An article by the Independent says there are only two trophies that Mauricio Pochettino really wants to win and with us are already five places and 18 points behind Manchester City in the Premier League those targets are more than likely reduced to one, the article asks the question, can Tottenham win the Champions League?
It says at first glance it might look unlikely, with it being only our second foray ever into the Champions League knock-out rounds, the first coming with a completely different team back in 2011.
It adds that this is a competition that rewards experience, quality, depth and above all wealth; just look at a list of recent winners and asks How can Spurs’ squad of just-about-fit 16 senior players hope to cope?
However it does say that no-one expected us to qualify from our Champions League group this season, when we were drawn with Real Madrid, winners of three of the last four competitions, and Borussia Dortmund, who beat us comprehensively home and away in the Europa League 2016. Given how much we looked out of their depth last season, the article adds that this year felt like a hiding to nothing before their customary place in the Europa League last-32.
So what happened it asks, We got more group stage points than anyone else in the competition. Manchester United, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich all got 15 points.
However we ended up with 16, having completed a home-and-away double over Borussia Dortmund while drawing with Real Madrid in Spain before that famous 3-1 win at Wembley.
It adds that if we can do that to the team that won this trophy in 2014, 2016 and 2017, then why should we worry about anyone else as the article says was the confident note sounded by Danny Rose in the aftermath of Wednesday’s 3-0 win over APOEL.
“It’s not easy to go to the Bernabeu and get a point, and maybe we should have won the game,” Rose said. “It’s not easy to beat Real Madrid convincingly here. I hope teams look at those performances and realise Tottenham are a team to be feared. When we turn up, we can beat anybody on our night.”
It adds how Harry Winks was just as bullish, predicting that Spurs could beat anyone they were drawn against. “Whoever we get we are going to go into the game hoping to win,” Winks said. “And confident in ourselves that we can get the win, whoever we play. We’ve shown against the champions Real Madrid how good we can be. So whoever we get, we’ll embrace it.”
“We don’t fear anybody,” Rose added,The manager would prefer us to have one of the top teams. He relishes those sort of games. We have proved this season that we do turn up in these games in the group stage. And we will be looking forward to the draw.”
The article also says the division of seeds raises the prospect of four or even five English teams making up the quarter-finals and the possibility of English sides having to beat each other to win the competition. It adds that the favourites are Manchester City, but asks is there anyone in Europe they would rather not play than Spurs?
The article then points to the fact that Mauricio Pochettino has shown over the years that he knows how to beat City, with us getting four points off them last year, running them off the pitch at White Hart Lane in October.
And also it reminds us of the season before, when did the double over City in our pursuit of the title. It does say that this City side are far better now but that they would be extremely reluctant to face a Tottenham team with a coherent way of playing and one world-class striker.
It concludes that the Premier League trophy is long out of sight for Spurs now but the Champions League is not a pure merit test, and now that we have cracked Europe, and only have their eyes on this one prize, they could keep on surprising people.
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