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Forget the top four, Spurs' main goal should be the Europa League

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Who wants the profit of a high league finish when we can go for glory?

Michael Steele

Like the tragic tale of the butter-battlers, whose endless feud between upside butterers and downside butterers tore a small nation apart, an equally threatening divide has come between the Spurs faithful: Champions League qualification or winning a trophy?

The Champions Leaguers will tell you how the modern game has changed and finishing in the top four is now the most important thing in the world. Not only does it give Spurs a huge financial windfall, but it gives us the chance to play against the best clubs in the world. The prestige alone is enough to make world class players beg to be transferred to White Hart Lane. Who cares about a mickey mouse cup?

The Trophy Winners scoff at these money-grubbing fools. The game is about glory, and what's more glorious than winning a trophy? If you're not winning things, there's no point to playing. If you think fourth place is a trophy, go be an Arsenal fan. Watching Ledley King lift even a minor trophy like the Carling Cup was the greatest day in the past decade.

And as the eternal debate wages forever on and on, at long last there might be a solution that pleases everyone: forget the Premier League and focus everything on winning the Europa League.

Because for the first time in the cup's history, it has been imbued with the magical power to bring Champions Leaguers and Trophy Winners together. This year's Europa League winner qualifies for next year's Champions League. No longer are we forced to choose between trophies and a Champions League place. Win the Europa League, and you get both.

And even though it would make sense for everyone, the mere suggestion smacks of total lunacy to anyone listening. But before you run off screaming into the night, think about it.

For Spurs to qualify for the Champions League through the Premier League this season, the team must beat out Everton, while also managing to outperform two of Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal. Ahead of the season, most supporters think it's unlikely to outgun one of those sides, let alone two. Though we all hope that just maybe Pochettino can pull it all together and give us a dream season, you have to squint pretty hard to see a scenario where he whips it out better than Van Gaal, while simultaneously witnessing Liverpool plummet down the table as their wings melt off their backs.

But in the face of this near-insurmountable obstacle, there remains a clear path to the promised land. Forget about surpassing three English giants and instead think about brushing aside a dozen or so European also-rans. Consistently outperforming the richest clubs in the Premier League over a 38 game season is so difficult that it's only happened twice in the past decade. Meanwhile Juande Ramos and AVB have won three Europa Leagues between them. There's no question which is the more likely road to victory.

So please, put down your triple-sling jiggers and your jigger-rock snatchems. In just a handful of knockout matches, my dears Champions Leaguers and Trophy Winners, you could both get what you want.