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Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

The game is about glory – credit to Tottenham and Andre Villas-Boas for remembering that

The game is about glory, as it proclaims on the livery of the stands at White Hart Lane. Or so they are told, at a club that has won three trophies in 22 years and last bagged a league championship in 1961.

In most quarters, the game is still as much about glory as when Danny Blanchflower, the captain of the 1961 Tottenham Hotspur team, first conceived of that elegant five-word sentence, part of a wider point about how the game should be played. But these days the game is about other stuff too, whether you like it or not.

The game is about money. The game is about growing your commercial income streams. The game is about keeping your wages-to-revenue ratio down. The game is about finishing in the Champions League places. The game is, in Spurs' case, about getting Haringey Council, Sainsbury's and the Mayor's office on board, along with the finance, to build a new stadium, in one of the most deprived parts of a city that is home to some of the richest people in the world.

Yes, the game is about glory but if you want glory these days, you have to plan for it, budget for it, obtain planning permission for it, build for it and even then you might still find yourselves 10 years behind Arsenal. Dragging Spurs into the 21st century has been no easy task but, while they are getting there, someone has been keeping his eye on at least one crucial aspect of that old five-word motto.

That is Andre Villas-Boas, who is still trying to win the Europa League when other managers might have concentrated their efforts on finishing in the top four. Bravo to that. His side's 3-2 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield yesterday was a setback but it was their first defeat in the league since the loss to Everton on 9 December. Competing on both fronts will not be easy, but it would be foolish to give up on the Europa League now.

Liverpool went out of it in the previous round last month, although it was not for want of trying. Brendan Rodgers picked a strong side that lost the first leg in Russia to Zenit St Petersburg and a good 3-1 win at home could not prevent them going out on away goals. But, for Liverpool, this competition is different.

Even putting aside their current mediocrity, Liverpool have won the Champions League and the Uefa Cup in the last 12 years. Spurs have won three European trophies in their 131-year history, none of them the European Cup, and they will reach the 30th anniversary of the last one, the 1984 Uefa Cup triumph, next year. What could be their excuse for not trying to win it?

The most obvious argument, the one that has seen the likes of Stoke City and Aston Villa, among others, field understrength teams in the competition in recent years, is the effect it might have on league form. Third place is within Spurs' grasp, as is a place in the Champions League next season for only the second time in their history.

If they finish the job against Internazionale in Milan on Thursday they will be through to the quarter-finals and from then on in the competition promises to play merry hell with their league fixtures.

The two legs of the Europa League quarter-finals are scheduled in the midweek periods before Spurs' league games against Everton and Chelsea, the latter of whom may yet still be in the competition. The semi-final first leg would fall on the week after Spurs play Manchester City at home. The final in Amsterdam is on 15 May, four days before the last league game of the season at home to Sunderland. If they won the damn thing they would hardly even be able to celebrate it.

But who cares? Sometimes you just have to ignore the cautiousness of modern sport and keep going. It has been suggested, in Villas-Boas's case, he wants to win the Europa League for personal reasons. It elevates him on the European stage, above the parochial league in which he works. It is the tournament that he won with Porto in 2011, the making of his reputation outside Portugal's domestic game, and it seems to mean a lot to him.

So what? At a club where the last European trophy was paraded while the miners were still on strike, it should not be a consideration why a manager wants to win one, just whether he can or not.

The Europa League is an absurdly bloated competition in its opening stages – it should be a straight knockout – and the intake of Champions League cast-offs after Christmas is an insult to the teams who have battled through from the early stages. In Spurs' case they have played nine games already. But now, in mid-March, it at last becomes interesting.

Spurs would not be the first to combine a daunting league run-in with winning a European trophy, but winning the Champions League is different. A better class of opponent? Yes. But it also guarantees participation in the tournament the following autumn, as Spurs know only too well from Chelsea's success last season, and is much more lucrative. The Uefa prize-money alone for winning the Champions League is €10.5m (£9.1m), to the €5m for the Europa League winners.

The established Champions League clubs are better placed to handle the burden of extra games and travel and the bigger income over the years means that they have better squads. You could argue that winning the Europa League while also qualifying for the Champions League domestically is, relatively speaking, just as challenging.

But most of all, Villas-Boas and Spurs' pursuit of the Europa League says something profound about what they are about as a club. They want that Champions League place, but not at the expense of something precious that comes along all too rarely, even at a "big club", in tradition at least, like Spurs.

Spurs and their chairman, Daniel Levy, have achieved remarkable progress in recent years but this season the gamble on winning the Europa League, and the accompanying glory, is worth taking. The most eye-catching old pictures in the press room at White Hart Lane, the pictures that Villas-Boas walks past every home match-day, depict men holding trophies. That is what the game is about.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/sam-wallace-the-game-is-about-glory--credit-to-tottenham-and-andre-villasboas-for-remembering-that-8528440.html

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

I've never understood the English mentality towards the Europa league, mainly stemming from the media (Just like what they did with AVB). Yes, it is long and full of random teams but the competition is really entertaining and filled with quality sides when it gets to the knockout stages. Funny how most English view it as poor and an English side has never won it.

Think use will do it this year.

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

I've never understood the English mentality towards the Europa league' date=' mainly stemming from the media (Just like what they did with AVB). Yes, it is long and full of random teams but the competition is really entertaining and filled with quality sides when it gets to the knockout stages. Funny how most English view it as poor and an English side has never won it.

[b']Think use will do it this year.[/b]

I hope so, I have tickets for the final in Amsterdam.

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

Villas-Boas looks so comfortable at Spurs, which i suppose is easy when you're going into a game which is more or less won, and you're on target for the top 4 in the league.

But even in defeat at Anfield the other day he looked amicable and content at the end of the game.

I bet he's just relieved that not every club is like Chelsea!

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

Villas-Boas looks so comfortable at Spurs' date=' which i suppose is easy when you're going into a game which is more or less won, and you're on target for the top 4 in the league.

But even in defeat at Anfield the other day he looked amicable and content at the end of the game.

I bet he's just relieved that not every club is like Chelsea![/quote']

Correction - Not every owner is like Roman ;)

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

It's funny because AVB critisised Liverpool last week for being a one man team. Think you're the definition tonight. Pity because I do like Spurs but this shows how much you rely on Bale.

Would Bale of prevented all three goals....

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

Would Bale of prevented all three goals....

They'd be a much more free flowing team with Bale in and would of more than likely scored or kept Spurs dominant in attack. Is that not obvious? Do you think Inter would be as comfortable in midfield and defence if Bale was playing?

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

They'd be a much more free flowing team with Bale in and would of more than likely scored or kept Spurs dominant in attack. Is that not obvious? Do you think Inter would be as comfortable in midfield and defence if Bale was playing?

I understand your reasoning but to suggest Bale would completely have turned this result around is wide of the mark.

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

You just got hammered by a dreadful team' date=' Pathetic performance.[/quote']

That dreadful team also has the same points and position as Arsenal. Not to mention, just put up a terrific performance alike to how Arsenal was versus Bayern? So what are you trying to say?

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

Only Tottenham :D

Had enough of this european games for the experienced players. Friedel not good enough, Gallas just can't play the high line game. Lloris would of saved at least two of the Inter goal's tonight.

AVB had a poor game again, didn't learn from Sunday that Parker and Livermore does not work. Didn't mind the two strikers but why oh why do it when you have Parker and Livermore behind, neither of who can pass 2 yards sideways or backwards, never mind a forward pass.

Sunday is going to be difficult now, players physically tired.

To those saying we're a 1 man team, lets not forget that Lloris, Kaboul, BAE, Lennon, Sandro and Bale didn't start tonight. That's 6 of our first choice 11. I'm sure you will all brush over that.

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

That dreadful team also has the same points and position as Arsenal. Not to mention' date=' just put up a terrific performance alike to how Arsenal was versus Bayern? So what are you trying to say?[/quote']

Same position, same points in a vastly inferior league. Not to mention, full of geriatrics.

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Re: The Official Tottenham Hotspur Thread

Only Tottenham :D

Had enough of this european games for the experienced players. Friedel not good enough' date=' Gallas just can't play the high line game. Lloris would of saved at least two of the Inter goal's tonight.

AVB had a poor game again, didn't learn from Sunday that Parker and Livermore does not work. Didn't mind the two strikers but why oh why do it when you have Parker and Livermore behind, neither of who can pass 2 yards sideways or backwards, never mind a forward pass.

Sunday is going to be difficult now, players physically tired.

To those saying we're a 1 man team, lets not forget that Lloris, Kaboul, BAE, Lennon, Sandro and Bale didn't start tonight. That's 6 of our first choice 11. I'm sure you will all brush over that.[/quote']

Yup!

This is also much more pleasant to read.

The tone from some of the others in this thread is so off-putting though...seek therapy.

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