Friday, 27 August 2010

Spurs can do a Leeds in the Champions League

Hava Nagila, ve-nismecha!
Harry Redknapp's charges have sent out a message to the rest of Europe with Wednesday night's emphatic win over the Wengerboys: Tottenham's not just there to make up the numbers in this season's Champions League.

Unlike Everton, who fell at the first qualifying hurdle in their one and only shot at the big time, Tottenham's composure at three-nil down in scoring twice in the first leg, followed by their White Hart Lane swagger in the return, means they need fear no one. At least before kickoff!

Who remembers Leeds in the Champions League? David O'Leary steered his young boys all the way to the semi-finals before succumbing to Valencia. He did it with a sizeable squad of top young players including Robbie Keane and Paul Robinson.
We all remember what happened to Leeds after that. A salutary lesson in how not to manage football finances in the modern game. Something they're still recovering from having only just won promotion from the third tier of the English game.

Could've modelled for LS Lowry.
Spurs are different. A bigger, more prosperous fanbase and a committed, future-orientated board with big plans, means the Champions League offers a building block rather than a one-off cup run.

But hold on a sec. The draw's very tough. Inter are defending champions having replaced their Champions League winning architect, Jose Mourinho with another in Rafa Benitez. Losing home and away to Inter mightn't be a disgrace.

No, the opportunities for qualification come against FC Twente and Werder Bremen. Spurs could do a double over the Dutch, while Werder are a decent team but Tottenham have more squad choices to force a result against them.

And there's a strong belief that wheeler dealing Harry hasn't finished trading in the transfer market before the window shuts next week. Luis Fabiano (cup-tied though) or Klaas-Jan Huntelaar would look good in a Spurs kit.

Redknapp's got Tottenham playing really well. He's stepped upto the plate and delivered some of the club's unfulfilled potential with their first appearance in the European Cup since 1962.

He still divides opinion among fans. Some love him for what he's done; some don't because of his dodgy image. I've a feeling that with his concentration on the Tottenham project, any lingering dissention from the terraces will diminish. Spurs are equipped to make a splash in their Champions League bow.

Good luck Tottenham Hotspur. Audere est, well you know what I mean.