Tottenham Hotspur: Reaction to the Heartbreaking Champions League Final

Frank Wagner@Fw1812Correspondent IMay 19, 2012

What is there to say about that Champions League final?

For obvious reasons, Tottenham supporters entered that match as rabid Bayern Munich supporters.

After all, a Chelsea victory would mean that Spurs would miss out on Champions League football despite achieving the league position that, at the start of the season, was their ultimate goal.

Hence, as the 90 minutes crept to a conclusion, I followed that final hoping that Munich might grab that late winner.

From there, I don't want to speak for the rest of Spurs nation, but my feelings turned quite conflicted.

Perhaps it was those years of programming for a love of everything English, but I felt a cloud of guilt as Thomas Muller jumped around in celebration of his seemingly game-winning goal.

Who was I that I was made happy by a goal scored by someone named Muller for a German side that was playing against an English side?

Quickly, my mind went into justification mode, assuring myself that Champions League football would make it all be worth it.

Minutes passed and the outcome seemed all the more assured, so I began making plans for what clubs I would and would not want to see Tottenham do battle with in the Champions League playoff.

When Drogba headed in that near-post savior of a goal, though, I must admit that a bit of innate happiness passed over me.

From that moment on in the match, it was clear that there was just some higher power guiding Chelsea to victory.

Penalty to Robben?  No problem.

Chance after chance for Bayern?  No problem at all.

Mata penalty miss?  Don't worry about it.

And even as Didier Drogba stroked that final penalty in the back of the net, a great feeling of national pride took over as England defeated Germany on their home field, no less in penalties.

Of course, though, this whole sequence still had one incredibly dark cloud over it.

One cannot escape the fact that this destroys a Tottenham season that just a few months ago seemed to be such a success.

I could easily allow this to muck my memories of this final, making me rue the day that Chelsea took home a Champions League trophy to London.

Instead, though, I will celebrate the Blues' achievement despite the fact that they are a rival; after all, they are English.

No, it is not them who are to blame for Spurs missing out on Champions League football, but rather UEFA.

Sure, the law have been made clearer in recent years on this exact occurrence, so it is hardly like the rug was pulled out from under Tottenham; additionally, Spurs' poor form in the final few months of the season surely cost them third.

However, what is the point of this rule?

By all indications, it is an attempt to avoid the headaches of the 2005-06 Champions League, when defending champion Liverpool made it five English sides in the competition.

But is that really such a headache?

When you highlight the tables and show all season that fourth in your league gets you a Champions League bid, shouldn't fourth place get you a Champions League bid?

When your tournament is now expanded to 76 clubs, can't you make room for just one more?  Not even a spot in the first qualifying round, with the likes of Malta's Valletta and the Faroe Islands' B36 Torshavn?

Alas, things don't make that much sense to UEFA, where they are more concerned with the (not so hard to work out) money issue that it would cause.

Instead, Tottenham supporters are left to lament the fact that their club is the first to be left out of the Champions League on a penalty shootout.

And Spurs didn't even take part in it.

Good-bye Bale and Modric.

Thanks, Michel.


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