Following a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals, Tottenham Hotspur FC  will finish yet another year without a trophy. Despite seeing immense growth and success since Mauricio Pochettino took over as manager, Tottenham have not quite been able to get over the hump.

No one can deny that Tottenham have made significant strides under Pochettino. However, the current Tottenham squad has reached the crucial turning point where it will either go down as one of the greatest teams in Tottenham history or will just be known as another “good but never good enough” squad.

To put Tottenham’s trophy drought in context, their last trophy came from their League Cup win in 2008. Since then, six different teams have won the League Cup, including one that is no longer in the Premier League. Their last FA Cup trophy came nearly 30 years ago in 1991. Since then, eight different teams have won the FA Cup, including two teams that are no longer in the Premier League.

Finally, they have not won the Premier League title in over 50 years, dating all the way back to 1961. Thirteen different teams have won the title since then, including six clubs that are no longer in the top flight of England.

For a team often regarded as one of the major clubs in England, these numbers are remarkably poor. Competing in the top flight since 1978, they do deserve credit for being a mainstay in England’s top flight for so long. However, if they are truly one of the biggest clubs in England, they need to begin to take home some silverware to show for it.

This season certainly has some positive takeaways. They topped their Champions League group, which included Borussia Dortmund and the two-time reigning champions, Real Madrid. They played a very close tie across two legs against last year’s Champions League runner-up, Juventus. In addition, they made the FA Cup semi-finals.

While none of these results are particularly poor on their own, they do highlight a troubling trend for Tottenham. The team has very little to show for its positive improvements over the past few seasons. In the 2015–16 and 2016–17 seasons, Tottenham were the only team that consistently challenged the ultimate title winners, Leicester City and Chelsea, respectively. Nonetheless, there is no trophy for finishing second.

This leaves Tottenham in a precarious position. They have a talented young core of players who could easily transfer to clubs that are winning trophies more frequently. In particular, attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen, midfielder Dele Alli and striker Harry Kane could easily join another squad.

Tottenham’s wage bill is currently much smaller than that of the other “big six” teams in England (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United), causing many of their talented players to be underpaid. For example, Eriksen is being paid £75,000 a week, but could likely earn more than double that at a different club.

However, salary differentials have not been posing a significant obstacle for Tottenham. Only one key player, right back Kyle Walker, has left the club to receive higher wages elsewhere. Nevertheless, if the team continues to miss out on trophies, a lot of its young talent will ultimately be inclined to move on elsewhere.

Yet Tottenham’s solution is not as simple as injecting more money into the club. Tottenham are close to completing the construction of a new stadium that has more seats for fans and will help grow the team’s global brand. This new stadium is part of a new ten-year deal to allow Tottenham to host at least two NFL games per year. Despite the added benefits, the stadium was expensive, and Tottenham will be stuck paying the cost in the upcoming years.

Overall, Tottenham’s future looks very bright. The team has progressed from a mid-table club in the early 2000s to consistent Champions League participants. They have a promising project in their new stadium which should only help to increase Tottenham’s global footprint. However, at some point, they must begin to win trophies in order to truly be considered one of Europe’s elite.

The phrase “The Game Is About Glory” was plastered across White Hart Lane and will be present in Tottenham’s new stadium. This quote comes from Danny Blanchflower, the captain of Tottenham’s double-winning squad in the 1960–61 season and has been adopted throughout the years to describe the club.

However, glory does not come simply from challenging the league leaders or punching above their weight. It comes from trophies, which Tottenham must win.

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