Europa League will aid Tottenham's Champions League surge
A congested schedule may have a positive affect on Spurs' top four ambitions
Many people suggested that Tottenham's Europa League ambitions last season hindered their surge for the coveted Champions League place, with the north London club finishing behind their fierce rivals by one point.
However, with such strength in depth in Spurs' current squad, a conveyor belt of fixtures including a Capital One cup tie against Aston Villas may give Spurs the time they need to gel.
When Tottenham lost the north London derby earlier on in the season many pundits suggested that it was their lack of team chemistry that affected their moves going forward. With only one out of six forward players having played in a north London derby, it is easy to see why Tottenham were far from their attacking best, but a flurry of fixtures could see Spurs flourish.
Andre Villas-Boas has spoken publicly about the negative consequences of a fixture heap and also suggesting that this could be 'career threatening' to his players. But with AVB also suggesting that it will take time for record signing Erik Lamela, it is games like this that will prove the £30 million price tag lingering above his head.
With plenty of summer arrivals this season competition for places has become even more intense. AVB has plenty of options in plenty positions and it is through the Europa League that will allow players picked less, to perform to a higher standard. Jermain Defoe has managed to net a total of five goals in his Europa League appearances and this not only signifies the ability at Spurs but the character of the individuals.
AVB may have been proved right to an extent with injuries to Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele and Younes Kaboul, but with Christian Eriksen scoring a wonder goal and Jan Vertonghen fitting in seamlessly into the left back position, this Europa League tie really shined light on the depth that AVB has at his disposal.
Defoe's brace, Lewis Holtby's assist and Eriksen's curling effort prove that Tottenham have managed to strengthen their overall squad. Games like this will continue to highlight Spurs' players and will be able to allow fringe players to improve their fitness so, when called upon, they can really make the difference.
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