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Norman Giller's Spurs Odyssey Blog (No. 257) (24.12.18)

NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 257
Submitted by Norman Giller

Spurs' Christmas wish is that Pochettino stays

Jingle Balls, Jingle Balls, Jingle all the way Oh what fun it is to ride on the Tottenham sleigh Jingle Balls, Jingle Balls, Jingle all the way Oh what fun it is to watch super Spurs at play.

Dashing through the snow, led by Harry Kane Sonny, Dele, Lamela, Winks and Eriksen the Dane

Through defences we go, laughing all the way Now all we want is for Pochettino to stay.

Jingle Balls, Jingle Balls, Jingle all the way Let’s tell Manchester United to just stay away Hands off our Mauricio, go and look elsewhere He’s busy building a team simply beyond compare.

My apologies to poetry lovers everywhere. Yes, I’ve gone from bad to verse, while this Tottenham team plays the sort of rhythmic football in which everything rhymes. I would hate us to lose the chief composer Pochettino, but I promise the rumours linking him with Man United will get stronger the longer the season goes on.

Only one man can put an end to the tittle tattle (while chasing the title) and that is Generalissimo Pochettino, but he has noticeably refused to rule himself in or out of the reckoning for the multi-million pound job at Old Trafford.

I don’t blame him one bit. He has all the bargaining chips in his hands, and being ‘Mr Wanted’ means he can put the squeeze on Daniel Levy for just about anything he requires.

It will be fascinating to watch the January transfer window, with Mauricio able to hint that Man United would not stop him buying this or that prime player.

Yesterday’s 6-2 Christmas cracker of a victory at Everton underlined that Pochettino has built a a championship-contending team without spending a penny in the summer transfer market, while the likes of Liverpool, Man City, Man United and Everton splashed out fortunes.

I have a good friend in Spain who knows Mauricio well, and he tells me that the affable Argentine is quietly ambitious, with an ultimate desire to manage one of the big three: Real Madrid, PSG (where he used to play) or Manchester United.

Spurs have got under his skin and there is the lure of the new stadium, but it is up to Levy to show he can satisfy Pochettino’s ambitions.

And it is up to the Spurs fans to convince him he is wanted. That sounds a crazy thing to have to type, but it was only a few weeks ago that there were three well-supported #PochOut threads running on Twitter. Mauricio I can tell you was quietly hurt and perplexed by the boos that greeted his decision to substitute Moura against PSV. That’s not the way to keep your in-demand manager.

Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith reveals how Spurs unwrapped their six goals Christmas present against Everton HERE. It could easily have been several more, because Our Harry Kane missed a hat-trick of chances before he found the net for yet another double against one of his rabbit teams.

Supporters of a certain age would have been thinking back to Bill Nick’s first game in charge at the Lane and that famous 10-4 victory over Everton – gulp – 60 years ago.

My favourite of all the goals yesterday was Harry’s second, sweeping the ball home at the end of a mesmerising one-touch movement that was traditional Spurs football in a nutshell.

It rivalled the two goals carved out at the Emirates in the League Cup quarter-final, when Dele Alli showed that he is as accomplished as the finest attacking midfield players in the world.

What I also liked about Dele apart from his stunning skill was the mature way he handled being hit on the head by the idiot who threw the plastic bottle. I can think of plenty of players who would have turned that into a major incident by false histrionics.

He also revealed his new discipline yesterday after a reckless tackle that has left him with a damaged hamstring. The younger Dele would have remonstrated, but he took it with controlled dignity. I doubt he will be fit for the Boxing Day home Premier League match against Bournemouth at Wembley. Dele – remember, still only 22 – is growing up fast, and is destined to be one of the all-time great box-to-box players.

My Christmas wish (seconded by Paul Smith) is that Dele along with all the Tottenham staff – AND all you Spurs Odyssey disciples – have bucket loads of good health, good luck and good results throughout 2019.

And particular good wishes to Mauricio and Karina Pochettino, who celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary yesterday. We all hope ‘the gaffer’ has an equally long and happy marrige with Tottenham!


Spurs Odyssey Quiz League

Question No 19 in this 2018-19 SOQL season:

Which West Ham-born player scored 20 goals for England in 57 appearances, and against which team was he sent off while playing for Tottenham in a Boxing Day Premier League match?

Please email your answer to me at SOQL19@normangillerbooks.com. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.

This year’s prizes for the champion: A framed Harry Kane autographed picture, two books from my Spurs collection with autographs from Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay, and (most precious of all) a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion.

Last week I asked: Who joined Spurs from Liverpool, played five times for England and with which London club did he make his League debut in 1979?

All the main contenders – 60+ of you – got the correct three-point answer: Paul Walsh, a South London boy from Plumstead who started his League career with Charlton Athletic.

Please keep a check on your scores. I will be trusting you to count your points as I do not have faith in my email server.

Thank you for taking part. Have a wonderful Christmas. See you back here same time, same place next week. Keep the faith. COYS!

The "Giller Index" - listing all Norman's articles for Spurs Odyssey

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