With the title race pretty much over, Tottenham Hotspur now face a challenge to qualify for the Champions League for the third consecutive season. New rules that put the top four in the Premier League straight into the group stages of the competition put an even higher emphasis in finishing in one of those coveted positions.
But after two seasons where Spurs finished in the top three and competed for the Premier League title, manager Mauricio Pochettino isn’t happy with just finishing fourth. His sights are higher, as he stated in a recent press conference.
Would you take fourth?
You want to be higher?
Yes. Of course. I am not a comfortable person. I love to take a risk. I am here because I love to take a risk. I feel I am a winner. Sometimes the winner loses and they need to lose to feel the pain and of course I never resign a result to play. Never.
With Manchester City flying high and the Premier League title out of the running already, Spurs face a battle to qualify for the remaining three Champions League slots with rivals Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal. Even surprise team Burnley, whom Spurs play on Saturday, are currently ahead of Tottenham in the table.
The good news is that despite a disappointing run of league results lately, Spurs are still only seven points out of third, with just over half a season to go. The latest news suggests that Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld are on the path to recovery, which will help the depth problems that have hurt them in the first half of the season. Spurs have been a little unlucky with their results, but not necessarily in their overall performances.
All are things that bode well for Spurs in their league campaign, and the very least you can say is that Pochettino is not short on ambition for this Tottenham side. They can start with a victory tomorrow against a very good Burnley team. The game is about glory, after all.