Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 448 - 04.09.23)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 448) (04.09.23)

Submitted by Norman Giller

General Ange wins the battle but war is still to come

As we bask in the late summer sunshine, it is easy for anybody from my old git generation to get carried away by that 5-2 bashing of Burnley at Turf Moor. Spurs played football from the gods in the second-half and the illusion has been created that this is going to be a season in which Tottenham will mount a challenge for the championship.

In the 'good old days' Burnley were always our barometer for how well Tottenham were doing. They had exceptional players like the two Jimmys - McIlroy and Adamson - and our great Tottenham team of the time were involved in classic contests with them.

But now we need a cold splash of reality and must accept that Vincent Kompany's Burnley are a work in progress and much of it is behind schedule. They were often an open door at the back and must have had Turf Moor veterans weeping in memory of defenders like John Angus, Alex Elder, Tommy Cummings and goalkeeper Adam Blacklaw.

The time to judge how well we are doing with Angeball - an up-tempo, modern version of Push and Run - will be at the end of this September after Spurs have faced that other lot from North London and 'Clip Klopp's' Liverpool.

I am deliberately tugging on the reins of optimism to bring us down to earth after that festival of football at Burnley, where skipper and hat-trick hero Sonny, the magnificent Maddison and the regal Romero looked like soccer supermen.

The way the three of them have taken on board the Postecoglou Positivity Plan is at the heart of the Tottenham revolution, but that League Cup flop at Fulham - with the second team - will keep nagging away as a reminder that Ange still has mountains to climb before he is accepted as the new Spurs General.

As Ange said after the 5-2 romp: "I thought today was a real testament to Sonny, Madders and Romero. They all scored but I've thrust those three into leadership positions which adds to their load. It's so encouraging the way they've embraced that responsibility with not only words but actions, not just on game day but on a daily basis. As fantastic players as they are individually they've all really bought into that team ethic."

A mention for the performance of Manor Solomon, the newly signed Israeli international. He looked calm and assured and he had a foot in two of Sonny's goals. I am not going to get involved in corny lines like 'Manor from Heaven' but he certainly looked a Tottenham type at Turf Moor. More please.

My Spurs Odyssey team-mate Declan Mulcahy reports the Burnley destruction HERE, but he quite rightly warns in his closing paragraph that judgement time should be delayed until the Arsenal and Liverpool matches.

And if we don't take three points against Sheffield United at the splendid Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday week then all the keyboard warriors - who were out in force after the defeat at Fulham - will be firing from the lip.

Sorry to come the old groaner, but let's not get carried away on a false dawn. Some of the flowing football Spurs are producing under Ange's baton is as good as we have seen in the Premier League era, but not all teams are going to give us the freedom of the pitch as with Burnley. That was a battle won; the war is yet to come.

One things for sure, this Tottenham is better on the eye than the sides produced by Mourinho and Conte and are playing the sort of classic game that old timers (like what I am) were weaned on.

And Ange still has new signing Brennan (Bren Gun) Johnson and fit-again Rodrigo Bentancur up his general's sleeve.


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2023-24

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

Who won 56 international caps, played for Barnsley and Aston Villa and against which team did he score an FA Cup final penalty for Tottenham?

Please email your answer to me at and make the subject heading Quiz Week 5. 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 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?

Answer: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg/Southampton.

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

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