Achieving is Believing

The unanswerable question last week.

Would Tottenham have overcome their first leg deficit against Ajax to book a place in the Champions League final if Liverpool hadn’t performed a miracle comeback against Barcelona?

With a lack of spending power and no place to call home for most of the season, Tottenham were a team knocking on the door for domestic and European titles.

No threat and no silverware despite plenty of huff, puff and promise.

The team struggled through the group stage of the Champions League as did Liverpool. But in a remarkable turn of events both teams fought their way through to the final on 1 June.

Liverpool rose from the ashes of Manchester City’s quashed quadruple dream to turn a 3-0 first leg deficit into an historic 4-3 win in front of a rapturous Kop.

Twenty four hours later, away from home and half-way through their second leg semi, Tottenham found themselves 3-0 down on aggregate.

An even steeper mountain to climb, but inspired by Liverpool’s great escape and Mauricio Pochettino’s team talks, they clinched a Roy Of The Rovers victory in the dying seconds of added time.

Two miracle performances left us with an all-English final for the first time in the Cup’s history.

There is no doubt that a rival’s achievements can help others attain their goals.

A classic case in point is the breaking of the four minute mile barrier.

Almost everyone – scientists included - believed it was physically and mentally impossible to run the distance under four minutes.

Sir Roger Bannister was an exception and, after several failed attempts, his dogged belief was rewarded.

Once that barrier had been toppled many of Sir Roger’s rivals managed to follow suit.

Of course Tottenham’s spectacular performance required effort, perseverance and self-belief.

But, while it cannot be proved, they must surely have ridden on the tails of Liverpool’s spectacular efforts the day before.