NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 246
Submitted by Norman Giller
Before he had stepped foot on the scuffed-up Wembley pitch on Saturday, Spurs supporters – yes, Spurs supporters – were wrecking Moussa Sissoko with their vile criticism. What sort of support is that? Surely they should be trying to lift the man.
The social network was ablaze with couch coaches tearing into Sissoko the moment he was named in the team against Cardiff ahead of Erik Lamela, and I’m told the abuse against him was also audible at Wembley.
Mauricio Pochettino clearly sees something in Sissoko that is beyond the vision of many people, and if he selects him then the Marmite Man of Tottenham deserves encouragement, not derision.
Pochettino knows his countryman Lamela inside out, and will have calculated whether he was physically fit for the first hour or the last 30 minutes. Why would some supporters think they know better than this brilliant young manager/coach, who – word in the wind has it – will top the Manchester United wanted list if they part with the mean, moody and once-magnificent Mourinho.
Let’s not chase the Poch away with ridiculous assessments from people who could not manage a hot dog stall.
Our Spurs Odyssey guru Paul H. Smith confirms here in his balanced match report that Sissoko had a passable (pun intended) game against the low-flying Bluebirds.
Stats back up Pochettino’s decision to continually turn to the French international, and he has a record of good passing accuracy, but every mistake he makes is magnified by people almost willing him to fail just to show they know best.
It baffles me how so-called supporters can knock players of their own team. This is the meaning of the word support in the dictionary: “… to agree with and give encouragement to someone or something because you want him, her, or it to succeed.”
Sissoko has not been alone in his on-line bashing. In the last few weeks Eric Dier has been under the cosh from the keyboard warriors. He silenced his critics with the vital winning goal against a brave Cardiff team that showed character but – let’s be honest – mostly looked second best.
This was an after-the-Lord-Mayor’s-show following the classic encounter with brilliant Barcelona, when a little genius got Tottenham’s defence in another fine Messi. What a player! Just imagine him playing alongside Our Harry Kane. The only way that could happen is for Harry to move to Spain. No chance. He is sworn to Spurs – hopefully – for life.
Somebody who gave his life to Tottenham was ‘Sir’ Bill Nicholson, who sixty years ago this Thursday made his bow as manager with that famous 10-4 victory over Everton. I shall be recalling the incredible match next week to tide us over the international break.
Meantime, let’s celebrate Spurs equalling their best-ever start to a Premier League season, even without getting into top gear.
Just wait until they really start clicking! Even those who think they know better than Pochettino will have to applaud.
Question No 8 in this 2018-19 SOQL season:
Which Tottenham-born winger was in two winning Spurs League Cup squads, and against which team did he appear at Wembley in the year he had to retire from football with an injury?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL8@normangillerbooks.com. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.
This year’s prizes for the champion: two books from my Spurs collection with autographs from Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay, and a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion.
There will also be a special bonus prize that I will announce later in the season. I promise it’s a collector’s item for anybody who follows the mighty Spurs.
Last week I asked: Who followed David Pleat to White Hart Lane from his home town club of Luton, and what number Spurs shirt did he wear in an FA Cup final at Wembley?
You all came up with the correct answer: Mitchell Thomas, who wore the No 3 shirt in the 1987 FA Cup final against Coventry City that true Tottenham fans only whisper about.
Please keep a check on your scores. I will be trusting you to count your points. I have as much faith in my email server as I do in a Russian tourist in Salisbury.
Thank you for taking part. See you back here same time, same place next week. Keep the faith. COYS!
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