Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 455 - 24.10.23)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 455) (24.10.23)

Submitted by Norman Giller

There's a touch of Bobby Charlton about James Maddison

It has been a hell of an emotional time, what with my dear old friend Sir Bobby Charlton departing this mortal coil and then Spurs soaring back to the top of the table with last night's emphatic 2-0 victory over Fulham.

I know it's something to do with my creaking old age, but this octogenarian found himself with tears in his eyes as Tottenham clinched their win with football from the gods. Mind you, demanding manager Ange Postecoglou was not as delighted as me, and stressed in his after-match interviews how disappointed he was with the second-half display.

For me, much of the football exhibited was like Super Spurs revisited, with a flowing style that I have rarely witnessed since the Bill Nicholson days.

So much of it is down to Postecoglou's attacking attitude, of course, but - careful what I say here - I have not seen a better British playmaker in a Spurs shirt than James Maddison since the days of Glenn Hoddle, Gazza and way back to the Ghost, John White.

Many of Maddison's pin-pointed passes - combined with the way he conducted from centre stage - put me in mind of the now late, great Bobby Charlton. There can be no higher praise. Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H, Smith gives us his eyewitness account of the march back to the top of the table HERE and he, too, is ecstatic about our 'bargain buy' from Leicester.

Thanks to the sizzling form of Madders, skipper Sonny and Ginger Magician Kulusevski, Spurs are able to almost carry Richarlison as he tries to recover his goal-scoring touch. But Spurs have a huge treasure chest that will be raided in January unless the Brazilian can start finding the net.

I can recommend a veteran Brit who these days plays his club football in Munich. Goes by the name Harry Kane and is rarely a herr out of place ('Norm, that was not funny the first time you said it,' Ed).

My thoughts have been on the expected yet so sad departure of Sir Bobby. I spent hours in his company in my reporting days and beyond, and he was never less than a gentleman, the perfect ambassador for football and the human race. And he could play a bit!

He never really recovered from the Munich air crash that cost the lives of so many of his mates. It affected his ability to wind down and enjoy himself, and he could never get on the same wavelength off the football field with larger-than-life characters like Jimmy Greaves and George Best.

But on the pitch he was a magical partner for both Jimmy and George and they talked the same purist football language. People often ask me if Bobby and Jim got on. I always respond that they had total respect for each other, but they were never ever buddy-buddy. Bobby had a way of keeping us all at arm's length, never nastily or arrogantly but he liked his privacy and was rarely 'one of the lads.'

Sir Geoff Hurst - a good pal from our teenage days - is the last man standing from the 1966 World Cup heroes, and I am one of only half a dozen left who reported from the Wembley press box. I told Geoff this week to look after himself. We all want him to receive the '100' telegram congratulations from King Charles.

RIP Sir Bobby.

Next up: Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, Friday evening. Anybody remember the days when we used to kick off at 3.00pm every Saturday?

Meantime, whatever the day of the week, let's enjoy being TOP OF THE TABLE.

Economic report. Number of The G-Men books sold to Spurs Odyssey readers after my unashamed sales pitch last week: Uh, one! I am sure you will want it, if not for yourself, then for a Spurs fan of a certain age. I know you're not all old gits like me. Please order direct from me at I am making a donation for every book sold through me to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes who missed the gravy train.


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2023-24

Week 12 (already!) of season nine of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Which Tottenham player has scored 20 goals in 48 appearances for his country, and with which club did he start his Premier League career before moving to Goodison?

Please email your answer to me at and make the subject heading Quiz Week 12. 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 41 caps, scored just one goal after joining Spurs from Leeds and which club did he move to when leaving Tottenham in 2008?

Answer: Goalkeeper Paul Robinson/Blackburn Rovers.

See you back here ... next Monday. COYS!

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