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Darren Lewis: Why ‘Becoming Tottenham’ is not actually the insult some might think

08 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Darren Lewis: Why ‘Becoming Tottenham’ is not actually the insult some might think

Jamie Carragher compared Liverpool to Spurs after Brendan Rodgers' sacking, but the Mirror sports writer says the London side are more settled

Far from ‘Being Liverpool’, Jamie Carragher would clearly have called a documentary of Liverpool’s last few months ‘Becoming Tottenham’.

His brutal, quickfire assessment last weekend was painfully accurate as far as both outfits are concerned.

“They think they are a big club,” Carragher told Sky Sports in the wake of Brendan Rodgers’ sacking, “but the real big clubs aren’t concerned about what they do.”

Manchester City, crushed 4-1 at White Hart Lane two weeks ago, might not quite agree.

But overall Carragher is right.

Liverpool were the eighth most valuable club in the world, according to Forbes in May 2015. Tottenham were 13th.

Yet in terms of their Premier League standing they are very much on a par these days.

Both clubs are on to their fourth manager in the last five years.

Both clubs have found it hard to stay in the Champions League mix having lost a world-class player – Gareth Bale for Spurs, Luis Suarez for Liverpool.

Both clubs largely wasted the big money brought in for those prize assets.

Both clubs each appear to have been trapped in transition for some time.

And both clubs have seen their bids to sign world-class stars scuppered by the lack of a sustained presence in European club football’s elite competition.

The big difference between the two is that Tottenham have had the humility to accept just how badly they have got it wrong and have addressed it.

You get the sense that Liverpool are not quite there yet.

The Reds are understood to have sacked Rodgers because they believe that in this most erratic of Premier league seasons, they actually still have a chance of finishing in the top four or even challenging for the title.

Tottenham know that the title in particular is most definitely beyond them, with deficiencies in their squad that they have still yet to address.

Spurs last month finally dispensed with the services of sporting director Franco Baldini.

Mauricio Pochettino is doing things his way at Tottenham.

It looks very much as though Jurgen Klopp will have to work with the controversial transfer committee at Anfield that did for Brendan Rodgers.

Scouts Dave Fallows and Barry Hunter, analysis man Michael Edwards, Fenway Sports Group representative Mike Gordon and chief executive Ian Ayre will all continue to have an input into Liverpool’s transfer policy.

Even though their signings have been mostly misses rather than hits.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy knows full well that if a player is brought in over Pochettino’s head, the Argentine will walk.SpursIn fact, Levy actually listened last season to Pochettino’s request to work with his own man. As a result he went out and poached Southampton’s head of recruitment Paul Mitchell.

And you get the sense that Liverpool would love to do exactly what Pochettino, with Levy’s help, has done – offload their deadwood.

Paulinho, Etienne Capoue Younes Kaboul, Benjamin Stambouli, Vlad Chiriches, Aaron Lennon and Roberto Soldado have all gone.

And while Steven Gerrard has revealed that Rodgers tried, ambitiously, to get him to tap up the likes of Real Madrid superstar Toni Kroos for Liverpool, Tottenham have realised their limits.

This summer’s signings have fitted far more easily into the team structure.

Levy may have an arrogant, intransigent picture painted of him, but he put his hands up impressively to fans last season and accepted that the club’s bid to match the top-flight heavyweights by breaking the bank failed.

Speaking to the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, he confirmed that the club would go back to targeting proven, more realistically-priced players in their bid to remodel the squad.

Critics will suggest that the battle for £25m Saido Berahino during the summer did not appear to tally with the promise.

Yet Levy clearly balked at straying into the financial territory that Baggies owner Jeremy Peace wanted to take him on transfer deadline day.

Particularly with Berahino having scored 20 goals last season but only nine during the campaign before that.

Yes, if the 22-year-old striker can continue the form he has found since he stopped sulking last month, then that expenditure could yet be justified when the transfer window reopens.

Overall, however, Spurs come out favourably from comparisons with Liverpool. The Londoners are the more settled outfit.

They have the greater sense of direction while fans have much more clarity over the way in which the club want to progress, both in terms of young players and the building of a new stadium.

Things aren’t perfect, but their move to another level is well under way.

A new, youthful, exciting team is expected to mature over the coming years – they have already fielded the line-up with the youngest average age in the Premier League so far this season.

The club also have more promising talent coming through their academy following the successes of Ryan Mason, Andros Townsend and Harry Kane.

Teenage defender Cameron Carter-Vickers is highly thought of. So too midfielders Josh Onomah, Alex Pritchard, Nathan Oduwa and Harry Winks.

All are expected to contribute to the club’s resurgence in the coming seasons.

‘Becoming Tottenham’ may have been seen as an insult last weekend, but in time it could be regarded very much as a compliment.

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