Spurs prove England should be awarded five Champions League places

by Charlie Coffey

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Some leagues are given more Champions League places than others so that the competition can be made up of the best teams in the continent, some of which hail from the same country. That Tottenham, in fifth place in the Premier League, can deservedly beat the team that has led Serie A for much of the season proves that England are ready to be awarded a fifth place in the competition, at the expense of one awarded to Italy if need be.

When Spurs went three goals down to Young Boys of Berne in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier back in August, few would imagine they would go on to reach the quarter finals having beaten seven-time winners AC Milan over two legs. Spurs deserve much credit for this feat, but their fans may have to enjoy this even more given the likelihood they will not reach the Champions League next season, or in those to come. Unfortunately this novelty of European success may turn out to be a swansong for Spurs if the rules aren’t changed.

Spurs only just beat Manchester City to the fourth Champions League spot last season thanks to Peter Crouch’s late goal in a cracking match between the two. Since then City have spent millions to improve their squad and have sat in the top three for most of this season as a result. Spurs, meanwhile, have been in fourth for long periods until Chelsea recovered from their awful run of form, and they now look destined to finish fifth at best, which would mean no Champions League (unless they won it of course!).

England’s fifth team can win their group and keep clean sheets home and away against AC Milan, which proves that England’s fifth team is of Champions League quality. No doubt UEFA president Michel Platini would have something to say on the matter, as he is famed for his less than subtle attempts to clip the wings of the growth of the Premier League, but he cannot avoid the facts. If the fifth team was not Spurs it would probably be five-time winners Liverpool who, if they achieve consistency in the performances that have beaten Chelsea and Manchester United in previous weeks, can be a top side again.

Keeping a mix of clubs from different nations is essential to the image of the UEFA Champions League, but if it really is to be a competition between the finest footballing sides in Europe, England’s fifth team need to be included in future tournaments.

Read Charlie Coffey’s brilliant blog at my11.com.

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  • http://www.amothertottenhamblog.blogspot.com epochery

    I compeletely agree with what you are saying and we could go as far as six teams in there, but the reality is that four is the maximum. When Liveropool won the Champions League and finished fifth there was much debate whether we should have five teams in there. Everton finished fourth and subsequently were eliminated in the qualifiers. UEFA changed the rules so that each nation could only have a maximum of four teams. Why not just let all top flight sides participate and have a long knockout summer format with only the seeded teams guaranteed a place in the group stages, that would be fun.

  • Robin

    Schalke were 10th in Germany when they knocked out Valencia…should the Bundesliga get 10 place’s?
    UEFA’s job is to share the wealth around Europe, not make individual league’s stronger.
    If Spurs want someone to blame, blame the EPL for letting the foreign owners at Man City buy and instant top 4 squad… that Spurs have spent year’s trying to build.

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