Peter Crouch names the competition Mourinho must prioritise this season


Former Spurs striker Peter Crouch has suggested that the club should prioritise the FA Cup over the Premier League and the Champions League for the remainder of the season.

After they edged out Southampton 3-2 with a late comeback on Wednesday night, Norwich City are all that stands between Tottenham and a place in the final eight of the competition.

Spurs find themselves just four points behind Chelsea in fourth spot in the Premier League, who they face at Stamford Bridge later this month.

Crouch believes that the Lilywhites are unlikely to finish above their London rivals in the Premier League and should instead focus on lifting the FA Cup for the first time since 1991.

In his column for the Daily Mail, the striker wrote: “Tottenham are four points off fourth place. They do not have a game this weekend but when their season resumes, the big games come thick and fast.

“First there is a trip to Aston Villa, followed by the resumption of the Champions League when RB Leipzig come to London. The pace doesn’t slacken, with a collision with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge four days later before a clash at home to Wolves.

“None of those fixtures, however, are as important as the one on Wednesday, March 4 – Norwich, at home, in the FA Cup fifth round. I keep hearing it said that Tottenham’s priority for the campaign is getting back into the Champions League, but I don’t see it that way.

“Tottenham got a tremendous boost last Sunday, with an unexpected win against Manchester City, but I don’t think it will make a difference to the outcome of their Premier League campaign. I believe Leicester and Chelsea will finish in the top four and there will be little my old team can do about it.

“What would make this campaign memorable, however, is a piece of silverware and something made me feel the FA Cup was an achievable target on Wednesday, when Tottenham came from behind to knock out Southampton.

“A few months ago, going 2-1 behind with 19 minutes to play would have led to Tottenham capsizing. This time, however, it felt different and the way they turned the situation around could prove to be the most important moment in the early days of Jose Mourinho’s reign.”

The former England international also claimed it was clear that Mourinho has his mojo back at Tottenham and insisted on the difference between his personality now and his time at Manchester United was night and day.

Crouch added: “Some people tried to build the 2-0 win over Manchester City as a ‘Mourinho Masterclass’ but it was nothing of the sort. Tottenham were second best in that game but took their chances and pounced when an opening, in the form of Oleksander Zinchencko’s red card, arrived. The result certainly gave the players confidence but there was one snapshot during the match that led me to think that the Mourinho we are seeing now is back to his old self.

“I’m sure you have seen the clip of him howling with laughter one second then leaping out of his seat to remonstrate with the fourth official the next. That is Mourinho in a nutshell, all theatrics and combat. I know he is not to everyone’s taste, but I believe he has rediscovered his mojo.

“When Mourinho was appointed, I wrote here about his unveiling press conference and how it looked like he had a glint in his eye. Things have not gone smoothly since he replaced Mauricio Pochettino, with injuries and transfer sagas, but it struck me in the City game that he was so full of life.

“Think about the man you saw at Manchester United. When did he ever do something that was so off the cuff to get you talking? He looked weary at Old Trafford, almost from the start, but that did not stop him winning two of the club’s three trophies since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.

“Mourinho wins things. There might still be some Tottenham fans who are uncomfortable cheering for him, so soon after the departure of the man who was universally adored, but what will those fans think if he gives them a big day out in May?

“I’ve had enough of saying that Tottenham play great football, that they develop players and they are a team to be enjoyed. I want to see Tottenham win a trophy. I want the supporters to have lasting memories and there is no one better at providing an instant fix than Mourinho.

“The points squandered at that start of the season are going to cost them a place in the top four – but how different will things look if Tottenham are running around Wembley with the FA Cup on May 23? They need to go for it against Norwich. This team needs to win a trophy.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I have no doubt that the FA Cup will be one of Mourinho’s priorities this season since it is the easiest trophy we can win. However, it is clear that we are very much still in the race for the top four. Given Leicester’s and Chelsea’s recent inconsistencies, we can certainly qualify for the Champions League if we put a run together.

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