NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 266
Submitted by Norman Giller
Don’t cry for me Argentina … You need a heart of stone not to have felt for Tottenham’s charismatic manager Mauricio Pochettino as he confronted referee Mike Dean after his crushingly bad day at the office at Burnley on Saturday.
The Poch was a voluble player, who has always held himself in check since taking on the responsibilities of management. But the defeat at Turf Moor was a bridge too far.
The Pochettino volcano finally erupted as Tottenham’s title chances evaporated, and it was Mike Dean who felt the full force of the fallout.
No matter what grievances Mauricio had, you cannot square up to a referee in full view of television cameras sending pictures around the world of what seemed the equivalent of the showdown at the OK Corral.
Regardless of his apologies and calmed-down explanation at his press conference, the damage was done and the Football Association disciplinary committee is certain to punish him.
I just wish there had been more evidence to support Pochettino’s rage. Yes, it looked as if the corner that led to Burnley’s first goal should have been a goal kick, as faithfully and accurately reported here by our guru Paul H. Smith.
But even after watching it half a dozen times it is still far from 100 per cent certain that Jan Vertonghen did not get the final touch. The linesman who made the decision could only go by his one view, and Burnley would have rightly complained had Dean over-ruled him.
The Poch lost it because he knew Burnley’s hard-fought victory had all but snuffed out Tottenham’s stirring challenge for the Premier League title. It is now just a two horse race between Liverpool and Man City, and it would take at least two freak results and Spurs winning at both Anfield and the Etihad for the championship chance to be re-ignited.
Let’s not be too harsh on ourselves. There has been brutal and sometimes disgraceful criticism of the team on line by so-called supporters who cannot stomach defeat. They do not deserve to be represented by such an exceptional Spurs team, playing some of the finest football I have seen from Tottenham since the Glory-Glory days of the 1960s.
Now Pochettino must give total focus to getting the team back in winning mood and mode as they face the double nemesis challenges of Chelsea and Arsenal before the second half of the Dortmund battle. A top four finish and into the last eight of the Champions’ League are now priority targets.
Yes, don’t cry for me Argentina … the truth is Pochettino has the full support of all sensible Spurs fans. COYS!
Book plug time: My Spurs ’67 is out in paperback this week. It costs £9.99 plus P&P, and profits go to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old golden heroes, who missed the gravy train and are now at that age when they are paying for all their efforts on the playing fields of England.
Introduced by peerless Pat Jennings and famously fearsome Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris, it is an inside account of the first Cockney Cup final … and all the after-match controversy. It is mainly an anthem of acclaim to two Lane Legends, Bill Nicholson and Dave Mackay.
Please support this great cause. The book is available only from me, and I will personally sign each copy. You can order it here:
Question No 28 in this 2018-19 SOQL season:
Who scored 21 goals in 51 international appearances and to which city did he return from Tottenham in 2012?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL28@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 netted a third minute FA Cup final goal for Spurs, won 57 caps and against which team did he score his first League goal?
Of course (bowing the knee) is was the Legend that is Jimmy Greaves, whose first League goal was scored for Chelsea against Spurs at White Hart Lane in 1957. Aged 17, he left Danny Blanchflower, Maurice Norman and Peter Baker on their backsides as he danced through to score the first of his 357 First Division goals. Genius!
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. See you back here same time, same place next week. Keep the faith. COYS!
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