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Europa League should remain important to Tottenham.

Posted on May 05, 2014 by Guest Writer

I cannot understand all the negativity surrounding qualifyication for the Europa League which should be our minimum target every season, qualifying for any of the three European competitions which once existed (forgetting the inter-toto) was once considered a success and should still be. We would all prefer that it be the Champions League but for whatever reason we are still not quite there though the challenge goes on.

The Europa League has been given the added impetus for the forthcoming tournament of offering a Champions League place to the winner, another route into the elite competition, and though the ridiculous situation of offering a lifeline to those third placed failures in the top competition will remain its importance continues to grow.

Many argue that involvement in the Europa League is a blight on a clubs season, no doubt the comments of Harry Redknapp, Tim Sherwood and others have favoured this argument and though that might well be the case for teams such as Wigan, Birmingham and a few others not geared up to playing in an extra competition it should not be the case for Tottenham or in fact any team with visions of playing in the top European competition.

If Tottenham or for that matter Liverpool or Everton do not have a sufficiently big enough or good enough squad to make a fist of a go at the Europa League then they have no right to ever consider themselves good enough for top four and Champions League football. Though I believe that teams entering from the Premiership do so handicapped by involvement in the most competitive league in Europe as against the procession to qualification for the top two or three in France, Germany, Portugal and Spain, it is impossible to escape the fact that ANY club that wishes to partake in the competition has midweek games to contend with either on a Tuesday or a Wednesday.

Though we may all hate Thursday night football followed by a game on a Sunday or Monday it is a format that a club like Tottenham should be used to and be able to handle with the size and quality of their squad, since Redknapp took us to the promised land a few years back Tottenham have been building and planning for regular involvement in the Champions League and it doesn’t just end with making a decent show in that competition, the hard part is qualifying again the following season and the season after that.

If we at Tottenham cannot handle involvement in the inferior competition then what right have we to consider ourselves able to enter the top European competition? In my opinion we should continue involvement AND take the competition seriously, it is an opportunity to use the entire squad, a squad assembled to hopefully bring greater success and it is an opportunity to introduce ideas and some of our youngsters when the time is right to do so and qualification to knockout stages ensured.

For the majority of Premiership clubs the major aim at the beginning of the season is to remain in the league , after that a decent cup run or two with the outside chance of a trip to Wembley or a trophy at the end of it and then there are the others, a few expecting a tilt at the title and a cup or two perhaps and a few hoping to going for a top four spot and a cup. Since the days of Redknapp, and now Sherwood, Tottenham and many of their fans seem to see a cup run as a distraction, it’s top four or nothing but Tottenham now have a squad approaching the quality of ┬áthe best around and better than all but a few, the time has arrived when Tottenham should be challenging on ALL fronts though we must accept that it won’t always happen because currently the club cannot quite compete financially with a few Premier League clubs. AVB took every competition as seriously as he possibly could and when he left we were still competing in the lot! that changed immediately and the next two cup games saw us eliminated from two domestic cup competitions and still we could not challenge for the top four.

The current attitude really has to change, one League Cup this century is not good enough, considering the quality of player Tottenham have had in the last few seasons, King, Bale, Modric, VDV and a good few others, it is a crime that there has been no real effort to go for any of the cup competitions entered other than the one excursion in the Champions League. How is it possible that a team that performed so outstandingly against both teams from Milan and others could not challenge for a domestic cup or even qualify from the group stages of the Europa League?

If the club and all of their fans really believe that Tottenham could and should be involved in the Champions League, and more importantly qualify regularly, then involvement in the Europa League and actually taking it seriously is essential, it is the perfect way to utilise a big squad and prepare for what we all hope is the step up to the next tier.

A place in the Champions League next season is a further massive incentive and a long overdue improvement from the organisers. I am not a believer in the theory that Liverpool have performed so well because they were not in Europe, that was all about good coaching and having a couple of players able to hit the target regularly. Now it is time to take the competition seriously and hopefully Tim Sherwood will send out a team to take the necessary point from Aston Villa and secure European football for another season.

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