The agony of losing another penalty shoot out means that our dreams of European glory are over for another year, but Spurs head coach Andre Villas-Boas believes that the squad can be proud of what they have achieved.
With scores level after 210 minutes of football over two legs, the penalty curse came back as we were thoroughly humiliated in the shoot out that followed. But AVB was upbeat as he spoke to the press after the game.
“I think within all of this disappointment we are extremely happy to set a great standard and a great example this season for English football for the way we approach this competition,” Andre said.
“It’s not up to me to brag about it, but I would like to compliment the players because changing the mentality towards the competition from one season to another is extremely difficult. They have done it like heroes, played like heroes.”
Andre went on to defend his penalty takers, with Tom Huddlestone and Emmanuel Adebayor receiving plenty of criticism this morning.
“Penalties are always very, very difficult,” he added. “We had assigned the strongest penalty-takers and we practiced the penalties.
“The nature of penalties is very, very difficult and you can never recreate the same stress and emotion in training.
“They had their preferred slots where to put the ball but it changes dramatically in live situations.”
So Europe is over for another year but the final six games of the season will determine whether we return to the Europa League next year or whether the squad can recover and take it a step further.