Defoe: Spurs will outshine Gunners in CL
Jermain Defoe insists he firmly believes Tottenham will go further than bitter rivals Arsenal in the Champions League this season.
Spurs go into Friday’s play-off draw aiming to reach Europe’s top-level competition for the first time since 1961, while the Gunners share Real Madrid’s record of 10 successive participations in the knockout stages.
But Defoe in unconcerned by the burden of history, and told the Daily Mirror: "If we can get past the play-off qualifier, I honestly think we will go further than Arsenal in the Champions League.
"No disrespect to Arsenal, because they have a good record in the Champions League and for them it’s become part of the furniture, part of their regular season – it’s the norm.
"But I can’t wait to experience the buzz around White Hart Lane on European nights, the place will be absolutely rocking.
"I do believe, if we can make that first step, that we will be contenders. We’ve got the squad, younger players like Gareth Bale have come on a bundle since we were last in Europe, and the gaffer would love to show what he can do as a manager in Europe."
Spurs’ squad are not used to the increased workload of a Champions League campaign, with the first leg of the play-off following just days after the Premier League opener against Manchester City.
"With City first up followed by a Champions League qualifier, it feels like the business end of our campaign might be in the first few weeks," Defoe continued. "It’s a tough schedule, but we will be ready for it mentally.
"Tottenham fans have been waiting forever for a team to deliver Champions League football and we don’t want to be one-hit wonders."