Paul Scholes: Time for Tottenham Hotspur to show if they can handle big-match pressure in Capital One Cup final

As part of his exclusive column for The Independent, Scholes looks ahead to the first final of the season on Sunday

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The Independent Football

There is something about a cup final that brings out a different quality in a footballer. Do they have the courage to win a one-off match? Quite simply, do they have the balls to take risks? We know that the current Chelsea team is capable of seizing the moment. The question marks are more about Tottenham this Sunday.

The Capital One Cup final is a great opportunity for the likes of Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb to get a medal early in their careers. I am sure that they will all have very good careers but it comes down to how much you have won in the end, and winning finals is difficult.

I won three FA Cup finals, two League Cup finals and played in one of United’s two Champions League-winning finals. But I lost in a lot of finals too: the FA Cup in 1995, 2005 and 2007, the League Cup in 2003 and the Champions League in 2009 and 2011. On some of those occasions – 2003, 2005, 2007 – we were by far the better team on the day but sometimes that just isn’t enough.



A cup final is all about seizing the moment. You cannot put right a mistake or a missed opportunity the following week. Look how Chelsea won the Europa League final against Benfica in 2013 despite not playing particularly well. On Sunday we will find out what this good young Spurs team are like when the pressure is really on.

Read Scholes' full column for this week HERE