Europa League: Spurs v LASK. 22nd October, 8pm.
After our poor Premier League home run (but not in the Europa & League Cup), we must now quickly make amends. We must learn that when we are comfortably ahead going to sleep shouldn’t be an option, as we did against West Ham. To go three up and then shockingly gift them a present, and it certainly wasn’t a jar of bubbles mixture, was stupid.
Jose Mourinho has said his team were not “Spursy.” This comment was made after he received harsh criticism for Sunday’s capitulation. As we Spurs fans know, the ‘Spursy’ tag has been commonly used to describe our habit of letting leads slip or choking. “We can play 50 more matches, and it’s not going to happen again,” said Mourinho. “I don’t want to be sticking on this—no stories about ‘Spursy’ and this kind of thing. We just need to defend better from set-pieces,” he added.
Mourinho was speaking at a news conference before Spurs’ Europa League match against LASK. “We are a team in evolution,” he emphasised. “I believe that nobody played better than us with the ball. Which is a big evolution from last season. We are a very exciting team to watch. And that’s the DNA we want to have. Is that enough to win football matches? No. Of course, we need to play for a result, and we have to learn how to do it.”
On Tuesday, Tottenham’s 25-man Premier League squad was announced, with Danny Rose not included.
Anyway, we’ve got to move on and put that Sunday draw behind us and concentrate on the moment.
So, what is the morning glory story then for Thursday? Well, we are back in the Europa League proper (no! Really!).
To the match in hand:
Jose Mourinho is a confident little soul, he believes he can keep up his perfect record in the Europa League by winning his third title this season. And if he does that we – Spurs fans – will be overjoyed. To be honest, we’ve been waiting some time for a piece of silverware. He has competed in Europe’s second-tier competition twice and won it both times – with Porto in 2003 and Manchester United 2017.
We return to the competition after three seasons in the Champions League. Of course, he lost a few matches in the group phase but always managed to win it.
Mourinho had not said or hinted whether Gareth Bale would start against the Austrian side and only confirmed that centre-back Davinson Sanchez would be in his starting team. Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga are both injured, but Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso are set to return after missing our draw with West Ham.
This will be our first match against LASK. We have faced Austrian opposition on four previous occasions, beating Stockerau twice and Austria Vienna once (D1).
We were eliminated by Gent at the last-32 stage in our most recent Europa League season (2016-17). We have successfully navigated the group stages with each of our last four attempts since failing in 2011-12.
LASK’s only previous meeting with English opposition was a 7-1 aggregate defeat at the hands of Manchester United in the last-16 of this competition last season.
LASK finished top of a group containing Sporting, PSV Eindhoven and Rosenborg last season, earning 13 points.
Harry Kane has scored 28 goals in 50 appearances in major European competition, though he has failed to score in his last four matches in the Europa League.
Thoughts ad predictions
Even though our game against the Hammers turned disastrously wrong, I expect a convincing win against the Europeans. Remember, the first half against the Hammers we outshone them, and if we had stayed focused, we then would have created more goals and won by a higher goal margin (but we blew it).
My prediction is that we will win 3-1.
Best regards, Glenn