Hammers’ CEO puts local rivalry aside and admits Spurs have a fine team and are an excellently-run club under Daniel Levy
WHATEVER else I think about Spurs, I’d be the last to deny that they have a fine team and are an excellently-run club.
Yes, I have had my ups and downs with them, some would say downs and downs, but I’ve ditched my distaste along with with the rubbish in my dustbin.
They say life is too short for grudges… and I can tell you life in the Premier League is too hectic to dwell on them, anyway.
I admit I am jealous of the current Spurs side.
Not only for their consistently watchable style of play but for unearthing several of the country’s most accomplished young players, Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and the numbers continue to add up.
This says a lot about the organic growth from teens with talent into adults with England caps, as well as organisation on which Mauricio Pochettino has so intelligently capitalised in his three years as manager.
It is natural for many supporters to delight in winning derby games and even more so when the victim is a neighbour chasing a trophy as Spurs were at the beginning of last May.
Our 1-0 win at the London Stadium just about choked off their hopes of overtaking Chelsea for the Premier League title.
I shared that feeling but it was a brief reaction rather than any long-term glow.
Spurs had been chasing the shadow for months and not in any minor key but by trumpeting themselves as the heirs presumptive to the great ‘push-and-run’ teams of the 1950s and 60s.
Winners of the Double, they have always been slightly aristocratic where Arsenal and United are thoroughly so.
Hammers people like to think of themselves as working-class, occasionally even working-class heroes as in the era of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters.
We clutch them to our hearts but while we have bobbed rather too often between the first and second tiers, White Hart Lane supporters have only travelled below the top division for one year in 67.
They can claim many a famous name, from Jimmy Greaves to Ossie Ardiles, Glenn Hoddle and now, destined to be among their greatest, Kane.
And while Spurs have been tenacious in hanging on to star players they have also extracted huge sums in transfers — Gareth Bale’s £85million move to Real Madrid was a masterclass in salesmanship by Daniel Levy.
With the massive rise in TV money, few clubs should any longer be forced by their bank debts to sell off what amounts to the family silver.
Whereas receipts were constantly on Arsene Wenger’s mind when Arsenal were building their new stadium, Spurs chairman Levy says rebuilding White Hart Lane for £800m will not affect Pochettino’s spending.
Further evidence that Levy is unquestionably the canniest dealer in the pack is available from a check on summer transfer business.
⚽ Ian Wright’s First Goalscorer Tips ⚽
Sun Bets are the best price on all first goalscorers in the Premier League this season
Former striker Ian Wright selects his top picks for the weekend.
While top-table rivals were doling out multi-millions, the magic man made a profit of £12m without any apparent loss of overall strength.
Bidding for the rights to the then-Olympic Stadium caused some bitterness between our respective boardrooms.
But we have never been anything but welcome at Spurs as they are in our elegant new home today.
In many ways, the cock should be crowing for Spurs. Newly resplendent in a year’s time, White Hart Lane will ring in their name, as always.
What more could a true supporter want? Well, a first Premier League title would do.
I’d rather like to see them upset the foreign spendthrifts and do it, minus three points today, of course.