Sky Sports pundit and former Arsenal player Alan Smith has revealed what he believes the consequences would have been, had Tottenham Hotspur gone into this weekend with their hopes of finishing in the top four of the Premier League dashed.
Spurs were in the conversation over who will win the league title this season as they challenged the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for a period at the start of this calendar year.
However, Tottenham suddenly lost their way in February and indeed after a period where they lost three straight away games, Spurs looked to have dramatically surrendered their place in the top four of the table.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men have now bounced back and even though their recent form is hardly impressive, the erratic results of rival clubs have seen them retain third place.
Ahead of the trip to Bournemouth, Alan Smith has revealed that missing out on the top four would have been a blow and he expects Pochettino to field his best team for the clash with the Cherries.
“An ambitious club that has spent a fortune on the best stadium in the world absolutely needed Champions League football next season. Anything less would have been a hammer blow, both in a financial sense and for morale.” Smith wrote in The London Evening Standard
“So, this trip to the south coast represents a great chance to end all the doubts and leave Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United to scrap it out for the remaining spot. For that reason, Pochettino may well decide to field the best team available rather than save some for Amsterdam.
“I know they’ve looked tired lately, but the likes of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son can use Champions League qualification as a launching pad for better things. I’ve a feeling, in fact, that they will give Ajax a very tough time next Wednesday.”