Mauricio Pochettino is in love with Harry Kane. True. He said so. It is head-over-heels, mad, passionate lurve. So much so that his wife is jealous.
And no wonder. If Harry Kane was your striker, wow, you would be going weak at the knees, your heart missing a beat every time some horrid person barges into him.
Glenn Hoddle on BT Sport, watching Harry bang in another hat trick, was asked about Pochettino’s pash. “Oh, I am in love with Harry as well,” replied Glenn. “Very much so.” In his middle years, Glenn is trying to talk like Alf Ramsey, very much so.
I was a little perturbed by Glenn’s confession. Glenn is my love heart. If asked to name my heroes, I always say Hoddle, Wainwright and Paul McCartney. When Glenn was playing for Spurs, I arrived early just to see him pull his socks up. Ooooh, Ivy.
This matter of homoerotic love between footballers is not a joke. I have seen it hovering in dressing rooms and witnessed it on the pitch. Those kisses, cuddles, wild embraces as they leap into the arms of the goal scorer, throwing him to the ground, thrusting themselves on top of his body, his arms and legs akimbo. I have to close my eyes or open the window, let the steam out.
Harry is not your obvious pin-up. He has a pointy nose, keeps his mouth slightly open like a goldfish and has a funny voice. A funny voice does not prevent you from becoming the nation’s pin-up. Just think of Beckham, though elocution lessons did help.
Harry is big, well built, square-jawed, fair-haired – not as blond as Bobby Moore, but a bottle could soon sort that. And definitely a nice lad. Polite, not self-obsessed or vain like Ronaldo. You would like your daughter to come home with him, your dog to get adopted by him.
Does it matter, make you a better person or player, folks being in love with you? It did Becks no harm, attracting all those sponsors and modelling jobs. Love is a two-way thing. The adoration of the crowd clearly encourages, and you try to give back the love you make.
I think Mauricio has polished up his own romance. When Harry first arrived he was given only the odd game. I clearly remember the fans loving him before Mauricio was convinced. “He’s one of our own” started before Harry was an England star, and before Mauricio had really made up his mind. Last Saturday, when Harry got another two goals away against Huddersfield, you could clearly hear the Spurs fans chanting, “One-season wonder, he’s just a one-season wonder.” A rather witty, ironic chant, mocking those who might have doubted, perhaps having a dig at Mauricio himself.
Is he sexy? I mean, do women find Harry attractive or is it just male love he inspires? In the interest of research I contacted eight women among my family and friends and asked – which player, past or present, do you fancy?
One said Darren Anderton, which gives away her age. She is a high-powered HR director and sits near me at Spurs. I can remember when young Darren was taking corners, flicking back his floppy hair, she would tremble beside me.
One woman, clearly a Gooner, said Giroud. Another said that there was a goalie she fantasised about, but couldn’t remember his name. Ronaldo got one vote.
The out-and-out winner, with four votes, tarra tarra, was David Ginola. I was not really surprised – he was and is yummy, fab hair, bit of a poseur, standing around with his arms across his fine chest, waiting for lesser mortals to pass the ball to him. Always looked great in those hair adverts. I was surprised no one said Georgy Best. Perhaps the women asked were too young.
Steph Houghton, the captain of the England women’s team, is gorgeous. I lusted after Silvia Neid, the manager of the German women’s team, but you don’t see her now.
Next week: which cabinet member would you like to sleep with?
This article appears in the 04 Oct 2017 issue of the New Statesman, How the rich got richer