a later date. We have retired the omniscient David Guthrie after his three victories.

Last week's question:

Who won 35 international caps, collected an FA Cup winners' medal with Spurs, captained a runners-up team at Wembley, and against which team did he play his last World Cup finals match in Leon?

Answer: Alan Mullery, West Germany.

See you back here same time, same place on Monday. COYS!

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