NORMAN GILLER'S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 460
Submitted by Norman Giller
What any one of us would have given to be a fly on the wall at half-time in the Tottenham dressing-room at the Etihad yesterday. We'd have seen and heard Ange Postecoglou in full flow with the gloves off. He spelled out home truths to his Spurs players, who had somehow trailed only 2-1 to the magnificent Manchester City machine.
When asked exactly what he had said to stir a brilliant fight back, Ange declined to recall his blistering attack, saying that only about three of the words could be repeated.
Whatever he said should be bottled and used at any future matches when Spurs are clearly second best at half-time. They battled back after the interval and Dejan Kulusevski's 90th minute equaliser - the second one - was deserved reward for a revival movement that staggered the complacent champions.
It was the Ginger magician's first headed goal for Spurs and delivered with - being topical - Ronnie O'Sullivan rocketing accuracy.
Our Spurs guru Paul H. Smith captures the hectic action HERE, including City hitting the woodwork twice and the hired assassin Erling Haaland managing to miss two sitters.
City turned the main talking point into the injury-time refereeing mistake not to award them an advantage when Jack Grealish was threatening the Tottenham goal. We would have been equally angry if we had been on the receiving end of a diabolical decision, but I prefer to dwell on the comeback qualities of Ange's injury-hit team.
The grit and determination to twice force equalisers in the second-half show that Ange's Angels have some devil about them when stirred up by their larger-than-life manager. Since he took over has there been a moment when we have not been on the edge of our seats?
It's an extraordinary revolution happening before our very eyes after the sterile, defensive football served up by Mourinho and Conte. We will just whisper the fact that if Spurs had failed to take a point, they would have set an unwanted Premier League record by becoming the first team to lose four successive matches after scoring first in each of the games.
But let's think positively. Despite the three defeats, Tottenham are nicely poised in fifth place and have an intriguing home date on Thursday with London rivals West Ham.
I hope Ange does not have to read the riot act again at half-time. And I also hope Spurs ditch that appalling away kit which is insipid and uninspiring.
Let's have faith ... and dress sense. COYS!
Economic report (continued). Number of The G-Men books sold to Spurs Odyssey readers after my unashamed sales pitch last week: Uh, one more, which is 12 altogether! It is a must-read for Spurs fans of a certain age who will tingle at memories of Jimmy Greaves and Alan Gilzean playing together. Please order direct from me at www.normangillerbooks.com. I am making a donation for every book sold through me to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes who missed the gravy train. Go on, treat yourself to a Christmas present.
Week 17 of season nine of the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League challenge, and the question is:
Which Ipswich-born player joined Tottenham from Newcastle, moved on to West Brom after more than 100 appearances and with which country was he capped in 2004 after playing in two England B internationals?
Please email your answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and make the subject heading Quiz Week 17 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 eight 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 main prize will be a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion 2024, plus three signed books to be revealed at a later date. We have retired the omniscient David Guthrie after his three victories.
Last week's question:
Who won 61 international caps, started his League career at the same club as Kevin Keegan, and who was the manager who bought him for Tottenham in 1981?
Answer: Ray Clemence/Keith Burkinshaw
See you back her ... on Monday. COYS!
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