Tottenham Hotspur qualified for the Champions League last night thanks to a 1-0 victory over Manchester City.
Here’s five reasons why I am happy it is them rather than their opponents that will get the prize of fourth place and a spot in Europe.
1. The City juggernaught gets held off for another season
In modern-day football there are essentially two things that attract the biggest and best players: money and the opportunity to play at the highest level. City have the former in abundance but missing out on the Champions League for next season means their bargaining power with the very best players will not be as strong as it might have been.
As such, their ability to challenge for the Premier League title has been put off for another year.
2. Tottenham cannot win the league
Although this is not technically true – after all, any team in the Premier League can win the league, even the dregs at the bottom – the reality is that there will only be three teams challenging for the title next season. Tottenham have done well this season, have a strong squad with good depth and will hope to build on this season’s effort. But they won’t win the league.
Indeed, juggling Champions League football with an assault on the Premier League is something that both the man in charge and most of the players involved are new to, and it’s likely to take its toll. That means one less title contender than there would have been had City finished fourth and spent big and it makes Arsenal’s job of winning the title just that little bit easier.
3. The North London Derby will intensify
No Arsenal fan will want Tottenham to overtake us, yet the local-born supporters will be licking their lips at the prospect of the North London Derby being taken up a notch. It’s good for the game and football in general to have such an historic derby leveled up slightly and it makes for some epic contests next season.
Just ask Manchester United.
4. Joe Hart is far more likely to sign with Arsenal
The news earlier in the week was that Arsene Wenger is readying a bid to make Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart his No1 goalkeeper for next season. Now that City have missed the Champions League, that possibility must surely have increased.
No matter how much he loves money, Hart will not want to play second fiddle to Shay Given in a team playing Europa Cup football, nor loaned out to Birmingham for another season when he can be the first-choice at a club that will be playing in the Champions League. He is an ambitious young man with aspirations to become England’s first-choice stopper and he can achieve that quicker if he makes the move to Arsenal.
5. Emmanuel Adebayor got what he deserved
A heart-warming example that although nice guys have a tendency to finish last, bad guys don’t always succeed.
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