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How important is it that Spurs win a trophy?

Spurs want to win a trophy, but at what cost?

Jamie McDonald

Tottenham Hotspur haven't won a trophy since 2008. That's a six-year drought, and counting.

Spurs' profile and quality has risen, going from pretty comfortably mid-table to competing for the Champions League places -- and doing it once (we'll ignore 2012) -- but it hasn't shown in trophies. It's possible that these two things are related, with Tottenham prioritizing the league at the expense of the cups in their pursuit of the top four, but the result is clear as day: nothing in the trophy case.

And thus raises the question, how important is it that Spurs win a trophy?

The simple answer is very, you play for trophies and Tottenham should go into every season aiming to capture silverware. But the reality is more complicated.

Tottenham -- any every other team in the world, really -- can't play their first team in every single match. They need to rotate the squad, keep players fresh and build a group of players at least 20 men deep that can be counted upon at some point. But there is still a first team and a club, or specifically a manager, has to decide which competitions and matches to feature those best players.

Some matches are going to matter more than others. So how should Spurs handle that?

Is finishing in the top four the goal for Tottenham at all times, making every league match a priority? Is it imperative that Spurs give it a run in every competition and put them in play for as many trophies or top finishes as possible? Are there some cups that matter more than others?

These questions aren't new or unique to Tottenham. They are questions every team asks themselves every year, but this year is a little different for Spurs.

For one, the club appear to be a longer shot to finish in the top four than they have in years. The Europa League winner also earns a spot in the Champions League this season, which is a new twist. And then there is Mauricio Pochettino, a new manager whose priorities aren't clear because this is the first time he has competed in this many competitions and at this level.

If the actions of Pochettino have told us anything, it is that the cups will matter. He has taken fairly strong teams into the Europa League thus far, and it doesn't look like he is going to turn to many youngsters in the Capital One Cup. The Premier League is still the priority and getting near first choice teams for every match, but there are no throwaway competitions and as Spurs progress in the Europa League and other cups, they could jump to the top of the priority list.

Younes Kaboul seems to have his eyes focused on a trophy this season, too.

"The game on Wednesday is important for us because we want to win something this season," the Spurs captain said about the Capital One Cup match.

He wants a trophy. Pochettino, it seems, wants a trophy. There won't be matches filled with academy kids, as has been the case under past regimes. The scars of four, five and even six teenagers in the Europa League aren't too far gone.

Spurs find themselves in a tough situation, with the league probably a little too tough, the Europa League also a tough battle, but a doable one and one with a huge prize at the end, and then the domestic cups, which have attainable silverware. The case for the Premier League is weaker than ever and that has opened up a lot of possibilities, potential and also pitfalls.

But if the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals come around in any cup, bet on seeing the best Spurs have to offer. And that is somewhat new. It is a new era, in more ways than one.

Tottenham haven't won a trophy in six years. It looks like Pochettino and Co. have made a point of changing that.