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Yet Another Trophyless Season for Tottenham

After Tottenham Hotspur's defeat to Manchester City on Friday night in the 4th round of the FA Cup, they are now seemingly going trophyless for another season, having not won a competitive trophy since the Capital One Cup in 2008.

It has been a real enigma for many Premier League fans and Tottenham fans in particular. Since their last trophy win in 07/08, Tottenham have only grown, having become regulars in the top 6 and even on a title charge in two consecutive seasons in 15/16 and 16/17, finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively. However, despite this, they have been to 4 finals in the 16 years since and have not scored a goal in either of these games.

One reason for this is the youthfulness of the squad. In the 2016/2017 season, Mauricio Pochettino had the youngest squad in the league with an average age of 23.7 years. This squad also did not have much high level experience as a result with a lot of the players being brought in and then developed. For example, Eriksen was brought in as a 21 year old from Ajax and talisman Harry ane was a product of the academy system.

Whilst they performed consistently well in the league, finishing with a Premier League best for the Lilywhites at 86 points, they were also winning these games with no real pressure of them as Chelsea had gone as far ahead on points as they did with Chelsea 13 points clear of Spurs as of January 2017. However, their lack of experience to the pressure would become prevelant when they faced Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in the semi finals of the FA Cup. Son was put at left wing back as Tottenham opted for a 3 man defensive line which proved costly for them as Son would give away a penalty in this game as Chelsea ran out 4-2 victors.

The following season they were back in the semi finals and were up against Manchester United. This game started off much better than the previous year as Spurs were 1-0 up by the 12th minute. However, Manchester United would come back from behind to be 2-1 victors. Spurs' lack of experiencewas on display again as despite having 64% possession, they only had 2 shots on target out of their 13 total shots. The following season their failure to capture a trophy came another way...

In the 2018 summer transfer window, Tottenham Hotspur did not spend anything on transfers into the club, showing a lack of ambition and investment by the Spurs board. Due to this, team spirit seemed to be a key for Pochettino as Spurs had a resilient and optimistic attitude especially in the Champions League as they miraculously made the finals. Despite this and Harry Kane's ankle injuries, they still managed to claw their way to the final.

However in the final, Pochettino made a bold call and put Harry Kane on the pitch for the first time since he was injured in their Quarter final first leg match with Manchester City. Pochettino did not have many other quality and trusted attackers, other than Lucas Moura who was left out of the first XI despite his hattrick guiding them to the final as they came back to beat Ajax. With Tottenham still not having many serial winners in the squad, they struggled to score yet again and succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool.

Pochettino was sacked in November 2019 and was replaced with a serial winner in Jose Mourinho. Mourinho's introduction was met with positivity as he had won trophies at each and every club in which he had been at. However, the one thing that did not work in his favour was the style of football which did not suit the philosophy in which the Tottenham players had thrived under with Pochettino since he came in during the summer of 2014.

Tottenham were playing in a more counter attacking style which worked against some big teams who tend to dominate possession like Arsenal and Manchester City, but also made them struggle against opposition lower in the table, such as Everton. However, despite this, they managed to get to the finals of the Carabao cup where they would face Manchester City.

Poor decisions from the board happened next as Jose Mourinho would be sacked from his job in the Spurs dugout and replaced by Ryan Mason, who had not managed a professional game before his hiring as caretaker manager. In his first match in charge during the mid-week, he managed to get a narrow win over Soithampton. However, in only his second match in charge, he was in a cup final against the legendary Pep Guardiola and that sentence speaks for itself. Tottenham fought well but could not withold City's dominance. Fans query to this day whether that would have ended the trophy drought for Tottenham as Mourinho had not lost against Guardiola as Spurs manager yet.

The board would then stick with defensive minded and pragmatic managers in Nuno Santos and Antonio Conte to a decrease in success.

The board finally went back to an attack-minded coach in Postecoglou now. Despite him losing out on Carabao Cup and FA Cup glory in his first season, it has been a promising season. With Postecoglou insisting that domestic success will come in the long term and not the immediate future, fans of the Lilywhites will be hoping they can end this now 16 year drought of trophies sooner rather than later.

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