GLENN HODDLE believes new Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is now at a bigger club than Chelsea.
Ex-England coach Hoddle says Spurs have a larger fanbase, a bigger stadium and superior training facilities than Mourinho’s old stomping ground in West London.
Hoddle is a rare commodity in that he has played for and managed both Spurs and Chelsea.
So his opinion carries considerable weight on the eve of the clash between Mourinho’s new team and the club he guided to three Premier League titles in two spells.
Hoddle reckons Mourinho would not have contemplated becoming the Spurs boss a few years ago but for the club’s upturn both on and off the field.
In a fascinating foreword to the book The Boss — Memories of Bill Nicholson to Jose, published this week, Hoddle said: “First of all we should all applaud the wonderful work of Mauricio Pochettino.
“If it wasn’t for the way he turned around Spurs then someone like Mourinho wouldn’t have given them a second glance.
“In fact, up until a couple of years ago, it would have been unimaginable to think of Mourinho at Spurs.
“So it’s a measure of how well Pochettino has built the team up that the club can attract a manager of Mourinho’s calibre and world standing.
“But it’s not only Pochettino. It’s the fact the club also now have a world-class training centre and a world-class stadium — all the ingredients to make Spurs an attractive proposition for Mourinho.
“The issue with Pochettino was a very simple one. Could he get the team over the line and win silverware?
“He came pretty close with the Champions League but without any silverware to show for so long in the job, you can see why Daniel Levy thought of bringing in Mourinho, a serial winner.
“With all my years in the game, you have a sense when things are coming to the boil and you could see that there was going to be a change of manager at Arsenal, sooner rather than later.
“Daniel Levy could also see that happening and he knew if he hung around too long then Mourinho might be lost to Arsenal, and if not Arsenal, then maybe Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.
“There was too much speculation, too much going on and eventually Mourinho would have been snapped up.
“How long Daniel Levy and the board had been thinking of making a change, who knows, but eventually they had to move quickly with things moving quickly at Arsenal. So, while there were mixed feelings among Spurs fans at losing someone so well liked as Pochettino, the arrival of Mourinho would have given the supporters reason to believe he will deliver silverware at long last.
“It might only be in the short term as Mourinho has moved on every two or three years but even so it is what the Spurs fans crave — trophies.
“Every Spurs fan, every Spurs player has been waiting to win something and you can sense their patience was running out.
“As indeed it probably ran out for Daniel Levy, who must have been sick and tired of everyone banging on about the lack of silverware.
“The club needs a trophy to move it to the next level. Yes, it was a shock to see Pochettino go after all he did for the club but, if he wants to stay in football, there looks like plenty of openings for him.
“In a way it wasn’t a surprise that Daniel Levy was looking to someone like Mourinho.
“Hopefully he will achieve what the fans have been dreaming of. He has done it everywhere he has gone, so there will be optimism.
“Why not at Tottenham? With the training ground, the stadium and the players at the manager’s disposal, it is all there.
“If Mourinho does win silverware at Tottenham it will prove to have been the right move at the right time for him to go to Spurs.
“It will also turn out to be a shrewd move for Mourinho, who will quickly discover that Spurs are a massive club — much bigger than he might have thought.
“He has probably underestimated just how big a club Spurs are.
“There is a bigger fanbase than at Chelsea and no one now has better facilities in terms of training ground and stadium. He has walked into a fantastic job at the right time with Spurs becoming a modern-day club. This is a good marriage.”
In the history of Spurs managers — from Bill Nicholson’s 1960-61 Double-winning team to Mourinho — Hoddle has seen many of those bosses first hand as either fan, youth player or star performer.
He added: “I’ve been associated with Spurs as man and boy and it’s now 50 years since I first walked through the doors.
“I can go all the way back to Bill Nicholson and as a player was managed by Terry Neill, who gave me my debut, Keith Burkinshaw, Peter Shreeves and David Pleat.
“I’ve seen some brilliant teams and, while we won plenty of silverware under Keith Burkinshaw, it baffles me how we didn’t win more.”