Mauricio Pochettino was keen to emphasise how difficult this season has been following our qualification for the Champions League.
The Argentine firmly believes that despite the club only having lost twice in the league at Wembley all season, playing under the arch was akin to playing away from home:
“After 23 years it is the first time we have finished above all of the London clubs. But next is to win a trophy, although we are not a club which wins a lot in recent years.”
“To play 37 games away from home in the Premier League is a massive achievement. I want to say a massive thank you to the players and staff.”
When you put it that away, Poch and his players have certainly done a fantastic job. I think when we sit back and reflect on this season, you have to keep in mind the impact of playing away from White Hart Lane could have had.
All that talk of the Wembley hoodoo quickly subsided with the form we showed at our temporary home. 40 points from a possible 53 so far with one game to go is a great achievement, with some memorable wins against Liverpool, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund as well.
Combine that with a likely third-place finish above our London rivals, being 25 minutes away from a Champions League quarter-final, and it really doesn’t sound like a bad campaign at all.
Of course, that’s not saying things couldn’t have been better. The frustration of another year without a trophy does cloud my judgement of the season slightly. You think, only if we had performed better in the FA Cup semi-final, or held our nerve against Juve, this year could really have a been a classic.
Those ‘what if’ moments will continue to haunt the mind until we do eventually get over the line. As I mentioned in an article yesterday, Poch is a very patient man indeed. He knows this group of players have what it takes to get there.
Some of the time, patience can wear thin when we stumble within touching distance of glory, but the fact that we have gone so close before, does suggest only a little bit more is needed to get where we need to go.
Hopefully, with Champions League qualification secured, and the move to a new stadium to look forward to, this season can be the base camp for a higher summit that we can reach.