As Spurs exited Bern in the wake of a 3-2 defeat to BSC Young Boys Michael Dawson may have regretted relaying his dream of marking Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to a plethora of media outlets – it is this sort of naïve complacency that could trip Tottenham up.
Perhaps Dawson should have instead being dreaming of marking Young Boy’s Henri Benvenue who outstripped him to score the Swiss side’s second – because the grim reality is that if Tottenham get carried away by the mouth-watering prospect of Champions League glamour ties, there won’t be any.
Dawson said: “There are so many games you watch and to play against the best players in the world – Messi and players like that – would be fantastic and a great test.”
But what Tottenham and Dawson in particular must remember is that the journey to the group stage is not paved with gold due to their admirable domestic exploits and if last night was anything to go by, looking ahead to the likes of Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid is dangerous.
Due to the global popularity of the English Premier League, the desire to beat English teams in Europe is intensified and this desire was laid down for all to see at the Stade de Suisse yesterday evening. Young Boy’s defender Christoph Spycher told of how “For every player in Switzerland, it’s really a great challenge to play against an English team” and they certainly embraced it.
Spurs at least managed to pull it back to 3-2 ahead of the return leg at White Hart Lane next week but if they continue to turn their attentions elsewhere, then the Swiss minnows may just turn them over.
It may well be wise for Dawson to keep his thoughts to himself and take the Champions League in his stride – like his manager Harry Redknapp who says he “never thinks about it” referring of course to the long journey which has finally earned him a place amongst the elite.
After all, unless Spurs record a victory in a week’s time, the hard work throughout last season may be undone by their own ignorance, Dawson’s dream may remain just that.