2021 could well be where Tottenham's 13-year trophy drought ends

06 January 2021 02:00

2021 is looking increasingly likely to be the year that Tottenham end their 13-year wait for a trophy.

They took a big stride on that journey on Tuesday night, besting Championship Brentford in the EFL Cup semi-finals to book their place at Wembley for the later-than-usual final in April.

It was nervy at times - particularly when Ivan Toney's equaliser was ruled out for offside by the narrowest of margins - but for the most part, this was further evidence of the mentality change that Jose Mourinho is said to have brought about in north London.

In truth, Spurs never looked like 'doing a Spurs' against Brentford. They kept an impressive Bees side at arms length throughout and got the job done with a goal in each half. The first was scored by Moussa Sissoko, who capitalised on some socially distanced defending to nod home Sergio Reguilon's excellent cross.

Spurs then spurned a few good chances to put the game beyond doubt, before Son Heung-min did exactly that, finishing off a trademark counterattack with a venomous strike.

The Mourinho factor should not be underplayed in this result. As pointed out by Opta after the game, the Spurs boss has now become just the third manager in history to reach the League Cup final with three different clubs. Winning games like this is what he does best, as evidenced by his near-perfect record in semi-finals.

Few managers in world football are as well equipped for squeezing results out of one-off games than Mourinho, which is why Spurs will be full of confidence regardless of which Manchester club they end up meeting at Wembley in the spring.

Diverting our attention away from the EFL Cup for a moment, Tottenham's comparatively easy draws in both the FA Cup and the Europa League also seem to suggest that the omens for 2021 are good.

In the former, they take on non-league Marine next week. The Liverpool-based Lilywhites are a properly part-time outfit, not one of those quasi-professional sides that reside in the Conference. Make no mistake, if Spurs fail to progress to the fourth round against the eighth-tier minnows, it will be one of the most shocking results in English football history.

Son scored the winner for Spurs | Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Meanwhile, in the Europe League, they have been afforded another preferable tie, this time against Wolfsberger - an Austrian Bundesliga team currently languishing in mid-table and the very lowest ranked team left in the competition.

While Tottenham are probably still just about in an unpredictable domestic title race, their pursuit of silverware could well be aided by their rivals focusing on other priorities when it comes to crunch time; in April Man City or Man Utd could be making a final push in the Premier League, while the same goes for the whole of the so-called 'Big Six' and tougher European opponents such as Milan and Ajax when the FA Cup and Europa League finals roll around in May.

Put simply, both of these draws were the most straightforward games that Spurs could have hoped for. Luck? Or, a sign that 2021 is going to the year of the cockerel?

Whichever one is it, this good fortune, combined with their managers perverted obsession with grinding out unwatchable wins are a potent cocktail for success in cup competitions. In other words, it could be time for rival fans to start preparing some insults other than ones that focus on the dust gathering on Spurs' trophy cabinet.

Source: 90min