Former Tottenham manager Chris Hughton on Daniel Levy’s Spurs DNA and Postecoglou’s charm

Chris Hughton reacts ahead of the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur  (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)Chris Hughton reacts ahead of the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur  (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Chris Hughton reacts ahead of the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images
Chris Hughton is only one of four managers to take charge against Spurs in a Premier League match having previously managed them in the competition - after Martin Jol, Harry Redknapp and Tim Sherwood.

Chris Hughton spent 27 years at Tottenham, arriving there as a 14-year-old and working his way up to first team. By the time he left, he had been caretaker manager twice, stepping up from his coaching staff role.

Hughton is only one of four managers to take charge against Spurs in a Premier League match having previously managed them in the competition - after Martin Jol, Harry Redknapp and Tim Sherwood.

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Now the head coach of the Ghana national team, Hughton told LondonWorld during Sunday night’s GUBA Awards ceremony, held in London to celebrate Africans' success in England, that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy deserves more credit for how he’s transformed the club in recent years.

“My relationship with Levy was very good and I can only speak for myself,” he told LondonWorld in an exclusive interview.

“My dealing with him was predominantly as an assistant team coach and as a first-team coach, so he would mostly be speaking to the coach himself, but whenever I had to deal with him I found him as someone who has Tottenham in his heart.

“He was someone we saw often - and he cared - but as I said when it came to the big decisions it would have been with the head coach of the team.”

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 04: Spurs captain Chris Hughton makes a point during a match circa 1989.  (Photo by Allsport/Getty Images)LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 04: Spurs captain Chris Hughton makes a point during a match circa 1989.  (Photo by Allsport/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 04: Spurs captain Chris Hughton makes a point during a match circa 1989. (Photo by Allsport/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Spurs have struck gold in Ange Postecogou. The Australian manager has taken a long walk to the Premier League but when he arrived, the wait was worth it.

He’s made the best start ever for a manager in his first 10 games, winning eight and drawing two, but the most important transformation has been how he has got the club moving in the same direction.

Fans are staying until after the 90 minutes as you would miss out on the real fun if you left a second earlier. The Tottenham stadium feels more like a club now than a football ground - and the music is as loud as the exciting football on display.

Fans are travelling across the world to catch some of these memories and there is a silent belief that this year could be the one.

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But Hughton says Tottenham have seen a gradual transformation, which he says is exciting as a Spurs fan himself, and credits Martin Jol for taking the club forward.

"Martin was there for almost three years and we had two fifth-place finishes. Before then, Tottenham could have been between 5th and 10th or 11th," he said. "And obviously there have been managers that have come after that and get into Champions League position - so for me, that is one starting position.

“Obviously this is the best start they have had in a considerable while and I don’t go back often, but I still sneak in to go and see games and the feel of the club is at the highest level. My friends and family are in Tottenham and they go often and they speak about the atmosphere which is even brilliant to see on television.

“They are enjoying it because they are top of the league table and the new stadium everything is fairly constant now you can tell. The stadium for anybody going there, wherever you are sitting, it’s one of the best in the world. But, of course, when you have a stadium like that you want the team to be doing well.

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“Let’s not forget the training facilities and the start of the season couldn’t be going any better. This is something they need to continue.”

  Martin Jol manager of Tottenham Hotspur talks to coach Chris Hughton during the Barclays Premiership match between West Ham United   (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)  Martin Jol manager of Tottenham Hotspur talks to coach Chris Hughton during the Barclays Premiership match between West Ham United   (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Martin Jol manager of Tottenham Hotspur talks to coach Chris Hughton during the Barclays Premiership match between West Ham United (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Spurs are the 13th team to have 26 points or more after 10 matches of a Premier League season. Six of the previous 12 went on to win the title, four were runners-up, Arsenal finished third in 2007-08 and Newcastle United were sixth in 1994-95.

They also could win five Premier League matches in a row for the first time since December 2018 under Mauricio Pochettino. Ironically Pochettino will be in the opposition dugout today, but Hughton has reminded fans to stay calm and not put pressure on the team with talks of a title change - his advice is to enjoy the moment and take it a game at a time.

He said: “Most of us in the game try not to get ahead of ourselves. Come the start of the season everybody will look at Manchester City. They obviously have an incredible coach but they also have an incredible squad.

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“The season is played over a long period and the value of having such an incredible squad gives them an edge. Tottenham has deserved their start and they have played incredibly, very well under Postecoglou.

“But you don’t want to be thinking so far ahead because when you start doing that and you pick up three, four, five injuries and everything turns. But at the moment they can’t have been doing any better than they are doing.”

At the heart of Tottenham’s midfield is a player that Hughton, as Brighton manager, brought to the Premier League, Yves Bissouma. The Malian has been one of the silent stars of the Postecoglou revolution and Hughton admits he still keeps in touch with him and is delighted to see him thriving.

He concluded: “When we brought him to Brighton we knew he would be a big asset for us. That was clear to see but when players come in from abroad you don’t know how long it will take them to hit the ground running, and certainly that was the case once he got going. It was clear he was made for big things.

“He’s playing in a team and under a manager who maybe suits his style of play and he’s probably playing the best football he’s ever played.”

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