Ossie Ardiles: Ask A Silly Question

Argentine player, manager, World Cup winner and Tottenham Hotspur legend Ossie Ardiles tries to answer FourFourTwo's ridiculous posers back in October 2009.

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Morning, Ossie. You were once sacked by Sir Alan Sugar, and your name is an anagram of 'Osse: Die Sir Al'. Surely that can't be a coincidence?
Er... OK... I don't have any hard feelings at all towards Sir Alan. What happened, happened. I wanted to do my best at Spurs; he wanted to do his best. But it just didn't work out.

Do you watch The Apprentice? Is Sir Alan being his real self, or is he playing for laughs?
I watch it, it's a good programme – although I wouldn't go on it myself. I think sometimes he maybe overdoes things a little bit for the camera, but he is being himself.

Ossie Ardiles is also an anagram of 'I Desire Lasso'. Ever fancied being a cowboy?
There are cowboys in Argentina, but I was a city boy, so no. Ricky Villa was much more of a cowboy – he grew up on a farm, so he could ride a horse and use a lasso.

Your book is called Ossie's Dream. What do you dream about at night?
It's called Ossie's Dream because of Wembley 1981, not because of any funny dreams I have. It was my ambition. But sometimes I dream that I'm playing football at night, making a beautiful pass, with my friends and colleagues again. It would be great to play one game more.

What is Ossie's Martin Luther King-style dream for humanity?
I like the fact that football, in the same way as music, unites the people of the world, and brings us all together. We learn about each other and our cultures. So I'd wish for some more of that.

Where is your World Cup winner's medal? In a sock drawer?
It's in a bank. You can't keep it in your sock drawer, because if someone broke in it would be at risk. Maybe one day it will go to a museum.

Do you enjoy a sing these days? What gets you crooning in the shower?
I'd have to say a bit of Michael Jackson. I'm also a big fan of The Beatles – they were the best ever. And I like Elton John and U2. On karaoke, I'd go for a bit of Frank Sinatra – probably My Way.

When did you last see Chas 'n' Dave?
A few years ago, probably, when Spurs were celebrating the 25th anniversary of our FA Cup win.

What's your favourite song by the Rockney legends?
Ossie's Dream, of course! But I like them all.

Gus Poyet reckons every Argentine can tango. Is he right?
No, he's not. I'm not a dancer, and tangoing is not easy. I can pretend, but it's so difficult to dance properly. I'll dance after a couple of beers, but you won't see me on Strictly Come Dancing any time soon!

Gus also claims Uruguayan women are better looking than Argentine ladies. How do you respond to that?
Do you want to start a war in South America? I won't comment. I'll say they are equal.

You've managed in England, Japan and Israel. What's the worst cuisine?
The food is wonderful everywhere, but in Japan they do eat some very funny things. They eat certain fish that contains poison and is very dangerous, so you have to be careful while preparing it, and get a really top chef to do it. That's a bit much.

More Ossie anagrams: 'Sad Resoles II'. Do get your shoes repaired when they wear out, or just buy new ones?
I tend to throw them out and buy new ones these days. But when I was a child I would get my shoes resoled.

Final one: Ossie Ardiles = 'Or Lassie dies'. How much money would it take for you to kill a dog?
No amount of money at all. I'd never ever do that, not even for a million.

You're a good man, Ossie. Cheers for chatting.
No problem.

Interview: Nick Moore. From the October 2009 issue of FourFourTwo.