Gary Neville knows what it takes to play UEFA Champions League and Premier League, he knows the demands it places on players and the advantages of not having European football getting in the way of a title challenge.
Recovery time is everything in the scientific world of football we live in. Players no longer suffer from burn out as their body reading are taken every day and their game time managed accordingly. It takes 48 hours for the body to fully recover from a game of football and that is delayed is travelling is involved.
“Liverpool are the same [as Chelsea], they have players who give huge energetic performances. Their recovery between games is important.
“It will be an advantage. I think Tottenham are as good as Liverpool, I think Tottenham are as good as Chelsea, there’s no doubt, but because Spurs are in European competition I would put Chelsea and Liverpool ahead of them in the Premier League for that reason.”
It is encouraging to know the best pundit on TV places us on a par with Chelsea, as we haven't been in that position for quite a while. We have made giant strides under Pochettino. For years we were on a ledge above the rest, but below the top four summit. Now we are a part of that summit fighting for our place with greater strength than before.
The next step is establishing ourselves and making ourselves stronger contenders, which will take another season. A promoted side has to fight for their lives to stay in the division and the following season after becomes easier to maintain their top flight status. We have the same battle, we got into the elite last season, this season we have to fight to stay there and next season, while being tough, should be easier for us to cope with the demands.
Bayer Leverkusen next and then Arsenal.