Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 461 - 11.12.23)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 461) (11.12.23)

Submitted by Norman Giller

Sonny inspires Spurs to silence the warriors

It was so satisfying to find the keyboard warriors silenced by Tottenham's pulsating four-goal performance against Newcastle yesterday. They were gathering like vultures after the three successive home defeats, but had to crawl back into the undergrowth as Ange's Angels beat the weary-looking Geordies out of sight.

I'm trying hard not to be blinded by Lilywhite dust, but it's a fact that Tottenham might easily have won the matches they lost against Chelsea, Wolves, Aston Villa and West Ham, and those claiming a club crisis had their judgement poisoned by pessimism.

Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith gives the match facts HERE, and you will see from his eyewitness account that Spurs might easily have doubled their score against the wounded Magpies. Newcastle are one of the few Premier League clubs with an injury list even longer than Tottenham's and it showed in their laboured display.

It was a magnificent team exhibition from Spurs, inspired by a true captain's performance from Sonny, with Pedro Porro, Destiny Udogie, two-goal Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski not far behind the skipper in the man-of-the-match rating.

Some of the flashes of individual skill from the likes of Sonny, Kulu, Porro, Udogie, Bissouma and Sarr make this Tottenham team so easy on the eye, and we have not had many quicker raiders than Brennan (Brengun) Johnson.

The one worry was, yet again, the recklessness of Cristian Romero, who deserved to see red for a fifth time for a brutal challenge on Callum Wilson. If that had been a Spurs player on the receiving end of his tackle, we Tottenham-leaning spectators would have been roaring for a dismissal.

Romero is such a commanding player but has this worrying defect of surrendering to a rush of blood. Even the laid-back Ange must lose sleep at how the Argentine risks seeing red every time he plays. He is one of the world's top centre-halves when in control but must learn to master that self-destruct button.

Usually disciplined goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario must also receive a lecture about, uh, keeping a straight face. His taunting of Wilson by pulling mocking faces in the closing moments could have sparked a mini riot. Players must show respect for each other. In the village world of football word quickly gets round if somebody is less than sporting.

Yet the devil inside me says that the eccentric incident - that will go down as Facegate - added to the high entertainment value of a fast-paced game. In my Daily Express reporting days we used to have a star-rating system, with five stars signifying high-octane excitement. This match comfortably came into that category, as has practically every Spurs encounter since Postecoglou came through the door.

Leading up to the vital FA Cup third round home tie against Burnley in the New Year, the remaining end-of-2023 Spurs Premier League matches are not exactly frightening on paper: Forest (away this Friday), Everton (h), Brighton (a), Bournemouth (h). I am confident we will be going into 2024 in a strong challenging position for a top four place, and then the likes of Maddison, Bentancur and Van de Ven will be fit again.

Add to all this that Postecoglou will be bringing in two new January transfer window signings who can meet the demands of Angeball and the future is looking much better than the gloom and doom merchants would have us believe.

My old mantra coming out: Get behind the team, not in its way. Let's all sing from the same song sheet ... Oh when the Spurs, go marching in ...


Economic report (continued). Number of The G-Men books sold to Spurs Odyssey readers after my unashamed sales pitch last week: Uh, one more, which is 13 altogether! It is a must-read for Spurs fans of a certain age who will tingle at memories of Jimmy Greaves and Alan Gilzean playing together. 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. Go on, treat yourself to a Christmas present.

Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2023-24

Week 18 of season nine of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Which former Tottenham captain played in the 2008 League Cup final, won five international caps and which club bought him and sold him back to Spurs?

Please email your answer to me at and make the subject heading Quiz Week 18. 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:

Which Ipswich-born player joined Tottenham from Newcastle, moved on to West Brom after more than 100 appearances and with which country was he capped in 2004 after paying in two England B internationals?

Answer: Ruel Fox/Monserrat (he picked himself as player-manager!)

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

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