It’s taken me a minute to get over Spurs’ loss to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round. In what was the last chance to win a trophy this season, the team didn’t even show up against a team from the second-tier. Just like they didn’t turn up in the Carabao Cup semifinals against Chelsea or the (short) entirety of the Europa Conference League. 

The drought continues

The Conference League was a golden opportunity to claim silverware, even if it wasn’t the desired route. Losing to Chelsea stings, but was more than expected. But now that the FA Cup was the only thing left to fight for in terms of a trophy, you hoped there would be more of a fight from Spurs. But as we’ve become accustomed to, there wasn’t.

Now Tottenham’s trophy drought is at 15 years, since the earliest they can win another is February next year in the Carabao Cup.

That got me thinking about past chances, and then I realized that there was a good chance Spurs could have just ended this drought last season if they did one thing differently.

‘The Special One’

They could have won the Carabao Cup if they would not have sacked José Mourinho.

Sure, Spurs were just a month on from the embarrassing Europa League round of 16 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb and had been eliminated from the FA Cup.

Over Mourinho’s last 10 matches, the club had won five and drawn two across all competitions with three defeats (Transfermarkt). Not the best, but certainly not the worst either, especially with what we’ve seen this season.

A 2-2 draw with Everton on April 16 had moved them to sixth in the Premier League table and into a Europa League spot, just two points off the top four (Premier League).

Tottenham ended the season five points off the top four, despite losing matches they were favoured to win against Leeds United and Aston Villa. Win those two, and the team is in the Champions League.

Perhaps even more importantly, Spurs had the Carabao Cup final coming up on April 25, a golden chance to end a then 13-year trophy drought. 

Choices have consequences

Instead, they sacked Mourinho six days before.

Sacked the manager who has won 25 trophies overall, four of which are the League Cup. A manager who has been to 15 major cup finals, winning 12 with five clubs in four countries (Wikipedia).

Tottenham had even defeated their cup final opponent Manchester City 2-0 earlier in the campaign, although they lost the return fixture.

And while Manchester City was on its way to a Premier League title and Champions League final, they were beatable.

They ended up losing six matches in the league while drawing five. Just two days prior to Mourinho’s firing, they lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals (Wikipedia).

Wasted chance

Spurs under José had a chance to end a trophy drought that dated back to 2008. Instead, they sacked the serial winner and failed yet again to show up in a cup final just six days later.

Not only did Mourinho’s exit possibly cost the club a Champions League spot, it very well might have cost them silverware.

As a Spurs supporter, I’m still bitter about it. 

And now as fans, we have to wait even longer for the drought to end, if it ever does.

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