Vincent Janssen needs FA Cup boost when Tottenham face Wycombe
Shortly after the FA Cup fourth round draw was made, footage emerged of the Wycombe Wanderers players leaping from their seats in front of the TV and raucously celebrating the prospect of a trip to Tottenham.
It was a moment which encapsulated the excitement the FA Cup can bring, as a lower league team got a shot at one of the big boys in a Premier League stadium -- albeit an arena which is missing its north-east corner and is surrounded by a building site.
Of course, Wycombe have history in this competition, having triumphed away against Leicester City in the quarterfinals in 2001 before going down narrowly 2-1 against Liverpool at Villa Park in the last four.
In a particularly memorable semifinal, Keith Ryan's goal will be screened again in the coming days as Gareth Ainsworth's current crop target their own piece of history -- and they are unbeaten in 16 matches so they deserve respect.
Nonetheless, Spurs' players were probably just as pleased when they were handed their fourth round opponents. As they bid to end their nine-year wait for a trophy, while maintaining their position in the top four, a home draw against a League Two club was pretty much the perfect scenario for Tottenham's manager and stars.
Mauricio Pochettino would probably have picked a reserve team at this stage regardless of the opposition. But, with a top flight trip to Sunderland approaching on Tuesday, the Argentinian can rotate his squad with extra confidence this weekend.
Spurs' second-string players should certainly be good enough to overcome Wycombe, especially at the Lane, and if they fall short it is the men on the pitch who will face the inquisition rather than the man who picked the lineup.
Yet the bigger the gaps are between the sides in the national pyramid, the more embarrassing any slip-ups become.
Tottenham have been handed a big opportunity, but by the same token a failure would be much more acute -- and that same dichotomy makes this a big match for Vincent Janssen on a personal level.
The Dutch striker looked lively and tenacious in his early appearances this season, but the £17million summer signing has so far been unable to score from open play and that is clearly weighing increasingly heavily on his shoulders.
His bumbling display against Championship side Aston Villa in the third round of the cup marked a low point and having been substituted on the hour-mark when the game was still goalless, he has been omitted from the last two matchday squads.
Pochettino has been happy to trust Son Heung-Min to provide an attacking threat from the bench, and the South Korean has justified that faith. Having succeeded where Janssen failed against Villa -- scoring after moving up front in place of the Dutchman -- Son also entered the fray at half time against Manchester City on Saturday and netted the crucial equaliser.
Janssen will now get his best chance to remove the millstone from around his neck, leading the line in a home game against a League Two outfit -- and a sorely needed strike might just transform his confidence and kickstart his Spurs career.
Conversely, another failure would probably deliver another, and particularly damaging, blow to his self-esteem.
He will surely get further opportunities to play after this weekend, both in the FA Cup -- if Spurs progress as expected -- and in the Europa League. However, the opponents will presumably only get more difficult in both competitions, and the defences more resilient.
Of course, Janssen is not the only one who will be seeking to impress. Georges-Kevin Nkoudou provided an enticing glimpse of what he can do in the last round of the cup, setting up the opening goal immediately after his introduction and also playing a part in the build-up to Son's strike.
The 21-year-old winger has not got on to the pitch since then but he is likely to play some part against Wycombe and will be keen to continue his progress. Centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers, 18, should get the nod in the starting lineup, and Kevin Wimmer could do with a confidence-boosting, steadying outing after being substituted at half time at Man City.
Josh Onomah will also be itching for some minutes -- the 19-year-old has only had four brief cameos since his last start three months ago.
However, Janssen's confidence is the most pressing issue as the weekend approaches, and if Spurs are able to put the result beyond doubt in timely fashion on Saturday, the focus is likely to centre around one man and his quest for that elusive goal.
Ben is ESPN FC's Tottenham blogger. Follow on Twitter: @BenPearceSpurs.