Paul Eddison: This killed off Spurs' chance of ever dining at England's top table
Fan's eye view: I watched in horror as years of good work by Redknapp and Levy were undone
Monday 21 May 2012
Inevitably, as soon as it was down to the Germans to win a penalty shoot-out, they lost their nerve and left Spurs staring at another year in the Europa League.
I watched in horror as all the good work put in by Harry Redknapp and Daniel Levy in the last three years was undone in two and a half hours of inept finishing by Bayern Munich.
The biggest frustration is that this is a very average Chelsea side – had either Arjen Robben or Lionel Messi scored from the spot in the Champions League final or semi-final, Roman Abramovich would still be waiting for his first European crown.
Sixth in the Premier League is not the performance of a team who deserve to be in the Champions League. Spurs went on a run of two wins in 11 games and still finished five points clear of Chelsea.
However, from the moment Didier Drogba avoided a yellow card which would have kept him out of the final for a blatant handball in the Nou Camp, he was always going to be the hero.
Ever since the semi-final against Barça, Spurs and Arsenal fans have known that third was the new fourth when it came to Champions League qualification. Some will say we threw it away by failing to win at Aston Villa or losing at home to Norwich, but Chelsea were so poor they had given up on reaching the top four with two games to go.
What really grates is that, regardless of whether Chelsea were back in Europe's elite next season or not, Roman's money would have continued to pour in and players would still have been tempted by a move to Stamford Bridge.
Spurs, despite their attractive football, don't yet have the pedigree to attract the top players without the lure of Champions League football.
The Spurs team which looked like challenging for the title when they went to the Etihad in February will now be dismantled. Much as I want to believe otherwise, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale will both be on their way in the summer, and Eden Hazard and Loïc Rémy won't be coming in to replace them. Instead, Harry will again have to scout around for a bargain – but the likelihood of him picking up another Rafael van der Vaart on the cheap, or Emmanuel Adebayor on loan, seems slim.
Saturday's penalty shoot-out didn't just cost Spurs £100m in prize-money next year, it killed our chances of ever competing at England's top table.
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