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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 242) (03.09.18)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 242
Submitted by Norman Giller

Thank goodness we have an international break coming up, so that we can all catch our breath and take a balanced and sensible view of Tottenham’s dramatic start to the season.

In particular, I wish Our Harry Kane was taking a breather from England duty, but he will be called on against Spain in a crucial Nations League match at Wembley on Saturday.

He is clearly into a stale period in his incredible career, and it would do him a favour to be free of pressure for a brief spell. But he has a lion’s heart and will not want to miss serving his country. Barring his way to goal will be none other than Uefa Defender of the Year Sergio Ramos, the Real Madrid and Spanish skipper who we all know left his mark on Mo Salah.

To read the reaction to the 2-1 defeat at Watford on social media you would have thought Spurs have been plunged into a relegation battle, because of one below-par performance after three successive victories. The magnificent triumph at Old Trafford the previous weekend was suddenly forgotten, and some fickle fans went into funereal mood.

Today is the 79th anniversary of the day Britain went to war with Hitler’s evil Nazis. For those in self-harm mood after yesterday’s set-back, try to get things in perspective. Yes, it hurt, but it is hardly the end of the world.

Our guru Paul H. Smith’s match report HERE gives chapter and verse on the facts that prove Tottenham had much more of the ball at Vicarage Road, but the failure to turn territorial domination into goals is clearly a cause for concern. For me, the best team finished second but you have to give muscular Watford credit for their excellent organisation and determined spirit.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino could barely hide his anger after the failure at Watford. Those two set-piece headed goals were cardinal sins in the eyes of a former central defender whose speciality was close marking at corners and free-kicks. The Spurs lead was snuffed out like what Watford fanatic Elton John might call a candle in the wind (apologies, couldn’t resist it).

I think it will do Mauricio and his squad of internationals good to have a rest from each other, clear their heads and then come back fresh for the huge Premier League match against Liverpool at Wembley on Saturday week.

On a happy note, let’s all congratulate Son Heung-min – Our Sonny – on his part in South Korea’s Asian Cup victory over Japan. Winning the trophy earns him exemption from military service. We can look forward to him teaming up with Lucas Moura in what will be jet-propelled support for Harry Kane.

And more congratulations are in order … for our own Paul Smith. He and his long-suffering, Spurs-widow wife take a well-earned break to celebrate a special wedding anniversary. It could cost him a few rubies :-)

Normal service will be resumed on Monday week. Keep calm.


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

We are under way with the fifth Spurs Odyssey Quiz League.

Everybody who takes part gets a personalised reply from me. Don’t let that put you off competing for this year’s prizes for the champion: two books from my Spurs collection with autographs from Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay, and a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion.

There will also be a special bonus prize that I will announce later in the season. I promise it’s a collector’s item for anybody who follows the mighty Spurs.

I always ask a two-pronged question with three points at stake.

Question No 4 in this 2018-19 SOQL season:

Who has won 36 international caps, played in the gold medal match in the 2012 London Olympics, and against which club did he score his first goal for Spurs in an FA Cup tie that finished 2-2?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL4@normangillerbooks.com. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.

Last week I asked: Who was born in Sunderland, had two spells with Tottenham, and which former Spurs team-mate was his manager when he helped Swindon Town win promotion to the Premier League?

Yes, the Wearsider is likeable Micky Hazard, who helped Swindon player-manager Glenn Hoddle – arguably the most skilful player ever to pull on a Lilywhite shirt – win promotion with Swindon Town. Micky, also a midfield maestro, continues to give full support to Tottenham and is a popular pundit on forums and a frequent guest at Legend evenings.

Thank you for taking part. See you back here – make a note – a week on Monday. COYS!

The "Giller Index" - listing all Norman's articles for Spurs Odyssey

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