Alderweireld’s blunt message to Tottenham’s critics ahead of Carabao Cup final

Toby Alderweireld wants to 'shut up' Tottenham's critics once and for all by claiming his first piece of silverware with the club at Wembley in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.

Spurs have taken huge strides forward during the Belgian defender’s five-and-a-half years at the club.

But the fact they still haven’t won a trophy since their League Cup win in 2008 means that many dismiss them as nearly men.

It’s something which frustrates Alderweireld and his desire to crush that narrative is almost as strong as his desire to win his first trophy in England.

He said: “I’ve thought about it a lot.

“We didn’t get silverware but the steps this club has taken in the last five, six, seven years is big.

“Don’t underestimate it, even if you get used to it quite quickly.

“From the moment I came here to now, we are growing and you have to give a lot of credit to everybody.

“We played in the Champions League — not this season but we were there four times in a row — and as a club, we’re growing unbelievably.

“So of course we are not happy without silverware but you can’t say we weren’t good or say Spurs don’t have winners.

“You have to win to get in finals. You have to win to get into the top four.

“That is not silverware, but maybe now we are in a moment to get everyone to just shut up and get it.

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“We’re going to try to do everything we can to achieve that.

“But you can’t say the last five or six seasons were not good because of no silverware.

“I just don’t agree with that after the steps this club took.”

Alderweireld won three Eredivisie titles with Ajax and the KNVB Cup, and La Liga with Atletico Madrid.

But he also knows the heartache of losing big finals and semi-finals, after finishing runner-up twice in the Champions League — with Atletico in 2014 and Spurs five years later — and third at the 2018 World Cup with Belgium, and is determined not to let it happen again today.

He added: “Let’s hope we have learned something from 2019.

“We are going to do everything in our powers to win the game.

“We know it’s against City and they are first in the league, they are in a good moment, they have confidence, but it’s one game and anything can happen.

“We are going to prepare ourselves the best way possible and we have to be confident and try to play, to go there to win.

“That’s our mindset and even in a difficult season it will be unbelievable if we can finally get a trophy.

“I’m very motivated, everyone is very motivated and we’re really looking forward to it.”

While Spurs are sweating on Harry Kane’s fitness, so City’s talisman and Alderweireld’s international team-mate Kevin De Bruyne is also a doubt.

Asked if he wanted De Bruyne to be fit or not, he laughed and said: “That is not a very fair question.

“For sure, they have a lot of quality to replace him but Kevin is Kevin — he is something special.

“When I first heard the news I thought, ‘What about the Euros? We are going to need him’.

“But it wasn’t too bad.

“In terms of the final, you want to win trophies against the best people, you are never happy that he is injured or suspended.

“You want to play against the best teams and the best players to prove you are the best yourself.”

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