Tough test for Spurs?
After the elation of Wednesday nights dominant performance against Young Boys, Spurs fans got a dose of reality yesterday, with the Champions League draw pitting them against some tough opposition. The draw saw Spurs put in Group A alongside defending champions Inter Milan, German side Werder Bremen and last seasons Dutch Eredivisie winners FC Twente.
There won’t be any easing-in process for the boys from North London as they look to make an impact in arguably the second hardest group of the lot- the toughest group being G which features AC Milan, Spanish giants Real Madrid, previous winners Ajax and newcomers Auxerre. Despite the difficult challenge of progressing ahead of them, Spurs fans will be salivating at the prospect of welcoming some of the biggest teams in Europe back to the Lane.
Not to play down Spurs chances, however, on paper this looks like it will come down to a battle for the runner-up position, behind Milan. Last year, the Nerazzurri side, under the leadership of Jose Mourinho, seemingly cruised to victory and although ‘The One’ has departed for Madrid, the team remains the same. With talent like Wesley Sneijder, Maicon, Diego Milito and Julio Cesar- all won individual awards at the draw yesterday-it is hard to see them dropping points.
Werder Bremen are a tough unit brimming with firepower with Claudio Pizzaro, Marko Marin and Aaron Hunt, all of whom are capable of scoring goals. Their ability to score goals, however, is undermined by a defence that can best be described as a leaky boat. They were extremely lucky to make it through to the group stages relying on a extra time goal from Claudio Pizzaro to see off Sampdoria.
Steve McClaren’s former side, FC Twente, represent the outsiders in the group. Despite being crowned Dutch champions last season, they have lost a lot of players who have followed McClaren out the door. Players such as Ronnie Stam, Miroslav Stoch, Blaise N’Kufo and Kenneth Perez, have left the club seriously deprived in a number of areas. That being said, they have managed to retain the likes of Douglas and Bryan Ruiz whilst bolstering the sqaud with the signing of Austrian hitman Marco Janko.
Spurs possess a strong squad that have done brilliantly to make it this far. They play a ‘pleasing on the eye’ attacking brand of football which is will cause teams a few problems. At home, with their passionate fans behind them, they represent a tough challenge with few clubs going away with the points. Despite the positives, Spurs still lack the quality and experience needed to really push further into the competition and may struggle to progress past the group stages.
With a few days left before the transfer window closes, it is imperative that Harry Redknapp adds to his squad. The signing of William Gallas, was a no-brainer. The Frenchman, although prone to girl-like strops, possesses a vast amount of Champions League experience and will fill a vast hole in rather lacking Spurs defence. Upfront, they still need to find an out and out scorer, especially now with Jermaine Defoe struggling with a groin complaint. Klaas Huntelaar and Luis Fabiano have been thrown about as possible signings, both have proven goal scoring ability and European experience. Spurs midfield is their strongest asset, it possesses speed, strength and creativity, however, it still needs a top quality central midfielder to bring it all together.
Spurs fans shouldn’t feel disheartened by this frank assessment, making the group stages is a huge achievement for Spurs and fans should look forward to the prospect of seeing their team battling it out with Europe’s elite. However, fans expect Spurs to build on the success which they have created and push further towards the pinnacle of European Football. In order to accomplish this, Spurs need to bolster their squad before the close of business on Tuesday or they could find their European adventure over before Christmas.
How do you think Spurs will fare in the Champions League?
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