You couldn’t help but wonder what Kane was thinking as Spurs clinched a deserved victory over the club he wanted to join this weekend, but there’s no denying that no game better sums up his frustrations with his childhood club than the Europa League of tomorrow. dam go to Portugal.
The clash in the 9,000-seat Pacos stadium promises to show how far Spurs have fallen since the 2019 Champions League final and is not suitable for a club of their size and ambition.
Estadio Da Mata Real has four single-level stands, the largest of which holds 2,610 supporters, a far cry from Spurs’ 17,000-seat south stand.
Kane wants to be a winner, but the Conference League is essentially a participation trophy, introduced by UEFA to give more of their clubs and federations a taste of European football. At least one club from each of UEFA’s 55 national associations will participate in the 184-team tournament.
Spurs can start as favorites to win the trophy, but there is no automatic qualification for the group stage. The 32 teams will be made up of 22 play-off winners and 10 teams eliminated from the final round of the Europa League qualifiers. Teams ranked third in the Europa League group stage will also participate in the Conference.
Pacos, who finished fifth in the Primiera Liga last season, are far from the most obscure team in the competition, although they have never won the Portuguese second tier, perhaps with their recent achievement. most importantly a third place in 2012-13, which earned them a place in the Champions League play-offs. They lost both legs against Zenit St Petersburg.
Had Spurs continued their plans to name Paulo Fonseca as their boss this summer, the game would have had an added advantage as the ex-Roma manager is one of Pacos’ most well-known recent alumni, having coached the club.
There isn’t much else to tell around the game other than Nuno’s return to Portugal, where he spent most of his playing career and started in the management of Rio Ave. Otherwise, the game feels like a rhythm-disrupting distraction for Nuno, between the superb win over City and visiting his former club Wolves on Sunday.
Yet despite the lack of glamor, the Conference League is nonetheless a trophy that Spurs can – and perhaps should – win, and for a club so desperate for silverware, that cannot be sniffed out.
As it stands, Jose Mourinho’s Roma are the other big favorites and if they were to meet at a later stage, tensions and intrigue would not be lacking.
For now though, it may be better for Spurs to keep Kane at home, rather than face a very real reminder of his frustrations.