John talks Danny Blanchflower, Brian Clough and Billy Nicholson on Off The Ball
Tottenham's title-chasing form has evoked plenty of memories about the great 1960-61 Spurs team which won the Double under Billy Nicholson.
Tonight, John Giles told Off The Ball that he made his debut against Tottenham in 1959, just as they were building up steam and spoke to us about his memories of one of their greats of the era, ex-Northern Ireland star Danny Blanchflower, who passed away in 1993 at 67.
"Danny was a rebel in many ways. By footballing standards, he was regarded as an intellectual. He was a great leader, had his own ideas on the game," said John.
"I got to know Danny pretty well when I finished playing and some of his ideas I found a bit bizarre because there was a time Billy Nicholson interviewed me for the job and [Danny] told me that Bill's idea was to have him as the manager and me to be on the pitch to be the manager. Now, I don't think that would have happened but that was Danny."
Danny Blanchflower (Picture by: PA Photos / PA Archive/Press Association Images)
On some of the ideas, John spoke of Blanchflower's thoughts on not having a defensive wall for set pieces or playing without a centre-forward.
But he also expanded on how he missed out on the opportunity to take or turn down the Tottenham job.
"When Brian Clough came in [at Leeds] that was in '74. Danny had been finished a good few years playing at that time. What Brian Clough told me was that Billy Nicholson wanted to have a chat with me about the managerial position because Bill was certainly under the impression that he had the licence to pick the next [Tottenham] manager and that didn't happen. Bill was let down actually on that. He rang me two or three weeks after to apologise because Terry Neill actually was appointed manager of Spurs without Bill knowing it. So it was bad stuff," he said, also giving his take on the "gentleman" Nicholson.
But John added that he had never applied for the job and did not know if he would have accepted an offer to manage Spurs given that he had not stopped playing.