Terrace Talk: Getting to finals isn’t our problem. Winning them is.

There’s been much talk of history, inevitably. Even a club with a fine tradition Tottenham can’t come close.

Terrace Talk: Getting to finals isn’t our problem. Winning them is.

There’s been much talk of history, inevitably. Even a club with a fine tradition Tottenham can’t come close.

I can imagine everyone chunnering away already; “here they go again, the Past Masters”.

Okay, make it modern if you like.

Third European final in four years. Getting to them isn’t the problem. Winning them is.

There are subtle differences from last year, when we were subjected to that arched eyebrow “playing with the big boys now, boy” psychological subservience ourselves.

We’ll have Allison instead of Karius. Unless Spurs have been practising their Sumo, we’ll get a full game out of a Mo Salah determined to right some wrongs.

We’re going into this on a far more impressive sequence of results too, although this three-week hiatus will surely dampen some of that ardour.

Coming second with 97 points isn’t something you just shrug off, either.

It’ll make a change having a few neutrals in our corner, mainly fans of their neighbouring clubs who can’t bear the thought of cocky cockerels giving them the business.

The rest will be on their usual tenterhooks, dreading another Ist*n**l. We’re never slow in mentioning it.

Degrees of separation? We don’t need six, we can drag a topic to Turkey in seconds flat, especially this of all weeks.

The jealousy is palpable, everybody wants a night like that and only a few have inhaled that rarefied air.

Chances of it happening again are slim. One team can win, sure, but they’ve had their miracles already; against Barcelona and Ajax.

This will ‘just’ be about the result, nothing else matters.

Liverpool are supposed to be favourites this time, but modern results suggest it’ll be tight.

Spurs did beat us 4-1 once but the chances of them facing Lovren and Moreno again are mercifully slim.

Loris had his own Karius moment last time we met, while they moaned about a late penalty after the Wembley game in September.

Both matches could easily have been drawn.

Where the clubs are even is in the importance to their futures. Both are routinely slaughtered for perpetual bridesmaid status and their easily mocked dreams of golden futures.

Great managers, great players, yearly improvement, improved stadiums — now is not a moment for talk any more. Time to deliver.

To the winner, the spoils. A sense anything can be accomplished, everyone stays and no-one’s looking for the easy exit to clubs that could give them what they want and (in most cases) deserve.

For the losers, it’ll be a summer of questions rumours and palpitations.

You can rationalise about being back in the big time, but what good’s that if there’s still an annual heartbreak (or two)?

When they retire, they’ll talk to anyone who’ll listen; “I was a great player, y’know”. Yeah? What did you do?

“Weeeeeell, I almost…” Nope. Had me at “great”, lost me at “almost”.

Cruel? You bet. Real life always is. It’d be even worse for Klopp, what with the closing years of Dortmund to augment his recent seconds with us.Let the supporters rationalise about swarming into another capital, let them compare to what it was like in the end days of Hodgson, Dalglish or Rodgers and how it’s so much better now.

Ultimately, just words. Losing will sting like a sonofabitch.

On top of the title race, you wonder how anyone’d get over that.

It can be done, obviously. Valencia lost two Champions League finals in a row, then changed their coach for some fella called Benitez and started winning stuff.

Then he went to Anfield, and you know the rest.

And now I’m back in Istanbul. Again. I can’t help it.

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