Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey - Norman Giller's Blog (No. 479 - 20.05.24)
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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 479) (20.05.24)

Submitted by Norman Giller

Play it again Sam as Spurs Quizzers tie

As we celebrate Tottenham's fifth place finish, for a second successive season we are going to have to go to penalties to discover the identity of the new Spurs Odyssey Quiz League champion. Sorry, but it has to be: 'Play it again, Sam.'

I thought I was being cruel yet clever by challenging contestants to name a Tottenham team and substitutes, all with a different nationality, Not one of you got my exact line-up but so many were within one or two players' of my nominated side that we are going to have to go again to decide our winner.

After concocting the tough test, I considered seeking a witness protection identity. Yes, it bordered on wicked, and I am just amazed that so many of you took on the complicated challenge and submitted your selections. Thank you.

Virtually every one of you commented on the degree of difficulty, and - in most cases - kindly refrained from insulting me.

Peter Lawton, one of our former champions, put his Cambridge University educated mind to working out just how many nationalities there have been playing for Spurs since the Premier League kicked off in 1992. The answer? An astonishing 47!

Perhaps that explains why I could not find a winner among you. At least the challenge helped take Peter's mind off local difficulties. This London-born Spurs disciple lives with his family in Israel, where he has been a prominent interpreter and translator. Shalom, my friend.

To put you out of your misery, this was my choice:

Lloris (France); Carr (Ireland) Romero (Argentina) Van de Ven (Holland) Udogie (Italy); Modric (Croatia) Dembele (Belgium); Son (South Korea) Klinsmann (Germany) Kane (England, capt), Bale (Wales)

Subs: Thorstvedt (Norway), Calderwood (Scotland), Moura (Brazil), Berbatov (Bulgaria), Eriksen (Denmark)

All those who sent me 'tiebreaker decider' selections last week are eligible to take part in the following penalty shoot-out challenge ...

In this FA Cup final week, pick a side from all post-war FA Cup winning Tottenham teams. It must be in 4-4-2 formation. Then add five substitutes, plus a Premier League era Spurs manager to take charge.

Three points for every selection that agrees with mine and a bonus point for naming the same captain as me. That's a maximum 52 points. Note: You can select players out of the position they occupied at Wembley.

Here to help (or hinder) you are the Tottenham teams that have won the FA Cup since the war:

1961; Brown, Baker, Henry, Blanchflower (capt), Norman, Mackay, Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson.

1962: Brown, Baker, Henry, Blanchflower (capt), Norman, Mackay, Medwin, White, Smith, Greaves, Jones

1967: Jennings Kinnear, Knowles, Mullery, England, Mackay (capt), Robertson, Greaves, Gilzean, Venables, Saul, sub: Jones

1981: Aleksic, Hughton, Miller, Roberts, Perryman (capt), Villa, Ardiles (Brooke), Archibald, Galvin, Hoddle, Crooks

1992: Clemence, Hughton, Miller, Price, Hazard (Brooke), Perryman (capt), Roberts, Archibald, Galvin, Huddle, Crooks

1991: Thorstvedt, Edinburgh, Van den Hauwe, Sedgley, Howells, Mabbutt (capt), Stewart, Gascoigne (Nayim), Samways (Walsh), Lineker, Allen

Your five substitutes must include a goalkeeper, and add a captain - an addition that will be taken into account should there be a tie.

The strict deadline for your entry is midnight on Friday. Email your selections, please, to Give your name, your occupation, the district where you live and how long you've supported Spurs.

I am the sole adjudicator, and will not enter into correspondence with anybody who wants to dispute my selection (anybody objecting will be locked in a cage with Oleksandr Usyk).

This blog is being written within minutes of Spurs clinching a Europa Cup place with their emphatic 3-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. It will give a lift to our Thursday nights next season! You can read an eyewitness account of the final match of the season by our Spurs Odyssey webmaster Paul Smith HERE.

Meantime, I am trying to get out of my mind the fact that some Spurs supporters actually cheered and cherished goals against Tottenham in that critical match with Manchester City on Tuesday. For me, that is taking the rivalry with Arsenal to unacceptable levels and - just my opinion - is evidence of immaturity and blind loyalty to Spurs.

Thousands think I am old fashioned in my outlook. So be it, but unpleasantness has no place in my football life and I just cannot fathom how illogical hatred drives many people. If that's tribalism, count me out.

I feel that those who wanted Spurs to lose to stop Arsenal winning the title need to take a good hard look at themselves. Let's have rivalry, but not hatred. Maybe my plea for a balanced view is dictated by the fact that when I first started following Spurs they shared White Hart Lane with Arsenal, but the feelings between many supporters of the clubs are now abhorrent. There are much worse things in this world that demand that sort of mind energy.

No wonder Ange was so bothered and bewildered. How on earth can you want your own team to lose? Sorry, but I do not - and do not want to - understand that philosophy. It is far worse now than it ever used to be and has reached pathetic levels, but those caught up in the mesh of malice just cannot see it. Sad, so sad.

Anyway, well done Manchester City. A record fourth consecutive championship win underlines for me that they are comfortably the greatest of all Premier League champions, even ahead of the Arsenal Invincibles of Arsene Wenger's reign and Alex Ferguson's Furies.

On the VAR issue, my vote would be to keep it provided extra effort is made to get it right. Let ex-professional footballers have a major say based on their experience of playing the game at highest level. If the clubs decide to scrap the contentious system you can bet your boots that there will be calls for it to be reintroduced within 90 minutes of the new season.

See you back here on Monday, hopefully when the 2024 Spurs Odyssey Quiz League champion will be named. Yes (as Humphrey Bogart apparently never said!) play it again Sam. COYS!

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