The treasured prize of Champions League football has become an unexpectedly realistic target for Mauricio Pochettino with Chelsea floundering and Harry Kane back amongst the goals. But the question will always be asked – are Spurs capable of reaching the top four or is Europa League glory a more realistic aim for the club?
Spurs are currently competing in a tough Group J, facing the likes of Monaco and Anderlecht but after a point being picked up on the southern French coast, Spurs can return to London to face the two tough opponents at home in what will hopefully be easier circumstances. The only away trip is to FC Qarabag, situated in the capital of Azerbaijan, but an easier game is in store, Qarabag being defeated at the Lane 3-1 earlier this campaign.
But the going really gets tough in the knockout stages of the competition where the Champions League 3rd placed teams enter the fray. Spurs have had little success in the competition, only reaching the quarter finals under Andre Villas-Boas in the days of Gareth Bale. The Europa League can be damaging to a team’s domestic league campaign so Pochettino has got to consider which competition Spurs are most likely to succeed in.
Currently, the Premiership looks to be the better option for the Argentine after a strong start to the season has seen his team just 4 points off the top four, with a game in hand. The league as ever has become unpredictable with City going from powerhouses to being beaten by West Ham and struggling against newly promoted Norwich. The good news however is that Chelsea are struggling and when the Blues last struggled under AVB, Spurs reached the top four but were denied entry into the Champions League as Chelsea were the European Champions.
Chelsea are presenting the best opportunity for Spurs in several years; we have just got to wait for them to take it, probably in true Spurs style, fans left with no finger nails after a tense close to the season.