Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 467 - 05.02.24)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 467) (05.02.24)

Submitted by Norman Giller

Vicario needs a muscular bodyguard

Everton's stoppage time equaliser at Goodison Park left me borrowing from Eric Idle and the Monty Python team: 'Always look on the bright side of life...' Three great points suddenly became a frustrating single one, but we must climb above the disappointment and think of the entertainment we are being given by Ange's Angels.

Since the Postecoglou reign started - scorned by a section of keyboard warriors - I cannot remember a game that has not been brimful of excitement and drama. How lucky we are to be witnesses, even if it's taking years off my life. This old man gets even older with each match.

Conte (and Mourinho before him) would have shut up shop after Richarlison's glorious second goal following that Fred Astaire footwork from the magnificent Maddison. They would have introduced the modern interpretation of gamesmanship that goes under the title of 'game management'.

I prefer to call it cheating, which also covers what is happening to goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario. He is already being rated with the greatest Tottenham goalies (nobody will ever touch the Pat Jennings level) and the deliberate targeting of him borders on victimisation.

Our 'mate' Ange must swallow his principles and help Vicario in his moment of need by deploying somebody to act as his bodyguard at set pieces. It will be ugly but the Italian custodian requires physically strong back-up if referees are not going to give him the protection he is entitled to.

I know, I am going soft in my old age. Don't forget I was weaned on watching the likes of Ted Ditchburn and Ron Reynolds having to take their life in their hands as they faced physical assaults that were allowed within the Laws of the game at the time. Len Duquemin and Bobby Smith did not think they had been in a game if they did not smash the rival goalkeeper into his net,

But under modern Laws the goalkeeper should receive protection from the referees against what is deliberate impeding (I'm told the word 'obstruction' no longer features in the Laws appertaining to goalkeepers). Vicario must feel abandoned, and how sickening for him that sit-at-home 'experts' casually type that he should be stronger. So brave of them.

Ange is a wise and wily old buzzard and I am sure that even at this moment he has got his coaching team working on ways to give Vicario the muscular support he needs at set pieces.

You can read our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith's view of the fluctuating fortunes at Goodison HERE when he points out the rather remarkable fact that this was the 35th consecutive League match in which Tottenham have found the net. More please, but help Vicario stop the ball going into HIS net.

Spurs now have three consecutive home Premier League matches against Brighton, Wolves and Crystal Palace. The optimists among us will be willing nine points!

Yes, always look on the bright side of life ... COYS!

Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2023-24

Week 24 of season nine of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Which Devonian played for Torquay United before scoring four goals in his debut for Tottenham, and which White Hart Lane manager sold him to Chelsea?

Please email your answer to me at and make the subject heading Quiz Week 24. 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 Tottenham player was selected for England by Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson, came on as a substitute in the winning 2008 League Cup winning team and which Spurs manager sold him to Hull City?

Answer: Tom Huddlestone/Andre Villas-Boas

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

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