Another project down the tube
Spurs fans thought they'd seen the last of Christian 'Mr Normal' Gross, until he reappeared out of the blue
04 March, 2021 — By Richard Osley
AMONG the cast of a million managers that Spurs have had over the last 25 years, who could forget Christian Gross?
He was the one before George Graham but after Gerry Francis – and can be largely remembered for proudly producing his London Underground travel card on his first day at work. The fans would have preferred him to unveil Rivaldo, but hey you can’t have everything.
Gross had arrived on the tube and the man was so cock-a-hoop about it; a regular Mr Normal; one of us.
Presumably on day two, the sights and smells of the underground were all still a charming novelty. Day three, it had become slightly armpit pungent; day four, “STOP BREATHING ON ME”; day five – “hi team, I thought I’d come in by car this morning for a change.”
And you all keep saying, you want things to get back to “normal”. What that means is you’re desperate to get squashed up on the Northern line all over again.
You sweaty scoundrels.
As Gross was Mr Normal, the normal things that happen to Spurs happened to Spurs and, despite being big in Switzerland, he somehow turned out to be “grossly” – big bucks, I get – out of his depth here. Off he popped after less than a year in the role, never to be heard of again.
Until two months ago that is, when out of the blue, the old Grosster appeared again in view: our underwhelming friend from yesteryear had been hired by Schalke.
Now this particular German club will forever be heroes in my tavern because soon after Gross began work, they signed both Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi – two regular weekend ruiners – from Arsenal.
I mean, telephone bandits – they’re the ones to call. Stop ringing me up and telling me you’re aware of a car accident you think I had in the last two years when I don’t even drive. Dial up Schalke, you can run any of your “see what I did there” scams past them. It’s payday.
Gross could have researched his new signings by simply reading this column for the last however many years. I have creatively explained how disappointing Mustafi, Xhaka and David Luiz are in a different jumble of words, admittedly hoping nobody spots I’m saying the same thing each week.
Better still, just watch them play, particularly Mustafi – whose errors became harder to conceal than a giraffe under a duvet. Gross persevered though with them, and, bosh, two months later, Schalke have sacked him too after a run of losing results.
Ruefully, he said this week: “I wouldn’t get the same players again. I would try to have a happier hand with the transfers.”