Tottenham just not 'Big Four' material yet
I'm often asked the following question: 'What makes a club big and who qualifies to be mentioned in that breath?'
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For the last decade or so the 'Big Four' have been automatic nominees in the 'big club' stakes followed by the likes of a Newcastle, a Leeds, even a Manchester City. However, these clubs pale in historic comparison to a side that wants more than ever to be taken seriously, Tottenham Hotspur.
So what makes a big club and do Spurs have the required credentials?
History. Check. Honors. Check. Passionate and loyal fans. Check. Money. Check. A big stadium. Negative (but due to change). Belief that you are a big club. Negative.
For far too long there has been a culture of underachieving at White Hart Lane and no amount of Carling Cup success is going to change that. Ultimately there has to be a belief that runs throughout the club. They have to feel in their every fiber, from the tea lady, to the captain, that they are 'Big Four' material.
When this happens, I have no doubt that Spurs will achieve it. If you look to London neighbors, Chelsea, they didn't have that 'belief' until Jose Mourinho instilled it and Roman Abramovich bought it.
Spurs are lucky enough to have their own mini-Abramovich, in the form of Daniel Levy, but one can't help but wonder if Harry Redknapp brings that same Mourinho-like aura.
I'm tempted to ask whether the crafty cockney can get the same performances from Carlo Cudicini and Heurelho Gomes as Mourinho inspired from Petr Cech. Will he get the run of games and passion that makes Ledley King one of the most respected center-backs in the Premiership in the same way that John Terry produces every week for the Blues?