Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 463 - 01.01.24)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 463) (01.01.24)

Submitted by Norman Giller

Vicario worthy successor to Hugo Lloris

So here we are on January 1 2024 sitting three points off top place and a threatening fifth as we - webmaster Paul H. Smith and I - wish you a New Year that brings only good news for you and, of course, Ange's Angels.

Spurs were swinging in the rain yesterday as they overcame a dangerous Bournemouth side with a performance that somehow mirrored the Postecoglou era. There has hardly been a dull second since Angelos took over from the cautious Conte, and the latest victory was laced with luck and a fervour that has pulses racing and everybody trembling with a mixture of excitement and sheer fear.

Remember that Spurs have achieved their challenging position while plagued by injuries and suspensions. Ange has had to shuffle his pack like a deranged card sharp, and the returning Rodrigo Bentancur and the gliding Giovani Lo Celso came up trumps yesterday, while on the down side there were further injuries to goal-scoring Pape Sarr and Alejo Veliz, both of whom came off in tears.

Skipper Son - on the mark again along with the unpredictable Richarlison - now disappears to the Asian Cup for a month and there will be further calls for the African Cup tournament. I can almost hear Ange saying: "That's all I bloody need, mate..."

Declan Mulcahy captures the facts of the battle with Bournemouth HERE, but what the 3-1 scoreline does not reveal is how easily it might have been 4-3 to the seasiders who were on a run of seven unbeaten matches.

In Guglielmo Vicario we have found a fitting successor to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who was given a wonderful half-time send-off in an interview with the ubiquitous Paul Coyte. The Frenchman has had more than his share of online critics in recent months.

These keyboard warriors have short memories, forgetting that Hugo has been an exceptional last line of defence for many of his eleven years' service to the club. I would put him high on the all-time Tottenham goalkeeper list, with only Pat Jennings, Ted Ditchburn and Ray Clemence definitely ahead of him.

Those balanced and fair-minded among us will remember him with fondness and admiration. On top of his fine handling for Tottenham, the Spurs Legend managed to skipper France to the World Cup. Hugo has had a magnificent career that will wind down in Los Angeles. Don't bet against this intelligent man, from a family of lawyers, one day returning to Tottenham in a managerial capacity.

Spurs must now gather themselves for a must-win third round FA Cup tie against Burnley on Friday evening, and meantime I expect Ange to bring in two players during the January transfer window to strengthen his injury-prone squad ready for a tilt at the Double:).

Most of all, we want to see James Maddison back in action and controlling the midfield as we move into 2024 with cautious optimism. Have a good one. COYS!.

Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2023-24

Week 20 of season nine of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Who won 119 international caps, scored one goal for Tottenham, and from which then Third Division club did he join Spurs?

Please email your answer to me at and make the subject heading Quiz Week 20 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 joined Spurs in 2007, won 111 international caps, and against which team did he score a Boxing Day hat-trick for Tottenham in an away Premier League match?

Answer: Gareth Bale/Aston Villa.

See you back here ... on Monday. Happy New Year. COYS!

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