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Tottenham’s European Record in the Premier League Era

Mourinho will want to savour more big European nights in Spurs’ new stadium

Spurs face a tricky campaign, having failed to qualify for Europe for the first time since 2009. Ange Postecoglou has taken charge over the summer but he will be without Tottenham’s all-time top scorer Harry Kane, who’s transfer to Bayern Munich has concluded.

Despite the possible setback, some football fans will still back the North London club to enjoy a successful season and may assess the current Premier League top 4 odds ahead of the new campaign.

It won’t be easy for Spurs, but with players like Son Heung Min, they will still be confident of battling the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and rivals Arsenal for a place in the top spots of the table.

This article will look back at Tottenham’s past European adventures and the times they’ve missed the cut during the last three decades of the Premier League.

Barren European Runs Throughout the Nineties

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Tottenham is a Premier League ever-present along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester United though it has to be said the first eight years in the newly formed division was average as the club finished between 7th and 15th from 1993 to 2000. Having said that, Spurs did reach the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1992.

In the Premier League era, Tottenham finished fourth in a group of five in the Intertoto Cup in 1995, while winning the League Cup in 1999 saw them enter the UEFA Cup. However, they were knocked out in the second round by German side Kaiserslautern.

UEFA Cup Regulars at Last

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From the start of the Millennium through to 2005, Spurs failed to qualify for Europe, but then things changed in 2006 when the club reached the UEFA Cup for three consecutive campaigns thanks to league position and the League Cup final win over Chelsea in 2008.

However, Tottenham felt aggrieved at missing out on Champions League qualification after ten members of the first-team squad were struck down with food poisoning on the eve of a final-day encounter with West Ham. A depleted Spurs side lost 2-1, while north London rivals Arsenal won their final game at Highbury to take the final spot in the top four.

In Europe, Spurs performed admirably, reaching the quarter-finals in 2007, where they were defeated by eventual UEFA Cup winners Sevilla on aggregate. The following two years later, Tottenham were eliminated by PSV Eindhoven and Shakhtar Donetsk.

Gareth Bale Catapults Tottenham to Champions League and Final Appearance

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Tottenham have shined on the European stage in the last 13 years, albeit without a trophy to show for it, thanks to the explosive brilliance of Gareth Bale and the goalscoring exploits of Kane.

It was in October 2010 that Bale’s brilliance saw him become the first player to net a Champions League hat-trick against Inter. Spurs lost the game 4-3, but it felt like a turning point as at times, the team blew the Italian giants away.

Tottenham then played five successive seasons in the Europa League but only got as far as the quarter-finals on one occasion and were knocked out twice in the Last 16 of the competition.

However, from there, the team took it up a notch domestically and finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th to play in the Champions League, with the pinnacle coming as they reached the final of the European Cup in 2019.

They were defeated 2-0 by Liverpool at Atletico Madrid’s Metropolitano Stadium but had come miles for a club that annually struggled to reach Europe just two decades before.

Having missed out again this season, Postecoglou and his revamped team will be determined to return at the first time of asking.


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