Tottenham can finally win the Europa League this season under Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino


Having been regular participants in the Europa League over the last 10 years, Tottenham can finally go all the way and win the competition this season.

They have been among the favourites in many of the previous seasons but have crashed out after either imploding against lesser opposition, succumbing to another penalty shoot-out defeat (Spurs make England look good from the spot) or playing youth teams that inevitably get found out.

But this season after a slow transition, the North Londoners have began to gel with wins over the like of Chelsea and Arsenal not merely a fluke. The energy and pressing game that boss Mauricio Pochettino likes his sides to play with has been coming to fruition, while the mentality and fitness of the team is good, as shown by the number of late winning goals.

Of course, there is a long way to go in the competition with 32 teams still involved, while Spurs have to play tough opposition in Fiorentina, who are fourth in Serie A. They are weakened after selling Juan Cuadrado but have Mohamed Salah, who knows what it takes to beat Tottenham having been part of the Basel side that dumped them out two years ago on penalties following a fight-back from the White Hart Lane side.

It has often needed the proverbial rocket up the backside to shake Spurs into life in many of their knock-out encounters, ultimately resulting in hope being belatedly raised following a dramatic rally that goes on to painfully end in defeat.

But you sense with Pochettino’s discipline and desire to win the competition they could have a genuine chance of going all the way this season.

Certainly Nacer Chadli is upbeat about their prospects with him revealing he has never felt better, thanks to the thorough regime imposed by the Argentine that is underpinned by advanced technology.

“We always train with GPS. They are looking at players if they get tired, they can see it on the GPS,” he said.

“The amount we run, they can check everything. The manager says before we start that we have to be sharp. He wants to make everyone sharp and be well-trained.

“Is it a bit like Big Brother is watching you? Yes. You cannot cheat or put the GPS on a cat. I’ve tried.”

He added: “I don’t think I’ve ever felt so fit. It’s good. This is the fittest squad I have ever worked with, for sure.”

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