Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham’s £600million stadium debt puts them at a major disadvantage against Arsenal and the rest of their title rivals on the Premier League grid.

But he refused to liken his club’s situation to the one today’s opponents faced just over a decade ago after they completed their move to the Emirates Stadium.

Pochettino said: “The mistake always is to compare clubs with other clubs – because the circumstances are always different.

“And only people know inside what is going on.

“Arsenal, in the last two years, signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the best striker in Germany, Alex Lacazette, the best striker in France, and one year after, Nicolas Pepe.

Spurs spent £600m on their state of the art stadium

“If you see us in five years, we didn’t sign one [big-money] striker and now our main striker is Harry Kane, but our second specific striker is 17- year-old Troy Parrot.

“That is the difference in the projects.

“I don’t want to say one is wrong and another is good. It’s only that the way we operate is completely different.

“Afterwards we need to compete. Mercedes compete with Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull…

“After, we compete in the same race and if you judge, the judgements need to be not only about the race, but the whole process.”

Pochettino lead Spurs to fourth last season, finishing one point ahead of Arsenal

Spurs have finished above Arsenal in each of the last three seasons and reached the Champions League final in June. They did so despite becoming the first club in Premier League history to go through two transfer windows without making any new signings last season.

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Pochettino added: “Different clubs, like Barcelona , they ask the bank for £600m to invest in the team.

“They create a debt signing players and putting the debt on the pitch, trying to win.

“We are different. We need to create the legacy for the future, for eternity.

Spurs have won, drawn and lost once each this season and face Arsenal on Sunday

“In this period, we are suffering the restrictions, but it’s normal and we need to work hard to find a way to compete in this very tough league, in a different way to our rivals.”

Tottenham have had an indifferent start to the season, beating Aston Villa, drawing with Manchester City and losing to Newcastle .

But Poch insists there is no Champions League hangover.

He said: “We need to be careful how we assess our performances.

“In the Premier League in the last six months, it was not great. We need to try to find the way to improve our results.

Spurs were agonisingly close to winning the Champions League last season

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“In the way that we started by winning against Aston Villa, the second half was a fantastic performance.

“Against Manchester City, we need to wait and see how many clubs are going to go there and score twice and get a point.

“We did a lot of positive things. Of course, they dominated, like we dominated against Newcastle, more than 80 per cent possession and more than 30 crosses.

“Yes, it wasn’t the best, but I am not worried about our performance because we have a very good team. I am optimistic and positive.”

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