This week, Tottenham Hotpsur became the first English side to be eliminated from this year’s Champions League.

It took just five matchdays – quite the achievement.

As the final whistle went in Monaco, fans of the London club were seen hugging and punching the air, as they celebrated what one fan afterwards described as “Mission Accomplished!”

On the face of it, this seems surprising. After all, Tottenham have reportedly been trying for many years to gain entry to the Champions League, and almost succeeding.

However, it appears this has in fact been an elaborate cover story to deflect from their final day collapses. It turns out these may actually have been deliberate. Daily Cannon can EXCLUSIVELY reveal Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino feels that progression in Europe’s top competition only serves as a distraction from their season’s number one target: finishing below Arsenal.

“Most of my players only have two to three brain cells, probably from heading the ball so much,” he said on a recent visit to Cannon Towers. “They simply can’t cope with another competition on top of the annual mission to finish below our local rivals.

“We had hoped for a big opponent who would make it easy to get knocked out, but we didn’t end up drawing anyone good. In the end, I had to take special measures, like playing Harry Winks, to ensure we lost.

“Most of all, I couldn’t risk us accidentally going above them in the table. I’m really proud of my players for managing to achieve this target with a game to spare.”

Annual Target

St Totteringham’s Day is an annual party in the Pochettino household.

It is little wonder then that the Argentine feels strongly about ensuring it graces the footballing calendar. He confided that his men have been required to come in for extra tactics sessions the afternoon of each Champions League match to finalise their plans to throw the game. It appears it is working.

“To be honest, I would prefer it if the FA, Daniel [Levy] and Sir Chips [Keswick] could just get their heads together and agree for a fixed annual date,” Mauricio continued. “It would make it less pressured for all of us.

“Then I could get back to the important business of beating League Two sides in the Mickey Mouse…sorry…the League Cup.

“Most of all, the game is about glory, and nothing says glory more than putting three goals past Accrington Stanley.”

Unfortunately for Spurs, the FA are refusing to allow such discussions to take place. A mole confided this is because the annual fun of watching a Spurs capitulation far outweighed the benefits of setting a fixed date so that fans could make arrangements for their St Totteringham’s Day parties in advance.

The only question now is whether Tottenham’s players will be able to balance a Europa League campaign with their main target.

If not, they may also need to lose the crunch Europa League qualifying game against CSKA Moscow in December.

Refereeing complication

Daniel Levy is also rumoured to have written to Mike Riley to complain about the penalties his side have won. It seems like he is angry about both the volume and the minimal contact required this season.

“I’m not happy and I’m not having it. It’s seriously damaging our chances of losing enough games,” the Spurs chairman said. “It’s just not good enough, and I definitely think the refereeing chief is victimising us. It’s like he wants to rob us of our very purpose in football – to finish below Arsenal.

“Well I won’t have it! I won’t!”

Here at Daily Cannon, we would like to wish Daniel, Mauricio and everyone at Tottenham Hostpur Football Club every success with their mission for the remainder of the season.

To dare is to do…

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