Two cup exits in four days is not a good thing, I’m sure of that. But judging by the noise coming from the internet, you’d think that it was the end of the world. Let’s examine why it isn’t. First of all, it’s been mentioned about ten billion times that Tottenham would’ve gone through if the old away goal rule still existed in the League Cup. Think about that please. A Spurs team with no Kane, Dele, Son, and others and hanging on to a tiny one-goal advantage, went into Stamford Bridge against a full Chelsea XI and did what we would consider an excellent showing in any year that the rule change didn’t exist. I’m sorry, but you can’t just change your standards when the rules change. People would’ve been applauding Mauricio Pochettino’s tactical nous in getting the exact result he needed. Llorente’s brave header would go down in lore, and a depleted Spurs side would’ve been in a final and put the pressure on Sarri’s Chelsea to “get their season back into gear.” Instead, we are faced with drivel questioning whether Poch is a winner or not. I would love to see a team go into Stanford Bridge in a semi-final without three of their four best players and get a result. But Spurs did. In every year but this one, Spurs did. Would the media destroy Klopp if he’d lost at Chelsea without Salah, Mane, and Firmino at his disposal? Unlikely. But you also have to remember that things got worse in that Chelsea match for Spurs. Ben Davies got hurt, as did Moussa Sissoko. A depleted squad just got more depleted and we are surprised that Tottenham lost to Crystal Palace? Look at that lineup! That starting XI featured four or five players that get regular minutes for Spurs. Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, and Davinson Sanchez. Lucas makes five but is coming off an injury as well. That’s it, five. The rest were made up of a hodge-podge of players who are on the fringes or have been in the youth ranks: Juan Foyth, Kyle Walker-Peters, Oliver Skipp, Georges-Kevin N’koudou, and Fernando Llorente. Crystal Palace played their strongest eleven outside of Luka Milivojevic that they could and were playing in front of a home crowd. And personally, I’m happy that the manager sat Christian Eriksen, Harry Winks, Toby Alderweireld, and Danny Rose. We need them for the league and the Champions League. Anyone prioritizing this FA Cup over those simply in the pursuit of silverware is being shortsighted. Remember back when Spurs were routinely in the Europa League? I remember about 75% of the fan base crying and whining about fixture congestion and a Thursday-Sunday schedule and actually wanting the team to lose in that competition to free up some training dates and resting time. That’s exactly what happened at Palace today and yet everyone is acting like the roof is caving in. Poch can’t win, no silverware equals failure. C’mon. I know that the people opposed to this article will bring up the lack of signings. Fine. I get it, but I feel like the manager not making signings just for the sake of making signings is a sign of two things. One, it’s a sign that he believes in his system and the time it takes to get a complete understanding, and two, he needs the right players. There is no guarantee that Spurs will be in all competitions right now if they’d signed some players. I seem to remember players like Vincent Janssen and Roberto Soldado who never meshed and never worked out and cost more than we offloaded them (or will offload them) for. What would you be saying if Spurs had bought some players and this week’s results still happened? No one can say that it definitively wouldn’t. Would that be better? Sure, it would be nice to have a bigger squad, but we don’t. The squad is the squad and it still dominated Palace for large portions of that game, especially the second half when Erik Lamela came in. I’m sick of it. Silverware doesn’t necessarily make you a winner, and not winning a cup doesn’t make you a loser or someone “unable to win” as so many have labeled Pochettino. City are going to win the League Cup and will make a deep run and probably win the FA Cup. Not winning cups now is totally different than it was even ten years ago. City have basically bought each of the domestic cups as they are the only team that has the depth to make challenges on four fronts. Why should we compare ourselves to the oil billions of City? We don’t compare ourselves to them in passion, philosophy, global support, or anything else, but we feel obligated to compare ourselves to them when it comes to winning trophies? It’s a ridiculous comparison and even if it is a tangential one, isn’t what this team’s supporters are doing? Isn’t it what the media are doing? The only manager that I’d trade Pochettino for is Pep, and even thinking about it now, how much could he win if he wasn’t handed every resource possible at every turn of his career? That number would be very low. So let’s just hold off on the sky is falling narrative. As Spurs fans, we need to corral it because the national media will not. Nuance isn’t their thing. They will keep labeling Pochettino as a loser until he wins a trophy. It’s going to drive him off at some point. He could easily go back to PSG when they get sick of Thomas Tuchel and win three cups per year. Does that automatically make him a winner? No, because he already is one.