THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

20 April ~ A freezing Enschede and a sweltering Madrid are just a two of the several places I have seen Spurs in this season's Champions League. The way they have attacked some of Europe's top sides has been naive at times but also enthralling, and has even led to comparisons being drawn with the great Bill Nicholson side of the 1960s. This, plus the fact that I like to experience a wide range of European policing methods while sampling local beverages, is why it's vital that Spurs come out on top in tonight's clash against Arsenal.

For our not-so-noisy neighbours the game is a chance to put further pressure on a Man Utd side who slipped up at Newcastle last night and have the distraction of the Champions League tie against Schalke coming up. For Spurs, meanwhile, it's an opportunity to go level on points with Manchester City, a chance they quite simply can't afford to throw away if they have aspirations of being in the Champions League next season.

The worrying thing for a Spurs fan is that now these players have had a slice of the Champions League they will want a lot more. If we aren't sitting in fourth place by the end of May it is likely to be a fretful summer for chairman Daniel Levy. The likes of Luka Modric and recent PFA Player of the Year winner Gareth Bale are going to be taking up back-page space in tabloid transfer "exclusives" linking them with moves to Serie A and La Liga. Both players recently signed new deals, but that won't matter in the slightest if Barcelona show a genuine interest – and I wouldn't begrudge them moving on if we fail to make it back into the Champions League. Beat Arsenal tonight and I can see Spurs edging out the oil sheiks' plaything for fourth place, lose and I'm afraid it could be the end of a short but momentous journey. James Ilsley

Comments (1)
Comment by JimDavis 2011-04-20 15:15:31

Don't worry James, being Spurs, it is not this game they will throw away, but the one on Saturday against West Brom.

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