Spurs: From Overachiever To Underachiever

Tottenham defender William Gallas has stuck the boot into his underachieving team-mates by insisting they only have themselves to blame for having their Champions League dream crushed after just one season. The former Arsenal man was unable to prevent his side slumping to a 1-0 defeat at Manchester City, a result that guaranteed Champions League football for Roberto Mancini's side.

Tottenham have no doubt had some highlights this term, mostly in Europe where they excelled in clashes with the two Milanese teams. However, domestically they have been unable to produce a solid run of results and have slipped to sixth in the table.

"Even if people say "you had a great season", I don’t think so. To get to the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the first attempt was amazing for Tottenham but everybody is upset because we got nothing at the end. I am sure all the players are very upset. You feel so good in the Champions League and you get the chance to compete against the best in Europe. Because next season we will not play in that competition, it will be difficult for us to watch it on TV," said Gallas.

Gallas has been one of few pictures of consistency and has warned his team they face an even tougher task qualifying for Europe's premier competition next season.

"It will be harder next year'Liverpool are really, really strong and playing good football, so now it will be between maybe five or six teams to qualify for the Champions League. We need to have a good pre-season, to speak together and be ready when the season starts. Because Tottenham want to be a big club, we have to be back in the Champions League," he added.

Tottenham's top four hopes have completely unravelled since they played in the knockout stages of this year's Champions League. Despite the highs of knocking out AC Milan in mid-February, Tottenham have won just once in any competition since and were unceremoniously dumped out of Europe by Real Madrid. The La Liga giants ran out 5-0 winners over two legs, exposing Spurs' inexperience at the highest level. But it was the club's inability to raise themselves for games against lesser Premier League sides that has attracted the most criticism from Gallas.

"When we play against the small teams, maybe - I say maybe - we thought we had won before we played, so perhaps that’s the mistake we made. We dropped too many points against Blackpool, Wolves and West Ham. We made too many mistakes but now we know which mistakes we made, it will not be good if we make the same ones again. If we play a big team, like Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal, we know they will be very hard to beat, so when we arrive in the dressing room we are ready for the fight," he expressed his concern.

Failure to finish in the top four has left the club facing the prospect of an unwanted journey through the Europa League. Boss Harry Redknapp has himself admitted he isn't keen to participate, but Gallas insists it is a winnable tournament should Spurs take it seriously. He said, "It’s not the Champions League, but you never know. If you end with a trophy, everybody will be happy. This team can win it. We have the quality, the great players."

Tottenham could qualify for next season's Europa League regardless of whether they pip Liverpool to fifth place based on the latest Premier League's Fair Play table.

Source: London Evening Standard

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