Rightly or wrongly, all this trophy talk isn’t going to go away. Tottenham Hotspur need to win one soon – it’s the only way to silence those who still peg them as uppity mid-tablers punching above their weight.
Spurs supporters will point to ‘projects’ and stadiums and new contracts for star names as being more important than silverware in the short term. To an extent they’re right, but it’s not as if Tottenham are the only team with an eye on these things. Each of the Premier League’s top six have aspirations to improve beyond simply winning a competition or two.
Liverpool have been spending money like Elon Musk on a spelunking expedition, and happen to be one of the most attractive sides in Europe. Chelsea have brought in Maurizio Sarri and Gianfranco Zola in an attempt to win the league while playing attacking football. City are City, United are United. Arsenal have revamped their entire backroom staff and management structure.
Even Liverpool, for all their occasional chaos, have managed to nab a trophy within the past ten years, albeit just a League Cup back in 2012. Development and ‘transition’ haven’t meant empty trophy cabinets for five of the top half-dozen, yet Spurs have been resolute in their determination to avoid giving their captain Hugo Lloris, who has just won a World Cup, a chance to hoist a jug above his head in a Lilywhite shirt.
There’s no longer any real excuse for Spurs. This is the time to do it. This is the time to prove their credentials as something more than flatterers-to-deceive. Half their squad seems to have been involved in the last four of Russia 2018 – if you can’t do it with those players, who are you going to do it with?
The worrying thing for supporters will be the advances made over the summer by Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. With teams around them strengthening, are Spurs at risk of being left behind? At the time of writing, they haven’t signed a single new first team player.
It will be incumbent on Mauricio Pochettino to get the most out of his star men, Harry Kane and Dele Alli, both of whom looked exhausted by the end of the World Cup, as well as Christian Eriksen.
Pochettino possesses one of the planet’s finest forwards and a creative duo capable of serving up goals on a plate for him. Realistically, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be expected to challenge for the league, which is something they singularly failed to do in 2017/18.
The walls are closing in slightly on this team, as they did before last season. Only a trophy is likely to afford them the breathing space they need to thrive.