Date: 3rd May 2018 at 8:00pm
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Seeing Liverpool reach the Champions League Final, it’s hard not to look back on what might have been for us if we had been a bit more solid in that second leg against Juventus.

Real Madrid have kind of sleepwalked through to their third consecutive Champions League final and going by the way we performed against them in the group stages, we could have turned them over in the quarter-finals if we had been given the chance.

None of the teams playing in this year’s premier club competition have looked unbeatable. There are glaring weaknesses in the defences of both finalists, and the irony is we came up against a team in the last 16 who were a bit more streetwise.

Even then, we were able to score three goals against them, and when you see how Juve subsequently should have knocked out Real in the next round, I kind of regret we were not luckier with the draw after finishing top of our group.

Still, you can’t change what has already happened. There was a lot to take from this season’s endeavours in the tournament. If we can learn our lessons, there’s no doubt we can be a force to be reckoned with next time around.

Considering we beat the Reds so convincingly at home, and kept them very honest in the away fixture as well, it shows it is really possible for us to get to the final in Madrid next May.

Of course, that is looking way too far ahead at the moment. We have to make sure we finish in the top four first. That should be a foregone conclusion with three games to play, and five points clear of Chelsea, but we need to make sure we finish with a flourish this season.

When you feel so close to success though, it can feel very frustrating that we haven’t managed to get over the line yet and win a trophy. For that reason, I’ll be very envious if Liverpool do lift the Champions League at the end of the month. If they do, or if they don’t, I’m hoping Poch’s men are not too far behind in making a little history of their own.

 

32 Replies to “It’s Hard Not To Reflect On What Might Have Been For Tottenham in Europe”

  • We are not that far away if we can sign martial and zaha we can challenge for the big trophies next season. First of all make sure we finish top 3 and more importantly keep hold of poch.

  • Of course “it is really possible for us to get to the final” — It always has been possible, but is it likely given how Spurs fall down every time?

  • Gazza, we were unlucky against Juve and took too long to get going in the league. Before the Juve game, we outplayed every opponent in the Champions League. We also played better than Juve. The result in the FA Cup was more disappointing for me as the performance wasn’t quite there. Funny as it sounds, I now think the Champions League represents our best hope of Silverware and Glory in the next few years, a league title would also be nice, but City are too good!

  • It’s no more hard than reflecting on everything we have missed out on since 1882. it’s football … you win some, you lose some. And then it all starts again. Bring it on. Gotta love football!

  • Envy is the right word when talking about Liverpool and Madrid. Same with Utd and Chelsea. Cup competitions are about small margins and the footballing gods and officials play their part. If the flag goes up against Higuain for his offside goal. If we don’t hit the upright against De Gea. If we draw Southampton and not Utd. If Valencia gets his deserved red card.

    The thing that is more in control is the individual errors that have cost us. That, and the weak refereeing, is where we should be most vocal. I happen to believe that the VAR technology would have helped us more than hindered us when it mattered most in the big games this season.

  • I think it’s a stretch to assume that because we have beaten a team, who then goes on to beat someone else, we would have beaten that 3rd team ourselves. Every year, results in the league prove the opposite. On the day, every game poses its own challenge and there is no universal rule. I also believe that facing big teams in the group stages is a very different proposition to facing the same team in the knockout stages. The added pressure, the experience, the greater focus all matter and just because you beat a team in the group stages doesn’t mean you will beat them later in the competition. The article also short sells Real’s achievements for me, almost implying that they’re lucky to be there. When you’ve been to the final several years in a row, and won 3 of the last 4 titles, I don’t think luck is the reason why you’re there. Great teams find ways to win ugly, even when they’re not at their best. That’s not luck, that experience, and that’s taking your chances when it matters, knowing that you’re unlikely to have many chances. It’s ruthlessness, not luck. We had 2 good games against Real and I don’t want to diminish that, but let’s not create some sort of hype around these results. We got good results at a stage in the competition when teams could afford to drop points and still progress. Now, Real are winning games when everything is on the line, something we’ve struggled to do in recent times. Taking that context away and just looking at the result itself only tells part of the story.

  • Spurs players are too young to win big games ugly, like Juve / R Madrid etc. But we are gradually getting there. As i said on another thread… Dele has commented on his frustration (and other players?) of feeling bad and disappointed when losing those games. So it is a painful steep learning curve for them and poch. As I have been the optimist for a lifetime of supporting spurs… we can win a trophy next season !! COYS

  • Can we win a trophy next year? Absolutely. Could we have this year? Yes. But we didn’t. We’ve been there or thereabouts for 3 or 4 seasons now, but we’ve failed to take the last step, which is unfortunate. My biggest worry going into next year is “what’s changed?”. MP, for all of his wonderful qualities, doesn’t have a track record of winning, or knowing what it takes. So we can’t lean on the manager to provide that experience or find the right words when the going gets tough. Our squad is talented, but none of our senior players have significant experience in winning (with perhaps the exception of … Llorente, who never plays), and our young players still seem quite green, if recent opportunities have taught us anything. Our recruitment policy is to buy more young players, so the experience is unlikely to come from there. I just think we’re missing a couple of players who have “been there and done it”, and that remains a worry going forward.

  • To be fair, BS. I’ll say let’s also not create hype around Tottenham’s negative results.

    If, as you have written, we are we take the past CL experience of Real into account in all this, then we should perhaps also take Tottenham’s lack of CL experience into account, when looking back. If we can’t be positive about our CL group domination when up against the likes of RM and Dortmund, then what else do we have when looking forward and gaining any confidence from our own limited experience?

    Personally, I have no regrets but I am a touch envious of Liverpool. But, it doesn’t prevent me from showing a lot of pride in our CL campaign this season.

    And, not just by looking plainly at any of the end results but, in remembering just how well we played in all but 1 of our CL matches.

    If, as supporters, we can’t gain any confidence or positivity in our team from our CL progress this season, then we are almost destined to be forever regretful of what might have been. And that’s just damn miserable for the sake of misery and lacking in any reasonable perspective on things.

    I prefer to look forward to the future with a degree of confidence in how we can then go about our business in the CL (and PL), next season.

    The story of this team doesn’t end with Spurs losses against Juve or United…

    The Road is long, with many a winding turn, that leads us to who knows where…

    … To be continued.

  • BS … Does anything have to change? All it would have taken is one kick, one goal, and we could have been in a final. That’s often the same for both teams but only one can win. When you look at our results over the last three seasons I don’t think any major changes are necessary. The one thing that WILL change is that our squad will be more experienced and hungrier …. and maybe that’s all it needs to win a trophy.

  • HT – that’s fair. I wasn’t trying to create hype around our negative results, I was just saying that objectively, you ultimately are what your results say. We’ve performed slightly better, year on year, in the CL (going one round further in the competition), slightly worse in the PL, and about the same in the domestic cups. Is that progress? It’s definitely increased experience. In terms of actual results, overall, it’s probably stagnation. My point was just to call it like it is, without being too down about our missed opportunities, or unrealistically optimistic about some of the good results we’ve had in the early stages of the cup competitions we were in.

  • Geof – Every game is going to feature missed chances. However, the way I saw the games, I just saw a number of players who performed below their usual lofty standards when the pressure was on. I saw players like Eriksen start to misplace simple passes when he’s usually quite tidy. I saw Kane hacking at chances when he’s usually quite clinical. I saw our CB’s make mistakes when they’re usually quite solid. I don’t think we were just one kick, or one lucky play away from winning. I saw overall performance levels drop because players either got stressed, or depressed, when the game wasn’t going their way. I think the only way to fix that is not to rely on luck, but rather to bring in the people who have been through tough times and emerged victorious, and who can rally a team when things are not going well.

  • I wasn’t disputing that post BS. Just expanding on it if you like and going on to express my own POV in general.

    I agree with most of what you wrote there.

    Experience is what it is and we can only hope that our players and manager can improve on it next time out.

    We have improved in many ways but there will always be ups and downs, as with any sport.

    Progression is not just about league position or one lost cup match here or there.

  • It’s a difficult question to answer for me. Do you simply go again with the same group of players next year, hoping that the extra experience will serve them well and ultimately produce better results? Or do you listen to Einstein, who once said it’s insanity to do the same thing over again and expect different results? I think a case can be made for both, and I’d like us to hedge our bets. On one hand, persevere with the players who are an integral part of our success, but on the other, look to bring in one or 2 proven winners (but they’re usually expensive…) to help us take that next step.

  • … Progression or lack of progression I should’ve said. And how we may perceive it.

    For example, we have played all our ‘home’ matches away from a home, all season. I think it would’ve been unrealistic to expect the team to go unbeaten at Wembley in the PL as we did in our final season at WHL.

    And yet our form at Wembley itself did improve overall as the season rolled on, barring those two cup losses and the City match…

  • I agree. I would also like to see an experienced player or two that could perhaps inspire the rest of them in times of need.

    As for that so called Einstein quote, well no one knows for sure who said it. And it doesn’t actually mean very much at all to me as just a throwaway line from one (unknown) persons perspective. And I prefer to say that practise makes perfect. And the nature of football and training to improve in certain aspects of the game as individuals and as a team, does indeed involve a lot of repetition. Albeit with adding new angles to it here and there. And that can mean anything from a change of formation to a change of staff and many things in-between…

  • BS …. It won’t be the same thing over and over again because it won’t be the same situation. The players will be older, wiser, and more experienced. That has to count for something. Every other club will probably be different in some way, too.

    Back in the days when I mourned Luka leaving, I used to complain (along with others) about Eriksen ‘going missing’. He’s improved a lot since then.

    I think Kane’s injury took more out of him than everyone thought. The call of the Golden Boot probably made him return a week or two too early. That’s a problem that will quickly take care of itself.

    It should also be remembered that most clubs go ‘off the boil’ for a period during the season …. unless it’s this season and City! We wouldn’t be where we are now if this wasn’t so.

    Should just mention that I advised Vital Admin about the confusion with names on here. Hopefully it’s resolved. Apparently my name is really Ethel. You learn something every day …. Einstein said that. What would he know …. I said that.

  • I agree with posters on this thread… In these 3 games we lost, Juve, City, Man utd. our players switched off and did not perform as they can and should have. So an honest look in the dressing room mirror will give them the reason for disappointment in losing. Now the players need win next 2 games for min 75 points to confirm top 4 place or even 3rd.

    We need to be going for better quality players and a strong character who can drive on the players when under pressure. Lloris in goal cant do this, so another captain is needed.

  • Presently Botch is too hit and miss to win any trophy. His interpretation of the 4231 is flawed and at the highest level these flaws get punished. If he had any sense he would play 352 which has produced spurs best results and was the system used last season when spurs got 86pts in the league and i am sure it was the system spurs used vs r.madrid. For Botch to be a success he has to trust his players more and play them in their best position. Coys

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