William Gallas says that Tottenham have the potential to be the biggest club in London - but must first win trophies.
In modern years, Chelsea and Arsenal have been the dominant clubs in the captital - but Gallas thinks that might be coming to an end report The Evening Standard.
“Tottenham can be the biggest club but for that they have to win some trophies and then they will start to be the biggest club in London,” he said.
“We have to win some trophies, and then I think people will start to respect Tottenham more. The fans will be more proud to walk with their shirts on their backs but we need to lift trophies. It is as simple as that.”
Gallas has played for both Chelsea and Arsenal in the past - winning two Premier League titles - but he could soon be winning trophies with his current club.
Since winning the FA Cup in 1991, Spurs’ have won only two high-profile titles — the League Cup in both 1999 and 2008. As long as they are not defeated by three goals or more against Inter Milan tomorrow, they will advance to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Gallas has been a regular in Europe this season under Andre Villas-Boas and, when fit, he was also a key man for previous manager Harry Redknapp, helping the team reach the last eight of the Champions League in his first season. “Harry was more of an attacking manager, whereas AVB is more tactical,” Gallas told ITV Sport.
“Before the games we have to work in training on how the opponents will play, especially when we play away from home. That is the difference. There is a little more focus on that.”
Since Michael Dawson re-established himself at the heart of Tottenham’s defence, Gallas has struggled for playing time, especially with Jan Vertonghen having an excellent first season in English football.
The Belgian has adapted quickly to the Premier League and has produced some powerful performances both at centre-back and left-back. Despite his two goals at Liverpool last Sunday, Spurs were still beaten 3-2 at Anfield, their first defeat in the league since December 9.
Those who remember Spurs’ late collapse last season, which cost them a place in this term’s Champions League, might be worried. Yet Vertonghen is so confident about Spurs’ prospects that he would be unworried even if they were defeated by Inter at San Siro.
Vertonghen said: “We’d see a 1-0 defeat as a win. You want to go through and you want to have a good game — that’s it. We had the perfect result in the first leg and now it’s all about going through.”
Villas-Boas has made the Europa League a far higher priority than his predecessor, Redknapp, did and at least until now, Spurs have adapted well to the change of plan. The Portuguese boss hopes this will prepare them well for a possible Champions League campaign in 2013-14.
Vertonghen was a member of the Ajax team who won the Dutch title last season before he left in the summer. His former team-mates beat English champions Manchester City in the group stages of the Champions League this season but Vertonghen believes Spurs can out-perform his former club if they qualify for next year’s edition.
“We have way more qualities than Ajax, in my opinion,” he said. “This is a bigger team in a bigger league and the only reason we lost to Liverpool was because we made personal mistakes. We’re still very confident about getting to the Champions League.
“We play Fulham at home in the league on Sunday and it’s the perfect time to pick up a run again. You’ve got to win the big games, like we did against Arsenal earlier this month, and even though we lost at Liverpool, we’re very confident. I don’t see any problems.”
- More about:
- Ajax Amsterdam
- Andre Villas-Boas
- Chelsea F.c.
- Harry Redknapp
- Premier League
- The Carling Cup
- Tottenham Hotspur
- UEFA Champions League