In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, John Hartson made comparisons between the recent success of Tottenham and the Arsenal side of the previous ten years, suggesting that both clubs deserve credit for what they have been able to achieve under immense financial strain.
The two teams have each moved into new, state of the art stadiums whilst continuing to build success on the pitch, and although Spurs remain without a trophy since 2008, they were able to record a world record profit of £113m despite the stadium build.
Despite that, some Spurs fans remain frustrated at Daniel Levy for what they consider a lack of spending, perhaps feeling that wage budget constraints limit the type of players they are able to sign, or hold onto.
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However, others have praised some of the work done by the Tottenham chairman, and Hartson believes that acknowledgement should also be given to their fierce rivals.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, he said: “If you praise Levy, you’ve got to praise one or two others for doing similar jobs as well.
“They’ve been able to manage the club and remain successful while they’ve built the new stadium. Like Arsenal did 10 years ago. It’s a carbon copy of Arsenal.”
A new stadium isn’t the only similarity they share with their neighbours. For all the improvements of recent years and the four consecutive years of Champions League qualification, they have no silverware to show for it.
The Gunners similarly went on a barren run between 2005 and 2014 yet qualified for Europe’s elite competition in each of those years.
“They won FA Cups but Pochettino hasn’t won anything. He [Arsene Wenger] continued to win FA Cups, he got the club in the Champions League for 22 seasons on the spin, which was remarkable. Arsenal were questioning Wenger about not buying anybody or spending any money, but they continued to be successful,” added the former striker.
“I think Spurs have been very unlucky not to win a trophy under Pochettino, who I think is a fantastic manager. But when you talk about Daniel Levy and what he tried to do, it’s exactly what the Arsenal board did with Arsene Wenger.”
There is still work to do for Spurs and Pochettino if they are to better the recent history of their north London rival, and until they win something the same questions and doubts will linger over the club.