Toby Alderweireld has admitted that the Tottenham Hotspur players are disappointed with how the season has unfolded and are determined to get back competing near the top end of the table next season.
Few would have predicted that the season would turn out to be such a disappointment for the North London giants after they reached the finals of the Champions League last year and subsequently invested considerably into their squad.
Spurs are set to finish outside the Champions League places for the first time in five years and while Alderweireld acknowledges that it is a failure on the players’ part, he stressed the importance of remembering how far the club had come over recent years.
The centre-back told Football.London: “That is football. For us now it is bad, but I think back to when I came to Spurs and they had not won the Championship for more than 50 years,”
“Every year we had a chance to qualify so it is positive that people think we should be there, and of course we need to be in the Champions League.
“That is the path the club has taken and I am massively proud to be part of that.
“Maybe this season we cannot reach that, but we need to stick together and next season we have to go again and be better than this season.
“It is football. It is difficult. We want to do better – that is why everybody is trying as hard as they can – but it is just not our season.
“We don’t accept it, but we have to be professional about it by first ending this season well and then trying to go again next season.”
The Belgian international also admitted that the players are motivated to prove the doubters wrong next season.
When asked if Spurs could end up in a similar situation to Arsenal, who have found it difficult to get back into the Champions League after losing their place in the competition, the 31-year-old said: “I don’t want to be compared to another team.
“This team is taking steps and we have a nice big stadium and stuff like this.
“Even the team and the manager that we have is a massive difference from a couple of years ago. It had better be.
“Everybody has worked so hard for it. It hurts that we are maybe not going to reach it this season, but it gives us more motivation to go next season.
“But our first focus is on the remaining games this season and then we will reflect ahead of next season.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Everything that could have potentially gone wrong for us this season, has done so. From the emotional toll that losing the Champions League final took on the squad, our marquee signing failing to produce, to sacking our most successful manager in recent history, to the injury crisis we faced, nothing went our way.
With the team now showing signs of adapting to Jose’s methods, and hopefully with a few smart additions in the summer, we will look like a different outfit next season. However, it is going to take at least a couple of years for us to get anywhere near the likes of Man City and Liverpool given the standards they have set.
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