Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that despite beating them, Tottenham are not yet at the level of Real Madrid.
At the start of the month, Tottenham dispatched of the defending European champions 3-1 at Wembley.
However, Tottenham must build a foundation and show consistency to replicate the levels of Los Blancos.
Tottenham top Group H
When Tottenham’s name was drawn out of the pot and they were placed into Group H, alongside Madrid and Dortmund, they were given no chance of qualifying for the knockout stage.
Fast forward three months and Tottenham have topped the supposed ‘group of death’.
Ruthless in Cyprus, courageous in Madrid and resilient in Dortmund, Tottenham produced three magnificent away displays, plus overcame their Wembley ‘hoodoo’ to dominate Group H.
In the next round, Tottenham could potentially face: Basel, CSKA Moscow, Bayern Munich, Roma, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Sporting CP, Sevilla, Spartak Moscow, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli, Porto, Leipzig.
“Sometimes people become crazy”
Pochettino has warned his player that they must win titles before reaching the levels of Real Madrid.
He also claimed that they must achieve consistency to start becoming serious title challengers.
The Argentine said:
“Sometimes people become crazy and expect us to be like Real Madrid or the best Barcelona, the dream team.
Sometimes the reality is not related to the expectation.
After defeat at Arsenal, French captain Hugo Lloris told Tottenham to forget winning the title and focus on the top four.
Pochettino in response said:
“I understand Hugo. Of course, if you came from Mars today, or outside of the universe, you would say, ‘Oh Tottenham, in the last two seasons fights for the title.’ And you would say, ‘Why not fight to win the league again’?
Of course the team needs a title. But Hugo, who was here for a long time before, knows it is not easy to be a regular in the top four, like Arsenal were for 22 years, and try to be a real contender.
Of course, he is the first who wants to win titles – the Champions League, the Premier League, everything – but he is 30 years old and is clever and realistic.
He knows we need to settle the bases and when we are a team that is regularly in the top four we can show we are real contenders.”