By Joe Harker
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his club "need to operate differently" if they want to win titles. The last trophy the club won was the League Cup back in 2008, though they have come frustratingly close on a couple of occasions under Pochettino. While Spurs are arguably better than they ever have been in the Premier League era they still have no silverware to show for it.
Daniel Levy's project at Spurs has been successful but there are concerns that a talented squad with an excellent manager have hit a ceiling that they cannot break through without more money. Many believe the Spurs project cannot maintain the same level forever, it must either take the next step and win a big competition or collapse as players and the manager move to other clubs for money and trophies.
Pochettino said he wanted to spend the next 20 years at Spurs and emulate former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, but he also said the club needed to change its ways. He said: "At the moment it is fantastic, but we will see if it is enough to challenge in the next five years.
"After nearly five years the club is at a different level, but how we operate in five years didn't change. Maybe we can win some titles but it is going to be a tough job to do because in that situation every club in the last five years was improving a lot. We are doing a fantastic job but if we want to be real contenders we need to operate in a different way in the future."
Some have interpreted this as the manager laying down a challenge to his club at a time when Real Madrid and Manchester United are interested in appointing him, a way of saying "meet my ambitions or I'm off".
There are some benefits to the tight belts of Spurs. Necessity is the mother of invention and Spurs couldn't allow the £35 million they spent on Moussa Sissoko to go to waste with the player leaving so soon. Sissoko did not live up to his fee when he first arrived at White Hart Lane but has since become an impressive member of the team. Players signed for big money at other top teams are not always afforded the same patience.
Without the financial power of the other top teams in the Premier League and having to set aside money for a new stadium, Spurs have not been able to compete with their title rivals financially. The transfer fees and wages they can spend are dwarfed by what the other top clubs can offer but the promise of development and success has kept the squad and manager together for now.
They play great football and have a talented crop of players but the fear is that the team will reach a point where they decide they've given Spurs enough and want to win silverware. When they see players of comparable or lesser ability lifting trophies and earning higher wages the Spurs squad might be considering moving on. The manager departing could act as a signal for a number of the squad that the time has come to look elsewhere. Spurs should listen to his warning and do their best to give him what he wants.