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Norman Giller: Skippy does not deserve this kanagaroo court

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Before the snow storm wiped out yesterday’s Burnley/Tottenham showdown at Turf Moor, I found myself having to battle on line to defend the rights of young Oliver Skipp to a place in the Spurs starting team, writes Norman Giller for Spurs Odyssey.

There was a faction picking on him after the humiliation against Mura and blaming him for one of the most depressing defeats in Tottenham history. One of his critics claimed he should never wear the Spurs shirt again. I countered by suggesting he should never post a comment again for being that harsh on a home-grown player who has managed to break through the must-be-a-foreigner barrier. What on earth happened to that old football habit of supporting rather than slamming players from your own team?

Skipp, ‘Skippy’ to all his mates, is far from the finished article, and needs every ounce of our encouragement as he bids to climb the slippery pole of football fame. He certainly does not deserve this kangaroo court on social media.

It is harrowing to see the number of youngsters who come through the Academies, only to have their hearts broken at eighteen by being tossed on the soccer scrapheap.

Oliver started with Spurs at the age of – wait for it – FIVE when he joined the juniors. The boy from Hertford via Welwyn Garden City has come through all the age categories, playing along the way for England Under-16s, Under-17s, Under-18s and Under-21s.

He was loaned to Norwich to help with his football education, and became a huge favourite at Carrow Road as he helped them to promotion from the Championship with his steely competitive performances, mixed and shaken with the ball-playing skill that is part of his Tottenham DNA.

In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before he gets a full England cap. He is a born ball-winner, fetching and carrying in midfield and always putting the needs of the team first. There are few better at riding shotgun together than Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Skipp. What they desperately need is a Christian Eriksen-style third man to whom to pass the ball and make things happen.

Antonio Conte has certainly not given up on Our Olly. He showed his hand yesterday by naming his team before the Burnley match was called off:

Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Emerson, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Reguilon; Lucas, Kane, Son.
Subs: Gollini, Doherty, Tanganga, Sessegnon, Winks, Alli, Ndombele, Gil, Bergwijn.

Skipp was back in the Premier League line-up after his suspension, taking the place of Harry Winks, who was set to join the out-of-sorts Dele Alli on the bench until the snows came.

I wonder what the January transfer window holds in store for Winks and Alli, following on from this programme:

  • Brentford (home, Premier League), Thursday December 2, kick-off 7.30
  • Norwich City (home, Premier League), Sunday December 5, kick-off 2.00
  • Rennes (home, Euro Conference), Thursday December 9, kick-off 8.00
  • Brighton (away, Premier League), Sunday December 12, kick-off 2.00
  • Leicester City (away, Premier League), Thursday December 16, kick-off 7.30
  • Liverpool (home, Premier League), Sunday December 19, kick-off 4.30
  • West Ham (home, Carabao Cup quarter-final), Wednesday, December 22, kick-off 7.45

    Skippy could give us the bounce effect.

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