Inside Lane: Why Spurs should be taking FA Cup clash against Crystal Palace seriously
Tottenham blogger David Lee says it may be up to Spurs to stop Arsenal from winning a Premier League and FA Cup double this season.
Five days. Remarkably, that’s how old I was when a Spurs captain last lifted one of world football’s most treasured trophies.
A lot has changed since Gary Mabbutt bounded up those Wembley steps to lift the FA Cup after our 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in May 1991.
The importance of the competition has waned and the debate over the cup’s magic has become a well-worn cliché for commentators across the land.
But when you sit down and think it’s been almost 25 years since Spurs have reached an FA Cup Final, it’s clear that has to change.
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Our remarkable Premier League campaign thus far has understandably left some fans urging Mauricio Pochettino to shelve our trophy ambitions for another season. And, while I agree that a prolonged stay in the Europa League could be a hindrance to our ever-growing title hopes, an FA Cup final should still be firmly on our radar.
Sunday’s clash at home to a badly out-of-sorts Crystal Palace offers us a strong chance of progressing to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2012. So, in my view, we should be looking to field as strong a side as possible to maintain our momentum.
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The added edge of the return of one of football’s most perplexing characters, Emmanuel Adebayor, should also give us added incentive on Sunday.
I don’t for one moment think Ade should be greeted with the same vitriol from the White Hart Lane faithful as we saw from Arsenal supporters when he swapped the Emirates for the Etihad - but we’ll want to get one over on him and, while he may not admit it, I suspect Pochettino will want to as well.
Strikers have a habit of scoring against their former clubs. But, with Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer looking an imperious pairing, I’m quietly confident they’ll be able to cope with our former No10.
If the thought of Arsenal winning their first Premier League crown since 2004 is unbearable, how does a league and FA Cup double sound?
As it stands, it’s looking increasingly likely that it will fall to us to stop our unwelcome neighbours securing more silverware this season - so if any supporters want to see a weakened side selected at the weekend, I suggest they think again.
The 2015/16 season continues to surpass the expectations of even the most optimistic of Spurs fans. But we all know that, the Capital One Cup aside, nothing is won in February. So let’s keep the momentum going and stay on the road to Wembley.
Follow me on Twitter @David_Lee91