‘Champions League final was worst-case scenario for Spurs’ – Expectations too high for Mourinho’s men, says Ginola

The former Tottenham winger believes gracing a European showpiece in 2019 has led to a bar in north London being raised to unrealistic heights

Reaching the Champions League final in 2019 was the “worst-case scenario” for Tottenham, says David Ginola, with expectations having now risen to unrealistic heights in north London.

Mauricio Pochettino oversaw a remarkable run through elite European competition last season, with progress to a showpiece event in Madrid set to live long in the memory.

The Argentine tactician was, however, to pay the price in November 2019 for failing to build on a memorable continental campaign.

Jose Mourinho has been handed the reins at Spurs, but even the decorated Portuguese is struggling to bring the best out of a star-studded squad.

The former Chelsea and Manchester United boss is now facing uncomfortable questions of his own, with Ginola suggesting that too much is being demanded of a club that overachieved last term.

The former Spurs winger told the Daily Mail: “I think the worst-case scenario for Tottenham was to play in the Champions League final last year.

“I mean, it was great for the fans, great for the club, great for everyone at the club, but it put them on a stage when they weren’t really there yet.

“You think of other clubs who have been there year in, year out in the last four years, then suddenly Tottenham come out and play in the final against Liverpool.

“That makes you a team people are going to watch and come to expect great things from.

“You can’t forget that over the last few years Tottenham have been struggling to get trophies and that was the problem for Pochettino. 

“It’s a shame because Pochettino did a great job but on the other hand because he wasn’t winning anything, people were complaining about that.

“I mean, they were doing great, but on the other hand they weren’t winning anything! But you play in the final of the Champions League and all of a sudden if you start losing games people say ‘oh what’s going on, last year we played in the final of the Champions League, this year we’re going to struggle to finish in the top 10 teams.’

“That’s the issue I think, they were too quick in getting to the final of the Champions League. You have to win things in your home country first before going abroad and winning trophies there.”

Ginola hopes patience will be shown with Mourinho as Tottenham seek to bring a wait for major silverware to a close, with there no quick fixes to be found at the very highest level.

The Frenchman added: “It’s all about expectation. In a few games last year, they were very lucky and reaching this sort of dream of playing in the final, for the fans, for the players, and for the club and everything. 

“They started this season thinking ‘this year we have to do better’.

“Better is what? At least winning one trophy, at least a domestic cup or the league or something like that.

“This is my philosophy of why it went wrong.

“At the start of the season if you have one bad result it comes to your mind and people start thinking ‘what’s going on? We’re not playing the same way. Are the players concerned in the same way they were last year?’

“Spurs have everything: A fantastic stadium, modern training facilities and one of the best set of fans in the country. But now they need to assemble a team that’s consistent enough to be able to play at the top level year in, year out.”