Spurs risk being one-season wonders

Spurs are in danger of being one-season wonders in the Champions League
Spurs are in danger of being one-season wonders in the Champions League
Mutiny Festival 2017 Picture: Paul Windsor

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Spurs, who play at Real Madrid tonight, are in danger of being one-season wonders in the Champions League.

Their zestful approach and spirit has lit up the tournament this season but their league form has suffered, especially considering the size and strength of the squad at Harry Redknapp’s disposal.

They are now five points adrift of the top-four place they need to get back into Europe’s elite competition next season.

Spurs have taken two points from the past 12 available, while former Pompey strikers Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch have both scored a paltry two league goals apiece all season. It defies belief.

Indeed, the entire team have managed just 41 league goals so far – making them the lowest scorers in the top nine.

That is shocking for a squad boasting the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Crouch, Defoe, van der Vaart and Pavlyuchenko – all backed by a creator as good as Luca Modric.

As predicted here at the time of his move away from Fratton Park, Niko Kranjcar has ended up wearing out the Spurs bench and is looking to get away.

Because of their European exploits in beating the two Milan clubs and reaching tonight’s quarter-final, there have been no inquests into Spurs’ disintegrating Premier League form.

But there might soon be because unless they actually win the Champions League – hardly likely with Real and probably Barcelona blocking their route – it looks increasingly difficult for them to qualify again next season.

That would prove to be a massive anti-climax and loss of kudos.

But in Europe they are a different team and are good enough to cause problems for Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid at the Bernabeu tonight.

Much will depend on their ability to contain Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Argentinian Angel di Maria.

Mourinho will be wary of the way in which Spurs mugged AC Milan with a lightning counter at the San Siro.

And his natural caution may prevent Real going for the jugular.

That might be a mistake because I believe Real need a lead to take to White Hart Lane, which will be rocking for the return leg next week.

Over the two legs, I would have to plump for Real but not by much.