Tottenham Fan View: Spurs can’t let Juventus loss derail their season

Spurs are narrowly edged out of the Champions League by Juventus at Wembley
Spurs are narrowly edged out of the Champions League by Juventus at Wembley

Hearthache at Wembley

Tottenham fans are no strangers to the idea of glorious failure. It’s a phrase that should be written in bold letters on the club crest. An indelible birthmark of our recent history.

Even if your Spurs allegiances stretch only over a few years, there’s a good chance in that time you’ve experienced some pretty spectacular, gut-wrenching losses at pivotal stages of the season. As a rule, they tend to involve Chelsea and Wembley stadium.

Wednesday night’s Champions League adieu, however, was as painful as they come. At the source of anguish for anyone connected with the club, was the sense that Juventus were there for the taking. While I wouldn’t be so naive to think we deserved to win, no-one could argue that Spurs had fluked their way to the quarter-finals should they have progressed.

For all Giorgio Chiellini’s provocative comments about mental fragility and Wojciech Szczęsny’s chin-up gestures to the home support, both must concede that the Italian champions were in real danger of crashing out. Juventus were outplayed for three-quarters of the tie and looked a long way short of their impregnable best.

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Son down

That was the bitter truth for Tottenham fans, embodied by the inconsolable Heung-min Son at the final whistle; it could’ve been so different.

Unlike the last eight exit to Real Madrid back in 2011, where Spurs were well and truly schooled by a European heavyweight over two legs, the North Londoners more than matched their opponents.

But The Old Lady are the consummate professionals when it comes to the sharp end of the Champions League. They may have only excelled for 30 minutes of the 180; in that allotted time they were ruthless. They did what they needed to.

And Tottenham are out.

FA Cup and Champions League places to play for

A future, less-emotionally invested version of Mauricio Pochettino, will look back at this fixture and see it as an important learning curve. A crucial stage of his and his players’ development.

If that is the case, now is not the time for personal reflection. Before anyone can even think about trying to salvage something useful from the wreckage, there’s still enough left in the barrel of this season to keep us engaged. There’s work to be done for Pochettino and Spurs.

The FA Cup represents Tottenham’s last hope of silverware for the year. An in-form Swansea side stand in the way of a semi-final at Wembley and from there, it’s essentially two home wins away from a first major trophy in a decade.

Before that, there’s the job of making sure that this season’s Champions League campaign isn’t just an anomaly. With the new stadium looking more stadium-like by the day, it’d be an awkward turn of events which saw the first European fixture in the rebooted White Hart Lane, being a Europa League group match against some hard-working Balkan minnows. Tottenham have ambitions to become a regular member of the continental elite and that is far from secured.

First up, Bournemouth.