Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 466 - 29.01.24)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 466) (29.01.24)

Submitted by Norman Giller

Tottenham must make the most of Timo timing

I hate Friday night football, particularly when Spurs lose. It meant for the entire weekend I felt as if I was suffering a hangover and had no motivation to listen to the fifth round of the FA Cup draw. Did you feel the same or are you more mature than me and able to handle set-backs?

You'd think after all these decades on a Spurs watch (75 years and counting), I would have learned how to handle triumph or disaster and treat those two imposters just the same. But let's be honest, it's been a long long time since we could celebrate a triumph and I kidded myself this was going to be our year for the FA Cup. The boy's a fool.

At least we had the consolation of watching a Spurs-educated player going on into the next round. I thought they should have picked Kyle Walker as man of the match. He's 33 and just as fast and mobile as when he was 23 and wearing a Lilywhite shirt. Ah, I remember it well.

Mind you, his life was made much easier by the fact that Tottenham's midfield continually ignored newcomer Timo Werner, who was taking up some juicy positions out on the left but not receiving the ball. So his marker - yes, the athletic Walker - was able to concentrate on prompting the City attack.

To get the best out of Werner's natural instinct for being in the right place at the right time Spurs must concentrate on getting the ball to him, otherwise his loan spell will be a waste of time. Timo's time.

I will argue until I am Spurs blue in the face that Man City's winning goal should have been disallowed, and I would honestly have argued the same if the ball had gone into the opposite net in similar fashion.

Guglielmo Vicario was in my opinion definitely fouled going by today's laws, when goalkeepers are wrapped in cotton wool and have become a protected species. When I argued this point on social media I was shouted down and the likes of Bobby Smith and Nat Lofthouse were thrown up as what goalkeepers used to go through.

But that was football on another planet. In the modern game obstructing goalkeepers is outlawed, and throughout the game Vicario was deliberately targeted by the City players at set pieces.

Reminded me of the Leeds United tactics under Don Revie, who used to instruct big Jack Charlton to literally stand on the goalkeeper’s toes at corner kicks. Pat Jennings and Bob Wilson would show me their bruised feet and ankles after matches. Have another look at the match and see how often Vicario is complaining to the referee about his treatment. All those brave people sitting at their keyboards telling Vicario that he should have been stronger! It is up to the referee to protect goalkeepers by correct interpretation of the Laws of the game.

I was convinced the VAR verdict would be 'no goal' but with an inconsistency that has become consistent it was allowed to stand. It gave City their first ever goal and victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after hours of shooting and missing. You can read our guru Paul H. Smith's eyewitness view of the match HERE, and his detailed report clearly shows that City were the superior side.

I admired Postecoglou's discipline in accepting the VAR decision without moaning and groaning as most other managers would have done in his boots. Ange is a class act.

In a time-honoured phrase, Spurs can now concentrate on the League. The Postecoglou revolution is a work in progress, and over the next 17 Premier League matches he must aim for a final place in the top four - starting with victory and three points against Brentford on Wednesday.

I wonder if we will actually see Maddison and Bentancur operating together? So far we have only seen them criss-crossing as substitutions are made. Together, I am sure they would find time for Timo.


Ps - England's remarkable victory over India in the first Test almost made up for that FA Cup defeat, almost. Hartley (7-62 on debut) really had India in a jam but Ollie Pope was the Man of the Match with his 196. ANYTHING is possible with BazBall and Angeball.

Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2023-24

Week 23 of season nine of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Which Tottenham player was selected for England by Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson, came on as a substitute in the 2008 League Cup winning team and which Spurs manager sold him to Hull City?

Please email your answer to me at and make the subject heading Quiz Week 23. 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 51 international caps, started his League career with Millwall, has an MBE and a European Champions' League winners' medal and from which Midlands club did he join Spurs the first time?

Answer: Teddy Sheringham/Nottingham Forest

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

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