Jamie O’Hara has claimed that Tottenham Hotspur have left it too late to make up the ground on the top four in the Premier League instead believes that Jose Mourinho’s men should concentrate on winning the Europa League.
Following their 4-0 win over Burnley on Sunday, Spurs sit just six points behind West Ham in fourth place with a game in hand over the Hammers.
With the likes of Serge Aurier and Sergio Reguilon now back fit along with Gareth Bale and Dele Alli rediscovering some of their best form, there is hope that the Lilywhites are peaking at the right time.
Spurs have also got a favourable draw in the Europa League where they take on Dinamo Zagreb for a place in the final eight of the competition.
O’Hara believes that Mourinho should play his strongest team in the Europa League instead of playing the likes of Bale and Dele in the Premier League every week if Spurs are to give themselves the best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
The former Tottenham midfielder told talkSPORT: “I think the question mark now is where do you play your best team?
“I don’t think they can get in the top four because they’re too far off it now and they’ve let that slip too much, but they could win the Europa League.
“So all of a sudden you have to kind of pick and choose where you start your best side.
“You can’t keep playing Gareth Bale every week, game after game because he will break down. You have to keep him fit.
“You just have to make that decision now where you put his minutes in.
“I think they can win the Europa League, I genuinely do.
“If they play like the way they’re suddenly playing – you’ve got Gareth Bale who is firing on all cylinders, you’ve got [Harry] Kane, [Heung-min] Son, Dele Alli, who’s going to be fresh for Europa League games – then they’re going to cause so many problems.
“Now it’s just about keeping Bale fit at 100 per cent and hungry and picking and choosing that XI at the right moment.
“Apart from Dele Alli, who I think deserves to start in the Premier League, that XI against Burnley is their best team.”
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O’Hara is not the only pundit to question Tottenham’s top-four ambitions, with Roy Keane also suggesting that Spurs have no chance of making up the ground. One wonders if these so-called experts have even looked at the league table before giving their assessment.
Given that Leicester City have hit a rocky patch and the likes of Liverpool are struggling to get consistent results, a six-point gap with a game in hand is certainly not insurmountable, particularly in an unpredictable season like this one.
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