Spurs are going to Wembley! Crack the champagne, call the engraver, and put us down for an open-top bus around the middle of May. If we achieve FA Cup glory this year—something we have a very real chance of doing—May 5, 2012 will be a date that Spurs fans remember for the rest of our lives.
But what about May 13, 2012? What will we be celebrating on that day? Fourth place glory and a ticket to the big time? Or, based on our current blip, fifth place (or sixth!) and the shameful Europa League that comes with it?
But hey, at least we may have the FA Cup in our trophy room. That’s got to be worth something, right?
About thirty five million pounds.
While the FA Cup would definitely be a sweet cup to drink from, if its capture diverts our attention from a much more important goal, the taste of glory will be undeniably bittersweet. Tottenham Hotspur must be focused on gold, not silver. And because we don’t have a deep enough squad to rely on super subs in the league games, we must rely on these substitutes as starters to win the FA Cup. Because we need our first team squarely focused on getting to the Champions League.
The sad truth is that we may remember a cup win the rest of our lives because it may come at the cost of years of mediocrity. We all know the knife-edge our team sits on. On the cusp of greatness. Heir apparent to English greatness. Unless, of course, half of our team bolts this summer when they aren’t playing in a competition of which they are worthy. Modric has one foot out the door already, and Bale’s interviews are looking more and more likes pleas for help from Barcelona or Real Madrid. If they were to leave, who would follow? Don’t expect VDV, Walker, or Adebayor to want to stick around. Or Hazard, Vertonghen, and any others of top caliber to want to come in and fill the giant holes in our depth chart.
Chelsea is rumored to be resting most of their top talent for the semifinal. This is because they have aspirations. Or, at least, they have aspirations to have aspirations next year. Without fourth place, we may only aspire to win a cup every twenty years or so.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not belittling the FA Cup. But, at the same time, I sort of am. Regardless of which you remember more fondly, which event means more to where we are today—Robbie Keane lifting the Carling Cup, or David Bentley prancing around in short shorts?
Bentley can dance all he wants—as long as Bale and co. play the role of wallflowers today at Wembley.
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