December 13 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Jan Vertonghen has likened Tottenham’s strength in depth to the highly-rated Belgium squad – and he believes the quality at White Hart Lane means Spurs can challenge in every competition.
While Spurs’ starting line-up at Aston Villa on Sunday was full of internationals, the bench also included some notable names – Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe, Mousa Dembele, Kyle Naughton and Brad Friedel – while Younes Kaboul, Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue and Emmanuel Adebayor were all absent from the squad.
That abundance of riches reminds Vertonghen of the plethora of options that are available to Belgium, who finished nine points clear at the top of their World Cup qualifying group.
“We’ve got one of the strongest squads [at Spurs],” said Vertonghen. “You have teams like Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal, who have very strong squads, but I think our strength is our bench.
“It’s kind of the same as the national team with Belgium – we can bring players onto the pitch that are unbelievable. You can see that with our bench [at Spurs] too, and even the players that are not here.”
Spurs’ strength in depth is likely to pay dividends during the next week as they eye three fixtures in three different competitions.
Tottenham travel to Moldova to face FC Sheriff in the Europa League this evening, and they then host Hull City Tigers in the Premier League on Sunday before welcoming the same side back to White Hart Lane for a Capital One Cup fourth round tie on Wednesday.
“For us, first prize would be the top three or top four, and then hopefully we can win a cup,” said Vertonghen. “Of course that’s what we want and what this team deserves.
“We have to aim high with these guys, everybody knows that. Everybody aims higher than last year, so we will be very disappointed if we can’t get it.”
Tottenham’s immediate focus will be on today’s European outing, and a third successive victory in the group stage would leave them on the cusp of qualification at the halfway point.
“If we win we’re almost there,” said Vertonghen. “It [Europe] is important. We can play players who are coming back from injury and who haven’t had that many minutes, so it will be important to have a good game and to win.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs