It is premature to crown Manchester City Premier League champions just before Christmas, but Tottenham are now 20 points adrift of the top of the table. However, the club still remains in the Champions League, unbeaten, and facing Juventus in the first knockout stage. For a club so lacking in silverware, prioritising European glory is a necessity. It would finally restore the club to the level it has failed to reach for many decades.
Tottenham’s Priority Must Be Champions League Glory
A Foregone Conclusion
With almost half the season to play, it already appears that a chasing pack for the Premier League is forming. There is no reason why Spurs can’t join that pack by creating their own unbeaten run to match Manchester City’s. Of course, in the pursuit of the league title, Spurs may well finish third or even second at an almighty push. However, the club now relies on rivals to have barren runs, with the odds truly stacked well against them. Whilst fans place some importance on a good league table finish, in truth, the club has placed in the top four consistently enough in the past two years. Therefore, this is no longer an acceptable target for the club to progress.
Prioritising the European matches would mean resting key players before these important ties. Players such as Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen need their rest after many seasons of their pivotal roles in the team. Thus, this allows the younger fringe players to develop their game. This may even prove to be a positive change for Spurs in the league and may not necessarily drop them points.
Spurs are steeped in cup competition glory, including European titles. However, they are yet to capture the UEFA Champions League trophy. It is the club’s very nature to seize upon trophies, to be the best team on the day. Indeed, the squad today does reflect this too.
There is a lot of quality which is shown invariably. With the return of Toby Alderweireld in February and the boost of Victor Wanyama’s recent return, there really is a starting XI that could challenge any team. Indeed, they pinched a draw from the holding Champions Real Madrid, before smashing them at Wembley. Perhaps the consistency for a Premier League title challenge cannot be mustered, but instead, individual cup matches could be the platform for these players to thrive.
Winning the Champions League seems to be a very distant dream. However, it would be an invaluable boost to the club’s reputation. This would be very important in bringing in the kind of world-class talent that the squad needs in order to come close to dominating domestically. Spurs do prefer to invest in their young, often academy graduating players, but unfortunately, they must also compete with the vast sums that rivals Chelsea and Manchester City spend.
Furthermore, there is a niggling background concern over the complete lack of trophies under Pochettino’s tenure. Any open criticism at this stage isn’t justified, for he has steadied, and vastly improved a sunken Spurs ship. But, finally, there have been hints of the sublime from this carefully crafted team. Grabbing a major title now would finally recognise Pochettino’s improvements. After all, no-one remembers the runner-up in a competition, much less the team that finishes in the top four. Thus, the Champions League must be prioritised.