“A turbulent year in a sumptuous environment” – was the relocation of the Spurs stadium a success?


Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: BBC Sport takes a look inside

Tottenham Hotspur’s state-of-the-art £ 1 billion stadium is being used as a hub in the fight against the current coronavirus crisis.

Spurs have donated their stadium to the NHS to help fight the pandemic, the parking lot built under the stadium is already used as a storage base for food, while the newly formed London Food Alliance tries to ensure that the most vulnerable are not hungry.

This means that the Tottenham Hotspur stadium with a capacity of 62,303 is one of the two main centers of Haringey, along with Alexandra Palace.

It is a global crisis that no one could have foreseen on the night of April 3, 2019, when the Spurs finally opened the doors of their opulent new home of competitive football with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace .

Thus, a year after the realization of the club’s dream of replacing the historic White Hart Lane with an emblematic arena on the site of the old house, the sporting success at the heart of this vision has given way to the reality of a role in fighting the deadly coronavirus.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as it will be called until the club reaches a naming rights agreement

In the sporting context – which is justifiably low on anyone’s priority list at the moment – it was an eventful first year for the Spurs in their new home.

After the victory at the Palace, then manager Maurico Pochettino had led the Spurs to third place in the Premier League, a Champions League quarter-final with Manchester City was expected and the Argentinian was so in love with the stadium and its president , he said: “I” I am happy for Daniel Levy because of this fantastic project and I dedicate this victory to him. “

So far so good, but given future events on and off the field at Spurs, the following sentences can now be considered extremely important.

Pochettino said, “We have to start thinking about the new chapter, the new era, to make sure Tottenham is a real competitor for big things. With our training ground, this stadium, you have to think big.

“We have to behave like a big club. “

And for a few months it seemed like everyone at Spurs was on the same page. Manchester City were beaten on two legs – including a historic 1-0 victory in the new stadium – and the drama of a last-minute winner from Lucas Moura in the Champions League semi-final at Ajax sent them in the final against Liverpool in Madrid.

The Spurs lost 2-0 and since then things have never been the same. Even the sumptuous surroundings of their new home did not help.

The pain of Madrid and the lack of immediate progress mark this sweet night of June as a turning point for the Spurs and Pochettino.

The Argentinian cut a disgruntled figure from the moment the Spurs returned to pre-season training, signaling his perceived lack of influence.

He said after a friendly victory against Real Madrid in July: “Sell, buy players, sign a contract, not sign a contract. I don’t think it’s in my hands. It’s in the hands of the club and Daniel Levy.

“The club must change my title and description. Of course, I’m the boss who decides the strategic game but in other areas, I don’t know. I feel like I’m the coach. “

Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino with President Daniel Levy

Everything was not going well and the results suggested that a rot had settled.

The stadium was brand new. The Spurs team was aging.

Too many players have been there for too long. The most important thing of all – the team – was out of date.

Pochettino hoped to rebuild with the sale of players such as Christian Eriksen, Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld. It remains no more.

And so the manager who was, and still is, a hero to many Spurs fans was sacked in November. They were in 14th place in the Premier League and a Champions League campaign was marked by a 7-2 humiliation in their own home by Bayern Munich, the first time the Spurs had conceded seven goals at home in 137 years of history.

No sooner had Pochettino come out of the door than Jose Mourinho was. But it has not been an easy transition for “The Special One”, trying to add a renewed brilliance to his own reputation after his dismissal at Manchester United.

Mourinho was hampered by serious injuries to world-class duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, but the 4-0 total loss to RB Leipzig in the last 16 of the Champions League was a painful reminder of their fall from thanks since June and the FA Cup fifth home defeat to Norwich City on penalties means that the long wait for a trophy, dating back to the 2008 League Cup victory, continues.

When the sport stopped while the coronavirus settled in, the Spurs finished eighth in the Premier League, seven points behind Chelsea in fourth place.

This is just the beginning, but Mourinho has yet to convince Spurs fans, many of whom adored Pochettino.

There have been few highlights in the new home – and there won’t be for a while.

There are 65 food and beverage outlets in the halls but the stadium is cashless

The stadium itself has been overwhelmingly successful when measured at the facility, despite persistent infrastructure limitations that can make a post-match escape from the match.

The Spurs have built a modern arena that compares to any other football in the world and have achieved the significant feat of maintaining a superb atmosphere, in large part thanks to the imposing 17,000-capacity single-level South Stand.

The job for Mourinho – and even Levy – is to bring the Spurs to the second anniversary of their new stadium successfully on the field to match their luxurious surroundings.


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