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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 365) (10.05.21)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 365
Submitted by Norman Giller

Les Mis Hugo is man of the match

Three games to go to the end of this torturous season and I have rarely known the morale and spirit at Tottenham lower than now. Saturday’s defeat at Leeds underscored that the club is lacking direction both on and off the pitch.

Whichever one of the twenty managers tipped as successor to José Mourinho takes the job will be facing an Everest-high mountain climb. Meantime, the preening Portuguese is on his way to Roma shrugging at the mess he has left behind.

I said when he was first appointed that it would end in tears. What I didn’t realise is that the tears would be mine as I complete 70 years of following Spurs. Let’s face it, I deserve a medal.

Where would you start if you got the poisoned chalice? Do you think you could talk Harry Kane and Son Heung-min into staying without the Champions’ League stage that they deserve?

Could you repair a defence that comes apart as easily as wet blotting paper? Would you want to try to make Gareth Bale’s loan deal from Real Madrid permanent?

And would you want to work with chairman Daniel Levy, who has shown he is prepared to sell out the traditions of our great game?

There is seething anger among all Tottenham fans, and it is likely to spill over at the home game against Aston Villa next Wednesday, when Mr. Levy expects 10,000 ‘lucky’ fans to pay £60 to watch – let’s be brutally honest – a burnt-out team.

It says everything about the performance at Leeds that goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was the Tottenham man of the match despite being beaten three times. But for some of his scintillating saves, the scoreline would have made much more depressing reading. At the end, Hugo looked as if he had stepped out of a battle scene from Les Miserables, and his body language was that of a very sad and disgruntled skipper.

Our guru Paul H. Smith reports on the sorry display HERE, rightly coming to the conclusion that lively Leeds thoroughly deserved their 3-1 victory.

Yes, Our Harry was hard done by with one of the two VAR off-side decisions that went against him. What on earth is the point of VAR if the human beings judging it cannot call it right? One of those off-side verdicts should have been called marginally in Harry’s favour, which would have put a completely different complexion on the game, with Spurs taking a 2-1 lead. I would have said exactly the same thing if the call had gone against Leeds. It is so f-f-f-f-frustrating. You know what I mean.

But the facts remain that Leeds were the superior side, playing the exciting pressing game pioneered by the eccentric but effective Marcelo Bielsa, famously the man who taught Mauricio Pochettino everything he knows.

Let’s see what Ryan Mason can do to motivate the players for these last three matches of the season. Only victories are acceptable.


Sun  16 May  Wolves      (home, 2.05, Premier League)
Wed  19 May  Aston Villa (home, 6pm , Premier League)
Sun  23 May Leicester    (away, 4.00, Premier League)


Just in case I have forgotten to mention it, I have a book being published the day after the final match of the season. You can book the book My 70 Years of Spurs here :https://normangillerbooks.com/blank-page.

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! Your support will be appreciated.

Keep the faith. COYS!


Spurs Odyssey Trivia Quiz League

Here we go, my friends … the 36th and final fence of the 2020-21 Spurs Odyssey Quiz League chase. Next week, the dreaded tie break to try to find a winner.

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 105 points. I will be “sorting you out” next week, when opinions rather than knowledge will be put to the test. And you will all hate me, except the winner :-) Meantime, this week’s final question is:

Who has scored a first-half hat-trick for Tottenham this season, was briefly with Napoli and which Spurs squad number does he wear?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL36@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 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?

The answer: Emmanuel Adebayor who scored twice against Liverpool on his home debut.

See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!

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