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Champions League football

Any durable building process is constructed from the ground up. I don't know Daniel Levy. I don't know how he thinks or what his dreams are. It could be he is just here for a profit. Or it could be that he is here for the long haul and understands the building process.

He has displayed both patience (the stadium) and impatience (managers) during his time as Chairman. It's confusing. A lot of things need to happen for a football team to function competitively at the highest level. You all know what they are; club structure, good players, good manager, good training ground, good stadium, well managed resources, etc, etc. None of these happen overnight. They are all part of a long term plan, whatever long-term means!

There are priorities that must be focussed on before any desire or expectation for CL football. Mainly, THFC must ensure that PL status is secured for many years ahead, and Spurs have to make their mark in the PL by consistently challenging for the title. We could say that our PL status does look secure and we are a top-half team. But we are a fair way from challenging for the title on a regular basis. Domestic silverware is not counter-productive to this but playing CL football, before we are ready, is!

If we are not regularly, proven to be one of the top four teams in England, how can we compete in Europe?! There is little point in achieving a top four position once every few years ... only to miss out on everything because we were not prepared (or good enough, if you like) and there were too many games and too much pressure. We would then drop down the table for a while until the cycle that goes nowhere starts again.

It would not be a problem if we were in a less competitive European league such as Scotland or Wales. Celtic are assured of playing in the CL every year, as were Rangers. Real, Barca, and a dozen other teams are in stronger European leagues but they have built their foundation to last. We have to do the same .... slowly, carefully, sensibly, astutely. And do it within, arguably, the most competitive league in world football.

I'm sorry, but, to me, Champions League football is a lie, a farce. But I have to, and do, accept it as a reality and fact of life. Most teams that participate are not champions. There was once a competition called the European cup, a competition where every game saw two European champions take the field together. Such a competition should only involve the best of the best throughout Europe. It doesn't. The current format and philosophy of the CL is solely based on increasing revenue, and supports those that argue money rules sport and both players and fans are exploited - the players physically, and the fans financially.

If one uses the argument that teams need CL money to progress, it becomes a matter of the chicken or the egg. The Europa League has more credibility, in my opinion, in that all teams competing are there because of prescribed finishing positions in their domestic leagues. It's more honest ... well, until the CL dropouts arrive (another money generating idea).

Every team in the four divisions wants to play CL football. The reality is that only a handful will achieve it. Wanting something to happen will not make it happen. We are not, currently, a top four team. We cannot compete with the financial clout that other teams have in terms of buying the best players and paying the highest wages. All the above factors have to be developed first. But, within our current resources, we are doing well and deserve some recognition for being where we are. But we remain a work in progress.

It is not my intention to spark yet another Levy/ENIC debate - which has already been beaten to death - but to clarify the perspective in regard to CL football. So, the question remains; is the obsession with CL football inhibiting our progress?!

Written by Geofspurs

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The journalist

Writer: Geofspurs Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 3 2014

Time: 12:27PM

Your Comments

My 1st ever 1st.
I'd question whether Real and Barca's situation is much different to Celtic. Yes they play at a higher level but its still essentially a two horse race for the domestic title. There's no doubt that the lack of European football is helping Liverpool and Everton this season, basically its about squad strength. We of course get the worst of all worlds, we end up in the europa so we get the extra games without the extra cash.
geoffspur forgot about Spurs fans reknowned patience too! lol
Champions League is where its at. To see the legendary Tottenham all white kit line up whilst the CL music plays gave me goose bumps. Don't get that feeling from the League Cup, FA Cup or Europa League I am afraid.
I don't think it's an unreasonable target. We've never really challenged for the league, we've always thought it a good show finishing 3rd, 4th, 5th. CL brings a different bench-mark. 5th is the step down as a result, so we aim for 4th. Neither here nor there, really. We SHOULD be aiming there, while longer-term sorting the stadium and squad to take us even further, make us even more competitive. What could've been called the CL, is what now should ironically be called the European Cup. Change the name back or just have winners in it. The rest, (still massive clubs) in the Europa. It's all money. Always hindered the game, moreso now. Sheiks and Russians after what they've only ever been after and interested in. Money. Didn't take long after Sky to attract the vermin to our English clubs, did it? Getting a squad big and good enough to compete in it and the league takes time, which we've had, and look at our squad? Pretty much 2 teams and then some. By no means perfect but I do see us getting there. Our season in CL was good for us and helped us to where we are now. We can't be aiming for 7th!
Facinating article now come on BOBBY go on the glut run of goals we know your capable of!!!!
longtime ... how could I forget that? It's displayed all across VS threads! :-)
Perhaps thats just the music and not the football. There should scrap both cups, have a champions league with just the champions in, or perhaps runner sup and the a new comp with the next 3 or 4 teams in and no way should any of the campions league be allowed to parachute in to the other comp.
Geofspurs - perhaps, but it is not as big a factor as the mentality that comes with a lack of winning trophies. Arsenal have made every Champs League but are under serious pressure as they haven't even picked up a cup. Where it does play a part is the threat of losing players.
They do have occasional surprises in Spain, Jod, and it can be from a handful of clubs. They have the same Sky deal now as well so the playing field will level out there as it has here, whereas Scotland still sucks. Italy has many massive clubs and is a difficult league as well, as is the German league.
I think progress, all has to do with people's idea of success, or perceived success. To me THFC have been progressing as a club for a few years now but haven't, due to varying reasons, fulfilled their full potential. We seem to take 2/3 steps forward only to take 1/2 steps back with alarming repeatedly. Be it sell a good player, change the manager or whatever (cue Pele). We are now a far more financially sound club, with a modern training facility and new stadium in the pipeline. On the pitch our squad is one of the strongest ever at Spurs and we regularly compete for a top 4 place in this really strong, hard-fought for, competetive league. CL would be the icing on the cake but not as a one off, as before with HR, occasion. We are still not strong enough to compete regularly in this with regards to management, financial status or the size of our stadium for this to happen. If it weren't for the all seating legality Spurs would be having 60/65000 spectators at home games as we did in the 60's (H&S permitting). Thus improving our financial clout which in turn would increase our possibility of hiring top management people and a longevity in being able to buy better players. All this is now dependant upon the new stadium build. So Harringay council get your fingers out, issue the CPO and move Archway out of our way!!!!
MrSpurs I would love to see CL football, and my greatest footballing memories are of our team playing in all white. Awesome. But we need to be ready for it or we will become a one time wonder and a joke to our main rivals. We need the stadium, the manager, the players and squad, the football, a winning mentality, all to come together first. Where we are now is surely not a bad place. We are competitive to all but 2 or 3 teams. Levy does not give managers time, managers are too pressured to build a foundation that takes some time. Expectations are unrealistic. Supporters want everything now and should, if they've followed the game for a while, have a lot more understanding about what it takes. Many on here feel we are repeating previous cycles and are inconsistent, which seems true. So put the things mentioned in place and move on with a strong base. Then CL football could be with us regularly instead of for one season, as before. imo, of course.
Excellent article Geof. The CL is just to fill the pockets of the elite clubs. It's that simple but if we are to compete with these elite clubs we clearly need a better strategy. Building a bigger stadium will help and adding quality to coaching and player staff. We have top training facilities which will hopefully produce talent through the ranks but we need to attract top players. So we need stability and talent in our coaching set up - people who know what is required to compete with the best. At the moment we seem to be getting there financially, but still not at the level of Liverpool, Utd etc. COYS!
To your end question Geofspurs, my answer is yes... Very good article by the way.
muttley - That is a good point. Arsenal have been in every CL, but not won a cup in ages. That was not enough to keep RVP, and Fabregas, and to a lesser extent Nasri, Clichy. Now ManU potentially could miss out on CL as well as win nothing - whereas Arsenal will still be in CL, and potentially still could win something.... Where does that put RVP now...?
A good read Geof and suffice to say u probably have a few more years of support than me. The CL is a product that was expanded due to the financial reward and international exposure it generated. Whilst we all talk of the big teams etc what of the minnows who want to share the spotlight with the greatest teams and players on the planet. I personally love CL football matches and find it the most entertaining form of football on the planet. I dont buy the whole "champions" should only play as you have some seriously talented teams that either win the league or domestic cups each season.
In my opinion, CL is only inhibiting our progress because it creates a top four where the richest 4 HAVE to be - thus squeezing others out. We are not one of the richest four, but we are going in the right direction and becoming more competitive. We have finished above Chelsea, Liverpool in recent years despite being less rich. We potentially could finish above Man U this season, and we finished within a win of Arsenal on a few occasions. There are a lot of people who put trophies above CL, and yes the odd trophy would be nice, but Birmingham won a trophy and look at them now. It is about being competitive and continuing to be so, whilst picking up the odd trophy. Whilst changing the manager a few times has not affected out league progression much, it probably has been the main reason why we haven't picked up an extra trophy here and there.
Geofspurs - couldn't agree more. I'm desperately trying to not turn this into a Levy/ENIC discussion but the club needs stability and financial support at the right time. For me the 2011/12 winter transfer window was our opportunity. Redknapp could have achieved top 3 with the right investment, unfortunately we bought Ryan Nelson and Louis Saha for £1.5M and have never recovered. Since then we have changed managers twice and sold our best players in Modric and Bale. I'm going over old ground I know but we could have achieved CL football then IMO.
Someone mentioned, on another thread, the mid-table team that was Spurs for so long. Well, we've progressed. We are in the top 6 of 90 odd clubs and, no matter what happens, we should stay there for the foreseeable future. The next level comes when the things I mentioned are in place. We are not doing it as easy as the money clubs. At any time, some fanatic with a bottomless wallet could buy Crystal Palace and turn them into a CL team in a couple of seasons. I just think we've been dancing forward and backward for too long, mainly because of the urgency to be in the CL, the expectation for which does not allow time for THFC to develop.
TonyRich, I think the answer might well be heavier in the wallet. Long way still to go for United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs. COYS
Our only venture in to the CL was a fantastic ride. We had it all. Some great entertaining football and some dire mistakes. Crouch and Gomes, what were you both thinking!? However, we would have had to beat Real and Barca just to get to the final. I loved it, but yes CL should not be the be all and end all. Both European comps are far to big, with too many games to play, especially if you have to start at the qualifying stage. But it's all about the dosh and the money doesn't just talk, it screams out loud!
Arsenal are a good example. They are certainly obsessed with the CL. .... and have won nothing for years because of it. I'd rather some cups or the Europa League, than to miss out on everything ... but want CL when we are ready!
so what is progress if not CL?
Thanks for the comments guys. I'll be back in 15 mins (wish we had warning when an article would be put up)!
Geof, hi very good article. I cant go with the Europa thingy having more credibility than the CL, the problem to me is this group stage where we have just travelled all round Europe to play largely fodder many not good enough for our Championship. I just dont like this competition these days.
I'm confused by the could cl be inhibiting progress?...are we a top4 team?..well not now but we have been twice in recent years...and qualified proper for the CL..(which should puncture the 'we can not compete' myth) I fail to see how that has inhibited our growth?? We could of course just play in the Championship and not bother with a new stadium? touched on it..what has stopped our growth is our owners...they have taken their eye off the ball and prioritised real estate over really is that simple.
Some fans make it sound like a choice! CL or cups?? We have achieved neither and when Chelsea dropped into the Europa last year and causally won it, it says it all. Good players win trophies on a consistent basis, to get and retain good players you need CL football. CL and winning silverware are connected.
I can't see how we'll ever be a consistent CL team, with the resources that requires, until we have a strong balance throughout the club from the owners down to the groundsmen.

topho ... cheers. RE the Cl and EL, I have this thing about most teams not being domestic champions as they used to be. It's one of my hang-ups. I think we have progressed ... from mid-table to top 6. We've got a state-of-the-art training facility and should have a new state-of-the-art stadium in the near (!) future. That's huge progress and a stronger base to make the next jump forward. How long does it take until we are where we want to be ... I don't know ... as long as it takes, I guess. But I do know that impatience will keep the cycle turning.

shed ... Arsenal are that example. Twice in recent years is not enough for me, but that's how it will be if we can't compete every year ... and, eventually, I want to compete every year. you may be right that the owners priority is Real Estate ... but if that Real Estate (stadium) provides the resources we need to grow strong, I don't care.
spot on article. it was great to have been in it that one year, despite not having a cat in hells chance of winning it. But we all knew it was just a one off right?? You think if liverpool get top 4 this year, that Man Utd wont just take it back next year ?? of course they will. We dont have a billionaire owner or a large stadium to get more revenue. until we get these we cannot compete and will forever be top 6 only. Welcome to the Premier League, its all about how much money you have as to how successful you will be. this is reality.
jimmy ... sad but true!
Geof, yes I know the old comp of genuine champions was very good, but the CL is simply great now, some (most) of the games and the standard of football is incredible, we have reached the standard to qualify twice out of the last 4 seasons so why not think of making it 3 out of 5 after investing and bringing in 8 international players to the squad in the summer window? one small step for TOTTENHAM KIND.....
The problem is not the CL per se but the qualification for it. Essentially the "top 4" rule has created a self-perpetuating elite. There is no form of relegation from it unless another team gambles huge sums which may be beyond their means to break into it. If however say top 2 retain entry but 3 and 4 give way to 5 and 6 in the following year, participation would be more broadly based. You might argue that devalues the competition but promotion and relegation is the norm to step up a division irrespective of whether those coming up are better or not than those going down. It hasn't harmed the PL. Just a thought.
Love totty
How can you say that a team that finishes lower can enter the CL ahead of the team above them in the PL. Let's have the PL runners up as champions every other year!
Surprised no one has mentioned a "European Super League", its going to happen I am sure. But how you would administer teams going up or dropping out would be interesting.
I refer to the following quote by some guy who used to manage Spurs. "It's magnificent to be in Europe, and this club - a club like Tottenham Hotspur - if we're not in Europe.... we're nothing. we're nothing." The game has changed, admittedly. But the point is, does anyone here want to be playing the likes of Tromso or do we want to be playing in the San Siro? I can't answer for anyone else, but I know what I would choose. The day we give up chasing the champions league is the day we may as well sell our best players and become a mid table team. Oh, hang on, we did that for the last 20 years and was anyone happy with that?
Vicspur - well said, to give up the dream of CL would be dangerous. As difficult as it is we always need to try and break through that top 4 otherwise we will start to fall down the league.
It's not about being in the CL or not, it's about sustaining a level that is competitive and consistent. I feel it could be a blessing in disguise if we are 6th this season. Of course I'd rather we finish 4th and win the EL, but I feel we need to step back and re-establish the right foundation for success first. A winning mentality with a manager that lasts more than 5 mins would be a good start.
Louis Van Gaal; “Am I still in contact with Spurs? There will come a moment that I can talk about that. Look at my CV. I have won a trophy every season during my club career. I am a winner and craving a trophy. This is why I am sick of being a national coach. I only see the players eight times a year. I am not enjoying the job of national coach at all. After the World Cup I want to coach a big club again and win trophies. Otherwise I will retire.’’ I hope we get this guy.
Exactly my point Jacobslad. A super league which is what the CL has become needs promotion and relegation just like any other to avoid self-perpetuation. Why is this different to the PL Man On?
Love totty
topho ... I take your point but I reckon the CL has moved too far from a knockout cup of champions to virtually a league in it's own right, which means that the teams that progress a fair way are virtually playing in TWO leagues at once, CL and domestic. I'd prefer the top two teams of major European leagues form a home and away European League for a season. They would not take part in their domestic league for that season. The next season could see the top four in the EL stay in, with the new top two from domestic leagues. The other teams return to their domestic league. Not sure how clear that sounds, or how stupid, come to that! Anyway, it is what it is. :-)
Europe is Europe. If we're 5th, we're in the Europa. It's no shame. The only 'snag' is the distribution of, you got it, money. Snobs, to think it ain't good enough, when our whole prestigious European history has been in the Eufa and CWC. A brief flirt with the top comp. If you got chucked a mil per game it'ld be worth it, aye? Now run along and criticize Levy.
Spot on, Coops.
re the Europa. It's a good competition to win.
Another possibility would be to disqualify teams not progressing to beyond the first knock-out stage from the next year's comp.
Love totty
The CL has morphed into the European Super League, I think. Too much money in our own domestic league to boycott it. And there's really no need to imo.
jerkinmahjurgen - The problem with the europa is not just or even mainly the (lack of) money, its the extra games which could equate to an extra half a season to win the thing. The lack of cash means you can't strengthen your squad as you could with champions league money. If we are playing in Europe and Liverpool and Everton aren't them that gives them an advantage. The paradox is playing in the europa could actually prevent you qualifying for the champions league.
I would love us to the win the Europa (any trophy in fact) but when Chelsea dropped into it and won it the completion just lost respect in my eyes.
jacobslad and LT ... I think we had the same thought re European League.
Geof...GOOD ARTICLE MATE. For me, our only champions league experience has made for us wanting more. Yes, it's good to have goals to work towards, but that one experience has led many to believe we are now a big time club and deserve to be in it all the time. Nothing could be further from the truth, we are not a top4 club, we aspire to be, but alas, we have delusions of grandeur. If only we could see past all the hype that goes with champs league football. Yes, financially it aids us, yes we may be able to attract better players, but we first need to manouvre ourselves into a position where we can qualify year on year. Maybe this would be achieved better, by not putting the champs league as minimum goal pressure on ourselves each season. It hasn't served us well generally by believing we deserve to be there.
Cider spurs
I like having two games per week. I'd like to chase all four trophys. It's two or four more games than winning the CL! To hell with the fixture pile-up. It's what it's all about. Same for any team. If you miss out on 4th you're in the Europa. We've got to where our squad isn't far from coping with it (based on being able to put 2 teams out - not that that's necessarily how you'd play it). One of our best seasons I've followed was Pleats 3 pronged charge. Won nowt in the end but don't we usually, lol? I'd prefer ending up with nothing hectically. It's just another hurdle EVERY TEAM had to clear to make the jump. To think we're gonna be regulars without obscene investment is crazy. City, Chelsea - they wouldn't be without it. Both always (arguably) slightly behind our history, they're now way infront, without having to earn it. We're having to. I feel no shame. Same as I see no glory in Chelsea's recent trophy haul. Credit to Swansea, B'ham, Middlesboro, ourselves for winning outside the money league. Play to win. If that means 70 games and missing out on all, so be it. You can't/shouldn't pick and choose. Gradually build your squad up to cope.
First off, great article and brings up a very good topic to debate

Here’s my take on it, over the last 3-4 years we have had the best chance we will ever get to “cement” ourselves in the top 4. We have not taken advantage of it. Liverpool were out of the ruining and even whilst City and Chelsea had the £££ Chelsea have had their own problems with going through manager after manager etc. Look at the points totals and form in the second half of the last how many seasons and its clear to see that we have bottled it and arsenal / Chelsea have taken advantage. Like MrSpur said above, if we spent in that particular window on a decent defender and a striker we would have cruised third. It was only a few years back when in January we were outside favourites for the title FFS. Ok, that may not have ever been a real possibility but 3rd at least should have been nailed on

I completely disagree with the views of Jimmy-yid and others who share his opinion in that we are not capable of playing in the CL regularly. Ok, its not a caes of qualify this year and oits a guarantee but playing in the most [popular tournament attracts the best players. Fact. Just look at this summer, if were qualified instead of Arsenal Ozil would be playing for us instead of against us. This last season or 2 has really set us back, set us back in a position where we may not get the chance again for some time. Liverpool are now a string team after a few years in the shadows, United will bounce back next year when they either buy 3-4 quality players or bring in Klopp (have to say Moyes isn’t the man for them). In reality, are we that much better than Everton?? Im not so sure, I know they have the better manager but we have the better squad. City Chelsea are going to continue to grow and because Arsenal keep attracting the Ozil’s, Carzorlas they are always going to be up there. Its going to be very tough for the next few years I fear. Pat on the back to you guys who think 3rd or even 4th is still going to happen this year but I can’t see it.
SpursSnM... Is that it?
Geofspurs asks us, "is the obsession with CL football inhibiting our progress?!" Not at all! It's the best competition any club can be involved in in European football! What is inhibiting our progress is our owners, as Shedboy2 quite correctly points out! You all know what's coming next... ENIC OUT!!!
Pele10 ... Wouldn't be a thread without that!
Pele10... I'll refer you to ledgespur's post on the other thread but no doubt you're preparing a response to it, as I write. :-) Sunny in London again. Lovely.
MAN ON!....Is Cher with Sunny?.
Cider spurs
Just over 3 weeks until we play again in the EL. Can we win it?
She's with me.....
Do you believe in life after ENIC, she keeps singing. Driving me up the Arsenal she is.....
hudderspur- agree...we had a golden opportunity...once when we qualified and two subsequent Jan transfer windows...we blew it.Geoaf- As for the stadium it won't propel us up the league at fact it will take us nearly a generation to pay off...but it will make ENIC a fortune. Our best hope is a decent manager to manage the players we have accumulated....lose them over the next couple of years and we won't have to worry about CL or Europa (which will be worth winning from next year on) we'll be back to looking over our shoulders and settling for mid table obscurity...which seemingly some actually desire.
Man On: old vital Spurs proverb- he who posts first, posts enough!
Slurms McKenzie
Daws Loves Cher, especially her greatest hit, Turn back time. Often sings it to Vert's..."If i could learn backline, if i could find a way, i'd stop those runs that desert you, and you'd stay"
Cider spurs
Slurms ... lol
Imagine if we won everything, we'ed be fecking miserable. what would we talk about. I fear the day the sod is turned for the new stadium, threads will become very unpredictable. Why will the club being bought by an unknown devil be better for us then the devil we know? How many multi billion dollar Spurs fans are out there? willing to throw their own money at buying glory for Spurs? Sure our ownership have problems, yes they could do more for the club, we have calls for more investment in players but will that solve anything? 100million spent on players (I don't care what formula you use to show where the money came from) and two possibly three have looked like premiership material. We'ed pauper our new billionaire owners if we continued spenting money like that and only achieved a hit rate of between 28-42%.
Slurms McKenzie
Cider ... I want to hear Soldado sing:

'Bang, Bang, I scored a goal

Bang, Bang a strikers goal

Bang, Bang, I scored a goal

Bang Bang, I really scored a goal!
Slurms McKenzie, Up in Manchester on NYD I spoke to several United fans and they were depressed about their teams chances this year. I'm saying to them now you know how us Spurs fans feel. That's after years of success.
Cider thats a little too close to the bone Just googled cher and alot of her songs would suit our club: All or Nothing; Am I blue?; Believe; Bewitched, bothered and bewildered (that could be our anthem this season!); Carousel Man (for Levy); Cry like a baby; Danny boy; Elusive Butterfly (lamela); Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves (the club manangement); I Threw It All Away; If I Could Turn Back Time; Living in a House Divided; Love Hurts; Many Rivers to Cross; Needles and Pins; Never Should've Started (for Siggy!); Our Day Will Come; Save Up All Your Tears; The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore); Take It Like a Man; The Twelfth of Never; Wasn't It Good; When Lovers Become Strangers (for when Levy fires another manager!); When the Money's Gone; Where Do You Go (for our defenders); A World Without Heroes (for our current squad!); You Better Sit Down Kids (what we wish sherwood would say!); You Haven't Seen the Last of Me (take your pick, Sandro, Kaboul, Lamela, Capoue or a Soldado goal); You've Really Got a Hold on Me (for all us fans) and of course The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss) 'causes its just a catchy number. Yep I'm beginning to think Cher was a Spurs fan!!!
Slurms McKenzie
It was defoe that shot the Sheriff down. Bang, bang! Soldado is firing blanks.
Man On to stay on a musical theme: "the going up was worth the coming down?"
Slurms McKenzie
An amazing thing just happened. Monday turned into Tuesday! Night all. :-)
Cheers Geof for the food for thought...
Geof is from the future , text us the euro million numbers for tuesday night Oh mystical time travelling man! I'll buy us a new striker in the summer window with the winnings!
Slurms McKenzie
We'll do well to be CL regulars, given the opposition. And if we ever win the league again, it will be an SnM performance. 1st, and then nothing for ages.
Yes Jerk but we'll dine out on that 1st place for a very long time!!
Slurms McKenzie
Have a good one all. Got to work. COYS! CL here we come!?
I like it Jerk "SnM performance" could be a new catch phrase on vital Spurs.
Slurms McKenzie
We most certainly would, Slurms. Under our model, one league triumph would be worth a million of Chelsea's. SnM performance, lol. Just paving the way for LARGE Vehicle Goods to do his dressing room stuff.
CL is important to us, so is winning any silverware. I was at the Lane when we won Uefa cup, that feeling of sheer joy seems a long time ago.
Thats Entertainment
Erm, that was a long time ago. You must be due a telegram?
In 48yrs you cheeky git lol!!
Thats Entertainment
I think the question asked is a great one and is the same for Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs. Instead of being willing/able to take a couple of steps back, finish 6th or 7th and build a team to win the league, they have all been just staying good enough to challenge for fourth place. A real ballsy move right now by Levy would be to give up on the Champions League for two or three years, hire a proper team building coach and aim to win the league in 2017 not get into the Champions League once in a while.
hugh jarse
Haha. Just turned 42 myself. Wasn't there but I remember the occasion and hype surrounding it. I'd love to win the Europa this year.
I* think the article fails to understand prestige.
American football? Supoerbowl
Tennis? Wimbledon
Golf? The open
Baseball? World series
Football?The Champions league.
It`s where the best want to play & where the best want to be.If you`re a big club & not in the Champions league,then you`re not really a big club,just think you are.
If you`re not top 4 in the EPL you`re as good as last.The Europa league is proper $hitte
Fanny adams
Thanks for the article Geof. I wrote something similar to this on here about 2 years ago. No doubt in my mind that the CL is destroying domestic football all across Europe, and possibly even International football as well. The CL has created a 2 tier system for football based around money and it is self perpetuating so that the haves, become the have mores. The European elites will remain so, and will drain every corner of the globe for the last drop of coin. IMO, within 10 years we will see a European Super League, hope Spurs are in it, as I'm not sure what will be left.
Cleveland ARTSPURS
@FA, that's fair point, however teams used to earn the right to attend the most prestigious competitions through winning in their own leagues. European Cup, league winners, Cup Winners Cup, Cup winners. Now fourth place gets a place at the top table, that's not prestige in my eyes, that's the formation of a cartel. In all those examples you list above, players/teams have to earn their way there via winning, not coming fourth.
Cleveland ARTSPURS
Chelski 1-0 up at half time.
Interesting tactic from Chelsea playing city with defensive midfielders eh. Think palace did similar. Still think and hope city win though. However, does show you how important tactics and team set up is - we have got it badly wrong at times lately and not learning. I really hope we go for it in the Europa league - our only chance of success this season and we, the fans want wins.
Yeah, coops, re. Paulinho from other post, I thought so. At his Brazilian club, I'm not sure but it doesn't matter. Watching the MC v Chel game. Luis and Toure are superb as MFer's. Luis is one guy who just might fulfill his inflated football persona and that will make one of the best players of the generation. Toure, hmm, could Sandro match his forward play in a 442? Even a significant improvement from Sandro re. goals assists would make him scary. And wow, Hazard, really class, pure poison for the opposition, they just can't find a cure. Morrinho, he's a special ba$tard alright. Gary Neville is gas, ''in the big games, Jose comes to the party''... is he aware of Alan Partridge?! :D
Cleveland - What I think will happen is we'll have a European Super league with 20 teams and that will be very similar to the NFL. Then the domestic leagues will be the same as college football. I understand in the US college football is big, in terms of following support. Although my point is, I could name about 14 NFL teams and I don't even follow the sport, just on global merchandising, where as I don't know any College teams o players. What I can see in the future is the merging of clubs, such as Arsenal and Spurs. It all sounds a definite no no, but Im not talking about the current generation. If in 10 years Arsenal is in the Euro Super league and Spurs are only a domestic team, over time fans will gradually reduce from Spurs and move to Arsenal (or vice versa if Spurs were Euro team). So my point is, would a merge ever be considered between the two giants of North London? North London FC is created with a much bigger fan base, much bigger resources and revenues. Maybe you all think I'm mad, but as Marty McFly once said, "maybe you guys are just not ready for that yet, but your kids are going to love it".
@Yiddyboy, I don't think you're mad, I could see something like that happening, I can definitely see clubs from the lower leagues starting to fold.
Cleveland ARTSPURS
Cleveland, it doesn't help when the so called FFP rule are in place to keep it somewhat fair yet the money men find the loop holes to their advantage. As a lover of football, I have to admit my passion is being squeezed the more business it has become. Every league has the usual suspects with seldom surprises anymore. All too predictable now, and predictable is boring!
Hugh, Levy gave up on the Champions League 4 seasons ago.
Just watched the best team on the planet without their main goalscorer made to look very ordinary by a team with a plan and organised. City looked like we did when we played them. Managers can make all the difference, unfortunately.
So the best team on the planet just got beat. Lol I think sherwood should watch more football. Always picking bentaleb in midfield because he knows him better. " Timmah you have been working for us for 5 years, technical coordinator. You should know everything about our players already even the new ones".
The Samba Beast
Nice read Geoff. I think we had numerous opportunities in the last few years to seriously challenge for a top four spot and could have been significantly further in our development than we are now - but we have shot ourselves in the foot on many occasions.
Stability is key to achieve this and nine managers since 2001 put paid to that.....and we still waiting for the right one This had a knock on effect on our transfer dealings - we always had to wait for the NEXT gaffer to decide or DL and/or someone else signed players for them - how many transfer windows went by before we addressed the lack of a decent striker after Berba/Keane. The current left back situation is déjà vu! And there were other instances.
I'm certainly not in the Pele camp but just saying that we made rookie mistakes which none of the competition around us made and this has made it possible for teams like Liverpool,Everton, Southampton to get themselves in the race.I just hope we learn from our mistakes and not repeat them.
Ghulamville, your "must admit feeling sore about missing out on"

You forget 2 things: 1) AVB would've been in charge and he will never have gelled and 2) Tim wouldn't know him, so Bentelab would've been in the team and Willian in the youth squad!

Ironically, it appears ONLY our new recruits struggle to gel or hit the ground running!
So Mourinho seen as one of the best managers in the world plays a DM in front of their back four and Tim the rookie says we don't need DM's and didn't bother against City, enough said.
Samba - well said. The more I hear Tim speak the more I can see myself wanting to scream at him. So so naive but not his fault. MOTD commentators say City are always beatable if you get your tactics right, I agree they are beatable or at least a game can be made of it, but us well we rolled over. CL no way
A very interesting read this
An interesting thread which I have enjoyed reading. As for this years final positions if Arsenal and Spurs both win their next matches, top 4 is very much back on for us. Talk about selling your soul to the devil....
*that should be next 2 matches..the scum playing Liverpool and Man U.
Being a Spurs supporter at the moment is a bit like being an alcoholic ... one day at a time! I'm confused, but I know that things will change, for the better or for the worst, because they always do. In the meantime I'll continue to look forward to match days and go with whatever happens ... because I have no choice!
Last nights game showed how a team can play with 3 more defensive midfielders and beat City. Why can chelsea put out Matic, Luis and Ramieres but Tim doesn't see the use in fielding all 3 of Sandro, Capoue and Pauline/Dembele? He says Dembele is better further forward, so play him further forward, you're the coach! You can make that decision. If you have the formentioned 3 in midfield, Dembele/Eriksen/Lennon and Ade ALL have the license to attack and cause havoc. Hell you could even stick your lovechild in midfield with Sando and Capoue, Play 2 of pauline, Eriksen or Dembele right and left, with Ade up top..either way, those midfields have power in abundance.

But NO, Timmy wants us to be powderpuff in the middle of the park, with attcking full backs too. So when misplaced passes makes the whole move break down, we can get torn to pieces again and again. It wasn't just the Westbrom game, watch back over ALL of our games without Sandro or Capoue. Teams just play through us, we have the squad to put out a solid shape,it's Tim that decides not to make any adjustments. Jose shows how it should be done. Naive, unqualified and stubborn, even ABV was just two of those. We have been awful against the top 6 this season, if we went at them with Lloris, Naughton, Kaboul, Chiriches, Jan.... Capoue,Sandro,Pauline.. Eriksen,Dembele, Ade. I would actually get a Beiber tattoo and eat my wifes lame cooking for a month if I could see that line up for the rest of the season. We might actually get some points agains the Pools, Arses and Chavs of the world too, instead of being humiliated.

WizYid, that is a very good article, mainly because I agree with most of the points. TS no longer fill me with confidence. Towards the end of HR's tenure, I was not getting on to our Official Site because I just was not interested to know what Harry had to say and in the last 2-3 weeks, I find myself doing the same. But like Geofspurs just said, we have no choice but just go along for the ride. I still hope obviously that TS will surprise us with some new found tactical nous to help us beat Everton etc, but I ain't holding my breath. I just pray that our best players don't all chuck in the towel and ask for transfers at the end of the season.
Wiz/suk ... good posts guys. Difficult to argue with the points you both made.
IMO, CL football should be seen as a means to an end.

What I mean is - if our ultimate goal is to win Premier league, then we need players to do that. It's not going to happen, with team of nobodies. To compete for title we need high calibre players. Unfortunately, only way to high calibre players is by

a) competing in CL
b) Have loads of cash to retain the players.

While we have had star players like Modric, Bale, Berbatov in the past, we did not have money power to retain them. Had those 3 were still around, we could be challenging for title this season.

Due to poor management at all levels, this season we have missed a golden opportunity. This season we had to finish above Liverpool. Not making top4 would be big blow to Liverpool, given they are cenrtain to loose their kingpin Suarez. But now, it looks like thats not going to happen. Infact table is turned on us - wont be surprised if likes of Lloris, Vertonghen want to jump ship end of season.

With a novice manager, its better we lower expectation. As things stand, even securing a Europa League spot this season would be a good achievement. CL next season is unthinkable atm.
syd ... not sure if CL is a means to an end or an end to the means. We'll never keep the top players unless we can pay top wages. I think, first, we need the income generated by a new stadium and some very viable sponsorship partners before we can even think of the CL. Right now we are, probably, a EL team at best.
Geoff, with our current squad we are CL worthy. Problem has been bad form of 2 key signings - Soldado & Lamela (worth 56m) and the mismanagement of squad.

Our squad transition in 2013/14 was uncalled for. We had like 8 outs & 7 ins. Thats a big change. What that meant was, it took us 25 games to figure out our best XI. AVB was sacked well before he could figure that out. I still doubt anyone knows our best XI. IMO, when Bale went we should have kept likes of Caulker, Hudd, BAE and instead just added a striker & couple of wingers with that money. Signing 7 new players meant huge settling in period.

Inspite of such changes, fact that we have done better than last season (till now) means our squad strength is driving. But my worry is, if we end up outside Eruopean spots, I fear 3rd transition period. If that happens, we are on a downward slip & probably take a decade to recover.
Hey. you know the way I see things is different from most. I think, all things considered, Tim ain't doin' a bad job. I can't really say anything more... One day at a time sweet Tottenham........
syd ... I agree with you.

MAN ... I agree with you, too.

I don't usually wake up in such an agreeable mood!! :-)
Man on, completely agree. Misplaced anger on Sherwood. Fans looking at wrong man to put the blame.
All I can ever expect from my team, THFC, is to win and then win again...... There seems to be quite a contradiction with some supporters on here. Why are we playing crap? Hold on, but all I want is to win! So we win, but we are still crap. Oh, but I don't care if we are boring and crap, as long as we win! Why are we boring? S**t we lost! Coopsie... I'm talking to you!
I think, in my deluded and completely obscene way, that Tottenham Hotspur, is the one and only team for me. (Stupid bloody idiot that I am). When all is said and done, at the end of the day, we are still just 3 points behind 4th. We haven't even started yet... Bring on Barca and the rest...... COYS!
I'm a little weird, in as much as I like to see entertaining football, win or lose. To me it's not about just winning at all costs. I'd rather loose in style than win with luck, and without a certain grace. Also, loosing one game 5-1 is so much better than loosing 5 matches 1-0...
Madabout...I really hope we get an experienced and well known manager.. LVG will keep all our players and we will see a much better team shape. With the rumors increasing on this, players are aware, and perhaps have "switched off" with Sherwood over the last 2 games...
Block D Spurs
Agree with posts on here .. Chavs did well and played how we should have.. Sherwood is a virgin boy walking the streets of Amsterdam, with his two friends, looking at the window girls, whilst trying to decide which one to loose his cherry with...Now translate that to football, and TS record of playing against top 4 teams...
Block D Spurs
MAN ON ... I have to say that I am never unhappy afterwards if we lose with style, and I remain optimistic. I can manage defeat very well if we are competitive.
In the last fifteen years or so, we have gone from a perennial mid table club (with the occasional relegation scares) to a club challenging for UEFA Cup (now Europa League) qualification (by trying to finish 6th or 7th or winning a domestic cup) to a club challenging for Champions League qualification (by trying to finish 4th). It was Harry who first took us here to where we are. It is part of a journey (called progress) which will ultimately (hopefully) lead us to the final stage where, like Arsenal, Man C and Chelsea at the moment, we will be challenging for the title. Think what you like, but Champions League football is very much a part of that progression. If we start thinking it's farce when top managers, top players and supporters of top clubs don't, then we will not make the next stage of the journey. Without being disrespectful, we would be content to remain another Everton, Newcastle or Aston Villa.
So Chelsea went and done big spending City! Just goes to show what can happen when you have a chairman/owner who understands how to WIN! Sure he may have a 7.5 billion fortune, and has very generously spent some of his vast fortune on his team and the stadium to help the Project, unlike 4.5 billion quids worth of THFC board members are not prepared to invest a single PENNY of their vast fortune on the football club they own. The ENIC apologists on here will all tell us that 7.5 billion is a lot more than 4.5 billion, but lets be honest here, when we are talking that kind of money there is little difference when all that was required of Big Joe, the right wing politician and spoilt 2.5 million a season Danny baby, was to invest a couple of hundred million in their squad to insure the 50 million plus that the Champions League guarantees each season. Invest 200 mil and you have your money back in 4 seasons of CL. But not our Big Joe, he sells all his star players to invest in his team? Same goes for the stadium, AFC loaned 450 mil and paid the bank back within half a decade and are now milking it on the stadium revenue front! Not ENIC though, still trying to find some sucker to cough up the cash, to have their name on Loser Levy's new Fantasy football Auction house... Not so easy when you don't compete in the CL... On yer ENIC yacht Lewis...
Well Tim u have now made yourself look like a complete arse! Pundits, journalists all having a laugh at your expense! Get this fecking kid out of the managers seat fecking ASAP!
Block D I suspect the players are confused rather than switched off, they look confused on the pitch too, running around like headless chickens and all. How on earth has it come down to having Dawson as our club captain and Tim as our manager... facepalm fml...
Mix 26, possibly, yet the same players looked reasonably ok for 6 games when TS took over, and won 16 points from 18...why the sudden confusion? has to be in part to outside speculation on manager?
Block D Spurs

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