The Tottenham manager pushed Daniel Levy to match his ambitions on the pitch to the club’s spectacular surroundings
For Daniel Levy, it has taken 18 years; a journey driven by his perfectionist nature, his obsession with the finest of details. The Tottenham chairman has overseen the construction of a squad to challenge at the top of the Premier League and the move to a state‑of‑the-art training complex. Now, the centrepiece is in place – the 62,062-capacity stadium, which will officially open against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
It felt like a time for Levy to exhale on Tuesday morning; even to congratulate himself, however alien that is to him. Then, Mauricio Pochettino followed him into a media briefing and upped the ante. Dramatically so.
The manager chose the eve of the stadium’s unveiling to outline his vision for what he called the club’s next chapter, the beginning of their next project. It amounted to a challenge to Levy and everyone else at the club to reset, dig deeper and be smarter.
To Pochettino, Spurs must now think and act like an elite club and he mentioned Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid as the examples to follow. To him, they must “operate in a different way” and the bottom line was they had to do the thing that has eluded him during his near five-season tenure – win the league and/or the Champions League.
“We need to close the chapter,” Pochettino said. “We are not in Chigwell [at Spurs Lodge training ground] any more; we are not at White Hart Lane with 36,000 [capacity]. The magnitude of the club has grown 100 times. We cannot operate in the same way as five years ago. We are in another dimension.