2017 was another year without a trophy and so Conner Green asks the question - what would make 2018 a success?
2017 can only be described as a mixed year for Spurs; there was incredible highs mixed with devastating lows. As a 23 year-old Spurs fan I can safely say this is the greatest Spurs side I’ve lived through, I’m not quite old enough to remember Tottenham in the 90’s but I am old enough to remember us genuinely starting a game with Ricardo Rocha at centre-back. 2017 saw another stellar year for Harry Kane and a breakthrough one for Harry Winks, it saw Kyle Walker slither off to Manchester City but saw Davinson Sanchez slip into the Spurs team like no signing I’ve ever seen do before. 2017 saw us beat Real Madrid but it also saw us lose to Gent, it saw us go undefeated at White Hart Lane for a season, it also saw us continue our losing streak at Wembley. Basically a lot happened to Spurs in 2017, one thing that did not happen to Spurs in 2017 was winning a trophy, we left another year empty handed, meaning on February the 24th 2018 we’ll have gone a decade without a single piece of silverware. This leads to the question what would make 2018 a success for Spurs?
As a 23 year-old Spurs fan I can safely say this is the greatest Spurs side I’ve lived through
There’s no doubt amongst Spurs fans that the trophy-drought needs to be ended, but how realistic can that be? We’re out of the league cup, the title is over and the Champions League would be too much to ask for, surely? The Champions League looks out of reach for Spurs at the moment just due to the sheer quality in numbers amongst the other sides, with Man City currently 15 points clear it’s feasible that they could rest players for the Premier League to keep them fresh for the Champions League, a luxury Spurs do not have. It is a risky game for Spurs as there’s no automatic qualification for the Champions League for anyone but the winners so jeopardising a possible top four finish for a competition which even defeat in the final would mean nothing is a very serious decision. Is it worth risking not having the Champions League in the first season at our new home for the chance of possibly going further this season? A decision a man (much braver and smarter than I) will have to make come February and March.
With the league out of sight and the Champions League still quite unrealistic there is one trophy left, a trophy that splits opinion, a trophy that still holds a special place in all Tottenham fan’s hearts; the FA Cup. This is realistically the only trophy that can be won by Spurs in 2018, Pochettino himself has already said that the trophy is not of huge importance to him noting that in his first season at Southampton that year Wigan won the FA Cup and they’re now in League One, a valid point but it doesn’t really echo “the game is about glory” ethos of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Pochettino obviously has his heart set on much bigger things for Tottenham and is helping the club grow to a point where they will hopefully be able to achieve great things but for 2018 winning the FA Cup would be a great stepping stone for Tottenham and a serious move in the right direction. Spurs will enter the competition in the third round meaning that we would only have to win five matches to reach the final, which surely our squad could deal with. There’s no doubt that the six matches we need to play to win the competition we would face harder teams that our third round match of AFC Wimbledon, as well as this there’s the semi-final curse.
There’s no doubt amongst Spurs fans that the trophy-drought needs to be ended, but how realistic can that be?
I’ve been following Tottenham for basically my whole life, throughout my entire life I have not seen Spurs progress past a semi-final in the FA Cup, in fact the last time the club did it was when we won the trophy in the 1990-91 season. There’s no doubt in my mind that Pochettino of all men can lead us to FA Cup glory, up until last season I’d never seen Tottenham finish above Woolwich but Pochettino changed all that. The FA Cup would be a great moment for our club, it would be a real big stepping stone in the right direction; yes Wigan and Portsmouth have both won it more recently than us and find themselves in the league one but Tottenham are a completely different team. When we won the League Cup in 2008 it was the highlight of our season and our year but if we were to win the FA Cup in 2018 in could be amongst a host of achievements. If Spurs were to win the FA Cup and finish in the top four we would have a complete season, no one could accuse us of underachieving, there would be a monkey off our back when it comes to winning trophies and we’d be able to take a trophy and Champions League football to the new stadium.
The main goal of 2018 is to progress as a club, but keep progressing with actual results, an FA Cup win and Champions League football would sort us heading into the new stadium and hopefully be able to usher in this new ear of glory glory football at Tottenham that we so desperately deserve.