Mauricio Pochettino has praised Daniel Levy and insists any criticism directed towards the Tottenham chairman is unfair.
Spurs have played European football in eight of the last nine seasons under Levy’s stewardship but the ENIC businessman, who took charge in 2001, divides opinion at White Hart Lane.
Advocates point to the club’s consistent challenging for Champions League football, a state-of-the-art training ground and a new 61,000-seater stadium on the way.
But detractors argue progress off the pitch has been prioritised over success on it, with Levy notoriously reluctant to back managers with the funds needed to reach the top four but quick to sack them when they fail to do so.
Pochettino, however, is currently very much in favour, having led Spurs to 13 games unbeaten in the league, and the Argentine insists he has felt nothing but support from Levy so far.
“After 18 months, I can judge him because it’s impossible to give an opinion about the past but after 18 months here, always he is very friendly with me, we have a very good relationship,” Pochettino said.
“The way that he suffers for Tottenham, for his club, for the people – he is very sensitive in that but sometimes it’s difficult to show that to you and our supporters.
“For me, he is one of the best presidents in England or the world. It’s a brilliant job how the club is today, how the training ground is, the project, the future, the new stadium and how he works.
“For me, I can only praise him because it’s brilliant.”
Fans’ frustration mounted again in the summer as Spurs failed to sign a striker, instead scrambling to finalise a last-minute deal for Saido Berahino and then upsetting West Brom with a series of penny-pinching bids.
Pochettino, however, is pragmatic and continues to make the best of his youthful squad, with the team only four points off first ahead of Saturday’s trip to The Hawthorns, where Berahino is likely to be in action.
The forward’s involvement against a side he was desperate to join will serve as a reminder to Spurs fans of what Levy missed, but Pochettino insists outside perceptions of the chairman are often misguided.
“It’s unfair because sometimes it’s difficult to have all the information, for you and for our supporters. For me, Daniel is a brilliant man,” Pochettino said.
“It’s very difficult to manage a big club like Tottenham and in his position, it’s always difficult to be kind to everyone but his job is fantastic and we have a very good relationship.
“We have a very good communication. We share all the decisions.
“It’s true, it’s not fair when the people sometimes (criticise) because they don’t have all the information. But for me, he’s a fantastic man and I can learn a lot from him.”
Levy’s reputation as a ruthless negotiator is well-known and he has been frequently accused of taking too strong a lead in Tottenham’s transfer decisions, which are now also informed by head of recruitment Paul Mitchell.
Pochettino, however, has final say and insists the process runs smoothly – although he admits to feeling the pressure of Levy’s negotiating prowess himself in the past.
“It is true. I can feel that,” Pochettino said with a smile.
“He’s very clever, I’ve learned a lot from him in every meeting. I have to be really strong.
“I don’t have an agent so he offers a contract and I say yes, or no, or ‘I want more’ – it was very tough and he won.”
Pochettino added: “It’s true today that we share all (decisions) and we take the decision to bring in players or not.
“This is a very good thing because I feel good, he feels good. We have people behind us that feel important people for the club too. I think that we are a unit, and this is the most important thing.
“It’s for that (reason) that I’m very happy here because I find very good people, with the staff, and with Daniel we have a very good relationship.”Back Spurs to beat West Brom at 6/1
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