Tottenham Hotspur’s love affair with the Champions League is ultimately over for another season at least, due to two shocking decisions, two decisions that have cost the club £30 million minimum. But I’m not referring to the mistakes by the officials at the weekend against Chelsea. Yes, I know these were outrageous faux pas’ by the men in black (not Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones), but surely 90 minutes, two wrong decisions and “if only we had goal line technology” debate do not single handedly capsize “The Great Entertainers’ ” European aspirations?
The first ‘shocking’ decisions I’m referring to is Redknapp and Levy’s surprising decision to not sign a world class, 20 goal-plus a season striker, after such a poor return from his forwards in the opening months to the campaign. We all know how poor the goal scoring stats are from Peter Crouch, Roman Pavlychenko and Jermain Defoe is so I won’t bore you with facts and figures. The point is, ‘Arry is renowned for his ability in the transfer market and showed this yet again with the major coup of signing Rafael Van Der Vaart for a mere £8 million, but with all the rumours constantly surrounding White Hart Lane even Arsenal fans were surprised to not see the unveiling of a world class striker. Ultimately, the North London’s outfit’s strikeforce’s inability ‘to hit a barn door with a banjo’ has cost the side dearly this campaign.
Perhaps shocking isn’t the right word to describe this decision; Spurs’ ability to entertain has enabled them to shine on the European front, but this relentless commitment to attacking, free flowing and entertaining football has hindered them on the home front. I’m referring to such games as the enthralling 3-3 draw with Wolves earlier in the season, in which Bale, Lennon and Kranjcar were all brought on when Spurs were leading at Molineux, when surely the introduction of a more defensive midfielder such as Wilson Palacios would have helped see out the game and ultimately claim all three points?
When Spurs fans reflect in May on a season that could have promised so much, they will hopefully realise that this has been a successful and pivotal season in their development as one of the best teams in the Premier League. This is a team that was bottom of the league when Redknapp took over, so challenging the top four for two successive seasons is a huge achievement; maybe after a trademark bit of wheeling and dealing by Redknapp in the summer, European games will be back on the Spurs footballing menu again the season after next.