What takes priority?

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

It’s been a roller coaster season so far. There have been spine chilling highs and crestfallen lows. Yet for one reason or another we have found ways of getting results which is the most important aspect in football and what’s more, we are slowly showing signs of playing as a team with some identity.

Now history has painfully taught us in the past, to not get carried away when Spurs are riding on a wave of good form and general positive sentiment around the lane because we always seem to find a way to blow it in the end. Which brings me to the point of this article, for sooner or later Pochettino will have to make a very bold decision which will either fire us into glory or backfire our ambitions completely.

If my counting skills serve me right, no team has played more games than Spurs. Should things continue the way it is then we could play a mammoth number of games by the end of this season alone. At present, we are still involved in every competition going and at some point the weight and drain of going full throttle in every competition will take its toll on the players mentally and physically. Harry Kane has been a revelation and has exceeded the expectations of many observers. You might argue so have a few of our ‘flops’ such as Chadli, who have become very important members of our squad. But our key players are not robots and will have to be utilised wisely. Even though we adopt a squad rotation approach to keep the team fresh, at some point we will need to pick and choose which competition will best serve our interests and which ones we can afford not to take too seriously.

I would love to say lets try to win and go as far as we can in the Europa League, Premier League, Capital One and FA Cup. There’s no reason why a team cannot do it. But let’s be real for a moment and think about the situation in context. Our record going into the business end of the season in the past has been woeful. We always seem to find ‘innovative’ ways of choking when it comes to maintaining form and grinding out results towards the end of nearly every season.

Until Pochettino makes it clear what the team’s priorities are, we are doomed to ambitiously make a gritty effort on all fronts, gas out halfway through the middle and probably come home empty handed thinking of what could have been.

If you are reading MoPo, go all out in the Carling Cup because we have got this far and it would be ludicrous to not have a go at this stage. Then from there the only priority should be Champions League football and ensuring we make third (yes, third!) or at worst forth on the table. The Europa League and FA Cup should not be taken too seriously and it should be used to give some of our squad players game time. We should save the big guns for the big games.

At present, despite all the points we have dropped and perhaps should not have conceded, we are still only 3 points off forth and 5 points of third! I don’t recall a season where 6/7 teams have been so hotly contesting for a place in the Champions League. It’s not going to easy but we can qualify for Europe’s biggest club tournament if we prioritise wisely.

I for one will not be able to stand the gloating of Arsenal fans if they finish higher than us again in a league season. So let’s forget about the Europa League and FA Cup. Let’s focus on the top 4 and FA Cup instead. I would rather lose a few battles to win the war.

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  1. Agreed. By now we are out of the FA Cup. If we can put out a reserve team against Fiorentina in February, and so not have the burden of the Europa, we can concentrate on that all important 4th place.


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