Premier League Tottenham defeated Italian giants Inter 3-0 last night in the first leg of the knockout stages of the Europa League.
The victory was a comfortable and comprehensive one and showed that Spurs are real contenders for the competition.
The key to Tottenham’s success is that the team is so well balanced. Under Harry Redknapp the team were maybe a bit too gung-ho.
Andre Villas-Boas’ tactics are a little more defensive, but it seems they have helped Tottenham become a better balanced team.
The obvious star of the Tottenham team is Gareth Bale. The Welshman is in top form and there are very few players that are as good as Bale in the top flight at the moment. The 23 year-old once again got on the scoresheet against Inter and produced a good display.
The former-Southampton star is fast becoming a top class performer. However, there is a facet of his game that is unwanted and that is simulation. The Welsh international was booked again last night for diving.
The booking means that Bale will miss the second leg, which may not prove to be the worst thing in the world, considering the tie is all-but over. Bale needs to be careful though, as he will get an even worse reputation for his simulation, rather than for his superb ability with the ball.
Bale maybe the star of the team, but Tottenham are more than a one man team. Tottenham are a very good team and seem to keep getting stronger with every transfer window. This summer Spurs brought in keeper Hugo Lloris, defender Jan Vertonghen and midfielders Mousa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Attacker Clint Dempsey also arrived from Fulham. All of Spurs signings have been successful to some extent. Lloris endured a difficult start but he is starting to live up to his reputation as one of the world’s top keepers.
Jan Vertonghen could prove to be of the bargains of the summer. Versatility is just one of the Belgium international’s qualities. Dembele has proved to be a very useful replacement for the now departed midfielder Luka Modric.
Dempsey and Sigurdsson didn’t have the brightest of starts at the clubs. However, in recent months the pair has contributed more to the team and squad. Sigurdsson has scored vital goals in recent games, including the equaliser against West Ham in the Premier League and the second goal in the win over Inter in last night’s game.
Tottenham fans are dreaming of becoming a force in English football. However, to be rated as true contenders Spurs need to start winning silverware. Tottenham have the perfect chance to win silverware in the shape of the Europa League this season.
Winning the Europa League would confirm that Spurs are a team capable of challenging for trophies. Tottenham have had a reputation of a team that were nearly men in the past.
Spurs need to win a trophy to make that reputation a thing of the past and the Europa League could be that trophy.
The Inter team that Spurs faced in last night’s game is one of the worst in the clubs recent history. However, Tottenham still had the ability to take advantage of their weaknesses.
If as expected Spurs get to the quarter-finals of the competition then they will have a fantastic chance of winning the trophy. Spurs are now favourites to claim the trophy with a host of leading bookmakers.
The likes of Chelsea, Benfica and Lazio among others may disagree that Spurs are favourites for the trophy, but I can’t argue with the bookies about Spurs at the moment. If Spurs carry on performing how they have been in recent months then I really can’t see past Bale and co. lifting the trophy.
Can Tottenham win the Europa League?