Leave Tottenham, win trophies. Simple as that.


Look, I don’t like to kick a club when it’s down, nor do I like to wallow in filth, but, from time to time, I have to admit, nothing beats a good wallowing. Our latest installment comes courtesy of Sevilla’s Europa League triumph over Roma, which allows all of those Spuds out there to celebrate being trophy-adjacent once again. This time, it’s bit players Erik Lamela and Bryan Gil who deliver the closest thing to a trophy Tottenham will actually enjoy, and they join a long and ever-lengthening list.

The list of Tottenham’s trophy-winners is indeed impressive. I don’t mean to present an exhaustive list (for it would be exhausting, but here’s a quick run-down:

  • Michael Carrick didn’t win anything in two years with Tottenham but went on to win the Prem five times, the FA Cup once, the League Cup twice, the Community Shiled six times, the Champions League and the Europa League once each, all with Man U.
  • Dmitri Berbatov: unique on this list for having helped Tottenham win the League Cup back in 2008, he went on to win the Prem in 2009 and 2011, the League Cup again in 2010, and the Community Shield in 2010 and 2011, all with Man U.
  • Luka Modrić left Tottenham and went on to win La Liga three times, the Copa Del Rey twice, the Supercopa de España four times, and the Champions League five times. Oh, he also picked up the Ballon D’or.
  • Gareth Bale, like Modrić, enjoyed immense success after leaving Tottenham, winning La Liga three times, the Copa Del Rey and Supercopa de España once each, and the Champions League five times.
  • Étienne Capoue won the Europa League just the one time. Sorry, Étienne, but we’re going chronologically here, and Bale and Modrić are tough acts to follow.
  • Kyle Walker won the Prem five times (maybe six?), the FA Cup once (maybe twice?), the League Cup four times, and the Community Shield twice.
  • Christian Eriksen died, came back to life, and won a scudetto and a League Cup (and has a chance at adding the FA Cup).
  • Kieran Trippier won La Liga.
  • Jan Vertonghen won Portugal’s Primeira Liga title.
  • Cameron Carter-Vickers has won the Scottish Premiership and Scottish League Cup twice (perhaps fueling a feverish desire for him to join Ange Postecoglou at this sorry excuse for a club).
  • Tanguy Ndombélé won a scudetto.

There are almost certainly others, but the pattern is patently clear: any player who wants to earn silverware has no choice but to leave Tottenham. I’m genuinely torn on this. On one hand, Harry Kane is a Spud, so I should (and do) dislike him. He pads his stats, he backs under opponents who’ve jumped to win headers, and he plays for Tottenham (I may have repeated myself). On the other hand, he’s a generational talent, and it would be a shame to see him retire without anything to show for it other than individual records. I almost wish that Tottenham had qualified for Europa Conference League play because it would give Kane a path towards a trophy. Without that, he’s likely to leave Tottenham but stay in the Prem (Man U? Chelsea?) so that he can at least overtake Alan Shearer for most Prem goals scored. He’d need two seasons, minimum, to score the 48 goals he’d need for that.

Now, I know that we’ve seen our own fair share of players leave for greater success elsewhere. As painful as it is to point out, Cole, Toure, Clichy, Fabregas, Nasri, and van Persie all found the promised land elsewhere. However, that was largely during a nadir in our club’s path. Tottenham just completed one of its best spells in club history only to come out the other side still empty-handed. We’re just now emerging from a supposedly barren period during which we won four FA Cups (and four Community Shields). Tottenham probably should have sold Kane or Son a summer ago when they could have commanded a princely sum, even if this meant seeing the player sold join the list of trophy winners.

At this point, that club and those players may just be stuck with each other, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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15 thoughts on “Leave Tottenham, win trophies. Simple as that.

  1. Will

    Sorry to say this, I’m not even a Spurs fan but your article is very sad and borderline pathetic… I think it’s worth highlighting that other than Champions League qualification, Arsenal haven’t exactly won anything this season… and they also bottled the league in a dramatic as ever fashion, which was absolutely comical to say the least! It was a great opportunity with all the other so called “Big Clubs” floundering in their own inconsistencies but Arsenal failed miserably and I’m not so sure you’ll get the same opportunity again any time soon! FA Cups, as much as it’s more than what Spurs have won in more recent history, it’s hardly a trophy worth shouting about… never mind the pathetic comment regarding 4 Community Shields!!… you really are clutching at straws there!!!

    1. Jon Shay

      Finishing second far exceeds even the most-optimistic Gooner’s preseason expectations. Sure, we’re disappointed to have failed to win the Prem, but it’s hardly a bottle job as you and others have suggested. I’d agree we bottled it in 2016, but Man City winning the Prem is becoming a fait accompli.

      As far as the Community Shields, I included them on the player-lists because they are a trophy (more significant than the League Cup because you have to win the Prem or FA Cup to complete for the Community Shield) and included it at the end in a parenthetical, indicating that it’s a bit of an afterthought anyway).

      Clutching at straws is when you pretend you’re not a Spurs fan and try to gloss over the fact that the club squandered its best set of players in a generation and have nothing to show for it. Will Spurs fan celebrate if/when Pochettino wins silverware with Chelsea?

      1. Will

        There’s no pretending not to be a Spurs fan… I’m genuinely not a fan of the club… I’m not a fan of Arsenal’s either but I’m sure you’d gathered that regardless,

        So you’re seriously saying that Man City winning the league this season is “hardly a bottle job” from an Arsenal perspective?!, these comments are absolutely ludicrous to say the least… why can’t you just admit it’s one of the biggest bottle jobs in premier league history?!! I’m genuinely embarrassed for you with these statements,

        I can imagine you’d have been one of those people who claimed Spurs bottled the league when Leicester won it those few years ago… tell me I’m wrong? So if this has any truth then Arsenal surrendering an 8 point lead in a matter of weeks despite leading for 200+ days of the season is by far more fitting to the term “bottle jobs”. That bottling terminology thrown around so blasé from many fans and in particular Arsenal to which this can definitively be used in this instance along with every sense of the word,

        Oh please, I don’t need you to clarify what clutching at straws means… trying to follow on from my comments by repeating them and twisting it to something which has no basis in reality is a poor analogy by any standards. Sorry,

        Enjoy your petty FA Cups, second place bottled season and of course your beloved Charity Shields.

        1. Jon Shay Post author

          Out of curiosity, how’d you come across this blog? It’s hardly famous enough to draw the attention of neutrals.

          Whatever your allegiance is, you’re guilty of hyperbole, which is rarely useful and even less so when used casually. To call this outcome one of the biggest bottle jobs in history is difficult to defend. We finished on 84 points, which is occasionally enough to win the Prem. We far exceeded anyone’s expectations. The only club to finish above us is under investigation for more than 100 financial violations that allowed them to outspend every other club in England, both for fees and wages. They went 25 matches undefeated from February until the final match of the season. For the entire time we spent in first, everyone kept saying it was only a matter of time before City overtook us.

          I already stated that I think we bottled it in 2016 (Leicester won it with just 81 points, and all of the other “big” clubs turned in indifferent seasons).

          I am, like just about every other Arsenal fan is, deeply disappointed that we couldn’t stay top of the table to the very end. I also know that we’re a season or two away from being legitimate contenders – our squad is too thin and is also very young, and that lack of depth & experience showed in the run-in. We have high hopes that Arteta and Edu cna address those issues over the summer and we can come back stronger – we’ll have to, because it’s unlikely that Chelsea, Liverpool, or Man U will repeat their uneven seasons, and Newcastle look like they’ll be even tougher next year as well.

          Although I find your tone to be needlessly spiteful, I appreciate your stopping by. Have a great weekend.

          1. Will

            If you must now, I came across this article looking for updates on the latest joke of a Spurs manager search on News Now and this popped up by pure coincidence – hopefully that clears things up?

            To be honest, there was no spite so I think my message has been purely misconstrued. I was merely replying with a few hints to what bottling was and your replies seemingly came across as a little condescending. No harm done I’m sure. Let’s be honest though – this is up there with the Liverpool and Newcastle collapses of the premier league era… so me saying it’s one of the biggest bottle jobs is true as with the margins given up by Arsenal in comparison,

            Hyperbole?! That’s a little exaggerated in itself… it’s actually a little hypocritical on your part. Trying to use the excuse of Man City did brilliantly is all well and good but at the end of the day, the title was Arsenals to lose and that’s facts. You lost or drew games in the last few weeks against teams like Southampton, West Ham, Forest and Brighton. Arsenal in all fairness and in my opinion with the squad they have should be challenging for the title. They’ve spent a lot of money and invested heavily in the squad. It was a huge opportunity missed so it will be interesting to see how they recover next season. I agree with you on that one,

            It will be interesting to see how Man City fair in the CL Final… surely a treble winning side and they can cement themselves as one of the greatest teams in the history of this sport,

            Likewise – have a good one!

            1. Jon Shay Post author

              I apologise that I came across as condescending. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on all of this. I’ll still maintain (or cling to?) the position that we didn’t bottle it but instead overachieved far longer than anyone expected and simply fell short against one of the best sides in history (now one step closer to that treble).

              Maybe our disagreement boils down to our different understanding of bottling something. I’ve always understood it to mean a total, laughable failure of something one was supposed to be able to do.

              In the end, though, maybe I’m simply trying to comfort myself. I do think we’ve learned a lot about the squad’s shortcomings such as squad depth, tactical nous, performance under pressure, etc.

  2. Gary Wheeler

    keep your mouth shut worry about your own team who bottled it again mind you you scum all ways had a lot of mouth

    1. Jon Shay

      Well, when there’s a lot to say, we have a right to talk. I’d encourage you to enjoy the Europa Conference League, but…

    1. Jon Shay

      Gotta have a chance at winning the Prem before you can bottle it. It’s been a while since Tottenham could even say that. Let’s just leave it at your club bottling a Europa Conference League spot. Where will Kane go to win his trophies? Real? PSG? Do us all a favor and sell him out of the Prem, will you? Cheers.

  3. Palladio

    Every club or team in every sport has a history of great players who never won championships, cups, ribbons, etc or reached great heights. Some were fortunate enough to move elsewhere and become a member of a winning team or club. Others continued to toil in the mines, never to see the light of day or to have lithe maidens place garlands around their necks and kisses on their cheeks or mouths.
    When players were contractually bound like serfs to their venal owners, they had little choice and when they sought to revolt they were brutally penalized, e.g., the Black Sox. Once free agency or it’s equivalent provided limited freedom, some players escaped in the hope they might find a better world elsewhere. Even now, where they go is restricted by the owners or the rules, let alone the needs of the new clubs and victories still depend upon their new teammates and fate.
    How many of the players Jon has named, whether at Spurs or at Arsenal ( and we can do this for every club), did not leave because they wanted silverware in the form of an engraved serving platter or ornate cup, but because they wanted silver coins or gold coins or Bitcoin? Look at the stream of players we now see heading to Saudi Arabia. Clearly, they are only going for money and not a house gher level of competition or a cup. Gordon Gekko told us that greed is good and these guys believe that. What surprises me when I read those headed to SA (Messi, Benzema, et al) or Miami (Messi, is he everywhere?), is why Kane is not on that list, as well. Does the market not value how m enough, do they recognize how he scores, does he have a lousy agent, or is he content with a scoring record if he stays in PL forever?
    In the end, all of this back-and-forth carping today reminds me of a comment made, at a Theo Bikel (OMG, yes) concert more than fifty years ago: “At this moment, 600 million people in China do not give a damn what we are doing or talking about” (Of course we now have to update the population numbers and soon replace China with India, but nothing else)
    Finally, how about dealing with the transfer market and who Arsenal may ACTUALLY buy or sign since I suspect two-thirds of those rumored or favored will never come to the Emirates except as visitors.

    1. Jon Shay

      to a degree, I do sympathisze with players who have a very short window to make a living and earn silverware. Look back to how Bacary Sagna left in the twilight of his career to hitch a ride on the Man City express. It’s possible to do with a degree of mutual respect and understanding. By contrast, look at someone like Jamie Vardy, who could have jumped ship after winning the Prem; he could have cashed in on a move to a bigger club, fatter paycheck, and (possibly) more silverware. He’s stayed put, and his reward will likely be a statute outside of King Power and permanent status as a club legend.

      As for moving to Saudi Arabia, I think that may be nothing more than a kind of retirement league (stealing MLS’s business model) than a direct threat to transfers in Europe. I don’t think we’ll see anyone in the under-30 set heading to the Middle East any time soon.


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