Do Tottenham Really Want 5th Spot?

By on May 17, 2011

Tottenham ended their horrible run of form at Anfield on Sunday as an impressive 2-0 victory lifted them back ahead of Liverpool and into the 5th spot that will guarantee them European football next season. Goals from Rafael van der Vaart and a Luka Modric penalty were enough to see of Kenny Dalglish’s men and move Spurs into the driving seat for the 2011/12 Europa League.

With just one match of the season to go – a home match against relegation threatened Birmingham City – Spurs are certainly odds on favourites to be playing in Europe next year. However, with Champions League qualification now impossible, the question Spurs fans must ask is do they really want to qualify for the Europa League?

There was a time when playing in Europe was essential to attracting the best players and with Spurs hoping to hold on to the likes of Van der Vaart, Modric and Gareth Bale, it certainly would seem essential. But make no bones about it, the Europa League is no substitute for the Champions League and playing in the likes of Poland and Russia on a Thursday night is about as attractive a proposition as Vanessa Feltz in a string bikini.

For Stoke City, European qualification is a major honour and represents an exciting time for the club, but for a Spurs team fresh off defeating the likes of AC Milan and Internazionale, the Europa League may well be seen as a hindrance, not a bonus. The aim for all stars playing in Tottenham football shirts next season must be to finish in the top four and once again earn the right to mix it with Europe’s elite.

Unfortunately, arriving back late in the early hours of Friday morning is by no means ideal preparation for their Premier League campaign and it will undoubtedly lead to some dropped points along the way.

With Manchester City certain to strengthen this summer and Liverpool resurgent under Kenny Dalglish, Spurs need every bit of help and assistance they can get. Playing in Europe is certainly going to be the opposite of that and while the prospect of a European trophy will hold some appeal, it may do more damage than good to the long term prospects of Tottenham Hotspur.

Written by Eddie Smith, a sports blogger who writes about Premiership football kits.

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6 Comments

  1. ParkLane67

    May 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    This question is starting to get a little boring. Having looked at numerous similar blogs and discussions on the subject, the balance of opinion is overwhelmingly – Of course we bloody well want to play in Europe!

  2. Beadle

    May 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Also, it’s a pretty irrelevant question. We’re top of the Fair Play League, which means we’d get Europa football even if we DON’T finish 5th. The only difference is that the Fair Play spot would mean qualification rounds starting in mid-July, which we DEFINITELY don’t want. So yes, 5th will be great thanks.

  3. Robbiepn24

    May 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    The best players didn’t join even though the club played in the Champions League. However, even though the Europa Cup is the junior competition, it helps acclimatise the squad to european matches and the club should play a combination of the first team and fringe players so that the majority of the first team will be fresh for league matches.

  4. IoanX

    May 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Playing in an international competition should be the aim of every club that wants to be great and ambitious.
    A great and ambitious club attracts great and ambitious players and investors.
    Bill Nicholson, the greatest ever manager of Spurs used to say :
    “It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high… so high, in fact, that even failure will have in it an echo of glory!”

  5. billy

    May 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Listen, playing in this competition is vital to our learning, learning how to deal with playing in europe and the league, Although we done very well in the CL our prem form suffered. This is will be a chance to get used to a virtual 2 game week, and use it for our next foray into the CL, with both the players and more importantly the manager coping with rotation.

  6. Maz

    May 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    A few years ago we were happy to get into this competition. we all know it’s not the champions league, but thats going to be very hard for anybody to get in every year now. I love seeing spurs taking on some of Europe’s top teams. Think of all the players we’re going to have to try and keep happy next year, i think we’ll need it. Plus it’s more midweek game for us to watch spurs!

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