Tottenham news

Ardiles: Champions League no distraction for Spurs

August 12, 2010
By Mark Lomas

Tottenham legend Ossie Ardiles does not believe his former club's league form will be adversely affected by playing Champions League football this season.

Ossie's Dream

Spurs face Swiss side Young Boys in the Champions League play-off round for the chance to sit at European football's top table for the first time since 1962, but questions have been raised about whether Harry Redknapp's squad is well enough equipped to compete on all fronts.

Ardiles, who represented Spurs with distinction for ten years after arriving as a recent World Cup winner with Argentina in 1978, believes the players will thrive on the challenge.

"I don't think the Champions League will be a distraction," Ardiles told Soccernet. "I think this scenario of there being too many games is used an excuse but I don't believe it.

"If you are in the Champions League it is great - you are playing with the best in the world and the players like to play in these games. The confidence of playing in these games is then translated to the bread and butter of the Premier League."

It has been a pre-season of surprising inactivity in the transfer market for Redknapp thus far, but despite a lack of new faces at White Hart Lane, Ardiles believes the Spurs boss is close to assembling a squad capable of mounting a genuine title challenge.

"Harry is still looking in the transfer market to see if he can bring one or two more top quality players in," Ardiles said. "The squad is very strong but one or two additions could see us think about challenging for the title.

"I think the goal is to again be in Europe - though it will be very hard because there are a lot of other clubs fighting to be in that spot. It is going to be be a very tough season indeed but it will be incredibly interesting and I'm full of confidence.

"I believe Chelsea are the big, big favourites, and Manchester City will also be strong but I believe that Tottenham can be one of the teams challenging.

"The first thing is the two Champions League qualifiers - these are the two most important games of the season.