Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 451 - 25.09.23)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 451) (25.09.23)

Submitted by Norman Giller

The Spurs stroller Maddison opens up a new avenue

James Maddison is going to become as important to Tottenham as Harry Kane used to be, but this will not be a one-man show. The strolling Midlander has all the tools to give shape and stealth to the side, as he showed in the way he laid on two equalising goals for skipper Son Heung-min in a rollocking North London derby.

Our Spurs Odyssey reporter Declan Mulcahy gives the match facts HERE, but long before the final whistle I was moved to say on line: 'Regardless of the result, I LOVE this Spurs side. They're so easy on the eye.'

Something we learned is that Ange Postecoglou is more pragmatic than romantic. It would have been easy to leave Sonny on in the hope he could be the only Spurs player other than Terry Dyson in 1961 to score an NLD hat-trick.

But Ange knew the Careering Korean had given his all and was bold enough to bring off his dual men of the match - Son and Maddison - and send on the fresh legs of Hojbjerg and Richarlison.

This gives me the opportunity to wish a happy birthday to 'the other' Terry ... 1950s/60s hero Terry Medwin, reaching the magical milestone of 91 today. His son, Barry, informed us that his Dad was still Spurs through and through and thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's cracking televised encounter from his home in Wales. Both Terrys are still with us as reminders of an age when Tottenham regularly played the sort of flowing football with which Spurs are thrilling us this season.

The most satisfying thing about this latest performance is that Spurs created two beautiful goals - thanks to Madders and Sonny - while Arsenal fluked an own goal off the unfortunate Romero and scored from a penalty that should never have been allowed, again with Romero reluctantly involved.

The ball clearly hit the Argentine's hand. He would have had to have an amputation to avoid it. The lawmakers MUST restore the word 'intentional' to the handball law.

I have nicknamed Maddison the Spurs Stroller because he always seems to have so much time to control the ball, but when it really matters, he has great acceleration and passing accuracy that we have not seen from an English player since the heady days of Glenn Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne. He knows how to put the exact weight on the ball and can dictate the pace and pattern of a match. I shall say this only once: Oh how I wish Harry Kane was on the end of his passes. But he and Sonny have quickly struck up a partnership that looks a match made in football heaven,

We are all being driven to distraction by some oddball refereeing decisions this season. How on earth did the neurotic Nketiah not get a red card for the late-late challenge on excellent Spurs goalkeeper Vicario that could easily have broken the Italian's leg?

For an old hack like me, it is so rewarding to have a manager who comes up with the most compelling quotes since the days of Bill Shankly, Tommy Docherty and Brian Clough, who used to fill my notebook with a stream of headline-making comments. I was fascinated by this Postecoglou quote BEFORE the NLD:

"We're five games in. I understand that for many people, they will see this as our first real test and I get that. It's pretty easy, you could almost write two stories now. If we are successful, great, we're on the right track. If we're not, we've still got a long way to go. For me, what is going to be more important is how much of our football I see in a big game like this. How much of us can I see against a top opponent? That will give me the biggest indicator of where we're at but, ultimately, we'll still be six games into a new cycle, a new group of players, a very young group of players. Either way, irrespective of the outcome, I'd say the performance will be my biggest measure, but knowing we still have a long way to go."

Well, a deserved draw - if anything, flattering Arsenal - indicated that Ange is bang on schedule with his plan to fill Spurs with new ambition and a positive attitude. He instils confidence in his players and, just as important, in we supporters. The moaning, groaning brigade have been silenced (well, most of them) and everybody is pulling together and getting behind the team (well, most of us). In Ange we trust.

Now we wait anxiously for medical bulletins on debutant Brennan Johnson and the masterful Maddison. To keep the Ange-ball rolling, Spurs need to be at full strength for Saturday's home showdown with Liverpool. And remember, we still have Rodrigo Bentancur preparing for his comeback, I cannot wait to see him operating with Maddison, Bissouma and Sarr.

Meantime, let's celebrate a well-earned point against the Old Enemy. I have been deliberately urging caution and tugging on the rush of optimism, but I can now confess to joining the Postecoglou party. He is building a very special Spurs side...and he is opening a Maddison avenue to an exceptional season ('Norman, kindly leave the page - Ed'),

Ps While I was celebrating the point at the Emirates, my granddaughter Katharine was busy producing my fourth great grandchild. It's a girl! No name as yet but my suggestion of Angela Maddison has not been received well by Callum, her Newcastle-loving husband.Mind you, he has hit a brick wall with his proposal for Edwina Trippier Howe. All is good. COYS!


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2023-24

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

Which son of a retired professional footballer has won 113 international caps, scored 150 goals for Tottenham and from which club did he join Spurs?

Please email your answer to me at and make the subject heading Quiz Week 8. 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 one Scottish international cap, scored an FA Cup final goal for Spurs, played for BOTH North London clubs and which club did he join from Ipswich Town?

Answer: Jimmy Robertson/Stoke City

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

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