Opinion: What Tottenham simply must prioritise amid injury woes

It seemed bad when Tottenham lost Harry Kane to injury just before Hueng-Min Son left for international duty. Then came the cherry on top of a disastrous month for the North London side: in the closing minutes of a dramatic victory at Fulham, Dele Alli joined the list of injured Spurs stars when he suffered a hamstring strain that’s to set keep the England international out until March.

But Tottenham are still competing in three major competitions this season following Thursday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Chelsea. Sitting third in the Premier League, Spurs also remain in the FA Cup and will meet Crystal Place on Sunday, and next month are set for a two-leg Champions League Round of 16 clash with Borussia Dortmund.

A packed schedule now faces Mauricio Pochettino and his heavily depleted squad, with some difficult decisions to make. As injuries cut into Tottenham’s star power and depth, their ability to remain contenders across several competitions has diminished and the club should look to prioritise various fronts for the rest of their season.

Mauricio Pochettino applauds the fans e1545234268482 - Opinion: What Tottenham simply must prioritise amid injury woes

Sitting nine points back from Liverpool in the Premier League, the title is out of reach for Spurs. A friendly league schedule up through to a meeting with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge will allow Tottenham to remain in the top four as Manchester United and Arsenal continue to apply pressure from behind, but a lukewarm performance at Craven Cottage showed this Tottenham squad are not potent enough to contend without Kane. From here on out, maintaining the pace and earning a Champions League spot should be the primary goal.

Given Kane’s history of speedy recoveries, Spurs could receive a boost in the Champions League ahead of their second leg in Germany on March 5th if the England captain pulls off another one. But with quick turnarounds before and after each leg, this diminished Tottenham side may find itself drained for their European commitments. The North Londoners put on a valiant effort away at Barcelona in December to get through to the Round of 16, but with a weakened attack they will struggle to blast past the Bundesliga side.

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Spurs have not taken home a trophy since their League Cup title in 2008, and their best remaining shot to end the drought in 2019 now remains in domestic competition. Tottenham suffered defeat via penalty shootout in the Carabao Cup but their FA Cup hopes are still alive, with the Fourth Round trip to Selhurst Park up next.

Given the drawn out nature of the tournament, it’s possible that Tottenham could find themselves much healthier come the latter stages and able to field essentially their strongest starting XI. Just as easily though, Palace could pull off the kind of emphatic performance against high-quality opposition that has littered their season, especially against this weakened Spurs team.

But a domestic trophy would come as a validating mark of success for Tottenham and that should be the club’s priority. It’s been more than 10 years since that last trophy, and it’s time for Spurs and Pochettino to finally bring one home.

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