Saturday’s defeat at Old Trafford would have been a major disappointment to Tottenham, but it’s an earlier decision that has earned Mauricio Pochettino some stick.
Spurs will be desperate to end their wait for a trophy sooner rather than later, and whether you agree with his decisions or not, Pochettino is prioritising the main competitions.
While they now sit eight points adrift of leaders Manchester City in the Premier League, Alan Shearer has taken exception to the decision to field a weakened team in the League Cup in midweek.
“We are always being told what a great young Spurs side this is, but they need to win something,” he told The Sun. “City might now be looking at bigger things but they got the club’s winning mentality initially from their 2011 FA Cup win.
“The League Cup was also the springboard in both of Jose Mourinho’s terms at Chelsea. Success has a habit of breeding success and, despite all the plaudits for Pochettino, he is going to need some.”
It’s difficult to disagree with his point, as ultimately Spurs should be targeting all trophies as they have the quality and depth to challenge on various fronts now.
Making that breakthrough by winning one of the ‘lesser’ trophies would surely help unblock something that has held them back for many years, while given the level of competition in the Premier League and the Champions League, it’s not going to be easy to simply go for the big prizes and place all their eggs in those baskets.
Nevertheless, credit to Pochettino too for believing in his side’s chances of winning the major trophies. It didn’t work out for him this past week, but they were unfortunate to eventually come away from Old Trafford empty-handed, while the absence of Harry Kane was another factor.
In turn, Shearer makes a valid point and Spurs perhaps need to give real importance to a run in the FA Cup this season. However, they’re going well in Europe and have plenty of time in the league to bridge the gap, and it was only last weekend after the win over Liverpool that most pundits were pining over them.