Why the ongoing campaign is Tottenham’s best chance of ending their trophy drought
Twelve years on from their League Cup success against Chelsea in the final, the ongoing Premier League campaign seems to be Tottenham Hotspur’s best opportunity of winning a trophy after more than a decade.
Currently fifth in the Premier League standings just two points behind the leaders, Spurs will know that the open nature of this season makes it possible for them to have a real title tilt and with Jose Mourinho at the helm, they have a man-in-charge who has led a team to league success in England in the past.
Mourinho’s mission statement, in fact, at the time of his appointment as Spurs manager was to help the team win a trophy following years of failure as far as getting their hands on some silverware.
Spurs’ best campaign in recent times culminated in a runner-up finish in the UEFA Champions League final and Mourinho was, with good reason, identified as the man to end the north London club’s barren years.
Mourinho, after all, is a serial winner who has won trophies at every club that he has ever managed. Even the 57-year-old’s detractors who believe that he’s not the manager he once was and point at his last two spells with English clubs as examples cannot deny the fact that he won trophies while in charge of them.
While admittedly, it may seem like winning trophies with Manchester United and Chelsea is easier than with Tottenham Hotspur, that’s not how Mourinho will view things.
Lest we forget that here’s a manager that made his admiration for several Spurs players known while he was Manchester United boss. Mourinho was linked with several Tottenham stars during his time at Old Trafford, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that he jumped at the first chance of managing the Londoners following his United sacking.
Presented to the press as the man who would win Tottenham trophies, history tells us that he traditionally enjoys strong second seasons at most of his clubs and now, as Mourinho approaches a year of being in charge of Spurs after taking over the role last November, we are beginning to see the makings of title challengers.
And with the open nature of the Premier League this season, perhaps this will be Tottenham’s best chance of lifting the league title – something they haven’t managed to in 60 years. That said, it wouldn’t be the first time Mourinho helped a London club end decade-long waits for a league title; just ask Chelsea who he guided to their first league crown in 50 years.
Even if Spurs weren’t to win the league, there’s no reason why they can’t get their hands on some of the other trophies they are in the running for. The Portuguese manager definitely won’t let runs in cup competitions just pass him by for certain for he is the most successful manager in the history of the League Cup at the end of the day.
Strong cup runs both domestically and in Europe should be high on Mourinho and Spurs’ list of priorities, and why shouldn’t that be the case, going by their early season form?
The in-form team in the Premier League at the moment, Spurs have been scoring for fun with the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min firing on all cylinders. Furthermore, the nature of their wins has only strengthened the belief within the squad that something special may be happening on the white side of north London.
Regardless of whether they can string together the consistency to challenge Liverpool for the league crown over the course of the campaign, getting their hands on some sort of silverware this season looks like a more real possibility now than in any of their past campaigns.
Spurs, of course, always had a talented group of individuals, but the shift in mentality which Mourinho has brought with him to the club seems to be paying dividends. With all that in mind, it’s worth noting that history tells us that third seasons don’t always go well for Mourinho teams as things tend to unravel quick, making the ongoing campaign perhaps their best chance of winning a trophy in years.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Neil Hall