Tottenham Hotspur have finally completed the move into their new 62,062 capacity stadium for tonights opening game against Crystal Palace just under two years since they last played at White Hart Lane.
A 2-1 victory against Manchester United in May 2017 brought a successful end to the clubs 118-year stay in White Hart Lane and Mauricio Pochettino and his players will be hoping for a similarly positive result to kickstart life at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, particularly with a top-four place now in jeopardy.
To players, staff members and supporters alike, Tottenhams homecoming has taken an age to come to fruition with numerous delays and setbacks to the new stadium prolonging the clubs stay at Wembley eight months longer than intended.
However, while most have had to wait a matter of months to witness Spurs move back to N17, Pochettino was quick to highlight his chairman Daniel Levys role in it all, saying that it was his ultimate vision 18 years ago when he first took the reigns at the club that had made it all possible.
Its amazing, an exciting moment for our fans and players but it is a special moment for Daniel Levy our chairman. He started with this idea and had the vision to deliver it, Pochettino said in the build-up to the game.
In his pre-match programme notes, Levy admitted it would be an emotional occasion for himself, saying: We have been living and breathing this project for so long, it has almost overtaken our lives and we are all drained but excited too. It has been really tough.
When you have put so much of your life into this project it is inevitable that tonight is going to be moving. I know tonight will be an emotional one for so many of you too. Weve achieved this as a team together, together. Thank you Spurs family. We are now all back home.
Looking around the place it is clear that Levy, regardless of his mixed reputation amongst supporters, does indeed deserve plenty of credit for overseeing the clubs move to a stadium which Pochettino has hailed the best in the world.
It is difficult to disagree with the Argentines assertion when you enter the stadium itself. Everywhere you look, this is a world-class facility from the pristine, carpet-like pitch to the enormous south stand based on Borussia Dortmunds Yellow Wall to the gold cockerel perched proudly on the roof.
However, as Pochettino has also been quick to allude to, this is a world-class stadium deserving of an equally world-class team. Over the past few years, Spurs have looked on course to become one of Europes best teams yet recent results have suggested that a lack of investment in the playing squad has finally started to undermine Pochettinos project.
Spurs have already been beaten ten times in the Premier League this season, their worst return since Pochettinos first season in charge when they lost 12 games en route to finishing fifth in the table. It is just one loss fewer than they managed in the previous two campaigns combined.
A full reset of the Pochettino project at Spurs isnt necessary given the undoubted quality and potential there is in the squad, but there is little doubt that a reboot in the summer is long overdue. Spurs could conceivably be in the market for a right-back, left-back, two central midfielders, a versatile forward and a Harry Kane alternative in the summer and that is even before factoring in the likelihood that Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen seem set to depart.
Given there are pressing needs elsewhere – most obviously in central midfield – it seems unlikely that Spurs will look to upgrade their goalkeeping options this summer, despite Hugo Lloris indifferent form in what has been a testing few months both on and off the pitch for the Spurs skipper.
While Pochettino was quick to acknowledge Levys role in bringing Spurs up to speed with their domestic and continental rivals off the pitch, he used the press conference before its curtain raiser to once more put pressure on his chairman to present him a team that can truly compete on it.