COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Tottenham are now facing the problem of dropping to the Europa League, or out of Europe altogether following their 2-1 defeat against Monaco on Tuesday evening.
The north London outfit now can’t finish higher than third place in their Champions League group and will host CSKA Moscow in December at Wembley.
Mauricio Pochettino will know that a win or a draw will be enough to take his side into the Europa League knockout stages, but some see the competition as an unnecessary distraction.
However, Football Insider has identified three reasons why the competition could benefit Tottenham in the long run:
Champions League qualification:
The Premier League has grown a lot stronger following the last campaign and a rejuvenated Liverpool and Chelsea has made a top-four finish a highly difficult task.
Spurs are currently sat in fifth and a point from the Champions League places as the only unbeaten team left in England’s top flight.
However, nine matches in the Europa League may prove to be an easier passage to Europe’s elite competition next season than a 38-game slog in which they must overcome two of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United, not to mention finishing above cash-rich Everton, Southampton and current champions Leicester.
The Europa League does boast some good sides in it and the youthful Tottenham squad will gain much needed experience from the competition.
Last season fine teams such as Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao were competing in the knockout stages and players will only learn from playing against these sides.
The pan-Europe competition will also provide the squad with experience, as they will set-up in different ways to face teams across the globe.
Enhanced reputation and chance of silverware
The Europa League, like every competition, presents the chance of a team winning some form of silverware.
Tottenham fans have not tasted victory in a tournament final since the 2008 League Cup win over Chelsea and supporters would strongly welcome another triumphant day out.
A European victory would also further enhance Spurs’ reputation across the world – just look at Sevilla – with over 12 million people watching both the Champions League and Europa League finals last season.
In other Tottenham news, celebrity Arsenal fan Piers Morgan has mocked Spurs on Twitter.