Spurred on to play in Europe?
That age-old question without a definitive answer; it’s always this or that at Spurs.
February 24th, 2014
We never portray the confidence to compete on more than one level. Whether it’s an aura left from the ghosts of the ‘90s or more fundamental problems at the top level of our hierarchy or playing staff, we’ll never quite know. Inevitably we’ll be left with disappointment on all fronts – it’s the Spurs way.
Regardless of my initial scepticism I’ve been largely enjoying Sherwood’s press conferences of late. He was again approached with the un-answerable question of whether he’d prefer finishing in the top four (well, fourth – let’s be realistic) or Europa League to which he hinted at an answer that delighted me.
“Certainly, though, anyone who will tell you that winning trophies doesn’t look best on the CV would be lying to you”
I’d love us to win the Europa League. Despite the high volume of games, it can bring with it a brilliant fan experience, and lifting a trophy at the end of the road would be a great step for us. So, with our first knockout round in the Europa League after winning every game in the group and with our 27th Premier League fixture following soon, it presented an ideal time in which to present our true credentials. How ballsy could we be to grind out wins away at Dnipro and Norwich in the same week? How hard could we grasp this week by the lower regions?
The outcome: inevitable. The Spurs face has fallen flat on many an occasion and this week proved no different. A chance to show our bottle squandered. Our issue last year was a lack of notable squad depth, but this year our priority was to address that – which I feel we did effectively. It’s worrying how notably jaded we looked against Norwich. The pitch against Dnipro allowed forgiveness. A 1-0 defeat is fixable; a 1-0 defeat at Norwich is a bigger dent. The majority of sides around us picked up wins, and at a time in which Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool sit waiting on the horizon, three points would’ve been a more than welcome acquisition.
Bentaleb’s started adding some real value to the side of late and no longer is his place unwarranted – although both he and Paulinho look tired. We’ve the tools in which to ensure effective rotation, and we’re at a point in time in which they’re needed/required. I’d ideally like to see Townsend or Chadli start over Lennon, who I further feel has lacked any significant contribution this season. It’s a shame that his best years were between the ages of 17-19.
We shouldn’t have to compromise when we rotate. We’ve the personnel to ensure a strong first XI is consistently present. We’re at a point in time in which we need to. On paper there’s no real reason why we can’t compete for both the 4th position and the Europa League, although I feel that we’re finding the wrong answers when they’re staring us in the face.