Tottenham face Brentford in their Carabao Cup semi-final tonight – live on talkSPORT – and they’re two wins from silverware.

Spurs supporters might just be feeling their knees going all trembly too as they realise the year ends in a one…

Tottenham are looking very strong under Mourinho and could make the Carabao Cup final

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Tottenham are looking very strong under Mourinho and could make the Carabao Cup final

Lifting the EFL Cup this season would end a 12-year wait for a trophy and give Jose Mourinho’s side a huge boost having had some close calls in recent years.

Those near misses in 2009 and 2015, in the same competition against Manchester United and Chelsea respectively, have hurt, while there have been five cup runs which have ended in the semi-finals, in both the FA Cup and EFL Cup, since their last triumph back in 2008.

Meanwhile, 2019 saw Spurs stumble their way into the Champions League final only to lose 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.

Add to that a couple of failed league title tilts, and it’s not too hard to see why the ‘Spursy’ tag lives on.

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It might not seem it these days, but Tottenham were actually once England’s cup specialists and over the years a mystical power seems to guide them when the year ends in a one.

A long tradition started when the club had been in existence for just nine years, and it also began a history of them being England’s history makers.

In 1901 Tottenham won the FA Cup, their first major honour, and it was pretty special too as they became the first and only non-league side to ever win the world’s most famous domestic cup competition.

It did take a replay – the first game at Crystal Palace was watched by a world record crowd of 110,820 – but Spurs beat Sheffield United 3-1 in the second clash, this time in front of just 20,470 at Burnden Park.

Forward Sandy Brown netted in both matches and became the first player to score in every round of the competition.

Tottenham's 1901 FA Cup winning side

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Tottenham’s 1901 FA Cup winners

Okay, 1911 was a barren year, but a decade on and they were celebrating in N17 once again.

Their first year back in the top-flight after World War I saw Spurs reach the FA Cup final, this time held at Stamford Bridge, and they won 1-0 courtesy of Jimmy Dimmock.

It was a lovely bit of bliss for Spurs.

Well, Bert Bliss anyway, as he was their inside forward in the final having signed from Willenhall Swifts for £10 back in 1912, and a Charity Shield followed too.

There was another blank in 1931, although they were close to promotion back to the First Division, while World War II put paid to any glory in 1941.

Tottenham face Wolves in the 1921 FA Cup final

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Tottenham faced Wolves in the 1921 FA Cup final

The 1950s, though… that’s when Spurs really kicked up a gear.

First it was a Second Division title in the first year of the decade, and in 1951 Arthur Rowe’s Lilywhites won the top-flight, pipping Manchester United to the championship at their first attempt.

After finishing in the top three in three out of the four previous seasons, 1960/61 had Tottenham hit their stride under legendary manager Bill Nicholson – and the first ever league and cup double of the 20th century in England was claimed.

Leicester City were the side defeated 2-0 at Wembley and Spurs went and retained the trophy a year later too, beating Burnley 3-1 thanks to goals from Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Smith, and Danny Blanchflower.

Tottenham stars celebrate with the FA Cup in 1961

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Tottenham stars celebrate with the FA Cup in 1961

In 1971 it was the League Cup heading to N17 with Martin Chivers at the double to down Aston Villa.

What about 1981? Well, what do you expect? FA Cup glory this time, and once again via a replay.

Manchester City star Tommy Hutchison may have scored two goals in the first match, but after opening the scoring for the Citizens he also levelled them by putting into his own net.

And while the replay finished 3-2 to Spurs, Hutchison didn’t make the scoresheet.

Instead it was Ricky Villa who made the headlines with his mazy run and finish settling the game and later seeing his effort named Wembley Goal of the Century.

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You know what’s coming next don’t you? Of course you do.

In 1991 it was yet more glory for Spurs as they beat Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup final – still the north Londoner’s most recent appearance at that stage of the competition.

Paul Gascoigne took centre stage but his early challenge on Gary Charles not only gave the Tricky Trees the opening goal of the game, it ended his participation as he tore his cruciate ligaments.

Tottenham rallied though and after a Paul Stewart equaliser, Des Walker’s own goal saw them win the cup after extra-time.

Tottenham last won the FA Cup in 1991

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Tottenham last won the FA Cup in 1991

And what about 2001? Okay, so, all good things come to an end – but they did make the FA Cup semi-finals that season, falling to an expected defeat to north London rivals Arsenal at St James’ Park. They did take a shock lead, however, when Gary Doherty opened the scoring.

Another decade on, not even close…

Even Gareth Bale couldn’t help fire Spurs to glory and the closest they got was the Champions League quarter-finals where Real Madrid emphatically ended their participation with a 5-0 aggregate win.

So, now it’s 2021. And with a final on the horizon we suggest, as the famous banner said, you hold onto your knickers, it’s the year of the cock!

talkSPORT brings you full LIVE commentary of Tottenham vs Brentford in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, kick-off 7:45pm


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