Not so much Harry Redknapp.
In the unenviable position of needing a fellow English team lose the final so his Tottenham Hotspur can contest Europe’s most glamorous club competition next season, Redknapp will go down in ignominious history as the first manager to be affected by the “holders in, fourth place out” rule courtesy of Liverpool’s achievements in 2005.
So now Tottenham will be playing in the Europa League for the second season in a row.
Here are five things Chelsea’s Champions League win means for Spurs—and, as usual, feel free to have your say in the comments below.
A season that promised so much—including whispers of a title chase, and then a comfortable third-place finish—has ultimately ended in Europa League qualification.
Starting with a 4-0 home demolition of Liverpool in the beginning of the season, Tottenham have played some exhilarating football and have notched some impressive results (their capitulation against Manchester City notwithstanding).
When Arsenal declined sharply after the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, and when Chelsea huffed and puffed under Andre Villas-Boas, Tottenham’s season was sure to end with third place in the Premier League.
But while Arsenal should be commended for their impressive second-half resurrection and Newcastle rightly deserve all the plaudits for their excellent season, Tottenham’s problems have been their own making.
And so they will look back on 2011-2012 as the season of missed opportunities, the season that could’ve been, the season that should’ve been.
From a Tottenham perspective, their decline in form after the turn of the year coincided with an unfortunate improvement in Arsenal’s.
Having ached for so long to be North London’s top dogs, Spurs will be disappointed with the way they lost their grip on a league position they’d held onto so tightly.
But while Newcastle’s dreams of finishing in the top four faded with their loss to title-chasing Manchester City, Chelsea were busy writing their own fairytale in Camp Nou, where they notched one of the most memorable results in recent European history.
All this adds up to an uncomfortable reality.
Arsenal finished third, once again above Spurs. Chelsea finished sixth but won a Cup Double and secured Champions League football for next season to boot.
Are Tottenham the third best football club in London after all?
With no Champions League action to look forward to, what will the Spurs players be up to this summer?
Luka Modric, who has been linked with a move to several of Europe’s top clubs (Daily Mail), might look to resurrect his chances of a summer move after last year’s public flirtations with Chelsea; Harry Redknapp has only gone on and admitted as much.
Spurs fans could find themselves in a previously unthinkable position of being in fourth place but still worrying about an exodus of their top stars.
Fortunately, in Harry Redknapp, Tottenham have one of the best managers in the English top flight at spotting young talent and making bargain signings.
His £8 million purchase of Rafael van der Vaart will rank as one of the club’s best ever transfer deals, while his loan signing of Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor turned out as a masterstroke.
While Spurs are busy pursuing high-caliber targets like Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen (Daily Mail), they may yet come to realize the extent of their failure to land a Champions League slot next year when it comes to the most-coveted stars.
The Daily Mail reports that missing out on the Champions League will cost Tottenham up to £35 million in revenues.
Harry Redknapp will have to be at his wheeling-and-dealing best in the transfer market this summer, then.
The good news is, far from the doom and gloom that has been suggested in this article, the future at White Hart Lane is still bright.
Tottenham have one of the most highly-rated managers in English football, whose man management and transfer record are both impeccable.
They have a sound financial structure in place, with chairman Daniel Levy widely lauded in the industry for have a sound business mind.
And, barring the exit of all their top players, Spurs have an exciting future on the pitch with the right foundations laid by Redknapp and his staff.
While missing out on the Champions League is sure to be frustrating, they only achieved this in the unluckiest of ways and in the most topsy-turvy of Premier League seasons.
What Tottenham have done this season is ensure once again that they will continue to be a force in English football for a while yet.
What do you think? Will missing out on the Champions League hurt Tottenham as much as it’s been hyped? Let us know in the comments below.
Stay tuned for extensive coverage on this summer’s European Championships on my Bleacher Report writer’s profile, and please check out my blog, The Red Armchair, for Liverpool opinions and match reactions.