NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 364
Submitted by Norman Giller
Gareth Bale was just following his line of duty with his superbly struck hat-trick against Sheffield United last night. It was the sort of magic that could have saved José Mourinho from the embarrassment of getting the Levy boot. If only, if only he had just shown more confidence in the Welsh Wizard.
I could never understand Mourinho’s reluctance to let Bale off the leash, almost wrecking his self confidence with his long confinement to the substitute’s bench. We all knew the Welshman’s talent and it was bewildering that José did not milk it for all he was worth.
Mourinho is now going to rake in a small fortune on top of his compensation money with his television and newspaper work. But I am convinced he would much rather still be involved at the coal face than pontificating in a studio or with ghosted articles about what coulda/shoulda been.
Thanks to the first Bale triple for Spurs since 2012, an excellent goal from Sonny and some fine assist work by the much maligned Aurier, Tottenham cantered to a comfortable 4-0 victory over a mediocre Sheffield United side. Our guru Paul H. Smith (nearly as jaundiced as me) reports on how the Blades were blunted HERE.
While waiting for the game against the already relegated Yorkshire club, we were treated to the crowd riots at Old Trafford over the involvement of their American owners in the aborted breakaway European Super League. I wonder what sort of reception Daniel Levy would have got had supporters been allowed into the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium?
There must be consequences for the greed-grab actions of the ‘Dirty Dozen’, otherwise you can bet your boots they will be trying again to take our Beautiful Game away from us in the not too distant future.
Have I mentioned I am bringing out a book this month on My 70 Years at Spurs? I wonder if I will be able to get a line in on the new manager, whose first job will presumably be trying to convince Tottenham’s TNT trio – Son, Kane and Bale – that their future should be as Lilywhites. The odds are at the moment that we could lose all three of them this summer.
So much depends on who is taking over full time from interim manager Ryan Mason. The job was nailed on for Julian Nagelsmann until Bayern got wind of the move and ga-zumped Levy by signing him. Now my German contact tells me Spurs have been sniffing around Nagelsmann’s mentor, 62-year-old Ralf Rangnick. Also on the shortlist are former Juventus boss Max Allegri and the vastly experienced Rafa Benitez.
If you listen to all the tom toms, there is also interest in English managers Scotty Parker, Graham Potter and Eddie Howe, who is almost certainly Celtic bound. So far, nobody has put either Paul Smith or my name forward as Levy appears to be throwing his net around in desperation.
Levy meantime is counting on young Ryan Mason to encourage Tottenham to finish with a flourish in these final four matches, with Spurs sitting in a tantalising fifth place …
Sat 08 May Leeds United (away, 12.30, Premier League)
Sun 16 May Wolves (home, 2.05, Premier League)
Wed 19 May Aston Villa (home, 8pm (TBC), Premier League)
Sun 23 May Leicester (away, 4.00, Premier League)
My book is being published the day after the final match of the season. You can book the book here: https://py.pl/sEaYj.
It is introduced by my old friend Steve ‘Skip‘ Perryman and a share of the profits will be going to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes who missed the gravy train. It is, I claim immodestly, a perfect Father’s Day gift. Or even Grandfather’s!
Keep the faith. COYS!
The 35th week of season seven of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge. A quick call-over: There are still more than 40 of you jostling for first place, including two-times champion David Guthrie, 2019 title holder from Down Under Graham Eyre and reigning Quiz Queen Emily Hadjinicolaou. All of you have got every question right and have each amassed a maximum 102 points. I will be “sorting you out” later this month with my killer tie break challenge. Meantime, this week’s question is:
Who has won 87 international caps, netted for both sides in the North London Derby and against which team did he score twice in his home debut in 2011?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL35@normangillerbooks.com. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.
The rules are the same as in previous 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.
This year’s prizes for the champion: a Harry Kane framed and signed photo, two books from my Greavsie collection with autographs from Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay, and, most important of all, a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion.
Last week’s SOQL question: Who played in the 1986 World Cup finals and from which London club did he join Tottenham in 1987?
The answer: Terry Fenwick, the midfield anchorman bought from QPR.
See you back here same time same place next week. COYS!
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