Inside Lane: Who will be in goal for Spurs in the Capital One Cup final against Chelsea?
Tottenham blogger David Lee says Mauricio Pochettino must leave his sentimentality on Wembley Way and pick Hugo Lloris in Sunday’s cup final.
As Spurs fans recover from another miraculous injury-time goal against West Ham, Mauricio Pochettino now has some big decisions to make ahead of our Europa League decider in Florence and the Wembley showdown with Chelsea.
And no decision looms larger than the question over whether our undisputed No1 goalkeeper should step aside on Sunday to allow Michel Vorm to continue his run of Capital One Cup appearances.
In my opinion, Pochettino has to leave his sentiment on Wembley Way and select Hugo Lloris to face our arch-rivals.
The life of a No2 goalkeeper cannot be easy and, barring his blunder in our defeat to Leicester in the FA Cup, Vorm has proven himself to be a capable understudy to Lloris throughout the season. But we cannot allow our only world-class player to be a spectator at Wembley.
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While Harry Kane once again grabbed the headlines for his last-gasp equaliser against West Ham, this would not have been possible were it not for Lloris’ point-blank second-half saves to deny Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia.
Think back to our remarkable 5-3 victory over Chelsea in January. With the game poised at 4-2 and nerves beginning to consume White Hart Lane, Chelsea launched another menacing counter-attack.
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As Eden Hazard laid the ball into Cesar Azpilicueta’s path, a third goal seemed inevitable. But once again Lloris saved us, diving low to his left and somehow palming the ball away with a wrist that is seemingly made of steel.
If we are hanging on for dear life at Wembley, who do we want as our last line of defence? A world-class goalkeeper who has bailed us out game after game or a stand-in substitute picked on the notion of sentimentality?
There is undoubtedly a moral aspect to the decision - Vorm has played in every Capital One Cup game so far and to take the final away from him would be harsh.
The Dutchman will be familiar with the dilemma facing his manager. When Swansea played Bradford in the 2013 Carling Cup final, Vorm had predominantly been Michael Laudrup’s preferred goalkeeper. However, he had to settle for a place on the bench as Laudrup opted for Gerhard Tremmel, who had featured throughout Swansea’s march to Wembley.
Nevertheless, football is about winning and when you are facing Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, only one thing matters.
Supporters will no doubt spend the week debating the merits of our attacking quartet and who deserves the nod at Wembley. But there can be no question about who plays in goal. Vorm should start in Florence tomorrow and then move aside for Lloris’ return on Sunday.
The morality of the decision may be questioned, but when Diego Costa is bearing down on our goal on Sunday I know who Tottenham fans will want to be standing in his way.
Follow me on Twitter @David_Lee91