2021 might effectively be the place Tottenham’s 13-year trophy drought ends
2021 is trying more and more prone to be the 12 months that Tottenham finish their 13-year await a trophy.
They took a giant stride on that journey on Tuesday evening, besting Championship Brentford within the EFL Cup semi-finals to ebook their place at Wembley for the later-than-usual last in April.
It was nervy at instances – significantly when Ivan Toney’s equaliser was dominated out for offside by the narrowest of margins – however for essentially the most half, this was additional proof of the mentality change that Jose Mourinho is alleged to have caused in north London.
In reality, Spurs by no means seemed like ‘doing a Spurs’ in opposition to Brentford. They stored a formidable Bees aspect at arms size all through and obtained the job finished with a purpose in every half. The primary was scored by Moussa Sissoko, who capitalised on some socially distanced defending to nod house Sergio Reguilon’s wonderful cross.
Spurs then spurned a number of good probabilities to place the sport past doubt, earlier than Son Heung-min did precisely that, ending off a trademark counterattack with a venomous strike.
The Mourinho issue shouldn’t be underplayed on this end result. As identified by Opta after the sport, the Spurs boss has now turn into simply the third supervisor in historical past to succeed in the League Cup last with three totally different golf equipment. Successful video games like that is what he does greatest, as evidenced by his near-perfect document in semi-finals.
Few managers in world soccer are as effectively geared up for squeezing outcomes out of one-off video games than Mourinho, which is why Spurs will likely be filled with confidence no matter which Manchester membership they find yourself assembly at Wembley within the spring.
Diverting our consideration away from the EFL Cup for a second, Tottenham’s comparatively straightforward attracts in each the FA Cup and the Europa League additionally appear to recommend that the omens for 2021 are good.
Within the former, they tackle non-league Marine subsequent week. The Liverpool-based Lilywhites are a correctly part-time outfit, not a type of quasi-professional sides that reside within the Convention. Make no mistake, if Spurs fail to progress to the fourth spherical in opposition to the eighth-tier minnows, it will likely be some of the surprising ends in English soccer historical past.
In the meantime, within the Europe League, they’ve been afforded one other preferable tie, this time in opposition to Wolfsberger – an Austrian Bundesliga group at present languishing in mid-table and the very lowest ranked group left within the competitors.
Whereas Tottenham are in all probability nonetheless nearly in an unpredictable home title race, their pursuit of silverware might effectively be aided by their rivals specializing in different priorities relating to crunch time; in April Man Metropolis or Man Utd could possibly be making a last push within the Premier League, whereas the identical goes for the entire of the so-called ‘Massive Six’ and harder European opponents comparable to Milan and Ajax when the FA Cup and Europa League finals roll round in Might.
Put merely, each of those attracts had been essentially the most simple video games that Spurs might have hoped for. Luck? Or, an indication that 2021 goes to the 12 months of the cockerel?
Whichever one is it, this success, mixed with their managers perverted obsession with grinding out unwatchable wins are a potent cocktail for fulfillment in cup competitions. In different phrases, it could possibly be time for rival followers to begin getting ready some insults apart from ones that target the mud gathering on Spurs’ trophy cupboard.
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