NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 408
Submitted by Norman Giller
The only sad fact to emerge from our early-bird place here at the top of the Premier League table is that in Dejan Kulusevski we no longer have a hidden ace. His now-you-see-me-now-you-don't magic tricks against Southampton alerted every coach in the Premier League to the fact that he is dynamite.
He will be given the same attention in pre-match tactical talks as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. If you are wondering why Harry and Sonny failed to make an impact on Saturday it is because they were both shackled by markers, which enabled the likes of Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier and Emerson Royal to have a field day. They profited from the spaces left by a Saints defence concentrating on shutting out the dynamic duo.
Now our Ginger Magician – Stockholm-born to Macedonian parents – will get the same concentration from eagle-eyed coaches, who cannot allow him to dominate matches like he did against Southampton.
It is hard to realise that Kulusevski is still only 22. He plays with a veteran's intelligence and guile and has the best left foot we have seen in a Spurs player since, uh, Gareth Bale.
He is the man with the golden boot, and every full back will be instructed not to allow him to cut in from the right and unleash the sort of left foot shots and crosses that had the Saints marching in confusion. 'Kulu' does it with the same panache and passion as another Welsh wizard, Cliff Jones, who could attack with verve and venom from either wing.
It is scary when you realise the Swede basher is with us only on loan – a Loan Ranger if ever there was one. The quicker Spurs make his move from Juventus permanent the better for my blood pressure.
Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith waxes lyrical about Tottenham's roaring kick-off to the season HERE, but is wise enough to warn that we need to judge the true strength of Conte's Conquerors against Chelsea at the Bridge on Sunday.
Am I the only one who dislikes the new five-subs rule? Matches become like Piccadilly in the rush hour as players come and go from the touchline bench. Call me old fashioned, but I much preferred the original substitution rule that allowed only for a change forced by injury. Of course, clubs abused it and so we moved to changes for any reason.
While I am in moaning mood ("nothing changes," Ed), I worry about the fickleness of some of the Spurs supporters, who turned on the team when they went a goal down in 12 minutes. I needed to point out on social media that they should show patience, as there were a little matter of 78 minutes and nine months still to go to the season!
Research has revealed that Spurs players and owners are the most abused on line. I wish the keyboard warriors would grow up and show maturity, responsibility and patience.
There is a mood around that this, at last, could be Tottenham's season for silverware. But everybody needs to pull together and march to the same Glory Glory tune. Get behind the team, NOT in its way.
Let's all cheer on Conte's Conquerors. COYS!
Our quiz league is off and running and current champion David Matthews and former title-holders David Guthrie, Graham Eyre, Peter Lawton and Emily Hadjinicolaou were among the many who were 'on the ball' despite the ridiculously early kick-off to the season.
I will make allowances for those who missed the start, so it is still not too late for you to challenge for the crown of SOQL champion.
The rules are the same as in previous seasons. I ask a two-pronged ques-tion 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 lose the few friends that I have. But, hey, it's fun. Please join in.
This year’s prizes for the champion will be announced later in the season, but most important of all, they will include a framed certificate announcing the winner as 2023 SOQL champion.
Question 2: Who has won 106 caps and scored 40 goals for his country, was signed for Spurs by Martin Jol as a defender in 2007 and which is his current club?
Please email your answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with Quiz Week 2 as the subject heading. Deadline midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.
Last week … Question 1: Who wore the No 4 shirt for Spurs in an FA Cup winning team, played for England in a World Cup quarter-final and against which side did he score the winning goal in the second leg of a European trophy final?
As everybody who took part agreed, it was that magnificent player Alan Mullery who scored the vital winning goal against Wolves in the second leg of the Uefa Cup final on a memorable night at White Hart Lane back in 1972. Like Spurs, you are top of the table with your three points!
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!
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