NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 389
Submitted by Norman Giller
HEALTH WARNING: You might want to read this at arm's length, because I am in self isolation with a virus that has nothing to do with Covid, and you may also want to support me in a legal case I am considering against Tottenham Hotspur for making an old man older.
What on earth was that all about against Morecambe in the FA Cup yesterday? It was Morecambe, for goodness sake, not Real Madrid. I can hear my old mate Eric on my shoulder: 'What d'you think of it so far …?' The answer has to be, rubbish.
Until Antonio Conte sent on the cavalry in the shape of Lucas Moura, Harry Kane and Oliver Skipp, Tottenham were in danger of one of their most embarrassing Cup exits in history.
Thank goodness they got their act together in time to bury the Morecambe braves, setting up a fourth round home draw against Brighton … and leaving us to enjoy tears of laughter over the departure of that other North London lot at the hands of Championship side Nottingham Forest.
That will teach them to pull on Tottenham-white shirts! They wore them like flags of surrender.
But make no mistake, it could so easily have been Spurs who were the even bigger laughing stock, as our guru Paul H. Smith reports HERE. Morecambe were anything but shrimps and went home knowing they had given Tottenham an almighty fright. Yes, they very nearly kept Spurs at bay. (Norman, have you been drinking? Ed).
I am happy to accept the Harry Winks claim that he meant that equalising free-kick goal against Morecambe. He always comes across to me as an honest lad and he gave his all in a Cup tie in which too many Tottenham players appeared to be less than 100 per cent committed. They seemed to be having forty winks while Harry was wide awake and aware what the FA Cup means in the Spurs DNA.
The lethargy applied particularly to Tanguy Ndombele, whose body language suggested he soon expects to be shipped out. It would be difficult to find anybody to defend his right to continue to take fortunes out of the Spurs kitty. So frustrating, because he is a player of vast talent but just does not seem to have Spurs in his soul.
Now if Tottenham want to make it up for frightening this old wreck yesterday they will find fire in their bellies and dynamite in their boots in Wednesday's League Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea.
So many defeatists were writing us off as finished after last week's 2-0 set-back at the Bridge, where we seemed to forget Christmas was over and gift-wrapped two goals for Chelsea, truly giving us the Blues.
Being the eternal optimist, I think we could still turn this tie around. It is only half-time remember. All it needs is an early goal to shake Chelsea confidence. Easy peasy.
Yes, I've got a fever, and it is showing.
Three enormous matches coming up, Chelsea in the League Cup, and then the Woolwich Nomads at home on Sunday followed by Chelsea again at the Bridge, both Premier League games.
I have vowed to follow Spurs in sickness and in health. Now is a good time for them to give me a tonic.
I keep on hearing that Tottenham are on the brink of signing crack Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic. Something is definitely stirring in the Tottenham transfer window. Conte is demanding reinforcements. It could prove just the medicine I need.
Let's face it, Maurice Pochettino said three years ago that a 'painful rebuild' was necessary. Now Conte knows exactly what he meant, and I believe the first bricks are on their way for the team's new foundation.
Or is it the tablets talking?
Please stay safe. COYS!
The 21st week of season eight of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Which defender won 50 Scotland caps, appeared in a League Cup final in only his third appearance for Spurs and who was manager when he signed for Tottenham?
Please email your answer to me at email@example.com and make the subject heading Quiz Week 21. 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 seven 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 prizes for the champion: A rare out-of-print book from my now very special Greavsie collection with autographs from the late, great Jimmy Greaves, Dave Mackay and Steve Perryman, and, most important of all, a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion 2022. Plus a signed copy of My 70 Years of Spurs book AND a special bonus prize, the Eighty At Eighty book that I have written in harness with Sir Geoff Hurst, still the only man to score a World Cup final hat-trick.
Answer to question No 20: Which Tynesider won 34 England caps, was in the World Cup squads of 2006 and 2010, and with which club did he start his career before joining Tottenham in 2004?
Michael Carrick, the hugely talented Geordie who started his League playing career with West Ham.
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!
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