Mauricio Pochettino was doomed at Tottenham the moment he guided them into last year’s Champions League final and that remarkable run to Madrid is also the reason Jose Mourinho has struggled as his replacement.
Last week’s Champions League thrashing by German upstarts RB Leipzig
highlighted the gulf in quality for Tottenham as they start the Premier
League suspension with little hope of qualifying for next season’s elite
White Hart Lane legend David Ginola believes
Tottenham were lucky in 2019 and need to start achieving domestic
success before they can challenge the very best on a regular basis.
1999 Premier League Footballer of the Year claimed: ‘I think the
worst-case scenario for Tottenham was to play in the Champions League
final last year.
‘I mean, it was great for the fans, great
for the club, great for everyone at the club, but it put them on a stage
when they weren’t really there yet.
‘You think of other
clubs who have been there year in year out in the last four years, then
suddenly Tottenham come out and play in the final against Liverpool.
‘That makes you a team people are going to watch and come to expect great things from.
can’t forget that over the last few years Tottenham have been
struggling to get trophies and that was the problem for Pochettino.
‘It’s a shame because Pochettino did a great job but on the other
hand because he wasn’t winning anything, people were complaining about
‘I mean, they were doing great, but on the other hand
they weren’t winning anything! But you play in the final of the
Champions League and all of a sudden if you start losing games people
say ‘oh what’s going on, last year we played in the final of the
Champions League, this year we’re going to struggle to finish in the top
‘That’s the issue I think, they were too quick
in getting to the final of the Champions League. You have to win things
in your home country first before going abroad and winning trophies
But Ginola told fans who have been chanting ‘You’re not special anymore’ should not be so harsh in Mourinho.
added: ‘It’s all about expectation. In a few games last year, they were
very lucky and reaching this sort of dream of playing in the final, for
the fans, for the players, and for the club and everything.
‘They started this season thinking ‘this year we have to do better’.
‘Better is what? At least winning one trophy, at least a domestic cup or the league or something like that.
‘This is my philosophy of why it went wrong.
the start of the season if you have one bad result it comes to your
mind and people start thinking ‘what’s going on? We’re not playing the
same way. Are the players concerned in the same way they were last
Ginola now hopes the enforced break will give
Mourinho time to get some key players fit again and build the club up to
become challengers once more in the future.
‘Spurs have everything: A fantastic stadium, modern training facilities
and one of the best set of fans in the country. But now they need to
assemble a team that’s consistent enough to be able to play at the
top-level year in year out.’