Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 469 - 19.02.24)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 469) (19.02.24)

Submitted by Norman Giller

Postecoglou must take the Sir Bill path

How lucky am I being locked in the past writing a Bill Nicholson biography in harness with Tottenham legend Steve "Skip" Perryman; so Saturday's wilting against Wolves was reduced to just aggravating damage to morale.

All my concentration is on collecting and collating facts and figures on "Sir" Bill's glory-glory days and creating a trophy-winning culture that has become a distant memory. The 100,000-word book is based on conversations I had with the Spurs boss over a period of more than 40 years, coupled with Steve's memories of playing the first of his club record 854 games under the great man's direction.

I suggest the first person who should read our book is current manager Angelos Postecoglou, who is in danger of being burned at the stake by some fickle Spurs fans ready to kick Angeball into touch.

Even our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith declares himself HERE to be "...growing tired of watching our team". When somebody as loyal and dedicated a follower as Paul becomes bored and disillusioned then Ange should be aware he has major problems.

Yet I personally (along with my companion Lily White, above) have been thoroughly entertained by most of the matches in the Ange era. Beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

The laid-back Postecoglou can get encouragement from the fact that in his first season in charge Bill Nicholson looked out of his depth and narrowly missed dreaded relegation. The social media know-alls would have moaned him out of his job before he could set the traps for his great Double team.

Steve Perryman, who knew all about lifting trophies at Wembley (back to back FA Cups in 1981/1982) says wisely: "Everybody must keep their nerve and get behind the manager. It's when people start pulling in different directions that the trouble starts."

Bill Nick succeeded by keeping everything nice and controlled. His mantra was, "Football is a simple game and the big mistake is to complicate it."

The five substitutions Ange made against Wolves suggested that he was losing himself in a maze of his own making. He must turn a deaf ear to all those offering him advice and stick to his guns (even if his forwards are misfiring).

In his first season, he has steered Spurs into shooting distance of a Champions League place, but too many fans have already turned their backs on his bold, high-pressing game.

Bill Nick told me years ago in the autumn of his years, "Worst thing about my job was being told how to do it by people who couldn't trap a bag of wet cement."

Now Ange is getting advice shot from all angles by fans who have not got a clue about management and tactics. Yet they all think they can do a better job than the Greek-born Aussie, who has had success wherever he has laid his managerial hat.

He should be comforted by Greek philosopher Plato's wise words: "Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance."

So much of what is being said on social media comes from a foundation of ignorance masquerading as knowledge. The fact is that not nearly enough credit has been given to Wolves for their efficient throttling tactics. Let's give them praise rather than lambasting Spurs, who I believe deserved to come out of the game with a point.

I have been so lucky to sit at the feet of such football experts as Sir Matt Busby, Walter Winterbottom, Sir Alf Ramsey, Bill Shankly, Brian Clough, Don Revie, Ron Greenwood, Dave Sexton, Malcolm Allison, Bobby Robson, Terry Venables, Tommy Docherty and, of course, Bill Nick and have picked their brains about how the game should be played. But I would never be so arrogant as to suggest tactics to any manager. Everybody has his own way of playing the game and you must leave it to them to decide on the right path to take. All we should do is give them our support. The way so many have turned against Ange is sickening to this observer.

My now very worn mantra is, "Get behind the team, not in its way."

Ange now has two weeks to work on the best way forward before Spurs take on Crystal Palace at home. Leave it to him to decide how best to play.

I will be back on duty here on Monday week. In Ange I trust!


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League 2023-24

Week 26 of season nine of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:

Who won eight England caps, has played for Real Madrid and his hometown Middlesbrough club and against which team did he score the winning goal for Spurs the last time they won a trophy?

Please email your answer to me at and make the subject heading Quiz Week 26. 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 Lancastrian has won 46 England caps, moved to a Spanish club from Tottenham and from which club did Spurs buy him in 2015?

Answer: Kieran Trippier/Burnley

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

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