NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 25
Submitted by Norman Giller
There I was thoroughly enjoying the Mexico-Holland World Cup duel when I found myself having to defend my old mucker Harry Redknapp from savage and ill-informed attacks by online keyboard warriors.
They dived in on Harry when ex-Tottenham player Giovani dos Santos fired Mexico into a shock lead against the Dutch in the oven that was the Estádio Castelão.
Cue Redknapp assaults:
“Why did Redknapp let him go! He was so blind he could not see his potential.”
“Dos Santos should still be a Spurs player. Redknapp should never have sold him.”
“More proof that Redknapp was a rubbish manager. How did he let dos Santos go?”
“Dos Santos should be scoring those sort of goals for Tottenham. Redknapp sold the family jewellery.”
This is a cross-section of those posts fit enough to repeat. Most of the criticism from the Harry Haters came couched in obscene language that said more of the messengers than their target.
I had to point out that Harry put in overtime trying to draw the most from the natural dos Santos talent, but he was continually irritated by the Mexican’s attitude and unprofessional approach to the game.
You will get an indication of his life style when I repeat a quote Harry gave me: “If Giovani could pass a nightclub like he passes a ball, he would be a great player.”
Gio’s playboy behaviour off the pitch had Harry tearing his hair out with frustration. “The kid has got so much going for him,” he said, “but he needs to show total commitment before I can give him a regular first-team place.”
Redknapp knew that it was worth persevering with him, and worked hard at trying to get him to toe the line. He was just thinking he had won the battle when the Mexican’s representatives manufactured a situation that meant Tottenham had to sell him to Mallorca in the summer of 2012 after Gio had helped Mexico win the Olympic gold medal.
Mallorca were relegated in his first season with them, and he was then sold to Villa Real where before this World Cup he scored 11 goals in 31 La Liga matches.
Then, suddenly, he scores a superb goal against Holland, and people seem to think he has become a world beater. The Harry Haters instantly used it as an excuse to continue their bombardment against a manager who didn’t do a bad job for Spurs. Let’s see if any manager can match his 4-5-4 finish.
I have known Harry for (gulp) nearly 50 years, since he first started playing for West Ham as a direct and very rapid winger. He has always shot from the lip, and was brought up in an era when the likes of Brian Clough, Tommy Docherty, Bill Shankly and Malcolm Allison grabbed the headlines with their outspoken comments. He has carried on the tradition, and has found his tongue continually towing him into trouble. It’s going to be interesting when he brings QPR to The Lane on August 23 (subject to TV date changes).
I wonder what he will find to say to Mauricio Pochettino, who has – like Harry – managed at Southampton and Spurs.
And I wonder how long it will take for the keyboard warriors to turn on the affable Argentine?
Here’s a note for the diary of any Tottenham fans based in Northern Ireland: July 18, the place the Ross Park Hotel Kells in Ballymena, the event: A SPURS LEGENDS NIGHT.
The main guests are two of the most skillful midfield players ever to pull on the Lilywhite shirt: Ossie Ardiles and Micky Hazard. Entertainment and enlightenment guaranteed, plus good food and even better company and Spurs-motivated craic.
The man behind the Legends Night is Davie Elder, arguably the most enthusiastic and energetic Spurs supporter in the Emerald Isle. He is well known to internet surfers as The Spurs Poet, who captures the history (and sometimes the hysteria) of Tottenham with beautifully composed poems. You can follow Davie boy here: https://www.facebook.com/TheSpursPoet
I have personal interest in the Legends Night because Davie is kindly putting up a stall to sell my Danny Blanchflower book, ALL profits going to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help old Spurs players who have hit hard times.
If you can’t make it to Ballymena you can purchase a copy of the book (and help a great cause) by simply going here: www.normangillerbooks.com Please help me help our old heroes. Thank you.
My regular reader will know I am keeping count of the players the KnowItAlls on Twitter and Facebook say Mauricio Pochettini is planning to buy. Last week the count was EIGHTEEN.
It is now up to wait for it, TWENTY-NINE! If all the rumours are right, you will not be able to move for players at the Lane next season.
The only one I have believed so far is the likely £6-milion purchase of Swansea left-back Ben Davies.
The one I would LIKE to believe is James Rodriguez, the Colombian sensation of the World Cup. But I won’t hold my breath.
Don’t believe a word of what the ITKs are saying. They know nowt. Only accept the deal is genuine when the player has signed a contract and is wearing a Lilywhite shirt.
THE GILLER TEASER
Each week here in my Spurs Odyssey home I test your knowledge of Tottenham. Last week I asked: Which Tottenham player wore the No 19 shirt in the 1990 finals?
As I expected, the all-correct answers flooded in. It was, of course, the one and only Paul Gascoigne, who will always sit nicely in our memories because of his skill, outrageous humour and THAT free-kick!
The first name chosen at random from the correct entries: Paul Richardson, of Maidenhead, who wins a signed hard-back copy of Bill Nicholson Revisited.
This week’s teaser again has a World Cup flavour: Which Tottenham defender won 36 caps, and played in the 1998 World Cup finals in France? He has since managed in the Football League.
A signed Bill Nicholson Revisited book (one of the few remaining hardback versions) to the sender of the correct answer whose name is randomly drawn first. Email your answer please to email@example.com
The book is now available in paperback, with profits going to the Tottenham Tribute Trust: www.normangillerbooks.com
Thank you for joining me. COYS!
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