Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 468 - 12.02.24)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 468) (12.02.24)

Submitted by Norman Giller

Johnson saves Spurs from the blues

While celebrating Tottenham's heart-stopping last-minute winner by Brengun Johnson against Brighton, I temporarily sheathed my anger over the latest move to make our football robotic.

What are they doing to our Beautiful Game? I suggest the powers-that-be immediately hit the re-set button and take us back to when football belonged to the people and the players. Suddenly the bureaucrats are in control and squeezing the life out of it.

The latest madcap idea to introduce a ten-minute sin bin - to be signalled by a blue card - is, in my opinion, just creating jobs for the boys.

We already have a referee and two assistants, a touchline dog's body, an assessor and a VAR panel. Next, we would need somebody in charge of the sin bin and the timing and, presumably, extra officials to do the necessary clerical work. What a farce.

Have they thought it through? What a mess it will be for instance if two players are 'binned' just at the time the coaches are sending on what can now be five substitutes each. It will be like Piccadilly Circus in the rush hour down on the touchline.

I was writing about sin bins as a topic back in the 1950s, but the idea, uh, went into the bin when they brought in the red and yellow card system (dreamt up by former referee Ken Aston following misunderstandings during the 1966 World Cup finals).

Now they want to bring in a blue card to further muddy the disciplinary waters. It is all to discourage cynical fouls and dissent against officials. But that was the objective of the yellow cards, with the red as the ultimate deterrent.

The way to improve the refereeing is to encourage ex-players to take up the challenge of officiating, and play the comments of the referees live to the spectators so they know what the hell is happening. It works perfectly well in rugby when the person who has paid to watch is given the inside track on what is being discussed.

Ange Postecoglou has come out against it in typical no-holds-barred style. "Adding another card! What is that going to do?" he asked. "One team being down to 10 men for 10 minutes, you know what that is going to do to our game? It's going to destroy it.

"You'll have one team sitting there trying to waste time for 10 minutes waiting for someone to come back on. Every other game is trying to speed up and declutter, all we are trying to do is go the other way for some bizarre reason."

Have I mentioned that Steve 'Skip' Perryman and I are working on the definitive biography of the great Bill Nicholson? Yes, I thought I may have done. Anyway, throughout his career as player and manager he always, always preached: 'Don't complicate what is a simple game.' I suggest that should be written large on the foreheads of all those Premier League busybodies who are pushing for yet another change in the disciplinary laws.

Sorry that I have allowed this issue to get in the way of our satisfaction at taking all three points from an extremely lively Brighton team. Our guru Paul H. Smith gives his eyewitness account of the match HERE. There were more turnovers than on Pancake Day and it took three superb saves by the recently heavily criticised Vicario to stop the Seagulls from repeating their December victory.

It was the Brighton game that really worried me from the three consecutive home Premier League matches. Now with the likes of Son, Sarr and Bissouma back in the squad, I think it fair to dare hope for maximum points against Wolves and Crystal Palace.

If not, we will be left feeling a very topical blue. COYS!

Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2023-24

Week 25 of season nine of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Which Lancastrian has won 46 England caps, moved to a Spanish club from Tottenham and from which club did Spurs buy him in 2015?

Please email your answer to me at and make the subject heading Quiz Week 25. 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 Devonian played for Torquay United before scoring four goals in his debut for Tottenham, and which White Hart Lane manager sold him to Chelsea?

Answer: Colin Lee/Keith Burkinshaw

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

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