NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 217
Submitted by Norman Giller
Breath holding time for we Spurs disciples. We will find out today just how seriously Our Harry Kane damaged his ankle during yesterday’s Jekyll and Hyde performance at Bournemouth.
There will also be medical checks on Dele Alli and Danny Rose after they followed Harry into the treatment room. Eric Dier was benched with an elbow injury, and Toby Alderweireld is still battling for fitness. Mauricio Pochettino must feel as if he has walked into an episode of Casualty.
As we are now nearly into the business end of the season, Tottenham need Harry’s finishing power approaching the last lap. Third in the table is very good, but second is even better and that must be the Spurs target, while also aiming for the one prize left within shooting range, the FA Cup.
Pep Guardiola, manager of champions-elect Manchester City, upset Mauricio Pochettino when he hung “the Harry Kane team” description on Tottenham. Let’s hope Spurs don’t have to prove the Etihad boss wrong after the striker hobbled off with Spurs trailing 1-0 yesterday.
That right ankle is becoming a cause of anxiety for Harry. He was out of action for two months in 2016, and It is coming up to a year since he damaged ligaments in the same ankle in an FA Cup quarter-final against Millwall that sidelined him for three matches at a crucial stage of the season.
Our guru Paul H. Smith gives his eyewitness account HERE of the ups and downs of Tottenham’s day out at Bournemouth. On paper 4-1 looks a resounding victory, but there were plenty of scares on the pitch before Spurs gained control against a spirited Cherries team that might easily have been three goals clear before Tottenham came to the party.
It took a long-awaited goal from Dele Alli to settle the Spurs nerves after their confidence-denting Champions League exit against Juventus, a mugging that exposed a lack of experience at the highest level where the big boys play.
You had to admire Tottenham’s character at the way they came back at Bournemouth in the second-half, with Eriksen and Lamela opening doors and the irrepressible Son running through them with pace and passion.
Now for the FA Cup quarter-final challenge at Swansea before Chelsea, Stoke and then Manchester City in the Premier League.
It will be interesting to see if Pochettino picks Fernando Llorente against his former club at the Liberty Stadium, or will he play the red-hot Son in a No 9 role?
Then – on April 1 (Ed: Could be 31st March)– Spurs will be trying not to look fools as they attempt to win at Chelsea for the first time since 1990. We need Harry Kane fit for that one if it is not to prove yet again a Bridge too far. If Harry is fit for England, I hope he tells Gareth Southgate that he will be quite happy to rest during the international break.
But Harry has ambitions to captain England in the World Cup finals, and will bust a gut to be ready for his club AND country.
Just let’s hope the ankle is as willing.
WEEK 30 of the Sports Odyssey Quiz League 2017-18. The rules are simple: I ask one Tottenham-related question for which a right answer earns you two points, and then a related teaser that can bring you an extra point.
The questions are always easy, provided you know the answers!
The winner this season will get a framed certificate proclaiming him (or her) the Spurs Odyssey Quiz Champion, plus a no-longer-in-print autographed GOALS book by Spurs idol Jimmy Greaves and another collectors’ item from my Greavsie collection: Football’s Greatest Entertainers, signed by Jimmy and Tottenham’s Mr Loyalty, Steve Perryman.
Now, if you’re sitting comfortably, here comes the 30th question of the 2017-18 SOQL season:
Who was born in Bethnal Green in 1960 and scored 89 goals in 236 Tottenham appearances? Against which team did he score one of the penalties in a winning UEFA Cup final shoot out?
Please email your answers by Friday’s midnight deadline to: email@example.com.
Keep a check on your points score, because I can never rely on my server that often loses emails in the ether. You will (hopefully) receive a response from me.
I test you with Spurs questions until the last few weeks of the season, when I introduce the fiendish tiebreaker teasers that call for your opinion as much as your knowledge.
But please remember, we are all in this just for fun, with the common bond of admiring all things Tottenham.
Question 29 was: Who has scored 21 goals in 75 appearances for his country, and joined Spurs from Ajax? What number Tottenham shirt does he wear?
Yes, of course, our Danish prince Christian Eriksen, who shines in the No 23 shirt. He has developed into one of the most influential midfield maestros in Europe.
First name drawn from the correct answers: Jamie Baker, of Walthamstow, who has followed the family tradition of supporting Spurs, and saw his first game at the Lane in 1980, aged six. I will send Jamie a screen version of my Spurs ’67 book (I have now sold all copies, and the book raised £4,000 for the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes Thank you all those Spurs Odyssey followers who gave their support).
Thanks for your company. See you same time, same place next week. COYS!
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