That was close…
I am particularly enjoying this season’s FA Cup. So many upsets, and so many lower leagues teams working their socks off against bigger sides. That’s what makes the FA Cup so special.
Surely part of this is related to bigger teams changing heavily their starting 11. Spurs are not immune from this practice and they were almost surprised yesterday by hard-working Wycombe Wanderers. Ainsworth’s side deserves all the credit for coming to the Lane and playing a great game. Wish them all the best for the rest of the season – not just cause I bet on them making the play-offs.
Spurs did not actually played badly, but they lacked sharpness up front and concentration at the back. And I would not make this a matter of ability and talent. I mean, our “reserve” team is made of players who would be regulars for 75-80% of Premier League sides. I think motivation is where the issue lies. Compared to other teams (see Arsenal or Man City for example), Spurs have a clearly defined starting 11. And rightly so. It took us hard work and time to find the right mix and balance to be a consistent side, which I think we are becoming. This means though that reserve players may not feel that motivated to impress Pochettino. They know that unless someone gets injured, they won’t be part of the starting 11 when the Premier League is back. And they probably know that in case of a stronger opposition in the future rounds of the FA cup and/or Europa League, their chances of making the team would be even smaller.
We were lucky yesterday. It just took us a Dele Alli in and a bit of experience, and we got through. It’s the last 16 now. I think it’s time now to beef up the team and try to win the FA cup. It’s silverware, brings money, and the chance of playing for the Charity Shield. We need to start winning something – the boys need to experience that feeling of achievement. And hopefully find in that feeling extra motivation to try their best to feel it again. The way it’s paved, Spurs just need to follow it.