Danny Murphy has claimed that Tottenham could win the Champions League this year, and has suggested that Mauricio Pochettino is a victim of his own success.
Spurs were knocked out of both domestic cup competitions last week, leading to the Argentine suggesting that his priority is securing Champions League football, as reported by Sky Sports – but Match of the Day pundit Murphy believes that the desire for silverware is only so strong because the Argentine has done such a good job in north London.
He also evoked Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League winning underdogs to argue that things aren’t as bad as they seem for Spurs.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “His [Pochettino’s] success has created this need and demand for silverware that maybe wouldn’t have been there if he hadn’t done so well.
“There’s a logic to what he’s saying. Consistently being in the Champions League is going to create a bigger pot and a more appealing club for better players to come to then compete.
“They’re still in the Champions League – they could win the Champions League this year.
“The chances are they won’t – everybody is saying they’re not capable, but Liverpool weren’t capable when they won it in Istanbul. Tottenham could win the Champions League, it’s not all doom and gloom.”
Murphy is right, but Spurs are treading such a tightrope at the moment that it’s difficult to see where the club are actually at and what would be deemed a success for the side.
Champions League football is a necessary prerequisite now, and Pochettino is justified in giving it such an important place in his priorities, but it’s getting to a point now where Tottenham’s lack of silverware is becoming a real concern. The club need to have something to prove for their massive progression under Pochettino, and even a Carbao Cup medal would have been a nice way to stave off the critics.
They are, of course, still in the Champions League, but they have a tricky draw against Borussia Dortmund, and look so far off the pace of Europe’s elite that it would be a massive ask. The question now is whether or not the Argentine will begin to give more thought to Spurs’ European journey, although his recent comments would suggest otherwise.