Harry Redknapp’s Spurs watched in despair as Chelsea were crowned kings of the continent, lifting the Champion’s League trophy last season, and securing their place in this years’ competition, despite finishing outside the top four – in 6th place.
Tottenham had looked sure to finish in the top four all season, and Redknapp had even suggested they could win the title but, after a spell of poor results, Redknapp’s side hopes of glory diminished, as Arsenal narrowly pipped them to the post in 3rd place.
As Didier Drogba’s final penalty sent Bayern Munich’s Neuer the wrong way, a silence surely fell around White Heart Lane but the new-look Spurs, with Andre Villas-Boas at the helm, might find themselves thanking Drogba come May when the Final of the Europa League is played in Amsterdam.
Andre Villas-Boas certainly believes so – the former Chelsea manager came in to replace Harry Redknapp this summer and, despite the loss of key playmaker Luka Modric to Real Madrid, the boss is quietly confident, having won the competition with Porto in 2011:
"We want to do something special in this competition,” said AVB,
"It gives access to the European Super Cup and, for me, I always thought it was a prestigious competition and it should be promoted like that because after the Cup Winners' Cup disappeared, it is not only about the Champions League.”
That message should offer some consolation to the unfortunate Spurs and, in reality; they would have likely struggled to mount a serious threat in the Champion’s League. But the Europa could prove to be well within their grasp.
"If we can win a trophy, that represents a lot for Tottenham Hotspur's history as well and would be something really special."
Spurs face Lazio at White Hart Lane on Thursday night – a great opportunity for them to stake their claim over the competition.
Do you agree that Tottenham have a good chance of winning the Europa League this year?