"For those Spurs supporters of a certain age, the FA Cup is in our DNA and Saturday’s shoddy surrender to an ordinary Leicester City team cut as deep as a dentist giving us root canal treatment. I just wonder how many of the players – and head honcho Pochettino – realise just what the world’s oldest cup competition means to those with Lilywhite blood?
It is not just another tournament. It is a proud part of our tradition how we have lifted the treasured trophy eight times, and we can reel off the captains who have collected it since way back in the Southern League days – Jack Jones (1901), Arthur Grimsdell (1921), Danny Blanchflower (1961/62), Dave Mackay (1967), Steve Perryman (1981/82), Gary Mabbutt (1991). It is part of the folklore that we pass on to our kids (and grandkids) like a relay baton of pride."
Also, we have the latest question in the Spurs Odyssey Quiz League......
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Ever since childhood, I have hated going out of the FA Cup, and that feeling of despondency is no less today than it has ever been. We have to now face the fact that it will be a minimum of 25 years between FA Cup Finals for Spurs, who last graced Wembley for the prestigious domestic Cup Final in 1991. That is the longest period of absence for Spurs in my lifetime.
What does not help the depression is the fact that we squandered our 1-0 lead in the last 10 minutes of the game. Goalkeeper Michel Vorm had been our hero in the first half, with two saves worthy of any goalkeeper, including Hugo Lloris, rested for the second consecutive game. However, Vorm was the villain in added time, as he let Schlupp's shot squirm beneath his body. Vorm might even have helped the ball onto its way into the net at The Park Lane End, in front of some 4,000 delirious Leicester fans.........
This was not a good performance by Spurs as they tried to play long balls to Loft against a strong head wind as they were pressed by a strong Villa side brimming with confidence. They were not allowed to settle into a passing game and became pinned into their own half. They were not able to take advantage of the wind in the second half as Villa were content to drop off and defend and hit them on the break.
The Academy return to West Brom on Wednesday to replay the fixure that was abandoned with Spurs a minute from victory in November. It should be a more experienced team than today as the younger lads will still be at school, but McKenna will still have to keep in mind the away trip to Brighton on the following Saturday......
Spurs take the narrowest of margins to the second leg at Bramall Lane next week, courtesy of a penalty needlessly conceded by Jay McEveley, but convincingly converted by Andros Townsend in the 74th minute.
Nigel Clough's Sheffield United started the game attacking the Paxton End with plenty of adventure, but little threat, whilst Spurs struggled to get a foothold in this game against League One opposition. United had brought plenty of fans with them (at least 3,000), and they made themselves heard virtually all night........
Spurs faced the Premier League's draw specialists, and with only two minutes of the game remaining, it looked as if Gus Poyet's side would gain their twelfth draw of the season. However, substitute Andros Townsend raced away down the right wing, from his own half, and crossed low to Christian Eriksen, who fired home a dramatic winner which beat goalkeeper Pantilimon to his right and actually crossed the line after rebounding off the inside of the post.
It wasn't all over though, as Hugo Lloris had to make a heroic save from Sunderland's Danny Graham, who had already had a chance to give Sunderland the lead only 10 minutes from the end of the game.
Then, in added time, with Pantilimon committed in the Spurs area to a corner, Spurs cleared the corner, and broke for goal, with Paulinho passing to Vertonghen, inside his own half. Vertonghen carried the ball into Sunderland territory and responded to the crowd's urges to fire for goal, with the goalkeeper way behind the play. The ball hit the net; Vertonghen celebrated with gusto, as did the crowd. The goal was initially given, but then the officials decided (erroneously) that Vertonghen had been offside, and disallowed the "goal". Referee Chris Foy (not Hoy) had not been too kind to us all game, and this decision took the biscuit...........
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