The League Cup is very important. This is a statement that has supporters of big clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City laughing in their seats. They have much more pressing manners at hand such as winning the league or beating Barcelona in the Champions League. However, for the clubs beneath them like Tottenham the League Cup is one of the few chances available to win silverware in an increasing monopolized landscape. Only two or three clubs have a realistic shot at winning the Premier League anymore and Spurs are not one of them. They need to look elsewhere to add trophies to an increasingly barren display case. Spurs have set themselves up in prime position for their first cup final since 2009 and should do everything in their power to bring a supposedly meaningless League Cup back to White Hart Lane. While the League Cup may not have the historical significance of the FA Cup, a trophy is still a trophy dammit. At this moment, Spurs are in need of physical evidence that things are heading in the right direction.
A defeatist attitude is starting to find its way into the club. It starts with the supporters and is working its way into the minds of the players. We even have a word to describe this, “Spursy.” Before the match even kicks off, fans expect something bad to happen and when it inevitably does they simply chalk it up to unfortunate luck. I know I’m guilty of this. Each matchday I slip on one of my Tottenham jerseys reluctantly, hoping just not to receive it in the face. We get hammered by big clubs, shit the bed against small ones. It’s a never-ending cycle that us supporters have grown to accept.
The deeper the team progresses in the League Cup though the more it looks like the club can break free of these feelings. Yesterday, Spurs put in a complete performance against Newcastle United, winning 4-0 and breezing into the semifinals. Even better news, they drew League One side Sheffield United with a place in the final on the line. Unless things go drastically wrong, Spurs will be going to Wembley once again.
The first couple months of the Mauricio Pochettino regime have been rocky, but this cup run will give supporters confidence that the ship is heading in the right direction. How could you not have faith in a man that won a trophy in his first opportunity? Pochettino is still trying to bring large-scale system changes to the club, but European football is a result driven business. A trophy would ease the pressure for the considerable future and ensure supporters that he is the man that can bring Champions League to the club.
Provided everything goes as expected against Sheffield United, Spurs still have a huge obstacle in between them and the League Cup. A trip to the final will see them paired up against either Chelsea or Liverpool, two teams that have torn them to shreds recently. In the last 6 matches they’ve played against these two clubs they’ve been outscored a combined 20-1. However, I can’t think of a better way to reverse our fortunes than by knocking off one of our conquerors and lifting a trophy at the same time. It would be a notice to the big clubs that Spurs are on their way to closing the gap.
It is also not as if this is the only thing left to play for in our season. Tottenham are just 4 points back of the 4th Champions League spot and are in the Europa League Round of 32. Champions League football has been the dream for a while now and a Leauge Cup victory would provide the momentum for that late season push.
The League Cup is not pointless. It actually could have a great effect on the future of this club. It can springboard further success on grander stages. Much simpler however, it’s a chance to bring silverware back into the fold. We the supporters must believe. We can’t think of this potential cup final as another chance to get exposed by Chelsea. No more defeating ourselves before the match even starts. With the favorable draw, the soccer gods gave us a golden opportunity. Time to take it and run with it all the way into Wembley.