As the chances of a Premier League title grow slim and the odds stacked against in the Champions League , should Tottenham go all in to win the FA Cup?
Tottenham produced a solid 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon on Sunday in the third round of the FA Cup, with manager Mauricio Pochettino naming a very strong team to face the League One side.
Pochettino started his big guns, including Harry Kane, Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele.
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Many Spurs fans expected the manager to throw some youth into the side, but that was not the case. With such a show of force against much weaker competition, it draws the question of how much Pochettino is prioritizing the domestic cup.
Manchester City has all but wrapped up the league title, with Tottenham fighting to secure an all-coveted Champions League spot. And while securing a top four spot is of paramount concern, there is no reason Spurs can’t achieve both FA Cup glory and Champions League status for next season.
At the business end of last season, Spurs managed to hold on to second place while making it to the FA Cup semifinal before bowing out to Chelsea.
Tottenham might need some luck along the way, which may have come in the form of drawing League 2 Newport in the fourth round.
Last season Spurs benefited greatly from an easier FA Cup run, besting Aston Villa, Wycombe Wanderers, Fulham and Millwall before losing in the semis.
With a similar run of fortuitous ties, Tottenham should have a great chance of qualifying for a domestic “home” final.
What about the Champions League?
However, Tottenham cannot afford to divert their undivided attention away from the Champions League.
No matter how aspirational, the thought of winning the Champions League will always be Pochettino’s main priority. That thinking may force Pochettino’s hand, making him choose a lesser team for FA Cup matches when the schedule – with the Champions League set to resume in February – becomes more congested.
Much has been made about the current team’s inability to win trophies. Winning an FA Cup will go a long way to silencing the critics.
With Totttenham’s last trophy coming almost a decade ago, back in 2008, the FA Cup offers the best chance for Spurs to regain some glory, but at what cost?
Tottenham are wholly focussed on winning the Champions League. And no matter how aspirational, that’s exactly how it should be.