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A Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links March 9, 2016

Philosophical Wednesday 101

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Good morning.

As a Spurs supporter of some years, I've been around my share of debates regarding the validity of winning trophies versus making the Champions League. To be clear, they've always been irrelevant discussions because we haven't won anything since 2008 and only made the Champions League once in those years. Best laid plans, for our beloved club, have not ended well. One the eve of another Europa League run-in this all feels relevant.

We are on the precipice of a Europa League tie with Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund are a legitimate power in modern club football; they've won things, produced player after world class player, and boast a fearsome home atmosphere. Theoretically, if the Europa League is supposed to be beneath us, this competition should be beneath them, but watch as they put out a real squad on Thursday. Watch the intensity.

And I fully expect that we will match because that's what athletes do when presented with competition. I admit that I've heard less of the "punting" a competition talk since we drew the Germans, but I hope that if we are fortunate enough to advance, we don't hear it come back.

Somewhere along the way the Champions League convinced people that making money is better than winning things. I am not naive and do understand the chances of winning things goes up when having a fat pot of cash to use. However, when a team makes it this deep into the season and is lucky enough to be alive on multiple fronts, it is time to go for it.

And there is a monetary element to what will go on this week, but it really isn't about that. It's about the two best teams left in this competition seeing who gets to have bragging rights over the other, only without a trophy on the line. Everything about this is glorious--it just doesn't have that famous song, the obscene TV deal, or the green beer bottles everywhere.

Let's not let that fool us into thinking it's anything less than spectacular.

And now for the "news":

Michael Owen makes a prediction for Dortmund-Spurs| The Sport Review

Saying this is a prediction that makes Owen an expert worth paying is like saying I'm an expert on biology, and should be given a job in the field, because I fully expect leaves to grow on trees this spring.

Berahino money numbers are stupid on all fronts| Mirror

West Brom, and rich people in general, are even stupider than I thought if they take a 20% reduction in price. Or maybe being rich is so great that four million pounds doesn't mean anything, and it's totally worth getting involved in pissing matches over it.

And if Berahino gets 45k a week, Kane should request 80.

Mats Hummels craves to face the best, says bring on Tottenham| Kicker

He does say all this in German, so good luck with all that. At least read until hitting the word "gegenüber", give yourself that satisfaction.

MLS has no defense| SB Nation Soccer

This isn't a moral judgement. Football teams in the league can't actually defend other teams attacks. It's literal.

Side note: this is what I think the league should be, just without the fake intrigue of aging international stars. I think aiming to be Eredivisie 2.0 would be best case scenario.