FA Cup glory has to be something that Tottenham Hotspur hold high on their agenda. Twenty-nine years have passed since the famous old trophy was captured by Spurs and this season it would mark a turning point from being nearly men to winners.
FA Cup Glory Can Be Catalyst for Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs have had chances to win trophies in the past six years but fallen at semi-finals and finals. That final hurdle has been crashed into too often. Accusations of not having a winning mentality have been levelled by many. Yet, that accusation has been harsh at times when you consider victories over Real Madrid, Ajax and a fighting draw in the Nou Camp against Barcelona. Still, that elusive trophy evades Spurs, so victory over Southampton in the fourth round replay last night has given hope of a return to FA cup glory.
Super Spurs? Frustrating Spurs
The current Tottenham Hotspur squad is going through a slow overhaul. Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose have gone with Jan Vertonghen odds on to join them. When the Belgian was replaced by Gedson Fernandes on 54 minutes, he trudged around the outside of the pitch. He did get a consolatory arm from his manager but he sat on the bench, crestfallen. He has lost his pace and looks a shadow of the player who once forged the tightest defensive partnership in the Premier League with Toby Alderweireld.
For the majority of the replay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it was Southampton who looked more confident, more aggressive and stronger in every department. Jack Stephens deflected a Tanguy Ndombele shot into his own net to give Spurs the lead before Shane Long levelled and Danny Ings gave the Saints the lead in the second half. Super Tottenham have become super frustrating. They have so much talent yet are so leggy and lethargic at times. Ndombele looked sharp for 20 minutes but then after an hour was taken off looking like he had just run the London marathon. His talent is undoubted; his fitness is questionable at best.
In the final 15 minutes, it was Dele Alli and Fernandes that gave Spurs a lift. Suddenly, heading out of the FA Cup and probably the only realistic chance of a trophy this season ebbing away, Tottenham turned up. A slick move led to Lucas Moura firing home an equaliser before Fernandes played a nice ball to Alli, who then hit a stunning pass to Son Heung-Min who was fouled by Angus Gunn. Son picked himself up and fired Tottenham into the fifth round. It was harsh on an impressive Southampton.
FA Cup Can Kick Start Spurs’ New Project
Tottenham have been talking about projects ever since Mauricio Pochettino took charge. Now, that project has ended and Jose Mourinho has taken on the mantle. With injuries affecting the team, contract issues and a general lack of consistency, Mourinho will hope that the wins against Manchester City and Southampton can give some impetus. Spurs can play fast, slick football. If they only do it in 15-minute spurts they will not win many games. If they can play that way for longer periods, a trophy this season and a summer of change can start a new era. Mourinho is a winner. Tottenham Hotspur now face Norwich City in the fifth round and must target FA Cup glory to become true winners.