Football News

Glenn Hoddle sets Tottenham target after dream Champions League run

By Harry Edwards

Mauricio Pochettino

Published: 20:00, 29 August 2019

Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Glenn Hoddle believes the club should focus on improving in the Premier League after last season’s Champions League exploits.

Spurs reached the final of the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history despite having looked out of the competition at various stages.

What should Tottenham be aiming for this season? Five things to know…

  • Tottenham reached the Champions League final for the first time last season.
  • However, their domestic form was not as impressive.
  • Spurs finished fourth in the Premier League having lost 13 games.
  • They were also knocked out of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup by Crystal Palace and Chelsea respectively.
  • And Glenn Hoddle believes they should focus on improving domestically this season.

But domestically Spurs left a lot to be desired, finishing just one point clear of fifth-placed Arsenal and 26 behind Liverpool in second, losing 13 games – more than any other team to finish in the top six.

This added to disappointing cup runs, exiting the Carabao Cup to Chelsea at the semi-final stage, as well as being knocked out of the FA Cup fourth round by Crystal Palace.

And Hoddle believes Tottenham should focus on improving domestically rather than going for Champions League glory.

“It was a rollercoaster last year. Personally, my heart says I would love them to go all the way again but it will be extremely difficult,” he told BT Sport.

“They’ve got to get their domestic scene sorted out. Behind the scenes, there’s players coming to the end of their contracts, you just feel there is a little bit of an imbalance there.

“For me, a team in all competitions to lose 20 matches last year, that is too many.

“I think they need to get their heads down and look at the Premier League.”

The Champions League draw on Thursday saw Tottenham drawn in Group B with German champions Bayern Munich, Greek side Olympiakos and Serbian outfit Red Star Belgrade.

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Merson: Spurs already out of the title race

While Hoddle has urged Tottenham to focus on improving their domestic form, ex-Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes Mauricio Pochettino’s men are already out of the Premier League title race.

Spurs are currently seventh in the league with just four points having won, drawn and lost in their opening three games. They are already five points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool and three behind Manchester City, the two teams many expect to be challenging for the title come the end of the season.

“I must admit, I didn’t see this coming – Tottenham losing at home to Newcastle,” Merson told Sky Sports’ The Debate.

“Spurs look in disarray, a worrying sign this early in the season.

“They are out of the title race already, five points behind Liverpool with three games played. That may sound harsh, but would you back Spurs to win the league over Liverpool if Liverpool had a five-point head start?

“People go on and on about there being 35 games left but I’m fed up with that rhetoric, five points is a lot of points to make up.

“As a general rule, it takes five games to make up five points, Liverpool lost once last season and have won every game so far this, so where are Spurs going to bridge the gap?

“Before a ball was kicked, I thought Spurs were a dead cert to finish in the top three, now they look in the equation for top four football after their performances.”