Looking at Townsend's performance on Saturday it's very hard to understand how he has leapfrogged Aaron Lennon in the wingers' queue. In fact, apart from an emphatically converted penalty at a crucial point in the Chelsea game, it's difficult to think of anything good Townsend has done for some time now.
Where did it all go right? How does a team that was pitiful in losing at home to Stoke City on 9 November became one capable of sticking five goals past leaders Chelsea on New Year's Day? Perhaps a glance at the Tottenham line ups for those two games provides a clue.
Happily there is no talk of losing Harry Kane, the lifelong Tottenham fan who hails from nearby Chingford and has risen from the ranks. Dare the faithful hope that his journey from likeable trier to deadly operator might be similar to the one the team is on?
An away win at high flying Swansea, an emphatic cup quarter final victory over Newcastle and, finally, the defeat of a lowly premier league team at home after the debacles against Stoke, West Brom and Palace have meant that Christmas has arrived slightly ahead of schedule for Tottenham fans.
Harry Kane scored and was once again Tottenham's stand out performer in the 4-0 victory over Newcastle... A trip to a Wembley final for the first time in six years beckons and only a failure to wrestle three points from Burnley on Saturday can spoil Christmas now.
Somehow, despite all the moaning, the turgid play, the ordinary players, Franco Baldini, Poch's accent and the small pitch, Spurs are just four points off the top four, two points behind Arsenal, three clear of Liverpool and still in all the cups. But without Eriksen, the picture would be a good deal less rosy.
The post Double side of the early 60s was, in Jimmy's judgement, the best team in the world at the time and not many who watched them would argue. They were never mollycoddled and they enjoyed every minute that they played together. Could this have been at least a part of their secret?
Two or three times this season, Tottenham fans have kidded themselves that their team is better than ordinary. The most recent occasion was following the exuberant victory over Everton just six days before Saturday's game against Crystal Palace.
Ironically, the Premier League season is warming up very nicely as we enter the foggy, festive period of December. The title race is beginning to take shape, it is difficult to predict where the European qualification positions will go and the relegation battle looks set to be the tightest one for a long time.
Tottenham lost three nil at Chelsea but was it really that bad? They had 61 per cent of the possession and almost as many shots as Chelsea and they were definitely the better side for the first quarter of an hour. And yet, somehow, Spurs were never really in it...
Perhaps it's sod's law that three days after they've finally put together a good performance Spurs have to go to Chelsea who look more or less unbeatable. On the other hand, maybe this is exactly the right time to visit Stamford Bridge...
Spurs were so-so and won 1-0 because Partizan were worse. On Sunday, in-form Everton visit following their highly impressive 2-0 away win against Wolfsburg. Gulp.
Having developed statistically calculated strengths of 'finishing', 'dribbling' and 'holding on to the ball', Kane boasts the necessary attributes to link the midfield and attack. While he is unlikely to reach Ronaldo levels of excellence, as per Vertonghen's suggestion, Kane has started to realise his potential under Pochettino after rising to the fore under Tim Sherwood.
A victory can quickly paper over the cracks however crevice-like they may appear. Spurs weren't great at Hull but they were better than they have been for a while and despite poor old Steve Bruce's gripes, they were worthy winners.
He shouldn't go. It's as simple as that. The run of embarrassing defeats and general disappointing football has endured through three managers now, and adding a fourth name to that list will do nothing at all, except perhaps lengthen the process.
Knotted brows and shaking heads emerged from White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon; supporters bewildered and dumbstruck by what they had seen. Pouring out of the away end the Stoke fans scratched their heads and demanded of each other in disbelief: how on earth did we only manage to beat that shower by just the one goal?