FA Cup elimination at the semi-final stage at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United means that Tottenham face another season without silverware as Mauricio Pochettino continues his hunt for a first trophy in management.
The ex-Espanyol and Southampton coach has built a strong squad with the Lilywhites but is yet to come close to winning titles and the frustration was clear for all to see at Wembley on Saturday.
Speaking after the game, where Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera’s strikes cancelled out Dele Alli’s opener, Pochettino appeared to hint that his long-term future may not lie at the club.
“To compete in this type of game, I think we are ready to compete – but win is different,” he explained to BeIN Sports, as quoted by The Telegraph, after the match.
“The most important [thing] is that we are in this process, that after four years we can compete and that is fantastic.
“But the disappointment and frustration is that we are close but we cannot reach.
“I told your colleague before that with me or another coaching staff the club needs to push on, working in this direction and will be fantastic one day for Tottenham to reach the same level as the clubs like Manchester United and Manchester City.
“But a long way to work to arrive at this next level.”
Only at the start of this month, The Telegraph reported that Pochettino would sign a new contract to ward off such interest, but that has not yet been confirmed and the difficult of competing with the biggest clubs in the country whilst spending so much less has been clearer than ever.
The 3-1 Wembley defeat to Manchester City in particular highlighted the gap in quality between the two squads, largely down to finances. Whilst Pochettino was forced to rely on Moussa Sissoko off the bench, Pep Guardiola called upon Bernardo Silva. Following that up with yet another disappointing draw against bottom half opposition in Brighton before being knocked out of the FA Cup may give cause for concern for Tottenham.
Daniel Levy clearly believes in Pochettino’s project but if he is to retain his coach, he may need to stump up the investment to persuade him that the finances are there to support the work that he is putting in on the training pitches.