Inside Lane: Spurs squad can’t fight on three fronts so Pochettino must rotate in FA Cup
10:33 20 January 2016
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Tottenham blogger Henry Tribe will be happy to see Mauricio Pochettino pick a weakened side again in tonight’s FA Cup replay against Leicester City.
Tottenham face Leicester City for the third time in 11 days tonight (Wednesday), travelling to the King Power Stadium for our FA Cup third-round replay.
We certainly laboured against a lively-looking Foxes side in the original tie at the Lane, and needed a slightly fortuitous last-gasp equaliser to force a 2-2 draw.
But I make no criticism of Mauricio Pochettino’s team selection that day, and I hope it’s a sign of a carefully balanced approach to the three prizes on offer between now and the end of the season.
Make no mistake; we could be on the brink of something really big in 2016. Just as at the beginning of 2012, we are in the top four and looking upwards and not nervously over our shoulder.
But we know how easily things can turn, as they did for Harry Redknapp four years ago – and Pochettino’s cup strategy will be crucial in achieving a truly memorable season.
In 2012 we managed to famously blow a 10-point lead over Arsenal, and that season we didn’t even have the excuse of Europa League distractions as we’d conveniently exited the competition in the group stage.
This season our head coach must prioritise the league over all else. Our thin squad just isn’t equipped for a battle on three fronts, and we must cut our cloth accordingly.
For me, the FA Cup holds more prestige than the Europa League – and is frankly easier to win. But I would happily sacrifice progress in both to hear that Champions League music back at White Hart Lane next season.
So Pochettino must continue to play mixed sides in these cup games, and give the likes of Harry Kane a much-needed rest this evening.
He must also be backed in the transfer market. It’s no secret we’re looking for another striker, and hopefully we’ll be able to do better than a 2016 reboot of Louis Saha on a free transfer from Everton.
Let’s go out there and buy or loan a genuine foil and/or alternative to Kane – and who knows where we could end up this season. I, for one, can’t wait to find out.
Follow me on Twitter @henrytribe