Tottenham take on football’s biggest task this week when they travel to Barcelona in the Champions League.

A win will ensure the Spurs progress to the knockout stages, while a defeat would force the London side to await the result of Inter Milan’s game against PSV Eindhoven.

Tottenham’s prospects of progressing out of the group was always going to be difficult given the capabilities of Barcelona and Inter.

However, if they want to be considered one of the top teams in the Premier League and even in Europe, then progression is a must.

The 2018/19 season was meant to be the year Tottenham cemented their credentials as one of England’s top sides.

Since the inception of the Premier League, Tottenham have commonly been a mid-table team.

Spurs’ average position in the Premier League since the 1992/93 season is seventh, which is only improved by their performances in recent seasons under Mauricio Pochettino.

This year the club were meant to unveil their new £850 million stadium, however, due to the stadium failing its safety test, the inaugural match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has been postponed until at least February.

Tottenham’s new stadium

Tottenham’s new stadium and their on-field performances under Pochettino signals the club finally has stability in the Premier League and can be considered one of the big teams in the UK.

The next step for Tottenham is to win silverware and cement themselves in the Champions League.

Silverware has alluded Pochettino so far in his managerial career at Tottenham, and their best chance of winning silverware this season is in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.

Silverware may have alluded Tottenham so far, but Champions League qualification has been cemented.

Last season Tottenham were one of the surprise packets in the Champions League, advancing from their group that included Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, before crashing out of the tournament to Juventus.

With the Premier League ‘s top six being more competitive this season, Tottenham will face stiff opposition to finish in the top four.

Liverpool and Manchester City look odds on to finish in the top four, which means their two spots available for Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Chelsea began the season on fire before a dip in form has seen them drop off in the title challenge.

The Blues became the first side to beat Manchester City in the Premier League this season and with Eden Hazard in career best form, Chelsea look likely to finish in the top four.

Arsenal began the season with defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea, but since their struggles, the Gunners have not been beaten in 21 games in all competitions.

The Gunners also defeated Tottenham in the North-London Derby recently, staking their top four credentials.

Failure to secure another season of Champions League football could signal a player exodus at Tottenham.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min are some of the Premier League’s best attacking talents and would receive plenty of interest from fellow Premier League sides and the big teams around the world.

Kane especially is crucial to Tottenham as he was a local boy who worked his way through the ranks at the Spurs and is the marquee of the team.

Harry Kane is crucial to Tottenham’s future.

Pochettino could also be on the move if Tottenham fall out of the top four. The Argentine has expressed his frustrations with the Tottenham board this season for their failure to add to the squad in the off-season and with the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United interested in his services, the 46-year-old could say farewell to the Lilywhites in the not too distant future.

Qualifying for next seasons Champions League could be more important than progressing out of the group stage this season. But a result against Barcelona tomorrow could be the stepping stone that secures Tottenham’s future as a force in the Premier League and European football.

 

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Christopher Chrysostomou
mrcc1@optusnet.com.au

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