The European stage: Can Spurs go one better this season?

 

Lucas MouraSuccumbing to a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League final last season was devastating yet filled the Tottenham Hotspur fanbase with immense pride and excitement for what the future holds – but can Spurs go one better this season?

The journey to the final is something Tottenham fans will cherish for the rest of their existence. Whether it be the VAR madness at the Etihad Stadium or the last-gasp winner away at Ajax, those moments will remain firmly lodged in the fans’ hearts.

The Lilywhites moved into the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in April; the £1billion, state-of-the-art infrastructure is set to elevate the club into the realms of the biggest clubs in Europe – what better way to do so than winning the Champions League this season?

A mammoth of a task, for sure, but with Mauricio Pochettino as manager, anything is possible. The Argentine has been bolstered with additional quality this summer and the squad is stronger than last season. The likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon are all excellent coups – and could provide the final piece needed to go all the way on the European stage.

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The value of having Pochettino in charge should not be overlooked. He is one of the best managers in the world, both in terms of tactical choices and his man-management approach. Reaching the final of the Champions League was a distant dream for Spurs fans and he made that a reality with a sprinkle of his magic touch.

This is extremely exciting times for Tottenham. With the finances available to compete towards the top of the Premier League while mounting a Champions League run, you simply cannot avoid the Lilywhites.

Liverpool, the current Champions League holders, were the first English team to win the competition since Chelsea in 2012 and the current crop of English clubs are starting to surpass the quality of other countries. Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester City are all competing with the European giants such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

To now put Spurs into that category is an outstanding achievement from Pochettino and the team. If the Lilywhites want to go far in the Champions League this season, they will need their world-class striker, Harry Kane, to be fit and firing.

The England centre-forward obtains outstanding goal-scoring records. Kane has netted 122 times in the Premier League in the past five seasons and remains of the most prolific strikers in world football. With someone like that among the ranks, dreams of European success start to become reality and optimism surges through the Spurs fanbase.

Champions League football always offers surprise packages and Spurs deserve huge credit for their achievement last season – but would it be a surprise to see them excel in the competition once more? It would almost feel normal for Tottenham to advance into the latter stages and if they fail to get past the group stages, that would be considered a huge failure.

What makes it even sweeter for Spurs fans is Arsenal’s failure to qualify for the tournament. The Gunners came close last season but a 4-1 defeat against Chelsea in the Europa League final while finishing one point behind Tottenham in the Premier League ensured Unai Emery’s men would have to settle for Europa League football once again.

The tides are changing in England and Spurs have placed themselves in the top bracket of the Premier League. Their Champions League glory was an outstanding achievement last season, but now is the time to look forwards

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