Real Madrid vs Tottenham Hotspur
The Daily Express says that( http://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/866916/Real-Madrid-vs-Tottenham-tactics-Pochettino-Champions-League) Poch has vowed to get on the front foot instead of parking the bus when we play Real Madrid on Tuesday. Poch intends to stay true to Tottenham`s attacking principles and will attempt to make a game of it. "We will try to dominate," he said. We will try to be better, but it`s a massive challenge for us to dominate them. We will press high, try to play in the opposition`s half, try to be aggressive and brave. "That`s how we feel football should be played. If they try to push us back deeper, then OK, we may have to adapt to their quality. But from the beginning we will be brave and aggressive and play to win the game." He added: "Everyone in football chooses their way to play. Football is so open with so many ideas and you must respect every way. But if you ask me, we are going to Madrid to play football and be Tottenham. "We do not change because we are playing in Madrid." Poch insists he has the team to justify the hype around them and prove that they are worthy of sharing a stage with the Champions League winners in three of the last four seasons. But, do we have a side that can perform better than the 2011 side that went down 4 - 0 at the Bernabéu. We have never beaten Real Madrid but we have only ever met them 4 times in 2011 and the Europa in 1984.
Whatever we do, however we play this game, it was always going to be looked upon as a defeat. We therefore have nothing to lose. All players dream of games like this, it`s what you become a professional footballer for, to have evenings at the Santiago Bernabéu in front of a packed ground to play the best club side in Europe if not the world. But they are not invincible Levante and Valencia and Real Betis have shown that. Yes, against Dortmund they beat them away 3-1 but we had the measure of the German side as well.
Real will be all attack, they will be technically better than us and the game will probably focus down on how we compete in our final 3rd. We don`t have anything like the speed in attack that Real do, since Walker went and Rose has been crocked we have had nothing in the way of potency out wide. We are still waiting on Aurier to show a clean pair of heels to his opposing left back so with inferior speed we have no option but to close down every bit of space. When you look at their line up there is no position on the pitch that doesn`t wreak with class; Ronaldo - Benzema - Asensio - Ramos - Isco Modric and of course Bale. Bale may not play but Karim Benzema returns from injury and Marcelo and Theo Hermandez are also available again. Toni Kroos has also recovered from a rib problem. It will be a formidable line up with or without Bale
All we can do is close them down, be patient, because we won`t have the ball for long periods of the game. Christian Eriksen summed it up on Sky Sports (http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11675/11083373/christian-eriksen-relishing-real-madrid-showdown-in-champions-league). Eriksen knows what it`s like to take on "Los Blancos", having played them twice with Ajax during the Champions League group stage in 2012. Ajax lost both ties 4-1 but five years on, Eriksen believes Spurs are equipped to do better. 'You need quality and belief. I think we have both so I don't think we should be scared of anything,' he told Sky Sports. 'I haven't won there yet so I need to change something. Of course it's a special stadium, a special place". 'Playing against Real will always be special for any footballer with the history they have and the players there so it will be a good test, to see how far we've really come.' But Eriksen says Spurs, on the back of third and second-place finishes in the Premier League, have shown they can go toe-to-toe with the best. 'I think we've shown it in the Premier League,' he continued. "Overall with the consistency over the last two seasons, we've definitely proved that we are a team that will hopefully have a very nice and very tough game at the Bernabeu."
All we can hope is that we give it a go and give them a game and not ship too many goals, a draw will feel like a win but a close game will show how far we have really come under Pochettino. We will know for sure just how World class players like Eriksen and Kane are against a truly World class team it`s a pity Dele Alli had to miss this one maybe it will make him realise he has to reign it in a bit. Its show time folks! let`s hope we put on a show!