Robin van Persie has said that Tottenham can do ‘great things’ in their Champions League semi-final against Ajax.
Spurs made it through to the last four of the UEFA Champions League in excitingly dramatic fashion earlier this month, knocking out one of the tournament favourites Man City thanks to a last-minute, disallowed Raheem Sterling goal which would have sent the Premier League leaders through.
They face giant-killers Ajax in the first leg of the semi-final at their recently opened Tottenham Hotspur stadium tonight, and despite his links to Spurs’ North London rivals, Arsenal, Robin van Persie has said he has been impressed by Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
“City had more class than Spurs in the quarter-final. They were the better team,” he told the Mirror.
“I watched that game until the very last second and it was fantastic. It had so much excitement and drama.
“I still feel for Pep Guardiola. Is he ever going to dare celebrate a victory or an important goal again in future when VAR is introduced in the Premier League?
“I can see Tottenham doing great things against Ajax.
“It is very clever how far Pochettino has taken this team. I have heard some great stories about how hard the players have to train under him.
“The amount of running is bizarre. I hear it is even tougher than under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool .”
However, with Ajax having already knocked Real Madrid and Juventus out of Europe so far, the former Manchester United striker has suggested that Spurs should replicate Feyenoord’s tactics from their January encounter in order to get past the Dutch side, a game in which RVP scored twice.
“I think Tottenham must collect a copy of the video of our game, when we played Ajax three months ago and beat them 6-2,” the retiring striker suggested.
“When I heard Ajax beat Juventus the other week with a great performance, I thought that must mean we would beat Juve 11-2!
“I don’t care who goes through. Tottenham are big rivals of Arsenal and Ajax are big rivals of Feyenoord, so I have no feelings for the semi-final.
“But Harry Kane has a big problem with his ankle and Heung-Min Son is suspended, so it’s good to see Vincent Janssen back in the Spurs squad.
“I still think Pochettino will start with Lucas Moura up front, but Ajax have Matthijs de Ligt and he can be a phenomenal player.
“He is only 19 and I rate him so highly. He isn’t just a great defender, he is really good with the ball at his feet as well.”