Fans in awe as Levy’s dream comes to life

Daily Mail - - Premier League - MATT BAR­LOW at the Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur Sta­dium

Back on fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory. Back in the old rou­tine. Back in the queue which snaked out through the door of the ever-pop­u­lar chick- king and down Tot­ten­ham High Road, and was longer per­haps than the long­est bar in Eng­land where the beers were be­ing dis­pensed at record speed long be­fore kick-off.

Kerb­sides were lined with de­lighted fans, cran­ing their necks, star­ing sky­wards in awe, many arch­ing their backs in an at­tempt to fit the en­tire sta­dium into one shot on their cam­eras and guard­ing their boxes of ribs-and-wings while keep­ing an eye out for the Lon­don buses which rum­bled by.

In­side, the crowds were packed around the Naan and Noo­dle, stacked up on benches be­neath the South Stand, belt­ing out cho­ruses of ‘When thee Spurs go march­ing in’ and hold­ing hold­ing aloft their smart­phones, film­ing the oc­ca­sion; while un­der the West Stand a live band played some­thing by the Ea­gles, which might have gone down bet­ter in the away end.

Ev­ery­one found some­thing they liked. Roy Hodg­son thought the pitch was ‘ out­stand­ing’ and the ar­chi­tects are proud of its clever gad­gets and mov­ing parts akin to Tracy Is­land, se­cret base of the Thun­der­birds. Daniel Levy liked the toi­lets. The Spurs chair­man, it tran­spires, is firmly in the habit of judg­ing any building by the qual­ity of its toi­lets. He wasn’t the only one, be­cause the fe­male fans were de­lighted to re­port a con­sid­er­able in­crease in the num­ber of toi­lets avail­able.

The fa­cil­i­ties, as we knew from the test events, are im­pres­sive. Rob­bie keane came out at half­time to say he had never seen any­thing like it. The pub­lic con­courses are broad and wel­com­ing, the stands are steep and tight to the pitch, the de­sign is stylish and the noise gath­ers as it rolls around the bowl, full for the first time, and ef­fec­tive when home fans sang Dele alli’s song dur­ing the warm-up.

again when crys­tal Palace chanted through the open­ing sec­tion of the pre-match cer­e­mony which James Tomkins claimed was ‘sur­real’ and the away fans taunted their hosts about this be­ing like the Emi­rates when a hush de­scended in the first half. There was per­haps the world’s loud­est ever recorded groan when Moussa Sis­soko’s mis­placed pass cor­rupted a promis­ing coun­ter­at­tack and an ex­plo­sion of joy when Son He­ung-min dis­persed the fears, just as odds were tum­bling on Ser­gio aguero scor­ing the first goal in the sta­dium.

Trans­port prom­ises to be a nag­ging pain. Whether they had trav­elled by car or pub­lic trans­port most peo­ple were faced with a sort of puz­zle, with ca­pac­ity for nearly 30,000 ex­tra tick­ets and ex­tended car park­ing re­stric­tions in the area. The sta­tion at White Hart Lane creaked un­der the weight of so many pas­sen­gers. Spurs have bbeen keen to pro­mote the so­cial na­ture of the sta­dium. Like a stone dropped in the cen­tre of the com­mu­nity which will im­pact on ev­ery­one nearby.

Many as­pects of tthe project are on­go­ing as Levy seeks to cre­ate hhis des­ti­na­tion venue. The Spurs chair­man has emerged with great credit. Fans were singing his name at Liver­pool on Sun­day and there was a flag dis­played in his hon­our last night, cour­tesy of the Har­ro­gate Spurs, which said: ‘ Your Dream Our Future’.

Mau­r­cio Po­chet­tino said he’d never seen his chair­man look as happy as he did be­fore kick- off. There was even a rare visit from the club’s owner Joe Lewis. al­though no-one told Po­chet­tino. ‘He is here?’ said the man­ager, when asked about Lewis. ‘I didn’t know.’ Levy said he felt ‘ drained but ex­cited’ at the prospect of throw­ing open the doors, al­beit nearly seven months later than planned, and will take a week off be­fore start­ing on the next phase.

‘Time to think big’ was the mes­sage from Po­chet­tino and the future is bright. after a night which started with a march­ing band, an­other ren­di­tion of Glory, Glory Hal­lelu­jah and fire­works. What bet­ter way to help the team get back in the groove with a first win in six.

Back home in N17. Back in the hunt for the cham­pi­ons League.

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