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Tottenham deserve what they got in Carabao Cup final after thoughtless sacking of Mourinho

Tottenham lost in the Carabao Cup final to Manchester City
Tottenham lost in the Carabao Cup final to Manchester City
ANALYST
Modified 26 Apr 2021
Feature

In the end, the cameramen inside Wembley Stadium couldn’t take their eyes off Heung-Min Son, who hopelessly and haplessly sat on the grass.

Drowned in tears and looking dejected, the responsibility fell on Gareth Bale to console the South Korean. Even Phil Foden and Kyle Walker felt sad for Son as they approached to console him.

Tottenham Hotspur had just lost to Manchester City in the final of the Carabao Cup. Sunday’s match didn’t have the spark that some predicted, but it certainly ended like many anticipated.

Despite all the wealth of attacking talent on the pitch, it was a defender who emerged as the match-winner. Aymeric Laporte’s 82nd-minute header was all Manchester City needed to win the Carabao Cup.

Tottenham lose another final

While Pep Guardiola and his players celebrated after winning the trophy, their fourth League Cup in a row, Tottenham could only watch on with confusion and disappointment.

This is a team that has improved massively over the years but always seems to fall short when it matters most. They've bottled the Premier League after staying on top for so many months and they’ve bottled numerous FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League finals in recent years.

Sunday’s loss to Manchester City is the latest evidence of a side that lacks a winning mentality. Spurs possess some of the best players in the world but they are just not winners and it once again showed against Guardiola’s side.

"Very disappointed with the result, obviously, but can't fault the effort. I think City are probably four or five years ahead of us, they've had a manager for such a long time, worked a certain way for such a long time,” Tottenham manager Ryan Mason told Sky Sports after the game.
"Going forward, my idea and I'm sure everyone's idea of Tottenham is to be brave and try and dominate games like they do. It's a process, it takes time, I think the fact the players tried and believed. It says a lot, it makes me believe they want to work this way.”

Tottenham’s inability to win trophies is beginning to look like a psychological block, having lost every final they’ve played in since 2008.

Thoughtless sacking of Mourinho comes back to bite

Everything was against Spurs in this final, right from the day the club decided to sack Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese may have been an unpopular figure, but the timing of his sacking never made sense.

And to think he was sacked just six days before such a crucial final makes it more unreasonable. Mourinho, despite his recent struggles, is a tried and tested coach and remains the only manager to have beaten Guardiola in a final.

If for nothing at all, he should have been allowed to finish what he started by handling the team in the Carabao Cup final. Tottenham and Daniel Levy took a huge gamble on Mason, a 29-year-old untested manager, and it badly backfired.

Make no mistake about it, Tottenham’s performance on Sunday couldn’t have been worse than anything under Mourinho. Manchester City completely dominated them and the scoreline could have been bigger on another day.

Spurs shot themselves in the foot when they fired a proven winner like Mourinho just days before a final and they absolutely deserve what they got on Sunday – an extension of their trophyless run.

Published 26 Apr 2021
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