NORMAN GILLER’S SPURS ODYSSEY BLOG No 295
Submitted by Norman Giller
If José Mourinho is going to continue with the gungho tactics then I suggest all Tottenham stadium seats should be fitted with safety-belts, and I will get one attached to my sofa. His first three games have left us breathless with a mixture of excitement and anxiety, and should have carried a health warning.
When José first met Dele Alli he asked if he was his brother, because he could not recognise his ponderous performances. We are entitled to ask the same of Mourinho. Is this is his brother who has taken over the manager’s hot seat from Mauricio Pochettino?
On the evidence of his first three games (three wins, 10 goals scored, 6 conceded), this cannot possibly be the same Mourinho who has usually adopted a park-the-bus philosophy. It is a cautious approach that has brought him the little matter of 25 trophies.
The early (very early) signs are that he wants to win matches with flair and a flourish, and it is an approach that has been quickly embraced by Dele Alli. His artistic nonchalance and barely concealed arrogance are vital ingredients of his game but had been missing in recent months.
As our guru Paul H. Smith reports here, Dele’s swagger and style were impressively back in place against Bournemouth on Saturday. Mourinho has clearly breathed new belief into the gold-plated prospect. We keep forgetting he is still only 23.
And how long is it since we’ve seen those booming 40 yard passes from Toby Alderweireld? They landed like mortar shells in the Bournemouth penalty area and Dele thrived on the long-range service.
Has Mourinho’s magic also rubbed off on Sissoko? His superbly taken goal was as rare as a snowflake in the Sahara. More please, Moussa.
I was so moved by Mourinho’s early impact that I turned to the piano to express my emotion. I have been murdering Spurs songs for (gulp) more than 70 years and I need to apologise to music lovers everywhere.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ttw1a2ACrNE&list=UUiPkGUBZSdfHKMLX191BDNQ&index=2&t=0s (Ed: I haven't viewed this yet, but I see Norman has issued a health warning!)
Meantime, the much-adored Mauricio Pochettino has been home to Argentina for a well-earned break, and good sources tell me that is where his heart is and that eventually he will manage the national team.
But there are so many opportunities opening for him in Europe that he could find himself having to choose between next coaching at Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Real Madrid, Old Trafford or down the road at the Emirates.
His eyes and ears will be tuned into Manchester on Wednesday when his successor Mourinho (or is it his brother?) takes Tottenham back to the club where he had one of his few flops.
A Spurs victory just might open the door for Pochettino to take over at United. Plus there are growing rumours that Gareth Bale could be persuaded to come ‘home’ to the new Lane!
Yes (as Greavsie always said): “It’s a funny old game.”
Glory, glory José’s Army!
Question No 18 in this 2019-20 SOQL season:
Who won 42 caps, had two spells at Spurs and on which ground was he sent off while playing for Tottenham in a Champions’ League quarter-final?
Please email your answer to me at SOQL18@normangillerbooks.com. Deadline: midnight this Friday. I will respond to all who take part.
The rules are the same as in previous seasons. I ask a two-pronged question with three points at stake. In the closing weeks of the competition I break the logjam of all-knowing Spurs-history experts with a tie-breaking poser that is based on opinion rather than fact.
Last week’s SOQL question: Which son of an Olympic basketball player won 26 international caps, helped his country win the Copa America in 1995, later played for Spurs and to which Tottenham boss was he assistant manager?
The answer: Gustavo Poyet, who was an energetic No 2 to Juande “One Day Wonder” Ramos. Uruguayan Gus was a popular player and backroom coach at Tottenham, and most recently managed at Bordeaux.
This year’s prizes for the champion: a Harry Kane framed and signed photo, two books from my Spurs collection with autographs from Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Dave Mackay, and, most important of all, a framed certificate announcing the winner as SOQL champion.
You will be better informed if you buy my SHOOTING SPURS book that features every player who has scored 50 or more goals for Tottenham since the club was formed in 1882, with special in-depth features on Jimmy Greaves and Harry Kane, plus focus on exceptional managers John Cameron, Arthur Rowe, Bill Nicholson and current master, Mauricio Pochettino.
Cliff ‘159 goals’ Jones has provided the introduction, and profits go to the Tottenham Tribute Trust to help our old heroes who missed the gravy train and now have to pay medical and care bills.
It costs just £9.99 and I will send a signed copy to anybody buying direct from me at www.normangillerbooks.com. There is also a screen version for £4.99.
I hope you will support this great cause.
See you back here same time, same place next week. COYS!
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